Holodomor and separatism in the Donbas

Memorial to the Holodomor Victims in Kyiv, Ukraine

Memorial to the Holodomor Victims in Kyiv, Ukraine 

2015/05/17 • Analysis & Opinion

Article by: Yevhenia Oliynyk

The Holodomor Memorial Museum in Kyiv has opened an exhibition on the artificial resettlement of Russians and Belarusians to eastern Ukraine after the Holodomor (famine/genocide) of 1932-33. The exhibition includes secret party documents that depict this process in detail. Museum workers are convinced that information on the violent assimilation policies of the Soviet Union may partly explain separatism in eastern Ukraine today.

The artificial resettlements and forced assimilation of Russians and Belarusians on Ukrainian lands begin immediately after the Holodomor of 1932-33. The most active segment of the Ukrainian population had been wiped out, but the land needed tending and new residents, explains historian Nina Lapchynska, the head of the museum’s research department. In 1939 the All-Union census recorded the changed ethnic population in Ukraine. Much later, the new “locals” in eastern Ukraine would tell Holodomor researchers that “there was no famine.” Lapchynska believes this mind-set, as well as separatist attitudes in modern Donbas, are the results of the population resettlements. Russians were brought to the Kharkiv Oblast in Ukraine from the Chernozem Oblast in Russia (which today is divided into the Kursk, Chernozem and Tambov oblasts). There were altogether 329 waves of migrants, representing close to 23,000 families. According to the Central Committee of the Soviet Union, the local government was responsible for welcoming the new arrivals.

“Ukrainian peasants had to clean and whitewash the houses, repair the yards (since the yards of the deceased were dismantled for wood), and remove the corpses,” Lapchynska explains. “They were ordered to prepare the housing and the farm implements so that the migrants could begin to work immediately. They (migrants) were also given incentives: exemption from agricultural and meat taxes for two years, etc.,” she says.

Russian settlers given grain seized from Ukrainians

According to Lapchynska, not only families but entire collectives were resettled. When a collective farm moved, it had to hand over grain and then upon presentation of a receipt was given the same amount of grain in the new location — the same amount that had been taken from Ukrainian peasants during the Holodomor.

Conflicts arose between the locals and the settlers since the locals received no benefits. “In one of the documents there is even testimony that the local collective farms had to purchase phonographs for the new settlers,” she says. Special Russian-language classes were organized for the Russians, and Russian language newspapers and books were brought in. Additionally, the Ukrainians who had left during the Holodomor and who succeeded in returning discovered that their homes had been occupied and that handing back property to the original owners was prohibited.

This exhibition is a logical continuation of previous projects of the Holodomor Memorial Museum, explains Yana Hrynko, a researcher at the museum.

“We have launched a series of exhibitions called The crimes of Soviet totalitarianism. This exhibition was preceded by an exhibition dedicated to the liberation struggle in the 1920s. After the first famine in the country there were about 4,000 uprisings. And the response to opposition was genocide. The Holodomor of 1932-33 was a powerful blow to Ukrainian independence. Here were are talking about a violent assimilation policy: to wipe out a part of the Ukrainian population and replace it with people presenting no threatening national concept,” Hrynko says.

The exhibition dedicated to the artificial resettlement of Ukrainian lands has been organized with the support of the State Archival Service and the state archives of the Security Service of Ukraine.

Photo Captions

1. Secret decision on population resettlements in Ukraine by the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR.

2. Secret decision on population resettlements in Ukraine.

3. Planned distribution of settlers on Ukrainian territories.

4. Politburo decision on reception of Russian migrants in Ukraine.

5. Secret decision to resettle 21,000 Russian families to Ukraine. 

  • Secret decision on population resettlements in Ukraine by the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR
    holod1
  • Secret decision of population resettlements
    holod2
  • Planned migrants for Ukrainian territories
    holod3
  • Politburo decision on reception of Russian migrants in Ukraine
    holod4
  • Secret decision to resettle 21,000 Russian families to Ukraine
    holod5

Translated by: Anna Mostovych
Source: Radio Svoboda

Tags: , ,

  • The truth

    Not only they killed Ukrainians, they stole everything inclusive their food.
    THAT WHAT TOTALITARIAN regimes DO !
    The settlers are in fact THIEVES and should not be there.
    If the thieves do not like ukrainians, or if ukrainians do not like the thieves is completly understandable. But who is the wrong land ?

