Streetwise Professor

February 26, 2009

That Makes It So Much Better

Filed under: Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 11:54 pm

The head of Russia’s Federal Archives has absolved Stalin and the USSR of genocide in Ukraine in the 1930s:

[T]he famine in Ukraine and elsewhere in the USSR was “the result of [Stalin’s] criminal policy” but that “of course, no one planned any famine” or singled out any ethnic group as its victim

Instead, he said, “the famine was the result of the errors and miscalculations of the political course of the leadership of the country in the course of the realization of collectivization.” And he insisted that he and his researchers had not found “a single document” showing that Stalin planned “a terror famine” in Ukraine.

Instead, Kozlov said, “absolutely all documents testify that the chief enemy of Soviet power at that time was an enemy defined not on the basis of ethnicity but on the basis of class,” in this case the peasantry which Stalin wanted to force to join collective farms throughout whatever means he could.

I’m sure all of the millions who starved, or were shot, or were brutalized, would feel so much better to know that they were not singled out for their ethnicity, but instead for their class.  Or to learn that they died because of “errors and miscalculations.”  Whoops!  Uncle Joe’s bad!  No hard feelings!  I guess it could have been worse: head archivist Kozlov could have said that the leadership just became “dizzy with success,” thereby committing mistakes that led to the deaths of millions.  Or he could have said “well, to make an omelette you need to break some eggs.”  

Several comments.

First, why is it so hard for modern Russians, who bear no personal responsibility for the deaths of millions in the early-1930s, to pay some deference to Ukrainian (and, Cossack and Kazakh) pain and sensitivities?  The steadfast rationalization, minimization, and deprecation of the calamity is widespread among Russians, suggesting that they feel they would incur a substantial psychological cost to acknowledge the exceptional suffering inflicted on Ukraine, Kazakhstan and the Cossack/Tatar regions.  Why?  What does this say?  I don’t know exactly, but it can’t be good.  

Second, apropos “dizzy with success”.  That was Stalin’s sick excuse for ending the first attempt at collectivization in 1930.  That resulted in widespread famine and death, across all of the agricultural regions of the USSR, and even Stalin felt it necessary to back off.  Given the very recent experience, Stalin and the rest of the Soviet leadership had to know that there was a very high probability–arguably 1.00–that another collectivization effort would lead to another wave of mass death.   But he proceeded regardless.  Sorry, “errors and miscalculations” just doesn’t cut it.  (Doesn’t even cut it for the first collectivization attempt, given that early Bolshevik attempts to expropriate grain led to massive resistance, and unthinkable human carnage.)  It was not a mistake.  It was not an error.  It was a policy.  The outcome was predictable, yet pursued with bloody-minded purpose.  

I will put it more strongly.  It is a bald-faced lie to say, as Kozlov does, that  “of course, no one planned any famine.”  Given past experience, it was eminently predictable that a famine would occur as a result of the Soviet policy.  And, pray tell, Mr. (or is it Dr.?) Kozlov, how is it possible to say that no one “planned a famine” when they deliberately demanded that Ukrainian peasants turn over more grain than it was possible to produce?   Just because nobody wrote “We plan to cause a famine” you conclude nobody planned to cause a famine?  Like Orwell said, there are some things so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.

Third, Robert Conquest has provided extensive documentation to support his claim that the attack on the Ukraine and the Kuban regions

was accompanied by a wide-ranging attack on all Ukrainian cultural and intellectual centres and leaders, and on the Ukrainian churches.  The supposed contumaciousness of the Ukrainian peasants in not surrendering grain they did not have was explicitly blamed on nationalism. . . .  

Thus, there are two distinct, or partly distinct, elements before us: the Party’s struggle with the peasantry, and the Party’s struggle with Ukrainian national feeling.

The war on the peasantry was driven by a mixture of ideology, and a insatiable desire to industrialize Russia.  But whatever the primary motivation, Ukrainian (and Cossack) nationalism was seen as an obstacle to achieving the goals of collectivization, and so it was attacked ferociously as well.  That is, there was a clear cultural component to the Soviet attack on the Ukraine.  

