Washington, D.C., Sunday, May 31, 2009
Ukrainians and Russians will reach agreement on the 1932 - 1933
famine only if aided by the international scholarly community
Article by Dr. Stanislav Kulchytsky, Professor, Historian, Scholar, Writer
Chair, Institute of Ukrainian History, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine   
The Day Weekly Digest in English #13, #14 & #15
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 28, May 19 and May 26, 2009


Analysis & Commentary: by Askold S. Lozynskyj

Immediate Past President, Ukrainian World Congess (UWC)

New York, New York, May 5, 2009

Action Ukraine History Report (AUHR) #3, Wash, D.C., May 31, 2009

University of Melbourne Round table on the Ukrainian Holodomor and Genocide
Stefan Romaniw, President, Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO)
Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, March 21, 2009

Action Ukraine History Report (AUHR) #3, Wash, D.C., May 31, 2009

Ukrainians and Russians will reach agreement on the 1932 - 1933
famine only if aided by the international scholarly community

Article by Dr. Stanislav Kulchytsky, Professor, Historian, Scholar, Writer
Chair, Institute of Ukrainian History, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine   
The Day Weekly Digest in English #13, #14 & #15
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 28, May 19 and May 26, 2009

Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 28, 2009

In late March 2009 a workshop seminar on comparative analyses of famines in various countries took place in Melbourne. This was the first time when the leading European, North American, and Asian scholars gathered to discuss this sensitive issue.

The Melbourne meetings demonstrated that we, Ukrainians, must prove our point to the international community, which still has doubts about the genocidal nature of the Holodomor. In the course of discussions with our foreign colleagues we realized the points at issue.

We have to persuade the rest of the world to recognize the Law “On the Holodomor of 1932–33 in Ukraine,” passed by the Verkhovna Rada, along with the conclusion on genocide. However, the diplomatic, scholarly, and educational efforts aimed at winning this international recognition must be substantially corrected.

Melbourne has a population of 3.5 million, yet in terms of territory it is one of world’s largest cities. You see few people in the streets except the downtown business center. Most people use cars or bicycles. Skyscrapers are found only in the business center. Most other structures are private houses and long two-storied apartment buildings.

There are high rises here and there, mostly inhabited by recent immigrants. The architecture is an impressive mix of the classical Victorian and ultramodern styles. Melbourne society is multiethnic, yet the traditions of Great Britain are unmistakable (including left-hand traffic).

There are several universities, including the oldest University of Melbourne with the main building located downtown. Its planning and architecture remind one of Cambridge and Harvard campuses. The UM is on the world’s 20 top universities list. It has 45,000 students, including over 10,000 foreign nationals from a hundred countries, the largest groups coming from the People’s Republic of China, South Korea, India, and Indochina.

The University initiates Soviet studies following the arrival of Dr. Stephen Wheatcroft as a representative of the Birmingham school of economic history founded by Edward Carr. This team of scholars maintains contacts with research centers in North America, Europe, and Russia.

Over the past couple of decades, the University of Melbourne has established effective contacts with major Asian research centers. All this helped organize a representative conference of scholars specializing in 20th-century demographic disasters.

The Melbourne meetings dealt with three major subjects: the 1932–33 famine in the USSR, famines in various regions of the world during the Second World War, and the 1959–61 famine in China.

The subject of the Holodomor in Ukraine was presented by Valerii Vasyliev, Stephen Wheatcroft, and Stanislav Kulchytsky. The famine in Kazakhstan was analyzed by Sarah Cameron (Yale University), Robert Kindler (Humboldt University, Berlin), and Niccolo Pianciola (University of Trento, Italy). Viktor Kondrashin (Penza University, Russia) dwelt on the famine in the Volga Region.

Dr. Cormac O’Grada (University College Dublin) delivered a report on the 1943–44 famine in Bengal. Christina Twomey, senior lecturer with the School of Historical Studies, Monash University, Melbourne, and Dr. Andrew Brown-May (University of Melbourne) reported on the famine in India. Val Noone (UM) and Violetta Hionidou (Newcastle University) reported on the famine in Greece.

John Barber (Cambridge, UK) demonstrated the consequences of the Nazi siege of Leningrad. His report was accompanied by a strikingly revealing documentary made by a Leningrad studio for physicians back in 1943. Dr. Wheatcroft dwelled on the famine in the part of the Soviet Union that was not occupied by the Wehrmacht during the Second World War.

In today’s China any references to the 1959–61 famine are strongly discouraged, the only exceptions being Hong Kong and, to an extent, Shanghai. As it was, Dr. Gao Wangling (Renmin University, Beijing) delivered a lecture on the subject.

Analyses of this famine were also present in the reports of Dr. James Kung and Dr. Zhao Zhongwei (University of Hong Kong), Dr. Stephen Morgan (University of Nottingham, UK), Dr. Felix Wemhejer (University of Vienna), Dr. Wei Ha (UN), and Dr. Winnie Fung (Harvard).

The topic of the Holodomor in Ukraine was in the limelight. First, it was considered at both the workshop seminar and the conference. Second, there was a roundtable after the conference that debated whether this famine could be recognized as an act of genocide. The debate involved scholars (among them Dr. Roman Serbyn, University of Quebec at Montreal), as well as representatives of the Ukrainian and Russian ethnic communities in Australia.

Stephen Romaniw, President of the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organizations (AFUO), one of the organizers of the roundtable, was satisfied with the debate. Even though every side retained its view on the matter, for him the important thing was that the issue had been brought to the attention of the international scholarly community.

Mr. Romaniw politely commented on my report, saying that he found my version interesting, although he was apparently satisfied only with the conclusion that the Holodomor should be recognized as an act of genocide.

Is it good when an inference about an act of genocide stems from a version — in other words, from a hypothesis? One of my books has a subheading “Interpretation of Facts.” Some may place historical facts in a different sequence, yet it is necessary to deal with hypotheses. When passing judgment on an act of genocide, it is impossible to reduce yourself to determining the scale of this demographic catastrophe. It is necessary to explain the reasons behind this disaster. After verification this hypothesis may become a theory.

I often hear that my studies of the Holodomor have been ordered from “upstairs.” In trying to prove this, my critics seek discrepancies in my statements made at different periods. They believe that this will help them lessen the value of my recent conclusions. Second, a scholarly quest may produce results that that will be the exact opposite of the previous findings.

