This issue, which was, it seems, on everyone’s lips just recently, is all but forgotten. The propaganda machine in the West and Ukraine worked overtime to beat it into everyone’s head: Russians have created golodomor – sometimes translated incorrectly as “holodomor,” to kill the poor Ukrainians. The issue has died down because Russians finally started responding with real facts of what had actually happened. This enduring part lie and part twisted truth was created as anti-Russian propaganda mega-tool well before the 2004 #Yushchenko/ #Tymoshenko/ #Poroshenko Orange Revolution in order to drive a wedge between Russia and Ukraine and convince Ukrainians that Russia was the arch-enemy. How could it not, if they killed – what number did they conjure out of thin air? – 20 million of Ukrainians! I have news for you, if the evil Stalin killed 20 million Ukrainians, the country called Ukraine would have long been a desert.
The golodomor story was generated the same way as the now infamous meme “I am a Ukrainian” depicting a pretty, smiling girl with flowers on Kiev maidan (no nazi thugs and Molotov cocktails in sight). It was born in a Virginia, USA propaganda lab.
But while the actual lie can’t be published in the MSM any more as the truth is already out, the #Soros-financed distorted history books, and Western/ Ukrainian media won’t retract it, so it gets spread and repeated over and over again. Unfortunately, Russia was always far behind the US and UK on the propaganda front – and presently we are observing the results of the Russians not paying enough attention to the important infowar issue.
Yesterday, one of my readers mentioned the golodomor issue in a comment, adding that Russians did that to Ukrainians causing millions of them to die of starvation. I’ve heard this before and it had been on my mind for years. I understand how people would come to believe this lie, considering the absolute info vacuum. I’ve decided this was as good a time as any to clarify this issue once and for all.
Background: as you can see from my bio, my mother was Ukrainian, from a farming family. I had a couple of aunts in Ukrainian villages, and an uncle and aunt who lived in a city, but came from the farming stock. My whole family was into story-telling and since I was a child, I heard many stories about family history and various events they had experienced. Avid listener, unlike many of my contemporaries, I was always a history buff, even as a 5-year old.
So, let’s look at the facts, and for dessert, at my own family/friends experiences. After my story, everything will become “crystal-clear,” as they say in Russia… and Ukraine.
Collectivization and golodomor did take place. There were problems, but hardly in the magnitude quoted. The meaning and logic behind these events is also being grossly distorted. Lenin was long dead by the way – collectivization took place in the end of 1920s – 1930s under Stalin.
Collectivization meant that peasants/farmers had to unite into farms, mostly voluntarily, but sometimes not. Collectivization is interpreted usually that Stalin (who was not Russian, but Georgian by the way, and who is still considered a national hero in Georgia) wanted to eliminate private property as soon as possible, including individual farms. There was an element of that, but the real reason was economical. USSR was in a desperate situation when the West tried to strangle it economically. Remember that just mere 6 years prior the country was in total ruins after the brutal Civil War. In addition, there were several bad years with poor harvest. This was a fight for survival – a life and death situation. To prevent hunger, the USSR leaders decided to expedite a conversion of the agriculture to socialism. Notice, most farmers were not touched until early 1930s, except in those cases where locals formed collective farms – kolkhozs – of their own initiative. USSR partially produced and partially purchased tractors from Ford. The goal of the Soviet industrialization and the usage of a tractor was to achieve the increased output compared to a horse and plow. However, individual small farmers couldn’t afford a tractor. To get a tractor – given for free by the state – you had to unite in a collective farm.
Poster about collectivization reads: “Comrade, join us at the kolkhoz.”
So, collectivization started, encouraged by the state and led by the overly zealous locals. In many, if not most situations, the process was peaceful and amicable. People were explained the advantages of joining, they argued, talked, voted, decided, signed and the next day, woke up as a kolkhoz. However, clearly there were excesses as well, depending who was the ring leader locally. Sometimes, those who resisted were “relieved” of their cattle and land, which was collectivized. Of course, it has to be understood that their property was still theirs, but now they owned a share of all combined property of the kolkhoz, as in a coop. The issue was that those who owned more, didn’t want to share. Sometimes these people took up the arms.