    • sandy miller

      The people who settled in those lands were not reponsible for what happened to the Ukrainians. Most people didn’t even know this was happening. I agree with Peter K we should support each others causes in the interest of raising awareness of genocide.

    • Ukrainian girl

      The point here is,rather, that a new coming nation should not be allowed to discriminate the indigenous nation and claim the exclusive rights of the host people,- which is what happened with Russian settlers in Ukraine,(not only in Ukraine,though). However, such imperialistic behavior of Russians had been also committed by the European settlers of the US territories towards the Native Americans,without any just restitution till today.

  • Lev Havryliv

    The Holodomor was genocide. An attempt to destroy the Ukrainian national factor in the USSR.

    This is no less a defining tragedy for Ukrainians than is the Holocaust for the Jewish people.

    • puttypants

      Yes…my parents lost their parents, their brothers and sisters to the Holodomor in 1932-33. It was a genocide…when soldiers came into your home and checked every nook and cranny both inside and outside your home and took every single bit of food away from you…. My parents lived thru it in village outside of Kharkiv. The soldiers did not let them out of the villages. Those that stayed alive had to go from home to home, take the dead bodies out and put them in a grave yard. They picked them up on the roads and buried them. Those still alive were so weak they could barely dig the graves. Made big ravines to put the bodies in. My parents gave me all the details. Children and entire families dying out in one household. During the winter they could not dig graves just had to pile up bodies in the grave yard. There were no animals left since any that could be caught were eaten. They ate twigs and grass and anything they could find in the ground. My mother’s skin had tracks on in all her life where it had split with water seeping out. I’m am sickened whenever I hear someone denying this. I know first hand what happened…Most that experience this starvation are dead now…but they told their children and we will continue telling their story for it happened and all those evil people can deny all they want and we will continue to tell our parents story. My children and grandchildren know this truth and they will pass it on to their children and it will continue to follow those that did this forever and ever.

      • Lev Havryliv

        Members of my mother’s family were also murdered by starvation. When the Communist brigades came to her village not far from Cherkasy they confiscated all food not only grain. They destroyed food making and food preparing implements. The internal passport system meant villagers could not escape to the towns where some food was available.

        This was a deliberate and planned action to destroy the backbone of the Ukrainian nation. It was accompanied by a sudden and brutal reversal of nationalities policy by Stalin. Ukrainian scholars, writers, teachers, priests were tortured, killed and deported. A whole generation of the Ukrainian intellectual elite was wiped out. The Ukrainian language faced severe restrictions as it was considered a “nationalist language”. Large numbers of Russian speaking people were brought into the villages to take over homes and farms of Ukrainian farmers who were killed or deported.

        Every Ukrainian and the whole world should be made more aware of this terrible tragedy. A tragedy for which no one has faced justice. A tragedy that Moscow still denies was genocide of the Ukrainian people.

        • puttypants

          Lev please to on the daily beast site and respond to all the Putin trolls on that site. The lies are awful and we’re not getting good representation. I’ve been on but I have several arguments that I haven’t had a chance to respond. I agree with you about the Holodomor. I’ve been telling this to anyone who would listen since I was a kid. American’s aren’t interested. I think this story needs to be humanized by a love story and put on film. That’s the only way we’ll ever be able to inform people. People are interested in entertainment and hopefully they’ll learn some truth in the meantime. Thanks Lev you’ve taken the time to explain much better than I.

          • Lev Havryliv

            Thanks for your comment. Until the Ukrainian government and Ukrainian scholars talk and write more about the Holodomor it will remain a relatively unknown genocide. Ukrainians in the West have tried to publicize the Great Famine of 1932-33. Works in English by Robert Conquest, James Mace and Miron Dolot are valuable sources of information on the Holodomor.

            With the new government in Kyiv and the opening up of archives of the Communist internal security organs of the time hopefully progress will be made. Certainly during the periods of Kravchuk, Kuchma and Yanukovich little was achieved.

