Describe the policies that the Soviet Union implemented in Ukraine in the 1929–33 time period.
Between 1929 and 1933, the Soviet Union implemented the dual policies of "collectivization" and "dekulakization" to erode the power of wealthy landowners, which he saw as a threat to his authority. These policies, respectively, consolidated private farms into state-run collectives and punished all political dissent. The ultimate result was starvation, disease, and mass executions that lead to millions of deaths.
Ukraine had been a constituent republic of the USSR under the leadership of Communist dictator Joseph Stalin, with several quasi-government factions competing for power, including Ukrainian nationalists who wanted independence from the Soviets.
Between late 1928 and 1933, Stalin implemented harsh agricultural and political policies that decimated Ukraine's economy, eradicated private land ownership, and resulted in millions of deaths, all under the guise of protecting the working class. These policies, called "collectivization" and "dekulakization," respectively, worked hand in hand to establish a system of Soviet control over everything from production output to political dissent.
"Collectivization" was the forced consolidation of private farms and farm labor into collective, state-run farms known as kolkhozes. While less than 6% of farms had been collectivized before 1929, that number more than sextupled to 38% by the middle of 1933, leading to mass revolts. The goal of collectivization was to allegedly resolve problems with grain production, but instead it worsened it and resulted in the "Holodomor," a famine that decimated the Ukrainian countryside between 1932 and 1933, resulting in as many as 10 million deaths.
"Dekulakization" was the campaign of political and social repression that gave collectivization its teeth. This involved arresting, deporting, torturing, and murdering millions of kulaks—successful peasant farmers who owned more than eight acres of land—as a way to make sure they complied with Soviet policies. Stalin saw the kulaks as an obstacle to total state control of the agricultural industry and a threat to his power. As such, he labeled policy violators as counter-revolutionaries and enemies of the working class in order to incite antagonism to kulak resistance from Soviet loyalists living in Ukraine.
check Approved by eNotes Editorial