by James Ricks

The term ‘Holodomor’ is the term used by Ukrainians to describe the man-made famine conducted by the Soviet Socialist Republic against the Ukraine in 1932-33 that led to 2.4 to 7.5 million deaths. The starvation policy was one of a number of crimes and atrocities perpetrated by Joseph Stalin as he abused the absolute power the Communist Socialist System gave him.

Millions of non- Russian Ukrainians starved. Scholars disagree on the relative importance played by natural factors and bad economic policies in the Holodomor. Almost all Communist agricultural policies ended in disaster. Ukrainians emphasize the intentional government policies used to starve millions. These policies included refusal to accept any outside food aid, confiscation of all foodstuffs and the restrictions of population movement.

Stalin wished to eradicate Ukrainian Nationalism and used genocide as the tool. This was part of the program to liquidate all private farms and private property. The first pubic open discussion of the Holodomor came as part of Glasnost (openness and reform encouraged by Gorbachev in 1988) These discussions and other regional issues contributed to the fall of the Communist Empire.

A 2011 documentary, Genocide Revealed, presents evidence for the view that Stalin and his regime, not necessarily the Russian people as a whole, deliberately targeted the Ukrainians for mass starvation. The people’s crops were sent to other places while they literally starved to death as the result of the ration system. Forced collectivization also contributed to the famine. It was not popular with the peasants and led to many revolts. Starvation was used to punish those people. In addition, the situation was exacerbated by poor administration of the first five year plan. Significant amounts of grain remained unharvested. A significant percentage of the harvested grain was lost during processing or transportation and storage.

Genocide scholar Adams Jones stresses that many of the actions of all powerful Stalin should be considered intentional genocide. It took place against a backdrop of persecution, mass executions, and incarceration clearly aimed at undermining Ukrainian nationalism.

In 2007, President Viktor Yuschenko declared that denying Holodomor was a crime. Denying the famine ever happened was the official position of the Communist empire for years. It was supported by liberal Western intellectuals as well. In the Soviet Union, authorities all but banned any discussion of the famine. Ukrainian historian Stanislav Kulchysky says he was ordered to falsify his findings on the Holodomor. Famines should be considered unavoidable natural disasters only. This would absolve any blame on Communism’s absolute dictator Joseph Stalin. Stalin is the poster child for the famous British Historian; Lord Acton’s the famous warning,

Total power over the government functions such as police and courts, armies and secret police combined with total control over the economy is a recipe for disaster. Too much power in the hands of one man is dangerous. An economy has too many decisions to be made effectively by agents of an autocratic government or dictators. It is a recipe for starvation and oppression as the history of the Soviet Socialist empire exemplifies in spades. The IRON CURTAIN did not exist to keep people out but to keep poor victims and citizens of those empires inside the disastrous countries so afflicted.