This article, based on archival documents, reveals resettlement processes in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1932–34, which were conditioned by the repressive policy of the Soviet power. The process of resettlement into those regions of the Soviet Ukraine where the population died from hunger most, and which was approved by the authorities, is described in detail.

It is noted that about 90,000 people moved from the northern oblasts of the Ukrainian SSR to the southern part of the republic. About 127,000 people arrived in Soviet Ukraine from the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (BSSR) and the western oblasts of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR). The material conditions of their residence and the reasons for the return of settlers to their previous places of inhabitance are described.

I conclude that the resettlement policy of the authorities during 1932–34 changed the social and national composition of the eastern and southern oblasts of Ukraine.

INTRODUCTION

In the spring of 1933, the Ukrainian diaspora in the United States raised the issue of mass casualties from famine among the population of the USSR. The Union of Ukrainian women of America convened a conference on the issue in New York. On 28 May 1934, the US Congress passed a resolution stating that the famine was artificially created and applied to Ukrainians “to destroy Ukrainian political, cultural, and national rights,” and as a means of reducing the population of Ukraine. Later, in 1953, Rafael Lemkin, the author of the term “genocide,” during a New York demonstration, declared that “killing one nation would mean killing all mankind.” He also expressed hope that the Bolshevik's leadership would not be able to destroy the Ukrainians (Sergiychyk, 2016, pp. 6, 9).

After that, the Ukrainian diaspora tried for a long time to establish an International Criminal Court to deal with the crimes of the communist regime in Ukraine. However, this issue was constantly postponed due to the efforts of the Soviet Union and Ukrainian SSR delegations at the meetings of the UN General Assembly. On 19 September 1984, the Commission on the Ukraine Famine formed the Commission for the Investigation of the Holodomor in Ukraine in the US Senate, and on 13 December 1985, the same commission in the US House of Representatives. This commission was headed by the famous historian James Earnest Mace. The commission concluded that the Holodomor in Ukraine of 1932–33 had signs of genocide. Similar conclusions were also reached by a majority of members of the International Commission on the Investigation of Famine in Ukraine 1932–33 (Kulchytsky, 2019).

The Congressional-Presidential Commission on the Ukrainian Famine of 1932–33 recognized it as genocide on 22 April 1988. However, the US Senate only made such recognition on 3 October, and the House of Representatives on 12 December 2018.

On 28 November 2006, the Parliament of Ukraine passed the law “About the Holodomor of 1932–1933 in Ukraine.” In this law, the events of the Holodomor were recognized as acts of genocide against the Ukrainian people.

The actualization of the theme of the famine of 1932–33 in the academic sphere appeared at the end of the existence of the USSR in the context of the intellectual confrontation between official Soviet historical science and pro-Western “Ukrainian bourgeois nationalists” who spoke about the famine deliberately organized by the Soviet government.

The further evolution of Ukrainian researchers' views on the famine of 1932–33 was undoubtedly influenced by the work of the US Congress Committee on the Study of Famine.

In the early 1990s one of the most influential researchers, Serhiy Kulchytsky, completed the “transitional” stage of the development of the famine of 1932–33. Its results—the transition to the main points of British and American researchers—was the “Conquest-Mace concept” (Kulchytsky, 2008; 2011).

Further development of the theme of the famine of 1932–33 as a famine-genocide was evidenced by the emergence in 2003 of the fundamental collective work of the Institute of History of Ukraine, “Famine of 1932–1933: Causes and Consequences.” The section on the demographic aspects of the 1932–33 famine traces the change in the social emphasis on the national specificity of famine. In 1933 terror began on a national scale. In Ukraine, it was directed against peasants—terror by famine—and against the national intelligentsia—mass arrests (Smolii, 2003).

The ethnographic aspects of the famine as genocide, and its destructive impact on all spheres of Ukrainian traditional culture, are studied by Irina Reva (2013) of the Institute for Public Research and Oksana Kis' (2011) of the Ukrainian Catholic University.

In 2010 a new collection of archival documents and oral eyewitness accounts was published (Aulova et al., 2010). It became possible because of the opening of the KGB archives for public access, which began being actively used when President Viktor Yushchenko came to power in 2005. This process was especially vigorously pursued after the adoption of the Decommunization Law in 2015. According to the law, all archival documents related to political repression and the Holodomor and other crimes of the Soviet power became open. It should be noted here about collection of oral evidence 1933: “And why you are still alive?” (Boryak, 2016). This work focuses on such aspects of the Holodomor as the removal of non-grain stocks, food, and clothing from peasants.

New archival documents were obtained by a director of the Centre of Ukrainian Studies, an academician of the National Academy of Science of Ukraine, Volodymyr Sergiychuk. In the monograph Holodomor 1932–1933 rokiv yak henotsyd ukrayinstva, the author reveals the reasons for the introduction of genocidal policy concerning Ukrainian population by the Soviet authorities. According to the author's estimates, the losses from the Holodomor in Ukraine amount to about 7 million people (Sergiychyk, 2016, p. 245).

In this article I discuss the little-known migration processes that took place during the Holodomor in Ukraine. This will complement the overall picture of the socioeconomic and political processes that were taking place in Ukraine at that time.

REASONS FOR TERROR USING HUNGER

During the revolution of 1917–21, for the first time in two centuries in Ukraine there was a restoration of statehood. However, the national government of Ukraine was defeated by Bolshevik troops. In 1922, Ukraine became part of the Soviet Union.

The policy of the so-called “war communism” in Ukraine led to numerous peasant uprisings and famine in 1921–23. In view of these circumstances, the leader of the Bolsheviks, Vladimir Lenin, proclaimed a “new economic policy” (NEP) and a policy of korenizatsiya, or nativization of the republics. The Bolsheviks viewed this as a temporary phenomenon for raising authority among the population and reviving the economy. Korenizatsiya was implemented in the 1920s, and at the beginning of the 1930s it was used in the USSR by Bolsheviks to strengthen the influence of central power in the national outskirts through concessions in the use of national languages there. Such a policy, according to the Bolsheviks, should universally make the Soviet power “native,” “popular,” and “understandable”—that was perceived not as imposed from the outside, but as indigenous. For this purpose, national management elites were created. On the ground, such policies have taken on the appropriate national forms “Ukrainization,” “Belarussianization,” and so on. It facilitated the process of strengthening the USSR and provided for “incorporation” into the Soviet system of ethnicity (Danylenko, 2008). This made it possible to extinguish the insurgent potential of national elites, to direct it into the mainstream of national communism construction.

The liquidation of all political parties except the Bolshevik Party and the concentration of power in the hands of Joseph Stalin began after the death of Vladimir Lenin in 1924. From 1929, the previous course on NEP and korenization of the republics collapsed, and repression against the national intelligentsia began.

In December 1925, the XIV Congress of the Soviet Union Communist Party of the Bolsheviks, or CPSU(b), proclaimed a course for industrialization but did not decide on the means of conducting it. At the plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU(b) in April 1926, it was decided that the only possible source for its implementation could be the reorganization of agriculture—collectivization. At the same time, the issue of capital construction was actualized. The money for construction of new buildings was taken from the agricultural sector. In 1928–29 in the USSR, a final transition to a planned economy took place.

