Back to Home PageBack to Corresponding Front Page | Follow on Social Media

.

.

American Intelligence Says:

Kulak rebels, not Soviet State, caused the 1932-1933 Ukraine Famine

 

A top US military Intelligence document reveals that the Soviet state aimed to resolve the famine issue.

 

British intelligence: The Bukharin Network organized the Kulak rebellions.        

 

 

The History of the USSR & the Peoples’ Democracies

Chapter 5, Section 3 (C5S3) 

 

Saed Teymuri

 

A Joint US Army-Navy intelligence study published in the post-war years described the USSR’s state of agriculture prior to collectivization as follows:

Prior to the 1930’s, when agriculture was collectivized, the USSR was characterized by peasant farming of small individual tracts of land. Even before the revolution of 1917 the peasants owned 70% of all land in European Russia, and they leased a considerable portion of the remaining 30% which consisted of large estates. After the revolution, the estate land, with insignificant exceptions, was divided among the peasants who continued to till it on an individual basis but the state kept title to all land, and private ownership of land was legally abolished.

Most of the peasants lived in villages and not on separate farmsteads as in the United States. Cultivated areas were divided into a number of rather narrow strips, and the holding of each peasant family consisted of strips in each field, which were usually intermingled with strips of other families. The strip system in Russia, as in other European countries, was a result of the attempt to equalize holdings with respect to soil, topography, and distance from the village. Over a large part of Russia, such equalization was associated with the communal, repartitional type of land tenure, under which the land commune (mir) allotted holdings to its members on some uniform basis with general or partial repartitions of land at regular or irregular intervals. Under an hereditary system of land tenure, which prevailed in the western provinces of Russia, the strips resulted from successive division of holdings among heirs in the process of inheritance.

This scattered strip system of farming, although conducted on an individualistic basis, was usually associated with a common crop rotation, since it was difficult to plant different strips of the same field with crops of varying growing seasons and maturities, especially since the stubble frequently was used as pasture. Such a system of farming precluded the use of modern power machinery, involved considerable waste of land in boundaries between strips (providing a fertile breeding ground for weeds and pests), and wasted time in traveling from one field to another. During the decade preceding World War I, a strong effort was made by the government to promote consolidation of the scattered strip holdings into a single tract but such consolidated holdings were divided again during the revolution. Another consolidation of scattered holdings, on a much larger scale, occurred in the early thirties when Russian agriculture was collectivized, following a bitter struggle of the Kremlin with the [kulak] peasants….

(“European U.S.S.R. Resources and Trade”, Joint Army-Navy Intelligence Study, published in CIA archives, pp. IX-2 to IX-3) (IMG)

The remedy to this situation of the scattered agricultural holdings was collectivization, which would have:

transformed the narrow strips into large fields, suitable for modern power machinery, especially in the level steppe country. (“European U.S.S.R. Resources and Trade”, Joint Army-Navy Intelligence Study, published in CIA archives, p. IX-3) (IMG)

Collectivization was necessary for the improvement of agriculture because:

the kolkhoz … represents the pooling of the holdings of formerly independent peasant farmers…. (“European U.S.S.R. Resources and Trade”, Joint Army-Navy Intelligence Study, published in CIA archives, p. IX-3) (IMG)

Thus, the USSR initiated a process of collectivization, which centralized the agricultural sector into cooperatives and contained the kulaks. The kulaks were a class of richer peasants who used their finances in order to act as rural quasi-bankers, exploiting the poorer peasants by, for example, entering them into debt traps. The strengthening of the poorer peasants through the amalgamation of their lands into cooperatives would have rendered the peasantry into a strong force capable of resisting the comprador and parasitic classes, including the kulaks. The petit-bourgeoisie on their own have businesses so small that they cannot take the risk of standing up to the powerful parasitic classes. Yet, when the petit-bourgeoisie amalgamate their small businesses into bigger businesses through the formation of cooperatives, they, like the anti-colonial national bourgeoisie, gain the economic strength and cushion that allows them to take the risk of standing up against the comprador and anti-productive classes. The Soviet state policy therefore was on the one hand economically centralizing and mechanizing agriculture so to render it more efficient, transforming the petit-bourgeoisie into cooperativists, and systematically containing the kulaks.

However, every correct policy always is faced with the pincer assault of liberalizers/capitulationists from the right and the extremists/adventurists from the left. The correct policy of centralizing agricultural sector into cooperatives met on the one hand the resistance of the Bukharinites who favored the kulaks, supported rural uprisings, and blatantly denounced collectivization, and the Trotskyite adventurers who, in the name of the Soviet Union, deliberately carried out forced collectivization so to discredit collectivization and thereby discredit the Soviet state itself. Naturally, the Trotskyites and the Bukharinites – representing the left and right flanks of the pincer assault on collectivization – were covertly allied despite being ‘hostile’ to each other on the overt level, as documented previously. Furthermore, in a July 11, 1928 conversation with Kamenev, Nikolai Bukharin had remarked:

Stalin has bought off the Ukrainians by removing Kaganovich from [his post] there. We have great potential strength but … Stalin's retreat on extraordinary measures has made our attack on him more difficult. (‘The Kirov Murder and Soviet History’, Yale University Press, Matthew Lenoe. Presenting: memorandum of conversation between Kamenev and Bukharin as organized by Sokolnikov.) (IMG)

While the document belongs to the year 1928, it actually reveals Bukharin’s thinking. The MI6 agent Bukharin was launching the classic imperialist-fascist secret service strategy of pincer assault on collectivization: on the one hand, he wanted excess ‘collectivization’ and on the other hand he wanted no collectivization. Covertly, he wanted the pace of the ‘collectivization’ to be too fast, so that farmers would be forced and terrorized into it, so that collectivization would be discredited and thereby abandoned. He therefore both supported excesses in ‘collectivization’ and de-collectivization. This is also a reflection of his alliance as a right-deviationist with the Trotskyite left-deviation. On the overt level, however, he simply always presented himself as a supporter of de-collectivization or of a dramatic slow-down in its pace.

