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Boston, US
Posts: 288

There is a museum in central Kyiv called the Holodomor Museum. As I’m writing this, I hope it’s still there.

It documents one of the most horrific events in history: the deliberate starvation—via famine--of the people of Ukraine. Who were the perpetrators? The Stalinist regime that controlled the then Soviet Union.

What I’d like you to do is to take a look at as many of these sources as you are able on the Holodomor:

And then, using the readings and what you know, let’s post on this:

  • What does the Holdomor show us about the relationship between Russia (the former Soviet Union) and Ukraine?
  • What do these events reveal about using food and deprivation as weapons to destroy a population?
  • How do you think these events factor into the legacy of the Russian role in Ukraine today, 90 years after the fact?
  • And what are you left wondering about with respect to Russia and Ukraine in 2022 and beyond?
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 25

What was the Holodomor and what does it have to do with Ukraine in 2022?

The Holodomor further shows us that Russia/Soviet Union has essentially never taken Ukraine’s independence and its people seriously. When Ukraine refused to follow the USSR’s communist ideologies, they were seen as a threat and in order for the USSR to get rid of the threat they had to do anything that would make them weaker. It’s kind of odd in my opinion because the Soviet Union had treated Ukraine like a small and weak country that wouldn't fight back, but yet they wanted to take away the power they could potentially have if they didn't become one of the USSR’s puppets. Ukraine has always stood by their independence and has been driven by their people’s individualism and refusal to conform to the USSR’s ideologies despite the threats and actions taken by the USSR. So, I think it’s safe to assume that Ukraine and Russia's relationship has been an extremely toxic one and still continues to be one because Russia refuses to acknowledge that Ukraine can be and is an independent country.

These events reveal that using food deprivation as weapons can be used when a larger and stronger country feels threatened by a smaller couuntry’s refusal to conform and wants to scare them into doing so. After farmers in Ukraine refused to give their land to the government, they were executed in order to instill fear into other farmers. But they still refused to surrender their land because to them, that meant surrendering their confidence in their country. So this of course angered the USSR and they had to do something bigger. So they began their plan to destroy the Ukrainian population because they feared what they could do. If they could give up their land in risk of being killed, they were capable of doing more. The USSR was afraid and the only logical plan for them was to also make Ukranians scared enough to surrender to their regime.

I believe that these events further solidify the legacy of Russia in Ukraine. I would assume that Ukraine has seen Russia/the Soviet Union as a bully country who will get whatever it wants by any means necessary, although it may not always be clear exactly what they want. In the case of Holdodomor, it was clear what they wanted, but with Putin today, it’s not always clear what he wants.

That leads to my biggest question, what does Putin even want and why does he think starting an unprovoked war is going to get him what he wants? I find it hard to believe that he just doesn't want Ukraine to join NATO, and that’s why he is doing all this. Especially since he has made it clear that President Zelensky is his greatest target. I just really want to understand why he’s doing it and what he thinks he’s going to get out of killing so many innocent people on both ‘sides”.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 28

Given all of the events taking place regarding Ukraine and Russia conflict, it makes sense that the two countries have a history together. The Holodomor, which was the Ukrainian genocide that took place from 1932 to1933, tells us a lot about the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. During the Holodomor, more than 10 million Ukrainians died, mostly of starvation. Although disputed amongst many, this starvation was purposeful and deliberate on the part of the Soviet regime which controlled Ukraine throughout a lot of the country’s history. The Soviet Union, which largely comprised of Russia, was responsible for the deaths during the Holodomor. Therefore, Russia and Ukraine have a history of conflict in which Russia oppresses and destroys the population of Ukraine, similar to what is taking place today.

