Stalin Falsified the Data, Then Killed the Statisticians

How the Soviet Union facilitated the famine of the 1930s that killed millions of Ukrainians, then buried the evidence.

redfamine
redfamine

The painful history between Russia and Ukraine did not begin with Moscow’s invasion of Crimea in 2014. In the 1930s, the Soviet Union’s policies led to a famine that killed more than 3 million Ukrainians. Joseph Stalin, who directed his paranoia and brutality particularly at Ukrainians, sent his henchmen to confiscate food and block roads. Later, he falsified documents to keep the famine from being written into history.

The story is told in Anne Applebaum’s recent book, Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine. Applebaum, who has won a Pulitzer Prize, joins us this week on our podcast, The ER.

The painful history between Russia and Ukraine did not begin with Moscow’s invasion of Crimea in 2014. In the 1930s, the Soviet Union’s policies led to a famine that killed more than 3 million Ukrainians. Joseph Stalin, who directed his paranoia and brutality particularly at Ukrainians, sent his henchmen to confiscate food and block roads. Later, he falsified documents to keep the famine from being written into history.

The story is told in Anne Applebaum’s recent book, Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine. Applebaum, who has won a Pulitzer Prize, joins us this week on our podcast, The ER.

More from Foreign Policy

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a commission on military-technical cooperation with foreign states in 2017.
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a commission on military-technical cooperation with foreign states in 2017.

What’s the Harm in Talking to Russia? A Lot, Actually.

Diplomacy is neither intrinsically moral nor always strategically wise.

Officers with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) wait outside an apartment in Kharkiv oblast, Ukraine.
Officers with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) wait outside an apartment in Kharkiv oblast, Ukraine.

Ukraine Has a Secret Resistance Operating Behind Russian Lines

Modern-day Ukrainian partisans are quietly working to undermine the occupation.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron wave as they visit the landmark Brandenburg Gate illuminated in the colors of the Ukrainian flag in Berlin on May 9, 2022.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron wave as they visit the landmark Brandenburg Gate illuminated in the colors of the Ukrainian flag in Berlin on May 9, 2022.

The Franco-German Motor Is on Fire

The war in Ukraine has turned Europe’s most powerful countries against each other like hardly ever before.

U.S. President Joe Biden holds a semiconductor during his remarks before signing an executive order on the economy in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C.
U.S. President Joe Biden holds a semiconductor during his remarks before signing an executive order on the economy in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C.

How the U.S.-Chinese Technology War Is Changing the World

Washington’s crackdown on technology access is creating a new kind of global conflict.