Stalin slowed down the pace of revolutionary change, a measure which set him at odds with the Trotskyites who sought to speed things up, and a measure that compelled the Bukharinites yet again to support Stalin on the overt level. In the July 11, 1928 secret meeting with Kamenev, Bukharin said:

Stalin's retreat on extraordinary measures has made our attack on him more difficult. We don't want to act as schismatics, because then they'll smash us. (The Kirov Murder and Soviet History, Yale University Press, Matthew Lenoe) (IMG)

Regarding Stalin’s ‘retreats’, the CIA too stated:

It should be noted, however, that Stalin has manifested caution in making his recommendations, and that in the past he has shown no compunction to retreat in the face of strong opposition. (STALIN’S AGRICULTURAL POLICY, Staff Memorandum No. 313, Office of National Estimates, CIA, January 1953, p. 5) (IMG)

Stalin, it must be noted, was not really retreating as much per se; rather he was slowing down pace in order to contain the Trotskyite attempts which sought to speed up the pace too much in order to provoke rural counter-revolutionary uprisings. And this compelled the Bukharinites to publicly support him, even though the Bukharinites continued their anti-Stalin conspiracies behind the scenes.

Stalin on the other hand, exploited the overt-level hostilities of the Bukharinites and the Trotskyites in order to adjust the pace of collectivization. When collectivization was too slow, he would appeal to the Trotskyites to speed it up, and when collectivization was too fast, he would tacitly ‘support’ the Bukharinites to slow it down. In so doing, the Stalin faction of the Party was able to adjust the pace of collectivization, carry forward with its politico-economic agenda, while also exploiting the overt ‘hostilities’ of the Bukharin-Trotsky groups, so to undermine the covert network of alliance of the Bukharinites and Trotskyites. When Bukharin said that Stalin ‘changes his theories according to the need he has of getting rid of somebody at such-and-such a moment’, he was pointing to this fact albeit in a manner that actually was aimed at distorting the truth. These facts are mentioned in greater detail in C5S1.

The MI6 agent Nikolai Bukharin as such engineered waves of kulak rebellions throughout the USSR. The Britain-based MI6 spy and former Soviet military official Grigori Tokaev confirmed in his memoirs that the MI6 agent Bukharin:

had organised peasant uprisings, particularly in the North Caucasus, where Slepkov, Eismont, Pivovarov, Beloborodov, Petrovsky, Zaitev and others had acted in the name of Buryto. (Comrade X, Grigori Tokaev, 1956, p. 96) (IMG)

Buryto’ abbreviated:

the Bukharin-Rykov-Tomsky group. (Comrade X, Grigori Tokaev, 1956, p. 34) (IMG)

The comprador agents in the Soviet state organized death squads that would combat the Soviet government. This is important, for many wrongly assume that officials in the Soviet government were physically ‘incapable’ of organizing, training and funding fascist death squads that would rise up against the Soviet state. Referring to the activities of the bloc of the Right and Trotskyites, the British Embassy in Moscow reported:

Another form of activity carried out on behalf of the Fascist employers was the organisation of cadres of bandits and malcontents with a view to risings behind the Red army lines in the event of war. This activity was particularly pronounced in Uzbekistan, where the basmachis, the remnants of the kulaks and clergy and common criminals in concentration camps, were enrolled. (N 1253/26/38, No. 119, Viscount Chilston to Viscount Halifax – (Received March 11), Moscow, March 8, 1938. Foreign Office (1937-1938), p. 318) (IMG)

The above document by Chilston was stated by Chilston himself to be tentative in its conclusions, though the remarks are already well-corroborated by the other sources that are definitive, rather than tentative, in concluding that organizing anti-Soviet armed revolts was done by the Soviet state officials in the bloc of the Right and Trotskyites.

Documenting the Great Purge of the officials who engaged in the economic sabotage in Georgia, an intelligence report by the British diplomatic corps in the USSR reported:

the trial took place in Tiflis from the 24th to the 26th August before the Supreme Court of the Georgian S.S.R. of eleven members of a Right Wing counter-revolutionary, terrorist organisation with its headquarters at Sinakhi. The trial ended by sentence of death being passed on seven of the defendants, the remainder being condemned to long terms of imprisonment. (…). The defendants … were minor party and administrative officials in the Signakhi area and almost all … seem to have been Georgians by race…. (N 4549/250/38, No. 431, Viscount Chilston to Mr. Eden, September 6, 1937; received September 10, 1937. Foreign Office (1937-1938), pp. 187-188) (IMG)

The right-wing terrorists, noted the intelligence document, were engaged in:

wrecking and terrorism designed to undermine the economic and military strength of the Soviet Union and also to hasten the defeat of the Soviet Union at the hands of foreign aggressors. One of their principal lines of attack was through the collective farm organisation. Here they did everything to create chaos in the working of the farms and discontent amongst the workers, deliberately injuring the crops and livestock and showing undue severity in imposing and collecting taxes. (…). In all this they had the support of the local People’s Judge. (N 4549/250/38, No. 431, Viscount Chilston to Mr. Eden, September 6, 1937; received September 10, 1937. Foreign Office (1937-1938), p. 188) (IMG)

The document above written by Britain’s most prominent spy in the USSR at the time, Viscount Chilston, is not to be confused with another document also written by Chilston and cited elsewhere in the book; the latter document presented its conclusions as tentative in character, whereas the remarks in the above document are cited definitively and can be regarded as definitive conclusions by the MI6.