I have spent 20 years reconsidering a lot of my previous statements and finally adopted a new version of this act of genocide. Previously I contented myself with pointing to the scope of this demographic catastrophe. This was an emotional rather than scholarly stand.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union there have appeared dozens of prestigious research papers dealing with the 1932–33 famine. Whereas the topic of the Kazakhstan famine keeps being strongly discouraged by the Kazakhstan authorities, there are scholars in the West who are willing to study it.

In Russia all research on the famine is geared toward preventing Ukraine from having the Holodomor acknowledged by the international community as an act of genocide, but the Russian scholars’ findings have their value, regardless of what the authors of all those monographs or compilers of documentary collections were actually after.

I will try to prove my point by referring to V. Kondrashin’s fundamental work “The Famine of 1932–33: Tragedy of the Russian Countryside” published in 2008 by Russia’s Rossiskaia Politicheskaia Entsyklopedia (ROSSPEN) Publishers.

Let me first give you an outline of my version. It is easy to ascertain that the Stalin-sired communist economic storming in 1929–32 pushed the USSR’s national economy to the brink of total collapse, the same kind collapse that had befallen the Soviet republics during another such “storm period” in 1918–20.
The party leadership wanted to translate into life the utopian dream of a society without private ownership, without commodity-money-market relationships.
Faced with this imminent collapse, Stalin acknowledged the collective and individual farmers’ ownership rights to their produce and replaced the arbitrary and uncontrollable prodrazverstka (quota system) with an in-kind tax.

As a result, the project for constructing a state-commune was not completed, but the collapse was overcome, although the Moscow government found itself faced with unanticipated famines in many regions of the USSR, including Ukraine.

In January 1933 Stalin ordered confiscation of non-grain foodstuffs in peasants’ households in the Ukrainian SSR and the Kuban. This mission was carried out by the NKVD and resulted in conditions incompatible with survival. Historians must prove that this mission was indeed carried out, while legal scholars must determine whether it conforms to the criteria of the Dec. 9, 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

I started working on another Holodomor monograph in 2005 (the first one was published in 1991). While working on it, I contributed articles to The Day and then the editors published them as a book in 2007. My monograph with my new interpretation of the Holodomor also appeared in print. In these books I argue that the NKVD mission was disguised as a forceful grain procurement campaign. It resulted in the death of millions of Ukrainian villagers.

It remained unnoticed in the conditions when a famine swept across the Soviet Union, hundreds of thousands starved to death, an information blockade was imposed on Ukraine, and people were physically prevented from leaving their places of residence. Stalin subsequently ordered the execution of three out of the five party functionaries who were in charge of this mission (Vsevolod Balytsky, Yurii Yevdokymov, and Pavel Postyshev), while the other two survived — Lazar Kaganovich and Viacheslav Molotov.

Reconstructing events relating to the Holodomor in Ukraine is like collecting the fragments of a broken vase with a portrait on it. Of course, you can accuse a researcher of noting nothing else but facts that support the genocide theory. You can collect such fragments and put them together where they fit, but whichever way you go about this broken vase, it shows Stalin’s image in the end.

Regrettably, my opponents refuse to hold a public debate with me. The “building material” of my version is either ignored or misinterpreted, as evidenced by the Melbourne meetings and by Kondrashin’s book. Therefore, I see the sense of this article in defending my stand on the matter.

While in Melbourne, I was once again convinced that it is very important to agree on the key concepts. I mean the concepts of genocide and terror-famine. The latter was coined by Robert Conquest [in his book The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine] in 1986. This scholar believed that terror-famine was a genocidal tool.

Many believe that terror-famine has nothing to do with genocide. We all know that terror, as enforced by a government, individual, or group, is aimed at forcing people to behave in a certain way by intimidating them. Our colleagues in the West should realize the difference between the “Red Terror” in Soviet Russia — it was instituted in December 1917, when the Cheka was formed — and terror in other countries.

The Red Terror acquired an unprecedented scope in a country whose population was mostly made up of small-time owners and where a quazi-Marxist utopia of a state without private ownership was being translated into life — I mean Lenin’s idea of a state-commune.

The Bolsheviks physically destroyed their enemies—and those they referred to as “former people.” They never hesitated to annihilate or exile entire social strata and ethnic communities to remote regions. As a result, the Red Terror remained a tool of intimidation, sometimes turning into a genocidal weapon.

I can understand the Western researchers’ cautious attitude to the Holodomor in Ukraine, in particular its identification as an act of genocide. In Melbourne we dealt with cases of famine caused by natural phenomena, hostilities, or governnments. All agreed that the large-scale famines in the USSR (1932–33) and China (1959–61) were to be blamed on their governments that were implementing socioeconomic reforms using the trial-and-error method.

The USSR’s “great breakthrough” and China’s “great leap forward” produced the same result: a deep-reaching economic crisis. Under the circumstances these government increased pressure on the peasantry, demanding greater output and resorting to confiscation of crops in order meet the demands that they regarded as top priority ones. Confiscation of harvest yields resulted in man-made famines and the death of a great number of people.

The Soviet government sacrificed people in the countryside to secure grain deliveries to big cities and workers involved in major new construction projects, as well as for exports. Grain was being exchanged for foreign equipment to be used in construction projects — and this looked especially cynical against the backdrop of famine. Yet this kind of policy should not be identified with genocide because it had its own final objective.

Does the death toll have any importance for the conclusion on the genocidal nature of a famine? None of those who took part in the Melbourne meetings qualified the 1959–61 famine in China, which killed some 30 million peasants, as an act of genocide, just as none of the presenters and discussants described the famine in Kazakhstan as an act of genocide.

What follows from the above? People were killed by famines engineered by their governments in both cases: (a) when the government took away their grain, leaving their households without any other foodstuffs; (b) when people the state confiscated all food while putting a physical and informational fence around the areas that had been robbed in this fashion.

In the first case people starved to death, while in the second case they were killed by terror-famine. We will never convince anyone that the Holodomor was an act of genocide if we keep telling them that the reason behind it was the grain delivery campaign.

This campaign killed hundreds of thousands of peasants in various regions of the Soviet Union, in particular in Ukraine. Tens — if not hundreds — of thousands of urban residents died because certain population groups were denied centralized bread supplies. The high death toll during the 1932 famine in the Ukrainian SSR and the one in 1933, in the ethnic German community of the Volga Region, was caused by excessive official grain delivery quotas.

