The ‘glue’ that holds the US’ plans together is the ability to rally Ukrainians against Russia, and this is where the Golodomor [Holodomor in Ukrainian spelling – OR] “genocide” myth is absolutely pivotal.
It provides the underpinning of popular support and ‘legitimacy’ for rabid Ukrainian nationalism (the modern-day ideology of the state) and its anti-Russian authorities, as well as altering Ukraine’s natural trajectory away from Russia and diverting it towards the West. If the myth can be deconstructed, then the entire Western plan is endangered, but so long as it’s believed, propagated, and even ‘legitimized’ via the ‘authority’ of the Pope, then it presents the single-greatest obstacle to Ukrainian-Russian reconciliation and serves as the fuel for forwarding the US’ grand strategy against Russia vis-à-vis Ukraine. This is the ultimate strategic benefit that the politicization of the 1930s famine and its nationalist focus on solely one victim demographic attains, hence why it’s so heavily promoted in the Western world.
Russia has never refuted the fact that the Golodomor tragically occurred, but it has refused to label the events as genocide because many other groups besides Ukrainians were also adversely affected. Kirill Frolov, head of the Ukraine Department at the Institute of CIS Countries, explains:
“Russia shares the opinion that it was a terrible tragedy… It is well-known that the hunger of the 1930s was the reason for the deaths of millions of Ukrainians but also millions of villagers living along the Volga River, in the Ural Mountains, West Siberia, Kazakhstan, the North Caucasus and other regions. Every nation should remember its victims but it is high time to forget Yushchenko’s ideology (of designating the Golodomor as “genocide”). We also mean the attempt to interpret the hunger in Ukraine in the 1930s as the genocide of the Ukrainian people alone.
The cover page of a Soviet propaganda brochure “For full Ukrainianization” issued in Dnepropetrovsk in 1929
Recall that in the 1920s the Bolsheviks carried out the genocide of Russians and the elimination of the Russian Orthodox Church and actively supported the idea of the so-called Ukrainisation. It was an attempt to separate Ukrainians from Russians and make a thousand years of our common history null and void. As for the hunger, it was a consequence of Stalin’s industrialization policy. It was a conflict between the city and the countryside which involved the entire territory of the Soviet Union, including Russians and Ukrainians. It was not genocide but sociocide associated with the industrialisation policy.”
RT summarized the official explanation by relating that:
“Russia argues that the famine was caused by a combination of bad management, unfavourable weather and disastrous collectivization policies, which lead to the tragic events and cost numerous lives of many ethnic groups over several territories and not just Ukraine alone.”
Additionally, it has come out that some of the numbers being cited by the Ukrainian government to account for its associated victims have been faked:
“As quoted by the Russian Izvestia newspaper, Vladimir Kornilov of the Kiev branch of the Institute of CIS Countries has discovered why the official number of alleged Holodomor victims has significantly increased since the launch of Yushchenko’s campaign. According to Kornilov, the so-called “Book of Memory”, published in Ukraine’s regions, is full of falsifications. Instead of real victims of famine, one can find in the book alcoholics, different crash victims, and even those who weren’t alive in 1932-1933.”
Furthermore, some of the photographic ‘evidence’ that has been passed around as supposedly confirming the “genocide” is also falsified:
““Here’s a photo by Dorothy Lang, shot in 1936 in Oklahoma. And here’s a photo by Fritof Nansen made in Russia’s Povolzhe region in 1921. But both of those pictures and other falsified photos were displayed at Sevastopol’s exhibition on the Ukrainian famine of 1932-1933,” (Sevastopol city council deputy) Merkulov says, demonstrating aged photographs…“We go to the Ukrainian president’s official website. Click on the photo gallery. Click on public events. And we see this picture – Yushchenko looking at pictures of the Ukrainian famine of the 1930’s. But the picture he’s looking at is this one, also shot by Nansen in Russia’s Povolzhie region. It is written here: Famine in Russia.”
