Soviet-era repression, deportation & famine wiped out a third of Ukraine’s population

Editor’s Note

It is literally impossible to count the exact number of victims of political repression in Ukraine. According to the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance, tens of thousands of people were executed, hundreds of thousands were imprisoned, sent to concentration camps or maximum security penal colonies, and interned in psychiatric wards. During the Great Terror/Purge of 1937-1938 alone, 198,918 people were arrested in the Ukrainian SSR, about two-thirds of whom were executed. It is estimated that the number of victims in Ukraine reached a third of the total population. Thus, the Great Terror further “purged” Ukraine after forced collectivization and the 1932-33 Holodomor had already decimated most of the population.The Great Terror/Purge was one of the worst and largest mass crimes carried out by the Stalinist regime against the population. In 1992, the discovery in the Soviet archives of the NKVD’s secret operational Order No.00447 of July 30, 1937, drastically changed the world’s perception of Stalin’s Great Terror.

On July 2, 1937, Stalin personally composed and signed Resolution P51/94 “On Anti-Soviet Elements” of the Central Committee of the CPSU(b), thus initiating the Great Purge. The document was aimed at arresting and liquidating the “kulaks” (affluent peasants). Within five day, the Central Committee should be provided with a report on the formation of troikas (special NKVD committees) and the number of people to be arrested, executed, and sentenced to forced-labour camps.

Resolution P51/94 triggered NKVD Order No.00447 of August 5, 1937 “(“On repression of former kulaks, criminals, and other anti-soviet elements”). It was undersigned by Nikolai Yezhov, head of the NKVD from 1936 to 1938, during the height of the Great Purge.

NKVD Order No.00447 of August 5, 1937 “(“On repression of former kulaks, criminals, and other anti-soviet elements”). Photo: Wikipedia

From that date on, NKVD troikas set out to massively “cleanse” society of anti-soviet elements, which included so-called “kulaks, spies, saboteurs, counter-revolutionaries, fascist agents, the clergy, bourgeois nationalists, etc”. These groups were labeled as counter-productive and not suitable for building communism.

Anti-soviet elements also included educated and active people, and first and foremost, members of the Ukrainian intelligentsia, which, according to Stalin, “did not deserve to be trusted”. The repression spread to all regions and all classes of society, from top party officials to simple farmers.

Thus, the document of the Central Committee of the CPSU(b) proposed the formation of extrajudicial bodies called troikas, which were made up of three officials who issued sentences to people after simplified, speedy investigations and without a public and fair trial. Order No.00447 then proceeded to establish, for every region and republic, round-number quotas of persons subject to “punitive measures” in the first and in the second category.

The outcome of such trials was often determined before they even began due to targeted numbers of citizens to be executed or imprisoned in prison camps.

“The lists were distributed to these special NKVD committees in each republic, region and district. People were classified into two categories: Category I-death by shooting, Category II-Gulag labour camp. Districts and regions reported that they were surpassing quotas… it became a real socialist competition (!). The special committees demanded an increase in quotas, especially for Category I, and requested “alternative plans”(!) People’s Commissar of Internal Affairs of the Ukrainian SSR Izrail Leplevsky appealed three times to Moscow to increase the quotas for the elimination of “enemies of the people”. He was executed in January 1938, and his successor, People’s Commissar Aleksandr Uspensky also requested an increase in quotas. Moscow satisfied both requests…” notes Vasyl Ovsiyenko, former political prisoner, member of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group and well-known public figure and writer.

In pursuance of Order No.00447 (commonly referred to as the “Kulak Operation”), “cleansing” operations continued in the Gulag concentration camps. In general, they lasted over 15 months and were officially terminated by a resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU(b) on November 15, 1938. However, arrests and repressions continued…

According to former dissident Vasyl Ovsiyenko, “it is impossible to count the number of victims of repression, deportation and famine in Ukraine”. The American historian and Holodomor researcher James Mace defined this period of Ukraine’s history as post-genocidal, stating that “Stalin’s sociological scorched earth policy maimed Ukraine to such an extent that it created a discontinuity in the normal development of the Ukrainian  people…”.

As more and more information is unveiled, dozens of mass execution and mass burial places have been found during the past fifteen years (the “special shooting ranges” of Butovo near Moscow, Levachovo on the outskirsts of Leningrad, Bykivnia near Kyiv, Sandarmokh in Karelia, Vinnitsa in Ukraine, etc).

