Stalin, Father of Ukraine?Breaking News
tags: Stalin, Ukraine
Eight years ago, on Nov. 28, 2006, the Ukrainian Parliament officially designated the famine of 1931-33, which killed 5 to 7 million Soviets during Stalin’s rule, a genocide. On Saturday, Ukraine’s president, Petro O. Poroshenko, accompanied by other officials and by his wife, laid a jar of seeds of grain near the Dnieper River in Kiev to mark the anniversary.
Stalin’s rule is rightly associated with two of the most horrific episodes in Ukraine’s history: the famine and the 1937-38 mass executions of Ukrainian intellectuals and political figures, both of which took place across the Soviet Union. Both tragedies have been invoked regularly in the months since Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, seized Crimea and sent forces into eastern Ukraine.
But there is an underappreciated aspect to this tangled history: Stalin’s rule saw the formation of a land with strong Ukrainian national consciousness. Yes, he was a murderous tyrant, but he was also a father of today’s Ukraine.
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