Scoop Search

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Kremlin neuters UN on Mugabe, Stalin

Russia’s torpedoing of sanctions against Zimbabwe wasn’t the only outrage Moscow engineered in the UN late last week. On July 11 the ambassador of the world’s largest country to the 192-nation organization lobbed the latest news bomb in the Kremlin’s ongoing disinformation war concerning the artificial famine it organized over 75 years ago. Thus official Russia continues to protect the legacy of a dictator from the past (Stalin) and the regime of a dictator from the present (Mugabe).

UN denies Ukraine's genocide claim” read the headlines of reports based on comments made by RF ambo Vitaly Churkin that were initially disseminated by the RIA Novosti news agency and promptly parroted by Ukrainian and international media outlets.

“We believe it would be a disservice to the memories of hundreds of thousands of people who died of hunger in other countries and regions of the former Soviet Union to raise this issue at the UN, in relation to only one of the regions that suffered,” Churkin said.

“Churkin said it wasn't only Ukraine that starved in what he called ‘a tragic page in the shared history of the peoples of the Soviet Union,’ but also Belarus, the Volga area, the Black Sea area, the Don area and the North Caucasus,” according to UPI report from New York.

The original RIA Novosti report offered an expanded list of areas that “went hungry from 1931… northern Kazakhstan, the southern Urals, and western Siberia.”

But reporter Dmytri Gornostaev’s original Russian language report includes Churkin’s outrageous claim that “there was also famine in Western Ukraine that was part of Poland.” Something must have been lost in translation, because there is no mention of famine in Western Ukraine in RIA’s English language report that merely states “Moreover, part of present-day western Ukraine was then Polish territory, he [Churkin] said.”

Western Ukraine was annexed by Soviet forces in 1939, when Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact on August 23 of that year. With Stalin’s support, Hitler was free to wreak havoc in Western Europe.

RIA’s original report contains additional gloating on the part of Russia that was left out of subsequent reports:

“The UN General Assembly backed Russia's recommendation not to include Holodomor in the current session's discussions. The decision was made at a plenary meeting on Friday [July 11].”


“Earlier this month the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe adopted a resolution condemning the famine, but falling short of recognizing it as an act of genocide.”

Meanwhile, the UN’s department of public information had this to say about Churkin’s July 11 actions during the General Assembly meeting:

Only one Member State had opposed the proposal to commemorate the Holomodor during the current session and that Member had alluded to the broader suffering during that period of famine.”

“While Ukraine shared the sorrow of others who had also suffered, the fact must not be watered down that the case of Ukraine had differed from that of others, he said.”

“The Assembly approved the [General] Committee’s recommendation to not include the item on the agenda of the current session.”

“The representative of the Russian Federation then said that the famine had been a tragically black period for everyone throughout the Soviet Union and had been the result of faulty agricultural management. It was incorrect, inaccurate and improper to isolate Ukraine’s situation and to bring up the issue from the perspective of just one party.”

The UN’s current, 62nd session, will soon come to an end, and the next, 63rd, session is set to open in a little over two months’ time. According to the UN website, the deadline for the provisional agenda of the 63rd session is July 18. The supplementary list of agenda items is due August 27.

Thus, while Russia has managed to avoid international recognition of the Holodomor as genocide, there is still hope of scoring a victory for truth in the year to come.

If Churkin and the Kremlin are really interested in helping the international community understand exactly what was going on in the USSR in 1932, they could start off by answering 3 simple questions.

1. Why did Stalin and his henchmen single out the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic for covering up the real state of affairs in July 1932?

In a July 6 telegram to Stalin, Soviet Prime Minister Vyacheslav Molotov and Communist Party Secretary Lazar Kaganovich wrote:
“Criticism of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (bolshevik) of Ukraine work should emerge during the Ukrainian conference for shortcomings which have led to grave conditions in several districts. The question of treating this issue in the press arises. In order to avoid feeding the foreign press, we feel it necessary to maintain a reserved tone in our exposition of that criticism without publicizing the facts about the state of affairs in the bad districts. Please provide your thoughts to Kharkiv. Molotov, Kaganovich, Skuratov Station, Kursk Railways, 6.VII.1932. 8:38 AM.”

Source: Stalin and Kaganovich. Correspondence. 1931-1936, (Moscow, 2001, 798 p.), Stalin i Kaganovich. Perepyska. 1931-1936, pp.218-219.

2. Why did the Soviet Union’s highest policy-making body, the Politburo of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party single out Ukraine and Ukrainians living in the Northern Caucasus in its October 22, 1932 “Resolution on grain procurements in Ukraine and North Caucasus”?

Distrustful of local leaders, Stalin dispatched Molotov and Kaganovich to Ukraine and the “ukrainianized” North Caucasus with this resolution. Using wide-ranging methods of repressions, they managed to extort all grain and food reserves, resulting in millions of deaths.

Source: Famine of 1993-1933 in Ukraine: through historian eyes, in the language of documents. (Kyiv, 1990, 606p.) Holod 1932-1933 rokiv na Ukraini: ochyma istorykiv, movoyu dokumentiv, p. 238.

3. Why didn’t Stalin order similar measures against the populations in Belarus, the Volga area, the Black Sea area, the Don area, northern Kazakhstan, the southern Urals and western Siberia? Or did he?

It’s too bad the UN can’t order Russia to open up its archives from that period and even worse that Russia has not done so voluntarily.

As for Ukraine’s claim of genocide, official Kyiv is not denying that genocide took place in other parts of the Soviet Union during the evil empire’s seven decades of bloody rule. But Ukraine
can’t make that claim on behalf of other countries
. Ukraine for its part has already declassified all archival documents from that period that show the unique nature of forced famine within the borders of the Ukrainian Soviet republic. Seventy-five years after the terror famine, Ukrainian society is only beginning to come to terms with this darkest of pages from her history. Russia, meanwhile, is going in the opposite direction and resurrecting the cult of

Maybe a UN resolution could condemn the Kremlin for that? Probably not. God forbid the sexagenarian international organization upset Moscow. Robert “let me be Hitler tenfold” Mugabe. Josef Stalin. Russia is protecting a dictator from the past and a dictator from the present. And the UN doesn’t seem capable of doing anything about that.

RIA Novosti’s Russian report:

RIA Novosti’s English report:

UPI report:

UN General Assembly July 11 press release:

No comments: