Holodomor, WikiLeaks and Russia's single historical space

Print version
Dec. 1, 2010, 6:52 p.m. | Op-ed — by Stephen Bandera
The Holodomor won’t go away. This past weekend, we marked the sad anniversary of the terror-famine that occurred nearly eighty years ago. And just when the Kremlin thought it was over for another year, the Holodomor has surfaced in the wikileaked US embassy cables.

Ukraine is mentioned in eight of the 278 embassy cables leaked thus far, and it’s not just in connection with Muammar al-Qadhafi’s “voluptuous” Ukrainian nurse.

(The US Embassy in Kyiv is not (yet?) among the embassies listed as sources for the cables.)

The Holodomor is referenced twice in cables from the past two years.

At the end of October 2008, the US Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Tatiana Gfoeller attended a lunch briefing in Bishkek with Prince Andrew of the British crown ahead of his royal highness’ meeting with the Kyrgyz government. Many issues were discussed, and the Prince “pounced” when the topic of Russia came up:

...." [Prince Andrew] stated the following story related to him recently by Azerbaijan’s President Aliyev. Aliyev had received a letter from President Medvedev telling him that if Azerbaijan supported the designation of the Bolshevik artificial famine in Ukraine as 'genocide' at the United Nations, 'then you can forget about seeing Nagorno-Karabakh ever again.' Prince Andrew added that every single other regional President had told him of receiving similar 'directive' letters from Medvedev except for Bakiyev. He asked the Ambassador if Bakiyev had received something similar as well. The Ambassador answered that she was not aware of any such letter."....

More recently, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov raised the Holodomor with Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman when the two met in Moscow at the beginning of June 2009, according to a US Moscow embassy cable:

...."Lavrov raised Russian concern with ‘historical revisionism’ regarding the Soviet Era and Second World War, which, he said, was particularly acute in Eastern Europe but was also present in Israel. He cited Israel's official recognition of the Holodomor, the 1930s famine that occurred in Ukraine. Lieberman explained that by recognizing this tragedy, Israel had not said Russia was guilty of causing it, nor that it was an act of genocide."....

Lieberman has probably not read Raphael Lemkin’s assessment of the Soviet genocide in Ukraine. Lemkin was a Jewish lawyer who lived in Poland near border with Soviet Ukraine during the years of Holodomor; he was also the man who is credited with coining the term genocide.

Then again, Israel is no longer all that interested in history. At least that’s the message Israel’s President Shimon Peres recently delivered in Ukraine when, during a public lecture on “political and economic challenges in the epoch of globalization,” he said:

“If I was asked what advice to give Ukraine, I’d say: forget history, history isn’t important... you won’t be able to avoid the mistakes of the past, you’ll simply repeat them,” according to the BBC.

Wow is right. Anyway, back to wikileaks and Holodomor: Why would the President of Russia threaten the leaders of former Soviet states with dire consequences if they recognize the Holodomor as genocide? Why would the Russian foreign minister raise the same issue with his Israeli counterpart?

Ukraine never blamed Russia as a state for anything; in fact a Ukrainian court established the guilt of seven organizers of the famine led by Josyf Stalin: two Russians, two Jews, a Georgian, Pole and Ukrainian.

So what exactly irked Russia about former President Yushchenko’s campaign surrounding the Holodomor?

Some would argue that reparations could be demanded from the Russian Federation, as the legal successor state of the USSR, if the international community recognizes genocide (kinda like the Germans paying for the Holocaust).

Others would argue that Russia is not afraid of paying, it’s more afraid of losing face.

Others would argue that Ukraine’s Holodomor narrative – and any historical narrative that’s independent of Russia’s – is unacceptable, because it will undermine Russia’s plans to re-establish hegemony.

Not only does Russia want Ukraine to be part of the Single Economic Space, it also wants all the Soviet republics to be part of the Single Historic Space. (The Single Religious Space and Patriarch Kiril’s Russian world Orthodox Church is part of that plan, too, but that’s another issue altogether).

There can be no room for Ukraine’s unique Holodomor in the common, shared experience of the Soviet Union. Collectivization can only be a common tragedy shared by all the people united by a Great Fatherland (as in Great Patriotic War instead of WWII).

Ask Education Minister Dmytri Tabachnyk: he can give you a copy of the new history text book he's writing for Ukrainian schoolchildren -- it'll all be in there.

Moscow just won’t have it any other way, as the wikileaks have shown. And that makes the Holodomor and other events from the past more than just far off history: it’s about the geopolitics of the very near future.