This conflict between Russia and Ukraine, however, didn’t simply emerge because of this singular genocide. Russia has a long history of colonization and control over Ukraine. Throughout a large part of Ukrainian history, Ukraine has been under Russian control and seen as a part of Russia. This Russification of Ukraine that took place is important in understanding their relationship. Ukrainians recognize their differences from Russians, so they often resisted, struggling for liberation and independence. This struggle for power and identity continues today, a central aspect of the Russian attacks on Ukraine. That is why it is so important to understand the relationship between two countries throughout history because it can tell us a lot about what is currently happening. Both currently and in the 1900s, the Soviet Union, particularly Russia, wants complete control of Ukraine. They have and continue to try to achieve this through extermination, regulations, targeting certain groups such as the Ukrainian peasantry, stripping Ukrainians of their freedoms, and more. These are all strategies that they’ve done in the past, and we can learn from them to avoid repeating these repressive actions.

One of the most used strategies, however, was the use of food and deprivation as weapons. It is also important to understand this strategy during the Holodomor to see how to avoid similar consequences today. Ukraine was known as the “breadbasket” because they were a source of food and goods to many other countries such as Russia. When the Soviet regime and Russia had control over Ukraine, they exploited the country, using their power to get all the food they possibly could from the country with little thought about the Ukrainians. They required farmers to meet impossible target exports and confiscated all the produced grain, leaving the Ukrainian farmers and citizens with nothing for themselves. This regime of starvation, known as “blackboards” acted in 180 districts, which was 25% of the Ukrainian area. By removing any food and banning the trade or transportation of goods, the Soviet government killed millions of Ukrainians. These events show us the terrible consequences of using food and deprivation as weapons to destroy a population. Although any means of destroying populations are terrible, using food and deprivation is particularly bad because of its long and often torturous effects. Families would slowly starve and make sacrifices for one another. Nina Karpenko, a survivor of the Holodomor, remembers hearing her mom tell her son, “I think we’re going to die now.” No mother should ever have to say this to her son. Using food and deprivation as weapons results in not only death, but leaves scars on emotions, relationships, and futures.

Despite the millions dying of starvation because of the Soviet Union’s actions, there has been a huge effort to deny the intent behind the deaths. There was a ban to record the death as “hunger,” and instead recognize it as “typhoid,” “exhaustion,” or “old age.” These, however, were just euphemisms trying to cover up the Soviet Union’s terrible actions. The 10 million victims of the Ukrainian genocide did not die, they were killed. Oleksandra Monetova, from Kyiv's Holodomor Memorial Museum, explains that "The government did everything it could to prevent peasants from entering other regions and looking for bread.” Their actions were deliberate and they knew exactly what they were doing and causing. This genocide wasn’t recognized until 2006, which is unacceptable. These events also show us that using food as a weapon allows you to paint a narrative in which death or results are unintentional. The weapon of food is less obvious, which is why the Soviet Union and Russia have been able to deny the fact that their actions were man-made and deliberate.

The fact that there is all this denial of the genocide shows that little was resolved between Ukraine and Russia. The denial of these events therefore explain the continued conflict between the two countries. And therefore the tensions between them in the past continue to be problems today. The Russian desire for power and dislike for Ukraine is the main reason for the Holodomor, and it is also the reason for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. All of the different events throughout history are connected to one another. So although these events took place 90 years ago, their repercussions will continue today and for years to come.

Although we can learn from the similar events in history, there is still a lot that is unknown, ominous, and intimidating about the Russia and Ukraine conflict. Russia has an obvious history of wanting power over Ukraine. Even in 2014, Russia annexed Crimea, which was originally a part of Ukraine. Because of this long and complicated relationship between the two, what will it really take to stop Russia and its invasions of Ukraine? In every political conflict, race plays a factor. I learned in class today that it is harder for refugees of color to cross from Ukraine into Poland than refugees who are white. So even amidst global conflicts such as these, race is putting people of color at a disadvantage. What are the other ways that race is playing a role in this conflict? And finally, given all the events taking place, how will the rest of the world be impacted in both the near and far future? We’ve seen throughout history the huge impacts of war on the world, so we can only hope that the consequences of this war aren’t as catastrophic.

