An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       
Ukraine Remembers -The World Acknowleges
75th Commemoration Of The Holodomor 1932-1933
"Induced Starvation, Death for Millions, Genocide"
November 24, 2007 to November 22, 2008
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
Return to Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article

Viktor Yushchenko: "All our tragedies occurred when
there was no understanding within the nation"
INTERVIEW: With Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko
By Mykola SIRUK, The Day and other correspondents
The Day Weekly Digest #34, Tuesday, 13 November 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #889, Article 2
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, November 19, 2007

Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, November 17, 2007
Guarini Institute, John Cabot University
Prof. Federigo Argentieri, Organizer
Rome, Italy, Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Presentation: By Professor Roman Serbyn
Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada
The Ukrainian Holodomor and the Denial of Genocides
International Conference, Federigo Argentieri, Ph.D., Organizer
Guarini Institute, John Cabot University
Rome, Italy, Friday, November 09, 2007
Published by the Action Ukraine Report #889, Article 5
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, November 19, 2007  

Neither Russia, nor the world, nor you and I have any excuse to not know.
Commentary: By Halya Coynash
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 16, 2007

Interfax Ukraine News, Moscow, Russia, Wed, November 14, 2007

UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1653 gmt 17 Nov 07
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, Friday, November 17, 2007

Source: www.gpu.ua
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, November 1, 2007

Zoya Zhminko, Ukrainian News Agency, Sunday November 11, 2007

COMMENTARY: By John Marone, Kyiv Post Staff Journalist
Eurasian Home, Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Interfax Ukraine, Brussels, Belgium, Wed, November 14, 2007

Compiled by Nadia TYSIACHNA, The Day
The Day Weekly Digest #34, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, November 13, 2007
Viktor Yushchenko: "All our tragedies occurred when
there was no understanding within the nation"

INTERVIEW: With Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko
By Mykola SIRUK, The Day and other correspondents
The Day Weekly Digest #34, Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Next year Ukraine will mark the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor, which
claimed nearly 10 million Ukrainian lives in 1932- 33. It should be noted
that Ukraine's parliament passed a bill recognizing the Holodomor as an act
of genocide against the Ukrainian people only last year.

In recent months official Kyiv has been contacting other countries and
international organizations, urging them to acknowledge the Holodomor as
genocide. A dozen parliaments have responded.

On Nov. 1, 2007, the 34th UNESCO General Conference (made up of 193
member countries) unanimously passed the Resolution "Remembrance of
Victims of the Great Famine (Holodomor) in Ukraine." The resolution did
not mention the word genocide.

How does this UNESCO resolution correspond to Ukraine's vision of these
75-year-old events? Will Ukraine keep insisting that the Holodomor be
recognized by the international community as an act of genocide against the
Ukrainian people?

What are the lessons that the current Ukrainian generation and political
elite should learn from this tragedy?

Below President Viktor Yushchenko comments on these and other issues in
an interview with correspondents from five Ukrainian periodicals: The Day,
Silski visti, Ukraina Moloda, Fakty, and the weekly Dzerkalo tyzhnia.

PRESIDENT: The sun has not yet set on this question. We must understand
that conveying the truth about the Great Famine of 1932- 33 to the world
community is not an optional, one-year course. We should clearly understand
that this issue is facing a great many challenges that the Ukrainian nation
must overcome.

What happened yesterday (this interview took place on Dec. 2 - Ed.) is proof
that the amount of work done by Ukraine, its political forces and diplomats
in the past couple of years has been recognized by 193 countries, which last
night unanimously voted in favor of this decision.

For me, it is very important that for the first time the world community
adopted a joint consolidated decision on recognizing the Great Famine of
1932-33 on such a scale. This is the main victory. Other, more specific,
details of this tragedy represent our future work.

If you will pardon my saying so, how can we reproach the world when it has
taken our society 73 years to get a parliament that recognizes this as the

We have been afraid to say so for 73 years. Now we are demanding that 193
countries do something that we Ukrainians didn't have the courage to do
within our own nation, within our own leadership.

I think that we have received three signals. First, we have provided the
world with enough arguments to show that this tragedy is not only a tragedy
of the Ukrainian nation but a tragic page in the annals of world history,
something that we must respect, honor, and know about all over the world.

Second, it is an extremely important fact that the UNESCO General Conference
has joined in commemorating the 75th anniversary of this tragedy.

Third, it is important that this UNESCO resolution recommends that the
signatories do their best to make this page in history, this particular
truth, part of educational programs and high school curricula throughout the
world, so that people will have a better insight into this event that took
place in Ukraine.

I think that these three signals are the strongest ones, something we can
really feel proud of, because this concerns our tragic history and those
directives that first and foremost we want the rest of the world to
understand and accept.

We're making efforts all over the world, holding various events, and
organizing visits. Dozens of conferences are being organized by the
Institute of Memory.

You won't find a parliament anywhere in the world that has not received my
message about the Holodomor of 1932- 33. This topic is being developed
and implemented, in some places better, and in other places, worse.

Sometimes circumstances are forced, which impede a quick decision- making
process. Let me share one of my convictions with you: the time will come
when most national parliaments will recognize this tragic page of Ukrainian
history, the Holodomor of 1932-33, as an act of genocide against the
Ukrainian people. As a nation, we must be better consolidated with regard to
this issue; we must believe in ourselves.

We must finally dedicate our efforts to one of the Ukrainian themes upon
which is based the kind of understanding, unity, and consolidation that our
nation needs - because unity and consolidation do not come about based on
something that is amorphous; least of all do they come about through

On the contrary, we must shoulder all the burdens of the past years and
accept all the outrages that were perpetrated against the nation as our own
personal drama. And in this we must sense the need for Ukraine's unification
on an organic, cellular level.

QUESTION: Mr. President, according to the Law on the Holodomor, any
attempts to deny it are prohibited and regarded as acts of contempt to the
millions of victims. How can our politicians be made to observe this law?

Will you insist that the new coalition amend the Criminal Code to institute
criminal liability for Holodomor denial?

PRESIDENT: If you recall Article 2 of this Law, it requires a sequel to the
logistics of this order. If we have proof of denial, then there must be
liability for it. I see logic in the fact that changes to the Law on the
Holodomor of 1932-33 must contain an article on administrative and criminal
responsibility. Yesterday I signed a bill to this effect and did not submit
it to parliament for only one reason.

I would first like to address a special message to the Ukrainian parliament,
elucidating all the circumstances concerning both current and historical
aspects. Then I would propose a resolution on criminal and administrative
liability for denying the Holocaust and the Holodomor.

These two subjects are very similar. They are topical both within our
country and throughout the world, which keeps moving in this direction.

I'm convinced that this will be a good example of the two greatest
tragedies, one of which claimed five million and the other some ten million
lives, that both will have international status on the one hand, and on the
other, that there will be clear- cut boundaries of liability within the
framework of national legislation. Therefore, this issue will shortly be
placed on the agenda.

I'm convinced that there won't be any problems in parliament. We'll find
sides there that have political morals and an unsuppressed national
consciousness, who realize that this step is not aimed against anyone.

This step is not aimed against Russia or the Russian people. Excuse me,
but it is a step aimed against a regime, the only and main cause of that
tragedy. Regrettably, political commentaries on this issue vary.

However, I am convinced that politicians tend to mature with time and become
more conscientious with each passing day as we discuss issues that are so
close to the Ukrainian heart.

Therefore, I'm convinced that we will get this issue moving in the Ukrainian
parliament, as we did the recognition of the Holodomor of 1932-33 as an act
of genocide.

If anyone has questions about why genocide, they should look at two
statistics, particularly Joseph Stalin's census of 1929 and Brezhnev's in
1979. We started with the Ukrainian nation numbering 81 million and ended
up with 42 million.

In 50 years the only nation that shrank by two times was the Ukrainian
nation. All the others increased by two or three times. Of course, this
statistic has to do not only with the Holodomor.

However, I would like to emphasize - especially for the political elite -
that we must outgrow our Little Russian garb and dedicate our efforts to
issues of recognition that are sensitive even to my generation. If we don't
do this, the Ukrainian nation, its consciousness, and subsequent Ukrainian
generations will be deformed.

That is why this is not a playful subject for me, not an optional class in
Ukrainian history but one of the most urgent questions of today. Therefore,
if we want to take good care of our future, we must first of all take good
care of our history because the future is created precisely from history.

We are filtering what is strong, what unites and identifies, what makes us a
more universal and wiser nation. And on the basis of these values is
formulated the answer to the question, what kind of future do we want?

If someone says that the past can be cut off, like with a pair of scissors,
and that we can get together at a roundtable and create a bright future,
this is utopia. No nation does this.

Every nation knocks on the doors of its past, seeking lines of
identification that most vividly demonstrate feelings of national unity and
the strength of the nation, and on the basis of this forms its own

In other words, I believe that an individual that works against Ukrainian
history is not a carrier of the Ukrainian future. This is what an absolutely
urgent, straightforward, and contemporary approach is all about.

QUESTION: Dmytro Dontsov once said that Ukrainians must develop a
spirit capable of effectively resisting the spirit of Ivan the Terrible,
which is being constantly reincarnated in Russia.

Do you agree that little has changed in the Kremlin corridors of power and
generally in many European capitals and the rest of the world? To what
degree do they accept Ukraine as an independent country? Is there any
reverse process?

PRESIDENT: There is no reverse process. I am convinced that in the days
of Bohdan Khmelnytsky or Ivan Mazepa asserting the Ukrainian nation was
considerably more difficult than today. We live in a different era, although
no one will say that we are living in easy times. This kind of work has
never been easy.

I do not think that these words have lost their urgency. They remain topical
today. I would probably emphasize another aspect. Ukrainians always like to
cry, either because they are living in the wrong times or they lack
strength, or are in the wrong kind of circumstances.

I am convinced that the key concept of forming national consciousness and an
open society lies in our own inner will. Regardless of who and which
corridors of power are thinking about Ukraine, we need our own concept of
where we are today. What do we have to build up?

Unfortunately, too many myths have been introduced into Ukrainian history,
which have perhaps been introduced on the subconscious rather than conscious
level of many generations.

Living with these myths has given rise to this black- and-white attitude
toward our life and our history. Without a doubt, we must have a truthful
history of Ukraine. Otherwise we will long continue to wander among
contemporary events.

For example, look at how it pains, or does not pain, our Ukrainian hearts to
know what happened to the graves of the youths who died at Kruty? What
nation tolerates uproars, like when our national anthem is murdered?

In other words, this is our symbol, and not simply our symbol but that which
is perhaps the best graphic evidence of our identity as Ukrainians.

Why are they attacking our anthem? Why are they smearing it? Because once
again they want to prove the hackneyed myth of the past that says that we
have no nation, that we have no state, we have different languages in our
country, different churches, even different kinds of history, and differing
attitudes to our national history.

Once again, let me emphasize that this is not a problem of some other
nation, some other capital city. This is a problem of my family, our
families. This is a problem of our nation.

If we continue to allow our national values to be treated this way, we will
live with a sense of being imperfect and second-rate for a long time to
come. That is why these are sensitive things for me.

It is obvious that people are striking at these things, striking Hoverlia,
Kruty, and erecting monuments to Catherine II. I realize that these are
episodes; these are lessons after which a nation becomes different.

I assure you that what we're talking about now has never been discussed
in these offices, within these walls, with this coloration, and in this
context. I am inspired by this because this is progress. We don't need to
be idealists: building a state is a difficult subject. We have a great many
opponents, we have a fifth column.

Ultimately, they will keep working hard to prove that we have failed.
Sixteen years aren't long enough to finally answer the question whether or
not we have succeeded in building our state. I have no doubts that the state
has been established for many centuries to come.

We still face many challenges and we must realize all of them. I have no
illusions about this, either. This is a great test; there will be grave
wounds; great problems connected to our historical destiny.

I would say, however, that the number-one issue is the question that above
all concerns our very nation, our citizens; how much this citizen is aware
of being a Ukrainian national.

Another issue - I don't want to use an insulting qualifier - is that we must
develop a new breed of Ukrainian politicians, who will assign primary
importance to issues pertaining to national consolidation and the formation
of national memory and consciousness that have been distorted over the

After all, in view of the historical depression that keeps catching up with
us, bringing tears to our eyes and often serving to disunite us, it is
necessary to form precisely this kind of elite.

Without a doubt, it is emerging. More and more interesting people are
appearing in the Ukrainian parliament, with whom, I will say frankly, it is
interesting to conduct polemics and be aware of all those threads that bind
us to what we understand; that this is our job and those challenges that
Ukrainian politicians, as the avant-garde, should understand. They have to
keep a step ahead of things and explain them to the people.

I am convinced that herein lies the great mission of the new Ukrainian
political generation, a generation that may not always be fully understood
by society in one aspect or another.

Right now we are turning back to the pages that are acquiring passionate
understanding. [I am referring to] the Holodomor in the current context,
when every November tens of thousands of people gather in front of what I
would describe as a sign rather than a monument, for the nation has not made
an adequate acknowledgment that would pay tribute to the fate of nearly 10
million victims who died in 1932-33.

This is more than we lost during the Second World War. Yet with every
passing year we feel this truth taking its place in our history. And for
many this is a discovery.

I will say frankly that I feel some anger toward the intelligentsia and
journalists, who have not always displayed their national stand, while often
exploiting the unique monopoly on the pen, which means on the idea, which
only journalists have, to speak the truth. In other words, much needs to be
raised in society.