It has to be underscored that just like today, the West recruited those who were angered by collectivization to commit the acts of sabotage. Many well-documented cases are known of someone burning stables with cattle in them, damaging wheat fields and killing kolkhoz leaders.
Perhaps the collectivization was not well-managed; perhaps it was a hastily prepared event. The unbending positions of local activists are possibly also to blame. But could they have acted any different being shot at? There was an issue of adequate instructions from the top – no instructions were sometimes possible because this grand social experiment was never before attempted in history, and also because it was perhaps underestimated by the communists how much some of the peasants didn’t want to part with their property.
This miscalculation is easy to understand: the people who masterminded USSR already lived in their minds in communism, when all property would be shared. To them – why hang on to your meager private property if in about ten-fifteeen years the whole country would live in a fairy tale abundance of communism, sharing everything? They simply couldn’t understand why farmers didn’t want to part with their stuff, happily signing up for kolkhozes in droves. And yes, they did think that communism would be built in the USSR by around 1943-45.
From this perspective, it is very easy to understand why the West, primarily UK and US, but let’s not forget France and Germany, HAD to sabotage USSR at all cost. Remember, we are dealing with the first ever social mega-experiment to convert the entire society into something very different in a planned manner, and in a very short time span. This was a serious attack against capitalism, as far as the West was concerned. Of course, USSR didn’t attack anyone – it just wanted to build a better life for its citizens. The fact that some people were unprepared for this grand experiment is a different story. However, it was supposed to be a peaceful experiment within USSR/Russia’s own borders.
But as we see from everything that is going on even today, the West never let Russia develop peacefully. UK (GB) was gradually losing its influence and empire; USA was in the middle of the 1929 Crash and Great Depression; Germany had a lot of trouble recovering after WWI. Simple people everywhere started looking at the USSR as the only beacon of hope.
Fast forward to today. Does that by any chance sound familiar?
Meanwhile, the capitalist system was suffering blow after blow. The thought that went through the minds of power/economic elites was: what if the Russians are indeed able to build communism in ten-fifteeen years? What if they do achieve a fairy-tale prosperity as a result? People in the West will want the same. Russian example could create anti-capitalist revolutions all over the world. Everyone from Ford to JP Morgan, Kennedy to Rothschild, was afraid to lose their wealth and property. They financed the sabotage of the collectivization, and watched with glee as USSR struggled. But the USSR recovered way too quickly, despite all odds. Collectivization was more of a success than they expected. By 1939, USSR started living quite prosperously. That’s why it was necessary to simultaneously help Hitler rise to power, with the idea that he would attack USSR and destroy it.
I am not defending collectivization. It was premature to do so at that time. True communist society is only possible when people’s consciousness is on a very high level. This is the Star Trek society and we are very far from it. In today’s world, some would thrive in the coop environment. We see this in examples of progressive eco-villages and spiritual communities all over the globe. Others prefer private property and there is nothing wrong with that either. People should have free choice to do what’s best for them, until their consciousness rises to the level when this is the only, and best, way for them to live.
It’s like slavery. The consciousness of humans had to rise enough for everyone to understand that slavery was wrong. Let’s recall that in the 19th century USA slavery was a norm; that Great Britain thrived on the international slave trade; that as recently as 1960s, there was still widespread racial segregation is the USA.
Choices are great and necessary; however, at the time when the West was doing everything to strangle the young Soviet State, and by extension, destroy Russia, USSR had very little choice.
Now it becomes clear why Ford, Kennedy, Bush, IBM and many others financed Hitler. Hitler would have never been able to build and arm his multi-million army within several short years without credits and massive technological infusion from the US and UK. The idea was to sick him on the USSR, so to prevent USSR from becoming prosperous and making the West look bad. Destroying USSR/Russia was plan A. If that could not be achieved, then at least USSR had to be slowed down. And along the way, discrediting everything Soviet and Russian was an icing on the cake. They achieved plan B quite well.