Chestnut Hill, MA, US
Posts: 28

What was the Holodomor and what does it have to do with the Ukraine in 2022?

  1. The Holodomor further establishes Russia's ridicule and decisiveness to not distinguish Ukraine as a separate Eastern European country. As the largest country on the continent, shockingly, Ukraine is neither a part of the EU nor NATO leaving it to fall into Russia's power-hungry ruling. The Holodomor was a genocide that took advantage of Ukrainians' vulnerability by giving up their rich farming resources, leaving millions to die in a famine. This event exemplifies the toxic relationship and frankly dictatorship on Russia's end which only happened with the beneficiary intentions of leaving Ukraine weak and dependent.
  2. These events reveal an alternate way in which a country can be weakened as in today's standards, Russia is purely using military violence -- bombings and invasions. In the events described, however, food and deprivation as weapons to destroy a population leaves a country in genuine ruins for decades on end, leaving no room for honest recovery as a nation. With restrictions comes feelings of inferiority and slow death. It causes global panic as nations witness a country deteriorating. Additionally, hatred for the country that allowed and actually caused the genocide to happen is expected which causes more complex conflicts to occur later. In the BBC article, an 87-year-old Ukranian-Stalin-famine survivor entails the Holodomor to be "death by hunger" as one of his memories.
  3. The events factor into the legacy of the Russian role in Ukraine today, 90 years after the fact, as it is a buildup of hatred on the people of Ukraine's end and a growth of needing to uphold superiority by the Russian government. It asserts Russia's continuation of abusing power and disregarding millions of people's lives. The Holodomor is recognized as genocide since 2006 by Ukraine-- 16 years of comprehending Stalin's excessive power-hungry drive -- yet Russia still does not take accountability for it, clearly attributing to today's standards of Ukraine being "The Ukraine"; simply another part of Russia.
  4. I am left wondering, with respect to Russia and Ukraine in 2022 and beyond, what truly is the "end goal" in terms of Russia's plan. It seems as though even if Ukraine agrees to not join NATO, Russia may still want to take over territories and claim Ukraine as its own nevertheless.
West Roxbury, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 25

What was the Holodomor and what does it have to do with the Ukraine in 2022?

  1. The Holodomor was a genocide that destroyed Ukrainian lives through famine. This act shows us that Russia did not acknowledge Ukraine's independence and did not respect them. Russia wanted to maintain control of Ukraine and simply overpowered them, starting a mass genocide. Ukraine was not as strong as Russia at the time and could not defend themselves, similar to today's conflict.
  2. Today, the most common way to destroy a population is through war and through the use of nuclear weapons. The Holodomor showed us that deprivation is another very successful method of destroying a population. This method destroys the moral of the Ukrainian people and increases the probability that Russia will be able to maintain control over them after they recover.
  3. The events today are similar to the events of the Holodomor. Russia wants to maintain control over Ukraine and Ukraine wants peace. Ukraine is fighting for its survival and is in great danger. Russia clearly has not learned from the Holodomor and is continuing to destroy Ukrainian lives over land.
  4. I am left wondering with what will happen next. Is Russia is going to stop after Ukraine or are they going to attack other countries too? Will Russia ever learn from its mistakes and try to create peace? Will Russia ever attack the United States? I think all of these are very scary, realistic possibilities that could happen in the future.
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 27

What was the Holodomor and what does it have to do with Ukraine in 2022?

The Holdomor shows us a lot about the relationship between Russia and Ukraine. It tells us that the countries definitely do have a very long and interconnected history, and especially that Russia has long felt some ownership over the neighboring nation. On the other hand, the Ukrainians retaliation against Russian/USSR control back then also shows how Ukraine has long valued being an independent nation, free from Russian control. Primarily, however, Russia’s acts in the Holodomor show a deep hatred towards Ukrainian people. Despite this hatred, Russia was still very quick to exploit Ukraine for its prosperous farmlands, showing a sheer lack of respect for the country and its people.