In 1927–28, “price scissors” emerged between manufactured goods and agricultural products artificially established by the state to pump resources out of the countryside. In the winter of 1928, the peasants refused to sell grain to the state at low prices, which provoked a grain-harvesting crisis. The peasants were obliged to give the state bread and other products stipulated by the treaty at stable prices, which became too low as a result of inflation. Therefore, it was unprofitable for the peasants to grow the planned quantity of products. Later, this led to the so-called crisis of grain procurement.

In 1928, due to unfavorable weather conditions, Ukraine had a crop failure. However, Secretary General of the Central Committee of the CP(b)1 Joseph Stalin did not agree to buy grain abroad. In April 1929, he stated: “It is better to press on the kulaks 2 and squeeze out his bread excesses, which he has a lot, than to spend the currency deposited in order to bring equipment to our industry.” And in July 1929, VUTSVK 3 and RNK 4 of the Ukrainian SSR adopted a resolution according to which the grain procurement plan was distributed among individual farms. In case of nonfulfillment, they were required to pay a fine or their property would be sold. If peasants opposed the seizure of bread, their property was also confiscated, and their families were expelled to other oblasts 5 of the republic. During 1930, ODPU,6 according to the campaign of “total collectivization,” deported 146,200 people to the northern region and Siberia (Lytvyn, 2005, pp. 384–386, 393).

Higher leadership of the Bolsheviks did not want to allow the Ukrainian national revival, which was promoted by the policy of Ukrainization, conducted by the People's Commissariat of Education, headed by M. Skrypnyk. After all, in their minds there were still fresh memories of the national-democratic revolution in Ukraine in 1917–21, which resulted in the restoration of Ukrainian statehood. Therefore, the grain crisis was used as an excuse to launch repression against the population of the Ukrainian SSR. On 14 December 1932 a resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU(b) and the Soviet People's Commissar of the USSR “on grain production in Ukraine, the North Caucasus, and in the Western region” was issued. It discontinued the policy of Ukrainization under the guise of combating “bourgeois-nationalist elements.” It was emphasized that the “wrong” realization of Ukrainization was the main reason for the unsatisfactory accumulation of grain production by state. The resolution affected not only the named territories, but also the Kuban with a quantitatively dominant Ukrainian population and some areas of the Kazakh SSR. Here, all paperwork, the press, and schools were transferred to Russian (Yefimenko, 2001, p. 15). Since then, the notion of the “Russian national minority” has disappeared in official record keeping and the press.

In the spring of 1930, a show trial was organized in Kharkiv over the Ukrainian intelligentsia, former members of the UNR government. The ODPU invented the reason for their conviction—they were somehow members of the Spilka Vyzvolennya Ukrayiny (SVU, or Liberation Union of Ukraine). As a result of this lawsuit, about 30,000 people were arrested, shot, or sent to concentration camps (Shapoval, 2019). In developing the SVU case, the ODPU of the Ukrainian SSR laid the foundation for subsequent repressive actions, which began in large numbers in 1932–33, when Joseph Stalin decided to finally put an end to “Ukrainization.” Even during the investigation and trial, there were a lot of contradictions and disagreements that cast doubt on the existence of the SVU.

In carrying out the decisions of the Soviet leadership, the repressive authorities paid particular attention to those areas of the Ukrainian SSR that resisted the Bolsheviks during the 1917–21 revolution and protested against collectivization. In November 1932, a meeting of the heads of all regional bodies of the ODPU of the Ukrainian SSR was held, at which a special operation was planned to eliminate the “class enemy” and “kurkul-Petliura's elements.”7 In December 1932, the bodies of the ODPU had already opened a criminal case against the Ukrainian national forces, which allegedly wanted to re-create “the Ukrainian Independent Republic.” The reason for the creation of a criminal case was the fact that the UNR8 leadership distributed leaflets in Ukraine calling for an armed struggle with the Soviet authorities. Significantly, at the same time as the declaration of the fight against insurgents in Ukraine, the GPU launched a campaign to remove the edible stocks from the peasants.

Between November 1932 and January 1933, there were 436 peasant uprisings against the removal of food from the population. Most of these uprisings took place in Vinnytsia, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Kyiv, Odesa, Kharkiv, and Chernihiv oblasts. In July 1933, the ODPU and the police recorded 201 uprisings in August; 223 in September, 105 cases of armed struggle of the peasants (Aulova et al., 2010, pp. 65, 66, 70). The decrease of the number of uprisings was an outcome of the success of the repression and terror using famine.

In fact, the famine in Ukraine began in 1931 and was conditioned by the continuous grain procurement of 1930–31, when grain was seized from collective farmworkers, while all other kinds of food were seized from individual farmers. In 1932, the famine continued with renewed vigor. Ukrainian grain was used by the leadership of the Soviet Union for export and supplies to other regions of the USSR. At that time, the grain procurement plan for Ukraine was 356 million poods,9 which was slightly less than the previous years. In February 1932, the grain procurement plan for the Ukrainian SSR was reduced to 267 million poods; nevertheless it was executed by 83.5%. Anticipating the possible seizure of grain and foodstuff, the peasants tried to leave some of it for their own consumption. However, the state began to confiscate food using special paramilitary units. Those settlements that did not fulfill the grain procurement plan were placed on special “black boards” and were surrounded by units of internal troops. People could not go beyond their village and died from starvation. In fact, Ukraine was in a blockade. Villagers who tried to travel outside their area were arrested by the military and were forcibly returned to their points of departure. Eyewitnesses testified that people who managed to buy grain in Russia were killed by the military. There have also been cases when food was purposefully spoiled by the soldiers (Aulova et al., 2010 p. 350).

There was massive death from hunger. According to various estimates, up to 7 million people died in the Ukrainian SSR during the Holodomor (Lytvyn, 2005, pp. 442–443; Aulova et al., 2010 p. 45; Sergiychuk, 2018).

Thus, in order to suppress the resistance of the Ukrainian population to the policies of forced collectivization and confiscation of food, the Soviet authorities organized genocide in 1932–33 with the help of artificial mass starvation. The continuation of the policy of eradication of the population was a strategy of resettlement of the Ukrainians to the regions where the loss of the local population from hunger was the largest. These areas included the Russian Federal Socialist Republic, the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, and the northern oblasts of the Ukrainian SSR. These policies and their consequences for the Ukrainian population will be further examined in this article.

INTERNAL UKRAINIAN RESETTLEMENT MOVEMENT

At the beginning of 1932, Ukrainians began resettling in the Far East and Birobidzhan,10 and a small number of families, in the colonial lands of the Ukrainian SSR and the Crimea. Thus, in the summer and in September, 67 families were officially registered who left for the Far East, 418 to Birobidzhan, 18 to Siberia, 1,021 to the western regions of the RSFSR, 66 to the lands of the Ukrainian SSR, and 37 to Crimea. Altogether, 1,817 families left the USSR for this period. In October–December 1932, 66 families of Red Army soldiers got to the Far East, 2,751 families of Red Army soldiers got to the western regions of the RSFSR, and 46 families of Jews got to Birobidzhan. In general, official data showed that from the beginning of 1932 to the middle of December 1932, 1,350 persons left Ukraine (CSAHAAU, f. 84, op. 2, spr. 120, ark. 8–9). The Soviet authorities identified Birobidzhan as an “outpost of the socialist Far East” and planned to resettle there 400,000 people from all over the Soviet Union. However, in 1932, proper living conditions were not created. For settlers there were not enough houses, doctors, or teachers. Of the nearly 8,000 people who went to Birobidzhan from the Ukrainian SSR, only 2,000 stayed there (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 5288, ark. 25).

