The Holodomor of 1932–33: How and Why?


  • Stanislav Kulʹchytsʹkyi Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences (NANU), Institute of the History of Ukraine



The study of the Ukrainian Holodomor has reached a point where it is sufficiently voluminous that it is worthwhile to establish the core concepts and events vital to its thorough scholarly understanding.  This paper seeks to put forth one such possible outline.  It supports the position that the Holodomor is genocide; it rebuts arguments against this position; and it examines the way in which it differs from the Holocaust to which it is often compared.  By revealing the ideological and economic conditions of the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin, and the motivations of Stalin’s leadership and his desire to eliminate the threat of Ukrainian nationalism to the Soviet state, this paper shows how the Holodomor was made possible, and why it took the course it did, and that it was deliberate, and different from the All-Union famine that preceded it.  It briefly surveys the main sources upon which research on the topic relies and the major works pertinent to the development of scholarship on the Holodomor.  Once the necessary components for understanding the Holodomor are determined, a coherent and truthful narrative about it can be established and the false narratives that deny the deliberate nature of the famine can be revealed.


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