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How Stalin starved Ukraine

It was a man-made famine that Russia continues to cover up to this day.

Ranjani Chakraborty is a lead video producer on the Vox video team and the creator behind Vox’s history series, Missing Chapter.

In Ukraine, it’s become known as “the Holodomor,” meaning “death by starvation.” It was a campaign many now regard as genocide, carried out by a dictator who wanted to keep Ukraine under his control and who would do anything to keep it covered up for decades.

In the 1930s, Soviet leaders under Joseph Stalin engineered a famine that killed millions as they sought to consolidate agricultural power. In Ukraine, they used additional force as they sought to clamp down on a burgeoning Ukrainian national identity. There, at least 4 million died. As hunger spread among residents, Stalin spearheaded a disinformation campaign to hide the truth from other Soviet citizens and the world. So many Ukrainians died that officials had to send people to resettle the area, setting off demographic shifts that last to this day.

This video is part of our broader reporting on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This video is also part of Missing Chapter, our award-winning series now on its third season.

And you can find this video and all of Vox’s videos on YouTube.