In this sense, the Ukrainian terror famine may have been qualitatively different from the Nazi holocaust, in that the primary motivation was not to kill Ukrainians just because they were Ukrainians.  But what of it?  A group of people happened to have economic resources the Soviet state coveted.  They also had a nascent national consciousness.  Stalin believed that to seize what he wanted, he had to crush Ukraine as a nation.  So he did.  

That is, at best the Holmador deniers can argue that the war against Ukrainian culture was a means not an end.  Does this make it any less genocidal?  How much does it matter, really, if it were true (and I do not concede this) that the Ukrainian famine was not motivated by hatred of Ukrainians, but merely had a cruelly disproportionate impact on them?

And, it would be possible, I think, to construct an argument very much along the lines advanced by archivist Kozlov that the Nazi Holocaust was also directed at a class, rather than an ethnicity; and hence, that the Nazi and Soviet efforts were NOT qualitatively different.  Nazi propaganda emphasized that Jews were capitalists, bankers, economic exploiters, and that their successive marginalization, expropriation, and elimination was necessary to free Germans from their predation.  That is, Kozlov’s argument could be adapted to excuse the Holocaust.  I’m sure there are skinheads/neo-Nazis in Germany who would be quite willing to do so.  

Put differently, in the Nazi worldview, there was an extremely high association between Jewish ethnicity and membership in the exploitive class, and similarly, in the Stalinist worldview, there was an extremely high association between Ukrainian ethnicity and membership in an “enemy” class.  In each case, distinctions between “class” and “ethnicity” are invidious, and obfuscate rather than clarify.  Attacking the class was attacking an ethnicity.  Attacking an ethnicity was attacking a class.  Drawing Jesuitical distinctions between class and ethnic motivations is a travesty.  

I will be very interested to learn Robert Conquest’s appraisal of Kozlov’s statements, and the material that the archives released.  

The obvious official desire of the modern Russian government to absolve the Soviet Union, and Stalin, of any culpability for genocide speaks volumes about that government, and about the popular attitudes which give that government broad support in these efforts.  The lengths to which the Russian government, and too many individual Russians go to defend the indefensible suggests that proprietary, possessive, and imperial attitudes towards Ukraine run strong and deep in Russia today.  That does not bode well for a peaceful reconciliation in the years to come.    

 

 

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31 Comments »

  1. Craig, you ask: “First, why is it so hard for modern Russians, who bear no personal responsibility for the deaths of millions in the early-1930s, to pay some deference to Ukrainian (and, Cossack and Kazakh) pain and sensitivities?” My answer: it would counter the very essence of Russian self-definition and Russian nationhood. Russians define themselves based on a Russian soul that is kind and good (though perhaps too impulsive) and they define themselves as defenders as opposed to aggressors, overlooking those parts of their history that would contradict this, notably in recent history. The Red Army, for this reason, is depicted as defenders and liberators as opposed to aggressors (hence the inability to truly acknowledge Katyn, for example). The Duma is now debating a law IIRC that would effectively make it illegal to “deny” the Soviet Union’s role in defeating the Germans in WWII (in other words legitimizing their memories of war). The discourse of liberation and Russian sacrifice was also applied to how they see their history in the Soviet Union in relation to the other republics: typically, Russians will say that they were helping the other republics, that they contributed to their development, sacrificed Russia’s own well-being, and received nothing or little in return. For all these reasons, a Russian state that has been encouraging the growth of Russian nationalism will not acknowledge the sins of the past as it would go counter to the very image of the nation that they are promoting/defending IMHO.

    Comment by Michel — February 27, 2009 @ 9:03 am

  2. Very good comment, Michel. You put some meat on the bones of “proprietary, possessive, and imperial” (to which I would add “paternalistic.”)

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — February 27, 2009 @ 2:59 pm

  3. Michel–further your comment. The contrast between the IIRC law that you mention and the repeated dismissal of the idea that Ukraine suffered uniquely at Stalin’s hands is a classic illustration of the double standards. It illustrates that Russian suffering and achievement is somehow special, more important than that of others. Moreover, somehow I doubt that Ukraine, etc., really consider what Stalin did in 1928-1932 all that helpful.