“We have declassified all documents on the famine in Ukraine and there are only two genuine pictures from that time. The rest are very much distantly related and are not necessarily shot in Ukraine,” Olga Ginzburg the head of Ukraine’s State Archive told RT.”
Photo taken by Fritof Nansen in Rtishchevo, Saratov region, Central Russia, in November 1921 is often used by Western propaganda as “proof” of Ukrainian genocide in 1930s.
Rejecting The Lie:
The claims of “genocide” are so dubious that the Council of Europe, generally pro-Western (despite Russia’s membership), refused to use such a label, opting instead to drop the false description from their draft resolution on the topic. Instead, their 2010 commemorative report, while mentioning that Kiev does call the tragedy “genocide”, recognizes all of the victims of the Golodomor, not just Ukrainians, specifying that:
“In Kazakhstan, too, millions fell victim to the mass famine, and the ratio of the dead to the whole population is believed to be the highest among all peoples of the former Soviet Union. Traditionally nomads, the cattle-raising Kazakhs were forced to settle down and were deprived of livestock. The Great Famine is remembered as the greatest tragedy of the Kazakh people.
In the grain-producing areas of Russia (the Middle and Lower Volga, the North Caucasus, the Central Black Soil region, the Southern Urals, Western Siberia and some other regions), the famine caused by “collectivisation” and dispossession of individual farmers took millions of lives in rural and urban areas. In absolute figures, it is estimated that the population of Russia had the heaviest death toll as a result of the Soviet agricultural policies.
Hundreds of thousands of farmers also died in Belarus and the Republic of Moldova.
While these events may have had particularities in various regions, the results were the same everywhere: millions of human lives were mercilessly sacrificed to the fulfilment of the policies and plans of the Stalinist regime.”
What’s more, even the pro-Western ‘human rights’ group, Memorial, notorious for lambasting Russia’s Soviet-era heritage and labeled a “foreign agent” in accordance with Russian law, surprisingly presented a strong argument against calling the Golodomor a “genocide” back in 2010. Voice of Russia quotes Interfax as reporting that:
Arseniy Roginski, Russian Memorial
“Ukraine was right to make a legal assessment of the Soviet leadership’s crimes, but the famine of the 1930s was not genocide against Ukrainians, Arseny Roginsky, head of Russia’s Memorial human rights and history society, has told Interfax. On Wednesday, the Kiev Court of Appeals declared Soviet and Ukrainian Bolshevik leaders guilty of organizing the Holodomor, or famine, in Ukraine in 1932-1933, which it qualified as genocide. The court ruled the criminal case to be dropped because the defendants, among them Joseph Stalin, Vyacheslav Molotov and the then Ukrainian leadership, were already dead.
“Still, I don’t understand what documents were used to prove that the famine in Ukraine was genocide,” Memorial’s leader said. In his firm belief, the “famine of the 1930s is a common tragedy that befell Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan and therefore, instead of driving them apart, it should bring them closer together.” Memorial, a major nongovernmental human rights organization in the post-Soviet space, conducts research into the history of Stalinist repressions and the rehabilitation of victims of political terror in the former USSR.”
Who Goes Gaga For “Genocide”?:
If the Council of Europe and pro-Western foreign agents inside Russia itself refuse to bite the bait of politicization over the Golodomor, who then subscribes to and perpetrates this myth? First and foremost, it’s the Ukrainian government, which actually made denial of the Golodomor as “genocide” a crime per a piece of legislation passed in 2006 under the Orange Revolutionary government. While the law carried with it no “criminal responsibility”, it symbolically elevated the hoax to the level of national myth and part of the official Ukrainian identity, thereby facilitating the implementation of the US’ aforementioned geopolitical designs against Russia.
