Let's first consider one of the most famous propaganda phrases of Stalin’s era: “Thank you, Comrade Stalin, for my Happy Childhood!” It is known to every Russian as a bitterly ironic memory of Soviet propaganda.
"Golodmor" -- Ukrainian Famine 1932 - 1933
Now let's take a train to Kiev. Stalin's legacy encompasses all of the former Soviet Union. In 1932 - 33, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and southern Russia suffered a major famine, caused by collectivization of agricultural lands and unfavorable weather. Mis-allocation of food by Soviet authorities and prohibition of travel worsened the problem. Recent estimates are that between 2.5 and 7 million Ukrainians died in the famine. Today, it is impossible to accurately understand what really occurred. Many records were lost or destroyed, and much of the analysis is based on inference from census surveys before and after the event.
Golodmor has become a theme of Ukrainian nationalism. Both Ukrainian and western historical work are thought to be influenced by political goals. But the fact that famine occurred is without question.
In Kiev, you can see three major monuments to the famine. Perhaps the most touching is dedicated to children who died in the famine. It is the thin statue of a young girl, shown in the photo below. The waif is constantly surrounded by gifts of apples and flowers given daily by passersby...about eighty years too late.
"In this earth lie thousands of victims of political terror of the years 1930 to 1950. To them, eternal memory!”