However, it is impossible to ascertain what caused them to be set so high for the regions. Anyone can deny that the Kremlin paid “special attention” to Ukrainians or ethnic Germans and attribute such excessive quotas to the fact that these regions produced grain for exports.

Unlike the grain delivery campaign, confiscation of all foodstuffs meant one thing: killing people by famine. This aspect cannot be interpreted otherwise. Therefore, we must follow in Robert Conquest’s footsteps and admit that what the Kremlin had in mind for the Ukrainian SSR and the Kuban in the RSFSR was terror-famine.

Russia believes that Ukraine wants to single out its famine, compared to the one that befell the whole Soviet Union at the time, simply because it wants to blame today’s Russia for that act of genocide. Indeed, we hear such accusations from politicos and irresponsible journalists. However, scholars have to limit themselves to what happened in Ukraine because accessing archives in Russia, especially in conjunction with this issue, is a big problem.

During the workshop seminar Kondrashin claimed that the famine death toll in the Lower Volga Region (where the ethnic Germans lived) was comparable with that in Ukraine. If so, all there is left to be done is ascertaining whether there was a terrorist aspect to this high death toll and then determining whether or not what took place in that region can be qualified as an act of genocide. Ours is a different task. We have to prove that the famine in Ukraine was a terror-famine, an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people.

Let me start by stating that the replacement of prodrazverstka with an in-kind tax was carried out simultaneously with that terrorist act against the Ukrainian SSR and the Kuban. This is proof that Stalin did single out these two Ukrainian-speaking regions from the rest of the country. He combined the economic measures that had proved effective in 1921 with acts of terrorism in these regions.

It is important to stress that the complete information blockade of the campaign to confiscate all non-grain foodstuffs was combined with the consistent implementation of Lenin’s motto: “If any would not work, neither should he eat.” This is further proof that killing people by famine was combined with bullying, as a traditional function of terror.

There is a chapter in my 2007 monograph that is entitled “Education by Murder.” It deals with intimidation as a function of terror-famine. Let me quote from Oleksandr Odyntsov, then People’s Commissar of Agriculture of the Ukrainian SSR. After inspecting the worst famine-stricken areas in Kyiv oblast, he had this to say: “People are getting increasingly aware, especially in the famine-affected areas, of what is happening; they hate idlers and thieves. The conscientious collective farmers want these idlers and thieves killed by hunger.”

A surprising inference, but we must understand that this commissar had to abide by Stalin’s instructions (although he was nonetheless purged later). Stalin addressed an all-Union congress of advanced collective farmers on Feb. 19, 1933, saying that Lenin’s motto about giving food only to those who worked was especially topical and aimed against those who did not want to work but desired to benefit from those who did.

Apparently, the intimidation aspect Soviet terror is clearly apparent in the Ukrainian Holodomor. Now we will proceed to examine its second aspect, namely the mechanism designed to kill a great many people by famine.
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 19, 2009
The reconstruction of killing by famine needs to involve thorough study of concealed details. When the death toll spells millions, there are always traces that are left behind. Therefore, I cannot agree with Kondrashin’s conclusion in his work “The Famine of 1932–33: Tragedy of the Russian Countryside”: “After going though piles of documents, researchers have not discovered a single decree of the Central Committee of the [Communist] Party or the Soviet government ordering to kill by famine a certain number of Ukrainian or other peasants” (P. 240, Russian edition).

It is an established fact that Viacheslav Molotov, the then chairman of the Extraordinary Grain Procurement Commission in Ukraine, drafted in Kharkiv and mailed to Stalin the texts of the Nov. 18, 1932 resolution of the CC CP(B)U and the Nov. 20, 1932 resolution of the Radnarkom of the Ukrainian SSR, both entitled “On Measures to Enhance Grain Procurement.”
These resolutions, duly approved and signed by Kosior and Chubar, contain sinister clauses envisaging in-kind fines to be levied on collective farms and collective and individual farmers for a failure to meet their grain delivery quotas.
There are eyewitness accounts to the effect that these resolutions started being implemented immediately in the “blacklisted” collective farms and villages. However, not only potatoes, meat, and fatback were confiscated. All foodstuffs were taken away from the peasants. This permits dating the Holodomor in Ukraine to the same years (1932 and 1933) as the all-Union famine.

Back in 1990, Stalin’s Jan. 1, 1933 telegram to the political leadership of the Ukrainian SSR was made public knowledge. This document — it had been ignored for decades — demanded that the village Soviets inform the peasants that they would be subject to repressions if they persisted in concealing grain. In order to find such peasants, comprehensive searches [of peasants’ homes and plots] had to be organized. Therefore, this telegram signaled the need to carry out searches.

The newspapers at the time teemed with information about peasants concealing grain, forcing the state to reduce urban bread supply quotas. Peasants were indeed concealing grain from the official grain procurement commissions to somehow sustain themselves and survive, but in most cases they had no grain whatsoever. After 20 days of painstaking search in December, the NKVD came up with a mere 700,000 poods of concealed grain. Today we have information about the amount of grain found as a result of mass searches in January. A lamentable amount, all things considered.

In other words, Stalin must have known for sure that there were no concealed grain reserves of any strategic importance in the Ukrainian countryside. If so, what were all those [NKVD-led] grain procurement commissions doing after Stalin’s telegram had been forwarded to all the oblast committees of the CP(B)U? They used the clause allowing them to confiscate potatoes, meat, and fatback to take away all durable products the peasants stored until the next harvest season. Duly recorded eyewitness accounts embrace all regions of Ukraine.

Confiscation of all foodstuffs immediately caused severe famine. Lest the affected peasants run away to other regions, Stalin personally drew up a coded telegram forbidding any kind of resettlement from the Ukrainian SSR and the Kuban.

At the same time, any references to famine — even in classified correspondence — were prohibited. The actual status in the blockaded Ukrainian countryside was reflected only in the top secret “special files.” Public discussions of the 1932–33 famine in the USSR became possible only in December 1987.

In April 2008, Kondrashin and I took part in a conference organized by Dr. Mikhail Dmitriev at Moscow State University. By then the mechanism of killing millions by terror-famine I am referring to here had already been described in my book published by The Day as part of its Library Series. All my opponent could say was that eyewitness accounts cannot serve as documentary evidence.