However, as we well know, the Hitler plan got a tiny bit out of control. I don’t think it really worried those who masterminded it though. What is 100 million dead, if the wealth of Rothschilds, Rockefellers, Fords, Morgans, was now safe and multiplied.
And USSR was tied up for years, first busy fighting the nazi invasion; later, mourning the 27 million dead and rebuilding the country from ruins.
Capitalism was safe.
However, just imagine how different the 20th century could have looked if there was no WWII and USSR was able to build its bright future unencumbered. Would it have built the epically abundant communism by 1945? I don’t know, perhaps not. But the map of the world would have looked very differently for sure. USSR would have done much better, and the West – much worse.
Back to collectivization and golodomor (= death from starvation): it took place in the early 1930s. It happened for several reasons: 1. Peasants sometimes didn’t care for fields and cattle that they felt wasn’t theirs after it was taken into kolkhozes. 2. Sabotage, burning and poisoning of cattle and fields by foreign agents. 3. Mistakes of authorities, both central and local. 4. Several bad years of drought and poor harvest in parts of Russia and Ukraine.
This is very important! Collectivization and golodomor were NOT Ukraine-specific phenomenons. Same exact results from collectivization happened in rich agricultural areas of Russia, such as Povolzhie and Kuban. In fact, the real hunger was in Povolzhie (the Volga region). Golodomor is a Russian word, not Ukrainian. Everyone suffered. So, making this into a Ukraine-specific issue is clearly a disgusting propaganda ploy.
There was never a secret made of golodomor in Russia – as a child I studied it in my Soviet history books. Perhaps, Russians were a little too self-punishing about it. The overall cost of golodomor was probably two hundred thousand lives, and it was a huge tragedy. I doubt more than 20,000 died in Ukraine. Much, much more died in Russia. Soviet government purchased grains from Iran to feed the hungry, but it was a little late by the time the grain arrived. I am sure golodomor was the consequence of several tragic coincidences. Mishandled collectivization was multiplied by the sabotage and burning of crops, poisoning of water, blowing up kolkhoz property, and killing of the live stock by the foreign agents. However, the worst problems were drought and poor crops in the same period. Without that, the golodomor would probably never happen.
Incidentally, Stalin’s repressions intensified mainly during and after golodomor, and they were a direct response to the malicious sabotage of the country’s agriculture.
My personal experience:
Personal experiences can help us put the two and two together, or they can obscure the facts – it all depends on one’s attitude. I once received an angry comment from someone who never got over his Ukrainian great-grandpa (this one really knows how to hold a grudge!) having lost a horse and cows in the 1930s, when “bad Russians came to take them away into a kolkhoz.” Of course, as I said, this in reality meant that everyone now owned a share of everyone’s horses, cows and fields. Kolkhoz means collective property, in other words, a coop.
The conclusion made by that commenter from his great-grandpa personal experience: millions died, and I was bad and dishonest that I spoke positively of Russia. Just imagine the logic! I would like to know for one how could millions die, including this person’s ancestor; who then told him all these horror stories in such detail?
And here is the real story: My mother was from a village in eastern Ukraine. One of her ancestors was a Tsar’s army officer, who fought against the Bolsheviks (Reds) in the Civil War, and when the Whites lost the Civil War, he emigrated to the West.
My father’s family came from the central Russian Voronezh region and Moscow. The family name was one of the most well-known in Russia and the family was very rich. My father’s grandfather, an idealist, sided with the Bolsheviks and when revolution came, he gave up his mansion and properties for the benefit of the people. He worked as chief engineer at the plant he formerly owned.
In my thriller, GOLD TRAIN (Accidental Spy Russia Adventure), I describe the story of the FSB operative Alexei and New York journalist Jade Snow. They both have Russian roots with aristocratic ancestry. Their story is in part my real family story.