I only want to say one thing, that I will never blame some side for failing
to do everything for all this to become a reality in Ukraine.

This is exclusively a question of the titular Ukrainian nation. And I am
sure that its ambitions can change the views of the world, neighbors, and
various regional or international organizations. Everything starts from

QUESTION: Mr. President, what kind of information policy do you think
Ukraine should adopt in commemorating the Holodomor victims?

PRESIDENT: I think this should be a policy for the next several years. To
this I would like to add a general remark: if we keep saying that this is a
bother for the state, then we won't be able to accomplish many things, place
them on the agenda, and achieve them.

This is everyone's business, no matter who you are according to your
position. I am convinced that this is a question of a challenge, when we
talk about how to have a single nation, incontestable territorial integrity,
sovereignty, and by which mechanisms this should be consolidated. This is
a discussion that involves everyone.

The question is: what is your stand, of your family, your children - and not
just on this question but in the widest understanding: security, defense,
and integration; who will we be 10 to 15 years from now - where we have
been or where we want to be?

But this is what the situation looks like. First of all, we must lock in
historical memory. And for this we must develop a vast body of scholarship,
carry out appropriate archaeology, and complete a proper inventory of
everything that exists not only in our archives but abroad, with regard to
one part of history or another.

We simply have to know the truth about what happened in Ukraine in 1920,
1929, in the 1930s, in 1936, the 1940s, and the 1950s.

Therefore, the topic of the liberation movement and its history is one of
the very sensitive pages that we still have to comprehend. We were taught a
different kind of history, so we have a vague attitude to the efforts made
by Symon Petliura.

We know next to nothing about what was accomplished by Yevhen Konovalets
in Kyiv in 1919; about the monarchist endeavors of Hetman Skoropadsky, the
dramatic conflict between him, Petliura, and Vynnychenko, or about the
Arsenal tragedy, Kruty, or the Bohodukhiv army.

All these issues are such a complex and painful mix that demonstrates the
following: as a rule, all our tragedies occurred when there was no
understanding within the nation. This history must be brought forth. If we
learn it, then we will lock it in books, programs, monuments, and street
names. This is a purification of our consciousness.

Therefore, I would say that first comes a great deal of painstaking
scholarly work, on the basis of which enlightening work must be organized,
and later, important educational work in various domains, starting of course
with schools and upbringing in schools, and the introduction of special
courses and all kinds of support for this kind of research to be undertaken
by various scholarly institutions. In other words, perhaps the most
important thing is to popularize the knowledge we already possess and
acquire new knowledge.

I am convinced that raising the level of our self-sufficiency and discarding
Little Russianism are the key tasks of the state authorities today. We must
consistently form our national consciousness. This is the key to the answer
to this question.

People who are enriched with national memory, consciousness, and truthful
history can provide answers to the formation of key national priorities.
This is an integrative connection.

I would even describe it as a pair of correspondences that are interrelated.
As people say correctly, history is the road to the future. Without history
there is no road to the future.

QUESTION: You mentioned the topic of the legal responsibility for the
Holodomor on the part of the political regime. After the 20th Congress of
the CPSU it was far easier to discuss Stalinist repressions than it is to
talk about the Holodomor today. There are a lot fewer people who know
from personal experience what it was.

Even now, a year after the Holodomor bill was passed, there is no
understanding on this issue among the political forces that obtained seats
in parliament after the early elections.

Mr. President, are you certain that your proposed changes to the law, which
envisage administrative and criminal liability for Holodomor denial, will be
passed by parliament, and will the Party of Regions support them?

PRESIDENT: Frankly, above all, I'm relying on support from you. There are
more of you. Believe me: it's not worth pretending that parliament gives its
consent to this with 228 or 232 votes. What decides the matter is society's

Our society can demolish any opposition to this question, no matter where it
is formed: parliament, or government, or in some regional organization. We
must first plant these convictions in our own hearts. I am convinced that in
the past two years we have accomplished more on this subject than was done
in the past 70 years.

Of course, the heaviest consequence of the Famine of 1932-33 is the victims.
It is very important for us to know these victims because the very
recognition of the existence of these victims leads us to a second
conclusion: these people lived.

Therefore they had their own values and views because of which they clearly
suffered. We are starting to address them. For some, this means a spiritual
aspect: these are souls that can give us strength through our prayers. To
others these souls do not exist; they have forgotten all about them in
keeping with what they were taught.

They have no one to appeal to. Tear a page from a book and say that 1932-33
never existed: you are without memory. But "memory" and "memorial" have
the same root. Everything that has no memory will never be history.

Why is it important for us to consolidate all this through all sorts of
signs that will restore our forgotten memory? I will be announcing a
competition for the best book of 2008 on the Great Famine of 1932- 33.

I will raise funds, and the people who do the finest work on behalf of the
Ukrainian nation will be honored. I will also announce a competition for the
best film on the same subject.

In fact, several film scripts are being developed right now, which will
serve, I am convinced, as vivid proof for the rest of the world, not only
for our nation.

Right now we are talking about the completion of the drafting part of the
work to create a monument to the Great Holodomor and the opening of a
Holodomor museum that will occupy an area of several thousand square
meters. We have enough eyewitness testimony and to spare.

Over the past year the Institute of Memory has identified 1.5 million
witnesses who can relay the truth about the Holodomor. Among them are people
who were only a couple of years old and who remember those terrible times.
Thank God, there are still people left who experienced all this as adults.

Archives have been preserved in our country, although a large proportion of
them were destroyed. But as far as I am concerned, besides the enormous
human tragedies, the 1932-33 Famine also brought another great affliction:

That which took place in 1932-33 led to 1936-37: repressions and abasement
of human dignity and honor - everything that was set in motion during this
period. Therefore, there is no question that today we must bring up this
topic in all its manifestations in as solid a fashion as possible.

I am convinced that we will have a distinguished national memorial and that
the victims' memory will be duly honored throughout the oblasts.

During a meeting in Kharkiv, I rebuked some heads of oblast state
administrations who are obliged to apply similar steps to all local state
administrations, where little has been done to commemorate the memory of
the victims of the Great Famine.

I am more of an optimist than a pessimist in these matters, although I am
convinced that this question should have been raised in the first days of
national sovereignty.

As of today, every oblast is collecting data on all those who died during
the Great Famine, which will be used to compile regional Remembrance Books
that will be issued next year in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of
the Holodomor.

I am convinced that we will start working on a National Remembrance Book
in half a year. All this has to do with the subject of memory.

I think this is the key to understanding the mission before us. Today we
have to manage to complete this work. Assessments are ahead. We must
record as much pertinent data as is absolutely technically possible because
this is the most important issue at this stage.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #889, Article 2
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, November 19, 2007

KYIV, Ukraine - The "We Accuse: Holodomor Genocide 1932-1933"
International Exhibition for the 75th Commemoration of the Holodomor
1932-1933 (induced starvation, death for millions, genocide) will be held
in Kyiv at the Ukrainian House from Tuesday, November 20 through
Thursday, December 6, 2007.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko will participate in the formal
opening of the exhibition Wednesday noon, November 21.

The Administration of President Viktor Yushchenko is in charge of the
exhibition which is under the direction of Ivan Vasiunyk, First Deputy
Head of the Presidential Secretariat, and Vasyl Vovkun, production
and artistic director.

The international commemorative and educational exhibition will feature
four individual Holodomor presentations which will be displayed for
seventeen days in the Ukrainian House in the center of Kyiv.
Historical and educational presentations will be made by the:
[1] Ukrainian National Institute of Memory, Ihor Yukhnovsky,
[2] Ukraine 3000 International Charity Fund, Kateryna Yushchenko,
     Head of the Supervisory Board;
[3] Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Valentyn Nalyvaichenko,
     Acting Chief, and by the 
[4] Holodomor Through The Eyes of Ukrainian Artists Collection,
Morgan Williams, SigmaBleyzer, Founder and Trustee. 
The National Institute of Memory will display their newly created
set of sixty-four panels/posters that tell the story of the Holodomor
in documents, historical data, testimonies, photographs and other
historical information. 
The Ukraine 3000 International Charity Fund will display a large
number of posters about the Holodomor created by students and
artists this year in response to a Holodomor poster contest organized
by the Ukraine 3000 Fund.  People attending the exhibition will be
able to vote for the posters they think are the most outstanding. 
The Security Service of Ukraine (SUB) will display their set of
over 60 panels/posters created from material in their archives about
the Holodomor such as historical decrees, letters, government
documents, photographs, and other items from the SBU archives.
The Holodomor Through The Eyes of Ukrainian Artists Collection,
will display over 100 original art works. The original artworks will
include oil on canvas paintings, black and white drawings, linocuts, 
paint on board poster art and other graphical materials. 
Many of the artworks were created between 1989 and 1993, the first
years artists in Ukraine were ever allowed to deal with such subjects
as the major crimes of communism. Some of the poster art will
include works by students at the Art Academy in Kyiv created in
2006 and 2007 under the direction of Professor Vitaliy Shostia, a
program sponsored by the Holodomor Education and Exhibition
Art Collection. 
High school students from the Poltava Oblast will also have
some Holodomor works on display.  Movies and documentaries
will be shown throughout the seventeen day exhibition. Books
about the Holodomor will also be on display.  The exhibition will
be the largest Holodomor exhibition ever held in Ukraine and is
open to the public. 
Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko has called on the international
community and governments around the world to condemn the crimes
committed by the Stalin regime and to declare the Holodomor of
1932-1933 as a genocide against the Ukrainian people.
'The crimes of the Stalin regime - the 1932-1933 famine-genocide in
Ukraine, the major terror of the 1930s - should be fully condemned by
the international community. It is the duty of all countries, political and
public forces that accept the values of democracy,' Yuschenko said.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, November 17, 2007

We are asking people in Ukraine, Russia and all countries of the world to
help us raise awareness about the Holodomor 1932-1933 in Ukraine.

We keep hitting our heads against a geopolitical wall, and believe it is
time to seek a more constructive way forward.  We are therefore writing the
following letter - petition to the Russian Federation Ministry of Foreign

There is no question of presenting grievances against today's Russia, nor of
settling scores. However we would stress that when speaking of Holodomor
the world must not be governed by geopolitical, economic, energy-related, or
political considerations.

It is a question of justice, of willingness to try to understand the past
and to do all in our power to ensure that such a crime never happens again.

Please help us by adding your voice to ours.

Appeal to the Russian Federation Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
With the 75th anniversary of Holodomor 1932-1933 in Ukraine approaching,
we welcome the adoption by UNESCO of Resolution "Remembrance of the
Victims of the Great Famine (Holodomor) in Ukraine" which the Russian
Government signed.

The Resolution points out that the Famine was the result of the cruel
actions and policies of the totalitarian regime. and calls on member states
to ensure measures aimed at raising awareness about Holodomor.

As you are aware, Ukraine's position, supported by 12 other countries, and
very many historians, researchers and individuals throughout the world, is
that Holodomor 1932-1933 was an act of genocide against the Ukrainian

We do of course mean here the entire Ukrainian nation, all those people
living during that terrible time on Ukraine's territory, not only ethnic

There would appear to be opposition at official level in Russia. Many other
countries are also clearly reluctant to take any stand on Holodomor which
they fear will "annoy Russia".

This denial of the obvious is entirely incomprehensible to us since the
crime in question was one perpetrated by a totalitarian regime which both
Ukraine and Russia have unequivocally condemned..
We are therefore writing to ask:
1) that you ensure access by researchers and representatives of the
international community to all archival material, including KGB documents,
presently held by the Federal Security Service, which pertains to the late
1920s and 1930s. In Ukraine all archival material pertaining to Holodomor
in the possession of the Ukrainian Security Service [SBU] has been

2) unless, of course, the archival material provides evidence to the
contrary, that the Russian Government declares Holodomor 1932-1933 in
Ukraine to have been an act of genocide against the Ukrainian nation
perpetrated by the totalitarian regime under the rule of Joseph Stalin.

3) that Russia promotes the dissemination of information about Holodomor
1932-1933 in Ukraine to ensure that the lessons of this tragic page are
inculcated in young generations. This will be in keeping with the principles
and aims of UNESCO, of which Russia is a member-state.

We are convinced that without acknowledgement of this crime, it will be
impossible to create the conditions which guarantee that such crimes will
never again be perpetrated.

You can read our appeal in all three languages here:
You can add your signature here:

Unfortunately the details of how to fill in the boxes are only in Ukrainian.
The first box asks you for your first and last name and, if you wish, you
can add your profession, place of work, details of your studies and which
country you are from.

The bigger box is for comments if you would like to make any. Please do
remember that the purpose of our appeal is to move forward constructively
when making any comments.

At the bottom you will see three boxes. Please click on the middle one -
And thank you!

If you have problems (or comments) please write to halya (at) maidanua.org
(it would be helpful to give a title making it clear what you're writing
about - for any happy readers who have not encountered the problem, this is
because of the amount of spam.

One last request - please tell others about this appeal!
LINK: http://khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1195302258
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Guarini Institute, John Cabot University
Prof. Federigo Argentieri, Organizer
Rome, Italy, Wednesday, November 14, 2007

ROME - Friday, November 9, 2007 brought an exciting array of international
figures to John Cabot University's Aula Magna as the political and security
implications of genocide denial were discussed in a conference organized in
collaboration with the Associazione Italiana Studi di Storia dell'Europa
Centrale e Orientale (AISSECO).

