The Holodomor portrays to us the true history of the USSR/Russia and Ukraine. Rather than being two allied neighboring countries, they have a troubled, leader/subject relationship. Russia consistently tortures and takes advantage of the Ukrainian people. During the Holodomor, crops of wheat, beans, and more were taken away from citizens all over the USSR, but specifically Ukraine. These people were not allowed to leave Ukrainian borders as a means to get food, as it was punishable by death. This sharply contrasted the lavish lifestyle of Soviet elites, who often had feasts full of the most expensive and rare foods in the country. This contrast can be best represented by the photos of James Abbe, who toured the Soviet Union and saw people dying on the streets, but also frequently dined with Soviet high society.
Although there were not mass executions, this was a deliberate and premeditated plan to wipe out the Ukrainian population. By getting rid of almost all crops in the Soviet Union’s most fertile land, there was nothing to expect but death by starvation and malnutrition. This makes the genocide more controversial because it is not easily labelled as intentional and planned. By learning about the Holodomor, we can see that genocide is much broader and hard to define than we think. That also makes it easier for the Soviet Union to spread propaganda because there was not an officially defined word to describe what was happening.
With how “successful” the Holodomor was, as almost no one learns about it in schools or talks about it in the media, Russia still thinks that they have power over Ukraine and can get away with committing atrocious acts against the Ukrainians. If we did not have the press and media that we do today, Ukraine’s story right now may not be told to the extent that it is.
This leaves me wondering what is the Russian government hiding from us now and when will we find out?