Staunton, Mar. 10 – Ukrainians and an increasing number of governments insist that the Holodomor was a Soviet genocide against Ukrainians as a nation; Russian officials and some Western analysts, in contrast continue to argue that more Ukrainians died during collectivization only because there were more Ukrainian peasants.
But new research by three economists, Andrey Markevich of the University of Helsinki, Natalya Naumenko of George Mason University, and Nancy Qian of Northwestern University, shows that the Ukrainians have by far the more compelling argument and that Moscow’s bias against Ukrainians explains the pattern.
In a new, the three show that heightened death rates in the USSR in 1932-33 followed ethnic lines rather than political ones and that where ethnic Ukrainians were more numerous, in Ukraine in the first instance but also in parts of Russia as well, death rates were higher too (istories.media/opinions/2023/03/10/golodomor-pravda-li-chto-ukraintsi-postradali-bolshe-drugikh/).
The three do not try to provide a conclusive explanation of why Moscow was especially hostile to Ukrainians as a nation but do note that both Stalin and his comrades believed that peasants would be the basis of any resistance to Soviet power and that their will had to be broken by means of the destruction of the peasantry as such.
Ukrainians had resisted more than most other nations the spread of Bolshevism during the civil war, and so it is not surprising although it is horrific and terrifying that Stalin decided to visit destruction on Ukrainians not just in Ukraine but in the various “wedges” as Ukrainian areas of settlement elsewhere were known.
(On these areas and their continuing echo in Russian and Ukrainian politics, see jamestown.org/program/kremlin-worried-about-ukrainian-wedges-inside-russia/, https://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2016/06/a-real-wedge-issue-ukrainian-regions-in.html and https://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/08/kyiv-takes-up-cause-of-ukrainian-far.html.)