AUR#832 Apr 22 Stalin’s Great Terror 70 Years Ago; In Ukraine 123,329 People Were Shot To Death; 68,823 Sent To Labor Camps; Russian Holodomor Archives

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ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR           
                 An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
                     In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

                      Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
         Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World   

 
    STALIN’S GREAT TERROR 70 YEARS AGO    
              In Ukraine there were 265,669 arrests and 198,918 cases were
            committed for trial. Sixty-two percent (123,329 people) were shot
             to death, 34.7 percent (68,823) sent to labor camps, 2.1 percent
                          (4,124) imprisoned, 0.5 percent (1,067) exiled,
                            and 0.3 percent (658) released. (Article One)
                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 832
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., SUNDAY, APRIL 22, 2007

               –——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
            Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
   Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.                  STALIN’S GIFT TO THE SOVIET ELECTORATE
                                    70 years after the Great Terror
By Stanislav Kulchytsky, Professor and Historian
The Day Weekly Digest #12, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 17 April 2007

2UKRAINE: CONCERNING THE EVENTS TO COMMEMORATE THE
          75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE HOLODOMOR IN 1932-1933
Presidential Decree #250/2007 (in Ukrainian)
President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Published by the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #832, Article 2

In English, Washington, D.C., Sunday, April 22, 2007

3UKRAINE, PRESIDENTIAL DECREE: “ON COORDINATING COUNCIL
             TO PREPARE FOR COMMEMORATING EVENTS ON THE
                   OCCASION OF THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE
                               1932-1933 HOLODOMOR IN UKRAINE”
Decree by the President of Ukraine #207/2007 (in Ukrainian)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #832, Article 3, (In English)
Washington, D. C., Sunday, April 22, 2007

4PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO SPEAKS TO HOLODOMOR COUNCIL
Official Website of President of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Mar 19, 2007

5.    UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT MEETS HOLODOMOR COMMITTEE
Press Office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, March 19, 2007

6RUSSIAN FEDERAL SECURTIY SERVICE (FSB) ARCHIVES TO OFFER
     REAL PICTURE OF 1929-1932 FAMINE SAYS UNIVERSITY RECTOR
                   “It was not only a Ukrainian tragedy, it was the tragedy for
                        the whole Soviet peasantry,” he said. Over 3.5 million
                   people died outside Ukraine during the Holodomor, he said.
Interfax, Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, April 17, 2007

7.            TO ALL THOSE WHO NEVER LIVED TO SEE A PARCEL
Memorial cross to Holodomor victims unveiled in Myrivka village, Kyiv oblast
INTERVIEW: With Mr. Pluhatarenko,
Interviewed by Nadia TYSIACHNA, The Day
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine April 3, 2007

8YUSHCHENKO CALLS ON UKRAINIANS TO ACTIVELY COLLECT
                  MATERIALS ABOUT 1932-1933 GREAT FAMINE 
Zoya Zhminko, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Mar 29, 2007

9YUSHCHENKO CALLS ON PARLIAMENTS OF ALL COUNTRIES TO
   DECLARE FAMINE OF 1932-1933 GENOCIDE AGAINST UKRAINIANS
Ruslan Kyrylenko, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Apr 12, 2007

10.     CITY OF KYIV DECREE ON DESIGNING & CONSTRUCTING
              THE MEMORIAL COMPLEX TO THE VICTIMS OF THE
                                    HOLODOMORS IN UKRAINE
KYIV CITY STATE ADMINISTRATION, DECREE No. 315 [In Ukrainian]
The City of Kyiv, Friday, March 23, 2007

11.         KYIV PUTS OFF CONSTRUCTION OF FAMINE VICTIMS
                                     MEMORIAL TO 2007-2009
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 27, 2007

12KYIV MAYOR CHERNOVETSKY STALLING THE CONSTRUCTION
        OF THE MEMORIAL TO THE VICTIMS OF THE HOLODOMOR
Channel 5 TV, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, March 28, 2007

13.  UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT WANTS HOLODOMOR & HOLOCAUST
                           DENIAL TO BE A CRIMINAL OFFENSE
The Day Weekly Digest #11, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 3, 2007

14SPEAKER MOROZ SEES NO PERSPECTIVES FOR BILL MAKING

Interfax-Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, March 24, 2007
           Thanked deputies of the European Parliament for the initiative on
              drawing out a written declaration for recognizing Holodomor
              of 1932-1933 an act of genocide against the Ukrainian nation.
Oksana Torop, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, March 27, 20007

16. YATSENIUK INCLUDES EX-MINISTERS ZLENKO, UDOVENKO,

               Discussed holding of 75th Commemoration of Holodomor                
Daria Hluschenko, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mar 24, 2007

17.      YATSENIUK, BRITISH AMBASSADOR BARROW DISCUSS
                          POLITICAL SITUATION IN UKRAINE 
              75th Anniversary of the Holodomor (the famine of 1932-1933)
Olha Volkovetska, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Apr 12, 2007

18.    SPECIAL HOLODOMOR DOUBLE ISSUE OF THE CANADIAN
          AMERICAN SLAVIC JOURNAL TO BE PUBLISHED IN 2008 

Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #832, Article 18
Washington, D.C., Sunday, April 22, 2007
 
19FT WEEKEND MAGAZINE – BOOKS ESSAY: GREAT DICTATORS
                                 The Cambridge History of Russia
BOOK REVIEW: By Tony Barber, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Saturday, Jan 27, 2007

20REMEMBRANCE DAY FOR VICTIMS OF HOLODOMOR & POLITICAL
          REPRESSIONS, ADDRESS BY METROPOLITIAN VOLODYMYR
ADDRESS: by Metropolitan Volodymyr on the Remembrance
Day for the Victims of Holodomor and Political Repressions
Website of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (in Ukrainian), 2006
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #832, Article 20 (in English)
Washington, D.C., Sunday, April 22, 2007

 
21.                             ESSAY: THE IRON ARCHIVES
            Access to Russian historical archives has eroded, ‘re-secretization’
ESSAY: By Rachael Donadio, The New York Times,
New York, New York, Sunday, April 22, 2007
========================================================
1
          STALIN’S GIFT TO THE SOVIET ELECTORATE
                                    70 years after the Great Terror

By Stanislav Kulchytsky, Professor and Historian
The Day Weekly Digest #12, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 17 April 2007

In March 1937 a series of repressions erupted in the USSR, which came to

be known as the Great Terror after the publication of the eponymous book
by Robert Conquest. Stalin declared that the subversive activities of
saboteurs, spies, and fifth columnists the country were endangering the
country.

Seventy years is the average life expectancy. Today there are no more people
who remember Stalin’s campaign, but the events of the cruel year of 1937
imprinted themselves on people’s subconsciousness.

For Ukraine this was another year of unspeakable horror after 1933.

Scholars are still at a loss as to why it all happened.

1. THE GREAT TERROR
The Great Terror does not fit smoothly into the 1937 calendar year. The
starting point for Stalin’s action was March 1937, but it was only on July 2
that Stalin signed the decision of the Central Committee of the All-Union
Communist Party (Bolshevik) (CC VKP(B)) based on which was issued
operations instruction #00447 for the Soviet NKVD (People’s Commissariat
of Internal Affairs).

This was the first in a long series of descriptions of “enemies of the
people,” according to which 269,000 persons were to be exposed and
repressed.

The Great Terror came to an end in November 1938, when NKVD head Nikolai
Yezhov was removed from office. He was shot after being indicted on the
basis of a standard charge: “espionage on behalf of foreign intelligence
services.”

In 1963 a commission set up by the Central Committee of the Communist Party
of the Soviet Union (CC CPSU) found that 1,372,392 people were arrested in
the USSR in 1937-38, of which 681,692 were shot.

            IN UKRAINE THERE WERE 265,669 ARRESTS,

                          123,329 WERE SHOT TO DEATH                
 
In Ukraine there were 265,669 arrests and 198,918 cases were committed for
trial. Sixty-two percent (123,329 people) were shot to death, 34.7 percent
(68,823) sent to labor camps, 2.1 percent (4,124) imprisoned, 0.5 percent
(1,067) exiled, and 0.3 percent (658) released.

What distinguished the Great Terror from the Holodomor was not only the
nature of the repressions but also the absence of a distinct national
coloring. The Holodomor was the result of a Cheka-run all-out food
confiscation campaign in January 1933.

It took place when famine was spreading in the grain-producing regions of
the USSR, including Ukraine, and was caused by the confiscation of the 1932
harvest.

This grain procurement operation was in essence a terrorist activity, as it
led to tens and hundreds of thousands of deaths, but it cannot be called a
purposeful extermination campaign.

Unlike the famine of 1932-33, the Great Terror in the USSR was, from
beginning to end, a Cheka operation aimed at destroying people. After the

Holodomor and the accompanying decimation of the Ukrainian intelligentsia
in 1933, there was no need to target Ukraine specifically.

However, the long-suffering republic again found itself at the epicenter of
repressions. Stalin’s enhanced attention to Ukrainian affairs manifested
itself in 1937 perhaps only in the fact that the top leadership of the
republic was being destroyed especially methodically.

Ten out of eleven members of the Central Committee of the Communist Party
(Bolshevik) of Ukraine (CC KP(B)U) were executed. It was purely by accident
that the “all-Ukrainian headman,” Hryhorii Petrovsky, survived-thanks to the
temporary chaos reigning supreme in the state government, which was caused
by the repressions.

The all-Union census, conducted several months prior to the terror, allows
us to compare the statistical contribution of each nationality to Ukraine’s
population and arrested people.

In 1937-38 Ukrainians comprised 78.2 percent of the country’s population

and 53.2 percent of the arrested. Poles made up 1.5 and 18.9 percent,
respectively, and Germans, 1.4 and 10.2 percent.

These disproportionate figures were due to the special orders guiding Cheka
officers: order No. 00439 of July 25, 1937, on the German operation and
order No. 00485 of Aug. 11, 1937, on the Polish operation.

These orders were a continuation of the Kremlin’s repressive policy, which
began in 1935 with the deportations of Germans and Poles from Ukraine’s
border districts.

I often have occasion to debate with Russian scholars who fail to
distinguish between the Ukrainian Holodomor and the all-Union famine of
1932-33. They argue that the Stalinist repressions were class-rather than
nationally-oriented.

However, facts attest to the existence of both class-based and national
repressions. There were special operations during the Great Terror, which
targeted Poles, Germans, Latvians, Greeks, and other nationalities. Neither
did the Kremlin overlook Russians, who comprised 58.3 percent of all those
arrested in the period from October 1936 to July 1938.

In 2004 the Institute of Ukrainian History at the National Academy of
Sciences organized a workshop on the collective work, The 1932-1933
Famine in Ukraine: Causes and Consequences.

The late Viktor Danylov presented me with an unpublished table showing the
national distribution of arrests made during the Great Terror. The figure in
the paragraph above was taken from this table.

It offers convincing proof that Stalin did not have an ethnic bias or ethnic
preferences. However, it does not argue the absence of the ethnic component
in Stalin’s terror.

I believe that we will be able to find a common language with Russian
historians if we clearly distinguish the Kremlin from Moscow and the regime
from the country.

Even the Communist Party of the time was not responsible for the actions of
Stalin’s clique. Let me use the arguments presented in Danylov’s last
publication, The Soviet Village in the Years of the Great Terror.

On April 14, 1937, the Politburo of the CC VKP(B) set up a permanent
commission in order to prepare and resolve secret issues (secret from the
Politburo!). This five-man commission, consisting of Stalin, Molotov,
Kaganovich, Voroshilov, and Yezhov, dealt primarily with issues related to
the terror.