After being welcomed by John Cabot's President, Franco Pavoncello, the
Ambassador from Armenia, Rouben Shougarian, addressed the conference.
The first lecturer was Prof. Taner Akçam from the University of Minnesota
presenting "Turkish Denial as a Security Concept".

He discussed the relevance of the Armenian genocide to current security
issues, especially as Turkey seeks European Union membership. Prof. Akçam
pointed out the presence of genocide participants and organizers in the
Turkish government as it was formed after the First World War.

This reality has been a major contributor to the problem of separating
Turkish national identity from this pressing human rights issue. Prof. Akçam
saw the path towards reconciliation as possible through a return to the view
of the founding fathers of Turkey, such as Ataturk's description of the
Armenian tragedy as "a shameful act".

By embracing this vision, Turkey could disentangle its long-held position of
denial of the Armenian genocide from national security and move toward
greater democracy.

The Ukrainian Ambassador, Heorhiy Cheriavskyi, then addressed the
conference concerning the importance of international education and
recognition of the Ukrainian Holodomor.

Prof. Federigo Argentieri from the Guarini Institute of John Cabot
University spoke gave the paper: "Ideology and Diplomacy: How the
Ukrainian Famine Was - and Still is - Denied."

In his presentation, he introduced the history of denial of the Ukrainian
famine of 1932-33. Conflicting reports on the events in 1933 highlighted the
willingness of the Great Powers to ignore the plain facts witnessed by
British government officials in the Soviet Union.

At the time, political and economic interests took precedence over internal
human rights matters. Today, however, the famine remains virtually ignored,
even in academic circles in the West; a discussion of why this is the case
coupled with moves to change it is necessary.

Prof. Frediano Sessi, of the University of Mantua, presented a paper on "La
negazione della Shoah." Outlined was a history of the denial of the
Holocaust, including the false testaments of Enric Marco and Bruno Grosjean,
who wrote books in which they claimed to have survived concentration camps,
including Auschwitz. Such accounts have contributed to the arguments of
those who deny the Holocaust.

This movement has been supported by certain academics the United States
as well as in Europe, who claim that six million Jews could not have been
killed, and that the Soviets pushed for recognition of the Holocaust in
order to hide their own tragedies and genocides.

The first session of the conference was concluded with a discussion by Dario
Fertilio of the Italian daily Corriere della Sera as well as with questions
on the three lectures. In the afternoon, Prof. Roman Serbyn of the
Université du Québec à Montréal asked "Is there a 'Smoking Gun' for the
Ukrainian Genocide?"

As he went through the timeline of the famine of 1932-33, Prof. Serbyn
showed the process of the Holodomor. By 1931, grain export quotas were so
high that the peasants were unable to keep up and were going hungry
themselves. This continued in 1932 with the full awareness of Stalin and the
high-ranking Soviet authorities.

As in Turkey with the Armenian question, the Soviet Union saw the Ukrainian
issue as a combined social and national question. Since the Ukrainians held
a unique cultural identity and national sentiment, the Soviet authorities
sought to eliminate that threat to "international communism".

Prof. Serbyn determined that if there can be labeled a "Smoking Gun" for the
Holodomor, it would be the closing of the Ukrainian borders in late 1932,
which prevented people from leaving to find food and greater freedom

Turning toward the more contemporary treatment of the Ukrainian Holodomor,
Prof. Georgiy Kasianov of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences and Kyïv-Mohyla
University discussed "The Great Famine of 1932-33: Academia and Politics."
After the independence of the Ukraine in 1991, the Holodomor has become
central in creating a national cultural myth.

Thus, much has been written within the Ukraine on the subject in order to
create a sort of canonical version, yet several have emerged. The state has
consistently commemorated the victims of the famine, and in 1999 the
President established a day of commemoration.

Using the term "genocide" has remained controversial on an international
level however, despite the appeal to the United Nations in 2003 to recognize
the Holodomor as genocide.

The second session of the conference concluded with a lecture by Mykola
Ryabchuk, co-editor of Krityka in Kyïv. He discussed the "Holodomor,
Politics of Memory and Political Infighting in Contemporary Ukraine," which
brought to light the struggles over the past two decades in independent
Ukraine over the ways of remembering and memorializing events of the Soviet

One was encouraged to remember the communist mindset that still exists today
in Ukraine of a national ambivalence toward the past. In the end, hope was
expressed that the post-Orange Revolution government can truly include
national interests in the politics of memory and commemorating the victims
of Soviet communist and colonial oppression. Then Olena Ponomareva of
Università la Sapienza spoke on the papers presented in the afternoon.

To conclude the conference, a roundtable discussion on the "Ethical and
Geopolitical Implications of Genocide Recognition and Denial" was led by
L.V. Ferraris, President of AISSECO.

Contributors included Giovanna Brogi of the University of Milan, Lucio
Caracciolo, editor of Limes, Renzo Foa, editor of Liberal, Seta Martayan,
President of the Association of the Armenian Community of Rome and Lazio,
and Nataliya Shulga of the Ukrainian Scientific Club.

The roundtable discussion elicited many provocative confrontations that
provided a frank overall discussion of the issues dealt with throughout the
LINK: http://intranet.johncabot.edu/myjcu/public_site/news.aspx?cat=Events
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC): http://www.usubc.com

PRESENTATION: By Professor Roman Serbyn
Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada
The Ukrainian Holodomor and the Denial of Genocides
International Conference, Federigo Argentieri, Ph.D., Organizer
Guarini Institute, John Cabot University
Rome, Italy, Friday, November 09, 2007
Published by the Action Ukraine Report #889, Article 5
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, November 19, 2007  

In his seminal study on genocide, Leo Kuper observed that "governments
hardly declare and document genocidal plans in the manner of the Nazis"
[1]. Nevertheless, since modern states cannot function without large
bureaucracies and elaborate communication systems, tell-tale records
inevitably survive.

When the CPSU lost power and the Soviet empire fell apart, it was revealed
that an elaborate paper trail of the 1932-33 famine and the Soviet
authorities' involvement in it had been preserved in party and state
archives. These documents are being slowly declassified, examined and
published[2]. Historians can now give us a fairly accurate account of the
catastrophe and ascertain the responsibility of Stalin and his

As a result, scholars who previously hesitated to recognize the genocidal
character of Stalin's forced starvation of Ukrainian farmers, have
reexamined the question and readjusted their interpretations. In his latest
book, Nicolas Werth comes to the conclusion that thanks to recent studies
based on the new documents, it is now "legitimate to qualify as genocide the
cluster of actions undertaken by the Stalinist regime to punish the
Ukrainian peasantry by famine and terror"[3].

In this paper I analyze some of the main documents that provide smoking-gun
evidence of genocide, in line with the definition of the crime given in the
UN Convention of 1948: "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or
in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such".

The key criteria in the Convention are proof of "intent" and identification
eligible "groups". Soviet documents corroborate the accusation against
Stalin and his closest collaborators for deliberately exterminating millions
of Ukrainian farmers, and show that the perpetrators targeted them as

Furthermore these and other documents reveal that the genocide was not just
against Ukrainian farmers, the focus of the attack was the Ukrainian nation
in all its component parts and on all its territories within the Soviet

The locus of this crime was thus the Ukrainian SSR, the predominantly
Ukrainian Kuban, and the other regions of the RSFSR with sizeable Ukrainian
populations. The simultaneous decimation of Ukrainian national elites,
especially academic, cultural and political leaders, was an integral part of
the destruction of the Ukrainian nation.

Stalin did not intend to kill all Ukrainians (nor is such an intent required
by the Convention); his motive was to break the backbone of the nation by
executing a sizeable percentage of the people and reducing the rest to
servile obedience, to transform them into manageable cogs of the state
mechanism. Stalin's means of destruction were varied: famine, shootings,
exhausting forced labor.

The UN Convention does not require the establishment of motives for
genocide, but determining the reasons for the act gives an insight into the
rationale which led to crime and thus help us comprehend the perpetrator's
intent. Stalin's measures against the Ukrainians were predicated on his
political ambitions, two of which provided the motives for the eventual

The first was to extend socialism beyond the borders of the USSR. He
realized that the Bolsheviks' initial attempt to export their revolution
into Europe failed primarily because of the weakness of the Red Army. To
resume Lenin's unfinished task, Stalin needed a powerful armed force, backed
by modern heavy industry. Industrialization had to be financed by exporting
natural resources, especially grain, which had to be extorted from the
farmers at the lowest cost to the state.

War communism had shown that door-to-door requisition was costly,
inefficient and politically dangerous. After the revolution, poor farmers
appropriated and divided up the land of rich landlords. As a result, farmers
lived better, ate more but sold less to the state. Marketable grain (sold
outside the village) in tsarist times was provided by the large farms owned
by landlords and kulaks. Now new large estates had to be set up in the form
of sovkhozy and kolkhozy. These would give the state easy access to grain,
produced by the newly enslaved peasants.

The immediate goal was not the increase of grain production (which could be
expected to fall as a result of peasant opposition), but of the "marketable
grain" to be delivered to the state. Since the main producers of grain were
Ukrainians farmers, who had no tradition of the Russian semi-communal
obshchina organization, they could be expected to offer stiff resistance to
forced collectivization and confiscation of the fruits of their labor.

Stalin's second ambition was to bring a permanent solution to the national
question, especially its crucial Ukrainian component. The 1926 census pegged
the Ukrainian population at 31 million, of the Union's 147 million: 23
million in Ukraine, and 8 million in the rest of the USSR, mainly along the
Ukrainian border.

Ukrainian national revival triggered by the Russian revolution forced Lenin
to give the reconquered republic nominal autonomy in the form of a
"sovereign" republic within a Potemkin-style Soviet federation. Subsequent
policy of Ukrainization, or the local application of a general principle of
korenizatsiia (nativization), allowed Ukrainians to add real national
content to the pretentiously misleading form of "soviet republic"[5].

The Ukrainization of education, communications and administration, not only
in Ukraine but also in the Ukrainian regions of the RSFSR, the
de-Russification of urban centers by the influx of Ukrainian farmers, the
demands on Moscow to transfer to the republic adjacent territories with
Ukrainian population, the shifting of cultural orientation from Moscow and
to the West - all these pressures on the imperial centre could not be
ignored by the Kremlin.

 Stalin, Lenin's "magnificent Georgian" and foremost expert on the
nationalities question, understood the dangers of active nation-building in
Ukraine, in the best of times. Collectivization would only aggravate the
situation. Over 85 % of ethnic Ukrainians were farmers and their sudden
disenfranchisement could throw the countryside into such turmoil that not
only grain production would be catastrophically reduced, but also farmers
could gain the support of the national elites in a united rebellion of the
whole republic to the spoliation of their country by Moscow.

Similar, if smaller, unrest could be expected in the Kuban' and other
ethnically Ukrainian regions of the RSFSR. In the mid-1920s Stalin had
written that the peasant question was "the basis, the quintessence, of the
national question", that "the peasantry constitutes the main army of the
national movement" and that "there is no powerful national movement without
the peasant army"[6]. The stability and even the integrity of the Soviet
empire would be threatened.

Genocide does not happen spontaneously. The targeted group is first
identified, vilified and intimidated, then it is discredited in the eyes of
the rest of the population, and only when it has been sufficiently isolated,
is it submitted to total or partial extermination. In the summer of 1929 the
GPU (political police) "uncovered" a nationalist conspiracy, headed by
prominent Ukrainian intellectuals and conducting anti-Soviet work in
villages and regional centers.

Over 700 people were arrested for, among other things, "anti-Soviet activity
in the villages and district centers" and a show trial was held in March
1930, appropriately staged in a Kharkiv theatre. 45 members of this mythical
Association for the Liberation of Ukraine (SVU) were sentenced to death or
long prison terms.

Arrests and trials of other mostly fictitious groups followed: Ukrainian
National Center, Ukrainian Military Organization, etc.[7] The condemned were
former members of the former Ukrainian national governments, Ukrainian
armed forces, Ukrainian political parties, and prominent people in fields of
education, culture and the arts.

The purpose was to terrorize the Ukrainian elites into submission and
lethargy, and thus deprive the peasants of leadership on the national level.
It should be noted that, in connection with the less severe famine in
Russia, no parallel attack took place against Russian national elites or the
Russian culture.

Stalin's war against the peasants began in earnest towards the end of 1929.
In a two-pronged attack he ordered to "eliminate the dekulakization as a
class" and to collectivize the middle and poor peasants. Divided into three
categories, the kulaks were dispossessed and  the most dangerous were shot.

The others were deported to the wilds of northern RSFSR, transferred to
distant regions in Ukraine, or given strips of poor land outside the kolkhoz
near which they lived. The intention was not only to provide kolkhozes with
the confiscated land, cattle and machinery, but also to deprive the peasants
of the more qualified leadership for their opposition to the authorities.

During the winter of 1929-1930, 90 thousand Ukrainian households were
dekulakized, and a smaller wave more or less finished the job a year later.
In 1934 Kossior, party boss of Ukraine, reported that 200 thousand farms had
been dekulakized in Ukraine. Out of this number of about one million (5
members per family), several thousand were deported to the northern parts of
the RSFSR and lost to the Ukrainian nation.