Trotskyite sabotage, and with it the purges of its perpetrators, swept the entire Soviet Union. For instance, in Kirghizstan, Esenomanov, the Commissar for Agriculture:

entrusted the working of the commissariat of Agriculture to wreckers and White Guardsists. In spite of warnings no action was taken against M. Esenomanov, who enjoyed the support of M. Isakeev, the president of the Council of People’s Commissars, who had in his time also taken part in the Nationalist movement. M. Isakeev, although his political tendencies were well known in the party circles, was never called upon to given an explanation of his activities and continued to afford material support to wreckers and Nationalists, going so far as to obtain M. Ailchinov, formerly an active Nationalist, the post of secretary of the Central Executive Committee of the Kirghiz S.S.R. (N 4547/250/38, No. 428, Viscount Chilston to Mr. Eden, Moscow, September 4, 1937; received September 10, 1937. Foreign Office (1937-1938), p. 185) (IMG)

There was plenty of agricultural sabotage throughout the USSR. In Byelorussia, for instance, a gang of wreckers in the CPSU were, according to the British Foreign Office,:

guilty of such severity towards the collective farmers that the latter have felt discouraged and the proper working of the farms has been interfered with. Yet others have given themselves up to riotous farming. (N 4124/3649/38, No. 374 E., Viscount Chilston to Mr. Eden, Moscow, August 3, 1937; Received August 13, 1937, p. 155) (IMG)

Later on, in the late 1930s, such officials were purged. There was a serious effort to demote incompetent officials to maximize efficiency. For instance:

by a decision of the Presidium of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee M. A S. Bubnov has been removed from his post of People’s Commissar of Education for the R.S.F.S.R…. (…). As Commissar for Education he was probably a failure; (N 5231/771/38, No. 492, Viscount Chilston to Mr. Eden, Moscow, October 15, 1937; Received October 22, 1937. Foreign Office (1937-1938), p. 212) (IMG)

The collective farmers sent letters to the central government of the USSR, thanking the state for the ruthless punishment of the saboteurs. As the British Embassy reported:

the collective farms welcome the decision of the Council of People’s Commissars of the U.S.S.R. and the Central Committee of the Communist party (1) to liquidate 138 State farms which were “organized for the purpose of wrecking” and to transfer their lands to the collective farms; (2) to supply all collective farms with homesteads according to a fixed norm; (3) to transfer to the collective farms in perpetuity 480,000 hectares of forests; (4) to lower the rate for milk deliveries by half; and (5) to grant additional privileges to individual farmers joining the collective farms. (N 4124/3649/38, No. 374 E., Viscount Chilston to Mr. Eden, Moscow, August 3, 1937; Received August 13, 1937, p. 155) (IMG)

Again, the four quotes above are from MI6 documents not marked as ‘tentative’ in conclusion by their authors.

Since the start, the Stalin faction sought to neutralize such conspiracies aimed at systematically sabotaging agricultural collectivization. Regarding the excess speed in the pace of collectivization and the forceful implementation of collectivization in some areas by the early 1930s, the prominent US military official Kenneth Whiting wrote:

The Party began its campaign for collectivization by attacking the kulaks, or richer peasants, as early as the fall of 1928. The program was accelerated in 1929-30…. So rapid was the tempo that by March 1930 some 55 percent of all peasant households had been forced into collectives. At this point Stalin intervened and in his letter "Dizzy With Success" called for a slow-down and leniency. (Background Information on the Soviet Union, Air University, Maxwell Airbase, Alabama, United States Air Force, Documentary Research Division of the Aerospace Studies Institute, Kenneth R. Whiting, 1970, p. 32) (IMG)

Countless hostile anti-Soviet propagandists, Whiting himself included, have claimed that Stalin supported hasty and forced collectivization, and that his remarks in “Dizzy with Success” merely served as a veil of hypocrisy. Indeed, the author goes on to comment that Stalin’s warning against unduly hasty collectivization:

was monstrous hypocrisy…. (Background Information on the Soviet Union, Air University, Maxwell Airbase, Alabama, United States Air Force, Documentary Research Division of the Aerospace Studies Institute, Kenneth R. Whiting, 1970, p. 32) (IMG)

Many such propagandists have refused to acknowledge that Stalin seriously meant to stop hasty and forceful collectivization. However, in the words of a US intelligence memorandum from the CIA Office of National Estimates (ONE),:

There are, I believe, strong reasons for taking Stalin’s remarks on Soviet agriculture seriously. (….). Stalin cautioned against undue haste and emphasized the gradual introduction of the new policy. (STALIN’S AGRICULTURAL POLICY, Staff Memorandum No. 313, Office of National Estimates, CIA, January 19, 1953, p. 5) (IMG)

Referring to Stalin, the memorandum continued:

in his report to the XVth Party Congress in 1927 he stressed the need to collectivize “by example and persuasion.” In that earlier period the lower echelons in bureaucracy pushed collectivization allegedly at a faster pace than the regime desired. (STALIN’S AGRICULTURAL POLICY, Staff Memorandum No. 313, Office of National Estimates, CIA, January 1953, p. 5) (IMG)

In his “Dizzy with Success,” Stalin – whose remarks on agriculture were serious (as admitted by US intelligence) – argued:

The successes of our collective-farm policy are due, among other things, to the fact that it rests on the voluntary character of the collective-farm movement and on taking into account the diversity of conditions in the various regions of the U.S.S.R. Collective farms must not be established by force. That would be foolish and reactionary. The collective-farm movement must rest on the active support of the main mass of the peasantry. Examples of the formation of collective farms in the developed areas must not be mechanically transplanted to underdeveloped areas. That would be foolish and reactionary. Such a “policy” would discredit the collectivisation idea at one stroke. In determining the speed and methods of collective-farm development, careful consideration must be given to the diversity of conditions in the various regions of the U.S.S.R. (Dizzy with Success: Concerning Questions of the Collective-Farm Movement, First Published: Pravda, No. 60, Joseph Stalin, March 2, 1930, Source: J. V. Stalin, Works, Vol. 12, pp. 197-205, Foreign Languages Publishing House: Moscow, 1955. Transcribed/HTML: Kenneth Higham and Mike B. retrieved from: Marxists Internet Archive. NS.)

As a result of Stalin’s article which aimed to prevent forced collectivization,:

some 9 million out of the 14 million households dropped out of the collective farms in the first two months of the new policy. The carrot [i.e. persuasion] was now given more prominence than the stick [i.e. force]. (Background Information on the Soviet Union, Air University, Maxwell Airbase, Alabama, United States Air Force, Documentary Research Division of the Aerospace Studies Institute, Kenneth R. Whiting, 1970, p. 32) (IMG)

At this point, the Bukharinite enemies of the Stalin faction, felt compelled to support the Stalin faction since the Bukharinites officially favored the slow-down of the pace of collectivization.