That is why I was happy to find later this passage in his book: “There is a large number of testimonies that the produce of collective and individual farmers, grown on their individual plots, was confiscated, along with preserves, as punishment for a failure to meet the quotas set by the state. An instructor of the All-Union Central Executive Committee (VTsIK) in Veshenki district, the Northern Caucasus Territory, stated (1932): ‘All foodstuffs, including salted and dried food products, have been confiscated en masse in many villages’” (Ibid., p. 216–217).

I would not want this article to turn into a polemic against Kondrashin if only because I highly esteem his scholarly contribution one of the most important problems in the history of humankind. However, it is necessary to make use of his book in order to illustrate yet another aspect of the ongoing Ukraine–Russia debate. This particular aspect leaves little if any hope for consensus, not in the near future anyway.

What I mean is the [popular] attitude to Soviet power. It is common knowledge that lots of people in Russia and Ukraine still regard the Soviet system with admiration, except that in Russia these people are on the upper echelons of government. These individuals are unable to accept the fact that the Soviet system was capable of to an act of genocide against its own people.
Kondrashin blames not the central government/party leadership but local authorities — “administrators” — and village [party] “activists” for confiscating all foodstuffs in the countryside. In Ukraine this affected the starving members of the Komnezam Committees of Poor Peasants.
When the state confiscated grain, the poor peasants — nezamozhnyky — suffered the worst because they did not have well-established farmsteads. The NKVD manned their grain procurement teams precisely with these peasants, whose only option was: die of hunger or rob your neighbor.

Kondrashin writes: “Why did all those local Communists and activists act with such beastly resolve (they would often act like savages) in the countryside, violating the law?” And further he concludes: “Of course, the leadership of the Party never sanctioned confiscation of all food reserves that collective and individual farmers kept in their cellars. Yet the fact that it [Party leadership] did not stop this campaign before it was too late or take any measures to correct such breaches of the law does not relieve it of the responsibility for the lives of thousands of peasants who starved to death” (Ibid., p. 217, 218).

The quoted statement needs to be made more specific. In Ukraine the famine death toll was millions, rather than thousands, of people. We need to emphasize that instead of violations, Ukraine saw the enforcement of the law, i.e., the law on in-kind fines. Last but not least, there was Stalin’s telegram sent on New Year’s Eve.
Otherwise the local administration [i.e., the government/Party leadership of Ukraine] could, and would, be blamed for the Holodomor — the way it was blamed for the social outcry resulting from [the Kremlin’s] policy of communizing the peasantry in early 1930. Stalin’s well-known article “Dizziness from Success” did just that.

Three coordinated efforts — the exhaustive confiscation of food, the ban on leaving the place of one’s residence, and the informational blockade — are convincing proof that the Kremlin’s ultimate goal at the time was to kill a large part of Ukrainians by famine. We all of us know the result — the Holodomor.
Needless to say, the Kremlin did not plan to annihilate the entire Ukrainian people. As soon as the NKVD-led food confiscation mission was completed, the Politburo of the CC VKP(B) resolved, on Feb. 7, 1933, to supply 200,000 poods of grain to Dnipropetrovsk oblast. That same day the Piatykhatky posivkom (sowing committee) passed a resolution to provide food aid to “collective farms and collective farmers that are badly in need.”
The local authorities’ blitz response to the resolution of the CC VKP(B)’s decree was made possible because the grain previously confiscated from the [local] peasantry was still in the heavily guarded storage facilities in that same administrative region. One will, of course, wonder why. Moreover, [archival] documents have been published that indicate that heavy fines in hard currency were to be imposed for failing to load grain on foreign chartered ships on time.

A similar decree was adopted by the CC VKP(B), on February 7, with regard to Odesa oblast. Initiated from upstairs, the local bureaucratic process followed its usual course, with all regional authorities issuing similar decrees. These were carried by the newspapers, supplied with commentaries such as this one: “Ukrainian peasants’ irresponsible attitude to sowing and harvesting has put themselves and their government in jeopardy. The government, however, bears no grudge and is rescuing those who has been experiencing ‘problems with food supplies.’”

The food confiscation mission was carried out under the guise of a grain delivery campaign, and the Soviet government did its utmost to make it obscure. Conversely, the Soviet press gave wide coverage to the regions that were receiving government aid to help solve their food supply problems. This has confused both the victims and the researchers of the famine.

In 2004, Robert Davies and Stephen Wheatcroft published their monograph The Years of Hunger. Soviet Agriculture, 1931–1933. It is still the most representative historical and economic study with regard to the Soviet collectivization campaign. Here one finds, for the first time, data relating to the scope of Soviet government aid to the famine-stricken regions.
From Feb. 7 to July 20, 1933, the Ukrainian SSR and the Kuban received 256,000 tons of grain out of their total share (320,000 tons). This statistic appears to render the Holodomor debate senseless. Robert Conquest, after reading the manuscript, wrote a letter renouncing his statement on the Holodomor an act of genocide, which the authors included in the foreword.

Wheatcroft opposed the genocidal famine concept almost as soon as Conquest’s The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivisation and the Terror-Famine hit the shelves. In fact, he considered it his personal merit that Conquest abandoned this claim. He focused on this when addressing the roundtable, repeating the conclusions from the book he co-authored with Davies: the Soviet government was then struggling to overcome a famine partially caused by its political course, but this famine was unanticipated and undesirable.
The authors attribute the inadequacy of the political course to the Bolshevik political leaders, who were “men with little formal education and limited knowledge of agriculture.” Moreover, they wanted to industrialize a peasant country at breakneck speed.

All this correctly explains the reasons behind the 1932–33 famine in the Soviet Union, in particular the Ukraine famine (1932) and the Kazakhstan famine (1932–33). However, the Holodomor in Ukraine was both anticipated and desired by the Soviet political leadership. The Ukrainian SSR and the Kuban received the largest amount of food aid in the first half of 1933 because the NKVD-led grain procurement teams had confiscated foodstuffs in these territories with extra zeal.

Stalin’s aid was another part of the NKVD operation. That was precisely why part of the confiscated grain remained in Ukraine’s oblasts. While placing the populace in the conditions that were incompatible with physical survival, the central government undertook to rescue these people by hand-feeding them, using sowing committees and collective and state farms.
The entire operation was aimed at the physically destruction of a large number of people in order to make the survivors live and work on conditions dictated by the Kremlin. During the Great Purge every victim had a file listing his/her “crimes,” whereas during the terror-famine people had to die without knowing when or why, but on a far greater scope, quietly and inconspicuously. There is a document forbidding registry office staff to indicate famine as the cause of death.