Exodus of the local population from the southern oblasts of the Ukrainian SSR to other oblasts of the USSR continued at the end of 1932 and up to the beginning of 1933. In particular, and most intensively, people moved out from the Odesa oblast. Therefore, local councils stopped issuing certificates for moving, and created special picket lines that searched and detained anyone who wanted to leave the village, because the authorities wanted to prevent the peasants from taking out grain (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6273, ark. 54–55).

Thus, at the end of 1932–33, the peasants massively left their places of residence in search of areas less affected by the Holodomor. This led to the depopulation of entire areas. Consequently, the government adopted some decrees that facilitated return of people. According to the resolution of the RNK of the Ukrainian SSR of 16 March 1933, the resettled peasants who wanted to go back to the village could go back to the local collective farms but without any supplies of sowing material. If the returnees did not want to join the local collective farm, the village council and district executive committees were supposed to facilitate their resettlement to other villages or allocate to them land that in reality was unsuitable for agricultural cultivation (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6273, ark. 58).

Internal Ukrainian spontaneous resettlement began in 1932; however, the NCZS11 did not allocate funds for food for the settlers so the latter had to buy products using their own money (CSAHAAU, f. 84, op. 2, spr. 1055, ark. 82). The bad situation with food and forage developed in places of settlement. For example, migrants from the Kaliningrad National raion,12 who were promised to receive 30 poods of flour for each family in the Kremenchug raion, in reality received only 1 pood. Instead of 1 liter of milk per person per day, they received only 1 glass, and after a while, 3 cups of milk for 4 or 5 people. Cereals were given at only 50 grams for working family members, and for the unemployed, only 25 grams. Forage for feeding livestock and poultry was not provided, so they began to die. Regarding money, local authorities were required to issue 30 rubles for each migrant; in fact, they received 5 rubles. Often people were relocated to small apartments of 3 or 4 people, without furniture and heating. Schools for the settlers were without heating. Children were given 1 pood of corn flour and 1 glass of milk. Many children escaped from the settlements. Most of the settlers were forced to leave Kremenchug and go back to their small homeland (CSAHAAU, f. 571, op. 1, spr. 587, ark. 13–14).

Organized resettlement was planned by the Soviet authorities at the beginning of 1934. In particular, from the Chernihiv oblast it was planned to relocate 8,000 kolkhoz families in Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk oblasts. But, in fact, people still continued to resettle arbitrarily in November 1933, due to unfavorable conditions for farming in northern areas, high soil moisture and hunger. In these localities in 1933, collective farmers received 300 grams of bread for one workday. As a result, at the end of the year cases of swelling from hunger were already recorded. The population of Chernihiv oblast, primarily Ostrovsky, Novgorod-Siversky, Nosovsky, and other raions, began a massive exodus in search of better lands for economic activity and earnings. These settlers didn't receive any assistance from local authorities.

For example, in December 1933, at one of the railway stations, 93 families were registered as trying to leave the area. They spent 10 days outside in the frosty air, waiting for a special train to move them. They were not provided with either medical care or any produce, so they sold cattle and equipment to receive additional travel expenses. Most settlers moved to the Dnipropetrovsk oblast, and the rest were forced to return. In December 1933, 250 families left the Gorodnyansky raion of the Chernihiv oblast. Of these, 128 farms moved to the Odesa oblast, 93 to other oblasts of the Ukrainian SSR, and 29 to Siberia. In total, 2,000 families moved to the Dnipropetrovsk oblast before the planned resettlement, with the consent of the NKZS (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6584, ark. 45, 49, 64). During January–February 1934, the local councils of Chernigiv oblast engaged 12,000 farms to the planned resettlement in 1934. Most of them planned to move in Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk oblasts. During February 1934, 8,579 farms (43,386 persons) were relocated from the Chernihiv oblast. Of these, there were 4,356 farms that settled in Donbass and 4,223 farms moved to the Dnipropetrovsk oblast. During the same period, 3,087 families (13,002 persons) were resettled from the Vinnytsia oblast to Odesa. Also, 4,350 families of the Kyiv oblast engaged to the resettlement, mainly to Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk, and Kharkiv oblasts, and 1,400 families of the Vinnitsa oblast engaged to the Odesa oblast (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6585, ark. 66–69) (see table 1).

TABLE 1.

Areas of pre-settlement rural population of the 1st and 2nd queues in 1934

To what area resettlementQueues of resettlementNumber of familiesFrom which areas of Ukrainian SSR and Soviet Union
Odesa oblast I queues 6,500 BSSR and Gorky oblast of the RSFSR 
II queues 5,000 Vinnytsa and Kyiv oblasts of the Ukrainian SSR 
Dnipropetrovsk
oblast 
I queues 6,500 West Region of the RSFSR 
II queues 6,300 West Region of the RSFSR and Chernihiv, Kyiv oblasts of the Ukrainian SSR 
Donetsk oblast I queues 3,500 Ivanovo oblast of the RSFSR 
II queues 4,000 Chernihiv oblast of the Ukrainian SSR 
Kharkiv oblast I queues 4,500 The Central Black Earth Oblast of the RSFSR 
II queues 5,000 Kyiv oblast of the Ukrainian SSR and Tsentralnyaya Chernozemnya oblast of the RSFSR13 
To what area resettlementQueues of resettlementNumber of familiesFrom which areas of Ukrainian SSR and Soviet Union
Odesa oblast I queues 6,500 BSSR and Gorky oblast of the RSFSR 
II queues 5,000 Vinnytsa and Kyiv oblasts of the Ukrainian SSR 
Dnipropetrovsk
oblast 
I queues 6,500 West Region of the RSFSR 
II queues 6,300 West Region of the RSFSR and Chernihiv, Kyiv oblasts of the Ukrainian SSR 
Donetsk oblast I queues 3,500 Ivanovo oblast of the RSFSR 
II queues 4,000 Chernihiv oblast of the Ukrainian SSR 
Kharkiv oblast I queues 4,500 The Central Black Earth Oblast of the RSFSR 
II queues 5,000 Kyiv oblast of the Ukrainian SSR and Tsentralnyaya Chernozemnya oblast of the RSFSR13 
Source: Central State Archive of Public Associations of Ukraine, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 2992, ark. 78.

In February 1934, 17,748 farms (approximately 90,000 persons) moved to the eastern and southern oblasts of the republic due to the intra-Ukrainian resettlement, according to official statistics (see table 2).

TABLE 2.