Prominent neo-conservative icon and famous anti-Russian author Anne Applebaum is another “genocide” activist and plans to pen a book about the “very, very well managed cover-up” behind the Golodomor, alleging that there has been a vast conspiracy to hide the truth about what happened. In actuality, the real cover-up is that certain parties are hiding the fact that other nationalities besides Ukrainians were also victims of the 1930s famine and that it was not “genocide”, but describing Applebaum’s personal life might shed some valuable light into why she would so actively want to politicize this tragedy. Her husband just so happens to be Radoslaw Sikorski, the rapidly pro-Western former Foreign Minister of Poland and current speaker of the Polish Parliament, who was also the co-author of the EU’s 2009 Eastern Partnership initiative that ultimately forced Ukraine into the doldrums that it’s currently in. It should go without saying that just as Victoria Nuland and her neo-conservative husband Robert Kagan coordinate their anti-Russian activity as a couple, so too do Anne Applebaum and Radoslaw Sikorski act as a singular unit in attacking Russia in every means available to them.
Radoslaw Sikorski and Anna Applebaum
Adding a geopolitical aspect to the discussion is that Poland and the Baltic States, the most anti-Russian entities in the world today aside from the current Ukrainian authorities, are among the handful of countries which label the Golodomor as “genocide”. These states’ political establishments have a vested interest in promoting Russophobia in any and all of its iterations, including historical revisionism, and they’ve been some of the most enthusiastic supporters of Ukraine’s ultra-nationalist government since it seized power in the coup last year. Additionally, these are also the states which have become most heavily fortified by NATO since the Ukrainian Crisis began, which underlines their anti-Russian strategic dispositions.
OR Note: Even more important dimension of the “Golodomor” controversy consists in trade embargo imposed by the West on Soviet gold in 1920s. They accepted only grain as a mean of payment for modern machinery and industrial equipment being widely exported to the USSR in the framework of huge industrialization policy. Under such circumstances Moscow had nothing to do but paying grain at the expense of its own people! For more details read “Who organized the famine in the USSR in 1932-1933?“
The True ‘Francis Effect’
Smoke And Mirrors:
Unlike Poland and the Baltic States, which have minimal if no influence whatsoever worldwide in propagating this tale, Pope Francis has a global congregation of over 1 billion people who eagerly listen to his words and understand them as being representative of the will of God Himself. Not only is he the world’s most prominent religious leader, he’s also something of a global celebrity too, attracting the attention of millions of non-Christians all across the world who are interested in what he has to say. The media-driven ‘Francis Effect’, however, has elevated the Pope to such an esteemed level of popular culture and furthered his cult of personality to such extreme extents that it’s become impossible for anyone to criticize or accuse him of any wrongdoing without coming off as ill-spirited and self-serving. Essentially, he’s become an unassailable actor that can operate with impunity and away from any mainstream media scrutiny over the intentions.
The Real Deal:
Through his association with the Catholic Church, he’s assumed to be ‘infallible’ and a ‘man of God’ (much as the Dalai Lama is seen to be in relation to Buddhism), with the underlying idea that such an individual would never be guided by political motivations. This idea is absolutely misguided, since it’s been proven that both Pope John Paul II and the current Dalai Lama have both been ultra-politicized throughout their ‘religious’ careers, being weaponized by the US for use against the Soviet Union andChina’s interests, respectively. The same is shaping up to be true about Francis, who is now beating the drums of Ukrainian “genocide” to advance the agenda of the US, Ukrainian nationalists, and his own proselytization interests.
Prior to becoming the leader of the Catholic Church, Francis spoke about his views on the Golodomor in his 2010 book, “On Heaven and Earth” [link to full original text in Spanish – OR], in which he wrote that “People who suffered massacres and persecution – as they did during the three biggest genocides of the last century, the Armenians, Jews and Ukrainians – struggled for their freedom.” From this bombshell of a quote, the future Pope is telling the world that the deaths of Ukrainians during the Golodomor is on par with the events that befell the Armenians and Jews during their associated tragedies. When compared with his recent news-making quote about how “the remaining two (genocides) were perpetrated by Nazism and Stalinism”, it’s clear that he’s equating Nazism with the genocide of Jews and Stalinism with the genocide of Ukrainians.