Collectivization went in unison with dekulakization: a major push was given
in early 1930. By 10 March 1930 Ukrainian kolhosps integrated 64.4% of
farmsteads with 70.9% of arable land. The operation was accomplished with
the help of some 50,000 activists, sent from Russian and Ukrainian urban
centers, with special powers to organize, punish, and terrorize.

Many poor peasants, paid for the service with confiscated goods,
participated in expropriating their richer neighbors, but many others
sympathized with the victims. Peasant rebellion swept Ukraine: in
January-March 1930, 3,190 uprisings with over 950 thousand participants
confronted the authorities.[8]

Hundreds of fliers were picked up by the authorities with such slogans as
"Free Ukraine from Moscow rule", "Time to rise against Moscow yoke" and
others. National and peasant factors were coming together. Stalin sounded a
temporary retreat and in October of that year collectivization was down to
29 % of households and 34 % of arable land. But the reprieve was brief and a
year later (October 1931) the figures rose to 68 % (for households) and 72 %
for arable land, with a much higher percentage in the grain-producing steppe

The effect of Stalin's revolution on the countryside was disastrous,
especially in Ukraine and the Kuban. From 1929 to 1932 the evolution can be
summarized in these four curt phrases: production down; state procurement
up; grain export up; peasant food consumption down.

Farmers' opposition to collectivization, mismanagement of collective farms
by incompetent administrators, neglect and slaughter of farm animals
seriously hindered farming and brought down its production. Yet, enforced
obligatory state procurement increased, and in 1931, 42 % of Ukraine's grain
harvest was turned over to the state.[9]

Kolhosps delayed or completely failed to pay out stipends for "workday"
(trudodni), and the their members had to rely on their meager and
insufficient individual plots of land and a few domestic animals for
subsistence. Undernourishment became generalized. But Stalin had reached
his goal.

Grain exports rose from below one million tons in 1929, to: 5,832,000 tons
in 1930/31 and 4,786,000 tons in 1931/32. It should be kept in mind that one
million tons could feed four to five million people for one year. After two
years of resistance and unequal struggle with the Communist authorities, the
Ukrainian elites were cowed and most of the collective and independent farms
despoiled of all their reserves. The republic was on the brink of a major

On 26 April 1932, Stanislav Kossior, the General secretary of the Communist
Party of Ukraine, informed Stalin about "individual
Cases and even individual villages that are starving" but blamed it on
"local bungling, errors, particularly in the case of kolkhozes." And, lest
he displease his Kremlin masters, their lieutenant in Ukraine dismissed the
tragedy with the affirmation that "all talk of famine must be categorically

Yet famine there was and on 10 June H. Petrovsky, the head of the Ukrainian
state and V. Chubar, the head of the Ukrainian government, sent separate
letters to notify Molotov and Stalin of the appalling conditions in the Ukrainian
countryside, and to ask for help.

Chubar admitted that cases of starvation among independent and collective
farmers had already been signaled in December and January and that by
"March-April there were dozens and hundreds of malnourished, starving, and
swollen people and people starving to death accumulate in every village;
children and orphans abandoned by their parents appeared".

Raions and oblasts organized aid from internal resources, but were obliged
to do this "under conditions of acute food shortage, especially bread".[11]
Noteworthy additional remark: "Petliurite and other anti-Soviet moods

Petrovsky's letter was even more to the point. Having just returned from an
inspection of the countryside, he realized the catastrophic situation of the
farming population. He visited many villages and everywhere saw multitudes
of people, mainly poor and middle peasants, starving, subsisting on

Peasants scolded him, posed embarrassing question, reproached him, saying
"why did you create an artificial famine, [...] why did you take away the
seed material - this did not happen even  under the old regime, why is it
necessary for Ukrainians to travel for bread [...] to non-grain producing

Echoing Chubar, Petrovsky reported that "because of the famine, mass thefts
are taking place in the villages." Pointing out that grain harvest is still
six week off, and famine will only intensify, Petrovsky ask: "shouldn't
assistance be rendered to the Ukrainian countryside in the amount of two or,
at the very least, one and a half million poods of grain?" And he predicted
that if help is not given starvation would drive peasants to pick unripe
grain and destroy much of it.

Petrovsky's letter paints a bleak picture of the forthcoming harvest. Since
the better grain had been seized by the state, seeds of poorer quality were
sown and scattered mores thinly. The young crops are good and the fields
well weeded but the grain is sparse. Petrovsky was also struck by the large
amount of unsown land. Aware of all these problems, the farmers complained
to Petrovsky that the new grain procurements would be even more difficult to
meet than last year's. "And this may very well be so", agrees Petrovsky.

Finally Petrovsky draws attention to the exodus of Ukrainian farmers. They
are forced to seek food beyond the republic's borders, at "the Dno station,
in the Central-Black Earth Oblast', in Belarus, and in Northern Caucasus",
where grain is more readily available, and at much lower prices.

When Petrovsky suggested that farmers band together for these purchases, he
learned that the Commissariat of Transport has drastically reduced the sale
of train tickets to peasants. Bewildered Ukrainian peasants needled
Petrovsky: "Why are they banning trips for grain?"

If the two Ukrainian leaders believed their pleas and warnings of turmoil in
the Ukrainian countryside would soften Moscow's position, they were
mistaken. Their effect on Stalin, Kaganovich and Molotov was just the
opposite. Writing from Moscow to Sochi, where Stalin was vacationing,
Kaganovich criticized both Ukrainian leaders, even though he admitted that
some aid would have to be given to Ukraine, and asked Stalin to decide on
the amount. Stalin's response was more brutal and more ominous of things to

He condemned the hypocrisy of the two leaders, who only wanted to get "new
millions of poods[12] of grain from Moscow" and "a reduction in the plan for
grain procurement". Ukrainians must mobilize their own forces and resources
for already "Ukraine has been given more than she should get".[13]
Nevertheless, on 16 June the Politburo considered Ukraine's plea and granted
about 8,500 tons[14], a paltry amount in comparison with the million and a
half poods requested by Petrovsky.

Politburo's niggardly "largesse" must have provoked Stalin's ire, for in a
letter to Kaganovich, Molotov and the Politburo he came back with harsh
criticism of past errors and new instructions for the coming harvest. The
Gensec blamed "mechanical equalization", which did not take into account the
ability of the kolkhozes to deliver grain, and as a result of which,
"fertile districts in Ukraine found themselves in a state of impoverishment
and famine, despite a fairly good harvest."[15]

This is the only known acknowledgement of the Ukrainian famine by Stalin. He
blamed regional authorities for being out of touch with the countryside and
allowing kolkhozniks to travel around the entire European part of the USSR
demoralize "our farms with their complaints and whining."[16]

Stalin proposed the calling of a top level conference on the organization of
grain procurement and its unconditional fulfillment, and insisted that
personal responsibility for grain procurement be delegated to the first
secretaries of the Ukraine, the Northern Caucasus, and the other grain
producing regions. "Personal responsibility" for "unconditional fulfillment"
imposed from the top along the administrative vertikal became the watchwords
of the 1932/33 grain procurement campaign, which would result in the
genocidal famine.

On 21 June a telegram signed by Stalin and Molotov instructed Kharkiv to
carry out "at any cost" the July-September plan for grain delivery. Two days
later, Moscow answered Ukrainian Politburo's plea for 600,000 poods of grain
with a terse resolution: "bar any additional grain deliveries to

The III Conference of KP(b)U (6-10 July 1932) was devoted to the upcoming
harvest and grain procurement. Stalin sent Molotov and Kaganovich to the
meeting  "to ensure genuinely Bolshevik decisions". Molotov informed the
audience that Moscow had lowered Ukraine's quota but was adamant that the
plan be carried out in full.[18]

Declarations from regional leaders that the farmers were starving, that much
land lay fallow, and that 100 to 200 m.poods of grain would be lost during
harvesting did not bend the resolve of Moscow's envoys.[19] The conference
adopted a resolution to carry out the plan of grain delivery "in full and

It was largely in response to the tense situation in Ukraine[21], and in
anticipation of new troubles in that republic that Stalin came up with his
infamous decree, dubbed by the farmers "the 5 ears of corn law". Writing on
20 July to Kaganovich and Molotov, the Gensec complains of widespread theft
by "dekulakized kulaks" and others, and proposes to write a law, which would
make theft of property belonging to collective farms equal to similar crimes
against state property, and "punishable by a minimum of ten years'
imprisonment, and as a rule, by death".

"All active agitators against the new collective-farm system" and
"profiteers and resellers of goods" writes Stalin, should be removed and
sent to concentration camps.[22] He also wants stricter controls over the
limited kolkhoz trade allowed by a 6 May 1932 law (kolkhozes allowed sell
their surplus after 15 January 1933, after fulfilling the state procurement
plan), made more liberal on 20 May 1932.[23]

A follow-up letter provides ideological explanation: in the same way that
capitalism could not triumph without first making "private property sacred
property", socialism will not finish off capitalism "unless it declares
public property (belonging to cooperatives, collective farms or the state)
to be sacred and inviolable".[24]

Returning to the topic on 26 July, Stalin insists on formal legality of the
proposed operations: "we must act on the basis of law ('the peasant loves
legality'), and not merely in accordance with the practice of the OGPU,
although it is clear that the OGPU's role here will not only not diminish
but, on the contrary, will be strengthened and 'ennobled' (the OGPU agencies
will operate 'on a lawful basis' rather than 'high-handedly')".[25]

The joint Party-State decree "On the Protection of the Property of State
Enterprises, Collective Farms and Cooperatives, and on the Consolidation of
Public (Socialist) Property" was issued on 7 August 1932. It became the main
legal instrument used by the Soviet authorities to condemn millions of
farmers to slow death by starvation. It repeated Stalin's declarations that
all public property is "sacred and inviolable" and that individuals
attempting to take possession of public property should be considered
"enemies of the people".[26]

All collective farm property, whether in the field or in storage was decreed
equal to that of state property and theft was made punishable by execution,
which could be reduced to 10-year imprisonment only under mitigating
circumstances. Advocating withdrawal from the kolkhoz became tantamount to
treason and was punished with three to five years imprisonment in
concentration camps. No amnesty could be applied in any of these cases.

The decree on State property was applicable on the whole Soviet territory
but, as Stalin's letter to Kaganovich shows, it was primarily meant for
Ukraine. Stalin thought the law was "good" and would "soon have an impact",
and ordered a draft of directives from the C.C to the party, judicial and
punitive organizations.[27] The Gensec then addressed the Ukrainian problem.
The passage is highly revealing:

"The most important thing right now is Ukraine. Ukrainian affairs have hit
rock bottom. Things are bad with regard to the party. There is talk that in
two regions of Ukraine (it seems in the Kiev and Dnepropetrovsk regions)
about 50 raion party committees have spoken out against the
grain-procurements plan, deeming it unrealistic. It is said that the
situation in other raion party committees is no better. [...] This is not a
party but a parliament, [...]

Instead of leading the raions, Kossior kept maneuvering between the
directives of the CC VKP and the demands of the raion party committees [...]
Things are bad with the soviets. Chubar is no leader. Things are bad with
the GPU. Redens is not up to leading the fight against the counterrevolution
[...]. [underlined and doubly underlined in original - R.S.]"

Then Stalin brandishes the specter of Ukrainian separatism: "If we don't
undertake at once to straighten out the situation in Ukraine, we may lose
Ukraine." He reminds Kaganovich that Pilsudski and his agents are
underestimated by Redens, and Kossior. He expressed utter contempt for the
whole KP(b)U, composed of 500,000 members ("ha-ha", snickers Stalin),
harboring Pilsudski's agents and "quite a lot (yes a lot!) of rotten
elements, conscious and unconscious Petliurists".

Thinking undoubtedly of Ukraine's negative reaction to the destructive
impact the just-passed property laws will have, Stalin warns: "The moment
things get worse, these [party] elements  will waste no time opening a front
inside (and outside) the party, against the party."

Frustrated by the fact that "the Ukrainian leadership does not see these
dangers", Stalin proposes to replace Kossior with Kaganovich and Redens with
Balitsky, and eventually Chubar with Kaganovich. In this way Stalin intends
to transform "Ukraine as quickly as possible into a real fortress of the
USSR, a genuinely exemplary republic."

The task is urgent and calls for immediate action, for without "these and
similar measures (the economic and political strengthening of Ukraine, above
all its border raions, etc.), I repeat, we may lose Ukraine."[28] Kaganovich
agrees, of course, and accuses Ukrainian party of creating a certain
solidarity and "a rotten sense of mutual responsibility", not only in the
middle echelons of the party, but also among its leadership.[29]

Stalin's exchange of letters with Kaganovich reveals the ambiance in which
the policy of starvation will be implemented. The overall objective was to
maintain a high level of grain procurement. To assure this, all challenge
outside and inside the republic had to be eliminated, regardless of the
cost. Stalin's raising of the specter of Pilsudski and Petliura agents
running loose in Ukraine and infiltrating the Soviet party and state
machinery was nothing more than a scare tactic and a rallying call.

He was well aware that by the summer of 1932, the weak Polish network and
the few local collaborators had been rounded up by the GPU, which also
arrested real and imaginary followers of Petliura whom Stalin had eliminated
by assassination in 1926. Poland may have had some illusions about a
Ukrainian insurrection in 1929-1930, but by 1932, the Poles realized that
the starving population was in no shape to revolt.