Intra-Ukrainian resettlement during 1934

From what oblast of Ukrainian SSRTo what oblast resettlementNumber of familiesNumber of horsesNumber of cowsNumber of livestock% implementation of plan
Kyiv oblast Odesa oblast 2,017 1,375 1,719 1,722 100.8 
Kyiv oblast Dnipropetrovsk oblast 2,054 1,088 1,461 1,873 102.7 
Kyiv oblast Kharkiv oblast 2,018   982 1,226 1,273 100.9 
Chernigiv oblast Donetsk oblast 4,262 2,969 3,005 3,775 106.5 
Chernigiv oblast Dnipropetrovsk oblast 4,310 2,818 3,071 5,183 100.1 
Vinnytsia oblast Odesa oblast 3,087 1,478 1,301 4,339 102.9 
From what oblast of Ukrainian SSRTo what oblast resettlementNumber of familiesNumber of horsesNumber of cowsNumber of livestock% implementation of plan
Kyiv oblast Odesa oblast 2,017 1,375 1,719 1,722 100.8 
Kyiv oblast Dnipropetrovsk oblast 2,054 1,088 1,461 1,873 102.7 
Kyiv oblast Kharkiv oblast 2,018   982 1,226 1,273 100.9 
Chernigiv oblast Donetsk oblast 4,262 2,969 3,005 3,775 106.5 
Chernigiv oblast Dnipropetrovsk oblast 4,310 2,818 3,071 5,183 100.1 
Vinnytsia oblast Odesa oblast 3,087 1,478 1,301 4,339 102.9 
Source: Central State Archive of Public Associations of Ukraine, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6583, ark. 192.

In May 1934, another planned resettlement was organized by the Kyiv District Executive Committee (Kyiv DEC) from the Polissya raions and the Dnieper to the Uman and Belotserkivskyi raions. To move 6,850 farms from the All-Union Resettlement Committee, about 2 million rubles were allocated, as well as free construction materials from special funds (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6585, ark. 37). Local kolkhozes (collective farms) were supposed to provide newly arrived peasants with food from local funds. At the beginning of 1934, when hunger continued, the task of providing 365,000 poodov of food to the settlers was set to the collective farms. Thus, according to the plan, the leadership of the Odesa oblast was to provide 90,000 poods of products for the provision of immigrants, but in fact could secure only 29,000 poods; Donetsk oblast, 10,000 and, if necessary, 72,000 poods; Kharkiv oblast secured 15,000 poods out of 90,000; and Dnipropetrovsk oblast, only 58,000 of a planned 113,000 poods. In general, collective farms were able to allocate only 110,000 poods of food from their funds while the local population suffered from hunger (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6584, ark. 35).

In order to prevent internally displaced persons from returning to their places of exile, the Central Committee of the CP(b)U in May 1934 issued a special decree on the consolidation of settlers. It was supposed to give out 1,000 tons of cereal crops from the funds of the republic for the issue of a food loan to large families of kolkhoz-settlers. The Commodity Fund Committee was supposed to provide manufactured goods for 2 million rubles for sale only to settlers (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6585, ark. 35). However, such measures were not able to stop their outflow back to a small homeland.

In March 1934, the All-Union Resettlement Committee of the Soviet Union approved a plan according to which, during the autumn of 1934 through the winter of 1935, 60,000 to 65,000 farms from the Polissya and northern oblasts of the republic were to be transferred to the collective farms of Ukraine:

Odesa oblast 15,000–20,000 
Dnipropetrovsk oblast 15,000–20,000 
Kharkiv oblast 10,000 
Donetsk oblast 15,000 
Resettlement was also planned to the Ananievsky and Baltsky raions of the AMSSR14 and to the Bila Tserkva and Uman raions of the Kyiv oblast. Given the critical situation with food in the republic, especially in the southern and eastern oblasts, the massive return movement and resettlement process, especially from other republics, were partially discontinued (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 2992, ark. 100). However, during 1935, 26,700 people were displaced to Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, and Kharkiv oblasts. They were residents of the border area of the Ukrainian SSR. This process was already compulsory and was conducted to reduce the social tension in the border zone (SSASSU, f. 16, op. 1, spr. 31, ark. 87; spr. 59, ark. 1–3).

In the oblasts along the western border of the Ukrainian SSR, the displacement movement was associated with the border zone. In 1932 and early 1933, a plan for the resettlement of demobilized Red Army soldiers in the border regions of the Ukrainian SSR was implemented. This process was initiated by the Central Committee of the CP VKP (b) on 1 November 1931, and was associated with a part of the plan to strengthen the border areas with the settlement of persons who were entrusted by the state. The plan for resettlement of former soldiers was executed almost completely—3,785 people resettled in the border zone. It was also supposed to settle the families of Red Army soldiers from other regions of the Soviet Union. Thus, the command of the Ukrainian Military district and the ODPU of the Ukrainian SSR involved 700 displaced Red Army personnel in the Kharkiv oblast: in the Krasnokutovsky raion of the Kharkiv oblast, 400 military men were resettled; and in Sakhnovshchansky raion, 300 families of Red Army soldiers were moved. For each family of migrants, the plan was to issue 500 rubles and provide food for 10 months (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6392, ark. 33). To the Vinnytsia oblast, 1,067 families arrived from other oblasts of the Soviet Union, but 483 families returned back from them. Among the reasons for the return of the Red Army's families there were the lack of proper housing and economic hardships, as well as the negative attitude of the local population toward the newcomers (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6390, ark. 7).

RESETTLEMENT TO UKRAINE OF POPULATION FROM BELORUSSIAN SSR AND RUSSIAN SFSR

In the second half of 1933, the Soviet authorities initiated the resettlement of peasants from Russia and Belarus to the eastern and southern oblasts of Ukraine. The RNK of the Ukrainian SSR, on 15 October 1933, issued a secret decree “about resettlement to Ukraine,” which provided for the introduction of collective farmers from the RSFSR and other republics of the Soviet Union in Ukraine. By the decision of the Central Committee of the VKP (b), in Ukraine from the RSFSR and Byelorussia, at the end of 1933, the resettlement of 21,000 families began. This was due to the presence of a number of raions in the steppe region of Ukraine, with an excessively high level of land provision per one able-bodied person (12–15 ha), which required additional work hands. In reality, this situation arose because of the mass extinction of the local population from hunger. Also, the resolution envisaged migration to the southern and eastern oblasts of the Ukrainian SSR population from the Chernihiv, Kyiv, and Vinnytsia regions of Ukraine. These internal migrants got equal benefits with settlers from Belarus and the RSFSR (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6392, ark. 96) (see table 3).

TABLE 3.

