Ukraine to investigate whether devastating 1932-33 Soviet-era famine was

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Ukraine plans to open a formal investigation into a Soviet-era famine that killed millions of people to see if it can prove the famine was an act of genocide.

The 1932-33 famine was engineered by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin to force peasants to give up their private plots of land and join collective farms.

Ukraine, which has rich farmland, suffered the most of all Soviet regions and President Viktor Yushchenko has led efforts to win international recognition of the tragedy as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian nation.

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John D. Beatty - 7/16/2008

Are we going to haul out the bones of the Soviet leaders and try them in the Hauge?

To what end, other than finger-pointing and self-righteous speeches? Hasn't the Ukrainian government got better things to do?

William Mandel - 7/14/2008

The Ukrainian famine was a consequence of the refusal of its peasants to sell their marketable grain at a price the government could afford to pay, at a time when it was beginning industrialization of the Soviet Union, hitherto an overwhelmingly agricultural country.
I lived in Moscow for the year starting in the summer of 1931. The government was selling abroad everything it could, primarily lumber and manganese, in order to purchase the machine tools needed to lift the country into the 20th century by its own bootstraps.
Food in Moscow was rationed, even to those foreigners, including my father, who had been invited to help get industry rolling. (Dad was a civil engineer.)My 11-year-old brother became anemic because he would not eat food he didn't like. I got by because I'll eat anything edible, and mother made good the shortage of proteins by making me sandwiches of black caviar, which Dad's pay partially in hard currency made affordable.