The Holodomor: An Unspoken Crime

The things a leader can do to a population to support their political agenda can be gruesome and ugly. Throughout our history, military leaders have employed quite a few questionable strategies and as technology developed, so did the level of human destruction and suffering. This particular incident occurred in Ukraine, during the years 1932-33 and is estimated to have killed between 2.5 and 12 million Ukrainian citizens, as a result of a man made famine, that many speculate was created by the then soviet leader, Stalin.

Soviet influence on Ukraine

During the 1930’s, Stalin was known to have changed many policies governing the farm lands of Ukraine. He introduced collectivization, which involved the bundling together of all smaller peasant farms into one large farm, a move he thought would improve efficiency and provide access to more resources. He also changed the crop from the regular grain to sugar beat and cotton, mixed in with poor management, the problem only grew larger. He was also involved in an ambitious industrialization plan for the state, which left many fields unharvested and even the ones that were, much of the grain was lost during transport, processing and storage.

Mass Genocide

All of the factors listed above can be written off as poor management but many also speculate that the Ukrainian population was targeted because of Independence motions taking place in the country at the time. Because of the decrease in production, food rations were significantly cut and continued to be cut as time went by. Eventually, there was mass starvation happening in more and more districts each month, eventually leading to the death of millions. Scholars argue that all of these acts were used to create a man made famine to attack Ukrainian Nationalism and therefore falls into the legal definition of a Genocide.

While the number of deaths that actually occurred during the so called Holodomor is uncertain, what is sure is that during this time, either because of neglect or purposeful planning, millions of lives were lost. We often consider our selves to be an advanced species yet the fact that we are capable of allowing these tragedies to occur on our watch seems to be a bit of a contradiction. There are better ways to resolves issues other than death and suffering. Only when we can all respect and value the life of each other can we truly consider ourselves an advanced society.