The events of the Holodomor really emphasize the absolutely cruel and inhumane effects and practices of withholding food and other necessary resources as a way to destroy a population. Ukraine, before becoming part of the USSR, was a very prosperous farming country where farmers could make a living while also providing food for their own families. Though, when the USSR started confiscating people’s grain for collectivization and even killing those who refused to under the Five Ears of Grain law, that completely changed and caused absolutely devastating results. The millions of Ukrainian lives lost and the millions more that were deeply harmed by the Holodomor really demonstrate how horrific of a practice inflicting starvation is.

I can’t imagine that Ukraine and Russian relations could possibly be left unaffected by an event like the Holodomor. Although the fact that Ukrainians clearly didn’t want to be under Russian rule was already very clear before the Holodomor, I think afterwards there must be even more urgency to that rejection of Russian control. This of course ties into the modern day where Ukraine is very fiercely fighting against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Maybe the devastation that was caused by the previous Russian control of Ukraine is one of the main motivators for Ukraine to try and seek protection through potentially joining NATO.

I am left with countless questions about what is to come for Russia and Ukraine. Will Ukraine successfully ward off the Russian invasion? If so, what will the Russian response to this be? If not, what would a Ukraine under Russia look like? How would that change international affairs over in Europe and the world at large? After such a big military effort can we really go back to the way things were, or will this incident spark a trend of invasion? And of course, will this actually escalate to a full blown world war? It’s really hard to know, and at this point, only time will tell.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 29

The Holodomor really shows how complex and long the history is between Russia and Ukraine. What also struck me was that in a lot of the sources the Holodomor was described as a genocide. This was emphasized particularly in the video from the Holodomor memorial museum. This struck me because in the definition of a genocide a group of people are targeted because of their race or ethnicity. Then when I thought about Russia has said it has the right to invade Ukraine because it is “rightfully” part of Russia, it is a contradiction because how could you execute a genocide against an entire group of people because of their differences but also claim them as part of your country.

This truly shows the power of food deprivation as a weapon and how it can be used to destroy people’s lives. The BBC article also described how Russia was trying to make it impossible for the Ukrainian people to develop. I found this very interesting especially because it is a tactic that is often used by western countries to keep their spheres of influence. For example what the United States does in Latin America with the assassination of democratically elected socialist leaders. But food being used as a weapon is something we looked at in AP World last year because food becomes so important especially during war because you have to feed your army. There is also something to be said about how little we value the agricultural industry and jobs in this country but they are so vital to our survival.

These events provide a background for the overbearing role that Russia has played and continues to play in Ukraine. Russia seems to have a large authoritative role over Ukraine and it views itself as ruling over it. I think these events also contribute to the distrust between Russia and Ukraine (I know distrust is putting it the nicest way possible). But it also gives context to the current situation in Ukraine about why things are so tense between the two countries. Looking at the images on Radio Free Europe is also horrifying to visualize the death and suffering that was caused.

There is a lot to wonder about Russia and Ukraine now and in the future. From a humanitarian standpoint, the concern is with the present and ending the conflict now and ensuring the safety of the Ukrainian people. But there is so much uncertainty with the current conflict with how other countries are going to react and what that will mean in terms of the escalation of the conflict. As for the future if this conflict ends now or soon (which seems to be highly unlikely) there is still no telling what conflict will continue to arise given the tension between these two countries.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 25

What was the Holodomor and what does it have to do with Ukraine in 2022?

What does the Holodomor show us about the relationship between Russia (the former Soviet Union) and Ukraine?

The Holodomor shows us that Ukraine is neither a part of NATO nor the European Union making it a big target for Russia. The Holodomor establishes Russia's thoughts to not distinguish Ukraine as an Eastern European Country. Collectivization (policy adopted by the soviet union) led to food shortages and a drop in production which later sparked a series of events. It took place from 1932 to 1933 and killed 10 million Ukrainians (mostly from starvation). This shows that Ukraine and Russia have a past of conflict, which is still ongoing today.