    BTW, Robert Amsterdam has a post on the IIRC law today.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — February 27, 2009 @ 5:26 pm

  4. Craig,

    I agree with you that it is a double standard, but nationalism of either the soft or hard variety is rarely concerned with the the niceties of historical accuracy and the sensibilities of competing memories, and interpretations even if the other side may be right. It requires both remembering and forgetting. An English nationalism must remember that William the Conqueror was a great national figure, and forget whom exactly William conquered. The question is the audience. Some speeches and official rhetoric is meant for an internal audience, some for outsiders, some will be mixed. The challenge is figuring out what they are trying to say to whom.

    As for the issue of Russian suffering, one could say that is a central feature of much of Russian national discourse, but that would make for a long analysis ;)

    Michel

    Comment by Michel — February 27, 2009 @ 9:11 pm

  5. How many times have I seen this same sophistry from Russians?

    One of the most basic forms is – “Stalin was Georgian, blame Georgia, it was not Russia’s fault.”

    The idea is that Russia was just one big victim, Stalin did everything on his own, and the people had no choice but to sit quietly and suffer Stalin. It is mass delusion.

    It is absolutely astounding insanity, based on imperialistic chauvinism, and it knows no bounds. Recently, the NY Times published a little article by a guy who came to the US as a kid from Russia, and discovered – Brighton Beach.

    One of the comments reflected the Russian attitude – “why don’t the Ukrainians stop butchering the Russian language.”

    Meaning, of course, that part of the Russian attitude, on the part of some, is that Russian and Ukrainian are one and the same language, except that Ukrainians are some type of inferior hillbillies that speak an inferior dialect which is “butchery” of the Russian language.

    The same attitude was written about in the book “The Whisperers,” when, years after the Great Terror of 1937-38, people were paid paltry sums for being sent away to gulags. In some cases, they were paid – posthumously.

    It became clear that people were sent away on trumped up charges, for no reason, and the compensatory sums were so paltry, that some victims refused to claim them, because they felt it was an insult.

    Noone was absolved, however, even if the charges that got them sent away were blatantly false, because after all – and this is priceless – “they must have been guilty of something.”

    At the bottom of all this, as the author of “The Whisperers” points out, is the legitimacy of the then existing regime.

    After all, to admit that Stalin was wrong threw the legitimacy of all authority into doubt, because many who carried out Stalin’s orders were still in power then.

    As the book put it, those who sent people to the gulags had to face those who were sent.

    And, in typical Russian Alice-in-Wonderland fashion – it was “noone’s” fault, it was Stalin’s fault, it was the victim’s fault.

    Russia is the successor to the “glorious” USSR, the greatest accomplishment of Moscow and Russia.

    How can the current regime, led by Pootler, possibly admit that its ancestry, its heritage, its being, its legitimacy, rests on the deliberate extirmination of people in the face of the XXIst century?

    Hence – an “error,” a “mistake,” an “unfortunate event.”

    A Georgian gone wild – blame Georgia (how many times have I heard – “oh, look, there’s still a statue of Stalin in Gori”). Ignore the fact that Russians supported him, and carried out his orders, and nothing was done without his orders.

    Russians are a pathetically sick, morbidly dishonest, hopelessly insane, inept, incapable, immoral people when it comes to government.

    And this is another example.

    Comment by elmer — February 27, 2009 @ 10:10 pm

  6. Sorry to disappoint you folks, but the fact of the matter is that Ukraine is a failed state that should accept its traditional historical role as an integral part of a Russian empire with honor and dignity – and I’m speaking not for Russians, but for the silent majority of Ukrainians, whom elmer seems to hate so much (http://www.ukraine.ru/fom/26_03_2002/table06.html).

    Comment by Da Russophile — February 27, 2009 @ 11:26 pm

  7. Da Russophile, you disappoint me. You post a link to a web page that does not provide any indication as to methodology (how was the data collected, how many people were interviewed in total, was it a random sample, etc….). What exactly does this prove?

