It was Deliberate Way to a Famine

  • Post category:Issue XIX

Volodymyr Chornyi
Envoy Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine, Veteran of the Diplomatic Service, Member of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine


Abstract. The article analyses one of the most grievous chapters in the history of Ukrainian nation – the Great Famine (Holodomor) of 1932–1933. It is referred to the massive famine that was deliberately organized by the Soviet authorities, which led to many millions hu-man losses in the rural area in the territory of the Ukrainian SSR and Kuban.
Planned confiscation of grain crops and other food products from villagers by the representatives of the Soviet authorities led to a multimillion hunger massacre of people in rural area. At the same time, the Soviet government had significant reserves of grain in warehouses and exported it abroad, since without collectivization and Ukrainian bread it was impossible to launch the industrialization that demanded Ukrainian grain to be contributed to foreigners in return for their assistance. Ukrainian grain turned into currency. The authorities of that time refused to accept foreign assistance for starving people and simultaneously banned and blocked their leaving outside the Ukrainian SSR. The so-called “barrier troops” were organized in order to prevent hungry people from flee to the freedom and not let anyone enter the starving area. The situation is characterized by the fact that the idea and practice of barrier troops tested on Ukrainians were lately used on the battlefields of the World War II.
Among three Holodomors, the government did not conceal only the first one (1921–1922), as it could be blamed on the tsarist regime that brought the villagers to the poverty, and post-war devastation. The famine of 1946–1947 was silenced, but the population generally perceived it as a clear consequence of two horrendous misfortunes – the World War II and dreadful drought. Especially rigid was position of the government regarding the very fact of genocide in 1933–1933 not only its scale.
The author emphasizes that the Great Famine is refused to be admitted not because it was unreal but to avoid the assessment of its special direction against Ukraine and Ukrainian nation, saying instead that it affected the fate of all nations.
The article describes the renovation of internal passports system and the obligatory registration at a certain address that took place in the USSR in 1932. Decree of the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR stipulated the fact that people living in rural areas should not obtain passports. Therefore, collective farmers of the Ukrainian SSR actually did not obtain passports. The villagers were forbidden to leave collective farms without signed agreement with the employer, that deprived them of the right to free movement. Even after the introduction of labour books the collective farmers did not obtain them either.
The author describes the destruction of the collective farms system that his parents dedicated their entire labour life to. Instead of preserving productive forces, material and technical base and introducing new forms of agrarian sector management and the whole society to the development path, this system has been thoughtlessly destroying and plundering.
Keywords: Holodomor, Ukrainian villagers, collectivization, genocide, confiscation, barrier troops.

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