What do these events reveal about using food and deprivation as weapons to destroy a population?

These events reveal how much control starvation can have on a person which leads to mass deaths of a population. Ukraine was referred to as the "breadbasket" since they were a big provider of food and supplies for many countries, especially Russia. Russia took advantage of Ukrainians and got all the food that they could possibly get, leaving the Ukrainians with absolutely nothing. If they don't have the food and resources they need, they would all be soon to die. Dying in this way was very slow and painful, making it very hard to see loved ones go. Using food and deprivation as weapons worked to kill a population but was a very inhumane and torturous tactic of doing so.

How do you think these events factor into the legacy of the Russian role in Ukraine today, 90 years after the fact?

These factors play into the legacy of the Russian role in Ukraine today since it shows the way Ukrainians look at Russia. Also, with 15 countries understanding that these events were a genocide, it draws more attention to the current war between Ukraine and Russia. This all proves that their relationship is still very nad as they are currently at war again. This time we have more access to social media where people all over the world are able to get a view of what's happening and understand everything better than they would in the past.

And what are you left wondering about with respect to Russia and Ukraine in 2022 and beyond?

I wonder how and when this war will end, and what Russia's thoughts will be after such an unnecessary attack on innocent families?

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 22

What was the Holodomor and what does it have to do with Ukraine in 2022?

The Holodomor shows us that Russia has wanted control of Ukraine for a long time. Like we talked about in class today, Ukraine is the biggest country in Europe, and it is on a desirable body of water, which means that Russia, seemingly cut off from Europe by the Ukraine, wants control of the territory. The Holodomor Museum website says that in 2010, a court order proved that the Holodomor was in fact a genocidal act committed by a number of Soviet leaders with the intention of destroying a part of Ukraine. Now, Russia has invaded Ukraine as a power play, which is what they did in the early 1930s as well. It seems that Russia often feels the need to prove itself to the rest of the world.

The people of Ukraine killed in the Holodomor were killed by systemic starvation. According to the Atlantic article, "How Stalin Hid Ukraine's Famine From the World," police and Party activists would storm homes, taking anything edible that they could find. 5 million people across the Soviet Union died as a result of starvation that year, and nearly 4 million of those people were Ukrainians who died because they were being forcefully deprived of food. These events established food deprivation as an effective weapon, or perhaps just reinforced it. The Soviet Union used their control of food systems to their advantage in the mass killing.

With this alone, Russia has been established as a permanent threat to Ukraine, and with Ukraine's desire to join NATO, an extremely powerful alliance, they have become a threat to Russia as well. Russian leaders still feel the need to show their military and economic power by using force. Having learned about this, I now wonder is the war will escalate to the point where Russia will use the food deprivation strategy again.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 28

What was the Holodomor and what does it have to do with the Ukraine in 2022?