    Comment by Michel — February 28, 2009 @ 12:03 am

  8. I agree that Ukraine is a failed, or at least failing, state. And why might that be, DR? Could it be, perhaps, the legacy of its “traditional historical role as an integral part of a [the] Russian empire”? The legacy in particular of the Soviet period, with its utter devastation of the traditional Ukrainian way of life, and the attempt to extirpate its culture, root and branch? (I would also add that the Soviet Union destroyed civil society; atomized society; destroyed social capital; undermined human trust. Escaping this legacy is a daunting task. Given such an inheritance, bet on failure.)

    And do not dare speak of “honor and dignity.” Where is the honor and dignity in the deaths of perhaps 10 million souls in the Civil War, the Peasant Wars, and collectivization?

    Your comment suggests a mentality that would commend forcing a battered woman to return to the “honor and dignity” of a home dominated by her abusive spouse, because, well, she’s so psychologically and spiritually damaged that she just can’t make it on her own, poor thing.

    I would also add that Russia is a failure as a state too. Not in the sense that Somalia is a failed state. At least not yet. But in the sense that it has failed miserably in advancing the interests of the Russian people, favoring instead the interests of a clique of gangsters and their pet oligarchs. In that way, like Ukraine, modern Russia has failed to break free from the legacy of its Soviet and Imperial Russian antecedents.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — February 28, 2009 @ 12:17 am

  9. DR–I sincerely appreciate your comment. It personifies the worldview under discussion.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — February 28, 2009 @ 8:53 am

  10. Let us see about the Russian empire and “honor and dignity.”

    In the Russian empire, Ukrainians were serfs. In the Russian empire, it was the practice to try to stamp out the Ukrainian language.and culture. Everything was calculated to characterize Ukrainians and their culture as inferior – “Little Russians,” or “malorossy.”

    In the Russian empire, Catherine, who was Prussian (German) – most Russians don’t know that – invited Germans into Ukraine.

    They were given land, freedom of religion (Lutheran or Mennonite), and many other rights that were not granted to Ukrainians.

    I’m not picking on Germans here – just illustrating how Ukrainians were treated under the Russian empire.

    It was no better under the sovok empire.

    Hence, Da Russophile shows up to yet again tell us about all of the “blessings” bestowed by Russia on all of the countries it dominated, or tried to dominate, in one way or another.

    And, as alluded to by Michel (and others), Russians profess “hurt feelings” when people somehow don’t “understand” all of the “beneficence bestowed” upon them by Russia – with no thanks.

    So here we see, yet again, the internal contradiction from Da Russophile.

    On the one hand, “elmer hates Russians” because elmer, or Michel, or SWP, dares to refer to historical facts.

    On the other – “Ukraine is a failed state.”

    As you point out, SWP, the sovok legacy is severely debilitating, with ongoing effects even today.

    What Da Russophile left out of the equation – this time – is the “beneficence” comment. Included in that type of comment, quite often, is “Russia/the sovok union created Ukraine” or “Ukraine would not exist today without sovok officials having granted territory to Ukraine”.

    It is standard Russian sophistry. I have seen it for several years, and it is spouted repeatedly on blogs, forums and comments to newspaper articles.

    The Kremlin, and its followers, are simply playing chess. There are no considerations for human beings, for humanity, only for the glory of the Russian state.

    Hence – how do we, at the Kremlin, defuse all this talk of genocide regarding the Holodomor?

    Well, SWP – you posted it.

    Add to that “elmer hates Russians,” and “Ukraine is a failed state.”

    And, according to that type of Kremlin “logic,” everyone is supposed to breathe easier, one is supposed to leap to the conclusion that the Holodomor was just something that sort of happened.

    Nothing to see here, folks, move on, get on with your business, nothing to see.

    The Ukrainians have a slogan that I saw on a t-shirt – “thank God I am not a moskal” (moskal sort of being equivalent to Kremlinite or Muscovite in the sense of government domination by the Russian or soviet government).

    I couldn’t agree more.

    Comment by elmer — February 28, 2009 @ 9:33 am

  11. Bravo, elmer, well said.

    Comment by penny — February 28, 2009 @ 9:59 am

  12. 1. Nobody has addressed your core, fatal “problem” that a majority of Ukrainians favor integration with Eurasia over the Atlantic, which can be confirmed by any casual Google search. I just cited the first one I came across, Michel, here’s another http://www.levada.ru/press/2008032803.html.

