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This webpage reproduces a chapter of

Stalinist Rule in the Ukraine
by Hryhory Kostiuk

published in the U. S. A. by
Frederick A. Praeger, Inc.
New York

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
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Part I
Chapter 1

 p. xi  Preface

The present study was completed before the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party in 1956, that is, before the sensational secret speech by Nikita Khrushchev delivered at that Congress. The object of the study was to survey only one decade of the Stalinist regime (1929‑39) in the Ukraine. The documentary material published by the Twentieth Congress, Khrushchev's revelations on February 24 and 25 of 1956, and the ensuing internal tensions within the Soviet orbit have confirmed that the crimes of Stalin and the Stalinists are a festering and mortal wound of the Communist dictator­ship.

It was hoped that the present work would, for the first time, bring together all the available evidence relating to Stalin's policy in the Ukraine and would help to clarify the general panorama of that era, the motives for and the results of the reign of terror. At no time during the writing of this text did the author hope that the next Party Congress and the First Secretary of the Communist Party would, under the pressure of circumstances, make revelations which bear out some of the conclusions of this study.

Any reader, however, will perceive at once the difference in treatment of the Stalinist regime as offered by the author and by Khrushchev. The latter, in his secret speech, only slightly lifted the veil which shrouds Stalin's era. Our study attempts to go further and present all available evidence, both documentary and historical.

Khrushchev attributes Stalin's crimes to his "evil" character. The present author, while giving Stalin his due, attempts to explore how far such characters as his were conditioned by the Soviet system. Hence the analysis embraces not only Stalin but also his lieutenants, above all Khrushchev, to whom two chapters of the work are devoted.

The reader will find on the ensuing pages the names of hundreds of persons who were the victims of Stalinism. They range from Ukrainian Hetmanites (Monarchists) to Communists. All were swept by the same hand into the same pit.

Today some of these persons have been "rehabilitated." So far, the "rehabilitation" has been timid and rather surreptitious. The present Soviet rulers, forced by historical factors to make such reinstatements, thereby admitted Stalin's crimes, since they were unable to conceal them any longer. They have tried desperately to remove from themselves all suspicion of complicity in these crimes. Only time will tell if they will succeed in this. In the opinion of this author they are accomplices, and no amount of "rehabilitation" will make them less guilty. It is for this reason that the recent "rehabilitations," although reported wherever possible in this study, are not regarded as significant. They do not, in any way, affect the historical analysis of the decade.

Most studies of Stalinism which have appeared up to now have dealt with the Moscow trials in the Russian Soviet Republic. But terror and oppression had been organized by Stalin and the Stalinists much earlier in other Union Republics, especially in the Ukraine where 1930 marked the beginning. It is hoped that the present study, devoted to the Ukraine with its own specific history and unique, unforgettable significance for the historian and the sociologist, will contribute to an understanding of the period in all its aspects. Without claiming to be definitive, it is hoped that a necessary corrective to the one‑sided and biased work produced under Soviet circumstances has been supplied and that a modest beginning to further research in this field has been made.

Hryhory Kostiuk

New York, N. Y.

 p. xiii  Acknowledgments

It is with great pleasure that the author expresses his deep gratitude to Dr. Merle Fainsod of Harvard University, Dr. John S. Reshetar, Jr., of the University of Washington, Prof. Iwan Majstrenko and Prof. Peter P. Kurinny in Munich, Germany, Prof. O. P. Ohloblin and Dr. Jurij Lawrynenko of the Ukrainian Free Academy in the United States, Dr. George S. N. Luckyj of the University of Toronto, Prof. Anthony Adamovich of the Belorussian Institute of Arts and Sciences in the United States, and Mr. V. S. Holubnychy of Columbia University, whose reading of the manuscript, valuable criticism, advice, and comments have been of inestimable help in the preparation and the publication of this book. The author is also grateful to the members of the Free Ukrainian Academy's Commission for the Study of the Post-Revolutionary Ukraine and the USSR for their valuable study and discussion of individual parts of the manuscript.

He extends his special thanks to Dr. Philip E. Mosely and to Dr. Alexander Dallin, former Director and Associate Director, respectively, of the Research Program on the USSR, who first made possible the collection and analysis of the materials on which this study is based.

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Page updated: 27 Jan 23