Addressing another very important point, Francis also falsely stated that the Ukrainians suffered from their supposed “genocide” because they “struggled for their freedom”. To put everything into perspective, the alleged “genocide” didn’t occur until the early 1930s, and the only Ukrainian ‘freedom’ organization (as the West sadly views it) active at the time was the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists. To bring unaware readers up to speed, this group was the forerunner to the actual genocidal Ukrainian Insurgent Army (responsible for the targeted slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Poles – watch video below) and the ideological cradle of notorious Nazi Stepan Bandera. What Francis is plainly doing here is defending the seed of Ukrainian Fascism and perverting history to paint the proto-Nazi group as the ‘good guys’, after which he imagines that the Soviet government’s only response to their ‘struggle for freedom’ was to commit “genocide” against all of their ethnic kin.
At this point it’s relevant to reference Putin’s response that was noted at the beginning of Part I, in which the Russian President declared during his annual Q&A that “Attempts to put [Nazism and Stalinism] in the same basket are absolutely baseless…As ugly as the Stalin regime was, with all its repressions and ethnic deportations, it never attempted to eradicate [an ethnic group] completely.” This puts him at absolute odds with Francis, who had earlier used his global pulpit to preach the exact opposite. While it may seem strange to some that Argentinian Francis would try to involve himself in former Soviet affairs and potentially butt heads with Putin, the reasoning is that the pontiff is actually fulfilling a very important role in the context of the New Cold War.
New Cold War Context:
Historical revisionism is one of the postmodern battlefields of the New Cold War, and Francis is set to make himself one of its most ‘celebrated’ pro-Western fighters as he moves closer to openly promoting his Golodomor “genocide” campaign. Although not emphasizing it at the moment (and with the media currently obsessed with his Armenian commentary and Erodgan’s reaction), it’s expected that he’ll certainly become more active on this front in the future, which will further the three following anti-Russian objectives that are pivotal components of the West’s strategy in the New Cold War:
Misleadingly Tarnish Russia’s Reputation
The Soviet Union and its darker historical events are falsely associated with the Russian Federation in many uneducated circles across the world (especially in the West), and one of the lies pervasive of this inaccuracy is that the communist state was essentially a ‘Russian’ state. By drawing greater attention to the Golodomor as “genocide”, Francis is passively allowing this inaccurate association to take runaway root in people’s minds, with all of the negative implications thereof in the context of current tensions. This could predictably include a spike in anti-Russian sentiment throughout the West, as well as the vile assumption prodded on by Ukrainian nationalists that the tragic events were a ‘Russian-managed genocide’ against Ukrainians.
Legitimize And Secure Ukrainian Nationalism
The ‘authority’ and ‘legitimacy’ that Francis’ words hold in the minds of millions makes him the world’s most dangerous proselytizer of Ukrainian nationalism, in that he secures the foundations of this ideology and makes it ‘acceptable’ to the global public. The myth of “genocide” and the absolutely false statement that this alleged crime occurred because of Ukrainians’ “struggle for their freedom” (led at that time by the proto-Nazi Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) does more to support modern-day Fascism in Ukraine than Nuland’s celebrated $5 billion ever could hope to do.
Propagating the concept of Ukrainians being the most victimized and oppressed demographic in the former Soviet Union and forgetting about the other 150+ nationalities is geopolitically dangerous as well, since it promotes “Ukrainian Exceptionalism” and ‘justifies’ its nationalist consequences in the modern day. The Pope’s blessing of and sympathy for Ukrainian nationalism stabilizes the core of the US’ geopolitical imperative in Eastern Europe by laying the framework for Washington’s socio-political engineering operations that aim to turn all of Ukraine against Russia.
