Levin Professor of History at Yale. Author of "On Tyranny," with 20 new lessons on Ukraine, "Our Malady," "Road to Unfreedom," "Black Earth," and "Bloodlands"

Joined March 2015
1/20. Democracy is precious and exceptional.
807
12,373
4,879
30,676
Show this thread
Russia has a hunger plan. Vladimir Putin is preparing to starve much of the developing world as the next stage in his war in Europe. 1/16
1,855
18,306
2,359
49,951
In normal times, Ukraine is a leading exporter of foodstuffs. A Russian naval blockade now prevents Ukraine from exporting grain. 2/16
133
1,303
45
8,311
If the Russian blockade continues, tens of millions of tons of food will rot in silos, and tens of millions of people in Africa and Asia will starve. 3/16
124
1,697
69
8,445
The horror of Putin's hunger plan is so great that we have a hard time apprehending it. We also tend to forget how central food is to politics. Some historical examples can help. 4/16
55
1,539
37
9,090
The idea that controlling Ukrainian grain can change the world is not new. Both Stalin and Hitler wished to do so. 5/16
24
1,480
32
8,697
For Stalin, Ukraine's black earth was to be exploited to build an industrial economy for the USSR. In fact, collectivized agriculture killed about four million Ukrainians. 6/16
37
1,077
15
7,478
Notably, as people began to die in large numbers, Stalin blamed the Ukrainians themselves. Soviet propaganda called those who drew attention to the famine "Nazis." 7/16
22
1,148
19
7,547
Actual Nazis had related ideas. They liked the idea of controlling Ukrainian agriculture. This was in fact Hitler's central war aim. 8/16
23
975
16
6,881
Hitler wished to redirect Ukrainian grain from the Soviet Union to Germany, in the hope of starving millions of Soviet citizens. 9/16
11
916
7
6,540
The Second World War was fought for Ukraine and in considerable measure in Ukraine, between dictators who wanted to control food supplies. 10/16
36
1,210
39
7,233
Russian memory politics prepared the way for a 21st-century hunger plan. Russians are told that Stalin's famine was an accident and that Ukrainians are Nazis. This makes theft and blockade seem acceptable. 11/16
16
1,017
12
6,644
Putin's hunger plan is, I believe, meant to work on three levels. First, it is part of a larger attempt to destroy the Ukrainian state, by cutting off its exports. 12/16
19
1,120
14
6,820
Putin's hunger plan is also meant to generate refugees from North Africa and the Middle East, areas usually fed by Ukraine. This would generate instability in the EU. 13/16
50
1,503
67
7,576
Finally, and most horribly, a world famine is a necessary backdrop for a Russian propaganda campaign against Ukraine. Actual mass death is needed as the backdrop for a propaganda contest. 14/16
23
1,238
21
7,081
When the food riots begin, and as starvation spreads, Russian propaganda will blame Ukraine, and call for Russia's territorial gains in Ukraine to be recognized, and for all sanctions to be lifted. 15/16
64
1,538
48
7,836
Russia is planning to starve Asians and Africans in order to win its war in Europe. This is a new level of colonialism, and the latest chapter of hunger politics. 16/16
589
3,907
270
14,470
Today, at 7pm CET, 1pm ET, please join me in conversation with @harari_yuval on "The Last Forty Years and the Next Forty: Eastern Europe, Europe, the World"
Join our online discussion on Thursday at 7pm CET with @harari_yuval and @TimothyDSnyder on the lessons we should take from the past four decades and what will determine the course of the years to come. iwm.at/event/the-last-forty-… #IWM40
8
59
3
237