Stepan Bandera is a reporter and a former Kyiv Post journalist. You can read his blog entries at

The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively debate. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. If you think that a posted comment violates these standards, please flag it and alert us. We will take steps to block violators.
Anonymous Dec. 1, 2010, 7:24 p.m.    

poor moskali - always firefighting their history. but we all have to breathe our last and then God will judge them

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Dec. 1, 2010, 7:27 p.m.    

medvedev is a scared mouse . threats are the actions of a guilty man scared to look truth in the eye

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Dec. 1, 2010, 9:13 p.m.    

Ask Education Minister Dmytri Tabachnyk: he can give you a copy of the new history text book he's writing for Ukrainian schoolchildren -- it'll all be in there.

Read more:

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Dec. 1, 2010, 10:07 p.m.    


The terror of Holodomor is so awful that it brings to our mind apocalyptic Biblical associations: “And Cain said to Abel, his brother: “And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?” (Gen. 4:8-9)

“Where is Abel, the innocently killed Ukrainian peasantry? Where is one fifth of your brother, the Ukrainian nation, friendship with whom you swore? “

There is also another Gospel story about the multiplication of bread which differs from the quoted one only with the number of loafs. But the main conclusion is that Jesus performed a miracle by feeding thousands of people only by several loafs.

My comparison is that in 1933 the Communist Devil performed the opposite miracle: he covered the land which could feed millions with squirmed bodies of those who died of the dreadful famine. It was made with the hands of those who then occupied the offices of the authorities and who today undoubtedly occupy the hell-fire. Why do we remember Holodomor? Maybe, we should not bring back the old wounds to the nation’s conscience? Maybe, our ancestors who kept the dreadful silence were right?

First of all, the knowledge of Holodomor is important for us because we can finally openly pray for all the victims. The time when people had to whisper to pass the memory of the tragedy to each other has passed. We can now publicly and boldly do it, and we will always be grateful to President Yushchenko for that.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Dec. 2, 2010, 10:20 a.m.    


important as a fingerprint on a skyscraper

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Dec. 2, 2010, 1:21 p.m.    

To pray for the Ukrainian Grandparents that were maliciously murdered by intentional starvation {PRONOUNCED HOLODOMOR} is unimportant?

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Dec. 2, 2010, 1:29 p.m.    

Typo :

To pray for the Ukrainian Grandparents that were maliciously murdered by intentional starvation {PRONOUNCED HOLODOMOR} - by the savage uncivilized pagan barbarians in the kremlin - is unimportant?

Gee. I guess that you must be a pagan. Therefore, your comment is UNIMPORTANT!

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Dec. 1, 2010, 11:33 p.m.    

Thank you Mr. Bandera for your concise restatement of historic fact. The Russians can deny all they want, it just points to their complicity and their guilt. They won't give an inch in acknowledging the Holodomor as a crime against the Ukrainian nation because the enormity of the crime would have to be revealed.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Dec. 2, 2010, 12:51 a.m.    

This confirms that the savage uncivilized pagan barbarians in the kremlin would go to any extremes to obfuscate their guilt – including blackmail.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Dec. 2, 2010, 5:50 a.m.    

Holodomor wad done by the jews and it would never be reconzied because they own the west.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Dec. 2, 2010, 7:55 a.m.    

Funny how the savage uncivilized pagan barbarians in the kremlin always blame the Jews, or others - but never blame the moscali.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Dec. 2, 2010, 5:03 p.m.    

Evil Russian imperialists scapegoating the Jews again and blaming the Ukes(or it could be clever Jews trying to stir up antiSemitism and then point fingers in false self righteous indignation).

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Dec. 2, 2010, 5:54 p.m.    

Mr. Bandera, thank you for your excellent article.

You raise a question which is indeed puzzling.

On the weekend of November 26, 2010, the Party of Regions and their adherents were out in full force on the political talk shows in Ukraine, screaming about the Holodomor.

On one show, Kolesnichenko kept interrupting a history expert, like a robot - &quot;show me the document.&quot;

He meant, of course, that someone should show him a document by which Stalin specifically stated that he wanted to kill Ukrainians via artificial famine. It's a stupid sovok relic ploy, of course, because the sovoks made sure to hide everything they did - including the Holodomor.

So why indeed is there such screeching, and weeping and gnashing of teeth on the part of the Party of Regions and Roosha against recognizing the Holodomor as a genocide?

Kolesnichenko, Inna German Boogooslonskaya and the others exhibit the behavior of rabid animals when it comes to this issue. And it's all on TV.