One of the means of persuading the peasants to join the collectives was by the provision of the mechanization services through the machine-tractor stations (MTS), in exchange for a part of the peasants’ agricultural produce. This again is in line with the historical materialist thesis that class struggles in the realm of property relations must occur strictly in conjunction with the development of the productive forces. The post-WWII American intelligence document by the US Army and Navy stated:

Tractors, combines, and other important farm implements are not owned by the kolkhozy, but by state machine-tractor stations, which supply the necessary power machinery and operators to the kolkhozy on the basis of annual agreements. For their services the machine-tractor stations are paid in kind by the kolkhozy at specified rates per hectare (2.471 acres). These rates vary with the officially determined crop yields in a district.

The machine-tractor stations usually have repair shops for tractors and combines, and also staffs of mechanics, agronomists, and officials to provide technical assistance and direction of the kolkhozy. Tractor drivers are paid by the kolkhozy on the basis of "labor days" earned, as are other collective farmers, except that minimum amounts of grain and cash per "labor day" are prescribed by law. Combine operators are paid by the machine-tractor stations.

(“European U.S.S.R. Resources and Trade”, Joint Army-Navy Intelligence Study, published in CIA archives, p. IX-4) (IMG)

The kolkhoz must also pay the state for the field work (plowing, seeding, harvesting) performed by state-owned tractors. (“European U.S.S.R. Resources and Trade”, Joint Army-Navy Intelligence Study, published in CIA archives, p. IX-3) (IMG)

In addition:

When their earnings from the kolkhozy were small, the peasants often found it advantageous to work on their little plots and tend their few animals rather than to work in the collective fields, especially if they had the opportunity to sell their produce at good prices on the limited private market in a neighboring town. Kolkhozy members have a legal right to carry on such trade provided they do not use the services of a middleman. (“European U.S.S.R. Resources and Trade”, Joint Army-Navy Intelligence Study, published in CIA archives, p. IX-3) (IMG)

“The state continues to own the land,” the document continued,:

but each collective farm holds the land it occupies for an unlimited period, "in perpetuity," according to Article VIII of the Soviet Constitution. The title of the kolkhoz to the land is secured by a title deed issued after an official land survey is made. (“European U.S.S.R. Resources and Trade”, Joint Army-Navy Intelligence Study, published in CIA archives, p. IX-3) (IMG)

In exchange for the use of Soviet state-owned land, the peasants paid in kind through their produce:

The state is a partner in collective farming and has the first claim on production. A kolkhoz must deliver to the government, at low fixed prices, a specified quantity of crops and livestock products per unit of land. (“European U.S.S.R. Resources and Trade”, Joint Army-Navy Intelligence Study, published in CIA archives, p. IX-3)

Soviet policy also ensured that agricultural collectivization would not violate peasants’ personal property. As confirmed by a post-WWII American intelligence report:

Only the land [use], horses, and other livestock … and the farm machinery are collectivized. (…). In addition to their dwellings, each peasant family is entitled, if land is available, to a small plot for a kitchen garden and a small number of personally-owned cattle, hogs, sheep, and goats. But horses, except in nomadic regions, are collective property. A member of a kolkhoz who needs a horse for his own use must borrow it from the kolkhoz. (“European U.S.S.R. Resources and Trade”, Joint Army-Navy Intelligence Study, published in CIA archives, p. IX-3) (IMG)

Thus,:

By assuring the peasants of private ownership of their homes, garden plots, livestock, and small tools, giving them preferential treatment in taxes, and setting up machine-tractor stations for the distribution of agricultural machinery, the government succeeded in enticing peasant households into the collective farms. By the end of 1932 some 14 million households were collectivized. (Background Information on the Soviet Union, Air University, Maxwell Airbase, Alabama, United States Air Force, Documentary Research Division of the Aerospace Studies Institute, Kenneth R. Whiting, 1970, p. 32) (IMG)

However, Anglo-American media has argued since the 1930s, collectivization was a means to launch a genocide. Upon Stalin’s ‘orders’, the imperialist press has famously asserted, the Soviet state launched a genocidal campaign of deliberately starving its own population, particularly the peasants of Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Millions of pages have been printed to ‘prove’ that ‘Stalin’ – as if the policies of the USSR were all dictated by one man only – deliberately created famine and subsequently covered up ‘his crimes’.

By contrast, the explanation of the Soviet government regarding the famines in this period has been that in part they were caused by natural cycles of famine and partly due to sabotage operations by the kulaks, the rich peasants who made up the ruling class of the agrarian zones. The Soviet claims have been implicitly – though clearly – rejected as Soviet propaganda by such professional anti-Soviet propagandists as Robert Conquest, Anne Applebaum, and Norman Naimark:

However, reports of the famine were hard to suppress entirely. The next line of defence is two-fold: that there was indeed malnutrition, and even an increase in the death rate, and that the responsibility for this was the recalcitrance of the peasants who had refused to sow or reap properly. The Soviet Government's need for grain was attributed to the requirements of the Army, a war with Japan being supposedly expected.

The admission of an increase in the death rate was permitted to journalists running a pro-Soviet line, who were, as we have seen, even able to say that there was no famine - only an excess of some two million deaths! This too confused the issue by its implication that such figures did not amount to much. The recalcitrance of the peasantry was, of course, in accord with the official line that kulaks were sabotaging the crop in various ways: it too was made good use of in the West.

Between them, these amounted to an admission that there was indeed something most people would call a famine, but that it was not the Soviet's fault, and was not as serious as malignant propaganda had reported.

(The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine, Robert Conquest, 2002. No Images)

Whereas, in 1921, the Soviet leadership had spoken of starving peasants as victims, in 1933, Stalin switched the vocabulary. Those who were starving were not victims; they were perpetrators. They were not sufferers; they were responsible for their terrible fate. They had caused the famine, and therefore they deserved to die. From this assessment came the logical conclusion: the state was justified in refusing to help them stay alive.