In 1937- 38 Yezhov was in Stalin’s office 278 times and spent a total of 833
hours there. Only Molotov, the head of the Council of People’s Commissars
(Radnarkom), communicated with the secretary general more frequently. This
shows who the true spearheads of the terror campaign were.

In 1997 a fundamental study entitled The Black Book of Communism was
published in Paris. It was written by an international group of authors;
translations into many languages soon followed. The chapter on “The Great
Terror” was penned by the well-known historian Nicolas Werth.

He argued that the repressions of 1937-38 pursued two objectives: first, to
subject the provincial bureaucracy to the center and second, to destroy all
suspects who figured in Cheka dossiers-members of other political parties,
opposition members from the VKP(B), and members of the privileged classes.
Werth was right but the terror did not target only the elite.

                 WHY THE EVENTS OF 1937 HAPPENED?
Hundreds of thousands of absolutely ordinary people died in the inferno of
repressions. Still unanswered is a question that was first formulated by the
Moscow-based dissident historian Mikhail Gefter in the popular Gorbachev-era
journal The 20th Century and the World (1990, no. 9):

     “I am a historian, but can I understand why the events of 1937
happened? I have not found a single example in world history  when at the
peak of a country’s success millions of its absolutely loyal citizens were
being destroyed.”

Nonetheless, an answer to this question does exist. If we reject all
speculations (e.g., that Stalin was paranoid), what remains is one
indisputable fact: the procedure of forming Soviet government bodies
underwent a radical change.

2. GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION UNDER THE

DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT
In November 1917 the Bolsheviks established what is known as the
dictatorship of the proletariat. The proletarian masses were proclaimed the
sovereign subject of power, and councils (soviets) consisted of
representatives of workers and peasants.

In the periods between congresses the legislative, executive, and judicial
power was in the hands of executive committees-bodies elected by councils.
These committees passed laws and were a day-to-day governing body that lent
an ear to the electorate’s commands.

Lenin discerned that this government organization offered his party colossal
opportunities for securing invisible dictatorship.

The formulation of electors’ orders, the nomination of candidates to
congresses of councils and making sure that these candidates were
successfully elected, supervision over the activities of deputies and, if
need be, their recall from office-all these functions were to be performed
by a structure placed outside the bounds of the constitution.

The Bolshevik party apparatus governed social life indirectly – through
Soviet government agencies. This indirect approach was deemed advantageous,
as it enabled the party to resolve key issues without taking upon itself
direct responsibility for the current state of affairs.

The power invested in Soviet government bodies was secondary in nature but
nevertheless real. The dictatorship of party committees was not reflected in
constitutions and thus did not mar the constitutional image of the councils.
Power was usurped by committees on the personal level rather than the
institutional one.

Decisions adopted by party committees were implemented precisely because
plenipotentiary representatives of the Soviet government were members of
this party and abided by its iron party discipline.

The usurpation of the power with which the councils were constitutionally
invested had to be repeated every time elections were held. That is why
elections to Soviet government bodies were always an extremely important
matter for party committees, from the lowest ones all the way to the Central
Committee.

In order to maintain its control over the country, the state party
elaborated election procedures that ensured the desired composition of
government bodies according to all parameters: class origins, party
membership, demographic features, and personal traits.

The “party-soviet” dictatorship system was based not only on coercion but on
propaganda. The system’s immediate connection with citizens enabled the
rallying of millions of people to carry out top-priority tasks earmarked by
the party leadership.

The councils employed hundreds of thousands of deputies and became an
efficient conveyor belt stretching from the state party administration to
the entire population. The same conveyor-belt function was performed by the
multimillion-strong “external” body of the party, as well as by trade
unions, the Komsomol, Pioneers, and Octobrists.

To ease the burden of orchestrating elections to the councils, the idea of
equal representation was abandoned. The Constitution of the Soviet Union
stipulated that workers had a five-time greater share of votes than
peasants.

The non-labor class was completely stripped of the right to vote. Up to 10
percent of the population belonged to this category of non-voters.

Enterprises, organizations, and educational institutions were selected as
electoral districts. Candidates were nominated on behalf of party and trade
union organizations. They were typically voted in merely with a show of
hands. Electors who disagreed with nominations were immediately subjected to
administrative influence.

Direct elections were held only to local councils. Delegates to all
congresses – from the raion to the all-Union level- were deputies from local
government bodies.

Appropriate party committees scrutinized the lists of congress delegates and
members of councils’ executive committees, from the bottom to the All-Union
Central Executive Committee.

Electioneering techniques were above criticism. Anyone who ventured any
critical remarks was immediately charged with anti-Soviet conduct and
repressed. Therefore, dissenting voices were anonymous.

A flier that was circulated in January 1929 by the Socialist Revolutionaries
(so-called SRs) in Dnipropetrovsk stated: “The Bolsheviks imposed on us
open voting in council elections. Can’t we elect freely when we elect
openly?

Who, being watched by the party cell kingpin, will have the courage to vote
for an honest non-party candidate or raise his hand in a vote against a
wicked communist if he is nominated by the party cell?”

3. THE THREAT OF FREE ELECTIONS
Committee members who specialized in organizing council elections were
shocked to read a brief notice in newspapers about the decision passed by
the February 1935 Plenum of the CC VKP(B).

The Plenum suggested that the next All-Union Congress of Soviets consider
the issue of amending the Soviet Constitution as part of its agenda. It
emphasized the need to democratize the electoral system by replacing unequal
representation with an equal one and multilevel open elections with direct
and closed ones.

In February 1935, the 7th All-Union Council of Soviets set up a
constitutional commission headed by Stalin. On June 12, 1936, the commission
published the draft of the new constitution and a nearly six- month
discussion ensued.

In Ukraine 13 million people took part in it – a record high for the
organizational and mass propaganda activities of the party and government
apparatus. On Dec. 5, 1936, the 8th Extraordinary Congress of Soviets
adopted a new constitution. The constitution proclaimed that in the Soviet
Union the construction of socialism was complete.

In this connection and according to the still valid 1919 program of the
Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik) (RKP(B), the class criterion was to be
abandoned both in the distribution of voting rights and the formation of
government bodies. Therefore, multilevel elections were replaced by direct
ones and secret balloting was introduced.

Peasants were given the same rights as workers in electing and running for
election to all government bodies. Electoral districts in cities had to
reflect the residential distribution of electors rather than being tied to
production facilities (factories, institutions, etc.).

Congresses of councils on different levels were replaced by sessional
meetings of local and republican councils and the Union’s Supreme Soviet.
New councils were beginning to exhibit the features of the parliamentary
system.

The fundamental changes to constitutional norms did not alter the real
government system one iota. Councils were not an independent branch of power
prior to that and were unable to become one in the parliamentary system.
Party committees maintained their control over state and society.

However, their dictatorship was officially denied and hidden behind the
empty phrase, “the dictatorship of the proletariat.” The Constitution of the
Soviet Union declared that the Communist Party was the governing nucleus of
all public and state organizations, but this declaration was legally void.

Numerous documents have already been published, which confirm the growing
discontent of the party and government staff with Stalin’s dictatorship.

Apparatchiks were dissatisfied with another power hierarchy that he had
built-the one in the system of state security agencies. A protest against
the terrorist methods of governance was spreading throughout the entire
society.

Stalin could not be a dictator by relying only on the GPU-NKVD (State
Political Directorate-People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs). He needed
strong support from the party and government apparatus. In order to secure
this support the secretary general made bureaucrats face the danger of free
elections.

Wielding control over state security bodies, Stalin was the only one who
could avert the threat of new people appearing on all the rungs of the
Soviet administrative ladder.

Cognizant of this, Soviet apparatchiks had to rally around the secretary
general to jointly counter the threat posed by Stalin’s constitution –
without a hint of irony, the most democratic constitution in the world.

Everyone understood that in helping to hold democratic elections state
security agencies could employ the usual Cheka methods of state terror. In
this way, the party and government apparatus gave Stalin carte blanche to
carry out repressions on any kind of scale.

In the situation engineered by the secretary general, those who refused to
follow orders mechanically were to perish in the inferno of terror. There
was no shortage of eager successors.

4. “FREE ELECTIONS” ACCORDING TO STALIN’S

CONSTITUTION
Embodied in the 1919 program of the RKP(B) was a plan that the party chiefs
had for carrying out communist reforms. This program, with its violent
trial-and-error implementation, was considered valid until Khrushchev’s day.
Some elements were successful, while others had to be temporarily shelved or
permanently abandoned.

Since the 1938 publication of the Brief History of the VKP(B), which glossed
over the party’s failures and emphasized its achievements, the history of
the USSR unfolded as a succession of tasks set by the prescient leadership
for the people and fulfilled by the heroic efforts of the latter.

Only on one occasion did the gift of foresight fail the leadership – on June
22, 1941. The suddenness of the attack was used as an excuse for all the
failures that the Red Army experienced over the next 18 months.

The above implies that what Stalin had in mind was a certain sequence of
actions stipulated by the party program. The proclamation about the
successful construction of socialism would by necessity entail certain
actions on his part and these he calculated well in advance.

The proof is found in the changes that were introduced in the criminal
procedure codes of the Union republics after Kirov’s assassination in
December 1934. Technically, they provided for mass terror, even though
for a certain period of time they were not implemented.

On the day Stalin’s constitution was adopted, an announcement was issued
about scheduling the elections to the USSR’s Supreme Soviet at “an early
date.” However, they were delayed for an entire year, until Dec. 12, 1937.

Instead of the election, in February-March 1937 Stalin organized a plenum of
the CC VKP(B), which set the Great Terror in motion. The delay was
necessary in order to prepare the electorate properly.

The unfolding terror put an end to any talk of alternative nominations –
such as took place during the discussion of the draft constitution.
Electoral commissions pledged to register only one candidate for each
deputy’s office – the candidate nominated by the “bloc of communists

and non-party citizens.”

Proposals of alternative nominations were viewed as anti-Soviet
manifestations. However, in keeping with world practice, the ballots bore
the following inscription: “Leave the name of the one candidate you are
voting for and cross out the rest.”

Even when ballots contained only one name, in free elections voters were
supposed to express their opinion in writing, i.e., by crossing out one word
in the pair “agree-disagree.” Nevertheless, the organizers of the first and
all subsequent Soviet elections by secret vote introduced a treacherous
simplification of the ballot: it mentioned only the candidate’s name and the
first nominating organization.

This way, a positive vote did not require a written mark. A negative vote,
on the contrary, would make it necessary to cross out the candidate’s name
on the ballot. Thus, only those voters who intended to cast a nay vote had
to go into one of the voting booths. The booths became a testing ground for
loyalty.

Voters were at the disposition of a huge army of agitators, who were
recruited according to the industrial feature of their milieu. An agitator
was personally responsible for ensuring that all his voters went to the
polls. But agitators were not responsible for ensuring that they voted as
they should. Here, the key role in creating a proper atmosphere was played
by the state security organs.

During the terrorist operations that came one after another, hundreds of
thousands of people were physically exterminated, and millions were
destroyed morally by being coerced into cooperating with the security
agencies, public denouncements of so-called “enemies of the people,” and
false testimonies against work colleagues, acquaintances, and even family
members. People were entrusted with ballots only after they had been
terrorized into a desirable condition.

5. RETURNING TO THE HOLODOMOR
This article began with a reference to the Holodomor, and I would like to
end it on the same painful topic.

More precisely, I would like to share my thoughts on possible ways of
persuading scholars, the general public, and the government of the Russian
Federation, as well as all Ukrainian citizens who identify with us, that
Stalin’s terror had all three components – social-class, national, and
individual.

