The Holodomor, a genocide in 1930ss, and Russia’s attempt to genocide Ukrainians now

 In Ukraine and around the world, the memory of the victims of the Holodomor – a genocide organized by the Russian regime against Ukrainians almost 90 years ago – is commemorated. Today, a new version of Russia is again implementing genocidal tactics against Ukraine and trying to destroy millions of people.

Genocide as a state policy of Russia toward Ukraine

The Holodomor of 1932-1933 is a terrible page in world history. For a long time, those horrific events were hushed up. The murderers and their descendants and heirs did everything to erase the memory of the enormous losses. However, the collapse of the USSR destroyed the conspiracy of silence and revealed terrible facts about the genocide of Ukrainians perpetrated by the Moscow Soviet regime.

The stories told by still-living witnesses of the Holodomor were shocking, and even more shocking were the cynical documents of the Soviet authorities about the mechanisms of creating artificial famine to exterminate millions. Unfortunately, most records are still kept in Russia under the label “secret.” However, the documents available to historians show that it was a planned genocide, the victims of which were millions of people, the channel 24 writes.

Millions of victims of a planned genocide

Millions of victims. No one knows the exact number of people killed and starved to death. Historians vary from 4 to 7 million; some even point to a possible number of victims of 10 million people. The memories of eyewitnesses paint an infernal picture with scenes of cannibalism, mountains of dead bodies along the roads and around cities, firing squads, and squads of Soviet military punishers.

A police car picks up homeless and starving children in Kharkiv (author signature of Whiting Williams, published in his article about the Holodomor in Ukraine in Answers magazine, February 1933). The photo was taken in August 1934 / Whiting Williams Photographs / Western Reserve Historical Society.

The mind refuses to comprehend these terrible numbers. For most people, numbers are an abstraction. It is hard to imagine that someone can kill so many people. 

However, the Soviet leadership committed this atrocious crime. Millions were condemned to death. And this was done by the bearers of the so-called “great Russian culture,” connoisseurs of Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Dostoyevsky. Today, their descendants are raiding peaceful homes in Kherson and killing people they declared to be their fellow citizens a few months ago and, what’s more, “one nation.”

“Fresh graves for the starving” (author’s signature). The outskirts of Kharkiv, 1933. Alexander Wienerberger

How and why did the terrible famine in Ukraine happen?

Marxists explained the genocide of the Ukrainian people as a class war. However, this is not the case. The Holodomor was a continuation of imperial Russia’s colonial war against Ukraine, the goal of which was the Ukrainian people’s subjugation and assimilation.

Ukrainians who gained freedom during the revolution did not submit to the Bolsheviks, and Moscow communists, even after another loss of statehood. The opposition lasted throughout the 1920s and into the early 1930s. Villages became its primary target. Ukrainians desperately did not submit to collectivization and did not want to become slaves to the “hard construction” of the first “five-year period.”

Russia launched “a final solution to the Ukrainian issue”

In response, Russia resorted to its version of the “final solution” to the Ukrainian issue. The Moscow regime killed millions and conquered tens of millions of Ukrainians.

Because Ukraine did not surrender, Russia did not give up genocidal practices either – the Russians staged a new Holodomor in Ukraine in 1946-1947 (more than a million people became its victims). The goal of the latest crime, a full-scale military invasion, and an all-out war, is the same, the subjugation of Ukrainians.

Ukrainians continued to fight against the Moscow invaders, even when the situation seemed hopeless. The arena of resistance became the USSR Consulate in Lviv on October 21, 1933, and the Lviv District Court, later Ukrainian forests and mountains, later – communal kitchens, and in some places – Siberian and Mordovian camps, and finally – the granite steps of the Maidan in Kyiv, which now bears the name Independence.

A new threat of genocide

Ukraine regained its Independence in 1991 so that no tyrant would kill millions of Ukrainians again. Unfortunately, in the 21st century, the Russian Empire, in its new incarnation under the name “Russian Federation,” once again launched a war against Ukraine and began the genocide of the Ukrainian people. 

Denial of genocide means a wish to commit it again – Snyder

Timothy Snyder, a professor at Yale University and a famous genocide researcher, provided in one of his lectures seven signs of a future genocide that he identified during his research on colonial history.

Snyder underlines the first of these signs: blaming a state for not being an established state; from the colonial power’s point of view, it means that the empire aims at capturing it again. This claim about Ukraine has been one of the most persistent narratives of Moscow propaganda for many years, which pretended that Ukraine was a fictional and failed state.

Russians destroyed the monument to the Holodomor victims in Mariupol

Russians, it seems, fear the truth about the genocide committed against Ukrainians. Russia knows what it is doing and that the Bolsheviks are continuing their cause. Proof of this was the monument’s destruction to the Holodomor victims in occupied Mariupol.

Snyder says that when an empire (Russians in our case) deny the previous genocide, it means they want to do it again. Here we come to another key topic of Russian propaganda: since 1991, Russia rejected the Holodomor as a genocide of Ukrainians.

On the contrary, history proved that there is no such thing as “not important” because it allows us to trace the connections between the past and the present. That’s right because the current ruler of Russia continues to improve the practices started by Lenin and Stalin.