Oblasts of the Ukrainian SSR, in which it was planned to carry out resettlement from the RSFSR and other republics of the USSR in the first quarter of 1934

Oblasts/raionsNumber of familiesOblasts/raionsNumber of families
Donetsk oblast Kharkiv oblast 
Bilovodsky raion 600 Sakhnovshchansky raion 1,600   
Bilolutsky raion 500 Krasnokutsky raion 750 
Novo-Pskovsky raion 600 Dvurichansky raion 600 
Staro-Karansky raion 400 Bliznyukivsky raion 550 
Starobilsky raion 350 Total 3,500   
Pokrovsky raion 510 Dnipropetrovsk oblast 
Markovsky raion 390 Belozersky raion 450 
Svatovsky raion 150 Novo-Troitsky raion 450 
Total 3,500   Veliko-Lepetsky raion 700 
Odesa oblast Veliko-Tokmatsky raion 500 
Veliko-Aleksandrovsky raion 500 Melitopolsky raion 500 
Rovnyansky raion 900 Mikhailovsky raion 300 
Kampaniyivsky raion 800 Luxemburg raion 300 
Kakhovsky raion 400 Novo-Syrohoz'kyi raion 550 
Novo-Ukrainsky raion 1,100   Yakimivsky raion 600 
Zinovievsky raion 500 Apostolic raion 500 
Lyubashevsky raion 300 Vasilivsky raion 300 
Vradievsky raion 600 Vasilkivsky raion 650 
Snigurivsky raion 400 Dolinsky raion 400 
Veliko-Vyskovsky raion 800 Bozhedarsky raion 300 
Kryvoozersky raion 200 Total 6,500   
Total 6,500     
Oblasts/raionsNumber of familiesOblasts/raionsNumber of families
Donetsk oblast Kharkiv oblast 
Bilovodsky raion 600 Sakhnovshchansky raion 1,600   
Bilolutsky raion 500 Krasnokutsky raion 750 
Novo-Pskovsky raion 600 Dvurichansky raion 600 
Staro-Karansky raion 400 Bliznyukivsky raion 550 
Starobilsky raion 350 Total 3,500   
Pokrovsky raion 510 Dnipropetrovsk oblast 
Markovsky raion 390 Belozersky raion 450 
Svatovsky raion 150 Novo-Troitsky raion 450 
Total 3,500   Veliko-Lepetsky raion 700 
Odesa oblast Veliko-Tokmatsky raion 500 
Veliko-Aleksandrovsky raion 500 Melitopolsky raion 500 
Rovnyansky raion 900 Mikhailovsky raion 300 
Kampaniyivsky raion 800 Luxemburg raion 300 
Kakhovsky raion 400 Novo-Syrohoz'kyi raion 550 
Novo-Ukrainsky raion 1,100   Yakimivsky raion 600 
Zinovievsky raion 500 Apostolic raion 500 
Lyubashevsky raion 300 Vasilivsky raion 300 
Vradievsky raion 600 Vasilkivsky raion 650 
Snigurivsky raion 400 Dolinsky raion 400 
Veliko-Vyskovsky raion 800 Bozhedarsky raion 300 
Kryvoozersky raion 200 Total 6,500   
Total 6,500     
Source: Central State Archive of Public Associations of Ukraine, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6392, ark. 23.

In February 1934, a second wave of migrants arrived from the RSFSR and the BSSR: 305 farms moved to Dnipropetrovsk from the western region, and 3,177 farms (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6583, ark. 192) were transferred to the Kharkiv oblast from TSCHO.15

All local regional executive committees and NKZS were supposed to provide renovated houses, utility rooms, fuel, and forage to the settlers in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, and Odesa oblasts. The special funds of agricultural products were created, which meant providing not less than 1 centner per migrant's farm. In the Kharkiv oblast, during January–February 1934, the regional executive committee had foreseen to allocate 62,135 poods of grain for 4,500 resettlement farms, which would be 3 centners per resettlement family. It was from the fund provided for the population of Ukraine (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6392, ark. 24, 34). Such requirements for immigrants did not correspond to the realities, as the local Ukrainian population was starving. In fact, the Holodomor in Ukraine continued in the eastern and southern oblasts throughout 1934.

The peasants traveled to the Ukrainian SSR from other oblasts of the USSR, hoping for better living conditions. However, immediately after arriving in the new places, they found themselves in a difficult situation. The local councils and the management of the collective farms could not provide the peasants with food and proper housing. In particular, settlers in the Staro-Karansky raion of the Donetsk oblast lived in old houses. For their work done at the collective farms, the chairmen of the farms issued fewer products than for local collective farmers. In the Bilokuranovsky raion, the local population was averse to the arrival of migrants, since the locals were also hungry and did not want to give newcomers food from their own stocks. The settlers who arrived in the Kherson raion of the Odesa oblast lost all food supplies during the move, and several tons of grain allocated to them from the local collective-farm stocks proved unfit for consumption. There was an acute shortage of products in the Znamenskiy raion, where the settlers were even forced to eat grain extracted from e mousetraps. A similar situation existed in other areas of the oblast. In the Novo-Ukrainsky raion of the Odesa oblast, the starving population was forced to steal food from the settlers of certain collective farms of Alekseevskaya, Mykolayiv, Novo-Nikolaevskaya, and Tatarska villages. Some of these peasants were sentenced to imprisonment for 5 to 8 years, which in fact meant death from hunger in prison. In the Leontovytsya village, the famine provoked people to cannibalism. Therefore, the manager of the local artel16 urged settlers to go back; a few of them were beaten.

Famine in the Novo-Ukrainsky raion has also led to infectious diseases, but medical care has not been provided to the population (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 2992, ark. 93). There were 7 resettled families living in the village Kazarna, in the Znamensky raion of the Odesa oblast. They were ill from malnutrition, even though, for example, one of the families earned more than 100 workdays. The collective farm's management did not issue bread to employees, only zucchini. In the Novo-Buzhsky raion, the board of the artel named “Kalinin” gave poisoned flour to the members of the collective farm and settlers. As a result, 24 families were poisoned and 6 children died. After that, members of the collective farm board were sentenced to imprisonment for different terms. In the Lyubashevsky raion, because the funds received for the settlement of settlers were spent on the purchase of food, 300 families of settlers were homeless (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 2992, ark. 123–124).

The housing of the migrants also was a disappointing situation. In the Vridevsky raion of the Odesa oblast, on 26 collective farms, out of 600 homes for settlers only 200 were prepared. In other raions the situation was not better: in Rovno raion, out of 900 houses only 300 houses were built; only 200 houses were prepared in the Lyubashevsky raion, and only 200 houses were ready in Bashtansky. In the Novo-Ukrainsky raion of Odesa, there was a plan to resettle 1,100 families. The local councils should have arranged a residential housing in a short time, but they did not have time to do so before the arrival of settlers.

In the Dnipropetrovsk oblast, the settlement process was as follows: to the Dolinsky raion, 400 families were supposed to be resettled: to Mikhailovsky, 273; to Luxembourg, 300; to Bozhedarsky, 300; to Melitopolsky, 500; to Novo-Troitsky, 450 families. In all these raions of the Dnipropetrovsk oblast, insecurity of settlers with housing and products was also recorded. In the Donetsk oblast for immigrants to the Amvrosievsky raion, the leadership of local councils prepared 757 houses; in the Mariupol raion, 400; in the Rubizhansky raion, more than 120; and in the Alexandrovsky raion, 300 farms. In the Kharkiv oblast, 600 families were expected to be transferred to the Dvurechansky raion (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6392, ark. 50–53).