The Russian government cannot be accused of defending Stalin. They have a
pragmatic fear that Ukraine will demand financial compensation from Russia
for the death of millions of Ukrainian citizens. This anxiety is shared by
Ukrainian political figures, who are afraid of spoiling our relations with
Russia.

Recently I had a conversation with a high-ranking official in the “corridors
of power.” He claimed that rather than genocide, what happened in 1933 was
sociocide, which affected his non-Ukrainian relatives, among others.

The UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of
Genocide does not include sociocide in its classification of crimes. This is
precisely the reason why he used the term “sociocide,” despite the fact that
several years earlier, and in a different political situation, he had spoken
with complete confidence about the fact of genocide.

Politicians must apply measures in order to convince their Russian
colleagues that Ukraine does not intend to place the burden of
responsibility for Stalin’s terror on Russia. Unfortunately, these
intentions are occasionally declared by political extremists. But extremists
are in ample supply everywhere, including Russia.

Our scholars and journalists should aim at restoring the historical memory
of the Ukrainian nation, which endured both physical and moral sufferings
caused by Stalin’s terror. Isn’t it humiliating for us to pigeonhole the
deaths of our family members: genocide goes here and sociocide goes there?

The Great Terror, just like the Great Famine, proves that the Stalinist
repressions were omnivorous. They were an instrument of state policy. During
the collectivization campaign peasants suffered from repressions, and this
type of terror may be called sociocide.

This is also another kind of genocide, but it does not appear in the UN
Convention on genocide adopted on Dec. 9, 1948, only because Soviet
representatives at the UN knew the history of their country all too well.
Collectivization and the grain procurement policy led to the 1932-33 famine,
which had an especially pronounced adverse impact on Ukrainian peasants.

There is a political reason behind this fact as well: Stalin wanted to
engineer a severe famine in the Ukrainian SSR and Kuban in order to prevent
a social explosion that was emerging as a result of the destructive grain
procurement policy.

During the Great Terror, Cheka officers were proportionally the largest
victim category because Stalin needed to shift the blame for the mass
persecutions onto others.

An instrument of state policy until the early 1950s, mass terror in Ukraine
had two spikes – in 1933 and 1937. In both cases they hit the target. This
can easily be checked against the experience of the oldest or even the
middle of today’s three generations.

People older than 40 can be asked two questions: why didn’t you make any
public mention of the famine in Ukraine, which at the time was common
knowledge but officially silenced? Why did you vote in favor of the single
candidate by avoiding the voting booth?

One should bear in mind that this state of affairs lasted from 1953 to 1987,
i.e., over three and a half decades-without mass terror, only facilitated,
if necessary, by preventive conversations in KGB offices.
 STALIN’S TERROR STILL HAS ITS STRANGLEHOLD ON US
Stalin’s terror still has its stranglehold on us: we do not feel humiliated
by the fact that we live in cities or walk down streets that bear the names
of Cheka officers and their bosses.                         -30-
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LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/180519/

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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2. UKRAINE: CONCERNING THE EVENTS TO COMMEMORATE THE
          75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE HOLODOMOR IN 1932-1933

Presidential Decree #250/2007 (in Ukrainian)
President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Published by the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #832, Article 2

In English, Washington, D.C., Sunday, April 22, 2007

Kyiv, Ukraine

Concerning the events to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Holodomor in
1932-1933

To ensure the commemoration of Holodomor victims and in support of the
initiatives by the Coordinating Council to prepare for the 75th anniversary
of Holodomor in 1932-1933 I rule:

1. The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, jointly with members of the
Coordinating Council to prepare for the 75th anniversary of Holodomor, is to
draw up within 30 days an agreed draft plan of events for 2006-2007 to
commemorate the 75th anniversary of Holodomor in 1932-1933 which ensures:

– events to publicize and explain the law “On Holodomor in 1932-1933 in
Ukraine”;

– creation of the National Book of Memory and its regional  variants and
formation of a unified roster of genocide victims;

– erection of Holodomor monuments and commemorative plaques in Famine-hit
areas;

– erection in Kyiv of a monument to James Mace, a prominent Holodomor
researcher;

– holding a campaign for international recognition by the world community,
specifically by the United Nations and European Parliament, of the 1932-1933
Holodomor as genocide of the Ukrainian people;

– assistance to Ukrainian diaspora in organizing and running an
international contest by Oct. 1, 2007 for the best project for a monument to
the Holodomor victims to be erected in Washington, USA;

– assessment of the possibility to erect similar Holodomor monuments and
commemorative plaques  in other foreign countries;

– cooperation with the International [Holodomor] Coordinating Committee of
the World Ukrainian Congress on planning the commemorative 75th anniversary
Holodomor events;

– staging in Kyiv in 2008 of an international forum on the 75th anniversary
of Holodomor;

-launching grants for Holodomor researchers;

– formation of a uniform roster of Holodomor documents and restitution  of
Holodomor period documents from other countries to Ukraine;

– staging in Ukraine of tours on Holodomor by artistic companies and
individuals;

– staging foreign tours by artistic groups to spread credible information
about Holodomor in 1932-1933 in the world and Holodomor exhibitions in
foreign parliaments and government institutions;

– staging in Ukraine of permanent exhibitions of archive materials,
photographs, books, and paintings related to the Holodomor of the Ukrainian
nation as well as updating Holodomor exhibitions in local lore museums;

– shooting a feature film and documentary films on the 1932-1933 Holodomor;

– holding competitions for the best book, painting, musical piece to
commemorate the victims of genocide in 1932-1933;

– publication, re-publication and dissemination of research, feature and
documentary books, collections of documents and materials on Holodomor as
well as their translations into foreign languages for dissemination in other
countries;

– conducting Holodomor lessons and lectures in educational institutions and
military units;

– ensuring enhanced study of the causes and consequences of Holodomor in
secondary and higher education establishments;

– staging among school children, students and faculty an all-Ukrainian
contest titled “Holodomor in 1932-1933: Ukraine Remembers!” for the best
epic material on Holodomor;

– initiating an annual tradition for Ukrainian school children of laying
ears of wheat on the monuments of genocide victims;

– issuing a stamp and envelop to commemorate the 75th anniversary of
Holodomor;

2.The Cabinet of Ministers and the Kyiv state administration are to ensure
the completion by Oct. 1, 2008 in Kyiv of the construction of a memorial
complex to the victims of Holodomor, as envisaged by subunit 3 of unit 2 of
article 5 of the Final Provisions of the law “On Holodomor in 1932-1933.”

 3. The Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, oblast
and Kyiv and Sevastopol city administrations are to:

– create within 30 days coordinating councils including members of the
public to ensure the organization and staging of events to mark the 75th
anniversary of Holodomor in Ukraine in accordance to approved plans of
events;

– give maximum support to NGOs, charity funds, and individuals in their
activities aimed at commemorating the Holodomor victims and running of
research and educational programs related to Holodomor;

– ensure the collection in Ukraine of evidence on Holodomor with
participation of individual researchers and NGOs;

– make proposals (within 3 months) on awarding by the state of individuals
who made significant contributions to the study of Holodomor and spreading
the truth about this tragedy in Ukraine and worldwide;

-prepare by late 2007 local rosters of Holodomor victims and ensure proper
upkeep of their graves;

-initiate dismantling of monuments and commemorative plaques to persons
implicated in organizing and conducting the genocide and political
repressions against Ukrainians as well as renaming of streets, parks,
squares named after Holodomor perpetrators;

4. The State Committee for TV and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine, the
National TV Company, the National Radio Company are to ensure wide coverage
of events related to commemorating the 75th anniversary of Holodomor and to
produce information, TV and radio programs on Holodomor in Ukraine.

President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko
March 28, 2007
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3. UKRAINE, PRESIDENTIAL DECREE: “ON COORDINATING COUNCIL
             TO PREPARE FOR COMMEMORATING EVENTS ON THE
                   OCCASION OF THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE
                               1932-1933 HOLODOMOR IN UKRAINE”

Decree by the President of Ukraine #207/2007 (in Ukrainian)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #832, Article 3, (In English)
Washington, D. C., Sunday, April 22, 2007

To ensure due organization and presentation of events to commemorate
the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor in Ukraine and in support of the
initiatives voiced by the Ukrainian and world public I rule:

1. To create under the president of Ukraine the Coordinating council to
prepare for the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the 1932-1933
Holodomor.

2. The Coordinating council’s main objective is to prepare proposals for
coordinating the events to be staged by the executive, scientific and public
institutions in commemoration of the Holodomor victims and on the
occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor in Ukraine in 1932-
1933.

3. The Coordinating council consists of its Head, Secretary and other
members. The CC is headed by the president of Ukraine. The list of CC
members is to be approved by the president. (The list is enclosed).

4. To prepare and conduct the events in commemoration of the 1932-1933
Holodomor in Ukraine, the Coordinating council may hold joint sessions
with the Organizing committee which was set up by the cabinet resolution
#561-p of Dec. 23, 2005.

                             LIST OF MEMBERS:
[1] Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine, Head of the
Coordinating Council.
[2] Serhij Bilokin, leading researcher of the Institute of Ukrainian
History at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NASU).
[3] Oleh Bilorus, member of parliament (given his acceptance).
[4] Olena Bondarenko, member of parliament (given her acceptance).
[5] Valentyna Borysenko, Professor, Kyiv Shevchenko national
university (given her acceptance).

[6] Leonid Chernovetsky, Mayor of Kyiv.
[7] Yevhen Cholij, deputy chair, Ukrainian World Congress, Canada
(given his acceptance).
[8] Ivan Dziuba, writer, NASU Academician (given his acceptance).
[9] Ivan Drach, writer, head of Ukrayina-Svit society for links with
Ukrainian diaspora (given his acceptance).
[10] Oleksandr Feldman, member of parliament (given his acceptance).

[11] Anatolij Hajdamaka, Corresponding Member of the Academy
of Arts of Ukraine (given his acceptance).
[12] lha Herasymiuk, member of parliament (given her acceptance).
[13] Yevhen Hirnyk, member of parliament (given his acceptance).
[14] Serhij Holovatyj, member of parliament (given his acceptance).
[15] Liliya Hryhorovych, member of parliament (given her acceptance).

[16] Yaroslava Khortyani, President of the European Congress of
Ukrainians,head of the Ukrainian Cultural Society in Hungary, the
Hungarian Republic, (given her acceptance).
[17] Oleksij Kopytko, coordinator of the “Yesterday” project under
“Ukrayina  3000” international charity foundation (given his acceptance).
[18] Roman Krutsyk, acting head of the Ukrainian Institute of the
National Memory, head of Vasyl Stus Memorial society, Kyiv branch.
[19] Stanislav Kulchytskyj, deputy head of the Institute of Ukrainian
History, NASU.
[20] Vyacheslav Kyrylenko, member of parliament (given his acceptance).

[21] Askold Lozinski, President of the Ukrainian World Congress,
USA.
[22] Volodymyr Lozytskyj, head of the Central state archive of public
organizations (given his acceptance).
[23] Levko Lukyanenko, member of parliament (given his acceptance).
[24] Vasyl Marochko, leading researcher of the Institute of Ukrainian
History at NASU, head of the Genocide Research Center.
[25] Yurij Mytsyk, lecturer, Kyiv-Mohyla National University (given his
acceptance).