The Soviet-Polish nonaggression treaty signed on 25 July 1932 was ample
proof of the changing relations between the two neighbors.[30] The
Pilsudski-Petliura scarecrow will continue to enjoy popularity in Soviet
propaganda. While there was no serious threat from the Poles or the
Ukrainian nationalists, a national insurrection could become a reality if
the expected famine (implied in Stalin's phrase "the moment things get
worse") could bind together the threatened middle cadres of the KP(b)U with
the surviving peasantry. To prevent this eventuality the KP(b)U had to be
purged and kept under close Moscow surveillance.

Stalin maintained that the 1932 harvest was good; historians today are more
skeptical but consider it adequate to cover Soviet Union's internal needs.
With the state reserves from previous year, there were enough supplies to
feed every citizen of the Soviet Union.

Famine was brought about by the exorbitant amount of grain and other
agricultural products taken from the Ukrainian peasants, and the way they
were extracted. Ukraine's plan was excessive, and in spite of the protests
from Kharkiv and three successive reductions, it remained so to the end.

Still, Ukraine delivered about a quarter of a billion poods of grain, or
over 90% of its procurement quota. [31] In addition it handed over large
quantities of meat, vegetables and other produce. Stalin insisted that state
procurement have absolute priority. Following a CC VKP(b) directive, a
KP(b)U resolution of 18 November reminded that "complete fulfillment of the
procurement plan by collective farms and the MTS constitutes their primary
obligation [...], to which all the other duties of the collective farm must
be subordinated, including the duty to set up all sorts of funds: seed fund,
forage and food supplies".[32]

Stalin was satisfied that he was achieving his goal. At a high-level party
meeting, held on 27 November 1932, he gloated: "The party has succeeded in
replacing the 500-600 million poods of marketable grain, procured during the
period of individual peasant holdings by our present ability to collect
1,200-1,400 m.p. of grain. It is hardly necessary to prove that without this
leap forward the country would have a famine [sic-RS], we would not be able
to support our industry, we would not be able to feed the workers and the
Red Army."[33]

The allusion to the famine, or rather to freedom from one, was an obvious
lie, and the reference to the feeding of the workers and the Red Army - an
overstatement; but then, Stalin's concern was not the feeding his subjects
but the financing of Soviet industrialization with grain exports.

Obedience to Moscow's orders was assured in two ways: a) frequently repeated
delegations to Ukraine and the North Caucasus Territory of Molotov
Kaganovich and other high-ranking leaders to supervise the local
authorities, and b) party discipline enforced from Moscow down the
administrative structure. At the end of October 1932, two commissions were
sent, one to Ukraine headed by Molotov, and the other to North Caucasus
Territory headed by Kaganovich.

Stalin's emissaries supervised party meetings and forced them to pass
resolutions on grain procurements, party discipline, stricter application of
the 7 August property laws, the establishment of "black lists" of collective
farms in arrears with grain deliveries, imposition of fines, etc. They also
instigated purges in party organizations and administrative structures.
Kuban' was particularly hit with the expulsion of 43 % of the 25,000 party
members, including 358 out of 716 party secretaries.[34]

In Ukraine, during November and first five days of December, the OGPU
arrested 1,230 people, including 340 heads of kolhospy while 327 Communists
were brought before the courts for sabotaging state procurements.[35] In the
18 November resolution quoted above, the Ukrainian CC reminded the directors
of sovkhoz of their "personal responsibility as party members and civil
servants for the fulfillment of the grain procurement".

"Personal responsibility" for the execution of instructions was a constant
refrain in messages coming from above and became an important means for
forcing recalcitrant cadres to carry out the Ukrainian genocide.

Dekulakization and deportation continued, on a smaller scale and were mostly
of political and punitive nature. Arrests, beatings, and cruelty of all
sorts abounded as before, only now the victims were weaker and less capable
of resistance. Kolkhozes, villages and individual farmers in arrears on
state procurement were put on "black lists", lost access to state-run
stores, and could not buy such essentials as matches, kerosene, salt.

Fines amounted to a year and a quarter's worth of meat tax, without freeing
the debtor from the unfulfilled grain procurement. "Activists" - the city
workers and their komnezam helpers searched farmers' houses and yards,
looking for the hidden grain.

There is no way of knowing what portion of the hidden grain was found by the
flying brigades of activists, but official reports state that in Kuban they
found 345,000 poods of grain in November, while searches in Ukraine from 1
December 1932 to 25 January 1933 yielded 1.7 million poods, in 17,000 hiding
places.[36] What grain was found, was confiscated; if nothing was
discovered, they took whatever edibles were seen, leaving the family to

Peasants who could find some old religious medals or other mementos made
of precious metals could trek to the city and exchange them at the torgsins
(stores for foreigners) for vouchers, and then exchange them for food.

Hardier peasants would flee their villages and seek salvation in urban
centers or in neighboring Belarus and RSFSR, where food was available.
Accounts of Ukrainian peasants overloading trains, filling stations and
wandering about Russian and Belarusian towns and countryside abound.

National and peasant questions became inextricably intertwined in Stalin's
decree of 14 December 1932, issued under the banal title "On Grain
Procurement in Ukraine, Northern Caucasus and the Western Oblast"[37].

Ukrainization was blamed for problems in grain deliveries and exemplary
punishment was prescribed for sabotage in grain procurement: 5-10 years of
concentration camp for a number of "party traitors" arrested in the Orikhiv
raion of Dnipropetrovs'k oblast of Ukraine, and deportation to the North of
the Poltavska stanytsia of Kuban in the RSFSR.

The decree made the party and government chiefs in the three grain producing
areas personally responsible for the completion of grain procurement by
January 1933. Ukrainianization presently is carried out in Ukraine, "without
meticulous selection of the Bolshevik cadre", had allowed
bourgeois-nationalists and Petliurites to join party and state institutions
and set up their cells and organizations.

Absence of "revolutionary vigilance" by local party organizations let
"counterrevolutionary elements" become directors, accountants, storekeepers,
foremen in collective farms, members of village soviets. Similar accusation
was brought against Northern Caucasus, with supporters of the Kuban' Rada
figuring in place of Petliurites. This gave nationalists the opportunity to
sabotage harvest and sowing campaigns and organize other
counterrevolutionary activities.

Party and Soviet authorities in Ukraine and Northern Caucasus were ordered
to extirpate these counterrevolutionary elements, execute them or deport
them to concentration camps, including "saboteurs with party membership
cards in their pockets".

The verdict against Ukrainization came in two parts. In Ukraine it was not
formally prohibited, but Stalin insisted that it resume its primary
vocation, that of promoting "correct Bolshevik implementation of Lenin's
national policy", which in fact meant integration and assimilation.

Ukrainian authorities were instructed to "expel Petliurite and other
bourgeois-nationalist elements from party and government organizations", and
"meticulously select and recruit Ukrainian Bolshevik cadre". The signal was
thus given for rapid curtailment of Ukrainization and return to a more
sophisticated policy of Russification.[38]

Ukrainians of Northern Caucasus fared worse. "Non-Bolshevik
'Ukrainianization', which affected nearly half of the raions in the Northern
Caucasus," and which was declared to be "at variance with the cultural
interests of the population", was totally discontinued and replaced with

The use of the Ukrainian language was banned in public offices of local
administration, cooperative societies, and schools. The printing of
newspapers and magazines in the Ukrainized raions of Northern Caucasus was
to switch immediately to Russian, and preparation were to begin immediately
for the transfer in the fall of all Ukrainian schools into Russian.

The whole Poltava stanytsia was ordered to be deported and resettled with
demobilized Russian Red Army soldiers, who would receive the abandoned land,
buildings, equipment, and cattle. In fact, 2,158 families with 9,187 members
were sent out before 27 December[39] and resettled a month later with 1,826
demobilized soldiers.[40]

Together with Medvedivs'ka and Umans'ka, the three Cossack stanytsias saw
45,000 persons deported to the North. On 15 December, Molotov and Stalin
signed a similar ban on Ukrainization, for the rest of the previously
Ukrainized Soviet regions in the RSFSR.

Stalin's anti-Ukrainization decree reveals the extent to which the dictator
was ready to go, in sacrificing the Ukrainian nation on the altar of
great-power ambitions. There is little doubt that the ban on Ukrainization
was a sop to Russian chauvinism, especially in ethnically mixed regions
outside the Ukrainian SSR. National and social repressions reinforced one
another, even if neither was acknowledged openly.

For the next several months after the condemnation of the abuses of
Ukrainization and the Ukrainian sabotage of grain procurements, the
Ukrainian countryside passed through some of the worst moments in its
history. The litany of repressive measures is endless. 82 raions were
deprived of manufactured goods for not fulfilling their quotas of grain

On 19 December, Stalin orders Kaganovich and Postishev back to Ukraine to
help Kosior, Chubar and Khataevich carry out the procurement plan. On 24
December, collective farms are ordered to deliver all grain in fulfillment
of the plan, including grain put aside for seed and food. Direct orders to
increase repressive measures, arrests and deportations increase. A real
reign of terror seizes the republic and the Kuban.

On 22 January 1933 Stalin struck another crippling blow against the starving
Ukrainian grain growers. The new secret decree, drafted by the Gensec
himself, is perhaps the best available proof of the dictator's genocidal
intent against the Ukrainian nation. Sent to Ukraine, Belarus and the
neighboring regions of RSFSR[41], the document calls attention to the
unrestrained exodus of peasants from the Kuban' and Ukraine to the near-by
regions of Russia and Belarus.

Central authorities are said to have no doubt that these migrants, who
pretend to search for food, are, in fact, Socialist-Revolutionaries and
agents of Poland, sent to agitate, "through the peasants", in the northern
parts of the USSR, against the kolkhoz system and the Soviet power.
Addressees are reminded that a similar movement took place the previous
year, but the party, soviet and police authorities of Ukraine did nothing to
stop it. It must not be allowed to happen this year.

Stalin then orders the party, soviet and the repressive organs of the
Northern Caucasus and Ukraine to prevent the exodus of their peasants to
other regions of the USSR and directs them to close border crossings
between Ukraine and the Northern Caucasus.

The GPU of the Russian oblast's adjacent to the quarantined Ukrainian and
Northern Caucasus regions, and the transport section of the OGPU, are
instructed to arrest all peasants from Ukraine and North Caucasus, who
have managed to leave their territory, and, after segregating the
counter-revolutionary elements, return the others to their villages.

The next day, the Politburo of the CC KP(b)U adopted a resolution to carry
out Moscow's orders and forwarded the directive, along with addition
instructions, for implementation by the appropriate Ukrainian

The Ukrainian branch of the OGPU was ordered to instruct all railway
stations not to sell tickets to peasants with destinations beyond the
borders, without formal travel permission from the raion executive committee
or a certificate of employment from construction or industrial enterprises.

Oblasts were told to take "resolute measures" to prevent massive departure
of their peasants, carefully check the work of agents recruiting peasants
for work outside Ukraine, and to urge kolhospnyky and individual farmers not
to depart without permission for other raions because they would be arrested

On 25 January, B. Sheboldaev, the party boss of the North Caucasus
Territory, issued a similar order, adding instructions on the employment of
internal forces and border troupes and the setting up of filtration

Like the anti-Ukrainization decree of 14 December 1932, the 22 January 1933
directive, which closed the borders to the famished Ukrainian peasants was
not the beginning but the culmination of processes that had started many
moths before. Petrovsky had complained to Stalin, back in June 1932, about
the ban on train ticket for Ukrainian peasants who wanted to obtain
provisions in Russia.

Evdokimov's telegram from Rostov-on-Don, which Iagoda prepared for Stalin's
attention on 23 January 1933, details the elaborate measures taken since
November to prevent the flight of farmers from the Northern Caucasus
Territory. Among these were roadblocks set up on the main arteries of
peasant migration.

Transport authorities had arrested 11,774 persons and another 7,534 were
incarcerated by other organs. In the same dossier, Balitsky's report from 22
January informed of massive exodus of peasants from Ukraine since

Departures were registered in 74 raions, 721 villages and 228 kolhosps. In
all, 31,693 persons left: 20,129 from Kharkiv oblast', 6,576 from the Kyiv
oblast, 3,447 from Odessa oblast, and 1,541 from Chernihiv. Of these
migrants about one third were collective farmers and two thirds individual
farmers; 128 were activists. A check at the railway junction stations in the
Kharkiv oblast revealed a great demand for long-distance tickets: in January
1933 16,500 such tickets were sold in Lozova station and 15,000 - in Sumy.

In the beginning of January 1933, the GPU began to apprehend agitators and
organizers of these migrations and arrested over 500 of them. [45] As a
direct result of Stalin's borders decree of 22 January 1933, 219,460 persons
were arrested in the first six weeks of its application; some were sent to
the Goulag, others punished in other ways, while 186,588 were sent back to
their villages to face the famine.[46]

In the middle of March 1933, Kosior wrote unperturbedly to the Kremlin that
"the famine still hasn't taught many kolhospnyky a lesson".[47] In his
report from Kharkiv, dated 31 May 1933, the Italian consul general
prognosticated on the devastation of the country: "The current disaster will
bring about a preponderantly Russian colonization of Ukraine. In a future
time, perhaps very soon, one will no longer be able to speak of a Ukraine,
or of a Ukrainian people, and thus not even of a Ukrainian problem, because
Ukraine will have become a de facto Russian region."[48]

There can be little doubt today that the famine was not only used by the
Communist party for political purposes, but that it was actually created and
directed by Stalin and his henchmen for that purpose. The regime's ultimate
objective was to transform the backward empire into an industrial giant and
a military superpower that could export socialism abroad.