In the Kharkiv oblast, the settlers began arriving as early as November 1933. According to the plan, 4,500 displaced persons from Russia were supposed to live here. For them, the allocation was supposed to be 8,111 quintals of bread. In the same month, the Kharkiv Regional Committee of the KP(b)U and the Kharkiv OVC17 had decided that from the local food fund, the settlers would be given 3 centners of grain per family. Thus, in the near future, it was necessary to allocate 25,000 poods from the local grain fund. During November 1933, 6,658 families (39,328 persons) from the West region18 of the RSFSR were relocated to the Dnipropetrovsk oblast. The local authorities of the Dnipropetrovsk oblast decided to provide the settlers out of their own funds with 855,000 poods of grain crops for food and 870,000 poods of grain from the grain company for sowing purposes (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6392, ark. 56, 102; spr. 6393, ark. 1, 2).

However, as noted, in connection with the Holodomor, Ukraine could not provide food for migrants from other areas. Thus, on 30 December 1933, the Dnipropetrovsk oblast lacked 60,000 poods; Odesa, 70,000; Donetsk, 7,000; and Kharkiv, 80,000 poods of food. During the organization of resettlement, 151.8 tons of flour, 8.9 tons of cereals, and 27 tons of fish and other food products were allocated only for families moving to the Dnipropetrovsk oblast (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6392, ark. 217; spr. 6393, ark. 1).

During the autumn of 1933, to the Ukrainian SSR came 21,841 farms from the Byelorussian SSR and the Russian SFSR. By the end of December 1933, a total of 117,149 people had moved, which was 105% of the planned number (see table 4).

TABLE 4.

Resettlement movement to Ukrainian oblasts from BSSR and RSFSR during 1933

From what oblast are settlersTo what oblast of the Ukrainian SSR they settled inNumber of farms% implementation of plan
Gorkovsky oblast of RSFSR Odesa oblast 2,120 106   
Ivanovo oblast RSFSR Donetsk oblast 3,627 104   
BSSR Odesa oblast 4,630 103   
TSCHO RSFSR Kharkiv oblast 4,800 106.6 
Western region Dnipropetrovsk oblast 6,679 102.7 
Total  21,856  102.7 
From what oblast are settlersTo what oblast of the Ukrainian SSR they settled inNumber of farms% implementation of plan
Gorkovsky oblast of RSFSR Odesa oblast 2,120 106   
Ivanovo oblast RSFSR Donetsk oblast 3,627 104   
BSSR Odesa oblast 4,630 103   
TSCHO RSFSR Kharkiv oblast 4,800 106.6 
Western region Dnipropetrovsk oblast 6,679 102.7 
Total  21,856  102.7 
Source: Central State Archive of Public Associations of Ukraine, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6392, ark. 207; spr. 6584, ark. 15.

In 1934, unauthorized settlers arrived to the Odesa oblast from different regions of the USSR. About 4,000 families arrived uninvited and unorganized in 14 districts of a 100-kilometer border territory. Most of them were members of the collective farms and sought to become entrenched in the local collective farms of the Odesa oblast. For each collective farm there were 10 to 20 families of such uninvited migrants. Initially, the Odesa raion's police figured out which families arrived unplanned and made them leave the district. However, the Odesa Oblast Committee of the CP(b)U appealed to law enforcement agencies to allow such settlers to stay in the region due to the shortage of workers as a result of the death of the local population during the Holodomor (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6585, ark. 44).

For organizing the relocation and sale-purchase of property by migrants, the state provided special loans. For the peasants from the West region, 727,000 rubles of loans were granted for the purchase of property and livestock. However, in some cases, Sotszembank19 and the State Bank delayed the granting of loans, and there was no clear mechanism for lending anything to migrants (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6393, ark. 10).

By the decree of the Central Committee of the CP(b)U on 4 May, 1934, 1,000 tons of grain was allocated from the republican funds to provide the so-called food loan to large families of settlers. And all of this happened at a time when the local Ukrainian population was in dire need of food (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 585, ark. 35). Nevertheless, newly arrived families started to leave.

There were several reasons for the return of newly arrived migrants. First, there was an acute shortage of food and fodder, caused by the previous policy of the Soviet government of expropriating produce from the local population. Caused by the Holodomor, as well as droughts in 1933–34, grain prices increased by about 8 times. Second, the local population, which was starving, had a negative attitude to the newly arrived peasants. For example, in November 1933, collective farmers from the Chausovsky village of the Rtishchevsky raion of the Saratov oblast moved to the Adamovskoy village of the Kamensky raion of the Dnipropetrovsk oblast. Eleven of these families returned back in the spring of 1934. After moving to the Dnipropetrovsk oblast, they were given 2–3 quintals of grain to their family as an advance. Members of these families received 3 kg of grain and 40 kg of cabbage for each workday throughout the season. But when the harvest was over, families no longer received food because of the collective farm's debts to the state. Due to the difficult financial situation, the settlers were forced to sell the cattle and to buy products from those funds. By that time, grain crops in the local market cost about 35 rubles per pood (1 pood = 16,380 kg). The difference is very significant if we compare this value with the prices for cereals in 1925. In 1925, cereals were worth 10 kopecks (0.1 ruble) per kilogram. Consequently, the value of grain crops increased about 20 times. In addition, the winter and spring harvest was lost because of drought in 1934. The complex of the above-mentioned factors forced settlers to sell cattle and property and return to their homeland empty-handed (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6585, ark. 70; Editor, p. 3).

As has been already mentioned, local Ukrainians often treated Russian migrants negatively. There were several cases when Russian migrants were expelled from houses by their former owners or relatives of the deceased families who had been living here before. In the village Annovka Pyatihatsky raion of the Dnipropetrovsk oblast, a group of peasants, members of the Ukrainian repressed families, attacked resettled families with exclamations “Beat the Russians, save Ukraine,” “Liquidate the kolkhozes, beat the Communists.” Therefore, some of the settlers left the village. Then a demonstration court was arranged over the members of the repressed families. Three of them were imprisoned for 10 years, one for 8 years, two for 5 years. Similar actions of the local population were observed in other raions as well, for example, in the Olexandrivsky raion of the Dnipropetrovsk oblast (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6585, ark. 47–48).

In the Kharkiv oblast, there were also cases of discontent on the part of local residents regarding the arrival of Russians in this region. In the Globynsky raion, the members of the kolkhoz board “Socialist advance” agitated against the settlers: “They should be driven from the collective farm, because they come to eat Ukrainian bread. It is necessary to destroy vacant houses so they will not be handed over to them.” For such calls, several board members of the collective farm were sentenced to terms of imprisonment (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6585, ark. 45).

Many cases of open confrontation between the settlers and the local population were recorded in the spring and summer of 1934. In Polieva village of the Novo-Ukrainsky raion of the Odesa oblast, a migrant brigadier of the collective farm was beaten up. In the village Chervonyi Rozdol, the home of a migrant from Belarus was attacked, as a result of which he died. The two locals who were attacked were sentenced to death, others were sentenced to 5, 8, and 10 years' imprisonment. Several peasants of the village Vyshneakovo of Zinovievsky raion opposed the resettlement of peasants from other regions of the USSR to Ukraine. As a result of this negative attitude, three families of migrants returned to Belarus (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 2992, ark. 125).