[26] Olha Movchan, researcher at the Institute of Ukrainian History,
NASU.
[27] Pavlo Movchan, head of “Prosvita” all-Ukrainian society (given
his acceptance).
[28] Valentyn Nalyvajchenko, first deputy head of the State Security
Service, head of the SSS anti-terrorist center.
[29] Hryhorij Nemyrya, member of parliament (given his acceptance).
[30] Volodymyr Ohryzko, acting Foreign Minister of Ukraine.

[31] Borys Olijnyk, NASU Academician, chair of the Ukrainian
Cultural Fund board (given his acceptance).
[32] Borys Paton, President of the National Academy of Sciences
of Ukraine.
[33] Dmytro Pavlychko, writer, head of the Ukrainian World
Coordinating Council.
[34] Ruslan Pyrih, leading researcher at the NASU  Institute of
Ukrainian History.
[35] Stefan Romaniw, President of the International Coordinating
Committee to prepare to commemorate the 75th Holodomor
anniversary, head of the Union of Ukrainian Organizations in
Australia.

[36] Mykhailo Sawkiw, head of the Ukrainian Congress Committee
of America, USA. 
[37] Anna Semeniuk, head of the board, Organization of Ukrainian
Patriots (given her acceptance).
[38] Volodymyr Serhijchuk, director, center of Ukrainian studies at
Kyiv Shevchenko National University (given his acceptance).
[39] Yurij Shapoval, head of NASU center for historical and political
research at the Institute of Political, Ethnic and National Studies.
[40] Hanna Skrypnyk, Director, Rylsky Institute of Art, Folklore and
Ethnicity Studies, NASU; head of the Congress of Ukrainian
Intellectuals.

[41] Mykhailo Skuratovsky, ad hoc Ambassador, foreign ministry
department on cultural and humanitarian cooperation.
[42] Valerij Smolij, Academician, director, NASU Institute of
Ukrainian History.
[43] Nataliya Sukhodolska, executive director, Association of
Holodomor Researchers of Ukraine (given her acceptance).
[44] Orysia Sushko, head of Canada’s Congress of Ukrainians,
Canada. 
[45] Mykola Syadrystyj, art expert (given his acceptance).

[46] Arkadij Sydoruk, journalist, The Ukrayina moloda (given his
acceptance).
[47] Les Taniuk, member of parliament (given his acceptance).
[48] Hennady Udovenko, member of parliament (given his acceptance).
[49] Volodymyr Ulyanych, member of the Association of Holodonor
Researchers in Ukraine (given his acceptance).
[50] Volodynmyr Vasylenko, Ukraine’s representative in the UN
commission on human rights, consultant of the secretariat department
at the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine (given his acceptance).

[51] Ivan Vasiunyk, first deputy head of the presidential administration,
secretary of the Coordinating council.
[52] Vladyslav Verstiuk, head of the department at NASU Institute of
Ukrainian History.
[53] Oleksandra Veselova, senior researcher at NASU Institute of
Ukrainian History.
[54] Vasyl Vovkun, art manager of “Ukrayina” State Concert
Company (given his acceptance).
[55] Morgan Williams, Director, Government Affairs, Washington
Office, SigmaBleyzer, Researcher of the 1932-1933 Holodomor in
Ukraine, USA 

[56] Volodymyr Yavorivskyj, member of parliament, Secretary of
the Writers’ Union of Ukraine (given his acceptance)
[57] Ihor Yukhnovskyj, acting head of the Ukrainian Institute of
National Memory.
[58] Petro Yushchenko, member of parliament (given his acceptance).
[59] Mykola Zhulynskyj, presidential advisor, Director of Shevchenko
Institute of Literature at NASU.

V. Baloha,
Head of the presidential secretariat
March 14, 2007
——————————————————————————————–
Link: http://www.president.gov.ua/documents/5874.html
——————————————————————————————–
NOTE: The presidential decree was translated from Ukrainian to English

for the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) by Volodymyr Hrytsutenko, Lviv,
Ukraine.  The translated decree can be republished with the normal credits
to the Action Ukraine Report (AUR), Morgan Williams, Publisher,
Washington, morganw@patriot.net.                      
————————————————————————————————
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4. PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO SPEAKS TO HOLODOMOR COUNCIL

Official Website of President of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Mar 19, 2007

Victor Yushchenko insists that those who deny the Holodomor and
Holocaust be punished as criminals.

“I insist that such a practice be introduced. I ask the Verkhovna Rada of
Ukraine to pass a bill on criminal responsibility for genocide denial.

This will be our contribution to the global cause of fighting disrespect for
human life, totalitarianism and national intolerance,” he said, adding that
similar laws had been enforced in many European countries, among them
Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, and Romania.

In his speech to the Holodomor Council in charge of holding events to
mark the 75th anniversary of the Soviet-era famine, the President outlined
strategic goals, both national and international, to commemorate the
anniversary.

He described the Great Famine of 1932-1933 as a “page in the history of the
world, not only Ukraine’s tragedy” and so said it was important to persuade
the European Union, the European Parliament and the Organization for
Security and Cooperation in Europe to recognize it as genocide against the
Ukrainian nation.

He added that two thirds of the country’s population approved and
welcomed last year’s parliamentary resolution on the Holodomor.

He said the Ukrainian diaspora abroad played and would continue to play an
important role in honoring the victims of the tragedy and asked the Foreign
Ministry of Ukraine and Ukrainian diplomats to actively inform the
international community about that period.

He said he would soon ask world leaders to declare the great famine as an
act of genocide and thanked the World Congress of Ukrainians for their
efforts.

The President said a few members of the European Parliament had recently
proposed a Holodomor declaration and added that leaders of the European
People’s Party, one of the leading parties in the European Parliament, had
reassured him in Brussels they would support it.

He also welcomed plans by the U.S. Congress to erect a monument honoring
the Holodomor victims in Washington. [The U.S. Congress is not going to
erect a Holodomor monument in Washington. The U.S. Congress passed
legislation approving the Government of Ukraine to build a monument on
federal land in Washington. AUR Editor.]

Mr. Yushchenko said the commemoration of the tragedy should include art
projects. (One of them is a requiem concert that will soon be performed
worldwide. Ukraine 3000, the international charitable foundation led by
Ukraine’s First Lady, will open a Holodomor exhibition in the European
Parliament next week.)

Mr. Yushchenko said it was important to create a Nationwide Memory Book
with the names of those who died from hunger and the list of the villages
and towns affected by the famine. (The National Memory Institute is overseeing
this project, which will be discussed at a next meeting of the Holodomor
Council.)

The President asked the country’s local governments to register and
inventory all the documents associated with the Great Famine by the end of
2007.

He then asked the Security Service of Ukraine, the Foreign Ministry and the
State Archive Committee to bring such documents back to Ukraine, and
called on Ukraine’s young to help them collect Holodmor materials and data.

Mr. Yushchenko said a Holodomor Memorial Complex in Kyiv would be
another “important step” and urged the government and Kyiv’s officials to
ensure that it is built by the fall of 2008. He called on regional
authorities to erect similar monuments and memorials in their regions.

The President insisted that the Education Ministry make pupils study the
causes and aftereffects of the tragedy and requested Education Minister
Stanislav Nikolayenko to hold a national contest of Holodomor research
papers among school pupils.

He said our ultimate goal was to make “Ukraine remember and the world
recognize” the Great Famine.

Mr. Yushchenko asked those present to formulate plans to mark the event
and promised to issue a decree based on their suggestions.

———————————————————————————————–
NOTE: The international members of the President’s Coordinating
Council to prepare for the Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary
of the 1932-1933 Holodomor who attended the first meeting of the
Council in Kyiv were: 
[1] Stefan Romaniw, Union of Ukrainian Organizations in Australia
[2] Michael Sawkiw, Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (USA);
[3] Orysia Sushko, Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC)
[4] Morgan Williams, SigmaBleyzer Private Equity Group (USA).

———————————————————————————————–
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5.   UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT MEETS HOLODOMOR COMMITTEE

Press Office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, March 19, 2007

KYIV – Victor Yushchenko has met with members of the Ukrainian World
Congress Committee for the Observances of the 75th Anniversary of the
1932-1933 Great Famine.

They spoke about how to mark the Holodomor anniversary and agreed
that it was necessary to inform the international community about this
tragedy by holding various cultural events.

They also discussed plans to erect a Holodomor monument in Washington
and build a Holodomor memorial in Kyiv. The head of the UWC Committee,
Stefan Romaniw, said it had been established to coordinate all these
efforts.

The President said Ukraine was interested in enhancing cooperation with the
diaspora. He suggested publishing a book on Holodomor to distribute it
throughout Ukraine, particularly in schools.              -30-
———————————————————————————————-
NOTE: Members of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) International
Holodomor Committee (IHC), 75th Commemoration of the Ukrainian
Genocide 1932-1933, who met with President Victor Yushchenko were:
[1] Stefan Romaniw, Union of Ukrainian Organizations in Australia
[2] Bohdan Futey, Judge, U.S. Court of Federal Claims (USA)
[3] Michael Hamilij, Ekonomika (Germany)
[4] Marta Kolomayets, U.S.-Ukraine Foundation (Ukraine)
[5] Michael Sawkiw, Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (USA);
[6] Orysia Sushko, Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC)
[7] Morgan Williams, SigmaBleyzer Private Equity Group (USA).
———————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/data/1_14371.html
————————————————————————————————

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========================================================      
6. RUSSIAN FEDERAL SECURITY SERVICE (FSB) ARCHIVES TO OFFER
      REAL PICTURE OF 1929-1932 FAMINE SAYS UNIVERSITY RECTOR
                   “It was not only a Ukrainian tragedy, it was the tragedy for
                        the whole Soviet peasantry,” he said. Over 3.5 million
                   people died outside Ukraine during the Holodomor, he said.

Interfax, Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, April 17, 2007

MOSCOW – A collection of documents taken from the archives of Federal
Security Service (FSB) concerned with the famine in the USSR in 1929-1932
will soon be prepared for presentation, head of the domestic history
department at the Penza State Pedagogic University Victor Kondrashin said

Speaking at a roundtable entitled “Problems in the publication of sources in
20th century Russian history”, he said that “a tendency has emerged whereby
people attempt to ‘get even’ in history in the issue of the Holodomor.

Ukraine has adopted a law on genocide in this connection. This is dancing on
the bones of the victims.” “Attempts to profiteer from history for political
goals are unacceptable,” he said.

The FSB archives will make it possible to show the truth about happened in
rural Russia in the 1930s. “It was not only a Ukrainian tragedy, it was the
tragedy for the whole Soviet peasantry,” he said. Over 3.5 million people
died outside Ukraine during the Holodomor, he said.

On the basis of FSB archives, a collection of documents will be prepared and
they will show that “the situation was not only a problem in Ukraine, and
therefore it is not possible to speak about a Ukrainian genocide,” he said.
The Holodomor during the 1930s was a tragedy that “ought to unite, not
divide, our peoples,” he said.                           -30-
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7.  TO ALL THOSE WHO NEVER LIVED TO SEE A PARCEL
 Memorial cross to Holodomor victims unveiled in Myrivka village, Kyiv oblast

INTERVIEW: With Mr. Pluhatarenko,
Interviewed by Nadia TYSIACHNA, The Day
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine April 3, 2007

[The Day] Mr. Pluhatarenko, please tell me a few words about yourself.

“I am 32. I was trained to be an economist. I live and work in Kyiv. In my
spare time I go on trips around Ukraine’s historic sites. Most of all I like
Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Cherkasy oblasts, probably because my family comes

from central Ukraine.”
 
[The Day] Have you studied your family tree?