Commemorative photos of Ukrainian intellectuals fixed to trees around the pits at Sandarmokh. Photo: open source

Translated by: Christine Chraibi

Source: Radio Liberty

Source: Holos Ukrayiny

15 comments

  • Stalin was a monster on equal billing with Stalin and Mao. He murdered millions in Holodomor, and went to finish off Ukraine in 1937.

    Liked by 4 people

    • You should include Lenin, who was a vile, sadistic fiend. Stalin simply carried on where he left off. Had the bastard lived longer, his death count would have been even higher than Stalin.

      Liked by 1 person

  • I’m tired of jews claiming they are the only ones who suffered. The Holocaust and Holodomor was a genocide of slavic people. Not to mention the Ottomans. Slavic people suffered LIKE NO OTHER!

    Liked by 3 people

    • The West are just as bad in not recognising the atrocities against Ukraine, in fear of upsetting Stalin worshipper, Putin.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Sooner or later whites, christians, the West will change. Damage control. But i may not see it happen in my lifetime…

        Liked by 4 people

        • There cannot be a damage control if the whites, Christians and the West keep wallowing in their past deeds (slavery, colonies, and so forth) and allow everyone and all to walk all over them. In ten or twenty years, the others will have outnumbered us and then that’s it.

          Liked by 4 people

    • They don’t make that claim. Unless you have evidence? The victims of the holodomor and subsequent purges of intellectuals by Stalin also included large amounts of Jews.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Possible. Yet non-jewish victims of genocide are not treated the same way as jews. I don’t doubt the awful crimes the jews suffered for centuries, yet i would like to see equal attention being paid to the holocausts of slavs for centuries. Ukrainians, Poles, Serbs, Bulgars and (white{monarchist}) ruSSians suffered terribly under Prussia, Turkey, Hitler and Stalin.

        Liked by 3 people

  • The West must treat mafia land and Stalin as it has Germany. To this day, there have been no apologies and no reparations from the shithole. The West almost wholly ignores the Holodomor and other atrocities by the Georgian monster. Is it because Jews are the better people than Slavs?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Your point is valid but you reach the wrong conclusion. The holodomor is a staggering crime; almost unequalled. Yet was followed by the slaughter of intellectuals, dissidents etc, which included many Jews. Then came the Nazis . Half of the entire victims of the holocaust were Ukrainian. Plus an unknown number of Ukrainian Gypsies.
      The Holocaust is a unique crime of extreme savagery and it must always be kept in the public conscience.
      The Armenian genocide is another one that needs more recognition.
      But there is another one that no one knows or cares about and only got some publicity when the fiends of isis recommenced raping, torturing and murdering Yazidis. This was the continuation of a genocide that has lasted 1300 years. So ‘successful’ was it that there are now not even one million Yazidis left in the world. Yet no one has drawn attention to the fact that the entirely peaceful Yazidis are more ancient than the Jews, yet were never given their homeland back after it was stolen by the muzloids.

      Liked by 2 people

      • My conclusion was rhetorical but it sheds light on a topic that leaves questions unanswered. I will never downplay the Holocaust. However, almost wholly ignoring other mass slaughters or applied starvations to eliminate a people or a large part of them is just as deplorable. You’ve mentioned the Armenian genocide. I heard about it for the first time from a good buddy in the military. I’ve never seen, heard, or read about it before then. The Holodomor was unknown to me until only a few years ago. But, the Holocaust has been pounded into my mind since childhood. The Ruskies, Turks, Chinks, Japanese and all the other mass murderers should also be held accountable, not only the krauts. Ignoring their crimes seems only to give them the satisfaction of thinking their crimes were not worth mentioning.

        Liked by 4 people

        • Of course all genocide is unimaginably evil and it is impossible and unfair to ‘rank’ such crimes in order of bestiality. Yet there is something about the Holocaust that has a unique power. The deliberate, systematic attempt to wipe out an entire race, whilst harvesting their organs, conducting demonic experiments on their children and even pulling out their gold teeth and at the same time laughing about it continues to chill the bones.
          But also don’t forget the Yazidis, who suffered savagery for longer than anyone. Who will give them back their homeland and pay reparations? They should have a population of many millions, yet they are nearly all gone.

          Liked by 3 people

      • Also forgotten is the holocaust of christians in Turkey. In 1912 25% of Turkey’s population was christian. In 1945 only 5%. And today 0,5%!!! But, nobody cares. The world keeps silent.

        Liked by 3 people

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