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Saturday marked Holodomor Remembrance Day in Ukraine. It was especially poignant as Russia continues to target Ukrainian civilians and civilian infrastructure in its dying bid to expand its decaying empire.
The Holodomor or “Great Famine” of 1932-1933 was created by Soviet policy aimed at punishing Ukrainians who refused to submit to collectivization. The Soviet Union confiscated wheat, some of which it exported to the West, leading to a deliberate artificial famine where the supply of food was insufficient to meet the needs of the Ukrainian population. An estimated five million people, including four million Ukrainians, perished.
Early on, just as its Soviet predecessor state had done during the Holodomor, Russia had planned to use starvation as a weapon of conquest. On November 16, 2023, the Independent reported:
Russia was actively preparing to steal grain supplies and starve the Ukrainian population of food for months before Vladimir Putin ordered last year’s invasion, according to new evidence compiled by human rights experts.
When Russian tanks did roll across the border on 24 February 2022 they deliberately targeted grain-rich areas and food production infrastructure first, the new report by international human rights law firm Global Rights Compliance found.
The Global Rights Compliance report can be found here.
This year—90 years after the Holodomor ended—the food-driven genocide provides a reminder of the cruelty that still lurks in swathes of human society, including among leaders of aggressor states such as Russia. May the victims of the Holodomor be remembered for all-time. May the inhumanity behind such genocidal conduct be overcome.