“Until 2004, while my granny was still alive, I didn’t. Subconsciously I
regarded her as the person from whom our family sprang. I never even thought
twice about the possibility that she would die some day. When she died, I
realized I had not asked her about a lot of people. Then I decided to do
some research in the archives.

My minimum task was to establish my great-grandparents’ dates of birth (for
starters, I decided to install nameplates on their graves).

Every Saturday – which is my only day off when the Central State Historical
Archives are open – my wife and I hit the church and confessional books.
After a painstaking search we found entries of my great-grandparents’ birth.

Interestingly, they turned out to be younger. I assume that during the
Revolution and the Civil War my ancestors had to “age” – maybe they were
evading the draft and repressions.

I also found an entry of my granny’s birth. It is hard to put into words
what I felt at that moment. I must have felt that I had discovered extremely
important information that strengthened my bonds with her.

Incidentally, at her baptism she was named Pelaheia, not Paraskeva. I don’t
know why she decided (or had to) to change her name.

I only know that in the 1930s, when granny had to move to Kyiv, in the
village she was issued a certificate serving as a passport, in which she was
named Paraska Omelkivna. I also discovered information about some distant
relatives.

Fortunately, most of Myrivka’s church books have been preserved, and we

were able to trace my mother’s relatives to great-great-great-great-grandfather
Hryhorii Hryhorovych Rohoza (1753-1841) in the male line and to
great-great-great-great-great-grandfather in the female line.”

[The Day] When did you find out that your grandfather starved to death in
1933?

“First, I was told that my granddad, Omelian Sydorovych Rohoza (1870-

1933) starved to death because of a bad harvest. Later I learned that he
died because of the Holodomor that took place in Ukraine.

“My late grandmother, Paraska Omelianivna Baliasna (1912-2004), recalled how
she saved her mother, Odarka Makarivna Rohoza (1870-1933), in 1932. She was
21 at the time. She pulled her mother on a sled from Myrivka to Kyiv,
covering a distance of over 70 kilometers.

But she became sick and could not go back for her father; she only sent him
a parcel of food. He did not receive the parcel (at the time no parcels were
reaching the villages). When grandma got well and went back to Myrivka, she
found his grave.

“HE DID NOT GET THE PARCEL AND STARVED TO DEATH”
I was mostly struck by granny’s words: ‘He did not get the parcel and
starved to death.’ That is why I wanted to erect a monument to all those who
never lived to see a parcel. There are a lot of unknown graves in the
village cemetery, which have no crosses.

When my friends from abroad learned about my idea to organize and erect a
memorial cross, they expressed a fervent desire to contribute to this cause.

“I have invited journalists from The Day and other publications to Myrivka
on April 15 with the sole purpose of informing as many people about this
event as possible; to show the residents of Myrivka that a local event can
be of national importance and that the history of one village can be of
interest to people living thousands of miles away.”       -30-
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8. YUSHCHENKO CALLS ON UKRAINIANS TO ACTIVELY COLLECT
                  MATERIALS ABOUT 1932-1933 GREAT FAMINE 

Zoya Zhminko, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Mar 29, 2007

KYIV – President Viktor Yuschenko calls on Ukrainians to actively collect
materials about the 1932-1933 Great Famine. Ukrainian News learned this

from the presidential press service.

When unveiling a memorial sign to the famine victims in Luhansk, the
President asked the citizens to take active part in the collection of data
about this tragedy, find the lost burial sites and take care of them.

Yuschenko set a task before the leadership of Luhansk region to create
necessary conditions for proper commemoration of the famine victims by
erecting memorial signs, compiling registers of documents, renaming the
streets and squares named after people involved in the crimes of 1932-1933.

The President pointed to the importance of restoring the full and authentic
picture of the Ukrainian history of those times.

“I am sure that we are responsible with our own lives, our families, our
children, and we have to make everything we can today to make the Ukrainian
history of 1932-1933 part of our consciousness,” Yuschenko declared. He
reminded that Luhansk region lost one-fourth of its population in the
famine.

Yuschenko also reminded that the Institute of National Remembrance is
implementing a large-scale project to create a national book of remembrance,
and called on the public, on young and business people above all, to joint
this effort.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Yuschenko proposed that the parliament
impose fines equal to 100-300 minimum nontaxable incomes or a jail term of
up to two years for public denial of the 1932-1933 Famine in Ukraine or
Holocaust against the Jewish people.

The Verkhovna Rada declared the 1932-1933 Famine in Ukraine an act of
genocide against the Ukrainian people. According to various estimates,
between 3 million and 7 million people died in the 1932-1933 Famine in
Ukraine.                                          -30-
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9. YUSHCHENKO CALLS ON PARLIAMENTS OF ALL COUNTRIES TO
   DECLARE FAMINE OF 1932-1933 GENOCIDE AGAINST UKRAINIANS

Ruslan Kyrylenko, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Apr 12, 2007

KYIV – President Viktor Yuschenko calls on parliaments of all countries to
declare the Famine of 1932-1933 an act of genocide against the Ukrainian
people. The call is stated in his Appeal to the Heads of State of the World.

“As the President of Ukraine, I call to support the adoption of UN
resolution that would condemn the Famine in Ukraine, and I call on
parliamentarians of all countries worldwide to join the effort of
recognizing the Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine as an act of genocide

against the Ukrainian people,” the appeal reads.

Yuschenko said that it is going to be one more step toward prevention and
eradication of such a shameful phenomenon as genocide, provided there is
support from international community and mutual support among good will
people.

The president thanked the parliaments of those countries that have already
declared the Famine an act of genocide.

“Our state is thankful to the nations and parliaments of Australia, Georgia,
Estonia, Canada, Lithuania, Poland, the United States of America whose
legislative bodies made statements about the genocide-Famine,” the appeal
reads.

The Ukrainian leader reminds that today Ukrainian and foreign scientists
have found compelling evidences that the tragedy was engineered by
authorities then in power to kill the Ukrainian people.

“Not only grain was seized from them, but all foodstuffs. No food was
allowed to be taken to Ukrainian villages. The starving Ukraine was isolated
from other regions of the USSR, free movement of the population to the
regions that did not suffer from famine was prohibited.

These actions of the totalitarian regime have all signs of genocide under
the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

of December 9, 1948,” the President said.

He said the world community must condemn mass killings committed by
totalitarian regimes in the past in order to prevent them in the future.

Yuschenko reminds that the Verkhovna Rada passed the Law on the 1932-1933
Famine in Ukraine on November 28, 2006, by which it declared that the famine
was genocide against Ukrainians.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Yuschenko has recently urged the
Verkhovna Rada to introduce fines for public denial of the Holocaust and the
1932-1933 Famine in the amount ranging from 100 to 300 tax-exempt minimum
personal incomes or a prison term of up two years.

According to various estimates, between 3 million and 7 million people died
in the 1932-1933 Famine in Ukraine.                       -30-

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10.   CITY OF KYIV DECREE ON DESIGNING & CONSTRUCTING
             THE MEMORIAL COMPLEX TO THE VICTIMS OF THE
                                   HOLODOMORS IN UKRAINE

KYIV CITY STATE ADMINISTRATION
DECREE No. 315 [In Ukrainian]

March 23, 2007
The city of Kyiv

On designing and constructing
the Memorial Complex
to the victims of the Holodomors in Ukraine

According to the Law of Ukraine “On Local Government in Ukraine”, the

Law of Ukraine “On Principles of Urban Planning”, following Decrees of
the President of Ukraine “On the Commemoration of the Victims of the
Holodomors in Ukraine” of November 4, 2004, No. 1544/2005, and “On
2006 Celebration of the Day of the Commemoration of the Victims of
Holodomors and Political Repressions” of October 12, 2006, No. 868/2006,
and with the purpose to immortalize the memory of the victims of
Holodomors in Ukraine:

To design and construct, during 2007-2009, the Memorial Complex to the
victims of the Holodomors in Ukraine (hereinafter, the Memorial Complex) on
the land allotment bounded by the Dniprovs’kyiy Uzviz, the Park Road, the
territory of the Park of Eternal Glory and the walls of the National
Kyiv-Pechersk Historical and Cultural Sanctuary in the city of Kyiv.

The customer of the works indicated in Paragraph 1 of this Decree shall be
the municipal enterprise “The Board for Restoration and Renewal Works”.

The customer, i.e. the municipal enterprise “The Board for Restoration and
Renewal Works”, shall:

3.1.  Receive the architectural and planning assignment from the Main
Department of Urban Planning, Architecture and Design at the executive

body of the Kyiv City Council (Kyiv City State Administration).

3.2.  Ensure, in accordance with established procedure, the development and
approval of the design estimates for the creation of the Memorial Complex.

3.3.  Identify, on a tender basis, the general design organization and
general contractors for the completion of the works indicated in Paragraph 1
of this Decree.

3.4.  Settle land issues in accordance with established procedure.

3.5.  Receive permits from the central executive body in the sphere of
protection of cultural heritage, i.e. the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of
Ukraine, the Main Department for the Protection of Cultural Heritage at the
executive body of the Kyiv City Council (Kyiv City State Administration) for
the performance of the works indicated.

3.6.  Receive, after the fulfilment of Subparagraphs 3.1-3.5 of this Decree
and in accordance with established procedure, the permit for the completion
of the construction works from the Department of the State Architectural and
Construction Control at the executive body of the Kyiv City Council (Kyiv
City State Administration) and the order from the Main Department of Kyiv
City Improvement and External Design Control at the executive body of the
Kyiv City Council (Kyiv City State Administration).

Taking into consideration that according to Decree of the President of
Ukraine of October 12, 2006, No. 868/2006, the works that are indicated in
Paragraph 1 of this Decree will be financed from the state budget of
Ukraine.

To declare invalid the Decree of the Kyiv City State Administration of
January 12, 2004 No. 17 “On the State Historical and Memorial Complex to the
Victims of the Holodomor, Political Repressions and Forced Deportations” and
the Decree of the Kyiv City State Administration of August 4, 2005, No. 1445
“On Events to Commemorate the Victims of Political Repressions and
Holodomors in Ukraine”.

For Denys Y. Bass, First Deputy Head of the Kyiv City State Administration,
to pass a decision regarding the media coverage of the contents of this
Decree.

Control for the execution of this Decree shall be vested in the deputy heads
of the Kyiv City State Administration according to their division of
responsibilities.

Head Leonid Chernovetskyi –

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NOTE:  Decree translated from Ukrainian to English by the Action
Ukraine Report (AUR). 
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11.        KYIV PUTS OFF CONSTRUCTION OF FAMINE
                        VICTIMS MEMORIAL TO 2007-2009

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 27, 2007

KYIV – The Kyiv city state administration has postponed to 2007 – 2009
the construction of a memorial complex to famine victims, instead of the
previously set term of 2005 – 2006. Ukrainian News learned this from a
press release of the Kyiv city state administration.

Particularly, the administration voided its orders of 2004 and 2005 on the
construction of a complex in memory of the victims of famines and political
reprisals in 2005 – 2006.

Under the new order, the memorial will be built on the land lot bordered by
Dniprovskyi Downhill, Park Alley, the Eternal Glory Park and the Kyiv
Pechersk national history and culture reserve in Kyiv’s Pecherskyi district.

The municipal administration called municipal enterprise Directorate of
Restoration Efforts the customer of design and construction work. The
order says that the construction of the memorial will be financed from the
national budget.

As Ukrainian News reported, in January the Kyiv city council transferred a
land plot of 0.77 hectares at 15A Sichnevoho Povstannia Street (Pecherskyi
district) to the Directorate for the construction of a memorial to famine
victims.