            The truly amazing thing is that many Ukrainians still do not know the full story of the Holodomor and its disastrous consequences that are still being played out today. Of course all mention of the Holodomor in Ukraine during the Stalinist period was strictly forbidden. Ukrainians at the time were supplied by the Communist rulers the outright lies that the famine was caused by a bad harvest. Such was the power and reach of the despicably evil regime that was Stalinist Russian Communist rule.

          • Peter K

            Here is another source about the Holodomor, it is shorter than the books Lev cites, it is the link to the Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine page on the subject.

            http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp?linkpath=pages%5CF%5CA%5CFamine6Genocideof1932hD73.htm

          • disqus_aJpixObjG7

            Putty, Only one in a thousand Americans has ever heard of the HOLODOMOR but every American has seen a thousand movies about the “holocaust.”
            Hmmm, Why is that?
            It is forbidden to make any films on the Holodomor. Orders have been given by the owners of Western media including publishing, news and film..if you do make such a film IT WILL GET NO AIRING AND NO DISTRIBUTION. It will bring slurs, slanders and smears upon you. In Western Media Ukrainians are to be portrayed EXCLUSIVELY as anti-semites and nazi collaborators.

            Now make a film about the “holocaust” and see what happens.
            RECENT MOVIES MADE IN UKRAINE ITSELF COSTING MILLIONS OF UKRAINIAN TAXPAYERS MONEY ARE ABOUT…guess what…what? The persecution of Jews in Ukraine…

          • Ukrainian girl

            Not at all surprising, considering that along with Russian the strongest denials of Ukrainian genocide are voiced by Jews. And I need not tell you,how much the US media is controlled by the Jewish lobbyists.

        • disqus_aJpixObjG7

          How will anyone ever be “made more aware”? … STRICT ORDERS HAVE BEEN GIVEN from “on high” AND ARE STRICTLY ENFORCED.
          IN ALL WESTERN MEIDA IT IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN EVER TO MENTION THE GREATEST GENOCIDE IN HUMAN HISTORY! …or else!
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fg1rL_kbO_w
          That is why only one in one hundred Westerners has ever heard of the GREATEST GENOCIDE IN HUMAN HISTORY – THE HOLODOMOR

        • Dalton

          There should be no hesitation to help Ukraine defend against the modern day Lenin. His evil is being replayed in the repopulation of Crimea and East Ukraine; Thug and murderer, pure and simple.

      • disqus_aJpixObjG7

        STRICT ORDERS HAVE BEEN GIVEN from “on high” AND ARE STRICTLY ENFORCED.

        IN ALL WESTERN MEDIA IT IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN EVER TO MENTION THE GREATEST GENOCIDE IN HUMAN HISTORY! …or else!

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fg1rL_kbO_w

        That is why only one in one hundred Westerners has ever heard of the GREATEST GENOCIDE IN HUMAN HISTORY – THE HOLODOMOR

        • Ukrainian girl

          The Holodomor as a genocide of Ukrainian nation will be openly and loudly acknowledged as soon as the Jews give the ‘green light’ to it. Unfortunately, we know perfectly well, that it isn’t about to happen, since Jews are adamant about their status of the greatest prosecuted and suffering people in the world. Too bad, that Jewish compassion is self centered…

    • disqus_aJpixObjG7

      What are you saying Lev? Why are you so reticent, so hesitant…? Say it loud and clear- speak the OBJECTIVE FACTUAL TRUTH clearly and unequivocally: THE HOLODOMOR WAS THE GREATEST GENOCIDE IN HUMAN HISTORY (NOT the Holocaust)

      • Lev Havryliv

        I share your dismay and frustration about the lack of recognition by some of the Holodomor as a genocide. Denial of the Holdomor is as despicable as denial of the Holocaust.

        This should not deter us. Every one of us must play our part in making the Holodomor better known. The truth of the genocidal Holodomor cannot be suppressed or denied. The facts speak for themselves.

        Our major problem is that Ukrainians until very recently have not had a government which is truly Ukrainian, and one able to articulate, present and defend the true history of Ukraine, including the Holodomor.

        I live in hope that in the not too distant future the Ukrainian Holodomor is as well known in the world and in history as is the Jewish Holocaust.