    2. Ignores the fact that the majority of Ukrainians as with Russians see the USSR in a positive and nostalgic light, revisionist attempts to equate it with Nazism regardless.

    3. Ignores the fact that a greater percentage of Ukrainians want outright absorption into Russia (c.20%) than Russians themselves (c.10%), hmmm what does that say about evil Russian revanchist imperialism I wonder

    Comment by Da Russophile — February 28, 2009 @ 2:42 pm

  13. DR,

    (Let’s stay accurate, it’s not 20% but 16%.) Anyway, we had already our little argument on this plog (January 26th “Gasputin Speaks”!) about the polls you refer and their interpretation.

    It ended like this:

    (my last comment) “…The most reliable conclusion is, in my mind as well as according to the polls referred above, that an overwhelming majority (84%) of Ukrainians do want to continue to exist as a separate state and nation from Russia as they have been since 1991.”

    (then you replied)
    “Which I never disputed.

    Anyway, tired of repeating myself. I am retiring from this discussion.”

    So, it seems you’re freshened up, but please, do try to make up your mind whether the OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of Ukrainians want to incorporate with Russia or not?

    Comment by Dixi — February 28, 2009 @ 3:50 pm

  14. Let’s keep this real simple.

    20% = want absorption into Russia
    A big majority = want an EU-like relationship with Russia and other former Soviet states
    20-30% = want Atlantic integration or full neutrality

    BTW: and you’re wrong on the 16%, it’s actually 23% now (In Ukraine, however, the number of union proponents increased (from 20% to 23%) – http://www.kyivpost.com/nation/36373). Seems like I’ve misunderestimated them.

    Comment by Da Russophile — February 28, 2009 @ 4:30 pm

  15. Da Russophile, your original statement was: “Ukraine is a failed state that should accept its traditional historical role as an integral part of a Russian empire with honor and dignity – and I’m speaking not for Russians, but for the silent majority of Ukrainians.”

    I am always fascinated whenever somebody uses the term “silent majority” because what they really mean is that they can’t prove their majority but insist that it exists because they say it is so. A good researcher should automatically question such claims.

    Nonetheless, I thank you for providing some sources, but will highlight that your reliable sources contradict your assertion. According to the Levada site:

    1. отношения России с Украиной должны быть такими же, как с другими государствами – с закрытыми границами, визами, таможнями (10% of Ukrainian respondents, 19% of Russians);
    2. Россия и Украина должны быть независимыми, но дружественными государствами – с открытыми границами, без виз и таможен (73% of Ukrainians, 56% of Russians);
    3. Россия и Украина должны объединиться в одно государство (16% of Ukrainians; 19% of Russians).

    The source you cite counters your statement. Only 16% of Ukrainians polled want Russia and Ukraine to be united into one state. Interesting, Russians were not that much more enthusiastic at 19%. True, most Ukrainians want two independent states, but with friendly relations including visa-free and duty-free travel and trade. This highlights that the majority of Ukrainians don’t have great hostility towards Russia, but this hardly justifies your statement that the “silent majority” and your assertion that Ukrainians want their state to accept “its traditional historical role as an integral part of a Russian empire.”

    One interesting fact in this poll is that almost twice as many Russians want to close the border completely to Ukraine than Ukrainians (19% to 10%).

    My conclusion, your data does not support your claim Da Russophile.

    Comment by Michel — February 28, 2009 @ 6:34 pm

  16. Oops!

    this hardly justifies your statement that the “silent majority” and your assertion that Ukrainians want their state to accept “its traditional historical role as an integral part of a Russian empire.”

    should read as:

    this hardly justifies your statement that the “silent majority” of Ukrainians want their state to accept “its traditional historical role as an integral part of a Russian empire.”