In conjunction with the 75th anniversary of this tragedy, the national books of memory regarding the victims of the 1932–33 Holodomor were published in every oblast of Ukraine. These books and other documentary sources contain excerpts from the “special files” that illustrate the scope of the famine in the first half of 1933. These statements form an extremely realistic picture of the slow demise of the Ukrainian countryside. This status cannot be attributed to the lack of academic training on the part of the Bolshevik leadership or its “decision to industrialize this peasant country at breakneck speed.”
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 26 May, 2009

It is an established fact that mass terror was the key tool for running the state under Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin. Inappropriate industrial relationships were imposed on petty proprietors through violence and terror, and this took place in a multiethnic country. Thus, terror inevitably took on not only social but also ethnical coloring.

In the Ukraine-Russia debate [on the Holodomor] our opponents defend two main claims: (1) the famine was an unwelcome occurrence for the government, and (b) it stemmed from the socioeconomic policy of the time and was not ethnically selective. One can agree with the first statement, while the second one has to be proven, but the Russian side does not consider itself obliged to provide evidence.

The Holodomor in Ukraine is already recognized as an objective fact in Russia. The collections of documents published in Ukraine, North America, and Europe have been instrumental in this. Under the circumstances there was only one way to prove the fundamental similarity of the Holodomor and the all-Union famine—open one’s archives.

The archival documents thus made available show that the Russian countryside also suffered a heavy famine, with numerous cases of cannibalism. The hair-raising scope of the Holodomor is now being attributed to the central government’s special pressure on Ukraine’s agriculture because it specialized in export grain varieties.

There is no denying this pressure, but one must distinguish between the all-Union famine and the Holodomor in Ukraine. The international community and our citizens must be shown how the famine, caused by grain deliveries, evolved into the Holodomor as a result of the confiscation of non-grain foodstuffs and blockading the starving residents in their places of residence.

A refusal to analyze grain deliveries in the context of the Holodomor places the Ukraine-Russia debate on a different plane. It becomes no longer possible to explain the Holodomor by some higher objectives of industrialization and Ukraine’s specialization in export crops. For us the issue on the agenda is to explain why, with the USSR’s on the brink of [economic] collapse, Stalin was not content with stopping the communist storming but, in his own words, dealt a devastating blow to two Ukrainian-speaking regions.

The UN convention of Dec. 9, 1948, does not require documenting the causes behind the crime of genocide. It suffices to demonstrate the intent to kill people by famine and its realization. However, the death of millions of Ukrainian peasants must be considered in broader context, so that it can be recognized as an act of genocide. The UN convention does not recognize genocide on the social basis.

As it was, terror by famine combined with mass terror aimed against the national intelligentsia, apparatchiks, and all of the 500,000 members of the CP(B)U. Just like Stalin’s other terrorist policies, his terror against Ukraine was preemptive. The Kremlin’s policy with regard to Ukraine was incompatible with the constitutional and actual construction of a state-commune.

Under its constitution, the Soviet Union was a commonwealth of equal national republics, each entitled to withdraw from the federation. In actuality, it was a unitary entity with maximally centralized governance. This unitary nature was secured by the Kremlin’s dictatorship.

The Kremlin rulers were afraid of any manifestations of separatism on the part of Ukraine as the largest national republic in terms of economic and human potential. That was why Ukraine found itself in the epicenter of Stalin’s repressions that lasted for a quarter of a century.

Remarkably, historians may arrive at different conclusions while dealing with the same facts. Trying to prove that the Kremlin had no reason to terrorize Ukraine, Kondrashin writes in his book: “During the Stalin epoch there was neither Ukraine nor Russia, just the unitary Soviet Union where the republics held their nominal status, while in reality they were absolutely dependent parts of a single state organism controlled by the Center.” (pp. 378–379.)

Indeed, after the Holodomor and mass terror in 1933–38, Ukraine became a dependent part of a single organism. In 1934 Stalin even allowed its capital to be moved from Kharkiv to Kyiv, the national center of the Ukrainian people. However, one must realize that there were no people left in post-genocidal Ukraine who were capable of exercising their constitutional rights.

We agree that the all-Union famine was unpredicted and unanticipated for the Soviet government. My opponents, however, should acknowledge the apparent possibility of the USSR falling apart if the central government had suffered a crisis. In fact, this is precisely what happened in 1990-91, on Russia’s, rather than Ukraine’s, initiative.

In conjunction with the 70th anniversary of the Holodomor, the Institute of History of Ukraine published a joint monograph entitled Holod 1932—1933 rokiv v Ukraini: prychyny ta naslidky (1932–33 Famine in Ukraine: Causes and Consequences). In March 2004 we visited Moscow and brought copies of this 936-page publication.

The Russian Academy’s Institute of General History gathered prestigious historians who were versed in the history of agriculture to discuss the book. Their verdict, formulated by Viktor Danilov and Ivan Zelenin, read: “Should one characterize the famine of 1932–33 as a ‘deliberate act of genocide against the Ukrainian peasantry,’ it would be necessary to bear in mind that this was an act of genocide against the Russian peasantry, in equal measure.”

Volodymyr Vynnychenko said that one should take bromide drops when familiarizing oneself with Ukrainian history. After the debate in Moscow I realized that the rest of the world is not interested in our emotions, and one must approach this problem from the standpoint of abstract science. I have spent these five years writing articles and books. S. Romaniv was the first to bring up the matter of the author’s version.

Indeed, such a version exists. It is rooted in the simple idea of separating the famine of 1932 from the Holodomor. In other words, distinguish between the death of hundreds of thousands of people (among them “activists” manipulated by the NKVD) caused by the confiscation of grain from murdering millions by famine after they had been stripped of their non-grain foodstuffs.

It is necessary to combine the analysis of the socioeconomic policy that brought about the all-Union famine of 1932— 33 and that of the “national policy” that resulted in the Holodomor. Methods employed by the Kremlin to wipe out peasants who did not depend on the state (whatever their ethnic origin was) turned out extremely cruel.

This could be identified as genocide if the UN convention included social group in its definition of genocide. However, this convention was adopted allowing for the stand taken by the Soviet diplomats, so any mentions of social groups were removed.