  1. The Holodomor shows us the long history of turmoil and conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Russia has long wanted to gain control over Ukraine and has had a history of using force in an attempt to take over Ukraine as evident when they used starvation to try to take over Ukraine. Russia was willing to kill millions of innocent Ukrainians just so they could gain control and obedience. However, Ukraine never bowed down to the rule of Russia easily. There remained a sense of patriotism among the citizens as Russia tried to take over Ukraine. Ukrainians have long fought to have their independence and are proud of their independence. However, even before NATO was created, Russia viewed Ukraine having its independence as a threat.
  2. These events reveal how effective using food and deprivation are when used to destroy a population. It was a slow and painful way to die that was not only painful for the victims of starvation but also for those around them. Alexander Wienerberger described how "Dead babies were snatched from the howling mothers, living babies taken from the dried-up breasts of the mute and dead mothers; children screamed and moaned." It was an extremely inhumane way to be killed because the pain was prolonged whereas with a gun or bomb, the death would be quick and instant. Populations watched those around them slowly die in front of their eyes each day which not only caused pain but also instilled fear that destroyed the hopes and livelihoods of a population overall. Even if individuals survived starvation, they would forever remember the events and the feelings they experienced.
  3. These events created a tense relationship between Russia and Ukraine that has continued to this day. The legacy of Russia attempting to take over Ukraine at all costs will remain with the Ukrainian people forever. However, the sense of patriotism that Ukrainians felt 90 years ago has carried on to today. The events taking place today are a repeat of what happened 90 years ago so the hurt that remains from the Holodomor has been increased, but at the same time, Ukrainians are willing to fight to maintain their independence even more considering their history. Despite Russia denying that the Holodomor was genocide and saying that the label is a "nationalistic interpretation" of the famine, Ukrainians still remember it as systematic starvation forced upon by Russia. These disagreements contribute to the build-up of tensions between Russia and Ukraine today.
  4. I am left wondering what the end goal and plans of Russia are. We’ve seen that Ukrainians will not easily accept the rule of Russia if they take over, so what does Russia plan on doing if they do take over Ukraine and people don’t follow their rules? Will they commit mass genocide again in an attempt to get obedience from the people of Ukraine? On the other hand, if Russia is unsuccessful in taking over Ukraine in 2022, how many more times will they try in the future? Will there forever be uncertainty and the worry of Russia attempting to take over Ukraine again?
iris almonds
Posts: 29

What was the Holodomor and what does it have to do with Ukraine in 2022?

The Holodomor gives us further insight into the relationship between the former Soviet Union and Ukraine. The Holodomor, or the deliberate starvation of millions of Ukrainian citizens, killed an estimate of three to twelve million people. That’s a lot of deaths in a short few years, which is why it is considered genocide of the Ukrainian citizens. This took place in the 1930s, which comes to show that there has always been a super toxic relationship between Russia and Ukraine. The Russians never accepted Ukraine as a separate independent country and always viewed it as this weak country that they could take control of. This toxic relationship continues to this day, 90 years later, when Russians try to seize control of Ukraine once again. In the eyes of the Russians, Ukrainians are basically animals or things that they can take control of. The history of the Russians and Ukrainians goes a long way back before the Holodomor. Before Holodomor, Ukraine had once been under Russian rule and there have been changes in borders several times throughout history. The Ukrainian people didn’t like the communist regime and many of them resisted and tried to break free of this totalitarian regime. It comes as no surprise that the Ukrainians have tried to fight back every time. For example, during Holodomor, they fought back and refused to give their land and cattle up to the government, and today, the Ukrainians are defending their capital way better than Putin had anticipated. Russia continues to this day to try to strip Ukraine of its independent freedom. It really comes to show the complicated history between Russia and Ukraine.

Holodomor is an event that took place during the 1930s and involved the deliberate starvation of the Ukrainian people. As stated in one of the videos, there doesn’t need to be a single weapon around to kill millions of people, the literal starvation from the famine was enough to kill millions and millions of people. To Ukraine, food is kind of like their “weapon”. As referenced in one of the videos, Ukraine was the “breadbasket” because of the large amount of food that it has and its ability to be able to provide for many others. When Russia took over Ukraine, they basically stripped Ukraine of its most powerful “weapon” or resource. One mother had to tell her daughter and son that they were probably going to die within the next few days because of how little food they had. The mother would cut bits of horse skin for the family to eat and they also lost their father within the famine. During the famine, all food that citizens had was taken from them and everything they farmed was given up to the Russian government. The Russians imposed terms of collectivism, but the main goal was to kill off the Ukrainian population. In addition, I think starvation is one of the most painful ways of dying because of how slow and dragged out it can be. I consider it to be one of the most painful ways of death.