My mother told me that her family had to give up their couple of cows and a horse during collectivization, too. No one died from hunger as the local kolkhoz provided enough. There was no one she knew of in the eastern Ukraine region of Dnepropetrovsk and Zaporozhie, where my mother’s family was from, who died of golodomor. Think about it! I will repeat so it sinks in! Millions supposedly died, yet my mother never told me of a single person she knew, or her family knew, who died of starvation! If there was such a story to tell, believe me, I would have heard it!
It has to be remembered that collectivization or not, people kept their private gardens, chickens, ducks and geese. These were not collectivized. PUFF! Go the fictional millions of dead.
Now, to put in perspective the story of the millions of dead from golodomor, here is another story. I grew up in Odessa, where a large percentage of the population is Jewish. This is the story I heard more than once. My close friend Yury, who was Jewish, told this story, as did several other people. When German and Romanian troops were approaching Odessa during WWII, Russians knew what they did to Jews in occupied areas. The USSR leadership decided to evacuate the Jews to save them from concentration camps. Many, many trains were sent to Odessa. It was announced in the city that everyone who wanted to evacuate must get to the trains no later than at a certain hour. Most Jewish civilians (200,000 or more) were evacuated from the city on very short notice and taken to Uzbekistan. My friend’s father grew up during the war speaking Uzbek. Once, we were watching a documentary about this evacuation, and my friend recognized his family walking in the dusty stepps towards the train parked well out of town (with so many trains to accommodate everyone, some had to be parked very far): a woman carrying a baby – his grandma with little aunt, a little boy – his father, and a man with a violin – his grandfather, who was the first violin of the Odessa Opera.
I heard similar stories from several other people. As a result of this mega-evacuation by the bad Russians, evil Stalin and horrible USSR, the lives of most Odessa Jews were saved. Compare that to what happened to the Jews all over the “kind” Europe.
Now, let’s put this in perspective. 200,000 Jews get evacuated and I hear several different stories about that! 20,000,000 get killed during golodomor – and not a single story! I knew thousands of people in Ukraine, I had relatives and friends in villages – not a single story! I heard about collectivization and my mother’s family’s horses and cows, I heard about my father’s family giving up their property, about the White Russian officer and his emigration, about how my mother’s family survived under Hitler’s occupation, about my father’s family 18th-19th century history, about my father at Stalingrad, about a friend of the family who suffered from Stalin’s repressions, about my mother’s work on exotic Sakhalin, and much more… But NONE, Zero, zilch about anyone dying during golodomor!
The real story of how Ukrainians were, and are, treated in Russia: Ukrainians oftentimes were given a preference over Russians, as were representatives of other ethnicities. Westerners will recognize this as today’s “political correctness.” Being half-Russian and half-Ukrainian, when I turned 15, I could choose which nationality I wanted to put in my passport. I decided to put down Ukrainian, not Russian. Why would anyone do that if it wasn’t beneficial?
If I had to choose again – guess what I would put down today?
These heads of the USSR were Ukrainian: Gorbachev, Khrushchev, Brezhnev. Stalin was Georgian. In other words, those who ruled the country for most of the 20th century, were non-Russian. Today, Russians treat Ukrainians as brothers, basically forgiving them everything, while Ukrainians yell everywhere that Russians are aggressors and enemy #1.
Who do you think benefits from all this?
Conclusion: the Ukrainian golodomor hoax is a typical propaganda ploy, created to make Russia look bad – what else is new? A monstrous LIE, as usual. Golodomor did happen and tens of thousands died. It was a tragedy for the entire Soviet people. Using such tragedy for the shameful purpose of driving a wedge between parts of the same people – Russians and Ukrainians – is beyond criminal.
Note: I am referring to “communism” here not as political ideology, but as advanced spiritual consciousness construct of the universal brotherhood of man. What I mean can be understood better by reading/listening to Osho, who referred to communism as a manifestation of Zen.
Dear readers! Make sure you read a very telling testimonial in the comment section about #golodomor in the Russian Povolzhie by Viktoriya Merkl!