Current Crisis in Ukraine has Its Roots in Stalin’s Terror Famine and Ethnic Engineering
August 15—The current crisis in Ukraine has its roots in Stalin’s terror famine
in the 1930s because the Soviet government in an act of genocide exploited its
destruction of the peasantry of eastern Ukraine to change the ethnic mix of the
region by sending in Russians and Belarusians to what had been Ukrainian areas.
surprisingly, most attention has been directed at the murderous effects of Stalin’s
war against the peasantry generally and in Ukraine in particular, as in the
late Robert Conquest’s now classic study, Harvest
of Sorrow. That was one aspect of the genocide the Soviet conducted, but
the other aspect, exploiting these deaths to change the ethnic mix, has
received less attention.
documents, according to Radio Liberty, had long been classified to hide what
the Soviet state did. Museum officials are convinced that this Soviet policy of
forcible assimilation “can partially explain separatism in the east of
contemporary Ukraine,” which would have been far more Ukrainian had there been
no famine or forcible transfer of people.
to the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, approximately 4.5 million people died in
Ukraine in the Golodomor of 1932-33. The number of Belarusians and Russians moved
in was less, but as a result of Stalin’s actions, the share of those two Slavic
groups in the Ukrainian population increased from 9.5 percent in 1926 to 14
percent in 1939.