    Comment by Michel — February 28, 2009 @ 6:36 pm

  17. Michel/DR–

    Re silent majority, that was a famous Nixon phrase. Somehow I don’t figure you as a Nixon fan, DR;-)

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — February 28, 2009 @ 8:46 pm

  18. 1. Michel – What it shows is that most Ukrainians support an EU like relation which Russia; but since Russia will be dominant in such a union to an extent not seen in the EU (which is economically dominated by Germany and politically by France), it could be construed as an “empire”. Secondly, I knew use of the term would put a bee in your bonnet.

    2. SWP – you misunderestimate me.

    Comment by Da Russophile — March 1, 2009 @ 4:07 pm

  19. Da Russophile, you should look up the meaning of empire. However, the question did not ask whether the respondents wanted a EU style of union, they simply stated that there should not be a visa and customs regime. A far cry from what you find in the EU.

    Comment by Michel — March 1, 2009 @ 7:18 pm

  20. […] Professor posted this comment on his blog: […] I’m sure all of the millions who starved, or were shot, or were […]

    Pingback by Global Voices Online » Russia, Ukraine: History and Denial — March 1, 2009 @ 9:20 pm

  21. DR,

    You wrote: “…and you’re wrong on the 16%, it’s actually 23% now (In Ukraine, however, the number of union proponents increased (from 20% to 23%) – http://www.kyivpost.com/nation/36373).”

    So, 77% of Ukrainians prefer own independent state. In fact, when taking into account that many ethnic Russians in Ukraine still feel nostalgic about the lost status of “Herr Menschen” (as they do overall in former parts of SU) the poll results are downright hilarious for someone to insist on that “the silent majority of Ukrainians” want to be “an integral part of a Russian empire”…

    Comment by Dixi — March 2, 2009 @ 3:24 am

  22. It also says at the bottom:

    стараться вступить в Европейский Сою 30 (EU)

    стараться вступить в союз России и Белорусси 43 (Union of Russia and Belarus)

    не вступать ни в один из них, а поддерживать добрые отношения с обоими 22 (neither)

    Union of Russia and Belarus would be pretty much an EU structure.

    Also, an older poll. http://www.infoukes.com/ukremb//history/OPYT/US970500.V207.HTM. Which shows majority support for UoRaB.

    Re-empire. Lots of people call the US an empire today, and far from all in a negative tone. The EU is also sometimes considered an empire (or an “impire”).

    Comment by Da Russophile — March 2, 2009 @ 12:58 pm

  23. The only reason this issue is ever brought up these days is to stir up anti-Russian sentiment in the nationalist Ukrainian population, just like during the cold war. Yes, Stalin was an evil bad man. Yes, it was absolutely terrible that his policies caused the deaths of millions of people, just like all the other terrible things he was responsible for. But find me the documents that prove he planned to kill millions of people through starvation. Until then, let history be history and please don’t compare famine, be it man made or natural, to things like the holocaust or the Rwandan genocide.

    I find it very troubling that the word genocide is being thrown around so lightly and being used as a political weapon. You’re making a mockery out of all those real victims of genocide, and using the dead souls of the victims of the famine as a tool for political gain. How deplorable.

    Comment by Bob from Canada — March 2, 2009 @ 12:58 pm

  24. I would also add that Russia is a failure as a state too. Not in the sense that Somalia is a failed state. At least not yet. But in the sense that it has failed miserably in advancing the interests of the Russian people, favoring instead the interests of a clique of gangsters and their pet oligarchs.

    Polls amongst the Russian population indicate otherwise. The majority feel the state is moving in the right direction and are satisfied with the administration, and the trend has been positive over the past decade.

    But I’m sure some guy living in America knows better than they do. Just like some guy with an axe to grind living in Russia, who holds a tiny minority view, knows better than the vast majority and feels his voice is more important than the majority’s. (I’m sure that falls under the category some sort of mental illness).

    And before you point your finger back at me, I don’t claim I know better than Russians. That’s why I point to polls instead of volunteering my opinion as fact like you guys do.

    Comment by Bob from Canada — March 2, 2009 @ 1:15 pm

  25. Bob,

    You are right that the polls are still favorable and people still say they are satisfied with Putin and Medvedev. However, I am waiting to see what the polls will say a year from now once the money from the reserves have been spent and the full impact of the crisis has swept through Russia.

