The Great Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine (Holodomor)

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EDITORIAL--GETTING OVER PAST HATREDS
Formation of a United Economic Space for Four Countries of the FSU
  

"For instance, the Stalin-era famine in Ukraine - which Ukrainian nationalists erroneously blame on "the Russians," as if there were no Ukrainians in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union - has caused bitter resentments that fuel antagonism both between the two countries and between the Ukrainian and Russian populations of in that former Soviet republic"

 

EDITORIAL, The Russia Journal Daily
Moscow, Russia, Monday, July 28, 2003

Speaking on Friday at a meeting of a high-level group for the formation of a united economic space for four countries of the former Soviet Union - Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan - President Vladimir Putin once again stood for closer integration of the C.I.S. and its further assimilation into the world economy, especially that of the European Union.

Closer economic integration of the former Soviet states and of the general Eurasian economy into that of the wider world are always to be hoped for. It is also hard to doubt that Europe - Russia's major non-C.I.S. trading partner and the destination of most of the region's natural-resources exports - lies in a direction to which Russia and the rest of the former Soviet Union should be pointing.

The Great Breakthrough, 1929
Oleksandr Makarenko, 1988
Poster from ArtUkraine.com collection
(Click on image to enlarge it)

Relations between the former republics of the Soviet Union have often been acrimonious, in large part due to resurgent nationalisms and hatreds deriving from Soviet, especially Stalinist, policies. For instance, the Stalin-era famine in Ukraine - which Ukrainian nationalists erroneously blame on "the Russians," as if there were no Ukrainians in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union - has caused bitter resentments that fuel antagonism both between the two countries and between the Ukrainian and Russian populations of in that former Soviet republic.

A similar situation exists in the pathologically Russophobic Baltic states. At worst, relations between different groups in the former Soviet Union have gotten so bad that full-fledged civil war has broken out - in Moldova, Armenia, Georgia and even Russia itself (Chechnya).

The fact of the matter is that geographical and economic reality dictates that the 15 inheritor states of the Soviet Union work together. Closer integration is desirable and almost inevitable. Those who say that residual ethnic hostilities and resentments and animosities are insuperable barriers are not looking at how much - and relatively quickly - the passage of time and the facts of life can bring people together. After all, how many people would have said 60 years ago that warring Germany and France would someday by the driving forces [work together?] in a united and peaceful Europe?

We see some corroboration of this in the fact that, according to opinion polls, a large majority of the population of a country as tormented by its Stalinist past as Ukraine is in favor of greater economic cooperation with Russia. When all is said and done, nationalism does not put food and the table or money in the bank - business and cooperation do.

The mad phobias that were fostered in the past, especially in the Stalin era, have led nowhere for anybody and gotten nothing for the peoples of the former Soviet Union but hatred, bloodshed and economic collapse.

One hopes that the current campaign apparently being waged against Russians in Turkmenistan is one of the last manifestations of this bizarre, counterproductive attitude.

Closer, fair and mutual respectful integration with each other and the world is in the interests of every country in the C.I.S., from giant Russia to tiny Belarus. And if these countries want to open up to the world at large, they must first open up to each other. (TRJ)


The Russia Journal Daily, Moscow, Russia, Monday, July 28, 2003
http://www.russiajournal.com/news/cnews-article.shtml?nd=39684
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