Methods used in the Ukrainian SSR and the Kuban to destroy national statehood, which had been created by the Kremlin and put in the Soviet straightjacket, proved especially horrifying. The meetings in Melbourne demonstrated the unique nature of the Ukrainian Holodomor — not in scope but in content.

They convinced me that the international scholarly community will become aware of famine as a genocidal tool only when it comes to view the Ukrainian Holodomor as resulting from a certain combination of circumstances, time, and place that occurred in a place that was in the focus of the Kremlin’s socioeconomic and national policies.

Meanwhile, they are still being convinced that genocide in Ukraine relates to the Holocaust. Someone even coined the designation “Ukrainian Holocaust” to refer to the Holodomor rather than the destruction of 1.5 million Jews in Ukraine during the Second World War. This leads to the identification of the Holodomor as an act of genocide on an ethnic basis.

Such legal definition of Stalin’s crime presents it as an ethnic cleansing. Ethnic cleansings have always been carried out to benefit some other ethnos. In view of this, Russia’s sharp response to Ukraine’s attempts to have the Holodomor recognized as an act of genocide becomes understandable.

Twenty-five years ago, Montreal hosted the world’s first scholarly conference on the 1932–33 famine in Ukraine. James Mace, then an obscure US researcher, made a presentation and provided evidence supporting his qualification of this famine as an act of genocide on a national basis.

He specialized in the Kremlin’s “national policy” and had arrived at the conclusion that Stalin’s terror in Ukraine was aimed not against certain ethnic groups or individuals in a certain sector, but against the citizens of the Ukrainian state that had emerged during the disintegration of the Russian empire, died, and then revived in the form of a Soviet republic. This formulation is confirmed by the evidence accumulated over the past 25 years.

Scholars and the international community need to be convinced with hard facts, rather than emotional statements, that the Holodomor in Ukraine was historically unique. To do so, the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory, other academic institutions, universities, and our diaspora must join their efforts.
As before, the stand taken by the diaspora has weight. Is it prepared to alter its usual approaches to the Holodomor?

In fact, it won’t take much—just place this tragedy in the context of the all-Union famine and the latter, in the broader context of communist construction. Before flying to Melbourne I happened to meet in Kyiv with the US journalist Clifford J. Levy.

He was tasked by The New York Times to figure the Ukraine-Russia confrontation over the Holodomor. We talked for two hours and I explained to him what Romaniv had somewhat ironically referred to as a version of the Holodomor. On March 12, NYT carried the article “A New View of a Famine That Killed Millions.”

The heading touched a sensitive spot in our fellow countrymen in NYC. On March 29, The Ukrainian Weeklyran an editorial objecting that most Ukrainians had long considered this famine an act of genocide, and this view was not new in any way. I agree that there is nothing new in this conclusion.

However, we need to remember about the minority of our compatriots and the countries (they are in majority) whose official representatives have a different opinion. We need to consider what arguments can be used to appeal to them. The world has not as yet recognized our famine as an act of genocide, but there are objective grounds upon which to seek this recognition.



Analysis & Commentary: by Askold S. Lozynskyj

Immediate Past President, Ukrainian World Congess (UWC)

New York, New York, Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Action Ukraine History Report (AUHR), Wash, D.C., Sun, May 31, 2009


In an article entitled “Lessons from Melbourne meetings” (Den newspaper, April 22, 2009) Prof. Stanislav Kul’chitskii, chair of the Institute of Ukrainian History at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine wrote: Robert Davies and Stephen Wheatcroft published a monograph in 2004 “The Years of Hunger. Soviet Agriculture, 1931-1933” which is the most solid historical-economic study of collectivization of the soviet village in world scholarship. In it for the first time statistics were given about the amount of government food assistance to the hungry regions.


It seems that from February 7 to July 20, 1933 the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and Kuban received 256 thousand tons of bread from 320 thousand tons. These statistics appeared to render moot any discussion about genocide. Consequently, R. Conquest who was given the opportunity to familiarize himself with the manuscript, in a letter to the authors, published in the same book, retracted his prior assertion that the Ukrainian Famine was genocide.


The last statement by Prof. S. Kul’chitskii is misleading for several reasons. Firstly, the R. Conquest “letter” is not published in the book. The Davies and Wheatcroft book does include a footnote on page 441 which states: …In correspondence Dr. Conquest has stated that it is not his opinion that “Stalin purposely inflicted the 1933 famine. No. What I argue is that with resulting famine imminent, he could have prevented it, but put “Soviet interest” other than feeding the starving first – thus consciously abetting it” (September 2003)


Clearly, that is entirely different from S. Kul’chitskii’s version. Additionally, it needs to be pointed out that Conquest himself never published this correspondence.


Fortunately scholars seldom have to worry about seeing their unpublished work extensively cited in publications of others. There is a convention that you do not plunder other people’s unpublished conference papers without their consent. Thus wrote S. Wheatcroft in Europe-Asia Studies in May 1997. Unfortunately, perhaps, Prof. Wheatcroft, personally does not subscribe to this convention.


The Den article was not the first time that S. Kul’chitskii referred to this questionable correspondence from R. Conquest.(questionable - because no one has seen it except S. Wheatcroft and, possibly R. Conquest.) In 2008 S. Kul’chitskii published an article entitle “Destruction for the sake of salvation” in the journal Krytyka where he wrote: Davies and Wheatcroft informed Conquest about their book prior to publication and subsequently cited in it, Conquest’s verdict: Stalin did not organize the famine intentionally, although he did nothing to prevent the tragedy.


This piece of information by S. Kul’chitskii is quite different from what he wrote in Den although he refers to exactly the same correspondence (Conquest’s) and the same publication (Wheatcroft’s).


In his 1986 book “The Harvest of Sorrow” Dr. Robert Conquest wrote: Nowadays the term “genocide” is often used rhetorically. It may be worth recalling the text of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, adopted by the General Assembly on 9 December 1948, which came into effect in 1950 and was ratified by the USSR in 1954…It certainly appears that a charge of genocide lies against the Soviet Union for its actions in the Ukraine. Such, at least, was the view of Professor Rafael Lemkin who drafted the Convention.