To achieve this, Stalin needed great quantities of marketable grain, which
was to be extracted from the peasants "at any price" to the producers but at
minimal price to the state. The most expedient way was to herd the peasants
into collective farms, subject them to a direct control from the Kremlin,
and in this way ensure maximum grain deliveries to the state.

The Kremlin knew that the peasants would resist and that the imposition of
its will would result in the loss of millions of human lives, but that was
of no concern for masters of a well-populated empire. Stalin's project
required a homogenous and docile population. Revived Ukrainian
particularism, taking advantage of the indigenization program, reinforced
national unity at the expense of cohesion of the new "fatherland of world

The two sources of resistance to Stalin's plans (national and social) became
embodied in the same group - the Ukrainian farmers. Stalin decided to
sacrifice a considerable part of this group in order to eliminate the
opposition to his projects and to frighten the rest of the Ukrainian nation
into accepting the role of cogs (as he liked to call them) of the great
socialist mechanism.

The Stalin-Kaganovich discussion of the Petrovsy and Chubar letters
(June-July 1932), the "five ears of corn" law (7 August, 1932), the
condemnation of Ukrainization (14 December 1932), and the closing of
internal Soviet borders on starving Ukrainian peasants, each provide smoking
gun revelations about the genocide against the Ukrainian nation. But a
multitude of other documents now emerging from the secret archives help us
get a rounded understanding of the gigantic crime and the immeasurable
suffering of its victims.
[1] Leo Kuper, Genocide. Its Politic Use in the Twentieth Century. (Penguin,
1981), p. 35.
[2] Valerii Vasiliev & Yuri Shapoval (eds.), Komandyry velykoho holodu.
Poizdky V. Molotova i L. Kahanovycha v Ukrainu i na Pivnichnyi Kavkaz
1932-1933 rr. Kyiv, 2001; I. Zelenin et al (eds.), Tragediia sovetskoi
derevni. Kollektivizatsiia i rasskulachivanie. Tom 3. Moskva, 2001; Stalin i
Kaganovich Perepiska 1931-1936 gg. Moskva, 2001; Rozsekrechena pam'iat':
Holodomor 1932-1933 rokiv v Ukraini v dokumentakh GPU-NKVD. Kyiv, 2007;
Ruslan Pyrih (ed.), Holodomor 1932-1933 rokiv v Ukraini: dokumenty i
materialy. Kyiv, 2007.
[3] Nicolas Werth, La terreur et le désarroi: Staline et son système. Paris,
Perrin, 2007.
[4] Discussed more fully in my article, "The Ukrainian Famine of 1932-1933
and the United Nations Convention on Genocide", in Taras Hunczak & Roman
Serbyn. Famine in Ukraine 1932-1933: Genocide by Other Means. (Forthcoming.)
[5] For a thorough discussion of Ukrainization and its problems see James
Mace, Communism and the dilemmas of national liberation: national communism
in Soviet Ukraine, 1918-1933. Cambride, Mass., 1983. See also Terry Martin,
The Affirmative Action Empire. Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union,
1929-1939. Ithaca & London, 2001.
[6] J. V. Stalin, "Concerning the National Question in Yugoslavia" Works.
Vol. 7. Moscow, 1954. Pp. 71-72.
[7] Rozsekrechena pam'iat'. Pp. 75-81.
[8] Valerii Vasil'ev & Linn Viola. Kolektyvizatsiia i selians'kyi opir na
Ukraini (lystopad 1929-berezen' 1930). Vinnytsia, 1997. P. 91.
[9] Nicolas Werth, La terreur et le désarroi: Staline et son système. Paris,
Perrin, 2007.  P. 118.
[10] Holod 1932-1933 rokiv na Ukraini:ochyma istorykiv, movoiu dokumentiv.
Kyiv, 1990. P. 148.
[11] All quotations and references to the two letters are taken from
Komandyry velykoho holodu. Pp.206-215.
[12] One pood = 16.36 kg; 1 ton - 61.36 poods.
[13] The Stalin-Kaganovich Correspondence 1931-1936. New Haven& London,
2003. P. 136.
[14] For the allocation of the food aid, see Holod 1932-1933 rokiv na
Ukraini. Kyiv, 1990. P. 183, 187-188.
[15] The Stalin-Kaganovich Correspondence. P. 138 (Underlined by Stalin).
[16] The Stalin-Kaganovich Correspondence. P. 138-139..
[17] Holod. 1990. P. 183 (doc. 63), P. 190 (doc. 68).
[18] The original plan of 410 million poods (6.7 m.t.) was lowered twice to
356 and 274.8 million poods (5.8 m.t.; 4.5 m.t. ) but 16 November was raised
to 5.8 m.t.  Rozsekrechena pam'iat'. p. 84.
[19] For a detailed account of the deliberations see Komandyry velykoho
holodu. Pp. 152-164
[20] See part of the resolution in Holod1932-1933 rokiv na Ukraini. Kyiv,
1990. P. 194-198
[21] A secret OGPU report from around 20 July 1932 stated that "as for
anti-Soviet manifestations, Ukraine occupies first place". "From 1 January
to 1 July 1932, 118 counterrevolutionary kulak organizations were
discovered, counting 2.479 members. In addition, along the lines of national
counterrevolution we have unmasked 35 groups with 562 members." Tragedia, p.
421. Another secret OGPU report, dated 5 August, contains a section
"National counterrevolution (U[krainian]SSR)" which relates the liquidation
of 8 nationalist groups, two of which consisted of former members of the
outlawed UKP (Ukrainian Communist Party). These people are said to have a
leftist program and conduct systematic activity among members of the KP(b)U,
arguing that the Soviet authorities are suppressing the Ukrainian culture.
In their platform, claims the report, they declare war on the Soviet regime
and Polish fascism, while in fact keeping links abroad and carrying out
directives of the Second Department of of the Polish General Staff in
Ukraine. Ibid.  p. 443.
[22] The Stalin-Kaganovich Correspondence. P. 164-165.
[23] S. Kulchytsky, Tsina "Velykoho perelomu". Kyiv, 1990. P. 296. On 23
July Stalin sent a telegram to Kaganovich demanding the restoration and
enforcement of last year's ban on transporting private bread supplies by
rail or water. Tragedia, p. 428.
[24] The Stalin-Kaganovich Correspondence. P. 166.
[25] The Stalin-Kaganovich Correspondence. P. 169.
[26] Tragedia, p. 453-454.
[27] Stalin i Kaganovich Perepiska. Pp. 273-275; The Stalin-Kaganovich
Correspondence. P. 179-181. A follow-up secret "Instruction on the
Application of the TsIK and SNK SSSR of 7 August 1932 About the Safeguarding
of State Property", signed by the Chairman and the Prosecutor of the Supreme
Court of the USSR and the Vice-Charman of the OGPU, was sent out on 16
September to all republican and oblast authorities. Tragedia. P. 477-479.
[28] On 12 August Stalin sends a note to Kaganovich asking him to keep
secret for the moment the plan regarding Ukraine sent in the preceding
letter. Tragedia. P. 276. To stiffen Kosior's resolve, in January 1933,
Stalin sent him the more resolute Postyshev as his second in commend; Redens
was replaced Balitsky in February 1933.
[29] Letter of 16 Augus 1932. Stalin i Kaganovich Perepiska. P. 283-284;
Stalin-Kaganovich Correspondence. P. 183-184.
[30] Timoty Snyder, Sketches from a Secret War. New Haven, Yale University
Press. P. 104.
[31] Kosior spoke of 255 m.p. at the January plenum of the CC KP(b)U.
Holod1932-1933 rokiv na Ukraini. P. 352. Davies and Wheatcroft give
3,584,000 tons, or 219 millon poods, P. 478. Other authors give similar
[32] Holod 1932-1932 rokiv na Ukraini. P. 253.
[33] Tragedia. P. 559.
[34] Davies & Wheatcroft, The Years of Hunger. P. 178.
[35] Komandyry velykoho holodu. P. 50.
[36] Komandyry velykoho holodu. P. 49; Kulchytsky, Holod 1932-1933 v Ukraini
iak henotsyd. Kyiv, 2005. P. 98
[37] Tragedia, Pp. 575-577; also in Holod 1932-1933 rokiv na Ukraini. Pp
[38] The Russification of Ukraine attracted the attention of the Italian
consulate in Kharkiv. "In government offices the Russian language is once
again being used, in correspondence as well as in verbal dealings between
employees." See the "Italian Diplomatic and Consular Dispatches", Report to
Congress. Commission on the Ukraine Famine. Washington, 1988. P. 446.
[39] G.G. Iagoda report to Stalin, 29 December 1932. Lubianka. Stalin i
VChK-GPU-OGPU-NKVD. Moskva 2003. P. 386.
[40] Nicolaas Werth, Le pouvoir soviétique et la paysannerie dans les
rapports de la police politique (1930-1934). Rapport du 27 février 1933.
[41] Tragedia sovetskoi derevni. P. 634-635. The first English translation
of the document appeared in Terry Martin, The Affirmative Action Empire.
Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939. Ithaca and London,
2001. P.p. 306-307.
[42] Volodymyr Serhiichuk. Iak nas moryly holodom. Kyiv, 2003. PP 156-158.
[43] Tragedia, p. 636-637.Sheboldaev added more precisions on the filtration
points three days later. Ibid. P. 638.
[44] Lubianka. Stalin i VChK-GPU-OGPU-NKVD. Moskva 2003.P. 394.
[45] Lubianka. P. 392-393.
[46] N.A. Ivnitskii, Kollektivizatsiia i raskulachivanie (nachala 30-kh
godov). Moscow, 1994. P. 204.
[47] Tragedia. P. 657.
[48] "Italian Diplomatic and Consular Dispatches. Op. cit. P. 427.
FOOTNOTE: Article published by the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) with
permission from Professor Federigo Argentieri, John Cabot University,
Rome, Italy.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Neither Russia, nor the world, nor you and I have any excuse to not know.

COMMENTARY: By Halya Coynash
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 16, 2007

I wonder if you remember when you first found out about the Holocaust.  I
do.  No loud phrases about turning points - I was a child.  Yet there was
most definitely before and after, and that was never to be erased from my

With Holodomor there was only ever after. I can't remember not knowing why
my father simply couldn't throw any food away.

Twenty years ago I tried to tell a friend's father about Holodomor. His
response left me speechless: "Yes, we in the West don't know about that".
No past tense, no before and after, He hadn't known and didn't.

Friends in Russia who read Conquest's "Harvest of Sorrow" and the books
about the Terror I smuggled into the country were however devastated.  In
1988 they were never going to be able to say we don't know about that.

And yet twenty years later how many still apparently don't know.

My words here are not aimed at providing evidence that the grain was taken
away, that people were shot or arrested for hiding food for their children.
That they established armed guards around villages.  That the famine knew
borders and those borders enclosed Ukraine and an area mostly populated by
Ukrainians (Kuban).

The recent UNESCO statement spoke of the terrible tragedy of Holodomor, but
spoke also of famines throughout the Soviet Union.  Provide your evidence
please that in any part of the Soviet Union not mainly occupied by
Ukrainians people were prevented at gunpoint from trying to save themselves
and their children from starvation.

I can provide you with any proof you desire of the facts I mention above.
They have been gathered by reputable historians, both Ukrainian and foreign,
together with documents recently made public by the Ukrainian Security

I can present it all, but if there is no will to listen, then I am
powerless.  Since Malcolm Muggeridge first had the courage to flee the USSR
in order that the world learned about the crime being perpetrated, there
have been many voices persistently telling the truth.

This was while George Bernard Shaw dined with Stalin and "saw" nothing, and
while Walter Duranty positively distorted the facts. Against the determined
wish not to know, voices telling the truth can still fail to be heard.

What is most distressing and at the deepest level inexplicable is the role
presently taken by Russia.  It is after all the "undesirable" reaction from
Russia which is making so very many governments, including the British,
loath to recognize what is, frankly, hard to ignore.

Those Russian friends twenty years ago who were harrowed by the crimes
concealed for so long did not react in some bizarrely defensive manner.
They had no need to deny the crime in order to feel better.  Why, indeed
should they?

We were then looking back at a time when in different ways our relatives had
all been victims of a regime which treated human beings with contempt.  It
is deeply disturbing that Russia over the last years has been marking out a
new role for itself.

If the present regime wishes to stress its role as successor to the Soviet
regime, it is free to do so, but not at the expense of the truth.

A wrong was done the Ukrainian nation 75 years ago.  Whether Stalin was
driven by the desire to crush specifically Ukrainians, or a society which
was stubbornly opposed to collectivization, may be arguable.

Here too, incidentally, the Russian Security Service is not hurrying to
declassify archival material about the 1930s, as Ukraine has already done.
There are issues for historians to discuss.

The closed borders, the deliberate removal of all food and the millions of
victims are not disputable, they are to be recognized.

A wrong is done the world and each human being when we turn our gaze away.
The reasons, political, geopolitical, economic or other may vary, the
betrayal does not.