In the autumn of 1934, the process of returning Russian settlers increased even more, especially from Odesa, Donetsk, and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts. According to incomplete statistics, at the beginning of the summer of 1934, 665 families returned to the places of exodus. From the Odesa oblast, 402 families went back; from Donetsk oblast, 205; from Kharkiv oblast, 41; and from Dnipropetrovsk oblast, 17 families left. By the middle of the summer of 1934, the bulk of the settlers arrived in the Ukrainian SSR from the Gorkivsky oblast of the RSFSR, 34% of whom arrived in the Odesa oblast. From the Ivanovsky oblast of the RSFSR, 31.9% arrived in the Donetsk oblast; and from Belarusian SSR, 27.5% arrived in the Odesa oblast.

At the same time, families who had moved to the Ukrainian SSR earlier continued returning to their former homelands. Fourteen percent of the total number of new settlers returned from the Ukrainian SSR. By region, this indicator was as follows: from the Odesa oblast, 21.5%; from the Donetsk oblast, 16.7%; from the Kharkiv oblast, 8.9%; and from the Dnipropetrovsk oblast, 8.1%. There were also many families among new settlers who voluntarily departed from the villages and did not appear in the official statistics composed by the authorities. Therefore, there are difficulties with the real number of families who returned to their places of former habitat. These individuals pointed to the lack of sheltered housing and lack of food as among the reasons for the return. There were cases when the reign or a collective farm where people from other areas were settled forced the settlers who wanted to return to the places of their origin, to compensate the receiving side for all the costs associated with these people's resettlement. Thus, one of the collective farms of the Rovnyansky raion of the Odesa oblast invoiced migrants for 1,465 rubles, half of which was paid with money, the other with products (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6585, ark. 31).

Among the reasons for the return, the settlers indicated drought, the lack of a nearby water sources, the diseases, poor housing, and the local population's unfriendly attitude. The latter was manifested not only by the local Ukrainian population, but also by representatives of other nationalities. Thus, a similar situation has occurred in the ethnic Greek and Bulgarian villages of Staro-Karansky, Yakimivsky, and Mariupol raions (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6585, ark. 83, 85). In a similar situation were settlers from Belarus in the village Dykovtsi of Znamensky raion in Kirovograd oblast. Here, the Ukrainian teachers were not able to provide their Belarusian colleagues with housing. Schoolchildren also did not accept Belarusian children into their community. The heads of two kolkhozes, where the Belarusian settlers were enlisted, urged them to return to their homeland, because hunger continued in Ukraine. Consequently, 24 families of Belarusians left the district. The authorities staged a trial over the local Ukrainians. Some teachers were sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment; one of the teachers of the Ukrainian school, up to 1 year of forced labor; and the head of the school, up to 3 years' imprisonment (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6585, ark. 90–91).

In September–October 1934, the hunger in the Dnipropetrovsk oblast again intensified. Gaining particularly ill fame was the Stalindorf raion, which consisted of 60% Ukrainians, Germans, and old Jewish settlements, while 40% of the settlers arrived there during 1926–34. Since there was no rain in this area for 103 days, in the autumn of 1934 the harvest yield was extremely low at all collective farms in the district—2.05 centners per hectare. In the resettlement kolkhoz Union, this indicator was 1.5 c. per ha; Lenin, 1.1 c. per ha; Botvin, 1.3 c.; Bolshevik, 0.83 c.; and Ozet, 1.8 c. per hectare. For the needs of farmers, only 10% of threshed grain crops were allotted. Therefore, in some kolkhozes of Stalindorfsky raion during the harvesting period, the peasants began to eat food substitutions and children began swelling up from starvation. People used to make something like bread from different plants, potato shells or sawdust. Millet or buckwheat was sometimes added to this surrogate.

Stalindorfsky raion's committee KP(b)U was allowed to provide collective farmers with 15–20% and more from threshed crops. The delivery of food to workdays in resettlement collective farms amounted to 167 g at the Lenin collective farm, 200 g in New Way, up to 700 g at the collective farms Kaganovich and Yakovlev (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6585, ark. 120–121). In the Novo-Vasilkivsky raion in the autumn, there were massive cases of swelling of local farmers and settlers from starvation. In the village Dunaevka even the family of the chairman of the collective farm Frunze, which had seven people, received 45 kg of bread for 350 workdays. They did not have any private plots. This led to swelling from starvation and the death of one of the children. This collective farm was to provide the state with 2,350 centners of grain crops, but due to crop failure, bread supply was postponed until 1935. Therefore, the collective farm paid in a payday to all its members in the amount of only 194 centners. In another kolkhoz of the same village, the family of the settler K. Ivanov, which was six people, received only 72 kg of bread for 240 working days. The family did not have a homestead land, therefore, they also starved. The head of the family left the village in search for food and earnings. The remaining children were swollen from hunger. In the national Albanian village of Hannovka, the six people if the family of a migrant, M. Matvienko, also began to die from hunger. During the workday they received 120 g of bread from the collective farm. Having worked 836 days, the whole family received only 50 kg of bread. In the Albanian village of Girsovka, five families were swollen for the same reasons. Similar cases were recorded throughout the Dnipropetrovsk oblast (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6585, ark. 96–97).

Another reason for the migration of settlers from the Dnipropetrovsk oblast to their homeland was a large load of arable land to work per collective farm employee, as shown in the table 5.

TABLE 5.

Load of arable land per collective farm employee in Dnipropetrovsk oblast in 1934

Name of collective farmAmount of arable land (ha)Number of able-bodied personsHow much land per able-bodied person (ha)
Birobidzhan 962 26 37 
Bilshovyk 440 15 30 
Kosior 958 38 25 
Svoya pratsya 909 50 18 
Forojs 538 25 21 
Freyleben 852 49 17 
Yakir 1,293  82 15 
Stalindorfer Eames 747 51 15 
Kaganovich 827 59 14 
Zhovten 928 66 14 
Name of collective farmAmount of arable land (ha)Number of able-bodied personsHow much land per able-bodied person (ha)
Birobidzhan 962 26 37 
Bilshovyk 440 15 30 
Kosior 958 38 25 
Svoya pratsya 909 50 18 
Forojs 538 25 21 
Freyleben 852 49 17 
Yakir 1,293  82 15 
Stalindorfer Eames 747 51 15 
Kaganovich 827 59 14 
Zhovten 928 66 14 
Source: Central State Archive of Public Associations of Ukraine, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6585, ark. 123.

This situation also has its explanation. Before the Holodomor there were the collective farms traditionally populated with Ukrainians, Russians, Germans, and people of other ethnicities. For example, in the Dnipropetrovsk oblast, the Stalindorf and Novo-Zlatopil National Jewish Raions were created in 1929 and 1930. They had more than 4,000 families. Before the Holodomor, on average, for workdays, members of these collective farms received up to 1 kg of bread. As a rule, the low-income people from towns and cities of the northern oblasts began to relocate to the collective farms in the southern oblasts. New migrants built their settlements in the style of farmhouses, with large land provisions—up to 25–30 hectares of arable land per farm. This means that at some kolkhozes with new settlers, there were from 7 to 13 hectares of land per able-bodied person to farm. During 1933–34 local authorities ceased to provide any loans to migrants for the purchase of livestock. The young and able-bodied people started to leave, which led to a significant predominance of the elderly. The quality of agricultural production in these resettlements became much lower than before. After the Holodomor, the population of these areas declined further, and in 1934 this oblast required at least 1,200 settler families. Therefore, due to the famine and heavy workload, there was an exit, especially of young people, from such settlements (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6585, ark. 123–125).