This was the argument that Stalin would advocate for the rest of his life. He never denied, to Sholokhov or to anyone else, that peasants had died from a famine caused by state policy in 1933, and he certainly never apologized. He clearly read Sholokhov's missives, and took them seriously enough to respond. But he never admitted that any important element of his policy – not collectivization, not grain expropriation, not the searches and shakedowns that had intensified the famine in Ukraine — was wrong. Instead, he placed all responsibility for food shortages and mass deaths firmly onto the shoulders of those who were dying.

This is certainly what he told his party. During the Congress of Victors at the beginning of 1934, where Stalin had denounced nationalism, he also predicted further violence. “We have defeated the kulaks,” he declared, but the liquidation was not yet complete. Agents of the old regime    “former people,” as he called them – could still do a good deal of harm. More to the point, the party should expect more resistance from these “moribund classes”: “It is precisely because they are dying and their days are numbered that they will go on from one form of attack to another, sharper form, appealing to the backward sections of the population and mobilizing them against the Soviet regime.”

(Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine, Anne Applebaum, 2017. No Images.)

By contrast, as the crisis worsened in the course of 1933, Stalin, Molotov, Kaganovich, and others in charge of dealing with requisitioning and punishing resistance increasingly tended to blame the Ukrainians for the famine (a shift from blaming the kulaks!). (Stalin’s Genocides, Norman Naimark, p. 74. No Images.)

Though none of the above excerpts explicitly claim that the Soviet charges against the kulaks were falsified, it was quite clear that the Soviet narrative on the Ukraine famine was being rejected by the authors.

On the deliberate starvation of the peasant population allegedly committed by the Soviet state, the argument made is that the Soviet state forcibly collected the agricultural produce of the peasants, thereby starving them to death. This is a profound historiographic distortion of Soviet policy. Actually as stated previously, the peasants were to deliver part of their produce to the government in exchange for the state provisions of mechanization and tractor services as well as land use rights. This policy was not the cause of the famine.

In contrast to the claims of numerous CIA-funded anti-Soviet publications, the US intelligence itself reported as early as December 1946 – only nine months after Churchill’s ‘Iron Curtain’ Speech, the official Anglo-Americans declaration of the Cold War – that the Soviet government was aiming to prevent famines from occurring, whereas the kulaks were the main human factor for the famine.

In May 2003, the CIA publicly released an intelligence document labelled as “Joint Army-Navy Intelligence Study”  on the “European U.S.S.R. Health and Sanitation.” Having remained classified for years, its distribution to unauthorized persons was prohibited by the Espionage Act.

The following is an excerpt of the intelligence document:

The food situation has always been a very serious matter in the USSR. Famines occurred about once in every 10 years, and serious crop failures once in 5 years. In the nineteenth century alone, famines occurred in the years 1822, 1833, 1840, 1873, 1880, 1883, 1891, 1892, 1898. and 1899. The disturbance created by civil war, foreign intervention, and boycott, after the Russian Revolution, resulted in the disastrous famine of 1920 to 1922 which cost the country numberless human lives and endless suffering. The famine caused mass migration in a search for food and contributed to the spreading of epidemies.

The Soviet Government decided to solve the problem of food and famine by collectivization and mechanization of agriculture. This proved to be a failure at the end of the first Five-year Plan, and in 1932 the U.S.S.R. experienced a disastrous famine again. The failure was caused by lack of cooperation on the part of the “kulaks” (rich peasants), who openly sabotaged the government’s plan. However, in 1933 all forces were mobilized to remedy the kulak situation, and since then the U.S.S.R. has been having record crops and no major problems except those resulting from war and drought.

(Joint Army Navy Intelligence Study European U.S.S.R. Health and Sanitation, CIA, December 1946, pp. XI-5-6) (IMG)

In case the above paragraphs do not make sense to the reader, the following is a break-down.

Referring to the territory of the former Russian Empire and later the Soviet Union, the US intelligence file stated that cyclical:

Famines occurred about once in every 10 years…. (Joint Army Navy Intelligence Study European U.S.S.R. Health and Sanitation, CIA, December 1946, p. XI-5) (IMG)

The previous famine as the document suggests was in:

1922…. (Joint Army Navy Intelligence Study European U.S.S.R. Health and Sanitation, CIA, December 1946, p. XI-6) (IMG)

Therefore, the next natural famine was expected to be in 1922 + 10 = 1932. 1932 indeed was the year of the famine. However, the intelligence document pointed out,:

The Soviet Government decided to solve the problem of food and famine…. (Joint Army Navy Intelligence Study European U.S.S.R. Health and Sanitation, CIA, December 1946, p. XI-6) (IMG)

The above quote absolutely clarifies that the intention of the Soviet Government was to ‘solve the problem of food and famine’ and thereby prevent those deaths from happening. The US intelligence report, therefore, practically rejects the narrative that the Soviet Government carried out a genocide because intending to deliberately exterminate an ethnic group is a key component of genocides. The attempt to ‘solve the problem of food and famine’ was through the:

collectivization and mechanization of agriculture. (Joint Army Navy Intelligence Study European U.S.S.R. Health and Sanitation, CIA, December 1946, p. XI-6) (IMG)

 However, this attempt:

proved to be a failure at the end of the first Five-year Plan…. (Joint Army Navy Intelligence Study European U.S.S.R. Health and Sanitation, CIA, December 1946, p. XI-6) (IMG)

not because the collectivization and mechanization of agriculture were supposedly bad ideas, but rather because of the:

lack of cooperation on the part of the “kulaks” (rich peasants), who openly sabotaged the government’s plan [for ending the famine]. (Joint Army Navy Intelligence Study European USSR, p. XI-6)

The Anglo-German intelligence agent Bukharin and his gang were responsible for this crime against humanity, because they were the ones who fomented a kulak rebellion against the Soviet state, causing agricultural sabotage (see C5S1). Consequently:

in 1932 the U.S.S.R. experienced a disastrous famine again. (Joint Army Navy Intelligence Study European U.S.S.R. Health and Sanitation, CIA, December 1946, p. XI-6) (IMG)