The events that took place during Holodomor most definitely factor into what Russia is doing to Ukraine right now. During the Holodomor, there is the constant denial that this was an act of genocide and Stalin even tried to cover it up by sending out reports to the rest of the world that birth rates were higher than ever in Ukraine. Russia’s denial to accept that this was an act of genocide and its long history with Ukraine plays a role as to why they are attacking Ukraine today. Russia continues to try to impose a government on the Ukrainian people and refuses to acknowledge Ukraine as an independent country, treating them as simply animals, which is similar to how they were treated during Holodomor. One prominent example of not accepting Ukraine for who they are is constantly calling Ukraine, “Ukraine '' as it belonged to Russia.

In regards to Russia and Ukraine in 2022, I am left wondering what will happen next. What is Russia’s end goal and what does Putin want out of this? What happens if Ukraine does fight off Russia? What does that mean for the future of Ukraine and Russia? And what happens if Russia wins? What does that mean for the future of the world? What about the small countries in Europe that are not part of Nato? Is that Putin’s next goal? Also, what happens if Ukraine joins NATO? What does that mean for the rest of the world? Will Putin start attacking members of NATO or would he fear that he will be defeated under the military power of many powerful countries including the United States and France? And I think there are many more unanswered questions during this time.

Boston, MA
Posts: 16

The Holdomor shows us the tension resulting from the devastation of genocide of the people of Ukraine in 1932-33. “Usually, people speak about the biggest tragedies of humanity by numbers. We will try to change this discourse from statistics to the human dimension. Because of the lack of documentary sources and artifacts, intentionally destroyed by the Soviet authorities, oral history is the main source of information about the history of the genoicde of Ukrainian people, the Holodomor of 1932–1933. Verbal communication will be the guide through huge narrative regarding the Holodomor in the museum exposition. Human voice helps to formulate the thoughts, communicate with people, convince and affirm one’s point of view. Physically insignificant sound energy of voice is capable of transforming into fierce emotional blow, when a word becomes the key to knowledge, capturing, impressing and terrifying.” This quote is very important to what we see today in Russia. Russia is silencing their people who are protesting to not go to war. They constantly constrict their people and lands they are in control of being able to speak out. The use of peoples voices and stories are very powerful. With this museum we see the perfect example of, if you continue to speak out and tell your story it will never be forgotten. An important part of this system is also when you hear these stories to advocate for the people so they get the reparations needed to heal from this trauma, not letting the people who oppressed them get away with the amount of hate they have pushed onto others.

Food is a necessity to life. I see a repeated notion in many genocides that always starts with taking away would people need most, to dehumanize them. The only food that was allowed to the people were cheap cornmeal, wheat chaff, dried nettle leaves and other weeds. A survivor tells us of how she has to make a “bread” but mixing all of these things together and making it a patty. She remembers this tasting like grass. The loss of food is a slow and painful process. People died quietly without a voice or a say as they had no energy or nutrients. Russia even went as far as to close borders to Ukraine’s peasants to get any food from Russia.

The remembrance of these actions fuels Ukraine’s desire for independence.No reparations were made, the people continually were pushed away and dehumanized. The stories of this genocide has lived on and the poeple will no longer but held to moments of despire and pain like that ever again, as they are now fighting for their country.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 17

What was the Holodomor and what does it have to do with the Ukraine in 2022?

  • The relationship between Russia and Ukraine was strained from the genesis of Ukraine’s reputation as the breadbasket of Europe, forcing Ukrainians into an infeasible position of supplying the demand of wheat from Russia. Causing a the subsequent famine in the Ukraine which lead to a genocide through starvation. The Holodmor acts a vehicle of knowledge surrounding the genocide and a vehicle of healing for the Ukranian people through remembrance. It also shows the resilience of Ukrainian people in spite of the hardships inflicted on their population by the Soviet Union and the brooding presence of Russia to the east.

