Timeline for the Ukrainian Genocide

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Ukraine and the Soviet Union

  • 1891 First Ukrainian settlers come to the Canadian West: Ukrainian immigrants arrive in Canada from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
  • 1900 Ukrainian lands and people are divided between the Austro-Hungarian and Russian Empires prior to World War 1. The majority of Ukrainians lived under the Russian Empire.
  • 1914 Canada enters WW1 as part of the British Empire (Entente). Internment of 5000 Ukrainians (Galicians, Ruthenians) from the Austro-Hungarian Empire in Canada. Ukrainians find themselves in the Russian army fighting against Ukrainians in the Austro-Hungarian army.
  • 1915-1916 The Armenian Genocide inside the Turkish Empire.
  • 1917 March The Russian Revolution and the breakup of the Russian Empire. Ukraine sets up a Temporary Government the Central Rada, separate from Russia.
  • 1917 Nov. 7 The Bolshevik Takeover in Petrograd, Russia.
  • 1918 Jan. 22 Ukraine declares Independence as the Ukrainian National Republic.
  • 1918-1920 Ukraine attempts to establish and remain an independent state (The Hetmanate and the Ukrainian National Republic), while fighting the Red Army (Bolsheviks/Communists), the White Army (Russian Monarchists) the Poles and the Rumanians on Ukrainian soil. In March 1918 the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, ends the war on the Eastern front with Germany. Signed by the Central Rada of Ukraine as a separate country, Leon Trotsky for the Bolshevik Government of Russia, acknowledged Ukrainian territorial integrity as a separate country.
  • 1919 Ukraine is left out at the hearings on self-determination of nations at the Treaty of Versailles. Ukraine is not accepted as a separate country at the peace talks.
  • 1918-1921 Civil War rages throughout the former Russian Empire, and on the territory of Ukraine as both the Red and White armies clash with each other and with Ukrainians.
  • 1920 The Bolsheviks gain control of Ukraine with the aid of the Red Army. Ukrainian politicians go into exile.
  • 1921-1922 Famine rages in Ukraine as 1 500 000 Ukrainians starve to death in the first Famine. Food is confiscated and taken out of Ukraine to feed Russian cities.
  • 1921 The New Economic Policy (NEP) is brought in by the Russian Bolsheviks to rebuild the economy. It allowed for small farm holding, permitting Ukrainian farmers to continue farming their private land plots and running small business in Soviet controlled Ukraine.
  • 1922 Ukraine is formally incorporated into the Soviet Union as a republic with Kharkiv, in Eastern Ukraine, as the new capital.
  • 1924 Lenin dies as power struggle for control results between Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin.
  • 1925 Ukrainization Policy is brought in as part of the indigenization policy of the USSR. This was done to appease the nationalistic Ukrainian population and its demands and encourage Ukrainians to join the Russian Communist Party. A cultural renaissance arises, as Ukrainian artists, writers, film directors embrace the call and continue developing an indigenous Ukrainian culture. The Ukrainian language is encouraged and flourishes in schools and government offices. As a result, some Ukrainian intellectuals join the Communist Party of Ukraine.
  • 1928 Stalin takes complete control of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party, introduces the First Five Year Plan (1928-1933) with Collectivization and Industrialization as the goals.
  • 1929 The Russians/Soviets launch an attack on the Ukrainian national elites – potential leaders of resistance: Arrest of 700 members and show trial of a fictitious SVU (Union for the Liberation of Ukraine Organization) accused of wanting an independent Ukraine with links to the farmers and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church which are destroyed.
  • 1930 The Ukrainian Autocephalous (autonomous from the Moscow Patriarch) Orthodox Church is liquidated and leaders are imprisoned or executed.
  • 1929-1930 De-kulakization: Over 500 000 farmers and families in Ukraine are sent to Siberia, are executed, or sent to concentration camps. Property of “rich farmers” is confiscated and transferred to collective farms. Uprisings against the government. One half of them in Ukraine.
  • 1932 Stalin prepares for the Genocidal Famine by setting unrealistic grain procurements for Ukraine. Famine in Ukraine. 40% of harvest in Ukraine to be handed over to the government. Little is left for the farmers. Farmers live off their depleted reserves and small plots and farm animals. Ukrainian farmers flee to cities, to Russia and Belarus in search of food. August 7, 1932 “kolhosp property decree”: death penalty for stealing grain in the field. Unproductive villages in Ukraine (over 1/3) and the Kuban are deprived of manufactured goods and food stuffs – they are blacklisted. Villages are cordoned off by troops and left to starve.
  • 1932 April 23 the Communist Party liquidates all non-government literary organizations in Ukraine.
  • 1933 Widespread starvation in Ukraine, the Kuban and the Caucasus. Dec. 14, 1932 Secret decree blames Ukrainization, national tendencies, for grain problems. The Ukrainian language is forbidden in the Russian republic. In Ukraine, the Ukrainian leadership is purged, gradually replaced by non-Ukrainians and Russification is brought in. January 22nd, 1933, a Secret directive is sent to Kharkiv to close the border of Ukraine and Kuban from the rest of the USSR, to prevent starving farmers from searching for food. In 6 weeks, 220 000 are arrested, many shot or sent to the gulag, 85% were sent home to starve. The Red Cross and Cardinal Innitzer demand permission to-send famine relief; Moscow denies famine and rejects relief.
  • June-July 1933 At the height of the Famine, 28,000 Ukrainians die per day.
  • 1933 Hitler comes to power in Germany. United States recognizes the USSR as a legitimate government.
  • 1934 The USSR is invited to join the League of Nations ignoring the Genocide in Ukraine.


[Excerpt From Kuryliw, Valentina. Holodomor in Ukraine, The Genocidal Famine 1932-33: Learning Materials for Teachers and Students]