In short, while a cyclical famine was expected to occur in 1932, kulak sabotage was the main human factor for the Ukraine Famine that year. To put an end to the sabotage:

in 1933 all forces were mobilized to remedy the kulak situation…. (Joint Army Navy Intelligence Study European U.S.S.R. Health and Sanitation, CIA, December 1946, p. XI-6) (IMG)

 and:

since [the time of the crackdown on kulaks] the U.S.S.R. has been having record crops and no major problems except those resulting from war and drought. (Joint Army Navy Intelligence Study European U.S.S.R. Health and Sanitation, CIA, December 1946, p. XI-6) (IMG)

Collectivization of agriculture enlarged the lands and thereby allowed room for mechanization. The consolidation of the lands into cooperatives was a major step that centralized agriculture, in conjunction with Soviet state’s industrial assistance (MTS) in order to yield the development of the productive forces. In the words of US Army-Navy intelligence:

The elimination of boundaries transformed the narrow strips into large fields, suitable for modern power machinery, especially in the level steppe country. The peasant families, having thus pooled their holdings, continue to live in their own dwellings in villages. (“European U.S.S.R. Resources and Trade”, Joint Army-Navy Intelligence Study, published in CIA archives, p. IX-3) (IMG)

To summarize: (1) A cyclical, natural famine was to occur 1932. (2) The Soviet government aimed to end the cycles of famine through collectivization and mechanization of agriculture. (3) The central government of the USSR aimed to prevent collectivization from being forced upon the peasantry. (4) Throughout the Soviet Union – especially Kazakhstan and Ukraine – these plans temporarily failed due to the sabotage by the financier peasants also known as the kulaks. (5) Once the kulak situation was remedied and the collectivization and mechanization of agriculture occurred, never again did the Soviet people face a famine except during and briefly after World War II which had temporarily damaged Soviet agriculture.

 

Another aspect of the hostile anti-Soviet propaganda is the exaggeration of the mortality statistics regarding the famine. To be sure, the exaggeration of the mortality statistics is superficially ‘beneficial’ to the Stalin faction and the Soviet state since it exposes the statistical extent of the crimes against humanity committed by the kulak rebels and the Bukharin intelligence network. Needless to say is that the purpose here is to expose the truth instead of moulding and torturing the facts into a ‘Soviet apologist’ narrative. The Party’s resistance against the Bukharinite-kulak crimes against humanity prevented the death toll from rising to such an exaggerated level. Statistics provided by the CIA’s Office of Research and Reports (ORR) can help debunk the myths regarding the death toll. Of course, in this process, as with any other statistical estimate, there will inherently be some assumptions that are flawed, but which are overall useful. Therefore, it is hoped that the reader, in judging the statistical procedures used here, would take this fact into account.

The territory controlled by Tsarist Russia between 1897 and 1913, though not the same, was similar to the territory controlled by the USSR. The main difference was that Finland and the Baltics were a part of Tsarist Russia at that period as well. Overall, Tsarist Russia’s geography stayed stable. Therefore, it is logical to say that the population and its growth rates would be relatively stable.

In nature, population growth occurs exponentially. Generally, populations do not grow such that 1000 people are added to it every year, but rather grow by being multiplied yearly by an average of, for instance, 2 percent. Hence, the first thing to take into account for the death toll of the famine is the population exponential growth coefficient. Where ‘y2’ is ‘year 2’, ‘y1’ is ‘year 1’, ‘p2’ is population for y2, and ‘p1’ is population for y1, the Population Growth Coefficient ‘r’ would be as follows:

A black text on a white backgroundDescription automatically generated with medium confidence

Example: Growth Coefficient for the period 1897-1900 can be calculated as follows:

A picture containing font, text, white, lineDescription automatically generated

The table below shows the population of the territory of the Soviet Union and its Tsarist Russian predecessor (middle column). The statistics for the population is provided by an  economic intelligence report of the CIA’s Office of Research and Reports, whereas the column on the right represents the population growth coefficient as calculated according to the method shown above.

 

Year = y

Population (Millions) = p

Growth Coefficient = r

1897

125.6

1.015933728

1900

131.7

1.01619386

1902

136

1.015859713

1913

161.7

0.992695258

1926

147

1.011473219

1939

170.5

 

My calculation of population Growth Coefficient (r) based on CIA data.

Note: the 1954 CIA document, upon the statistics of which the estimates are being made here, presents data both for the pre-1954 period and the projected populations statistics for the USSR for all the way to 1975. The document states that the projected population data is calculated by the US Census Bureau. For the pre-1954 period, however, the CIA does not state that that it obtained the data from any other source than the CIA. See the following for the CIA statistics: (LONG-RUN SOVIET ECONOMIC GROWTH, Economic Intelligence Report, Office of Research and Reports, CIA, December 23, 1954, p. 72) (IMG)

 

The next step would be to use the Growth Coefficient r so to estimate the populations for the years 1932 and 1933, the years of the famine in the USSR. As bolded in the above table, the growth coefficient for the year 1926 is 1.011473219; on the other hand, the CIA did not provide any data for the years in between 1926 and 1939, which is why the populations for the years 1932 and 1933 have to be estimated based on the CIA data. The procedure for doing that is not difficult. Step 1: find the difference in the number of years between 1932 and 1926, and between 1933 and 1926, which would obviously be 6 and 7 respectively. Step 2: have the Population Growth Coefficient ‘r’ to the power of 6, and also to power of 7, to get r6 and r7. Step 3: multiply r6 by the population for the year 1926, and multiply r7 by the population for the year 1926 as well. The point of such a multiplication is obvious enough – by multiplying those ‘powered’ growth rates by the 1926 population, one is basically multiplying the 1926 population by its corresponding growth coefficient 6 and 7 times in order to find the populations of 1932 and 1933 respectively.

The mathematical procedure is shown below. Where ‘py’ is the population for the specific year ‘y’, we have:

A picture containing text, font, whiteDescription automatically generated

The same kind of procedure was repeated for all the years between 1926 and 1939, and has been shown in the table below.

