The liars of Kremlin dance on the graves of famine victims


History of Ukraine

Article by: Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis

The Holodomor was a famine in Ukraine caused by the Soviet government in 1932 and 1933. It took from 3.3 to 7.5 million lives. It is thought that the goal was to curb the Ukrainian nationalism. Even though it is recognized by most of the countries as a genocide of the Ukrainian nation, the Russian government actively denies the famine to this day. Both the main news portals and the social media channels vigorously try to prove that the Holodomor is only a fictitious myth intended to minimize the achievements of the Soviet Union.

The “Sputnik” portal, for example, claims that the famine inflicted by Stalin’s policy is nothing but a fairy tale invented by the Western propaganda machine and it came into being by collaborating with Nazi Germany and the Ukrainian nationalists.

The portal uses the sources of alternative historians (e. g., Douglas Tottle, Mark B. Tauger) to claim that the myth was invented in order to lessen the opportunities of communism. According to the articles, the roots of this myth can be found in a series of articles from 1932-1933 published in the US depicting the conditions of Ukrainians in great detail. Apparently, the visual material of the sources used was fabricated, and the author was fictitious. In Germany J. Goebbels apparently used this “myth” in order to spread the anti-Soviet propaganda. According to the propagandists, the myth was explicitly used to depict the Soviet Union as an empire of evil.

An actively pro-Russian political-economic portal “Politicano,” operating in Georgia, is also preoccupied with exposing this “myth”. The portal emphasises three different lies and claims that the Holodomor is fiction:

Lie No. 1: The number of the Holodomor’s victims is exaggerated. According to the portal, a census of population in Ukraine in 1926 indicated that 29 million people lived in the country. A census in 1939 indicated 29.2 million. Based on this information it is claimed that the famine was not of a big scale.

The truth: the portal does not mention the census of 1937, which Stalin tried to conceal by persecuting its executors. However, the report of 1934 showed that the number of citizens decreased by 6 million, and the executors of that census claimed that at least one million deaths were not even registered.

Editor’s note: Recent studies by historians estimate the number of Ukrainian deaths from the Holodomor as nearly 4 million. Details: So how many Ukrainians died in the Holodomor? 

Lie No. 2: The famine was caused by unfavourable conditions of nature and not because of the Soviet policy. According to the portal, the fertile territories decreased by 18-25 % in 1932.

The truth: The statistics show that in the mentioned year the fertile territories decreased only by 9 %, especially as the report submitted to the US Congress in 1988 proves that the natural conditions were not dangerous, there were no droughts, and the famine itself was caused by the actions of the Soviet government:

  • 1931: J. Stalin ordered to confiscate the gathered harvest from the peasants
  • 1932: the leader prohibited the Red Cross to enter the territory of Ukraine
  • A law claiming that all the agricultural harvest is the property of the state was published
  • Watchtowers were built in the fields to prevent stealing the grains
  • Ukrainians were prohibited to store wheat
  • The fines for storing meat were introduced
  • The famine was masked as a conspiracy of the Ukrainian nationalists
  • 1933: The borders of Ukraine were closed.

Lie No. 3: The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe did not recognize the Holodomor as a crime.

The truth: not only has the PACE condemned the Stalinist policy as a crime against humanity, but also the European Parliament and OSCE have done so as well.

The Vilnius Institute of Policy Analysis is an independent organization in Lithuania which proclaims its goals as increasing freedom, transparency, democracy, and civic awareness in Lithuania and Central and Eastern Europe. This publication is part of a project aimed at strengthening democracy and civil society as well as fostering closer ties with the EU Eastern Partnership countries (Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia) by spreading independent information with the help of contemporary solutions. The project is implemented by Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis. It is financed as part of Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs‘ Development Cooperation and Democracy Promotion Programme.
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