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The Ukrainian Genocide: The Worst Tragedies In Ukranian History

1238 words - 5 pages

Out of all the genocides that occurred during the 1900’s, only one possessed the most fatal outcome. Compared to the six million deaths in the Holocaust, this genocide had between two million to ten million people. The Ukrainian genocide proved to be the one of the worst tragedies in Ukrainian history.
The Soviet Union was responsible for this genocide; specifically Joseph Stalin, who was very opposed to Ukrainian nationalism. He came into power after the fall of the Russian Empire and after Vladimir Lenin gained power but died a year later. His main goal in the Ukraine was to destroy Ukrainian nationalism and get rid of the Kulaks. Kulaks were considered peasants who were better off economically and a threat to state control. In order to gain control of the Ukraine, Stalin implemented his five-year plan.
During Stalin’s five year plan, he wanted to increase agriculture massively to feed the people working in industry as well as sell to strengthen the economy. Stalin began the genocide by annihilating “Ukraine’s cultural intelligentsia—not so much its engineers, doctors, and technicians, but its linguists, historians, artists, folk singers, and others whose work and professional lives suggested a separate cultural or historical identity for Ukraine” (History in Dispute). They had also included Ukrainian communists in the first objective. Stalin’s second objective was to destroy the economic and political relevance of individual peasant farmers. Most Ukrainian residents had their owns farms even when the serfs were in existence; prosperous on their own with the New Economic Policy from the 1920’s. Stalin’s plan would end the independent ways of living and prosperous peasantry.
Under the implementation, many of the most talented farmers and community leaders were deported with their families to other parts of the Soviet country, where most of them died. This would supposedly add an anti-Ukrainian element in order to destroy their social basis. The only people that were left were the regular farmers from before. Now, Stalin would proceed to the next step; forcing the remaining peasants into collective farms.
Once Stalin implemented collective farms into the Ukraine around early 1932, the government forced regular farmers to work in the collective farms. Measures were implemented by the government which “actively and deliberately caused a large number of unnatural deaths” (History in Dispute). Grain quotas were increased to thirty eight percent when Ukrainian people normally only produced twenty seven percent; resulting in the increase of production by forty percent.
By August 1932, non-Ukrainian communist officials were ordered to seize every ounce of wheat or grain they found, collecting infinite amounts. The secret police officials would search peoples homes, executing any resistance. The smallest amount of grain found concealed in houses would result in heavy crimes against the state; leading to long or lethal sentences...

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