Talk:Droughts and famines in Russia and the Soviet Union

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Socialism (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Socialism, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of socialism on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Soviet Union (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Soviet Union, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Meteorology (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article related to droughts or wildfires is part of the Droughts and Fire Events sub-project of WikiProject Meteorology and Weather Events, an attempt to standardize and improve all articles related to weather or meteorology. You can help! Visit the project page or discuss an article at its talk page.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
 

Old talk[edit]

Someone should work in a link to Trofim Lysenko. Ccwelt 11:40, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Plant Rust[edit]

The comments on the 1932-3 famine leave out the root cause of the famine which Mark Tauger has established was rustic plant disease. This resulted in grain stalks growing without the expected quantity of grains and hence created an urban legend that the crop had been adequate but was somehow stolen. The comment blaming "confiscations" for the famine is meaningless. Of course one must confiscate grain to feed an urban populace. Famine occurs not because of grain confiscations per se, but because of the crop failure which causes a shortage of supply. The famine was then aggravated by the failure to properly understand its causes and the belief that crops had been stolen and hidden away by someone. But confiscations in themselves are unavoidable and can't be marked as a cause of famine. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 4.247.134.80 (talk) 13:15, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Can we get a little more detail on where he published the above that it might be read? Was it peer-reviewed? On a related note, minor treatment of examples of western powers engaging in similar confiscations would be welcome, but they continue to warrant coverage as they remain an integral and unavoidable part of the popular mythos surrounding these events. MrZaiustalk 15:51, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Much of Tauger's work is freely available online through his page at West Virginia University:

http://www.as.wvu.edu/history/Faculty/Tauger/soviet.htm

Particularly important are his pieces NATURAL DISASTER AND HUMAN ACTIONS IN THE SOVIET FAMINE OF 1931-1933, first published in THE CARL BECK PAPERS, #1506, and STATISTICAL FALSIFICATION IN THE SOVIET UNION: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF PROJECTIONS, BIASES, AND TRUST, first published in THE DONALD W. TREADGOLD PAPERS, #34. Both of these are available online and can be freely read by anyone. The first is primarily focused on detailing the root causes of the famine in natural disaster (as opposed to the Cold War claims of a "manmade famine") and the second dissects Soviet statistics from the archives to better estimate actual crop yield (as opposed to the figures published by Soviet authorities at the time which were clearly inflated, and subsequently invoked in the Cold War as "proof" that no real crop shortage occurred and hence the famine was "manmade"). Tauger has some other essays on the topic which don't appear on the WVU page, such as one in Frank Trentmann & Flemming Just, (eds.), FOOD AND CONFLICT IN EUROPE IN THE AGE OF THE TWO WORLD WARS. But much of his work can be read online. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.69.137.40 (talk) 11:54, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

3.8-4.5, not 5-10[edit]

Ukrainian demographers without a single pro-Stalin axe to grind have established that the total number of Ukrainian deaths in the famine of 1932-3 was about 2.5 million. One can add on at least another 1.3 million deaths in other regions, and possibly go up to 4.5 million in total. But the ten million number is way off and the 5 million is at best an extreme upper estimate, not a lower bound.

If those numbers are unsourced, feel free to strike them and replace them with something you can cite with sources that meet WP:RS. If they are cited with reliable sources (reliable in the non-fringe sense, not the agrees-with-everything-I-say sense), add your own numbers (when cited) in counterpoint. An expert's eye and stronger citations are, as always, most welcome. MrZaiustalk 15:51, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

