Great Famine Anniversary in Ukraine





On Saturday [Nov. 24], Ukraine marks the 75th anniversary of the terrible famine of 1932-33, engineered by Soviet authorities to force peasants across the former U.S.S.R. to give up their privately held plots of land and join collective farms. Millions perished.

Now President Viktor Yushchenko is leading an effort to gain international recognition of Holodomor — or death by hunger, as it is known here — as a crime rather than merely a disaster, by labeling it an act of genocide.
Long kept secret by Soviet authorities, accounts of the Great Famine still divide historians and politicians, not just in this nation of 47 million but throughout the former Soviet Union.

Some are convinced that the famine targeted Ukrainians as an ethnic group. Others argue authorities set out to eradicate all private land owners as a social class, and that the Soviets sought to pay for the U.S.S.R.'s industrialization with grain exports at the expense of starving millions of its own people.


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