    Michel

    Comment by Michel — March 2, 2009 @ 2:05 pm

  26. My last post didn’t go through. I hope SWP is kind of enough to restore it.

    Comment by Da Russophile — March 2, 2009 @ 2:13 pm

  27. While I eagerly await to read your comment, this is for you Da Russophile. It seems that in spite of the people being “satisfied” with the Russian economy and life life under Medvedev and Putin, the abortion rate has gone up significantly this year, and experts predict that the number of live births will likely be 100,000 fewer next year, maybe even 200,000 fewer. This would represent the largest drop in births since the 1998 default when 70,000 fewer babies were born in 1999 as compared to the previous year. In other words, young women do not have enough faith in their future in Russia to risk having a baby. A few excerpts from the article (in Russian) below:

    На фоне кризиса возросло число абортов

    К концу 2009 года Россию ожидает резкий спад рождаемости. Основной причиной тому служит финансовый кризис и, как следствие, увеличившееся число абортов. Медики бьют тревогу: такого наплыва женщин, решивших прервать беременность, не было уже 10 лет, со времен дефолта 1998 года. Статистика того периода была катастрофической – демографические последствия дефолта привели к тому, что в 1999 году число новорожденных детей почти на 70 тысяч меньше, чем годом ранее.

    В качестве главной причины для прерывания беременности женщины называют экономические трудности. У одних ипотека, у других кредит, третьих сократили. На аборт решаются даже те, кто планировал ребенка.

    С 1 января 2009 года государство разрешило гасить ипотечные кредиты с помощью материнского капитала, но это пока удается единицам. С одной стороны – повышают возрастной ценз для участников программ по поддержке молодым семьям, с другой – в некоторых регионах заговорили о возможных задержках выплат детских пособий.

    По прогнозам экспертов, уже в следующем году в России родится на 100-200 тысяч детей меньше, чем в нынешнем. Также они утверждают, что сократить число абортов при сложившейся экономической ситуации можно лишь пойдя наперекор демографической политике государства, объясняя людям, что не следует заводить детей, пока нет уверенности в собственном будущем.

    «Снижение рождаемости мы увидим через 7-8 месяцев, – говорят сотрудники Центра экологии и демографии человека. И переломить эту тенденцию получится не раньше, чем через 7-10 лет. По крайней мере, окончательно демографические последствия кризиса 1998 года были преодолены лишь к 2006 году».

    Source: http://deti.mail.ru/beremennosty_i_rody/newsabort

    Comment by Michel — March 2, 2009 @ 2:27 pm

  28. Dr,

    So you say that according to ONE 2007 poll, 43% would agree to join the “Union of Russia and Belarus”

    So what? In a RECENT poll (Oct. 2008) by Kyiv International Sociology Institute 1,218 Ukrainian adults were: “How would you vote in a referendum on Ukraine’s accession to the European Union (EU)?”
    Results: in favour 41%, Against 28%, Not sure 30%…

    How is that to be interpreted? Roughly 40 % of Ukrainians want economic integration reaching from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean or what? Apparently, there are lot of polls and even more variety in interpreting the results… But still, as you yourself pointed out, 77 % did not choose the alternative “one state”. So, what conclusions can be drawn? … Apparently, there seems to be no reason to change my previous conclusion (January 26th “Gasputin Speaks”!):

    “…The most reliable conclusion is, that an overwhelming majority of Ukrainians do want to continue to exist as a separate state and nation from Russia as they have been since 1991.”

    Comment by Dixi — March 3, 2009 @ 3:38 am

  29. The EU poll was a simple yes or no thing. That said the net approval was only 11%

    According the poll I referenced has a net approval rating of 13% – but this was a Union of Russia/Belarus VERSUS the EU, and as such not comparable. What it does clearly show is that the Eurasian pull is stronger than the European pull, even despite the greater material benefits accruing from membership of the EU.

    “Roughly 40 % of Ukrainians want economic integration reaching from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean or what?”

    That’s not at all a bad idea. I for one would support it if it were proposed.

