The period of Ukrainian history from 1931-1934 is now known as Holodomor, from the Ukrainian words for hunger and death. It was one of the worst death tolls from starvation in the 20th century and was entirely man-caused. Nearly four million Ukrainians died during the famine, believed to be 13 percent of the entire Ukrainian population at the time (Britannica History).
What caused the terrible suffering endured by the Ukrainian people during this period was not drought or some other act of nature. Instead, it was a systematic undertaking on the part of then-Soviet leader Joseph Stalin’s communist regime. His aim was to collectivize agriculture in Ukraine, while also breaking the back of Ukrainian resistance to Soviet rule. By 1929, the collectivization of Ukrainian agriculture was well underway as ordered by Stalin. Family farms, which had enabled the region to be highly productive and known as the breadbasket of Europe, were taken by force from traditional Ukrainian farming families. Thousands of the larger land owners were shipped off to Siberia to work in camps, while peasant farmers were relocated to state-owned agricultural operations against their will. The land was reorganized into large “collective farms” which quickly proved to be unable to operate efficiently—food production fell to almost nothing.
Resistance to these Soviet policies was rampant all throughout Ukraine, so Stalin decided to cordon off the area, take all food to other areas of Russia, and let the Ukrainians starve, intending to starve the population into submission. Collective farming then proved a massive failure resulting in additional men, women and children being starved to death. The dead were thrown in mass graves and there is evidence that desperate Ukrainians turned to cannibalism and eating their own pets and farm animals (per history.com). Lawlessness spread all throughout Ukraine, which included robberies and lynchings, among other crimes. Although urban Ukrainians were allowed ration cards, they hardly fared better than those trapped in the countryside.
Jesus Christ foretold that in the days just prior to His return to earth there would be famines (Luke 21:11). Famines recorded in the Bible, such as in the time of Joseph, Elijah and Paul, were caused by dry weather—not enough rain. Famines in recent centuries were mostly government-caused, such as The Great Chinese Famine of 1959-61, officially listed as taking the lives of 15 million citizens, but according to worldatlas.com, experts agree that the death toll was significantly higher, with numbers ranging anywhere from 20 to 50 million deaths.
Other man-caused famines include the Russian Famine of 1921 (five million dead), The Bengal Famine of 1943 (two to three million dead), the North Korean Famine of 1994-1998 (three to five million dead) and the Cambodian famine of 1970-1979 which resulted in over two million deaths. During the past 50 years man-caused famines in Somalia, Nigeria, Sudan, Yemen and other African nations have resulted in many additional deaths, but official death toll numbers are difficult to obtain.
More planned famine?
Could it be possible that governments will once again cause famines in order to subdue people? The government of The Netherlands has been making an effort since 2020 to shut down farms in that nation. One in three Dutch farms may need to close as a result of their program to cut nitrogen emissions—which may or may not be damaging the environment or causing any change in climate—in half by 2030. Dutch farmers have become very efficient. They produce high quantities of dairy and meat with low inputs of energy, feed and fertilizer. The Netherlands is the world’s second-largest exporter of agricultural goods, after the United States. If one third of this production is removed the result will be shortages and higher prices in Europe.
On the day after Earth Day, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry said on MSNBC's Inside with Jen Psaki that farmers can expect to see their “crops ripped away” or “their homes destroyed” due to climate change. Mr. Kerry has made numerous predictions of dire consequences during the past 20 years—virtually all of which have proven false. However, he continues making them. Mr. Kerry was urging support for “Scope 3” emission and “Net-Zero” rules. The Biden administration proposed these in March 2022 to require public companies to include climate-related disclosures in their financial statements. The “Scope 3” emissions, would force companies to report indirect emissions from upstream and downstream activities in their supply chains.
Blogger Gabriella Hoffman responded: “The SEC scope 3 emissions rule will destroy family farms and ranches by deeming them unsavory for not complying with obtuse regulations and create food scarcity…and net zero is equally destructive.” In recent years some states, such as Oregon, have legislated on proposals to outlaw older diesel engines on farm equipment—a law that would almost put every small farm in the state out of business.
However, not to fear, in a similar way to 1929-1933, the large collective farms will take over! The largest farmland owners in the U.S.A.—such as billionaires Bill Gates, Ted Turner and other families, trusts and domestic and foreign corporations—are rapidly gobbling up what for many years were family farms. The once ubiquitous and productive family farm of under 1,000 acres is almost disappearing. Are we repeating, in slow motion, the disaster of the Ukraine of the 1930s?
We need to be alert and making preparation for the coming days of turmoil and persecution. What is the best way to prepare? Our Savior instructs us: “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him” (John 6:27).
Yes, we should prudently set aside food and supplies for when disaster strikes or food becomes scarce. This is common sense when planning for natural disasters or when we have a shortage of income. But, as Jesus instructs us, the ultimate freedom from future famine and disaster comes from being spiritually prepared, through the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ.