Soviet administration of Ukraine a war crime?

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Kunikov
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Post by Kunikov » 03 Feb 2004 01:00

michael mills wrote:I had to laugh when I read the following words near the beginning of the report:

In order to accomplish their villainous plans the Germans tried to establish a regime of slavery and serfdom in the Ukraine.


There was indeed a regime of slavery and serfdom in Ukraine. But it had been created by the Bolshevik regime. It was already in existence when the Germans came, and they simply took it over for their own purposes.

The Ukrainian people exchanged one slave-master for another, and who is to say that they would not have been better off under German peace-time rule, if the latter had been established.


I'll say it, I'd rather have lived under Stalin than Hitler. And the fact that whereas under Stalin only one member of my family suffered, to the best of my knowledge, under Hitler dozens were killed or scared for life.

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Benoit Douville
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Post by Benoit Douville » 03 Feb 2004 01:44

What? You prefer to live under Stalin than Hitler. The Stalin's purges defy comprehension by people who demand rational explanations. Yet, the megalomaniac Stalin proceed on a scale and with a ferocity unparalleled in European history. In the 1930, Stalin oredered the deaths of more human beings than Hitler had killed in the whole of his career. Just think about that.

Regards

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Kunikov
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Post by Kunikov » 03 Feb 2004 03:39

Benoit Douville wrote:What? You prefer to live under Stalin than Hitler. The Stalin's purges defy comprehension by people who demand rational explanations. Yet, the megalomaniac Stalin proceed on a scale and with a ferocity unparalleled in European history. In the 1930, Stalin oredered the deaths of more human beings than Hitler had killed in the whole of his career. Just think about that.

Regards


Sorry, that's your twisted and baseless view. Real research on Stalin has shown that Conquest as well as others who say that Stalin killed tens of millions are grossly exaggerating almost all of their accounts (mostly from nationalists) and numbers (again mostly nationalist accounts without any real evidence to back up what they present).

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Post by michael mills » 03 Feb 2004 04:50

Kunikov wrote:

Sorry, that's your twisted and baseless view. Real research on Stalin has shown that Conquest as well as others who say that Stalin killed tens of millions are grossly exaggerating almost all of their accounts (mostly from nationalists) and numbers (again mostly nationalist accounts without any real evidence to back up what they present).


The figures given by Conquest, Rummel and others (derived not from nationalists but mainly from dissident Communists) are certainly greatly exaggerated, as recent research has shown.

But the victims of the Bolshevik regime from the start of the Red Terror in 1918 until Stalin's death in 1953 certainly are numbered in the millions, certainly over 10 million, and perhaps over 20 million. That would include victims of repressions, terror, executions, imprisonment, warfare and famines.

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Kunikov
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Post by Kunikov » 03 Feb 2004 04:57

michael mills wrote:Kunikov wrote:

Sorry, that's your twisted and baseless view. Real research on Stalin has shown that Conquest as well as others who say that Stalin killed tens of millions are grossly exaggerating almost all of their accounts (mostly from nationalists) and numbers (again mostly nationalist accounts without any real evidence to back up what they present).


The figures given by Conquest, Rummel and others (derived not from nationalists but mainly from dissident Communists) are certainly greatly exaggerated, as recent research has shown.

But the victims of the Bolshevik regime from the start of the Red Terror in 1918 until Stalin's death in 1953 certainly are numbered in the millions, certainly over 10 million, and perhaps over 20 million. That would include victims of repressions, terror, executions, imprisonment, warfare and famines.


Warfare alone cost the Soviet Union 27 million lives, the famines were not Stalin's doing and the rest might amoung to 10 million, but I doubt it. For Stalin alone the best numbers I could concieve would be around 3.2 million or so as said by Volkogonov.

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Post by michael mills » 04 Feb 2004 00:54

Warfare alone cost the Soviet Union 27 million lives, the famines were not Stalin's doing and the rest might amoung to 10 million, but I doubt it. For Stalin alone the best numbers I could concieve would be around 3.2 million or so as said by Volkogonov.


There were famines in Tsarist times, for example in the 1890s, and although people died the casualties were relatively small, nowhere near the millions who died in the major famines under Bolshevik rule, in 1920-21 and 1932-33.

Why not? because the Tsarist Government tried to save the populations affected by the famines, whereas the Soviet Government, whether under Lenin or Stalin, simply let millions of peasants die. And it let them die because it wanted them to die; they were class enemies and surplus to requirements.

So it is nonsense to say that Stalin was not responsible for the mass dying during the famine of 1932-33 in Ukraine, the Caucasus and Kazakhstan. If the Tsarist Government was able to preserve the lives of the great majority of the people affected by the famine of the 1890s. then Stalin could have done the same in the 1930s. But he chose not to. Unlike Lenin in 1921, he did not even allow food aid to come in from outside (and Lenin's attitude to the Hoover and Nansen humanitarian missions was extremely grudging and unhelpful, and those Russians who coooperated with them were later purged).

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Kunikov
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Post by Kunikov » 04 Feb 2004 01:03

michael mills wrote:
Warfare alone cost the Soviet Union 27 million lives, the famines were not Stalin's doing and the rest might amoung to 10 million, but I doubt it. For Stalin alone the best numbers I could concieve would be around 3.2 million or so as said by Volkogonov.


There were famines in Tsarist times, for example in the 1890s, and although people died the casualties were relatively small, nowhere near the millions who died in the major famines under Bolshevik rule, in 1920-21 and 1932-33.

Why not? because the Tsarist Government tried to save the populations affected by the famines, whereas the Soviet Government, whether under Lenin or Stalin, simply let millions of peasants die. And it let them die because it wanted them to die; they were class enemies and surplus to requirements.

So it is nonsense to say that Stalin was not responsible for the mass dying during the famine of 1932-33 in Ukraine, the Caucasus and Kazakhstan. If the Tsarist Government was able to preserve the lives of the great majority of the people affected by the famine of the 1890s. then Stalin could have done the same in the 1930s. But he chose not to. Unlike Lenin in 1921, he did not even allow food aid to come in from outside (and Lenin's attitude to the Hoover and Nansen humanitarian missions was extremely grudging and unhelpful, and those Russians who coooperated with them were later purged).


Have you read anything by Mark Tauger? Where do you get your information from about the famines?

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Post by Benoit Douville » 04 Feb 2004 01:55

Stalin was responsible for the genocide in Ukraine in 1931-32, to say the contrary is absolute nonsence. Why are you trying to defend this megalomaniac. The thing is those numbers that you claims who you think are exaggerated are probably not enough! I am sure researchers will discover other mass graves in the future of Warcrimes commited by the NKVD from the order of Stalin in the ancient Republic of the Soviet Union. Of course Hitler is responsible of the genocide against the Jews, Gypsies and also a lot Slavs died because of him but at least Hitler was a good artist and a good military strategist even if some historians don't agree with that. Stalin was saved by great military strategist like Zhukov and Rokossovsky(He had Polish blood). BTW who is Mark Tauger?

Regards
Last edited by Benoit Douville on 04 Feb 2004 03:24, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by bonzen » 04 Feb 2004 02:48

Even the New York Times was recently taken to task for what its correspondant in the Soviet Union wrote. Walter Duranty won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for his reports from the Soviet Union. It is now known that what he wrote could have as easily been written by a Soviet stooge. For the first time in its history the Pulitzer Prize Committee was asked to revoke its award. For an account of how the West was fooled by Duranty and many others:
http://www.day.kiev.ua/DIGEST/2003/22/economy/ec3.htm

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Sergey Romanov
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Post by Sergey Romanov » 04 Feb 2004 02:53

Michael Ellman, 2002, "Soviet Repression Statistics: Some Comments", Europe-Asia Studies, vol. 54, no. 7:

Some writers include famine victims with repression victims, but others treat them as a separate category. In this connection it should be noted that:

(1) The categorisation of famine victims is theory-impregnated. This means that it depends on one's theory either of famines in general or of Soviet famines in particular. It seems that in nineteenth century Russia peasants generally considered famines "the will of God". Naturally, if one accepts the theory of the divine causation of famines then the question of human responsibility cannot arise. Many writers ascribe a large share of the blame for famines to natural conditions (e.g. droughts). In this case a large share of the explanation for the famine deaths would be an "act of Nature", even though possibly suitable actions by the authorities might have prevented or reduced famine deaths regardless of the adverse natural conditions. On the other hand, some writers treat famines as conquerable and, when they take place, as the fault of the local political system. Given this theory of the causation of famines, then famines are crimes and the criminals are the dictator/generals/ politicians who run the country where the famine occurred. 86

