Upcoming talk at the University of Toronto on 1/12: "Borderness and Famine: Why did Fewer People Die in Soviet Ukraine’s Western Border Districts During the Holodomor, 1932-34?"

Andrey Shlyakhter's picture

Dear Colleagues,

You are cordially invited to attend my upcoming talk at the University of Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 3:00-4:30 EST:


Summary: While the Holodomor affected all of Soviet Ukraine, not all regions suffered equally. Drawing on archives in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, as well as witness testimonies and GIS mapping, my research demonstrates that the Soviet leadership’s relative sensitivity to the welfare of the population along Soviet Ukraine’s western frontier led the authorities to reduce the border districts’ grain procurement quotas and to prioritize them in rendering food aid – benefits that came at the expense of the republic’s rear areas. Combined with the smuggling of foodstuffs from Poland, such privileging led to markedly higher survival rates among the inhabitants of Soviet Ukraine’s “border belt,” a specially-privileged and specially-policed band of territory running along the Soviet perimeter from Finland to the Far East. These findings shed new light on the role of the Kremlin and the OGPU political police in the Holodomor; popular survival strategies and their effect on policy decisions; the impact of foreign threat; and the spatial logic of Stalinism.

To register for this event, click here




Andrey Shlyakhter

Visiting Scholar, Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine

Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies

Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy

University of Toronto