 

Year

Estimated Population

(in millions | not rounded)

1926

147

1927

148.6865632

1928

150.3924767

1929

152.1179625

1930

153.8632452

1931

155.6285519

1932

157.4141124

1933

159.220159

1934

161.0469267

1935

162.8946534

1936

164.7635794

1937

166.6539481

1938

168.5660053

1939

170.5

 

From here, it is necessary to find one yearly natural population growth coefficient in the territory of the former Russian Empire and Soviet Union. The point of finding this one yearly natural population growth coefficient is to find its difference with the growth coefficient corresponding to the 1926-1939 period, which, as bolded previously, is 1.011473219. Such a difference would in turn reflect the amount of decline in the growth coefficient, which can then be multiplied by the population for each of the years 1932 and 1933 so to find the sum {mortality plus the decline in births resultant from the mortality}, for each of those years respectively; then, the last step would be to add the products of multiplication, so to calculate the total amount of {mortality plus the resultant birth decline} for the years 1932 to 1933. It is worth emphasizing that the figure that would be obtained would not be the mortality but would be mortality in addition to the birth decline, the birth decline in this case reflecting the loss in births caused in the first place by the mortality of adults who would have given birth had they been alive. In other words, imagine if the people who actually died as a result of the famine continued to live on; how many children would these people have given birth to? That represents the birth decline resultant from the mortality.

Again, for all of this, the first step is to find the one yearly natural population growth coefficient. In order for the growth coefficient to be natural (or natural enough), the growth coefficient has to somehow exclude the factors of (1) wars occurring, which would cause an artificial decline in population, (2) Soviet or Tsarist-Russian territory shrinking, which would cause an artificial decline in population, and (3) Soviet or Tsarist-Russian territory expanding, which would cause an artificial rise in population.

Obviously, during the time of the Soviet years prior to the Great Patriotic War, the Soviet territory neither shrank much nor expanded, after the Civil War. And the Civil War itself was a war and hence an artificial factor for the decline of the population; the Civil War also involved the net shrinkage of the territory of the former Russian Empire, such as in Finland and the Baltics, and hence an artificial population decrease. The original CIA data provided the year 1926 as the first datapoint after the October Revolution and Civil War, and the year 1939 as the first datapoint for after 1926. Hence, the CIA data does not provide as much insight on the natural population growth coefficient. For this reason, the Soviet years are excluded. Instead, one has to look at the years of the Russian Empire in the recent centuries.

The period 1897-1913 would be optimum for the calculations here. The year 1913 was the year before World War I, and, compared to the other periods in the Russian Imperial history, the years between 1897 and 1913 saw a relatively high degree of stability in the territorial reach of Tsarist Russia. Russia briefly occupied Manchuria in 1900, but could not absorb that territory into its Empire and was quickly forced into retreat. The fact that the territory of Russia neither expanded much nor shrank could help minimize the factor of territorial change as a cause for population change. The population growth therefore can be regarded as natural enough. Still, it is worth reminding that the slight expansion of the Russian Empire probably would have artificially expanded the population, and that the treatment of such an artificial expansion of population as ‘natural enough’ would lead to exaggerated figures on mortality during the Soviet years. As will be seen later in this section, this period 1897-1913 would actually surprisingly prove to be far more optimum for being used for estimations, than may at first appear.

The next step is to calculate the yearly growth coefficient for the years 1897 to 1913. The data available by the CIA document for period 1897-1913 is only with regards to the years 1897, 1900, 1902, and 1913. This means that the number for each year does not increase in an interval; in other words, it is not the case that the data is presented, for example, for every four years: 1897, 1901, 1905, 1909, 1913. Since such an interval does not exist, there are two main ways to find the population growth coefficient for the years 1897-1913. Method 2 is preferable over Method 1.

 

Method 1

 

The first method is to find the ‘weighted average’. This involves the following steps:

Step 1 - Find the growth coefficients for the years 1897-1900, 1900-1902, and 1902-1913. This step has already been taken and the figures have been presented in the table before the above.

Step 2 - Find the difference between each of those years. This is easy; 1900 – 1897 = 3; 1902 – 1900 = 2; and 1913 – 1902 = 11.

Step 3 - Multiply the year differences found in step 2 by the growth coefficients that correspond to those periods found in step 1.

Step 4 - Add the product of those multiplications, and then divide the sum of those products by the number of years between 1897 and 1913 (which is 1913 – 1897 = 16).

The result, which would be the weighted average, can be regarded as the one yearly natural population growth coefficient looked for. As explained previously, this natural population growth coefficient has to be subtracted with the growth coefficient for 1926, the r1926 = 1.011440208, in order to then be multiplied by the sum of the estimated populations of 1932 and 1933, so to calculate the total population loss for those years. The result would be as follows: 

A close-up of a documentDescription automatically generated with low confidence

The calculations based on method 1 and relying on CIA data show that the sum of the mortality and birth decline resultant from the 1932-1933 famine in the USSR (including Ukraine and Kazakhstan SSRs) was 1.406534 million, or 1,406,534. Note that the inclusion of the birth decline in the figure indicates that the mortality figure throughout the Soviet Union was significantly, though in unknown amounts due to the absence of available CIA statistics on the birth rates, smaller than 1,406,534.

 

Method 2

 

Method 1 has its obvious merits; it finds the average and ensures that the average is weighted. It therefore helps adjust for the fact that the data from the CIA is not provided in intervals. However, since finding averages inherently deals with summation, average growth coefficient and average growth rate is useful for finding the growth rate for things that grow almost arithmetically; however, in the context of the exponential growth of the population, while certainly the weighted average would still be useful, there is another way to find the one yearly natural population growth coefficient looked for. Thus, the second way, would be to calculate the exponential growth coefficient for the years 1897-1913, without involving the arithmetic methods such as average. To find one yearly natural population growth coefficient while excluding the arithmetic methods, find the growth coefficient for the years 1897-1913 such that the data for the years during this period – that is, the data for the years 1900 and 1902 – is excluded, because it is that data which creates the requirement for finding the weighted average and hence the incorporation of the arithmetic methods in the first place. Hence, for y2 = 1913 and y1 = 1897, we have:

A picture containing text, receipt, font, whiteDescription automatically generated

Comparing the results of the two methods, we find that the one natural coefficient for growth is 1.015915359 for method 1 and 1.015915353 for method two, thus having a difference of only 0.000000006. This shows that both methods result in extremely close answers. The fact of the high level of similarity between the answers of the two methods strengthens the view that the years 1897-1913 chosen for finding the natural growth coefficient are the best years to examine, because had there been dramatic fluctuations in the population growth during those years, the answers for methods 1 and 2 could be radically different.