OR Note: A self-telling evidence of the hate-speech by Vatican-controlled clergy in the West of Ukraine well before the current crisis:
Create A Clash Of Christian Civilizations
One of the most often overlooked details of Samuel Huntington’s ‘Clash of Civilizations’ theory is the division of the traditionally Christian World into East and West. While there certainly are cultural and historical differences between Huntington’s defined realms of both religious denominations, sectarian understandings are in no way the primary driver of any sort of their contemporary geopolitical competition. Rather, religion is being weaponized by the West as an asset in promoting pre-established geopolitical ends, such as the destruction of Russia’s soft power potential as the spiritual center of the Orthodox faith.
The Catholic Church’s recognition of the Golodomor as “genocide” and the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and its spawn as ‘freedom fighters’ is meant to attract more Ukrainian converts to the Vatican, hoping that their nationalist fervor overrides their Orthodox obligations (which does not recognize the previous in the same manner). This Western-based ‘spiritual’ seduction is meant to complement the already existing Western political and social sentiments that have invaded the country and institutionalize Ukraine’s division between East and West. Francis’ end goal is to aggressively expand Huntington’s previously defined boundaries of Western Civilization, conform to his theories of a possible clash between the Catholic and Orthodox worlds, and firmly divide the Christian faith into geopolitical spheres vis-à-vis their political leaders’ relationship to the West.
Francis’ sectarian plans in the Christian world mirror those of Saudi Arabia in the Islamic one, in that the Catholic/Sunni strands of belief are seen as being on the ‘right’ side of the geopolitical spectrum while the Orthodox/Shia ones are seen as being on the ‘wrong’ one. It’s important to underline that geopolitical identification has nothing whatsoever to do with religion, and although certain denominations happen to be a prevailing demographic characteristic in certain Resistant & Defiant (R&D) states, it is by no means a cause of their strategic dispositions or in any way exclusive to any sort of political belief. Atheist China, for example, is just as opposed to the US’ unipolar hegemony as predominantly Orthodox Russia and majority Shiite Iran, just as Orthodox Romania and Shiite Azerbaijan are currently aligned with the US (with Bucharest being deep in Washington’s pocket and Azerbaijan on the potential verge of pivoting). Dividing religious spheres along sectarian beliefs and falsely attaching a political connotation to one’s faith only serves the geopolitical dividends of those who are drawing the lines, in this case, the Vatican, Saudi Arabia, and their allied American strategists.
Catholicism has historically been used by the Vatican to subvert predominantly Orthodox areas, especially as a means of geopolitically countering Russia. While the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is long gone (despite efforts by Warsaw to contemporaneously revive it), the strategic goal of Catholic proselytization in the East still remains, with the battlefield continuing to center on Ukraine. The Papacy’s centuries-long goal of poaching Ukrainian converts has undergone a tactical modification through its promotion of Ukrainian nationalism, which both serves the Vatican’s own interests and complements the geostrategic ones of the US. Francis’ push to have the Golodomor recognized as “genocide” against Ukrainians, as well as his inference that this mythical crime occurred as punishment because the proto-Nazi Ukrainian Organization of Nationalists’ “struggled for their freedom”, is indicative of the strategic confluence currently underway between Rome and Washington. While Francis has yet to fully play his hand in this regard, the fact that he’s still crying wolf about “genocide” since being elected two years ago shows that he may be testing the waters in anticipation of a full-fledged information offensive in the near future. Should he continue behaving this way, then Francis’ antics are expected to further ‘legitimize’ and institutionalize this hateful ideology, which would in turn have exceptionally dire consequences for the memory of historical truth as well as facilitate the US’ geopolitical plans against Russia in the New Cold War.
Andrew Korybko is the political analyst and journalist for Sputnik who currently lives and studies in Moscow, exclusively for ORIENTAL REVIEW.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.