Regional 1932–1933 Famine Losses: A Comparative Analysis of Ukraine and Russia

Nataliia Levchuk, Oleh Wolowyna, Omelian Rudnytskyi, Alla Kovbasiuk and Natalia Kulyk

Levchuk, N., Wolowyna, O., Rudnytskyi, O., Kovbasiuk, A., & Kulyk, N. (2020). Regional 1932–1933 Famine Losses: A Comparative Analysis of Ukraine and Russia. Nationalities Papers, 1-21. doi:10.1017/nps.2019.55


Though the 1932–1933 Famine affected both Ukraine (UkrSSR) and Russia (RSFSR), there is still no clear concept of the causes of the Famine and its scale. This study is undertaken to make a comparative assessment of the 1932–1934 direct losses within and between UkrSSR and RSFSR in order to answer the questions as to whether the major grain-producing areas of both republics suffered from the Famine to the same extent and whether the intensity of regional losses was determined exclusively by the grain specialization of the region. Our results show that the regions seriously affected by the Famine comprised a much larger proportion (in terms of territory and population) of UkrSSR than of the RSFSR. The highest excess deaths in UkrSSR are found in the regions that did not play a major role in grain procurement, while in the RSFSSR four grain-producing regions suffered the most. Our analysis suggests that (a) the link between Famine losses and grain procurement is not confirmed in Ukraine, but is partially confirmed in Russia, and (b) extremely high losses are mostly found in the regions where repression policies were much more severe than those introduced elsewhere and for which nationality may be a key factor.

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