(2) Whether famine deaths should be considered murder or manslaughter or something else partly depends on the information available to the leadership at the time. If the leadership was unaware of the actual situation their responsibility would be less than if they were fully informed. For example, although the Ukrainian leadership requested a reduction in grain procurement in the summer of 1932 as a result of the needs of their own people, Stalin was informed by Markevich, the deputy Narkom for agriculture, on 4 July 1932 that the 1932 harvest was average and considerably better than that of 1931.87 On 25 July 1932 Stalin, although he fully recognised the need to partially reduce the grain procurement plan of Ukrainian collective farms, thought that for the USSR as a whole the harvest had been "undoubtedly good".88 However, even if careful study of the information environment surrounding Stalin leads to the conclusion that he was inadequately informed about the true situation, this does not eliminate the possibility of criminal responsibility. That depends on the extent to which the inadequate information was itself a result of his policies, in particular the extensive repression which could have made the provision of accurate information very dangerous for the person or organisation providing it. Similarly, the absence of accurate media reports of the situation, which might have forced the government to take appropriate famine relief measures, was a direct result of the Soviet policy of use of the media as propaganda instruments.

(3) For a charge of (mass) murder or a crime against humanity (as opposed to manslaughter or criminal negligence) the question of intent is very important. While there is plenty of evidence to justify a charge of manslaughter or criminal negligence, there seems to the present author to be little evidence for murder.89 Conquest thinks that Stalin wanted large numbers of Ukrainians to die in 1933.90 This seems to the present author possible but unproven and no explanation of the deaths of Kazakhs and Russians. Of course, the general attitude of Marx and Engels and of Russian Marxists to the Ukrainian cause was unsympathetic and during the Civil War many Bolsheviks considered Ukrainian a "counter-revolutionary" language. 91 In addition, it is well known that in 1932-33 Stalin thought he was engaged in a war against wreckers, saboteurs and sit-down strikers. In a war one strives to bend to one's will, and if necessary kill, one's enemies. Many people were deliberately shot or deported. Nevertheless, evidence that Stalin consciously decided to kill millions of people is lacking. It seems to the present author more likely that Stalin simply did not care about mass deaths and was more interested in the balance of payments (which required grain exports) and the industrialisation programme. Just as the British government in 1943 was more interested in the war effort than in saving the life of Bengalis, so the Soviet government in 1931-33 was more interested in industrialisation than in saving the life of peasants or nomads.

(4) We are interested in uniquely Stalinist evil, not in events which have their parallels in many countries and thus cannot be considered uniquely Stalinist. Unfortunately, famines in which millions of people die are not unique to the USSR in the Stalin era. Not only was there one in Soviet Russia (in 1921-22) prior to Stalin's accession to supreme power, but major famines were widespread throughout the world in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, for example in the British empire (India and Ireland), China, Russia and elsewhere. Furthermore, the world-wide death of millions of people in recent decades which could have been prevented by simple public health measures or cured by application of modern medicine, but was not, might be considered by some as mass manslaughter - or mass death by criminal negligence - by the leaders of the G8 (who could have prevented these deaths but did not do so). The present author is sympathetic to the idea that the leaders of the British Empire in the past (India and Ireland) and of the G8 in recent years are guilty of mass manslaughter or mass deaths from criminal negligence because of their not taking obvious measures to reduce mass deaths. However, if they are not condemned for this, it is not clear why - except on a very doubtful historical account of Stalin's knowledge and intentions in 1932-33 - Stalin should be convicted for the famine deaths of 1931-34 or of the other Stalin-era famines. Conquest has argued that the "only conceivable defence" for Stalin and his associates is that they did not know about the famine.92 This ignores another possible defence - that their behaviour was no worse than that of many rulers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

(5) Conquest argues that "the cause of the famine was the setting of highly excessive grain requisition targets by Stalin and his associates" .93 But it seems the grain procurements in the agricultural year 1932-33 (the main famine year) were less than in every other agricultural year in the period 1930-31 to 1939-40 inclusive. 94 This suggests that something other than procurements, namely the size of the harvest, was also an important factor. Although the low harvests of 1931 and 1932 were partly a result of the political and agronomic policies of the Stalinist leadership, they were partly a result of adverse natural conditions (weather). Hence the exclusive blame which Conquest attaches to procurement policy is one-sided and ignores the size of the harvest. Accordingly the present author considers it appropriate to place the famine victims in a different category from the repression victims, even if one judges Stalin during the famines to have been guilty of causing mass deaths by manslaughter or criminal negligence. Both categories contain huge numbers of victims, but only the latter was unusual by international standards. About 12 million people were arrested or deported, and at least 3 million died, as a result of political persecution by their own government. 95