On the other hand, the sum of mortality and the resultant birth decline as calculated above using method 2 is 1,406,532, whereas for method 1 it was 1,406,534. That marks a difference of 2 persons. Again, note that the figure represents not the mortality from the famine, but rather the {mortality plus the resultant birth decline}. If one is to assume that those who died would have remained alive and as couples would have given birth to two children per couple, that would have meant that the birth decline was half of the 1,406,534 figure, meaning that the other half, the mortality, would have been 703,267. Therefore, the total mortality as a result of the 1932-1933 famine was somewhere in between 703,267 and 1,406,534. This means that the number of people murdered through starvation to death by the British intelligence agent Bukharin, his network within the Soviet Party and state apparatuses, and his kulak rebels, was less than 1,406,534 and most likely above 703,267.

Whereas the Stalin faction of the Soviet government was not at all responsible for a genocide, the Bukharinite agents of the MI6 within the Soviet state and their kulak allies carried out a mass-slaughter – if not a genocide – against the Soviet people. During the time in which they were busy carrying out such an intelligence war of extermination, the Bukharinites had the MI6 agent Trotsky and the Trotskyites as their accomplices. On the other hand, the Soviet state and the Stalin faction, which arose out of the blue-collar workers’ faction of the CPSU, resisted such crimes. Eventually, the Bukharinites and Trotskyites were prosecuted for their crimes against humanity.

 

Another myth is that collectivization was a means by which the Soviet state ‘re-enslaved’ the peasants. Not true. Agricultural collectives, by the nature of their property relations were not socialized public property but rather cooperativist/collective property. Firstly, unlike in state enterprises in which large factories were run under the principles of one-man management, the kolkhoz peasantry elected their officers. “[T]he kolkhoz,” the US intelligence reported,:

elects its officers by majority vote, and manages its own affair within limits set by government plans and regulations. (“European U.S.S.R. Resources and Trade”, Joint Army-Navy Intelligence Study, published in CIA archives, p. IX-3) (IMG)

Regulated, rather than controlled by, the Soviet state, the cooperatives therefore would engage in market competition and thereby help drive down the price of food for the consumer masses. The cooperative market sales would help provide wages according to the amount of work done by each kolkhoz peasant. The US intelligence reported:

After the obligations to the state are met, seed supplies assembled for the next year's sowing, and other required reserves set up, the remainder is available for distribution by the kolkhoz to its members. The kolkhoz may sell some of its produce to the government at somewhat higher prices than those fixed for compulsory deliveries, and thereby also secure the privilege of purchasing some manufactured products in short supply. It may sell some of its produce on the free private market in the neighboring town at uncontrolled prices, which are usually higher than the prices paid by the state. As no middleman can be legally employed in this process, such trade is limited in scope.

The remainder of the kolkhoz output is distributed in kind among the members, as is the cash income after the necessary expenses of production are met and required appropriations to capital are made. Distribution in kind and in cash is made on a sort of piece-work basis, according to the quantity, skill, and quality of work performed. Work is measured in special units called "labor days." The greater the skill required in a particular task, and the greater the quantity of work done, the larger the payment assessed in terms of "labor days." Bonuses for better quality of work, resulting in higher yields of crops or livestock products, have also been provided in terms of additional "labor days." Inferior quality of work is punishable by reduction in the number of "labor days" assessed. The total number of "labor days" credited to all members of the collective farms are added up at the end of the year, and the income to be distributed, in cash and in kind, is divided by the total number of "labor days."

Each "labor day," therefore, entitles a member of the collective farm to a certain quantity of the product and cash, and, since the number of "labor days" credited to different members of the kolkhoz varies, their earnings also differ. The earnings of individuals and families show considerable variation in the same kolkhoz. There are even greater variations as between different kolkhozy, since the quantities distributed per "labor day" vary from kolkhoz to kolkhoz, depending upon such factors as efficiency of management, fertility of the soil, type of equipment, distance to town markets, and weather conditions, which vary from region to region.

(“European U.S.S.R. Resources and Trade”, Joint Army-Navy Intelligence Study, published in CIA archives, p. IX-3) (IMG)

“The government,” the US intelligence document continued,:

concerns itself directly with problems of seed and forage supply, timely and efficient sowing and harvesting, proper care of livestock, crop rotation, internal organization of the farm unit, and many others. Crop acreages and even yields per acre, and numbers of livestock, are directed by national plans, establishing the goals for republics and provinces. Local goals are set up by republic and province authorities. (“European U.S.S.R. Resources and Trade”, Joint Army-Navy  Intelligence Study, published in CIA archives, p. IX-3) (IMG)

The kolkhoz peasants, as was mentioned previously, had the right to engage in some personal farming as well, within the regulations set by the government. The US intelligence reported:

In 1937 this personal farming by members of the kolkhozy was estimated to yield over one-fifth of total agricultural production. In 1939 the government decided to limit this type of farming, which competed with collective farming, by fixing a minimum required time for each member to devote to collective work. Members of collective farms, both men and women, who consistently fall below the minimum are liable to expulsion [from the kolkhoz] and loss of their plots of land. (“European U.S.S.R. Resources and Trade”, Joint Army-Navy Intelligence Study, published in CIA archives, p. IX-3) (IMG)

 

 

Click here for Screenshots of Source Documents

 

“No Place for Kulaks and Priests in our Collective Farm!” image source:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:В_нашем_колхозе_нет_места_попам_и_кулакам.jpg

 

Back to Home PageBack to Corresponding Front Page | Follow on Social Media