In October 2006, President Viktor Yuschenko asked Kyiv Mayor Leonid
Chernovetskyi to speed up allocation of the land plot for construction of
the memorial.

The construction of the memorial in Kyiv is foreseen by the presidential
order of December 2002 and two decrees, of November 2005 and October
2006.

The Kyiv administration decided in 2005 to build a memorial to the victims
of political repressions and great famines before the year of 2007. The
memorial was to consist of a monument, a museum and a park called
Kalynovyi Hai (Snowball Tree Grove).

On November 25, Ukraine commemorates the victims of famines and
political repressions. The Ukrainian famine of 1932-1933, also known
as Holodomor, took from 3 million to 7 million lives according to various
estimates. Apart from this, according to some sources, Ukraine also had
famines in 1921 – 1923 and in 1946 – 1947.                    -30-
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12. KYIV MAYOR CHERNOVETSKY STALLING THE CONSTRUCTION
        OF THE MEMORIAL TO THE VICTIMS OF THE HOLODOMOR

Channel 5 TV, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, March 28, 2007

KYIV – The memorial to the victims of the Holodomor won’t be completed by
November 25 – the day of memory of political repressions and the Holodomor.

Notwithstanding calls by President Yushchenko to speed up the process of
creating the Memorial Complex, the Kyiv government reneged.  It annulled
the decrees by former Kyiv Mayor Oleksandr Omelchenko, recognizing them
as out of date.

According to the new resolution by Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky, the term for
completion of the museum is being moved to 2009.

It will be built between the Dniprovsky Uzviz, the Park Road, Park of Glory
and Lavra.  It will consist of a monument, museum and Guelder Rose Grove
Park

We remind you that the President has already ordered that a memorial be
erected in Kyiv three times.                              -30-
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LINK: http://5tv.com.ua/newsline/198//38949

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13. UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT WANTS HOLODOMOR & HOLOCAUST
                           DENIAL TO BE A CRIMINAL OFFENSE

The Day Weekly Digest #11, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 3, 2007

President Viktor Yushchenko has submitted a bill to the Verkhovna Rada,
introducing criminal liability for denying the Holodomor and the Holocaust.

Ukraine’s head of state said this is an urgent document that should be
discussed by parliament ahead of schedule, the president’s press service
reported last Wednesday.

The draft law “On Changes to the Criminal and Procedural Codes of Ukraine”
introduces criminal liability for denying the 1932-33 Holodomor in Ukraine
as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people and the Holocaust as an
act of genocide against the Jewish people.

The president is convinced that the passage of this law will spur Ukrainians
as well as Ukrainian citizens of all ethnic origins to rally around the idea
that society must not tolerate any manifestations of violence, should
respect life and the rights and liberties of citizens, and strengthen
interethnic harmony and civil peace in Ukraine.

“Passing this law will comply with European democratic standards and further
promote Ukraine’s prestige in the world,” the report says.

One argument in favor of this law is that a number of states have officially
recognized the 1932-33 Holodomor as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian
people and introduced criminal liability for publicly denying the Holocaust.

The report says that more than 10 European states, including France,
Switzerland, Belgium, and Poland, have made it a criminal offense to deny
the Holocaust.

In Austria, Romania, and the Czech Republic this offense carries a term of
imprisonment from 6 months to 10 years, and in Germany and Israel – up to 5
years. Romania has instituted a special punishment for civil servants – up
to five years in prison.

President Yushchenko has also instructed the Cabinet of Ministers to draw
up, in a month’s time, a number of measures to mark the 75th anniversary of
the Holodomor. The president signed a decree to this effect last Wednesday,
his press service reports.

The president says it is necessary to draw up a comprehensive list of
Holodomor victims, create a National Memorial Book and similar regional
memorial books, form a single register of Holodomor-related documents and
materials, produce a feature film and a documentary on the events of 1932-33
in Ukraine, and issue a commemorative postage stamp and envelope.

Other suggested events include the unveiling of monuments and commemorative
plaques in populated areas affected by the Holodomor, as well as additional
measures aimed at convincing the UN General Assembly and the European
Parliament to recognize the Holodomor as an act of genocide against the
Ukrainian people.

The president has also suggested measures to involve the Ukrainian community
abroad in organizing by Oct. 1, 2007 an international competition for the
best design of a monument honoring the victims of the Holodomor.

The president has also issued instructions to dismantle monuments and
commemorative signs to individuals implicated in the 1932-33 manmade famine
and political repressions, as well as to rename streets, squares, avenues,
and parks named after these individuals.

President Yushchenko has also proposed that an international forum be held
in Kyiv to mark the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor.

The president also said it is crucial to make the causes and results of this
Ukrainian tragedy an essential part of high school and university curricula.
————————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/179841/

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14. SPEAKER MOROZ SEES NO PERSPECTIVES FOR BILL MAKING
              PUBLIC DENIAL OF FAMINE, HOLOCAUST A CRIME
 

Interfax-Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukrainek, Saturday, March 24, 2007
 
KYIV – Verkhovna Rada Chairman Oleksandr Moroz sees no perspectives
for the presidential draft bill making public denial of Famine of 1932-1933
and Holocaust a crime to be supported by the Ukrainian
parliament.

“I don’t think there are prospects,” he said at a press conference in
Zhytomyr on Saturday.

Moroz noted that he supported the law recognizing the Famine as an act of
genocide. However, the endorsement of the presidential draft bill would
introduce, in Moroz’s opinion, persecution for opinion.
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15. FOREIGN MINISTER, LEADERS OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
                DISCUSS INTERNAL SITUATION IN UKRAINE

         Thanked deputies of the European Parliament for the initiative on
             drawing out a written declaration for recognizing Holodomor
             of 1932-1933 an act of genocide against the Ukrainian nation.
 
Oksana Torop, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, March 27, 20007

KYIV – On March 26 Minister of Foreign Affairs Arsenii Yatseniuk, and

leaders of the European Parliament discussed internal situation in Ukraine.
Ukrainian News learned this from the foreign ministry’s press service.

According to the statement, Yatseniuk met Vice President of the European
Parliament Marek Sivec and heads of the European Parliament delegation for
relations with Ukraine.

At the meeting they discussed internal situation in Ukraine, preparations
for signing a new Ukraine-EU agreement, which has been negotiated since
March 5.

Yatseniuk noted that this agreement should become a document which will
promote development of relations between Ukraine and the EU from the
principles of cooperation to the principles of political association and
economic integration.
RECOGNIZING THE HOLODOMOR AS GENOCIDE & EXHIBITION
Head of the foreign ministry also thanked deputies of the European
Parliament for the initiative on drawing out a written declaration for
recognizing Holodomor of 1932-1933 an act of genocide against the

Ukrainian nation and also for arranging an exhibition, which takes place
on March 16-30, devoted to this event.

As Ukrainian News reported before, in the morning of March 26 Yatseniuk
left for Brussels (Belgium) for meeting leadership of the European Parliament.
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16.  YATSENIUK INCLUDES EX-MINISTERS ZLENKO, UDOVENKO,
  HRYSCHENKO, TARASIUK INTO FOREIGN MINISTRY COLLEGIUM 
               Discussed holding of 75th Commemoration of Holodomor
                
Daria Hluschenko, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mar 24, 2007
KYIV – Minister of foreign affairs Arsenii Yatseniuk has included ex-heads
of the foreign ministry Anatolii Zlenko, Hennadii Udovenko, Kostiantyn
Hryschenko and Borys Tarasiuk into the foreign ministry collegium. Ukrainian
News learned this from the foreign ministry’s press service.

“In order to ensure consecutive operation of the external policy department
and raise efficiency of the collegium work they decided to include former
ministers of foreign affairs Anatolii Zlenko, Hennadii Udovenko, Kostiantyn
Hryschenko and Borys Tarasiuk into the collegium,” reads the statement.

       HOLDING 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF HOLODOMOR
At the March 23 collegium session they discussed process of negotiations
with the European Union on making the new basic agreement and holding

75th anniversary of Holodomor.

The collegium was attended by the chairman of the parliamentary committee
for foreign affairs Vitalii Shybko and members of this committee and
participants of the Ukrainian delegation for the negotiations with the EU on
this agreement.

As Ukrainian News reported previously, on March 21 Yatseniuk became head

of the foreign ministry.

Hryschenko was foreign minister in September 2003-February 2005; Zlenko had
occupied this post before him. Now both of them are working as advisors to
the Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

Yatseniuk’s predecessor Borys Tarasiuk was minister from February 2005 till
January 30, 2007 and in April 1998-September 2000. Before him Udovenko was
minister of foreign affairs in 1994-1998.                        -30-
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17.     YATSENIUK, BRITISH AMBASSADOR BARROW DISCUSS
                          POLITICAL SITUATION IN UKRAINE 
            75th Anniversary of the Holodomor (the famine of 1932-1933)

Olha Volkovetska, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Apr 12, 2007

KYIV – Foreign Affairs Minister Arsenii Yatseniuk and British Ambassador to
Ukraine Timothy Barrow have discussed the political situation in Ukraine.
This follows from a statement by the Foreign Affairs Ministry, a copy of
which was made available to Ukrainian News. According to the message, the
meeting took place on the ambassador’s initiative.

During the meeting, the sides also discussed Ukrainian-British bilateral
cooperation, development of trade and economic cooperation, cooperation in
energy sector, as well as the 75th anniversary of Holodomor (the famine of
1932-1933).

Special attention was paid to the drafting of the enhanced agreement between
Ukraine and the European Union.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, President Viktor Yuschenko issued the
decree on dissolution of the parliament and organization of early
parliamentary elections on April 2.

The parliament refused to abide by this presidential decree and filed a
petition with the Constitutional Court to question its constitutionality.
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18. SPECIAL HOLODOMOR DOUBLE ISSUE OF THE CANADIAN
        AMERICAN SLAVIC JOURNAL TO BE PUBLISHED IN 2008 

 
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #832, Article 18
Washington, D.C., Sunday, April 22, 2007
 
WASHINGTON, DC – The publisher of the Canadian American
Slavic Studies Journal, Charles Schlacks, plans to publish a special
Holodomor Double Issue of the Canadian American Slavic Studies
Journal to mark the 75th Commemoration in 2008.
 
Schlacks published an excellent special issue in of the Journal in the
fall of 2003 entitled “Holodomor, The Ukrainian Genocide, 1932-
1933.
 
Contributions are needed for the special issue. Mr. Schlacks would
like to publish as many documents as possible with brief commentaries.
He can publish articles in Ukrainian, Russian and German as well as
English and French.

Please contact the publisher at: Charles Schlacks, P.O. Box 1256
Idyllwild, CA 92549-1256, USA, schlacks.slavic@greencafe.com
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19. FT WEEKEND MAGAZINE – BOOKS ESSAY: GREAT DICTATORS
                               The Cambridge History of Russia

BOOK REVIEW: By Tony Barber, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Saturday, Jan 27, 2007

The Cambridge History of Russia
edited by Maureen Perrie
Cambridge University Press
(three volumes) £270, 2,412 pages

Like the double-headed eagle that was the symbol of the tsarist autocracy
overthrown in 1917 – and which was restored as the nation’s coat of arms
after communism fell – Russia looks simultaneously east and west.

For Peter the Great, Alexander II, the Bolsheviks and their post- communist
successors, Russia was and is a European power, but a relatively backward
one. Its world status has depended on catching up with its neighbours to the
west.

At the same time, Russia’s Christian and European identity has been
indelibly marked by the presence on its territory, from the 1552 annexation
of the khanate of Kazan, of a vast and varied world of non-Slav Muslims,
Buddhists and animists to the east.