This distinction between famines and political persecution corresponds to normal historical practice. The victims of the 1943 Bengal famine are usually considered to be "famine victims" rather than "repression victims" even though by appropriate actions the British Government could have saved many of the lives of those who died. Similarly with the Irish famine of the 1840s. It also corresponds to current international law. Unintentional famine, unlike murder or deportation, is not classified as a crime against humanity (see article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court).

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Kunikov
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Post by Kunikov » 04 Feb 2004 04:14

Benoit Douville wrote:Stalin was responsible for the genocide in Ukraine in 1931-32, to say the contrary is absolute nonsence. Why are you trying to defend this megalomaniac. The thing is those numbers that you claims who you think are exaggerated are probably not enough! I am sure researchers will discover other mass graves in the future of Warcrimes commited by the NKVD from the order of Stalin in the ancient Republic of the Soviet Union. Of course Hitler is responsible of the genocide against the Jews, Gypsies and also a lot Slavs died because of him but at least Hitler was a good artist and a good military strategist even if some historians don't agree with that. Stalin was saved by great military strategist like Zhukov and Rokossovsky(He had Polish blood). BTW who is Mark Tauger?

Regards


Hitler was very far from a 'good military strategist' and Mark Tauger is an expert on the famine in Ukraine, you would do well to read real research. As for the famine, it was not a genocide against Ukrainians but a national phenomenon, Ukraine was not the only country to suffer.

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Post by Askold » 04 Feb 2004 16:42

1. Stalin was a horrible strategist and a coward. Unlike Hitler, he NEVER visited a battlefield. All three conferences (Crimea, Postdam, Teheran) were held in Soviet controlled terrytory - he was even afraid to visit his allies.

2. The Genocide in 30's was specifically aimed at destroing the rich phesants of Ukraine. Unlike Russia or Kazakhstan - the genocied was aimed to get rid of specific class - the kulaks and local intelligencia.

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Kunikov
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Post by Kunikov » 04 Feb 2004 16:46

Askold wrote:1. Stalin was a horrible strategist and a coward. Unlike Hitler, he NEVER visited a battlefield. All three conferences (Crimea, Postdam, Teheran) were held in Soviet controlled terrytory - he was even afraid to visit his allies.


Who has said otherwise? Although he wasn't that bad a strategist as he learned from his generals as the war progressed, just look at what happened before Operation Bagration.
2. The Genocide in 30's was specifically aimed at destroing the rich phesants of Ukraine. Unlike Russia or Kazakhstan - the genocied was aimed to get rid of specific class - the kulaks and local intelligencia.


What Ukrainian nationalists like to think means nothing to me, you cannot support any of this with actual proof and evidence.

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Askold
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Post by Askold » 04 Feb 2004 18:00

Although he wasn't that bad a strategist as he learned from his generals as the war progressed, just look at what happened before Operation

- Is that after he executed half of his staff or before?


What Ukrainian nationalists like to think means nothing to me, you cannot support any of this with actual proof and evidence.

- Naturally - 4.000.000 phesants and executed intelligencia are all made up, just like that fake Holocaust and I am being a nazi for speaking out. I think its time for you to let go of your communist views.

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Kunikov
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Post by Kunikov » 04 Feb 2004 18:43

Askold wrote:Although he wasn't that bad a strategist as he learned from his generals as the war progressed, just look at what happened before Operation

- Is that after he executed half of his staff or before?


Stalin ordered the arrest of a few dozen men, no more, the rest were a result of NKVD work. After the 'snowball' started Stalin could not stop it, he had to wait it out, after which point Yezhov was blamed for it. Unless you have evidence that says Stalin said kill over 660 generals, you are wrong.

What Ukrainian nationalists like to think means nothing to me, you cannot support any of this with actual proof and evidence.

- Naturally - 4.000.000 phesants and executed intelligencia are all made up, just like that fake Holocaust and I am being a nazi for speaking out. I think its time for you to let go of your communist views.


And where do you get your numbers from? I have no communist view, I am a moderate, if you show me evidence I will look at it, if you make up statement then I will ignore them.

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