But whether these events are to be formally defined as genocide is scarcely the point. It would hardly be denied that a crime has been committed against the Ukrainian nation; and, whether in the execution cellars, the forced labour camps, or the starving villages, crime after crime against the

millions of individuals forming that nation…


The only conceivable defense is that Stalin and his associates did not know about the famine. This appears impossible to maintain in the face of the above. The verdict must be that they know that the decrees of 1932 would result in famine, that they know in the course of the famine itself that this had indeed been the result, and that orders were issued to ensure that the famine was not alleviated, and to confine it to certain areas.


What is S. Kul’chitskiis purpose in compromising R. Conquest and at the same time detracting from the findings of one of the world’s foremost scholars and authorities on the Ukrainian Famine 1932-33. In 2007 S. Kul’chitskii wrote that the Institute of Ukrainian History at the National Academy of Sciences in Ukraine sent Prof Marochko to visit R. Conquest, and that Marochko was unable to get R. Conquest to confirm the term “genocide”.


Let’s look at the Conquest-Wheatcroft relationship. Certainly, they are two entirely different academics, who have been debating for some time, in particular about the USSR, its victims in the gulags and other repressions. Conquest essentially bases his findings on the “literary” sources - eyewitness testimony, authenticated documents and western data. Wheatcroft, on the other hand, is a staunch proponent of relying on Soviet statistics. Conquest has argued that Soviet numbers are misleading, often manufactured to minimize reality. Because of Wheatcroft’s devotion to Soviet data, Conquest has labeled Wheatcroft a Soviet apologist.


Now, let’s analyze the Wheatcroft-Kul’chitskii relationship. There are many similarities in their approach to scholarship and research. Lately, there have been disparate findings. S. Kul’chitskii is a strong proponent for Soviet statistics, although frequently with a different interpretation than Wheatcroft’s, i.e. S. Kul’chitskii claims that the Terror-famine of 1932-33 was genocide of Ukrainian peasantry. As an argument in support of that finding, he invokes the confiscation in Ukraine and Kuban of all foodstuffs in addition to grain and bread.


The release by Stalin of more confiscated grain in Ukraine and the Kuban region than elsewhere commencing in February 1933 is interpreted by S. Kul’chitskii as evidence that this sizable amount was originally confiscated from Ukraine and Kuban, stored nearby and expeditiously released. This was a premeditated policy by Stalin to manifest to the remaining living that the state was feeding them.


The Wheatcroft-Kul’chitskii relationship is longstanding. They met at various conferences still in Soviet times and both had access to Soviet archives. R. Conquest had characterized Wheatcroft as a Soviet apologist. S. Kul’chitskii was a Soviet academician. The Famine of 1932-33 was not mentioned in Soviet historiography.  With the demise of the USSR S. Kul’chitskii has evolved as a scholar, although he continues to rely on Soviet statistics. Wheatcroft has remained the same.  


What is R. Conquest’s current position? We can only surmise it from recent published writings. In September 2008 R. Conquest published an article about Solzhenitsyn in the magazine Standpoint. He wrote: Solzhenitsyn became very combative in the controversy that took place in Moscow and Kiev academic circles about Ukrainian attempts to have the 1932-33 Terror-famine recognized as genocide. He wrote; “The provocative outcry about ‘genocide’ only began to germinate decades later – at first quietly, inside spiteful, anti-Russian, chauvinistic minds – and now it has spun off into the government circles of modern day Ukraine, who have thus outdone even the wild inventions of Bolshevik agitprop.”


Here Solzhenitsyn is clearly in the wrong. The UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, drafted before much was really known about the Terror-famine, opens by saying that “In time of peace or in time of War” it is a crime under international law to commit “acts with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group as such” by “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.”


The convention was signed in the aftermath of the holocaust. Though not based on ethnic criteria, the Terror-famine is accepted by the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington as a comparable crime. Indeed, the museum’s website carries a talk I gave there on the subject some years ago. The Soviet regime did, indeed, and openly, victimize a “group” of the population – the “kulaks”, of whom Vasily Grossman, whose mother died in the Holocaust, writes: …kulak families were treated as “enemies of the people”. There was no pity fro them. Theyre not human beings.” What were they? Vermin. In order to massacre them it was necessary to proclaim kulaks as not human beings just as the Germans proclaim the Jews are not human beings.


In 1933, “the decree required that the peasants of the Ukraine, the Kuban and the Don, be put to death by starvation, put to death along with their little children”.


It is proven that the mass deaths from starvation were due to the removal of foodstuffs by the authorities, following decrees from above. The decrees applied to specific areas, especially the Ukraine, but also the largely Ukrainian-inhabited Kuban, the Don and later other north Caucasus regions.


There were also blockades against their getting food from the north (in each case the villages were hit harder than the towns). There is some dispute about certain points, but not on the essentials. Stalin starved others besides Ukrainians. But he was capable of various verbal variations – as when he and his supporters argued that the Doctors’ Plot of 1953 was not anti-Semitic since several gentiles were also arrested.


In essence this is what R. Conquest wrote in 1986. In 2008 he refers once again to the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide and discusses Stalin’s role. In 1986 he concluded that Stalin knew or should have known about the famine. In 2008 additionally he refers to the 1933 decrees confiscating all foodstuffs and blockading Ukraine, Kuban and the Don. He adds that other nationalities perished as well, but that does not detract from the fact that the majority of the victims were Ukrainian peasants.


Even in the letter questionably ascribed to him in the Wheatcroft book, Conquest asserts that when Stalin realized that his collectivization policy resulted in famine, he had the opportunity to prevent it, but he did not do so. He used the famine to carry out the destruction of the Ukrainian element, which was opposed to his policies. That constitutes genocide.


Millions of victims of the Great Famine deserve a scholarly discussion, even a debate, but not academic zealotry.

University of Melbourne Round table on the Ukrainian Holodomor and Genocide
Stefan Romaniw, President, Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO)
Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, March 21, 2009

Action Ukraine History Report (AUHR), Wash, D.C., Sun, May 31, 2009

- The 1932-33 Holodomor in Ukraine was a dark episode in world history and major crime against mankind. The archives are now open and the facts readily available. So why the need to continue to conduct roundtables such as the one held at University of Melbourne on Saturday March 21, 2009 , titled 'The scale and causes of the 1931-33 famine and whether the Holodomor should be classified as a genocide’?
The round table discussion was strongly negotiated by the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO) with the organisers of an International Conference on Famine. The AFUO insisted that if the Ukrainian Famine was to be discussed it needed to be done in balanced way.
The moderator was Professor Cormac O’ Grada from University College Dublin. Four academics stood before the audience putting forward their respective positions followed by question time.

