Discover more from Pro Deo et Libertate
As Putin Annexes Ukrainian Territories, Remember the Soviets’ Holodomor Massacre
I can understand the frustration with the Ukrainian war here at home, as America spends billions of dollars funding the Ukrainian war effort while Americans suffer. The worst sufferers in the war are the Ukrainian people, however, caught between their own corrupt government and its feckless allies on the one hand, and a dictatorship aspiring to restore the Soviet empire on the other hand.
It is interesting that reports have come out of the territories in question saying that Russian soldiers were using guns and threats to ensure that citizens there would vote to join Russia. There’s certainly been plenty of lies about this war from both sides, but considering Soviet Russia’s history of using violence and political corruption to sway elections, and the fact that the current ruler of Russia (Putin) worked for the Soviet secret police (KGB) before the Soviet Union (USSR) was officially dissolved, makes it a plausible story at the least.
But there’s another aspect to this war that nobody seems to talk about. An argument I often hear as to why the disputed regions should belong to Russia (which leaves aside the fact that military invasion without provocation is unjust in any case) is that a lot of the people living there are Russians. This is true, but the reason Russians live in those areas of Ukraine has an ugly history behind it. Russians live there now in large part because the Soviets committed a genocide in Ukraine and moved their own people in. It’s not because that land rightfully used to be and should be Russia’s.
You have heard of the Holocaust, but have you heard of the Holodomor? Holodomor comes from two Ukrainian words meaning “hunger” and “extermination.” And that’s exactly what it was—deliberate extermination of Ukrainians by their Soviet Russian tyrants.
“That autumn the Soviet Politburo, the elite leadership of the Soviet Communist Party, took a series of decisions that widened and deepened the famine in the Ukrainian countryside. Farms, villages, and whole towns in Ukraine were placed on blacklists and prevented from receiving food. Peasants were forbidden to leave the Ukrainian republic in search of food. Despite growing starvation, food requisitions were increased and aid was not provided in sufficient quantities. The crisis reached its peak in the winter of 1932–33, when organized groups of police and communist apparatchiks ransacked the homes of peasants and took everything edible, from crops to personal food supplies to pets. . .
The result of Stalin’s campaign was a catastrophe. In spring 1933 death rates in Ukraine spiked. Between 1931 and 1934 at least 5 million people perished of hunger all across the U.S.S.R. Among them, according to a study conducted by a team of Ukrainian demographers, were at least 3.9 million Ukrainians. . .Mass graves were dug across the countryside. . .in Ukraine’s largest cities, corpses could be seen on the street.
The famine was accompanied by a broader assault on Ukrainian identity. While peasants were dying by the millions, agents of the Soviet secret police were targeting the Ukrainian political establishment and intelligentsia. The famine provided cover for a campaign of repression and persecution that was carried out against Ukrainian culture and Ukrainian religious leaders. . .
Moreover, anyone connected to the short-lived Ukrainian People’s Republic—an independent government that had been declared in June 1917 in the wake of the February Revolution but was dismantled after the Bolsheviks conquered Ukrainian territory—was subjected to vicious reprisals. All those targeted by this campaign were liable to be publicly vilified, jailed, sent to the Gulag (a system of Soviet prisons and forced-labour camps), or executed. . .
Stalin himself went so far as to repress the results of a census taken in 1937; the administrators of that census were arrested and murdered, in part because the figures revealed the decimation of Ukraine’s population.”
One testimony about Holodomor said:
“In Poltavka region, near Kyiv, there were also villages where everyone died. They have sent Russians to the place. They did not resettle Ukrainians from other place there, but real [ethnic] Russians.”
The Catholic Church canonized many Ukrainian Saints martyred by the Soviets as well.
Some may read this and say, “Move out of the past. The Russia of today is no longer the Soviet Union.” WRONG!! Vladimir Putin grew powerful working for the violent Soviet KGB, and he has not changed. Putin’s continual attacks on other countries like Ukraine that used to be part of the USSR send a pretty clear signal about his ambitions. As for Western apologists of his, Putin is not admirable because he hates transgenderism. Muslim terrorists who shoot children hate transgenderism too. Putin is an evil man, and that is true regardless of the many legitimate accusations to be made against Putin’s corrupt opponents in this war, and regardless of whether he is not quite as murderous as some of his Soviet predecessors.
Vladimir Putin may not be Joseph Stalin, but he is still carrying on the Soviet history of murder in Ukraine.