The collectivist horrors against Ukraine are unprecedented in its history
Over Ukraine’s long history, there have been shortages of geopolitical manipulation against the Ukrainian people. Long before the current conflict, we see them in the Russo-Turkish wars and Catherine the Great regulation German settlers among the Ukrainian communities in order to displace the local Turkish populations. Yet nothing compares to early Soviet strategies that systematically and completely changed the landscape of Ukrainian society and history.
It all started with the same justification given today: the unity of the state. Lenin, Stalin and others wanted full military and economic control over surrounding Slavic areas, to minimize the risk of rebellion by royalist sympathizers, pro-Western groups or ethnic minorities who did not wish to be under Soviet rule. . The first Soviet state adopted policies that pitted these groups against themselves and made the Bolsheviks appear to be the heroes; Lenin is the one who brought prosperity and security to the regions that suffered under the totalitarian regimes of the Russian tsars for centuries. One such policy was dekulakization: wealthy free peasants – or “kulaks” – were rounded up, expropriated, and deported to labor camps and Siberian gulags. After the ousting of Tsar Nicholas II, Lenin branded these independent farmers and landowners enemies of the state – an entire class opposed to the will of the USSR and supporters of Bolshevism. The Communists could not have an independent and prosperous working class in one of the most fertile and prosperous regions of the Union; control was needed. By promoting dekulakization, Stalin declared:
“In order to eliminate the kulaks as a class, it is necessary to openly break their spirit and resistance, and deprive them of the sources of further existence and development. The current party policy in towns and villages marks a new procedure of eliminating kulaks as a class.
State-directed propaganda was easily disseminated across Ukraine; the propaganda of “greedy capitalist” kulaks refusing to support their local communities and hoarding foodstuffs and winter rations spread like wildfire. Pogroms broke out and drove the free peasant class out of the cities. In order to maximize the effects, the Soviets threw the term kulak around generously, where a farmer with only a few cows could be put in the same “kulak boat” as a landowner with 5–6 acres more than his neighbors. State-regulated fast-and-loose definitions had countless individuals, regardless of their economic impact or personal successes, silenced and disenfranchised simply because Lenin so decided. Lenin signed the hanging order in 1918 – an order to round up, dox and kill people labeled as kulaks, in writing:
Comrades! The uprising of the five kulak volosts must be ruthlessly suppressed. The interest of the whole revolution demands it, because we are now faced everywhere with the “final decisive battle” with the kulaks. We must lead by example.
1. You need to hang (hang without fail, so people can see) no less than 100 of the
the notorious kulaks, the rich and the bloodsuckers.
2. Publish their names.
3. Take all their grain from them.
4. Name the hostages — as per yesterday’s telegram.
It must be done in such a way that people for hundreds of versts around see, tremble, know and shout: they are strangling and will strangle the blood-sucking kulaks.
Wire us regarding receipt and implementation.
PS. Find tougher people.
Silence all dissenters
Self-defense groups like the Soviet battalions rounded up and expelled any Ukrainian even suspected of acting against the state. Ethnic and religious minorities, and those who wished to preserve their Ukrainian heritage, rather than submit to Soviet culture and doctrine, were also hunted down.
Since the Soviet Union worked hard to destroy evidence that pointed to deportation efforts, it is difficult to know exactly how many people suffered from this policy. He is valued that an estimated 390,000 to 600,000 people died of starvation, disease, and execution during the dekulakization of 1929-1933.
With the eradication of an entire economic class in Ukrainian society, the Soviets were free to take control of all agricultural and industrial processes in the region. Wide-ranging dictates advocating collectivization and loyalty to the state resulted in Soviet-ruled farming communities called “kolkhozes”. In accordance with Bolshevism, the means of production were to benefit the state and not the individual. State farms liquidated all assets, controlled the grain supply and paid their farmers only in grain rations, not in hard currency. Landowners and farmers were forced to give their crops to regional authorities, where they were then redistributed to the population. The Ukrainian people, consisting mainly of farmers at the time, were entirely dependent on the Soviet state for their livelihood and security.
Collectivization in practice
The summary disappearance of a massive segment of Ukrainian agricultural society quickly led to a man-made famine that affected the vast majority of the Soviet Union. State control over grain supply has resulted in inadequate distribution of food in Ukraine and Caucus regions; most of the collectivized food went to feed the metropolises of Moscow and St. Petersburg.
What happened next has been called one of the worst atrocities in modern history: the Holodomor. In a single year (1932-1933) a great famine occurred in Ukraine which has stolen 3.3 to 5 million lives. the Kyiv Court of Appeal recently found that the lives lost during the Holodomor may have been closer to 10 million.
The main sources of the Holodomor explain the daily struggle and the untold horrors experienced by Ukrainians. Fedir Burtianski, a laborer looking for work in the Donbass mines, recounted the time he witnessed the trial of two brothers and their father accused of cannibalism. He recount one of the defendants stating:
“He said, ‘Thank you to Father Stalin for depriving us of food. Our mother starved to death and we ate her, our own dead mother. And after our mother, we had no mercy on anyone. We would not have spared Stalin himself. .'”
For Stalin, the dead were just a statistic. His regime quickly replaced the depopulated region with Russian workers. The industrial growth areas of Donetsk and Luhansk saw an influx of Russian settlers, as did the Crimean Peninsula, which acted as one of the USSR’s hot water ports – a military and commercial component crucial. The cruel and impersonal relationship between occupying Soviets and ethnic Ukrainians is evident throughout the USSR’s existence: from Lenin’s collectivization to Chernobyl, where Soviet officials were more concerned with containing the explosion and protect Moscow than to take preventive measures that would have prevented the accident from happening in the first place.
For the USSR, its people – whether in the metropolis of Moscow or the plains of Ukraine – were seen as a means to an end; they were many cogs in the machine of the regime, rather than individuals with civil and political rights. The Ukrainian people were held at the mercy of Lenin, Stalin and others; they were helpless in every sense of the word. Without recourse to preserve their way of life and their means of production, they were subject to an entity that controlled everything; one who not only decided the fate of millions of Ukrainians but also simply blinked at the famines they created and brushed them aside declaring that it was all for the security and proliferation of the greater Soviet Union .