We welcome the call in the UNESCO Resolution calling for knowledge about
Holodomor to be "disseminated to ensure that the lessons of this tragic page
are inculcated in young generations".

It is precisely the will to know that was lacking for so many years, fuelled
by the Soviet regime which had obvious motives for hiding its crime.

Neither Russia, nor the world, nor you and I have any excuse to not know.
LINK: http://khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1195241463
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Interfax Ukraine News, Moscow, Russia, Wed, November 14, 2007

MOSCOW - The recognition of the famine in Ukraine as genocide should
become a lesson for future generations, Ukrainian Ambassador to Russia
Oleh Diomin has said.

"Underestimation of this phenomenon is caused by a lack of information.
I become more and more horrified with every new fact. For example, [let
us take] cannibalism. It was present not in Africa, not in the 18th century,
but in Ukraine in the 20th century," he said at a press conference in Moscow
on Wednesday.

Diomin said that it was "necessary to speak" about the famine. "We have no
right to conceal the existing facts," he said. "This is a memory for history
and our ancestors. The Famine is the greatest national tragedy for Ukraine.
Both children and adults were dying in terrible torment," Diomin said.

The ambassador said that he saw no political basis for not recognizing the
famine as genocide. "But for various reasons, there is not the degree of
research into this problem [in Russia], as there is in Ukraine and other
countries," he said.

Vasyl Morochko of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine also
commented on the issue. "We accuse nobody and expect no compensation,
[but] we expect sympathy and understanding," he said.

"There should be no talk about the political and legal responsibility of
Russia. Russia has also suffered, maybe to a lesser degree, but it has
suffered," Morochko said. "If someone today raises the issue of
compensation, then it is made only to produce a political image. This is
the way of politics," Diomin said.

Ukraine will observe a day of remembrance for the victims of famines in
Ukraine on November 24.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.

UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1653 gmt 17 Nov 07
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, Friday, November 17, 2007

KYIV: The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has expressed its categorical protest
against the actions of representatives of the Eurasian Youth Union (EYU) at
an exhibit devoted to commemorating the victims of the Holodomor [artificial
famine] in Ukraine in 1932-3 at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre in Moscow on
17 November, ministry spokesman Andriy Deshchytsya told UNIAN.

Deshchytsya recalled that EYU activists today wrecked the display devoted to
the Holodomor victims.

Deshchytsya said that the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry had sent an urgent note
to the Russian Foreign Ministry demanding that the investigation should be
completed and the guilty brought to justice. "The Foreign Ministry views
these actions as unlawful, provocative and anti-Ukrainian," Deshchytsya

Gazeta.ru [Russian website] reported that seven EYU representatives came
into the exhibition pavilion. One of the activists threw a heavy object at
the stand, and then he started to throw the stands to the floor together
with another attacker. One of the activists pushed away one of the employees
of the cultural centre and started to hit another, while the others were
overturning the rest of the stands.

More than 10 guards were attracted by the commotion, and they accompanied
visitors to the exhibit out of the building and into the street. Having
finished their attack, the EYU resisted guards. Several managed to get out
of the building onto the street. Three of the attackers were detained by police.
The others managed to get away.

The EYU considers that blaming Russians for the Holodomor is propaganda
for hatred between Russia and Ukraine.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Source: www.gpu.ua
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, November 1, 2007

On 1 November the final stage begins in Paris of the 34th Session of the
UNESCO General Conference. One of the points on the agenda is a vote on a
resolution declaring Holodomor 1932-1933 in Ukraine to have been an act of
genocide against the Ukrainian people.

However the newspaper Kommersant has been told by the ambassador of a
West European country that the word "genocide" will not be in the final text
of the resolution.  In fear of a worsening of relations with Russia, members
of left-wing political factions are advocating changes to the document.
Right-wing factions and Ukrainian experts are categorically against any

The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that Kyiv is ready for
editorial amendments to the resolution and the absence of the word

Head of the Department on National Minorities within the Ministry (which was
involved in drawing up the text of the document) Volodymyr Shkurov was not
able to say yesterday whether the word "genocide" had been retained. He
believes it unlikely that the word would be used in any document issued by
UNESCO, a non-political organization.

The UNESCO Resolution calling for greater awareness of the Holocaust and
efforts to combat all forms of Holocaust denial was unanimously passed on 25
October 2007.  A UNESCO Resolution on recognizing the genocide of the
Armenian people is at present at discussion stage.

President Yushchenko has been seeking recognition of Holodomor 1932-1933 in
Ukraine as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people since he assumed
office. He has spoken out in favour of criminal liability being imposed for
denial of Holodomor. In March 2007 he issued a Decree creating a
coordination council for organizing and running measures to commemorate the
75th anniversary of Holodomor.

Since 2005 a memorial "Light a candle" action has been held each year in
memory of the victims of genocide and political repression. It will take
place this year on 24 November.

It is planned to declare 2008 Year in Memory of Holodomor.  As reported
here, President Yushchenko had harsh words last week about some governors
and the level of preparation of memorial events.
LINK: http://khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1193920635
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Zoya Zhminko, Ukrainian News Agency, Sunday November 11, 2007

KYIV - The Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine is asking the Verkhovna
Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine to cancel the acknowledgement of the 1932 -
1933 great famine as genocide. Ukrainian News learned this from the
November 10 statement of the PSPU central committee presidium.

"The presidium of the central committee of the Progressive Socialist Party
of Ukraine is addressing the Ukrainian parliament with the proposal that it
amend Article 1 of the law on the 1932-1933 famine in Ukraine and cancel its
acknowledgment as genocide, because it goes in conflict with the
international law norms and the decision of the UNESCO organization," the
statement reads.

The PSPU is also calling on the Cabinet of Ministers and local councils not
to follow President Viktor Yuschenko's decrees on the measures devoted to
the famine anniversary.

As Ukrainian News reported, President Viktor Yuschenko called 2008 the year
of memory of the 1933 - 1932 famine victims. In 2006 Verkhovna Rada called
the 1932 - 1933 famine the genocide against Ukrainian people.

As a result of the 1932 - 1933 famine, according to different estimates,
from three to seven million people perished. Apart from this, according to
some historians, Ukraine had famines in 1921 - 1923 and 1946 - 1947.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

COMMENTARY: By John Marone, Kyiv Post Staff Journalist
Eurasian Home, Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, November 7, 2007

There's nothing like a national tragedy to build a nation, especially if the
details of the tragedy are buried in history, and the blame for it can be
put on a regional bully. Ukraine's Holodomor is such a tragedy.

Yes, at least three million hapless Ukrainians died of hunger, disease and
privation in 1932-1933, and No, they shouldn't be forgotten - by anyone.

Additionally, most if not all of the blame lies squarely with the misguided
policies of Joseph Stalin and his heavy-handed communist henchmen.

However, equating the Holodomor with the Jewish Holocaust is incorrect,
inappropriate and wrong.

But that hasn't stopped Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko from
prominently voicing the issue during his never-ending circuit of foreign

During a recent trip to Bucharest, Yushchenko called on the Romanian
parliament to help get the Holodomor recognized as genocide. The Ukrainian
president is expected to ask for the same during an upcoming state visit to

On October 30, Ecuador's Congress reportedly assisted Yushchenko's cause
with a resolution, while the General Conference of UNESCO unanimously
passed a resolution entitled "Remembrance of the Victims of the Great Famine
(Holodomor) in Ukraine on November 1", the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has

Ukraine hasn't had a parliament for months due to a tragicomic power
struggle that doesn't look likely to end any time soon. Nevertheless,
Yushchenko seems determined to forge his country's future by digging into
its past.

"The crimes of the Stalin regime - the 1932-1933 famine in Ukraine, the
major terror of the 1930s - should be fully condemned by the international
community. It is the duty of all countries, political and public forces that
accept the values of democracy," Yuschenko said in the Ukrainian city of
Kharkiv on November 2.

The president has also dedicated 2008 as the year to remember Holodomor
victims. Memorials to the tragedy are scheduled to be built in Kharkiv and
Kyiv next year.

It's important for a nation still securing its sovereignty, continuing to
find its place in the world, to establish its past, both the triumphs and
the tragedies.

"This is why the resolution in the Rada about genocide is historically and
politically important. It's a landmark. It reminds people of things that
have happened, it reminds people of the importance of being independent
and in charge of your own country," former US national security adviser
Zbigniew Brzezinski correctly noted during a roundtable in Washington
D.C. last month.

The fact that the Ukrainian parliament only recognized the famine as
genocide less than a year ago shows just how tricky the concept of national
memory is. Moreover, the vote was close.

Ukraine's east-west split is linguistic, religious, political and
historical. Ethnicity and foreign relations also play a role.

Eastern Ukrainians identify more closely with Russia, which has inherited
the legacy of all Soviet crimes. Forget the fact that Stalin was a Georgian
and that Russians and countless other nationalities suffered no less than
Ukrainians under Soviet rule.

If Ukrainians were the victims of a genocide, which literally means the
(attempted) extermination of an entire people, then someone had to be
doing the exterminating.

Like the post-War Germans, Russians are expected to accept their guilt
and start acting nice and civilized.

The problem is that modern Russia is in no mood to reject its imperial
past - in relation to Ukraine or anyone else. Quite the contrary, the
Kremlin has set itself on a collision course with Western liberalism and its
historical interpretations.

Moscow's official position is that the famine, which affected Russia and
Kazakhstan as well as Ukraine, was the unfortunate result of a tough policy
during tough times.

Forced collectivization was part and parcel of industrialization, which
ultimately helped the Soviet Union defeat Nazi Germany, Russian historians

Russian ombudsman Vladimir Lukin told a recent press conference that
"attempts are being made to portray the great famine in Ukraine in the 1930s
as an exclusive action directed against Ukrainians, which is, of course,
absolutely untrue."

With more immediate and no less contentious issues still remaining to be
hammered out with Russia, many international players are reluctant to
irritate the great bear any more than necessary.

This shouldn't surprise anyone familiar with the case of Rwanda - a more
modern and direct example of mass murder on the basis of ethnicity
performed right under the UN's nose.

Almost a million men, women and children were, among other things, hacked
up with machetes by their neighbors of a different ethnic group, while
diplomats debated the definition of the term genocide.

Ukraine's genocide claim comes closer - but is by no means a direct fit - to
that of Armenian claim against the Turks.

Responding to a strong Armenian lobby at home but against all understanding
of foreign affairs, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of
Representatives approved a bill declaring that the mass killing of Armenians
in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War was genocide.

As with the Tutsis and Jews, Armenians were slaughtered on the basis of
their ethnicity. At least 600,000 were killed in 1915-1916 by Turkish troops
panicked by foreign invaders during another difficult historical moment.

There is no evidence to suggest that a large number of Ukrainians who died
during the Holodomor were the victims of direct violence. Moreover, one
would be hard pressed to prove ethnic hatred as a motive, excluding the
claim by some Ukrainians that the orders from Moscow were made by
mostly Jewish communists.

On the other hand, most scholars support the view that Moscow purposely
intended to break the will of the Ukrainian peasant, whose fate was
secondary to the interests of the party.

In other words, the famine wasn't an unfortunate side effect of a tough
policy in tough times, but an example of willful indifference if not an
intentional desire to destroy Ukrainian farmers.

This, however, is not the same as a premeditated and calculated plan to
wipe out Ukrainians as a nation.

For example, the Nazis tracked down and murdered in the most methodical
ways anyone of Jewish ancestry. Jews were considered sub humans.

This was not the case with Ukrainians in the Soviet Union.

As Solzhenitsyn aptly describes, the typical Siberian labor camp was a
mosaic of persecuted people within the borders of the empire.

Does this mean Ukrainian lives lost during the Holodomor do not count for
as much as Jewish lives taken during the Holocaust, or even Armenians
slaughtered sporadically by Turkish troops?

No. But it does mean that one does not have to compete with other tragedies
to draw attention to his own. Attaching evocative words such as 'genocide'
or 'holocaust' to the deadly persecution suffered by Ukrainians under Soviet
rule does them no more honor.

It's good that Yushchenko is championing the cause of persecuted Ukrainians,
but the real fight is not abroad. And if it's to be won, the president and
others are going to have to accept the horrible reality of what genocide
really means before others will.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
If you are receiving more than one copy of the AUR please contact us.

Interfax Ukraine, Brussels, Belgium, Wed, November 14, 2007

BRUSSELS - The Group of the European People's Party and European
Democrats in the European Parliament (EPP-ED Group), the largest political
group in the European Parliament, is intending to table a recommendation to
the Council of the EU asking that the Council to recognize the 19932-1933
artificial famine in Ukraine (Holodomor) as genocide against the Ukrainian

According to a press release issued in Brussels on Tuesday, the chairman of
the EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament, Joseph Daul, expressed his
sympathy with the people of Ukrainian who suffered under the 1932-33
artificial famine.

"I would like to pay my respects to the millions who died," he said. He said
he had asked the EPP-ED Group "to table a recommendation to the council
asking them to recognize the state sponsored famine in Ukraine."

The recommendation asks the council to recognize the Holodomor as genocide
against the Ukrainian people, and to condemn the Soviet regime's actions
against the Ukrainian nation, which was marked by mass annihilation, and the
violation of basic human rights and freedoms, the press release reads.