    Comment by Da Russophile — March 5, 2009 @ 3:40 am

  30. Perhaps Bob, the Holodomor denier, would like to read this article about things that were left out of the jouyous pronouncement by the Head of Russian Archives.

    In particular, this little excerpt (and by the way, the “5 ears of corn” directives are well documented):

    In a letter of 11th August to Kaganovich Stalin wrote that he believed that Ukrainian nationalists working together with Polish spies were preparing to sever Ukraine from the Soviet Union and that the Ukrainian party was becoming a ‘caricature of a parliament’. He stated bluntly that ‘Unless we begin to straighten out the situation in Ukraine, we may lose Ukraine’The letter initiated the installation of Balyckyj to head up the Secret Police in Ukraine, and conduct a wave of executions and arrests which acted as a blanket under which the Holodomor was perpetrated.

    It is however the secret central committee resolution of 14 December 1932 regarding grain requisitions in Ukraine, the North Caucasus and Western Oblasts which reveals the link between the requisitioning of food and the attack on Ukrainian nationalism. Under this resolution the campaign of food requisitioning was to be strengthened while the party in these regions would be purged of counter revolutionary elements and in particular the “bourgeois nationalists” in the Ukrainian communist party. The decree also required the Russification of education and publications in the Kuban.

    The final round of searches were launched by the New Year Telegram sent by Stalin on 1 January 1933.. It was sent to the communist chiefs of Ukraine on 1st January 1933 and required them to make everyone in the collective farms aware that

    – if people gave up bread that they had been hiding they would not be repressed.

    – If they continued to hide bread they would face the severest methods of punishment detailed in the Law of 7th August 1932, the law of five ears, that is they would be shot.

    This may be the most lethal telegram in history . The first point shows that all bread would be taken from Ukraine. However, the second point was addressed to those peasants who did not give up their bread, which in effect meant the vast majority. How would you find out if people were hiding grain/bread? The only way was to search. If bread was found during the course of a search you would be shot. But what would happen if nothing was found?

    Most of the villagers in Ukraine knew that as of November 1932 if no bread was found during a search other food would be confiscated, the official term for this was natural fines, and the law talked of confiscating meat and potatoes. However, the evidence is that everything edible was stripped using this law in 1933. The telegram had initiated the mass theft from Ukrainian peasants of all their food. The vast number of eyewitness testimonies collected from Ukrainians who lived through the Holodomor prove that a policy of deliberate starvation by the confiscation of all food was inflicted on Ukraine early in 1933. Hanna Yermolenko, who was born in 1915, remembers that her village, Katerynka near Kirovograd ceased to exist after the Holodomor. She recollects the activists in early 1933 going from house to house and removing everything edible. She had hidden a few beans in a glove which she concealed in the ceiling. The activists found what can only have been a pathetic morsel and beat her up. They then beat her mother to death in front of her .

    The directive of the communist party and the soviet government prohibiting the departure of starving peasants from Ukraine and the Kuban, issued on January 22nd 1933 meant that Ukrainian peasants were sealed into ghettoes of starvation.

    The operative order No.1 of 5th December 1932 which talked about the ‘organised sabotage of bread collection and theft’ in Ukraine and operative order No.2 from 13th February 1933 which talked about liquidating the nationalist underground in Ukraine are the pretext for the food requisitions and sealing of the borders. Operative orders Nos. 1 and 13 were intended to create the impression that there was a network of spies in Ukraine and indeed the OGPU under Balyckyj did conduct arrests, searches and executions. The blood of innocents was spilled to give credence to a lie but a lie that Stalin feared might become true. Ukraine might break away. A communist leader speaking in the Kharkiv region in 1934 said ‘Famine in Ukraine was brought on to decrease the number of Ukrainians, replace the dead with people from other parts of the USSR, and thereby to kill the slightest thought of any Ukrainian independence.’ Balyckyj, had given the game away when he said in front of an Italian Diplomat ‘the ethnographic material will be changed’ .

    http://www.unian.net/eng/news/news-304090.html

    Comment by elmer — March 6, 2009 @ 12:43 am

  31. Elmer, a very nice post summarizing the history surrounding the Holodomor.

    Comment by Michel — March 6, 2009 @ 4:48 pm

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