It has become customary for Ukrainian Nationalists to claim the Holodomor as genocide. The purpose of this appropriation is simple, it is to portray the Soviet generated famine as a Russian generated attack on the Ukrainian Nation. The intent to use the tragedy as such becomes clear when one notices the author's, Marco Levytsky's, slander towards the Yanukovych government. He calls it Little Russian and this is where his argument totally fails. Little Russia, or Malorus', was the Russian Imperial administrative name for Ukraine, or at least a part of it when viewed fom the perspective of contemporary Ukrainian State, until 1802. It was the Bolsheviks who first brought the term Ukraine into administrative usage, as way of countering what they called, Russian chauvinism. They could not come up with the same thing for White Russia, or Belorus', and that's why the latter retains its name that designates it as a part of Rus'.
The government of Quebec has been persuaded by the lobbying of the local Ukrainian Diaspora to recognise the tragedy as genocide, there is the possibility that British Columbia will soon follow suit as it has a far greater number of people of Ukrainian origin resident there...
It is imperative that both the Government and the Opposition in B.C. get together to enact such a bill. Québec’s successful enactment serves as a further spur to B.C. seeing how there are more than six times as many British Columbians of Ukrainian origin (197,265, according to the 2006 census) as Québecers (31,955).
Much credit for the passage of Bill 390 is due Parti Québecois MNA Louise Beaudoin whose Rosemont constituency houses the heart of Montreal’s Ukrainian community. Significantly, while both Pierre Arcand, speaking for the governing Liberals and Gérard Deltell, Leader of Action démocratique du Québec judiciously avoided using the G word, Beaudoin tackled the issue head on, citing Raphael Lemkin, the Polish Jewish lawyer who fled in 1941 to the United States, and invented in 1943 the term and concept of genocide. In Lemkin’s own words, which she cited in her speech: 'This is not simply a case of mass murder. It is a case of genocide, of destruction, not of individuals only, but of a culture and a nation.'
Somebody should have made it clear the Louise Beaudoin that the term genocide as defined by Lemkin is not applicable to Holodomor. The Nazis for example had a policy of purging all the areas under their control of Jews. They used the terms 'Judenfrei' and 'Judenrein', the former referring to the action of freeing the area of Jews and the latter signifying that the Jewish population of the area was cleansed.
The Soviets had no such policy towards the Ukrainians. Their policy was that of coercive implementation of Communism, collectivizing the farms and creation of agricultural communes called the kolkhoz, Ukraine as the bread-basket of the former Russian Empire was naturally the hardest hit by these policies. But other agricultural areas, populated with people of nationalities other than Ukrainians were also affected by hunger. If the Soviets targeted a certain group it was motivated by class warfare. Take for example the policy of Dekulakisation, which coincided with the Holodomor. The motivation here was to eradicate the class of rich farmers, it did not matter whether the rich farmer was Ukrainian, Russian or Tatar here.
When the Soviets ever came close to genocide it was during Decossakisation, but I suspect the Soviets viewed the Cossacks more as a class hostile to their agenda than an ethnic group worthy of elimination. Also close, and probably even closer than Decossakisation, were the mass deportations of ethnic groups accused of collaborating with the Nazis, such as the Chechens or Crimean Tatars. But with these instances it is also arguable whether they constitute genocide. They certainly eliminated particular ethnic group in its homeland but not the ethnic group itself.
The correct term for Soviet atrocities is less known word, politicide, murder of a social group for political not racial reasons.
Central to all the revisionism that the Little Russian government is pushing is the idiotic argument that the Holodomor was not a genocide because nationalities other than Ukrainians also died during the famine. That is the equivalent of saying the Holocaust was not a genocide because Adolph Hitler killed millions of other people besides Jews.
This is the argument I use and what is idiotic here is Levytsky's comparison of Holodomor with the Holocaust. The Nazis as we had seen earlier had a policy of total eradication of Jews in the areas under their control. Their policies were directed towards this goal. Soviet policies had a goal of establishing the kolkhoz, not eradication of Ukrainians as a nation. The death toll resulting from this policy did not discriminate between those that define themselves as Russian, Ukrainian or Tatar.
But the Holocaust was a genocide because Hitler specifically targeted Jews and the Holodomor was a genocide because Joseph Stalin specifically targeted Ukrainians. The areas outside Ukraine where the famine prevailed were areas populated by ethnic Ukrainians. The borders of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic were sealed off so that Ukrainian peasants could not travel to Russia to obtain food where it was plentiful. The Holodomor was accompanied by the elimination of the Ukrainian intelligentsia and Ukrainian schools and newspapers. Entire villages comprised entirely of ethnic Ukrainians were wiped out in such regions as Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv and Odesa. These areas were resettled by ethnic Russians, changing the demographics to a pro-Russian political sentiment. By specifically targeting ethnic Ukrainians, Moscow destroyed their sense of national consciousness, instilling a sense of fear for simply admitting their national identity.
The fact that that others died speaks against genocide. If there was genocide, believe me, there would be no or very few Ukrainians left. Ukrainian language itself and the very identification called Ukrainian would be outlawed. However this was not the case, in Kharkiv, in Soviet census of 1959, 48.4% of the respondents, i.e. the majority, answered that they are Ukrainian, this number has risen to 50.38% in 1989. In 2001 census found that 53.8% of respondents considered Ukrainian to be their native language. Identification with the Ukrainian nation does not seem to instigate any anti-Russian sentiments it seems, despite the wishes of West Ukrainian Russophobic Nationalists.
As far as his claim about areas with Ukrainian population goes, this is very ambiguous and rests on Ukrainian Nationalist claim that Cossacks are in fact ethnic Ukrainians. I would suggest Mr. Levytsky travels to Rostov and tells people there about it, I bet they would be thrilled by his irredentist message. Or maybe he should take a trip to Kazakhstan and see if there are any Ukrainians there. The argument that Soviet authorities targeted specifically those people that identified themselves as Ukrainian is tenuous at best.
Finally, I would like to mention one other instance of Soviet policy that is more closer to genocide than the Holodomor. When the Soviets seized Subcarpathian Rus' from Czechoslovakia they outlawed the identification as Rusyn for the local population together with the Rusyn language, and hence all the people there were defined as Ukrainians by the 'anti-Ukrainian' Communists. The government of Independent Ukraine continued with this Soviet policy while the government of neighbouring Slovakia reversed it. The numbers of Rusyns in Slovakia are rising now. So much for the sovok attitude the Russophiles in Ukraine are accused of.
PS: Read the comments underneath the article if you want to be amused.