  • Famine and starvation are extremely harmful and successful tactics in destroying a population and claiming “deniability” which is a stage of genocide, where the oppressors deny responsibility of the genocide. Depriving a population of food is a form of torture in which people suffer agonizing pain, subjecting people to "live and die like wild animals,”(Williams).
  • This famine created a legacy of Russian apathy and violence towards Ukrainian people. The contrasting images captured by James Abbey of both the famine that was "an environment crowded by death, dying, and homelessness -- and the residents themselves struggling to survive and make sense of it all,” but also the gluttonous luxury of the Soviet leaders at the time. The disregard of human life in the face of the suffering and torture of starvation exemplified by the Russian government embodies the strenuous beginnings of the relationship between Russia and Ukraine. A continuation of apathy and a disregard for human life has been seen in the Russian annexation of Crimea, simply for the pleasure of wealthy aristocrats to have nice vacation houses. Now understanding the beginning of the conflict I am left wondering what the feelings of Russian civilians and Ukrainian civilians are in reference to their history and their impending future.
Posts: 25

What was the Holodomor and what does it have to do with the Ukraine in 2022?

The Holomodor tells us a lot of interesting and useful information about Russia and Ukraine which can help us understand the deep and intertwined relationship that the two countries have with each other. As neighboring countries, the two countries have always had certain views of each other, and there have been many conflicts and near-conflicts. Russia has pretty much always seen Ukraine as something that they should or can have ownership over. On the other hand, Ukraine has constantly fought back against this sentiment and vouched to keep their own independence as a nation.

The Holodomor and the events that took place relating to it show the grotesque and brutal ways that Russia has enforced their power. Before the famine took place, Ukraine was a successful and prospering farm country. This was until the USSR came, and the Ukraine became a part of the USSR, where the soviet union's force caused the farming country that the Ukraine once was to become much less prosperous, causing a catastrophic amount of deaths for Ukraine citizens.

I think that these factors lead into the events that we are seeing today, even though it is 90 years later, it provides evidence as to why this is unfolding in this way. Although Ukraine would want to have their independence anyways, after knowing about how cruel the Russians were to them while ruling after the Holodomor, Ukrainians are much less likely to want to be under Russian rule, knowing how cruel they are.

After learning of this, I have multiple questions about how the Russians used their ruling over the Ukraine during the Holodomor, and how these cruelties led to tension between the two countries today. Do most citizens in Ukraine know about this tragedy, as I don't think it is something that is talked about often. Does the Russian government acknowledge their cruelties and how what they did was wrong?

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 16

What was the Holodomor and what does it have to do with the Ukraine in 2022?

Clearly Russia doesn't really care about the Ukraine, both present day and even 90 years ago. Although back then it seems like Ukraine had some of the richest farmlands, the fact that this was not acknowledged by Russia but instead was extorted seems to relate to today as well. History is repeating itself; Russia is back to forcing Ukraine into submission. Russia is simply using Ukraine for whatever purpose it needs in that moment; during the Holodomor I want to assume that Russia used Ukraine to feed its other colonies because it seemed like the famine wasn't only in Ukraine. Today, Russia is trying to use Ukraine as protection from NATO which is why they are so reluctant in allowing the Ukraine to do what it wants.

Genocide through food deprivation was and can be a very effective tactic. The fact that there was an estimated 3.4 million deaths is crazy to think about. The fact that it also took a long time to get a sustainable supply of food again on top of the unrelieved health issues that would have been prevalent adds to the dangers that food deprivation can bring to a population.

I think this event and then the present events that are occurring is a way for Russia to demonstrate its control of the Ukraine whether Ukraine fights back or not. Russian control of Ukraine is inevitable and there is almost nothing that the Ukraine can do about it. It serves as a reminder that the Ukraine is helpless against Russia and there will most likely be more events further down the line where Russia shows its dominance.

I wonder how this relationship between Russia and Ukraine will turn out, especially if the rest of the world decides to get involved or just continue to watch. I wonder if, in the future, another similar event where Russia asserts its dominance against Ukraine will happen. There are so many questions that only time can answer. However, the situation right now I don't see getting better anytime soon. If anything, I fear that the worst will happen because tensions are still rising.

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