Skip to content
Edit post

Interior Ministry discloses archived files on Holodomor cannibalism cases

by Martin Fornusek November 25, 2023 11:51 PM 2 min read
The memorial commemorating the victims of the Holodomor, a man-made famine engineeered by the Soviet Union (1932-1933) that killed millions of Ukrainians, despite the snow in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Nov. 27, 2022. (Andre Luis Alves/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Ukraine's Interior Ministry published on Nov. 25 documentation on individual cannibalism cases investigated during the Holodomor in 1932-33, illustrating the suffering wrought by the man-made famine.

The ministry's archive contains files of 1,022 criminal cases opened by the Soviet police in connection to cannibalism during the time of Holodomor.

The evidence is now being made public through the "Real History" project on the Holodomor Memorial Day, 90 years after the famine.

"I would very much like for the materials made public today to give impetus to serious historical, legal, and other scientific research," said Interior Ministry's State Secretary Inna Yashchuk.

"This is an important layer for the research of physiologists and psychiatrists... People who resorted to cannibalism are victims of the Holodomor," she emphasized.

Some 3.5 to 5 million people died in Ukraine as a result of the man-made famine that took place during dictator Joseph Stalin's rule. Historical evidence shows that acute hunger drove some people to cannibalism.

Based on archival documentation, criminal cases related to cannibalism were heavily politicized and falsified, the ministry noted.

Soviet investigators did not take into account the artificial causes that drove people toward cannibalism and almost never carried out psychological examinations. Cannibalism suspects were regularly sentenced on murder charges, the documents show.

Documents also show that Soviet repressions focused on people of "wrong" class background or those unwilling to join collective farms.

The absolute majority of the sentenced were sent to labor camps run by the Soviet secret police (NKVD), while only a small number were referred to psychiatric treatment, the documents show.

"It is important that the Interior Ministry was able to preserve these historical documents. Each family has its own story of the Holodomor when five or even 10 children died," Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko commented.

The Ukrainian government has called on the international community to recognize the Holodomor as a genocide. Around 30 countries have taken this step so far.

Holodomor: Soviet Union’s man-made famine in Ukraine
Editor’s Note: This article contains graphic photos and descriptions. The Holodomor, which means “murder by starvation” in Ukrainian, is widely considered to be one of Ukraine’s most devastating national tragedies. A man-made famine brought on by the agricultural collectivization policies and acti…
Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.
Freedom can be costly. Both Ukraine and its journalists are paying a high price for their independence. Support independent journalism in its darkest hour. Support us for as little as $1, and it only takes a minute.
visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

5:45 PM

Zelensky: 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers killed in Russia's war.

Around 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed by Russia's war, President Volodymyr Zelensky said at the "Ukraine. Year 2024" forum in Kyiv on Feb. 25. "Each person is a very big loss for us. 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers died in this war," the president said. "It is very painful for us."
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
10:52 AM

Trump wins South Carolina primary.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump won South Carolina's primary, where Republicans voted for their preferred presidential candidate, results showed on Feb. 25.
2:42 AM

US philanthropist pledges $300 million for Ukraine in 2024.

The Howard G. Buffett Foundation has already donated over $500 million in humanitarian assistance to Ukraine since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion. The combined funds exceed the humanitarian aid contributions of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Canada.
9:13 PM

UK will boost humanitarian aid to Ukraine by over $10 million.

"Ukrainians are bravely defending their land against Russia’s brutal invasion, but the past two years of war have had a tragic impact on millions of people across Ukraine. Families have been separated, towns and villages decimated, and vital civilian infrastructure destroyed," said U.K. Foreign Secretary David Cameron in a written statement.
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.