User:Rourkes/Ukrainian Wheat Famine

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For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia have an article about Ukrainian Wheat Famine.
“Please sir, may I have some back?”
~ Ukraine on the Wheat Famine
“This bread is made from the finest Ukr- ah, Russian grain!”
~ Josef Stalin on 'Russian' bread exports
~ Mao Tse-tung on Stalin
“D'you have any idea how much vodka that makes?!”
~ Vyacheslav "the Cocktail" Molotov on Ukrainian farmland

The Ukrainian Wheat Famine (Ukrainian: Голодомор = Holodomor; Russian: Никогда Произошедший = Never Happened) was caused by Russia taking all the wheat harvest from Ukraine. It occurred in large part because Stalin refused to admit he was a God-awful cook.

edit The Cause

In a special meeting of the Politburo, Chairman of the Council of Everything Distillable Molotov informed Stalin that "With the amount of vodka we can extract from Ukraine, we'd never be sober again!" This was good news to Joe's ears, as he'd been bone-dry for two weeks and succumbing to rational thought. Using his Harvard-level analytical skills, he developed a foolproof plan to extract maximum wheat with minimum wait:

grain -> take

While the plan was foolproof, application proved difficult. Peasants were already angered over the sudden and underorganized shift to collectivism, and many were less than eager to starve. Stalin initially tried to bargain, lie, and threaten the wheat from them, but in the end had to resort to ordering Party members to sieze it and beat anybody who resisted. He remarked later: "The whole event was quite saddening. I really thought I could rise above petty thuggery, but it all ended up the same. Ah well, there's always the Kulaks..."

edit The Casualties

Starved for food, millions of agonized Ukrainians died. So critical was the plight of the population that some members of the Politburo began to question the wisdom of the order. The religious and political philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev travelled straight to Stalin's office to protest; however, Stalin was immersed in calculating the quantity of wheat being moved from farm to mill, [1] and so had likely confused words when he stated:

A single death is a tragedy. A thousand deaths is a statistic.

In any event, Berdyaev took the statement as a hint his opinion wasn't wanted, and promptly exiled himself to Germany.

The exact numbers of victims vary, with Russia claiming "a couple thousand died from accidents", while Ukraine asserts millions were "brutally and intentionally murdered". What declassified Soviet documents escaped Putin's fireplace only provide a rough estimate, placing the number at about 3.5 million deaths. [2]

edit The Consequences

Many analysts agree that the Wheat Famine left one of the deepest and ugliest scars in Russo-Ukrainian relations, and was a major lever in persuading Ukrainian resistance to ally with the occupying Germans during World War II. [3] Decades afterwards, the Soviet government had to set aside billions of rubles in propaganda funding to maintain control of the state, much to the displeasure of Party members. General Secretary Konstantin Chernenko wrote:

Only that jerkwad Stalin would've gone through with such an idiotic plan. The man demonstrated an apalling lack of proper planning with this single event. Sure, for a moment the U.S.S.R.'s budget almost broke even; then they realized there was nobody left to tend the fields. That, friends, is a grade-A fuck-up. In the history of fuck-ups, I'd place it somewhere between Franklin's "Let's take a shortcut", and Custer's "Let's make a stand". And here we are, the grandchildren, slapped with the debt that we'll still be passing on through generations. I think I'll go spit on his grave again.

Perhaps the ultimate irony of the whole affair was that the perpetrators had failed to accomplish their primary goal, as producing vodka from wheat proved impossible. Nevertheless, Russia had killed Ukrainians, and it was said that Stalin "...did not sleep so well in years."[4]

edit Reactions Abroad

Russia had to push its powers of making peope not talk to the very limit to keep the famine a secret. Even so, hints of something amiss leaked into neighbouring regions. Romanians didn't see as much of their neighbours anymore, Russian politicians were notably happier, and Europe found that bread from Russia had developed "a salty taste, quite unlike the usual assimilative flavour of the Soviet Union." [5]

An ex-NKVD agent, Grigori Spasinev, was deeply opposed to the famine and tried to alert Europe to Stalin's actions. Before he could gain the ear of government, however, one of Joe's hitmen tracked him down and poisoned him with a stale twinkie (the closest thing to Polonium-210 at the time). [6]

China was the only country to discover the truth; however Stalin's apprentice Mao Tse-tung was so delighted by the death and destruction that he incorporated such a man-made famine into the Great Leap Backward. On being told of the casulaties of his own, he said:

The circle is now complete. When I left Joe, I was but the learner. Now I am the master.

edit Russia, Ukraine, and the G-Word

“Genocides only happen in countries at war with Russia: the Jews to the Germans, the Armenians to the Turks, the Sioux to the Americans. Russia is not at war with herself; therefore, she can't have committed genocide.”
~ Vladimir Putin on Genocide

Arguments still ebb and flow as to whether the Ukrainian Wheat Famine constitutes genocide. Predictably, Russia denies it had anything to do with the famine, stating that it just happened to occur during a perod of poor weather [7]. Ukraine has demanded Russia admit to its Soviet-era mistakes and play nice. Russia did in fact try to play by the nicest rules it knew, by cutting its neighbours off from resources and threatening military action. Europe was impressed by this change of heart, and international relations between Russia and the World warmed up to -52°C (-61.6°F).

edit Notes

  1. Some historians believe this may indicate Stalin took personal interest in the famine.
  2. Documented by Stanislav Kulchytsky. It's true!
  3. Hey, you'd be surprised what dangling a piece of cake in front of a starving person can do!
  4. Vasily Dzhugashvili,"Angry Dad: At Home with the Tyrant". April 27, 1953.
  5. Philippe Grosventre, "Foods of the World". March 14, 1933.
  6. Coincidentally, Spasinev was the great-grandfather of Alexander Litvinenko.
  7. While this is true, Russia fails to explain the Weather Control Device hidden behind the Kremlin.

edit See Also

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