May 15-31, 1934
On May 17, Svoboda reported on a news item published by Pravda in Moscow. According to the Communist paper, renovations in Kiev were progressing to prepare the city for its new role as the capital of the Ukrainian SSR. Pravda reported that 50 million rubles were allotted for the building of new homes for the members of the government.
In the May 18 issue of Svoboda, the headline read: “Kiev Ukrainianizes!” It was a sarcastic headline, referring to the fact that a radio report on the Kiev May 1 parade was done in Russian. In previous years, it was always reported in the Ukrainian language.
Soviet sources revealed that the KGB had kept active files on various government officials in Kiev and found them to be guilty of extortion, Svoboda reported on May 22. It had received new reports from Moscow which pointed out that many of the officials in Kiev and other cities in Ukraine were labeled “enemies of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.” Many were arrested and charged with “embezzlement, profiteering and infringement of socialist discipline.”
Svoboda also reported that government officials in Moscow did not take these arrests lightly; they believed that the charges also included some kind of politically oriented activities.
The headline in the May 24 issue of Svoboda read: “Purges, Executions, Strikes and Rebellions in Soviet Ukraine.” The article, released by the Ukrainian Press Bureau in Berlin, stated that many sailors had been arrested and sent into exile, because supposedly one segment of the Black Sea Fleet rebelled against Moscow.
That same day a short article by a Katherine S. Kedrovsky was printed in Svoboda. It appeared in the English language. The text appears below.
“The civilized world lately seemed inclined to accept the state of affairs as it exists in Eastern Europe, even the tragic fate of the Ukrainians, whose sufferings under the Soviet cruel misrule far exceed those suffered under the tsars.
“One of the latest outrages in the system of Soviet misrule of Ukraine is their taking advantage of the famine for the purpose of punishing the people of Ukraine for their stubborn refusal to accept the yoke of Bolshevism. Reports from various sources tell of millions of lives lost, of suffering undescribable. It seems that only government officials escape the calamity. Cannibalism was reported in the districts of Ukraine and Caucasus. But all this seems of little importance for the Bolshevik government. The reports are flatly denied. The lives of millions are of little importance for the Russians in Moscow seized with a desire to destroy a class of people.
“Ukrainian organizations have been planning to raise money for those who are still alive and suffering the agonies of famine. Various reports indicate that the current year might not be better than the past year. The demand for aid is still great.
“This worthy cause deserves the attention of every Ukrainian. We must arouse the press from its silence. The whole world should be made to know of the inhumane treatment of the Ukrainian population by the Soviet government. The Soviets should be compelled to admit the situation publicly, to change their present policy and to provide immediate relief to preserve millions from perishing.”
On May 25, Svoboda reported that Pravda had printed a news item stating that Ukraine had to supply the Soviet Union with an unbelievably high amount of meat. The Moscow correspondent for Pravda reported that this was sabotage.
On May 26, the Ukrainian Press Bureau in Geneva printed a short article in Svoboda about the fact that there would not be a place in the League of Nations for the Soviet Union, because the Soviet Union is a nation which has no moral or religious scruples.
That same day Svoboda printed a news item datelined Kiev which stated that out of 14 Ukrainian parishes in Kiev, only three remained; 11 had been destroyed.
News reports from Moscow, printed in Svoboda on May 28, revealed that arrests in Ukraine continued. Most of the arrested officials were charged with profiteering.
On May 29, Svoboda reported on the manifestation in Paris held on behalf of starving Ukrainians.
On May 31, Svoboda reported that William Bullit, the first U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, was scheduled to tour Ukraine, stopping at all major centers. Svoboda reported that such an extensive tour of Ukraine had never been taken by a foreign official.
In the May 25 issue of The Ukrainian Weekly, an article appeared on the front page which spoke of the uprisings in Ukraine. Excerpts from the text appear below.
“A sure indication that the Soviets have not such a tight hold upon Ukraine and the Ukrainian people as they would have the world believe, or as some pessimistic Ukrainians may believe, is borne out by the many newspaper reports recurrently appearing in leading American press concerning the never-ceasing and futile efforts of the Communist authorities in the USSR to cleanse their beloved Communist Party of undesirable, counter-revolutionary elements, i.e. – Ukrainians who somehow have managed to get into the party and who are seeking with all the means at their command to help overthrow communism in Ukraine, free the Ukrainian people of Moscow’s blighting rule, and establish a free state of Ukraine. …
“Every so often the Communist authorities announce that they have ferreted out in the party certain Ukrainian ‘counter-revolutionaries,’ as they call them. A ‘cleansing’ follows. A grandiloquent announcement appears that the culprits have been discovered and shot. The party is safe once more. The Bolsheviks breathe a sigh of relief, for no one knows to what lengths these pestiferous Ukrainians may go to hinder Soviet progress.
“Suddenly, out of clear sky, some more Ukrainians are found in the innermost precincts of the party. A hurried breathless cleansing again. The harassed OGPU officials, fearful lest they lose their well-paying jobs, conduct an ‘investigation.’ If they had the culprits – good. If they do not find any – just as good; for they seize some innocent person whose father perhaps owned a couple of cows (and who, therefore, was a kulak), accuse him of counterrevolutionary activities, ‘frame’ him, and shoot him. Then they go back once more to their snooping around, a la Sherlock Holmes. Once more their efficiency has been proven!
“This goes on and on since the very days of the establishment of the Bolshevik misrule in Ukraine, and increases in intensity with the passage of time.
“And the same thing applies to the Ukrainian peasantry revolts. They are continually recurring, and continually crushed or liquidated by the OGPU troops, as the Bolshevik press reports.
“All of these recurring revolts and discoveries of active Ukrainians within the ranks a Communist Party is, without a doubt, a matter of worry for Stalin and his henchmen. Particularly so since in spite of all Bolshevik propaganda and strict censorship to the contrary these ever-recurring acts are beginning to awaken the world to the fact that Soviet Russia is nothing else but a seething ferment of alien nationalities, which at any moment may break out and change the map of Eastern Europe to surprising degree, with Ukraine occupying there a very prominent place.”
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Around the world:
The Soviet Union was finally admitted into the League of Nations.
The new Fascist government in Sofia split Macedonia into two territories, belonging to Bulgaria and Yugoslavia. Kimon Georgiev became premier with the help of the army, which ended constitutional government.