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    November 30, 2015

    More Russians died in Holodomor than Ukrainians

    November 30, 2015
    Vladimir Timakov translated for Fort Russ by Soviet Bear

    Human losses of Russia in the period of the great famine of the thirties much exceed the human losses of Ukraine – the Russian demographer Vladimir Timakov has come to such conclusion.

    For analysis of the humanitarian catastrophe of 1933 Timakov used methods of the American demographer of Russian origin Alexander Maksudov (Babenyshev), who compared the scale of losses by the ratio of survivors of 1933 with survivors of other, more favorable years of birth.

    All Soviet and post-Soviet censuses, since 1937 fixed a huge lag in the birth cohort of 1933. There are significantly less people born in 1933 than those born in the 1932 or 1934. This is because in the cruelest year of the famine, people were either refusing to conceive children; either did not bear the already conceived baby, either newborns quickly died from malnutrition and weak immunity. It is the fact that babies are the most vulnerable age category in the face of hunger.

    Maksudov himself used this method for localization of the area of starvation deaths, comparing the size of lags in different regions of the USSR. So, he came to the conclusion that the mortality in the Kharkov and Kiev regions was significantly higher than in Voronezh and Kursk, but comparable to the mortality in the Rostov and Saratov regions. The Ukrainian researchers of the Holodomor often refer to Maksudov’s works, published by Harvard University and the Ukrainian Institute of Edmonton (Canada).

    Timakov used the Maksudov method to estimate the total magnitude of losses in the Ukrainian SSR, the RSFSR and Kazakhstan (Kazakh ASSR). However, he believed that, although the peak of the famine was in the spring of 1933, the social disaster started to grow at the beginning of collectivization, which reflects the dynamics of the number of survivors recorded by the census of 1939 (see table):

    The amount of citizens registered during 1939 census (thousands of people)
    Year of birth
    The difference between the two best and the two worst years
    1436 – 707  = 729
    5 638 – 3 933 = 1 705
    252 – 167 = 85

    Timakov came from the fact that the excessive mortality in the Soviet Union was observed not only at the peak of the famine, in the spring and summer of 1933, but also - in smaller scale - for several years after "the year of great change" (1929). And, if the Holodomor in Ukraine and asharshylyk ("famine") in Kazakhstan occurred in 1932-33, in the RSFSR (Russia) the years of 1933-34 were the most tragic (see table).

    The author reported that this method cannot measure the absolute number of victims of  famine, but gives the opportunity to compare the magnitude of the tragedy in different republics. There is no doubt that the demographic losses of the RSFSR in the great famine are two and half times higher than the demographic losses of the Ukrainian SSR.

    "Undoubtedly, in Ukraine and in the southern regions of Russia the scale of the tragedy in April-June, 1933 was, incomparably greater than in other parts of the RSFSR. However, if we consider the tragedy in a broader time range, Russia suffered more casualties than Ukraine. Finally, death from exhaustion after three or four months of intense starvation is not less tragic than the death from the loss of immunity as a result of years of chronic malnutrition," - said Timakov.

    These figures do not allow us to consider the famine as a specifically Ukrainian ethnic tragedy, and especially as an act of genocide, aimed at destroying Ukrainians for the purpose of Russification. As you can see, Russians suffered along with the Ukrainians, and the Russians lost even more people than Ukrainians.

    Timakov called assigning the famine of 1933 specific ethnic coloring and using this tragedy to incite ethnic hatred - "a crime against historical memory of our peoples."

    The main reason for the catastrophe he believes was the destruction of the agricultural potential of the country as a result of the forced breakdown of its social life. Similar reasons led to the outbreak of high mortality in the nineties of the twentieth century.

    Despite the fact that mortality times of "shock therapy" are not expressed in such monstrous forms as in times of great famine, demographic losses of the Russian Federation and Ukraine after the collapse of the Soviet system were higher than the losses of the thirties, says the researcher.
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