Holodomor – Ukrainian Famine and Genocide
Posted on November 11th, 2016

Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge

The term Holodomor refers specifically to the brutal artificial famine imposed by Stalin’s regime on Soviet Ukraine and primarily ethnically Ukrainian areas in the Northern Caucasus in 1932-33. In the spring of 1933, the rural population of Ukraine was dying at a rate of 25,000 a day, half of them children. The land that was known worldwide as the breadbasket of Europe was being ravaged by a man-made famine of unprecedented scale. 1.5 million Ukrainians fall victim to Stalin’s “dekulakization” policies. Over the extended period of collectivization, armed dekulakization brigades forcibly confiscate land, livestock and other property and evict entire families. Close to half a million individuals in Ukraine are dragged from their homes, packed into freight trains and shipped to remote uninhabited areas such as Siberia where they are left, often without food or shelter. A great many, especially children, die in transit or soon thereafter. (Holodomor -1932-33)
 
The British novelist Arthur Kaestler visited the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv during the Famine. He revealed his horrendous experience in 1949 book The God That Failed. He wrote: “I saw the ravages of the famine of 1932-1933 in the Ukraine: hordes of families in rags begging at the railway stations, the women lifting up to the compartment window their starving brats, which, with drumstick limbs, big cadaverous heads and puffed bellies, looked like embryos out of alcohol bottles …”
 
Stark (2010) indicate that the Holodomor in Ukraine in 1932-33 is a sinister example of an artificial and undoubtedly intentional induction of famine through unfavorable government decisions. It illustrates that not only political economy and Stalinist government policy in the form of collectivization but indeed the intentional faminogenic behavior of Stalin and a small group of his government officials, caused devastating starvation and the deaths of millions of people. Conquest (1987) estimated 14.5 million–more than the total number of deaths for all countries in World War I died in the Ukrainian Holodomor.
 
Holodomor had gruesome impacts on the Soviet society. The serial murderer Andre Chikatilo (alias the Red Ripper / Citizen X) who killed 53 women and children over the period of 15 years later confessed to Dr. Alexander Bukhanovsky – Psychiatrist of the Rostov Medical University that he was a psychological victim of the Holodomor. According to the statement given by Andre Chikatilo during the famine the villagers had cannibalized his seven year old younger brother Stephan.

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