        • disqus_aJpixObjG7

          LEV, I agree with your points fully. However, the REALITY is that even if the Ukrainian government can finally clear away the DEMONIC SMEAR PROPAGANDA THAT HAS TOTALLY UTTERLY PERVERTED Ukrainian history, ONLY ONE genocide is ALLOWED ANY RECOGNITION- AND WE HAVE ALL SEEN THOUSANDS OF MOVIES ABOUT IT.

          UNEQUIVOCAL ORDERS HAVE BEEN ISSUED :
          SHUT UP ABOUT ANY OTHER GENOCIDE …OR ELSE!

          Recognition,
          documentation and reporting on all the other ones ESPECIALLY HOLODOMOR,
          the GREATEST GENOCIDE IN HUMAN HISTORY, IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN worldwide.
          Didn’t you know that Lev?
          Here is just one tiny episode in this AGENDA pls watch:

          • Ukrainian girl

            My point exactly !

      • Peter K

        Ideally individual members of nations that have suffered and survived genocide would not argue over which genocide was “greatest”, but would rather support each others’ causes and memories in the interest of raising awareness of genocide and, hopefully, preventing genocide in the future. But let’s face it, that will never happen.

        • Ukrainian girl

          Yes, too bad that Jews think they hold monopoly on suffering.

    • Ukrainian girl

      So true. Yet,oddly enough, Jews and Israel is in the cohort with Russia denying Holodomor as genocide of Ukrainian people.

  • disqus_aJpixObjG7

    Only one in a thousand Americans has ever heard of the HOLODOMOR but every American has seen a thousand movies about the “holocaust.”

    Yet the HOLODOMOR is the greatest genocide in human history and OFFICIALLY recognized as such by the EU the US Canada and 24 other nations.

    • Randolph Carter

      Sadly, as an American who has gone through our public school system including a Master’s degree, neither I nor anyone I know had ever heard of the Holomodor nor the persecution of the Ukrainian people under Stalin. All we were taught was that he allied himself with Hitler, then Hitler turned against him. The only way I found out about this tragedy was to study Ukrainian history as part of adopting some of the culture and beauty of Ukraine. I wanted to know more about about the history and traditions of my beloved so that I could become part of her life and honor her country. Reading about this massacre of innocent Ukrainian people, I could not help but wonder why nothing was ever said in any of my courses. We learned about the rape of Nanking, the Cambodian killing fields, the American Trail of Tears, but nothing about Ukraine and Holomodor, not even a whisper.

      • disqus_aJpixObjG7

        Randy, didn’t you know? STRICT ORDERS HAVE BEEN ISSUED: There can be only one genocide. All other voices MUST SHUT UP. OR ELSE… That is also why the Armenian genocide too MUST BE CENSORED or smeared.

      • sandy miller

        Firstly, the american and brit’s were allied with Russia that’s the main reason you didn’t hear about it. Also, American media and Hollywood were very pro-communist…there was a huge communist movement in this country. Notice McCarthyism was shut down. All those black listed in Hollywood should have been blacklisted they were communists. American Liberals have always been sympathetic the communist cause.

    • Ukrainian girl

      Not surprising, considering,that on the subject of history of the Russian occupied nations, US education system simply transplanted the Soviet historiography onto its own textbooks. Worse, those shocking examples of the so-called “education” are still being used by the US schools today.

  • Roman Serbyn

    Rafael Lemkin listed the resettlement of Russians and Belarusians in
    Ukraine towards the end of the Great Famine as the fourth jab of a
    four-pronged attack against the Ukrainian nation. The first and second
    prongs were the destruction of the Ukrainian intelligentsia and the
    Ukrainian Churches. The third prong was the famine against the Ukrainian
    farming population, which, insisted Lemkin was the repository of the
    Ukrainian language, culture, traditions, etc. Lemkin’s
    conceptualization of the Ukrainian genocide was in
    conformity with the UN Convention on Genocide. It is puzzling why
    the Holodomor Memorial Museum in Kyiv still ignores Lemkin’s legal
    formulation ofthe Ukrainian genocide and gives its own lame
    and distorted explanation. To boot, Euromaidan’s uncalled-for
    editorial addition of “famine/genocide” to Holodomor, only makes
    matters worse.