After all, they no longer actually deny the Holodomor, and in large measure they admit, at the very least, that the Holodomor was a planned, calculated event - forced starvation via artificial famine.

But - here's the rub - the targets were, according to them, not Ukrainians, but a &quot;class&quot; of people - private owners of farms.

So that supposedly takes it out of the realm of genocide.

Why would that distinction without a difference be important?

Well, they say, Hitler killed Jews because they were Jews.

Wrong - Hitler and the Nazis killed Jews because Jews were seen, among other things, as the evil purveyors of diseases, and as desirous of taking over the world, and, of course, as underminers of a pure Aryan race. In other words, they, too, were seen as a &quot;class&quot; of people to be exterminated.

But Slavic people were also seen as &quot;untermenschen,&quot; and they too were on the list to be exterminated.

I think you hit the nail on the head when you touched on geopolitics.

Russia, during sovok times and now, puts out the propaganda repeatedly that Russia and Ukraine are &quot;brother&quot; nations, are &quot;friendly&quot; nations. The propaganda goes farther than that - that Ukraine is really part of Russia.

Stalin did not operate by himself - he had the support of people in Russia.

So if the Holodomor is genocide, then how could a &quot;brother&quot; nation and a &quot;friendly&quot; nation try to eliminate Ukrainians?

And why should Ukrainians today want to once again be part of Putler's (and Kirill's) dream to once again become a part of Russia, when Russia has specifically done all it could, not only through the Holodomor, but since tsarist times, to eliminate everything Ukrainian?

Hence all the screaming and howling and barking on the part of Kolesnichenko and all the other sovok relics who operate on behalf of Russia - but not Ukraine.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Dec. 2, 2010, 6:44 p.m.    

Elmer where are the orders saying kill all ukrainians? Stalin was trying to break the farmers and nationalists not every single Ukrainian hence no genocide.And there is no proof Hitler was trying to kill every jew in the world.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Dec. 2, 2010, 8:35 p.m.    

There it is folks - another sovok relic barking about &quot;no proof.&quot; Just like Vadim Koleshnichenko and the other PoR mafia did on TV last weekend.

stalin was &quot;only&quot; trying to kill &quot;nationalists&quot; (there it is - that part of the sovok lexicon that prohibits any nationalism except Moscow-centric Russian homo sovieticus nationalism) and farmers.

Except that they happened to be in Ukraine.

A calculated, specific artificial famine causing forced starvation and the murder of millions is, according to sovok relics - a &quot;tragedy.&quot;

You know - like a train wreck, or a bad thunderstorm, or an auto accident.

This is the bizarro, upside down, twisted world of sovok relics.

What makes this even better, according to this demented &quot;logic&quot;, is that stalin was such a &quot;good&quot; person that he was only trying to kill several million Ukrainians - not all of them.

This is the psychotic demented &quot;logic&quot; of sovok relics, the left-over homo sovieticus.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Dec. 2, 2010, 6:16 p.m.    

The fact that the rusophobic Europe Assembly pulled a big wet middle finger on the Holodomor &quot;genocide&quot; myth invented by nazi hohol diaspora, drives the offsprings of convicted nazi war criminals holed in yankistan and canukistan nuts, heh, heh, heh :D

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Dec. 2, 2010, 8:37 p.m.    

Oh, look, another cackling sneering sovok relic who feels overjoyed about the death of millions that &quot;was not a genocide.&quot;

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Dec. 2, 2010, 10:30 p.m.    

I get such a kick out his pathetic attempts at bluster.. typical behaviour for a pindick.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Dec. 2, 2010, 10:26 p.m.    

If Russia had not murdered the &quot;kulak&quot; they would still be planting potatoes in Russia instead of having the priviledge of insulting those they murdered and stole the land. Their day will come to answer.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Dec. 3, 2010, 8:23 a.m.    

When the facts talk, the nazi hohol diaspora liars whine, moan and stomp powerlessly their little feet in childish rage. Do us more snotty bubbles, heh, heh, heh :D

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Dec. 4, 2010, 9:37 a.m.    

You just know a news source is unbiased when they've got Bandera writing articles. Enjoy the read diaspora!

{# <-- parent id goes here


© 1995–2014 Public Media

Web links to Kyiv Post material are allowed provided that they contain a URL hyperlink to the material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. Otherwise, all materials contained on this site are protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of Public Media at
All information of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency placed on this web site is designed for internal use only. Its reproduction or distribution in any form is prohibited without a written permission of Interfax-Ukraine.