In the heyday of the tsarist empire, and even in Soviet times, some Russians
saw themselves as a people with the “civilising” mission of extending
European values beyond the Ural mountains into Siberia, central Asia and the
far east. Fyodor Dostoevsky put it with characteristic acerbity: “In Europe
we are hangers-on and slaves, but in Asia we are masters.”

Geographically and culturally, Russia is both European and not European:
ruled for centuries by despots and cruel ideologues, yet often a beacon to
the world in literature, music, religion and science; usually unfree, yet
touched by genius amid unspeakable man-made hardships; the place that
produced Ivan the Terrible and Joseph Stalin, but also Anton Chekhov and
Andrei Sakharov.

Since the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, the study of Russian history has
undergone profound and beneficent change. Russian scholars no longer need

to dress up history in the ill-fitting clothes of state-supported Marxist
theory, or fear punishment for not complying with the party line.

Western scholars no longer waste time attacking Soviet versions of history
in academic battles. For Russians and westerners, the official falsification
and suppression of historical facts, a massive impediment to scholarship,
are things of the past.

True, some sensitive archives for the Soviet period have never been opened.
They almost certainly won’t be as long as Vladimir Putin, the former KGB
agent, is Russia’s president.

But once-unthinkable possibilities have opened up over the past 15 years –
for free travel, academic exchanges, research and access to hitherto secret
files.

The torrent of original source material and specialist studies that has
poured out since 1991 has enriched our knowledge of the Russian and Soviet
past. And it is heartwarming to see Russian historians free to make
contributions worthy of their talents.
                     CAMBRIDGE HISTORY OF RUSSIA
This three-volume Cambridge History of Russia, the first such
English-language reference work of its kind, is based on up-to-date research
and is admirably detailed and reliable in its judgments.

Its nearest equivalent, the seven-volume Longman History of Russia, was a
collection of individually authored works that appeared in the 1980s and
1990s; those dealing with the 19th and 20th centuries look particularly
dated.

By contrast, The Cambridge History of Russia draws on the scholarship of
dozens of historians, all experts in their fields, be they cultural, legal,
military, political or social.

The chapters are arranged chronologically and thematically. Although few
readers will devour all three volumes from cover to cover, some
contributions are of such outstanding quality that they deserved to be fully
read and savoured.

[1] In the first volume, a sketch of medieval Novgorod by Valentin Yanin,
the world’s leading authority on that city’s birch-bark documents,
underlines what an advanced and literate society it was, not unlike the
Venetian republic.

[2] In the second volume, Alexander Martin looks at Russia’s defeat of
Napoleon Bonaparte’s 1812 invasion and draws telling comparisons with other
turning points in Russian history.

After 1812, as after the triumph over Nazi Germany in 1945, or during the
collapse of communism in 1989-91, the oppressed Russian people felt a rare
surge of hope that the future would bring a better life.

They also sensed that Russia’s social order might be in danger – and in all
three cases, from Alexander I to Stalin to Putin, the rulers played on those
fears to restore central controls and curb freedom.

[3] The third volume, on the 20th century, is full of nuggets mined from
previously unavailable or unknown archives. Such long-sealed documents,
cited in Donald Raleigh’s chapter on the 1917-21 civil war, leave no doubt
about the willingness of Vladimir Lenin, founder of the Soviet state, to
resort to mass repression against his opponents or even ordinary civilians.

It is a tribute to the impact of Soviet methods of indoctrination that, as
late as 1999, opinion surveys showed that Russians regarded Lenin as the
second greatest person in world history after Peter the Great. Perhaps one
should be grateful he didn’t come first, as he did in 1989.

  KEY FEATURES OF STALINISM WERE EMBEDDED IN
                 RUSSIAN LIFE DURING LENIN’S RULE

Key features of Stalinism were embedded in Russian life during Lenin’s rule:

     [1] suppression of political opposition,
     [2] denial of representative government,
     [3] the communist party’s dictatorship,
     [4] the establishment of a secret police,
     [5] propaganda and lies as the highest forms of state communication,
     [6] ruthless economic centralisation,
     [7] nationalisation of industry,
     [8] forced requisitioning of grain from the peasantry,
     [9] famine, shootings and terror.

Some of these practices drew, in turn, on Russia’s tradition of autocracy,
with its total absence of national representative institutions, low level of
popular participation in political life, and official cult of the ruler.

The strict regulation of work and private life was a feature of tsarist
rule, too. Peter the Great (in power from 1689-1725) imposed western

dress on town-dwellers and ordered men’s beards to be cut off. Catherine
the Great (1762-96) decreed hours of work, even the length of meal breaks
for apprentices.

Historians still debate the extent to which the autocratic tradition was
shaped by the Mongol conquest of ancient Russia, the land known as Rus’,

in 1237-40. Even before the Mongols came, however, Russians were
different from their western neighbours.

Russia’s national consciousness developed out of its 10th-century conversion
to Christianity, but unlike the Poles, Germans and other Europeans, the
Russians were eastern Orthodox rather than Roman Catholic or Protestant.

Until the 17th century, Russia was almost entirely cut off from the
cultural, scientific and commercial advances of western Europe. Universities
were unknown, virtually everything in print was a sacred Orthodox text, and
portrait painting scarcely existed. As late as 1797, Russia’s literacy rate
was a mere 6.9 per cent.

But in one area crucial to its self-perception, Russia stood out. The fall
of Byzantine Constantinople to the Ottoman empire in 1453 meant that
Muscovy, later Russia, was the only Orthodox state left on earth.

It was therefore, in its own eyes, the guardian of true Christianity.
Russia’s tsar saw himself as the embodiment and enforcer of God’s will,
ruling a country that was God’s chosen state.

The temptation is strong to see parallels with the Bolsheviks’ messianic
vision of Russia blazing a trail on mankind’s behalf to the blessed eternity
of communism.

Richard Hellie, discussing the evolution of Russian law before Peter the
Great, writes: “Muscovy was the perfect ancestor of the Soviet Union, a
radical political organisation with a programme of social change it was
constantly trying to enact.” Such analogies must not be overdrawn.

             STALIN’S FORCED COLLECTIVISATION

                              OF FARMS IN 1928-1933
               Millions of peasants were murdered, sent into exile or
                                  made to die from famine
Still, it is striking how closely the tsarist institution of serfdom
resembles the state of servitude into which Soviet peasants were cast by
Stalin’s forced collectivisation of farms in 1928-33.

Of course, under the tsars, millions of peasants were not murdered, sent
into exile or made to die from famine, as under Stalin.

Stalin, Georgian-born but a skilled manipulator of Russian national feeling,
promoted a cult of Ivan the Terrible (who ruled 1533-84) as a statesman who
fought courageous battles against domestic traitors. After Stalin’s death in
1953, his successors condemned these travesties of Ivan’s reign as
allegorical apologias for Stalinism.

The Soviet victory over the Nazis became a touchstone of Russian culture,
because after the horrors of Stalin’s tyranny, not to mention the bloody
divisions of the revolution and civil war, it was the main unifying
experience of post-1917 history for Russians.

Stalin’s suspicion of western culture was so deep that, after 1945, the
famous western Stagecoach was shown to Soviet audiences with its title
changed to The Journey Will Be Dangerous. The official guidance was that it
was “an epic about the struggle of Indians against White imperialists on the
frontier”.

Nikita Khrushchev, Stalin’s successor, earned the gratitude of millions by
opening labour camps and denouncing some aspects of Stalinism.

Yet, as he lamented to Fidel Castro in 1963, there was something maddeningly
stodgy about Russia: “No matter what changes I propose and carry out,
everything stays the same. Russia’s like a tub of dough, you put your hand
in, down to the bottom, and you think you’re master of the situation.

When you first pull out your hand, a little hole remains, but then, before
your eyes, the dough expands into a spongy, puffy mass. That’s what Russia
is like!”

Under Leonid Brezhnev, who ruled from 1964 to 1982, repression remained a
tool of state policy, but fear largely disappeared from daily life. Young
people, in particular, found the regime’s propaganda embarrassing and its
promises empty.

But contacts with the western world were broadening. Even after the 1979
Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the subsequent freeze in US-Soviet
relations, the atmosphere in cities such as Leningrad (now renamed St
Petersburg) remained relaxed enough for visiting western students to sell
jeans and have sex with Soviet students – some of the latter KGB informers.

Brezhnev’s reign was known under the reformist Mikhail Gorbachev as the era
of zastoi (stagnation), but Archie Brown argues that, when Gorbachev took
over in 1985, there was no reason why the Soviet Union should not have
survived into the 21st century. Gorbachev’s rule, he says, “was not so much
a case of crisis forcing radical reform as of radical reform generating
crisis”.

This it did. By December 1991, the Soviet Union had fallen apart.
Ultimately, it was a victim of its own illegitimacy (since, in January 1918,
the Bolsheviks dissolved Russia’s freely elected Constituent Assembly after
just one 13-hour session).

It was also a victim of its own murderousness and incompetence in power. As
Martin Malia put it in his 1994 book The Soviet Tragedy: “There is no such
thing as socialism, and the Soviet Union built it.”

Yet Gorbachev contributed to the Soviet Union’s demise with three mistakes.
In declining to seek direct election as Soviet president, he lost ground to
his rival Boris Yeltsin, who in 1991 was elected president of the Russian
republic. Gorbachev was also a flop as an economic reformer.

Lastly, he made a disastrous tactical mistake in the winter of 1990-91 by
accommodating the hardliners who were to launch the coup against him in
August 1991. It was the failure of this coup that doomed the Soviet Union.

If it is too early to pass judgement on postcommunist Russia, one thing is
clear: democracy, the rule of law and free market economics are frail
flowers in a garden full of the weeds of state- sponsored violence (as in
Chechnya), private lawlessness, insider privatisation and other blatant
corruption.

Even in the generally free elections of 1993-96, there was widespread
support for anti-reform forces and very little for politicians identifiable
as western-style liberals.

What is the lesson? Like that of all Russian history, it is that whatever
dreams foreigners may wish to impose on Russia, the country is so big,
proud, inert and visionary that, for better or worse, it will in the end
decide its own destiny.                                  -30-
———————————————————————————————–
Tony Barber is a former Reuters correspondent in Russia and currently

the FT’s Rome bureau chief.
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20. REMEMBRANCE DAY FOR VICTIMS OF HOLODOMOR & POLITICAL
          REPRESSIONS, ADDRESS BY METROPOLITAN VOLODYMYR

ADDRESS: by Metropolitan Volodymyr on the Remembrance
Day for the Victims of Holodomor and Political Repressions
Website of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (in Ukrainian), 2006
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #832, Article 20 (in English)
Washington, D.C., Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Ukrainian people survived one of the most horrendous tragedies in its
history, the Holodomor. Ukraine, a recognized world’s granary, was afflicted
with a massive famine. The Holodomor led to numerous deaths and caused

a lot of grief.

The Holodomor had its objective and subjective causes and consequences.

The manmade famine in 1932-1933 was induced by the Bolsheviks to speed
up forceful collectivization, liquidate well-off peasants as class, and
exterminate political opponents of the Soviet regime.

However, there exist a factor that is common for this social cataclysm and
other repressions launched by the totalitarian Soviet regime. It is a
radical revolution in ideology: renunciation of Christ and Christian morals
and their replacement with anti-Christ.

The followers of this new belief had declared as their aim to build a
paradise on earth without God. What they believed was light was, in fact,
darkness.

Their ideology was based on eternal darkness, as only God is the source of
light. Instead of goodness, their ideology brought evil, as only the God is
creator of any goodness.

Where paradise is built without God, hell comes. Instead of a promised
heavenly life, the people, intoxicated with Soviet propaganda, had to accept
the torments of hell.

Ukraine has had its share of hard times. Natural calamities, wars, social
and political upheavals ended in various crises, including “extermination,
the sword of the famine” (Job. 51,19).

  IT WAS A CYNICAL, TARGETED, MERCILESS ANNIHILATION
For the first time in its history, Ukraine was afflicted in the 1930s with
manmade famine, massive extermination of millions of its citizens. It was a
cynical, targeted and merciless annihilation.

Such a crime could happen only in a society based on hate for the God and
the man. Millions died in the country that has the richest black soil on
earth.

This genocide was an attempt to destroy the soul of the people and reduce
the nation to absolute spiritual slavery. The genocide was devil’s reprisal
for the regime’s inability to destroy the belief in God and love for the
creator in the minds of Ukrainians.

Such belief could have been destroyed only by physical liquidation of
believers. That is why on the back of spiritual famine induced by the regime
came physical famine.

The authorities took away food from the population, like they had tried
earlier to take away spiritual food. Due to the fertile land, the crop was
good as usual.

But all grain that was hard won by peasants’ work, was confiscated. The
authorities took away everything that could be eaten, till the last seed.

      THOSE WHO GATHERED SPIKELETS WERE SHOT
Those starving who gathered spikelets in the fields were shot. The agony of
the famine was really hellish. Ukrainians were dying at such a rate they
couldn’t be buried.

Many exhausted by starvation were buried alive in common graves. Children
suffered the most. The Moloch of Communism devoured innocent souls with
diabolical callousness.

Ukraine lost millions of her sons who died in tortures and sufferings. Those
who survived will remember the Communist “paradise on earth” with no place
for God.

Seventy-five years have passed since that time. Time heals spiritual wounds,
but this wound in the heart of Ukraine cannot be healed. It will remain an
ever-present non-healing reminder of the time when the devil ruled in
Ukraine and other countries of the Soviet empire.

   MY MOTHER RECALLED THE EVENTS, CRYING BITTERLY                

My family also suffered in the Holodomor. I remember how my mother
recalled the 1932-1933 events, crying bitterly. One of my brothers was
born at the  time.

My mother exchanged several old silver spoons for a measure of millets. It
was the food that could have fed my brother for several days.

Then, Red Army soldiers broke into our home searching for food. Having

found nothing, they grabbed the baby by his leg and threw him out of his
cradle.
They took away millets which my mother had hidden under the baby,
something that no human being could have done.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church deeply grieves the victims of the

Holodomor and other repressions by the Soviet totalitarian regime.
SOVIET REGIME WAGED A BLOODY WAR AGAINST OWN PEOPLE
We pray for tens of millions of them, executed, tortured to death in jails,
exterminated by spiritual and physical violence, dead from starvation. No
war can claim the same number of victims. In reality, the Soviet regime
waged a bloody war against its own people.

The UOC has condemned the factors that led to this tragedy. The perpetrators
cannot be justified, and history has already passed its verdict.

No repressions could save the system based on sin, hate of God, neglect of
basic moral principles of people – belief, hope and love. “Woe shall befall
those who breed lawlessness”(Mich. 2,1).

The UOC has denounced the erroneous and cruel ideology that made this
tragedy possible and called for those blinded to confess and revoke
opposition to God in all its forms.

The UOC is calling for stopping extremist actions, intolerance, revenge,
hatred, division into friend and enemies. God has no enemies. The time has
come for spiritual unification of Ukrainians and return to age-old spiritual
values. History has amply proven what renunciation of Christian values can
lead to.

Only the sacred belief, unshakable hope, and all-winning love can help build
a worthy future and save from the mistakes of the past. The church reveals
the eternal life of the martyrs of the Holodomor.

As a loving Mother, the sacred Ukrainian Orthodox Church is praying for
their life in heaven. May their memory live forever.

Their souls will reemerge in good deeds. And the memory of them will be
remembered by generations and generations.                -30-
———————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://orthodox.org.ua/uk/node/865
———————————————————————————————–
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21.                         ESSAY: THE IRON ARCHIVES
        Access to Russian historical archives has eroded, ‘re-secretization’

ESSAY: By Rachael Donadio, The New York Times,

New York, New York, Sunday, April 22, 2007

Since the end of the cold war, historians have mined the Russian archives
for insights into the nature of the Soviet empire and its global reach.

New documents have shed light on such matters as the Alger Hiss and
Rosenberg spy cases and also illuminated the relationships between Moscow
and revolutionary movements in other countries – sometimes fueling old
debates more than settling them.

But after a golden age in the early 1990s, archival access eroded. Today,
conversations with nearly two dozen historians point to a worrisome
tightening that has kept key archives closed and subjected others to
unpredictable “re-secretization.”

Freighted with symbolic import and subject to political pressures, access to
archives is a barometer of any government’s commitment to transparency. (In
the United States, the House and Senate passed bills last month to counter
what Democrats and Republicans alike see as an erosion of the Freedom of
Information Act.) But the political changes in post-Soviet Russia make it a
particularly fraught issue.

Boris Yeltsin threw open some archives to help discredit the just-toppled
Communist regime. But by the mid-1990s many of those archives had closed,
while others – including the foreign and military intelligence archives and
the defense ministry archive – were never open to most researchers in the
first place.

Today’s uncertainty seems to bear out the old joke: In Russia, how can
anyone predict the future when it’s so hard to predict the past?

Under Vladimir Putin – a former K.G.B. agent who has been consolidating
power since becoming president in 2000 – “the preoccupation with secrecy
only increased,” Ilya Gaiduk, a fellow of the Russian Academy of Sciences in
Moscow and an expert on Soviet policy in Asia, said in an e-mail message.

“Every archival official knows that he or she would be safer” erring on the
side of “denying access to documents.” The problems are both bureaucratic
and political.

The slow-moving federal committee in charge of declassifiying state archive
material has been renamed the Commission on State Secrets, and it sees its
mandate as protecting them, scholars say. And it has little jurisdiction
over some key agencies or ministries, which operate according to their own
rules.

Kyrill Anderson, the director of the Russian State Archive of Social and
Political History (formerly the Communist Party archive), acknowledged in a
telephone interview that declassification is not going as quickly as many
would like. But the picture isn’t entirely negative.

Last year, Anderson said, his archive declassified 20,000 documents, while
the archive of the Communist International is partly available on the
Internet.

In the past five years, other scholars say, significant new material has
become available, including documents about Stalin-era Politburo meetings,
Khrushchev-era Presidium meetings, Central Committee plenum transcripts and
associated documents from 1967 through 1990, and the complete Communist
Party Congress records.

This spring, Yale University Press and the Hoover Institution at Stanford
hope to finalize an arrangement to digitize and publish rarely seen material
from Stalin’s personal archive, including correspondence about the purges of
the ’30s and the immediate postwar period.

“It’s like the Dead Sea Scrolls for the Stalin period,” said Jonathan Brent,
the editorial director of Yale University Press, who is negotiating the
arrangement, as he has many others for Yale’s Annals of American Communism
series, which has published some of the most important recent books drawing
on Russian archives. The new material, Brent says, provides “a sense of
Stalin the individual, his psychology, his growth as a leader.”

The British historian Simon Sebag Montefiore was granted access to some of
that material for his book “Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar” (2004) and
the forthcoming “Young Stalin.” But like so much else in Russia, that was a
matter of connections.

After his “Prince of Princes: The Life of Potemkin” (2001) appeared,
Montefiore said, a Putin adviser invited him for a drink in a London hotel
to discuss whether Potemkin, as “an authoritarian but enlightened ruler,”
might make a good model for Putin.

“After that, I got the green light to have access to Stalin’s papers,”
Montefiore said. “The whole of Russian life is as patronage- and
personality-based as it was in Catherine the Great’s time.”

Indeed, since the fall of the Soviet Union, archives, like natural
resources, have often been at the center of complicated multinational deals.

Andrew Meier, author of “Black Earth: A Journey Through Russia After the
Fall” and a forthcoming biography of an American spy for the Soviets,
recalled a conversation with an archivist who pointed at a locked safe and
asked, “Why should we sell crude oil when we can refine our own oil and sell
it abroad?”

To some, collaborations between Western publishers and Russian archives aren’t
necessarily signs of a broader openness. “There’s no notion that there’s a
public domain,” said Vlad Zubok, a cold war historian at Temple University.

Material often becomes the “property of the archivists,” he said. “They sit
on this and wait for some people who can come offer them some combination

of good money and attractive trips abroad.”

In 1992, Crown signed a deal with the K.G.B. to publish a series of books
co-written by Western historians and Russian authors. (Crown’s parent
company, Random House, reportedly paid $1 million in advances and
contributed to a fund for retired K.G.B. agents.)

For “The Haunted Wood” (1998), about Soviet espionage in America during

the Stalin era, Allen Weinstein, now the national archivist of the United
States, was one of the few people granted access to Russian military
intelligence archives. His co-author, Alexander Vassiliev, a former K.G.B.
agent, did the legwork and “provided the inside research,” Weinstein said.

But few scholars can retrace their steps, since the intelligence archives
were subsequently resealed. So were some materials made available to the
historians Harvey Klehr and John Earl Haynes for “The Secret World of
American Communism” (1995), another book that emerged from the Crown

deal (and was eventually published by Yale).

Aided by their co-author, Fridrikh Firsov, a Comintern expert at the former
Party archive, they relied on security communications about the recruitment
of American agents.

“Now you can’t get access even though we had access and published them,”
Klehr said. “Even then … every time somebody found something significant
and embarrassing, the screws tightened.”

Others scholars offer tales of more recent closures. Mark Kramer, the
director of cold war studies at Harvard, cites the abrupt closing, in
September 2003, of material on Stalin’s postwar foreign policy that had been
available since the early ’90s.

“One day I was able to order files … and a couple of days later I was told
that the whole opis” – or batch of material – “had been sealed and would
need to be re-declassified,” Kramer said in an e-mail message.

“I was no longer permitted to see even the files I had pored over in the
past.” Similarly, James Person, an associate at the Cold War International
History Project, which publishes material from former Communist countries,
said that five years ago he consulted documents from 1956 concerning the
Soviet relationship with North Korea; when he returned in March 2006, they
had been reclassified.

But many researchers find imaginative side doors. “You don’t give up because
you can’t get into the presidential archive in Moscow, which is still the
holy of holies,” James Hershberg, a historian at George Washington
University, said of the former Politburo archive that contains the most
sensitive material.

Documents off limits in Moscow, he said, can often be found in the archives
of former Warsaw Pact allies. According to Christian Ostermann, the director
of the Cold War International History Project, “China is starting to catch
up if not surpass Moscow in terms of archival access.”

But for the most part, historians say there’s no going back to the bad old
days. Constantine Pleshakov, a military historian at Mount Holyoke College,
recalls requesting material in the ’80s on the meeting between Kennedy and
Khrushchev. “What I got was a list of furniture of the Soviet Embassy in
Vienna,” Pleshakov said. “I’m not kidding.”

“There’s a drive of sorts toward the truth,” said Robert Conquest, the
venerable cold warrior and author of “The Great Terror.” “After all, they
didn’t really manage to totally suppress it the whole Soviet period, in
spite of destroying the intelligentsia and ruining the country.”  -30-
————————————————————————————————
Rachel Donadio is a writer and editor at the Book Review.

————————————————————————————————
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/22/books/review/Donadio.t.html?ref=books
————————————————————————————————
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