6 thoughts on “‘Red Famine’ Revisits Stalin’s Brutal Campaign To Starve The Peasantry In Ukraine

  1. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anne Applebaum explains how Stalin killed millions in the ’30s by orchestrating a famine to suppress the nationalist movement and strengthen Russian influence in Ukraine.

  2. The key quote, I guess:

    >APPLEBAUM: So there are two things that happened. One is that, in order to carry out the famine, there were teams sent from Russia and also from Ukrainian* cities to – first of all, to collectivize the peasants and then later on to requisition their grain as well as much of their other food. The activist teams went house to house, and they took people’s food away – literally all of their food, everything that they had and confiscated it. Secondarily, after the famine in 1933, 1934, 1935, there were Russians sent from other parts of the Soviet Union to colonize the empty Ukrainian villages. There were whole swaths of the countryside where nobody lived anymore.

    >And so Russians were brought into Russify rural Ukraine. There’s a dispute about how effective that was. Some people stayed. Some people – there are very interesting letters written from some of the Russians who were brought into those empty communities. They didn’t really know where they were being sent to. And they were horrified to discover corpses. They discovered, you know, that fields hadn’t been tended. They didn’t really know where they’d been brought to. And some left. But it’s certainly true that over the subsequent 10 and 20 and 30 years, Ukraine – not just rural Ukraine but all of Ukraine – was Russified quite comprehensively.

    >Russians came in and took over many of the jobs in the Ukrainian Communist Party and Ukrainian institutions but also in the countryside replacing the missing Ukrainians. So in effect, the famine was a part of a larger process of attempt and Russification of Ukraine, of replacement of the Ukrainian language with Russian, of replacement of people who identified themselves as Ukrainians with Russians from Russia

    My note:

    *Ukrainian cities were culturally Russified already and had a huge ethnic Russian minority, like they do today, so it’s almost certain, that this “internal helpers” were also Russians.

  3. Really good book about this topic is Timothy Snyder’s “Bloodlands” it is really interesting read. It’s about eastern Europe from ~1930 to after WW2 under rule of Stalin and Hitler and again Stalin, how people were treated there (spoiler: Not good). Highly recommend to anyone interested in this topic.

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