posts 16 - 18 of 18
Blue terrier
Posts: 23

The Holdomor shows us that the relationship between Russia and Ukraine has a long and tense history filled with violence, war, oppression, and as I just learned, intentional starvation. It also shows us about the history of Russia’s oppression of Ukraine, and what we are seeing today, although unique in its own ways, is not something that is new in the history of Ukrainian and Russian relations. Even the establishment of Ukraine into the USSR was a one sided and oppressive relationship. In 1922, Ukrainian Bolsheviks, directly influenced by Stalin and the communist revolution, overthrew the national government in Kyiv and established the Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic. It was not until 1991 and the fall of the USSR that Ukraine gained independence from Russia. Ukraine was also an incredibly strong industrial and agricultural power in the USSR, at one time referred to as the “breadbasket” thanks to its vast fields of wheat. This tells us that this was a major turning point in Ukrainian and Russian relations, as it established an incredibly tense and oppressive relationship between the two countries.

These events reveal that the cutting off or stealing of vital resources, such as water and food is incredibly destructive and it is a sure way to destroy the integrity of another country. In the case of the Holodomor, it also shows us that even if these resources are in a given country’s own soil, the oppressive country with more power can still use their power to exploit and in this case murder millions of people.

I absolutely believe that these events factor into the relationship we see today. It is impossible to separate the world we see today from historical events, and this could not be more true than when dealing with the holodomor.

I am still wondering why Putin, with essentially the whole world against him, insists on continuing violent and relentless attacks on Ukraine. To me, it is still hard to understand the motives and fully comprehend them.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 28

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

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

Holodomor shows us that Russia and Ukraine have had a tense relationship before current events. Ukraine sees Russia as a long-time perpetrator that has been highly resistant to the idea of their sovereignty and independence, and the Holodomor is one of the great reasons as to why. The Holodomor had a definitive cause: Ukrainian farmers were highly resistant to the idea of forfeiting their farms--their livelihoods--over to the Soviet government. The government’s response to this form of resistance was to starve Ukrainian peasants by strategically closing Ukranian borders as well as stripping farms of every practical source of food (barley, wheat, etc). To say less, Ukrainians were trapped within their own country by a government that supposedly “stood by the people.” This extreme betrayal from Russia and its ideals has given Ukraine deep historical scars that remain today and fuel their will to fight. I also believe that the Holodomor could be connected to Ukranians' negative responses and arguments towards Russian soldiers' belief that they're (somehow) protecting Ukraine and doing what's best by planning to regain the land. To say such a thing to a country that has experienced first-hand Russia's treatment of those who refuse to have their land controlled by another government is extremely ironic and frustrating.

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

The strategic use of famine as a weapon to physically and mentally destroy a population is simply gut-wrenching. Not only would this strategy physically destroy a population, but the trauma that follows from such horrid treatment could last lifetimes. However, the deliberate starvation of populations to gain the submission of said population/country is inexcusable evidence of possible genocide, in fact, it could be considered a prerequisite. Additionally, such the weaponization of famines would lead to deep division and hatred between the victims and the perpetrators as it's a matter of time before the perpetrator’s motives are made clear which was the case with the Holodomor.

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

These events reveal Russia’s long history of attempts to gain control over a given territory/population, in this case, Ukraine, and their inability to let go of their failures in doing so is terribly apparent. Ukraine’s break from the Soviet Union’s control and obtainment of independence is in other words, “salt on the wound” for Communist Russia as Ukrainians were among those who resisted Stalin’s demands. Nonetheless, Russia's refusal to recognize the Holodomor as genocide but rather a "tragedy" likely infuriated/enraged all of Ukraine as they had lost millions of lives simply for refusing to participate in kulaks. A farmer's refusal to participate in kulaks is extremely understandable as their farms/crops are their livelihoods, therefore it is well within their rights to maintain full control over their farms or in other words, their major source of income and food. Stalin had chosen to have these peasants punished for their "disobedience" because they challenged the heart of socialism, everyone should have the same resources and social standing. However, Stalin was an extreme hypocrite as Russian large urban areas and consequential capitalism arose within the Stalin era, thus leading to a highly privileged group of Soviet party leaders; so to have a population destroyed because their actions were anti-socialist, while privileged and powerful Russian soviets get away with even worse crimes, created great strife between Ukraine and Russia.

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

Considering the war between Russia and Ukraine, I’m wondering how every country will respond and what role they will take (bystander, offense, defense). I understand that Germany has been cut off by a gas line from Russia which could have an extreme effect on the country and requires support from either the EU or the U.S. Furthermore, I wonder what the future social effects will be; I understand that several Russians are against this war, but social media has been misleading by assuming all Russians to be in support of Putin’s actions.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 13

The Holodomor and Ukraine

  • The Holodomor just shows that the Soviet Union and Russia have never taken Ukraine seriously. When Ukraine refused to embrace the Soviet Union's communist ideals, they were viewed as a threat, and the Soviet Union had to do all it could to weaken them. Despite the USSR's beliefs, Ukraine has always maintained its independence, driven by the individualism of its people and their refusal to adapt to them which is incredible and it's great that they stand up for themselves. Honestly, though, it's just very weird of the Soviet Union and of Russia to treat Ukraine as a weak country but still want to take away power of them because they're scared something will happen. It's really very cowardly of them, and very power hungry and stupid. Despite the USSR's beliefs, Ukraine has always maintained its independence, driven by the individualism of its people and their refusal to adapt to them. It's really very reasonable to infer that the relationship between Ukraine and Russia has always has been terrible since Russia refuses to actually acknowledge that Ukraine is a separate country because they want more land. It's really gross.
  • These events reveal that deprivation of necessities is scarier than bombs. Actually, it's not fair to say that-- both are horrifying, and both lead to many, many deaths, but the deprivation of food leads to a very, very slow and painful death and leaves scars on the population for long into the future, and it weakens their morale and will to fight because they quite literally have no energy to do anything. No ATP is produced, you're quite literally starving to death and the only thing you want is food because starvation is a very very painful way to go. It's basically as effective as bombing a place but it's so much more mentally damaging in my opinion.
  • I think the Holodomor definitely had at least on the relationship between Ukraine and Russia. Ukrainians clearly did not want to be under Russian rule even before the Holodomor and definitely before the current war in Ukraine, and I think that now, because of the Holodomor as well, there is more rejection of Russian control. I also don't really know why Ukraine is potentially trying to join NATO but I suppose that a factor of it might also be because of the Holodomor (again, I'm not really sure).
  • I'm really just wondering about what's going to happen. It's been more than a month since the start of the war, and I hope this is all going to stop soon, and that Putin will stop attacking Ukraine-- but I know that that's a very idealistic hope and that it probably won't happen anytime soon. It also worries me a bit about whether he is going to do this more and more in the future though. Obviously, I'm really concerned for the people in Ukraine and I think that people there are so brave and strong for fighting for their country and not giving up, but I'm also worried about what this means for the future and the rest of the world.
posts 16 - 18 of 18