HST 332 Paper - Nathan Hoch HST 332 Dr. Thurston The...

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Nathan Hoch HST 332 Dr. Thurston The Holodomor: Genocide of the Ukrainians? The Holodomor was a terrible famine that plagued much of the Soviet Union during the years of 1932 and 1933. Ukrainians view it as an attempted genocide on their ethnicity by the Soviet government. The former Soviet government and the present Russian government deny that it was a deliberate genocide directed for the Ukrainian people. The aim of this paper is to address certain questions that have arisen about this topic. By discussing these questions, the reader should be able to determine for his self or herself whether or not the Holodomor was planned or an accident. Such questions that will be examined are: how would have genocide of the Ukrainian people benefited the Soviet government? Did the Soviet government do everything within its power to stop this famine? Did Ukrainians suffer an unequal proportion compared the rest of the regions within the Soviet Union? How did the Soviet government react to the famine? Did ethnic Russians also suffer during the famine? Lastly, how have the Ukrainian people viewed this incident as a part of their history? How would have genocide of the Ukrainian people benefited the Soviet Union? This is a question has been answered by the former president of Ukraine, Victor Yushchenko, in an article he wrote in 2007. In this article he accuses the Soviet government of deliberately starving the Ukrainian people to “crush Ukraine’s national identity and its desire for self-determination.” 1 The Ukrainian population was hugely a rural and peasant one, and many of the peasants were rejecting Stalin’s plan of collectivization. This obviously did not sit well with Stalin and his government, this led to many, some figures show around 1,000,000 Ukrainians, being forcefully
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shipped off to Siberia to fend for themselves, which more than not led to starvation or freezing to death. Yushchenko says that this stubbornness and was largely the reason Stalin started demanding “astronomic grain requisition quotas that were impossible to meet and which left nothing for the local population to eat.” 1 Yushchenko puts it in a manner where the Soviet government wanted to destroy the will of the Ukrainians through a terrible starvation that was monitored by the government. This is of course, a one sided response to this question and the Russian government has a very different answer. During a publicized question and answer session in 2008, Vladimir Putin was asked a question about improving relations with Ukraine. Putin’s response was a short but very interesting one, he said this, “We do not raise far-fetched issues like the Holodomor (famine), politicizing these common problems from the past.” 2 While this does not say anything directly about why the Soviet government would have benefited, it does say a lot about how the Russians view the Holodomor. This shows that Russian do not believe there was any reason the Soviet government would want to destroy the Ukrainian people
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This note was uploaded on 03/14/2012 for the course HST 332 taught by Professor Dr.thurston during the Fall '11 term at Miami University.

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HST 332 Paper - Nathan Hoch HST 332 Dr. Thurston The...

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