    • disqus_aJpixObjG7

      Roman, Lemkin’s work WAS NOT IN CONFORMITY WITH the UN CONVENTION ON GENOCIDE. Lemkin’s work WAS THE BASIS FOR the UN convention on Genocide. LEMKIN, WHO WAS JEWISH, WAS THE ORIGINATOR OF THE TERM “GENOCIDE” AND BASED HIS WORK ON THE HOLODOMOR, not on the HOLOCAUST.
      Lemkin knew that the HOLODOMOR was far worse than the holocaust or any other genocide.

      • Roman Serbyn

        I usually don’t answer anonymous discussants but for the sake of true information about Lemkin, I think that this will be useful: 1) Lemkin’s seminal article on the Ukrainian genocide was in conformity with the UN Convention on Genocide. His own personal conceptualization of the Genocide was the basis of the UN Convention, but as the UN documents are usually the result of discussions and haggling representing the interests of various countries, the final document was somewhat different from Lemkin’s ideas. (It is enough to read Lemkin’s Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, which contains his ideas on genocide and compare it with the UN document to see the difference). However, in speaking to the Ukrainian community in NY, five years after the adoption of the UN convention, Lemkin formulated his analysis of the Ukrainian catastrophe in terms that fit the UN definition of genocide. The second useless claim is that Lemkin based his work on the Holodomor. Lemkin’s first interest in mass destruction of human groups was in the persecution of Christians (as a group) in the Roman Empire, then he became concerned about the Armenian genocide. He probably knew about the Ukrainian genocide, since he lived at that time in Poland and the Soviet atrocities in nex-door Ukraine were known there. Finally his formulation of the of the legal ideas against the destruction of identifiable groups was done during WWII in the book I mentioned above, and was based primarily, but not exclusively on the the destruction of Jews, but also of other groups, as the title of the book suggests. There is no evidence that he went into any discussion as to which genocide was worse than others. As Alexander Pope wrote “a little learning is a dangerous thing…”, and, of course, one way of escaping from this self-invoked danger is to shield oneself with anonymity.

  • disqus_aJpixObjG7

    Thank you for standing up for Ukraine Kris against all the Smears, Lies, Libel and intentional DISINFORMATION.
    ORDERS HAVE BEEN ISSUED:
    THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE GENOCIDE ALLOWED.
    ALL OTHERS MUST SHUT UP AND BE CENSORED…OR ELSE…! PLS WATCH

  • disqus_aJpixObjG7

    ORDERS HAVE BEEN ISSUED HOLODOMOR MUST BE CENSORED…ORE ELSE…! pls see

  • disqus_aJpixObjG7

    The GERMANS LEARNED how to set up concentration camps and perform genocide FROM THE RUSSIANS who had had lots of practice mass murdering UKRAINIANS

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      Actually, the British invented the concentration camp. The British Army could not defeat the Boers during the Boer War (1899-1902) by conventional means, so they rounded up all their wives and children and placed them in camps which were surrounded with barbed wire, thus denying the fighters support.
      Whether it was a matter of deliberate policy or not, many in the camps died due to malnutrition; the British supplied insufficient food. In the end the Boers were forced to surrender due to the conditions in the camps- NOT because they were defeated in battle.

      • Ukrainian girl

        Exactly, what the Western European settlers had done with Native Americans.

  • disqus_aJpixObjG7

    Kris, the FRANKFURT SCHOOL … CULTURAL AND FREUDIAN MARXISM… RULES OUR WESTERN MEDIA AND ACADEMIA. That is why russian historical SMEARS, LIES, LIBEL AND DISINFORMATION ARE STILL THE BASIS FOR ALL WESTERN MEDIA reports and all university info re Ukraine…

  • Dagwood Bumstead

    Roosevelt also covered up Stalin’s involvement in the Katyn murders of Polish army officers. Says it all, really. The White House should have been called the Red House during the Roosevelt administration; apart from FDR, Eleanor, Averell Harriman and many others were well disposed toward Stalin. Fortunately Truman was quite different.

  • Vlad Pufagtinenko

    I can’t even read this stuff any more….