Russia attempts to raze Ukrainian cities to ashes

Today, Russia is razing Ukrainian cities to ashes and killing civilians. The destruction of civilian buildings and infrastructure is part of the Russian military strategy and the basis of its success. This was the case during Stalin’s time, and it happened again under Putin in Chechnya, Syria, and Ukraine.

Mass deportations of the population are not Putin’s invention. These genocidal practices were practiced even in the USSR when entire nations became victims of the tyrant. Yes, we are talking about the infamous “Wisla” and “Zahid” operations, the deportations of the Crimean Tatar people, Chechens, and Ingush. In 2022, Russia deported more than a million Ukrainians and also put the abducting of Ukrainian children regularly, and what’s more, it doesn’t even hide it.

Russia plays the card of mass famine at a larger scale

Russia would not be itself if it did not play the card of mass famine in 2022. This time, the Russians decided to scale the Holodomor to the whole world and, for this purpose, blockaded Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea. If this cannibalistic strategy worked, the new artificial famine could spread not to tens of millions of people, as in 1932-1933, but to hundreds of millions.

Russia attempts to repeat the genocide of Ukrainians.

Fortunately, Russia received a humiliating slap in the face in the Black Sea, and its plan for a grain blockade failed. However, the Kremlin invented a new way of committing genocide – now the enemy is mercilessly destroying the civil infrastructure of Ukraine with missiles and trying to provoke a humanitarian catastrophe in Ukrainian cities and villages. Russia wants Ukrainians to spend the winter without light, heating, and water. That is, instead of starvation, cold death is imposed on Ukrainians.

Ukraine has international support

Fortunately, unlike the terrible events of the Holodomor, Ukraine is not alone today. Russia in the 21st century is committing genocide online, and now every person of goodwill can see the Russians’ crimes against humanity in Ukraine with their own eyes. 

Ninety years ago, with no Internet, European people didn’t know about millions of Ukrainians captured beyond the Soviet border and dying of hunger. Europeans didn’t even have any means to get this information, as there was no free media, only Soviet propaganda hiding the truth.

90th anniversary of a terrible genocide 

November 26 marks the anniversary of the terrible genocide, Holodomor, extermination by the hunger of 1932-1933, which the Stalin regime artificially caused. “Let us pray for the victims of this genocide and pray for all Ukrainians, children, women, and the elderly who are suffering today as martyrs from aggression,” – Pope Francis said on November 23, 2022.

Unlike the events of 1932-1933, the whole world united for the sake of Ukraine and is doing everything to prevent Russia from winning. Today, the international community understands that the war in Ukraine is a continuation of the national liberation struggle of the Ukrainian people, and the Holodomor was its tragic page. 

That is why, the day before the parliaments of Ireland, Moldova, and Romania recognized the Holodomor as an act of genocide of the Ukrainian people, the German Bundestag will do the same shortly.

Holodomor Memorial Day – commemorations around the world

In over 60 cities, on November 26, rallies will be held to commemorate the Holodomor victims, the primary purpose of which is to recognize the Holodomor of 1932-33 and the military attacks of the Russian Federation during the full-scale war as a genocide of Ukrainians. 

The goal of the global campaign is to honor the memory of the victims of the Holodomor, as well as the victims of modern genocide and aggression carried out by Russia against Ukraine. During the rallies, it is planned to make an official appeal to the civilized countries of the world to recognize the Holodomor of 1932-1933 and the current full-scale war of Russia against Ukraine as genocide of the Ukrainian people and the Russian Federation as a terrorist state.

Activists and representatives of Ukrainian diasporas and communities in various countries will participate in the rallies. The message calls on the participants of the action to prepare an appeal to the governments of the host countries with the following demands:

  • To recognize the Holodomor of 1932-1933 as genocide of the Ukrainian people (several countries have already done so – ed.)
  • Recognize Russia’s current full-scale war against Ukraine and its civilian population as genocide of the Ukrainian people
  • Recognize Russia as a terrorist state.

Days before the commemoration, the European Parliament recognized Russia as a sponsor of terrorism in a resolution. It followed the same decision by PACE and several EU member states.

This means that the civilized world has drawn conclusions and will not repeat the mistakes. And those that Ukrainian writer Oleksandr Oles mentioned with bitterness and sadness in his poem “Remembrance” (“Europe was silent“), and those that were committed in 2014 and on the eve of the invasion of 2022.

Victory over an eternal enemy will prevent future genocides

Ukraine also learned the lessons of the defeats and tragedies of the 20th century and made conclusions. Ukraine did not surrender to the Russian invaders, even when Western allies left Kyiv several weeks to resist, promised to shelter the president of Ukraine somewhere, and did not want to give heavy weapons not to anger the Kremlin’s tyrant. 

The Ukrainians had their own opinion on this – and the tyrant got hit in the teeth, and his invading army was destroyed near Kyiv and Kharkiv in the Donbas and Kherson. Russia has lost its reputation as a strong power, most of its army and economy. Its future is bleak; the next generations of Russians will live in poverty without prospects.

Russia is losing the war, and now its only hope is the genocide of the civilian population. But Ukrainians can no longer be intimidated or subjugated. Nowadays, Ukrainians understand that they must be strong and united. Only then is victory over the eternal enemy possible. And new genocides will become impossible.

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