Ukraine is marking the 70-th anniversary of the terrible 1932-1933 famine today.
All Ukrainian churches are holding memorial services in this connection.
Ukraine experienced three famines throughout the 20-th century, that is, over the 1921-1923 period, in 1932 and 1933, as well as in 1946 and 1947, respectively. However, the 1932-1933 famine was particularly terrible and large-scale. Historians estimate that somewhere between 5 million and 10 million people had perished during that period.
The Soviet Union experienced a crop failure in 1932; consequently, the Soviet leadership ordered Ukraine to stock 44 percent more grain than had initially been planned. In August 1932 Communist Party activists were allowed to confiscate kolkhoz (collective-farm) grain. Moreover, a law stipulating capital punishment for socialist-property thefts was passed.
The most terrifying consequences of this policy were manifested in early 1933. Local peasants, who lacked any bread, had to eat cats, dogs and rats; cannibalism also became quite widespread. Thousands of Ukrainian villages died out by late 1933.
Ukraine officially marks famine-victims day on the fourth Saturday of each November.