The combination of the above-mentioned factors led to the unauthorized resettlement of peasants from the Dnipropetrovsk oblast to the Kuban and Don. So, from the collective farm Pyatylitka of the Bilozirsky district with 150 families, 35 families went to Don and Kuban. From the resettlement collective farm Stalin, 20 families went to Don and Kuban, and 20 went to their small homeland. Several hundred families left Tokmatsky, Vasilievsky, and Chubarevsky raions. This was facilitated by reports from relatives living on the Don and the Kuban. They said they were issued 16 kg of bread per workday, and on average, each of the collective farm family received half a thousand poods of bread (about 8,150 kg) for their labor (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6585, ark. 127).

Due to the above-mentioned reasons, the settlers from the Donetsk, Kharkiv, and Odesa oblasts began to return to their homeland shortly after arrival. In total, according to incomplete statistics, only until September 1, more than 10,000 families returned. Most settlers left Odesa and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts. In September, the situation was fixed when almost all settlers left Rivne, Kryvyi Ozersk, and other raions of Odesa oblast and from Novo-Vasilkivsky, Melitopol, Kolarovsky, Stalindorfsky, Jewish, and other raions of Dnipropetrovsk oblast. By November 1934, of 11,962 families of settlers-farmers in the Odesa oblast, 7,129 families returned to their exit places (69.5% of the total number of settlers in the oblast); in Dnipropetrovsk oblast, out of 13,373 households, 8,158 left (60.9%); in Kharkiv oblast, out of 10,725 families, 3,411 left (31.8%); in Donetsk oblast, out of 8,155 families, 2,920 left (35.8%). Among the reasons, the settlers indicated that the districts' and collective farms' management provided some assistance only before the start of harvest. The hard food situation was aggravated by the fact that there were not enough seeds and agricultural machinery in the collective farms of the raions (CSAPAU, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 6585, ark. 24–25, 27–28, 103, 116).

CONCLUSION

The Holodomor was a terror against the Ukrainian population as well as the Ukrainian national liberation movement in general. One of the instruments of the Soviet power against resistance was the destruction of the population by famine and its replacement with people who were more loyal to the Soviet government. It is one of the signs of genocide against Ukrainians.

In those regions of Ukraine that were most affected by the Holodomor, the authorities arranged resettlement of peasants from the northern regions of the republic as well as from different regions of the RSFSR and the BSSR. As the settlers, according to the authorities, should be provided with food and housing at the expense of the local population, this caused resistance of Ukrainians. Due to the difficult situation, about half of the settlers returned to their previous places of residence. However, the resettlement policy of the authorities changed both social and national “faces” especially in the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine, and provided a more loyal attitude to policies of the Bolshevik authorities in these regions.

Notes

1.

CP(b) – All-Union Communist Party of the Bolsheviks.

2.

Kulak (in Ukrainian – kurkul) is a contemptuous name for a wealthy peasant. In the Soviet Union, a concrete meaning essentially depended on the current political situation and could mean both a wealthy peasant and an opponent of collectivization in general, regardless of property status.

3.

VUTSVK – Vseukrainskyy Tsentralnyy Vykonavchyy Komitet (All-Ukrainian Central Executive Committee). It was the highest legislative, administrative, executive, and controlling body of state power of the Ukrainian SSR in the period between All-Ukrainian congresses of Ukrainian Congress of Soviets of Workers, Peasants and Red Army Deputies. It acted from 1917 until 1938.

4.

RNK USRR – Rada Narodnykh Komisariv of Ukrainian SRR (Council of People's Commissars of the Ukrainian SSR). It was the highest executive body of Soviet Ukraine in 1919–46.

5.

In 1932 a new administrative system of oblasts and raions was introduced in the Soviet Union. The oblast was the highest-order administrative unit. As of 1923, the Ukrainian SSR was composed of seven oblasts and the Moldovan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.

6.

ODPU – Obʼyednane Derzhavne Politychne Upravlinnya (United State Political Department). It was the highest punitive organ in the USSR, the predecessor of the NKVD. It existed from 1924 to 1934 and was formed under the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR. This body was engaged in combating national and political movements through mass repressions.

7.

«Petliurists» – soldiers and officers of the Ukrainian army during 1917–21. Symon Petlyura was a state, political and military figure, publicist, member of the Ukrainian Central Council, chairman of the Directory of the Ukrainian People's Republic, and organizer of the Army of the Ukrainian People's Republic (UNR).

8.

UNR – Ukrayinsʹka narodna Respublika (The Ukrainian People's Republic). It was a Ukrainian state with a center in Kyiv that existed from 1917 to 1920. During 1920–91, the government of UNR was in exile and then transferred its powers to the government of an independent Ukraine.

9.

Pood is an old Russian measure of weight, equal to 16.3 kilograms. In the rest of the text this weight measurement unit is used.

10.

Birobidzhan is a city, the center of the Jewish Autonomous Region of Russia, on the rivers Bira and Bidzhan (Amur Basin). By 1931, it was station Tikhonkaya.

11.

NCZS – Narodnyy Komisariat Zemel'nykh Sprav (People's Commissariat of Land Affairs).

12.

Raion – (district) the lowest administrative unit under the administrative reform of 1932.

13.

The Central Chernozem Region was an administrative-territorial unit of the RSFSR during 1928–34. The region was formed from the territory of the former Voronezh, Kursk, Orel, and Tambov provinces. The regional center was the city Voronezh.

14.

AMSSR – The Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was an autonomous republic within the Ukrainian SSR. Existed from 12 October 1924 to 2 August 1940. From 7 March 7 to 12 October, 1924, it had the status of an autonomous region within the Ukrainian SSR. It included the left-bank part of modern Moldova (Transnistria) and part of today's Ukraine.

15.

TSCHO is an acronym for Tsentralno-Chernozemnaya Oblast, or Central Black Earth Oblast.

16.

Artel was a voluntary association of people for joint work or other collective activities, often with participation in common incomes and shared responsibility based on circular bail.

17.

OVC – Regional Executive Committee.

18.

West region of the RSFSR. Smolensk was a center that existed from 1929 to 1938. It was created from Smolensk, Bryansk, Kaluga, and, partly, Tver provinces.

19.

Sotszembank – All-Union Bank for the Financing of Socialist Agriculture.

SOURCES

SOURCES
CSAHAAU - Central State Archive of Higher Authorities and Administration of Ukraine, f. 84, op. 2, spr. 120; spr. 587; spr. 1055.
CSAPAU - Central State Archive of Public Associations of Ukraine, f. 1, op. 20, spr. 585; spr. 2992; spr. 5288; 6273; spr. 6390; spr. 6392; spr. 6393; spr. 6583; spr. 6584; spr. 6585.
SSASSU - Sectoral State Archive of the Security Service of Ukraine, f. 16, op. 1, spr. 31; spr. 59.

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