The fact that there are newly accessible archives available and thousands of eyewitness survivor accounts of the Holodomor in Ukraine in 1932-33 seemed to impact little on the presentations by Professor Stephen Wheatcroft - the University of Melbourne and Professor Viktor Kondrashin, Penza Russia.  Only archives sourced from the Russian Federation seemed worth serious consideration.
Whilst trying to convince the audience they were not taking a Russian Federation position but an alternative position to Ukraine’s, Profs. Wheatcroft and Kondarshin were very much sending messages very similar to those of the Russian Federation. 
In tandum they voiced the position that there is no evidence of Genocide. Holodomor was economically based, others suffered not only Ukrainians, assistance was provided to the starving by Government, and definitely no evidence that it was an attempt to eradicate Ukrainian nationalism...
 Stanislav Kulchytskyj, a Ukrainian historian from Kyiv and Roman Serbyn International historian from Montreal Canada presented the Ukrainian perspective.
Kulchytskyj took the position that there are two diverse positions taken by Ukraine and Russia. Ukraine argues  the intent of the terror Famine  that Ukraine was targeted by Stalin. Russia takes an economic position of bad planning the results which affected not only Ukrainians  .He argued that evidence and eyewitness accounts are on the public record and they need to be studied by all.
Prof Serbyn strongly argued that Raphael Lemkin, a Polish Jew who coined the term Genocide, himself in an address in 1953 in the US acknowledged that the   Holodomor was indeed Genocide. Serbyn listed the evidence that pointed to Genocide yet the Russian Federation continues to do everything possible internationally to down play this fact. The disinformation train continues to run.
Both Kulchytskyj and Serbyn alluded to the fact the archives of Ukraine are open and on the public record. Kondrashin tried to argue that the same applied to Russia.  Questions from floor tested Kondrashin on archives and it was obvious that his vision of open archives was a different definition to most. Some examples were provided, but he skirted around the responses
Fact 1.  - Archives relating to Ukrainian Catholic Church in the former Soviet Union were falsified and the fact proved a number of times

Fact 2.  - Ukraine Security Service Archives (SBU) are open and the Unclassified Memories of 1932-33 are now on public display. . Recent requests from the SBU to the Russian Service to do likewise have fallen on deaf ears.
Whilst claiming not to get politically involved, Wheatcroft screamed at the audience, ‘Look at this!’ holding up the Holodomor Brochure prepared by Ukraine – stating something to the effect, ‘It says 6-10 million, when your own Institute of Demography says 3.5 million perished. This in unhelpful propaganda!’
As a scholar, he overlooked the basics - The source of statement   –  A Joint Statement signed by 65 member states adopted at the 58th UN Assembly  on November 7  2003. not Ukraine. But why let facts get in the way of a good story?

There are various interpretations on figures and there needs to be more clarity –But the question needs to be asked - Do we base the case of Genocide on differing numbers or even on Kondrashin’s attempt to show that it’s not Genocide because of a photo that was allegedly from 1921 and attributed to 1932-33?
Roman Serbyn responded well – Stop playing numbers game – 1, 2, and 5. 10 million is not the issue - the issue is Genocide.
There were different levels of questions. Some appropriate and some less appropriate considering the academic nature of the event.
However one thing was obvious - Most answers to questions from the floor to Prof Wheatcroft and Kondrashin were selective in their responses. If in their opinion it wasn’t worth a response, a snigger and smile was all that was received.
The question was asked after the event- Is it worth having these events? No one convinces anyone as the speakers and audience are polarised? These events are important. It is the academic level that the research of archives takes place  and the analysis and interpretation of evidence occurs.
The Holodomor issue is not about apportioning blame on Russians. This point has been   made by the President of Ukraine, by the Ukrainian World Congress and by the AFUO – it’s about identifying and condemning the system and the individuals responsible.

Stalin and the Communist Regime perpetrated grave crimes against humanity. Millions died, Ukrainians, Russians and others – But the intent was not to eradicate the Russian people, but the Ukrainian people.
Kulchytskyj and Serbyn spoke of the mass arrests, murders and killing of the Ukrainian intelligentsia, the blockades and bans on travel and movement in Ukraine in search of food, the mass stripping of not only grain but other foodstuffs. These facts cannot be denied. The protocols instructing horrendous acts at the time are on his public record. This is evidence.

There must be academic dialogue that searches for ongoing pathways and roadmaps leading to recognition of the Holodomor as Genocide. The demand by academics for all archives of the former USSR relating to the period be opened must continue.
Sound debate must not be derailed by red herrings, as Prof Serbyn calls them such as issues on numbers that deflect from the issue.
The AFUO will endeavour to keep the dialogue going, whether as part of the Project being conducted by the University of Melbourne with the involvement of local and overseas academics or in other forums.
If we all come to the table with an open mind and take all the facts into account, then collectively we will find the truth  that will expose the Soviet propaganda  and disinformation. We collectively will help mankind in the future.

It  will ensure that those inhumane acts of Stalin are not allowed to be repeated. that the lies by Duranty in the NY Times and his attempt to hide the truth and to discredit Gareth Jones will be judged for what they are.
Events such as Saturday’s Roundtable should encourage us to soul search and  strive to ensure that the truth is at the forefront. As Kulchytskyj says in the Foreword of the Bibliography on Holodomor I already knew how Ukrainians died, but I did not why they died.
This is the essence of Genocide, the Intent? – The how has been answered and the intent has been established – The archives, the protocols , the Book of Memory are all reputable sources to seek valid confirmation– But only for those who genuinely want an answer.
On Sunday March 22, 2009 the conversation continued at the Ukrainian Community Centre. AFUO Chairman Stefan Romaniw introduced Prof Kulchytskyj, Prof Serbyn, Dr.Valerij Vaseliev a young historian and Lesa Morgan from Perth who  presented on their work.

Lesa Morgan also prepared a very interesting exhibition. Much is being done in many areas with more required. Vibrant discussion from floor was managed by Association of Ukrainians in Victoria’s Vice President Michael Moravski.

Prof Kulchytskyj and Dr Vasilev have now left and Prof Serbyn is visiting our communities in Adelaide and Sydney. The AFUO thanks all four presenters and also acknowledges the support of the  Ukraine Studies Foundation in Australia (FUSA) for funding Prof. Serbyn’s visit.
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