The most detailed analysis of Ukrainian mortality appears in POPULATION STUDIES, Vol. 56, No. 3. (Nov., 2002), pp. 249-264, in the article by Jacques Vallin, France Mesle, Serguei Adamets, and Serhii Pyrozhkov, "A New Estimate of Ukrainian Population Losses." They place the number of Ukrainian deaths from the famine of 1932-3 at about 2.5 million, possibly less, possibly 2.2 million. Their work, which is based upon archives and comes from people who clearly have no ideological agenda, must take precedence over the "7 million" number which Cold Warriors like James Mace and Robert Conquest popularized. The latter authors are known for misusing photographs stolen from the 1920s and other propaganda tactics. The 7 million number was made up by Ukrainian groups in the west after World War II for political reasons, and can not claim the authority which the authors in the POPULATION STUDIES work can. Beyond Ukrainian deaths, there were others. Stephen Wheatcroft addresses some of this in "More Light on the Scale of Repression and Excess Mortality," which appears in Getty & Manning, (eds.), STALINIST TERROR: NEW PERSPECTIVES. Wheatcroft gives the scale of mortality in the 1932-3 famine as between 4 and 5 million. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.69.137.40 (talk) 12:36, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

New Title[edit]

Hello,

The current title seems to imply that Russia and the Soviet Union were one and the same.

I suggest that this article be either split into two: Droughts and famines in Russia, and Droughts and famines in the Soviet Union; or if there is not enough to warrant two separate articles, I suggest that "and the Soviet Union" be removed from the title.

Suggestions?

Thanks, Horlo (talk) 09:28, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Hello,

If there are no objections, I will move this article to Droughts and famines in Russia, and remove the sections after 1917. Thanks, Horlo (talk) 08:51, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

If by "remove" you mean "move," it wouldn't do much harm. Do not simply strike the sections, however. That said, I really don't think the change is warranted. It's a fairly natural move to make if the article grows to the point where a WP:SPLIT is necessary, but it's not anywhere near that long yet. I really don't see why you want to split this tiny little stub, given the close relationship between both the two governments and the weather patterns throughout the region. Major changes to the weather in any one of the former Soviet Republics are sure to be mirrored in neighboring chunks of Russia, and the Russian people were affected at least indirectly by droughts in any agricultural regions when the region was united under a single government. MrZaiustalk 04:46, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Hello, you have hit the nail on the head exactly with your statement "in neighbouring chunks of Russia". There are no neighbouring chunks of Russia, there are only Russia and other parts of the former Russian empire. Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus, and Ukraine are the European parts of the Russian empire which are not "chunks" of Russia - however, the title of this article as is implies that Russia and the soviet union were one and the same.
The point is the name - the title of the article should not imply any direct link between Russia and the soviet union, or rather that Russia = the ussr. Unfortunately, as the title stands, it does. Thanks, Horlo (talk) 08:37, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Do you have any suggestions besides splitting this article as to how to undo the "natural relationship between these two governments" in the title? Thanks, Horlo (talk) 09:54, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

It really is the most apt term - The CES doesn't incorporate a handful of affected states and Eastern Europe is overly broad. MrZaiustalk 00:37, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Well, leaving the title as is leaves the problem, also - again, Russia =\= the Soviet Union, and the soviet union =\= Russia. By the way, what is "CES"? Thanks, Horlo (talk) 09:47, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Noone has ever suggested that they were the same, but noting the government under which most of the listed and more internationally famous events happened under remains worthwhile. Would inserting "former" be enough to get this pushed aside? PS: The CES is the economic counterpart of the CIS. MrZaiustalk 23:23, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
Former soviet union - interesting suggestion. How about russian empire and soviet union? Horlo (talk) 08:41, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
Simpler is probably better, and lord knows there's sensitive nationalistic types a-plenty over there that would take umbrage at implicitly labeling modern Russia as imperial in the title, or in their satellite states who'd take umbrage at being seen as, well, satellite states. Just trimming it down to "Drought and famine in the former Soviet Union" is the least controversial and shortest acceptable title that I can think of. MrZaiustalk 14:15, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but the problem is that the article includes pre 1917 information as well. However, as there are no post 1991 famines or droughts in the article, I think it would be safe to assume that the Russia in question was imperial (pre revolution) Russia. Horlo (talk) 09:30, 17 September 2009 (UTC)