He further said that November marked the beginning of the 75th anniversary
of this crime. "Twenty-six nations have already designated it a crime of
genocide against the Ukrainian people, in which up to 10 million people
died," the press release reads.

The EPP-ED Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament,
with 278 Members from all 27 Member States.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Compiled by Nadia TYSIACHNA, The Day
 The Day Weekly Digest #34, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, November 13, 2007

A few days ago I got a call from my relatives in Switzerland. They said they
were going to attend the lecture "Was the Holodomor in Ukraine an Act of
Genocide?" by the Ukrainian historian Stanislav Kulchytsky, scheduled for
Nov. 22 at Geneva's Museum of Ethnography.

The moderator is one of the most distinguished Ukrainians in the world,
Bohdan Hawrylyshyn. A number of journalists have been invited.

Professor Kulchytsky told The Day that his lecture is based on several
works, particularly his latest book "Why Did He Destroy Us? Stalin and the
Ukrainian Holodomor," the latest addition to The Day's Library Series
(published in September 2007).

The guest speaker will also present the English-language book "Day and
Eternity of James Mace," which features articles by this noted American
researcher of the Ukrainian Holodomor.

Ukraine will honor the memory of the victims of the Holodomor and political
repressions on Nov. 24. On this date the large-scale action, "Candle in the
Window," initiated by the late James Mace in 2003, will take place.

Below we offer readers the most interesting comments by Ukrainian
historians and literary scholars on Stanislav Kulchytsky's book.

These are not simply impressions but precious ideas that boil down to the
assumption that the more frequent the acts of misunderstanding and
aggression in our society, the clearer is our understanding that such
projects and books are badly needed. If we neglect historical memory, we
may well end up as half-citizens, half-Ukrainians.
[1] Prof. Ruslan PYRIH, Ph.D. (History):
Stanislav Kulchytsky's book is a timely and adequate response to the
challenges of the current reality that has made the Holodomor issue topical
and much politicized.

First of all, it is written by one of the pioneers and leading researchers
of this scholarly problem, which is complex, painful from the moral and
psychological standpoint, and politically sensitive.

Second, it is the quintessence of the author's search for an answer to the
sacramental question: "Why did they destroy us?"

This book describes the complicated process of scholars coming to grips
with the Holodomor tragedy, and then by society in the early 1930s.

The author gives due credit to the contribution made by foreign researchers
in shedding light on this topic. He engages in polemics, rejects certain
views, and offers his own original vision of the most essential aspects of
this issue.

The author should be commended for the fact that he has consistently
championed his own method of calculating the numbers of Holodomor
victims in Ukraine for almost two decades.

He was the first to qualify the total confiscation of foodstuffs from the
Ukrainian peasantry in 1932-33 as the main factor in the murder by
starvation of millions of people.

In interpreting the Holodomor problem as an act of genocide, Stanislav
Kulchytsky has consistently demonstrated the specifics of the 1931-32
famine in the Ukrainian SSR and the famine of 1932-33, their similarity and
cardinal differences compared to such processes in other regions of the

It is important that the author, while pointing to Stalin as an embodiment
of the creators of this tragedy of the Ukrainian people, views the communist
regime as the main perpetrator.

Without a doubt, Prof. Kulchytsky's work will become another pillar in the
foundation of restoring historical truth and justice, helping the current
and coming generations to grasp the true causes and consequences of the
Holodomor tragedy.
[2] Anatolii MOROZOV, head of the Department of Modern
History, Bohdan Khmelnytsky National University of Cherkasy:
It should be stated that Stanislav Kulchytsky started working on the
Holodomor topic long before our society began discussing it extensively
and publicly. (By the way, he is a real workaholic).

He and I spoke a lot about the famine in Ukraine. I grew up in a family that
lost several members during that horrible period, and I also lived through
the 1946 famine.

At one time I was also studying the Holodomor, but had to stop for
psychological reasons; living with this knowledge was too horrifying.

Therefore, I am sincerely grateful to Stanislav Kulchytsky for embarking on
such a complicated mission. Believe me, any researcher who deals with this
terrible material lives through it, in one way or another.

Indeed, the losses caused by the Holodomor are still being felt; they have
affected Ukrainians in terms of both quantity and quality. The most horrible
thing is that the Stalinist system inoculated us with a virus of fear,
especially fear of resistance.

Therefore, it is necessary to be frank and speak out loud about the famine
in Ukraine, its causes, and its consequences - like The Day is doing - in
order to rid ourselves also of the viruses of falsehood and theft, because
we often find ourselves living with a falsified history.
[3] Prof. Petro KRALIUK, Ostroh Academy National University:
Let me first thank Stanislav Kulchytsky and The Day for publishing articles
about the Holodomor and for the book "Why Did He Destroy Us? Stalin
and the Ukrainian Holodomor," which is based on these articles.

These days, much is being said about the Holodomor in Ukraine. There are
numerous political speculations on the part of the left wing and all those
who are in love with Moscow, those who refuse to recognize the Holodomor
and describe the events that took place in Ukraine in 1932-33 as
"shortcomings" and "overzealous efforts," as well as of "outspoken
Ukrainian patriots," who are trying to capitalize on this subject while
pursuing their own "narrow political objectives."

Kulchytsky's book is a pleasant exception to the rule. The author, who had
access to a great deal of documented material, analyzes the problem at
length and in depth and unravels its various political, economic, social,
and cultural aspects.

At the same time, this book is not purely scholarly research but a semi-
popular work that reads easily and is understandable even to readers who
know little about this subject. The author, however, pays too much attention
to Stalin (and the fact is evident from the title).

Stalin is presented as the key perpetrator of the Holodomor, although the
hard facts of the case show that he was not the only one. Here the whole
Bolshevik system was at play and similar famines, albeit on a smaller scale,
took place in Ukraine earlier - for example, right after the Civil War, when
Stalin was not in power yet.

In fact, he was not the leader of the USSR in 1932-33, as the struggle for
power was still being waged by higher party nomenklatura, which ended with
Stalin's victory in 1936-37.

These and other inferences made by the author can be topics for scholarly
debate, which is only natural. Not all the i's have been dotted in the
question of the Holodomor, and they won't be in the short run. I would like
to draw your attention to another problem, which is mostly ignored in
writings on the Holodomor.

It is true that the Holodomor is a great tragedy of the Ukrainian people,
but it shows that this nation is capable of surviving in the most horrible
conditions; this is precisely what makes our people so strong.

Therefore, it is hard to disagree with the line from Larysa Ivshyna's
foreword to Kulchytsky's book: "Our nation, which has survived all this
cannot but have ambitions."
[4] Ihor SIUNDIUKOV, The Day's Ukraine Incognita & History columnist:
It is exceptionally difficult and painstaking to analyze historical
tragedies, dramas, and catastrophes. I would even describe this work as

Apart from everything else, it requires the highest scholarly level because
it must rely on hard historical facts rather than emotions, however

The historian Stanislav Kulchytsky has coped with his task brilliantly. The
articles included in this book were published by our newspaper at various
times. Taken together, they offer a convincing answer to the fundamental
question: "Why did this unimaginable atrocity become possible?"

The author's brief but substantial answer is that "...the Soviet system
under Lenin and Stalin could be built only by means of iron and blood...The
terror by famine was the same kind of tool as 'socialist construction' and
other forms of terror."

Kulchytsky's call to "peer into the abyss" - in other words, to comprehend
the essence of the communist "revolution from above," the Kremlin's
nationality policy, and the mechanism of this genocide all add up to the
possibility of answering the question: "Why did Stalin destroy us?" This
call is directed at all Ukrainians.
[5] Prof. Yuri SHAPOVAL, historian:
Today there is no dearth of studies on the tragic events of the early 1930s.
It is true that in the past couple of years qualitative changes have taken
place in the comprehension of that horrible cataclysm and its far-reaching

Researchers in various countries - and not just researchers - are still
debating this issue because without all-round comprehension of the Holodomor
tragedy it is impossible to understand many events of the 20th century.

Convincing proof of this is found in Prof. Stanislav Kulchytsky's new book,
which consists mainly of articles carried by The Day.

Despite the popular nature of these articles, they undoubtedly expand
knowledge about the Holodomor. They reflect the activities of the Soviet
political leadership in 1932-33, the conduct of regional leaders,
particularly the party and state nomenklatura of the Ukrainian SSR.

This book offers deeper insight into the technology of this crime, namely,
how and with what mechanisms the Stalinist regime acquired grain, motivating
this by the need for modernization, the Moloch of which devoured millions of

Kulchytsky's studies foster a better understanding of the doctrinal and
situational motives that guided the communist establishment; help to
accurately recreate the situation on the macro- and micro-levels
(exceptionally important for arriving at general, realistic conclusions and
assessments); and help to refute the claim about the absence of specific
features in the actions of the authorities in one region or another of the
former USSR in 1932-33.

As any reader will easily discover, this book explains many things. This is
its undeniable asset. At the same time, as the British researcher Norman
Davies has written, a good historian must always have the right to doubt.

This is why it is important for me to know that Prof. Kulchytsky's
collection of articles is not a collection of incontrovertible axioms or an
attempt to impose his conclusions. This book is food for thought and
stimulates further debate and research. This is the most important thing for

One cannot fully agree with everything in this book, and there are things
that are not totally understandable.

For example, I still don't understand whether my colleague regards the
Holodomor as an act of genocide. He warns against interpreting the thesis
about the annihilation of the Ukrainians or peasants too narrowly.

Nevertheless, Ukrainian peasants were the first to die; they were the chief
and most wanted victims of the regime. What I read on this subject in his
book left ambivalent impressions, to put it mildly. But perhaps this is just
my impression.
[6] Prof. Volodymyr PANCHENKO, Kyiv Mohyla National Academy:
Stanislav Kulchytsky's book is important from several standpoints. It not
only adds to our knowledge of our own history, but also seriously influences
the process of making important political decisions with regard to the

Actually, the main theme of this book is an analysis of the mechanisms of
terror by famine that Stalin used against the Ukrainian countryside, as well
as a clearly defined scholarly assessment of the horrible famine-
Holodomor-genocide triad.

The entire system of arguments employed by Kulchytsky convincingly states
that the 1932-33 famine in Ukraine was precisely a Holodomor, since on
Stalin's direct instructions all foodstuffs were confiscated from the

It is important that proof of this is supplied not only in the form of
eyewitness accounts but also archival documents, specifically Stalin's New
Year's telegram dated Jan. 1, 1933, authorizing mass searches and

The researcher reaches the conclusion that while other regions of the USSR
suffered from the famine, the Holodomor took place only in Ukraine.

Then there is the issue of genocide. Stanislav Kulchytsky knows better than
most how much effort it will take Ukrainian researchers, politicians,
diplomats, and lawyers to convince the world community that what happened
in 1932-33 was an act of genocide.

From this standpoint, Kulchytsky's conclusion that the Holodomor in Ukraine
occurred "at the intersection of the socioeconomic and nationality policies"
that were being waged by the Kremlin is extremely important. He is
absolutely correct; one must take into account both of these factors in
their satanic combination.

Stalin feared Ukraine; he was afraid that if it rebelled and withdraw from
the USSR, then the Red empire would collapse. And so terror by famine was
aimed against the citizenry of the Ukrainian state as representatives of the
Ukrainian political nation.

In other words, according to Kulchytsky, ethnic affiliation was not
decisive, although quite a few Holodomor victims believed that they were
being annihilated precisely because they were Ukrainians.

The same thing happened in 1934-38, when the Ukrainian intelligentsia began
to be destroyed in accordance with all the laws of genocide.

As far as I am concerned, Stanislav Kulchytsky could have placed more
emphasis on the ethnic component of the genocide of 1932- 33, as there
are sufficient grounds for this.

Many years ago the philosopher S. L. Frank wrote that "Utopia calls for
violence." This is precisely what happened in the case of the communist
regime, which did not abide by any laws.

It is a disgrace that a political party that is anti-Ukrainian by nature and
a political heir of the Bolsheviks is still being supported by some people
in Ukraine, while violently resisting any efforts to objectively assess such
tragic pages in our history. They are resisting this because historical
assessments imply responsibility for past acts.

The ashes of the countless victims of this genocide must continue to knock
at the hearts of the living - not for vengeance but for purification, for a
just reckoning with the past. I think that this is the very reason why
Stanislav Kulchytsky wrote his book.
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/191334/
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
A Free, Private, Not-For-Profit, Independent, Public Service Newsletter
With major support from The Bleyzer Foundation
Articles are Distributed For Information, Research, Education, Academic,
Discussion and Personal Purposes Only. Additional Readers are Welcome.
If you would like to read the ACTION UKRAINE REPORT- AUR,
around three times a week, please send your name, country of residence,
and e-mail contact information to [email protected]. Information about
your occupation and your interest in Ukraine is also appreciated.
If you do not wish to read the ACTION UKRAINE REPORT please
contact us immediately by e-mail to [email protected].  If you are
receiving more than one copy please let us know so this can be corrected. 
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Director, Government Affairs
Washington Office, SigmaBleyzer, The Bleyzer Foundation
Emerging Markets Private Equity Investment Group;
President, U.S.-Ukraine Business Council, Washington;
1701 K Street, NW, Suite 903, Washington, D.C. 20006
Tel: 202 437 4707; Fax 202 223 1224
[email protected]; www.SigmaBleyzer.com
Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.
return to index [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]