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  • Blood Lands Rising! — A Music Video Tour of Modern Ukrainian National Identity

    Posted by Trent Telenko on July 1st, 2019 (All posts by )

    Back in January 2015 I wrote the column “Ukraine’s Viking Revival” on the shape of the emerging Ukrainian Nationalism caused by the Putin regime’s invasions of Crimea and the Donbas. It is a phenomena that will be seen in coming decades as one of the formative event of the 21st Century.

    See here:

    Ukraine’s Viking Revival
    https://chicagoboyz.net/archives/47214.html

    Ukraine's Viking Revival

    Ukraine’s “Viking Revival” complete with top knots, war cats and Tartar warriors.

    For reasons best known to my writing muse, I revisited it Sunday for the lyrics and video of “100 BIYTSIV.” (100 Warriors)

    Translated to English Lyrics:

    Flowing / like blood from a blade
    across the steppe / in a fine line:
    left-handed battle / and the right fight,
    death awaits / in the distant blue
    .
    We go – one family
    one hundred warriors and I.
    And day by day, over again,
    One hundred warriors and one order.
    .
    Day by day, who knows where
    orders take us – and the hundred go.
    .
    Through the fire / and bullets flying
    through coal / and through granite
    .
    We go – one family
    one hundred warriors and I.
    And every day, over and over again,
    One hundred warriors and one order.
    .
    With every turn / and crossroads
    every fork in the road / so far
    So far / your beloved is
    waiting back home / you with her
    .
    By chance / yesterday our destiny
    fell upon us / today,
    and tomorrow who knows / what will come …
    For the Fatherland / I give my life …
    .
    Tomorrow I, then you
    Who knows how, and when we go
    to battle we arm ourselves, death to the enemy!
    No rest for my feet …
    .
    We go – one family
    one hundred warriors and I.
    And day by day, over again,
    One hundred warriors and one order.
    .
    My love, do listen, and do not cry!
    He did not die / for our homeland!
    Let the enemy die / for our Donbass,
    A long road / awaits us.
    .
    We go – one family
    one hundred warriors and I.
    And day by day, over again,
    One hundred warriors and one order.

    All of which were set to to the tune of SSgt Barry Sadler’sThe Ballad of the Green Berets.”

    I ran down and updated the video link address in my old post:

    …and from there spent time looking across the latest music video markers of Ukrainian Nationalism.

    There is quite a bit with really good production values and story telling. Some are from the ATO & Right Sector, but many other artists are now drawing upon these same Viking/Vanagarian/Tartar national symbols, complete with sword dancing and shield maidens,  to forge a unique Ukrainian National Identity apart from Russia.

    The “Blood Lands” of Ukraine are rising. And the peoples of Ukraine are remaking themselves into a new, wild, Viking ethnic nationalist image, drawing on their past heritage, and their new hatreds, with all that entails.

    Proud to be Ukrainian

    Proud to be Ukrainian — This video starts with children in fields and flashes to Ukraine’s struggles in the past and with Putin’s Regime.

    Я – українець і кажу це гордо! / Proud to be Ukrainian
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sb_gjqCf5lU&list=RDn8wLN79Ii5Q&index=29

     

    Ukrainian Army Anthem

    Ukrainian Army Anthem — This anthem is a repackaging of the OUN Anthem.   The 1929 “March of Ukrainian Nationalists”,  which is now the basis of the revised and rearranged “Mарш Hової Aрмії [March of the New Army]” Wikipedia has the English lyrics.  Putin era Russians hate this song immensely.

    Ukrainian Army Anthem
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgdANpB9PnY
    .
    .
    .
    Марш нової української армії

    Марш нової української армії – This has the same Ukrainian Army Anthem set to the visuals of the 2018 Ukraine military parade celebrating the centennial of the brief 1918 Ukraine National Republic. Ukraine‘s first independent state since it was dismembered after the Battle of Poltava in 1709.  That Republic was conquered and incorporated into the Russian dominated Soviet Union.  The men above wears the uniforms of that Republic.

    Марш нової української армії

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nc1TwvbJSKA

     

    Новий марш української армії від Олега Скрипки

    Новий марш української армії від Олега Скрипки ––  This clip is from the video taken during the March 2017 introduction of the Ukrainian Army Anthem.

    Новий марш української армії від Олега Скрипки

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfgVmSv7mlU

     

     

    The March of Ukrainian Nationalists (1929; 1932) sung by Zoŕana

    The March of Ukrainian Nationalists (1929; 1932) sung by Zoŕana — This song’s 1929 lyrics were re-purposed in 2018 for the army of modern Ukraine.  This was done both as a celebration of Ukrainian historic identity and because it jabbed the Putin Regime and it’s “Vatnik” supporters right in the eye

    The March of Ukrainian Nationalists (1929, 1932) sung by Zoŕana

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1R7MTG-rGCo

     

     

    Tin Sonzya - Mech Areya\Тінь Сонця - Меч Арея

    Tin Sonzya – Mech Areya\Тінь Сонця – Меч Арея — This music video is the most complete historical story telling of the Viking/Vanagarian/Tartar martial traditions of Ukraine in music video for you will find…complete with sword dancing, shield maidens plus a cavalry charge by and the retreat of Polish Winged Hussars!

    Tin Sonzya – Mech Areya\Тінь Сонця – Меч Арея
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtKaXc_AEF8&list=RDn8wLN79Ii5Q&index=31

     

     

    Ой, у лузі червона калина..., гурт Гайдамаки та Тоня Матвієнко

    Ой, у лузі червона калина…, гурт Гайдамаки та Тоня Матвієнко –This is a video telling the story of Ukrainian Nationalists in the Gulag of Stalin’s NKVD Secret Police.

    Ой, у лузі червона калина…, гурт Гайдамаки та Тоня Матвієнко

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KFmijE0Ikw

     

     

    Я - повстанець! Пісні АТО для патріотів України

    Я – повстанець! Пісні АТО для патріотів України – This is one of the ATO’s propaganda videos with Ukrainian religious and historic iconography.

    Я – повстанець! Пісні АТО для патріотів України

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GY-2QL96ZlI&list=RDn8wLN79Ii5Q&index=19

     

     

    Марина Тимофійчук – «Герої повертаються додому»

    Марина Тимофійчук – «Герої повертаються додому» –  This video with a female singer shows a Ukrainian forces patrol in Donbas, shots of the troops paying respect to fallen comrades and a grateful Ukrainian population celebrating their safe return with lots of kids, family and an scene of an accepted marriage proposal.

    Марина Тимофійчук – «Герої повертаються додому»
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAtAVbE5S7U&list=RDn8wLN79Ii5Q&index=32

     

     

    Riffmaster - song of the Ukrainian Spetsnaz.

    Riffmaster – song of the Ukrainian Spetsnaz —  Ukrainian’s don’t always need to borrow special forces songs form other cultures.  This song and video is a tribute to Ukrainian Spetsnaz.  The motto of Ukraine’s Spetsnaz is “I’m Coming for You.”  In the Donbas, they lived, and died, to that motto.  While not shown in video, teams of  Ukrainian Spetsnaz used small do it yourself UAV in long range reconnaissance patrol style commando units deep in Russian controlled territory to allow Ukrainian artillery to savage the logistics of Russian Forces operating in the Donbas.

    Riffmaster – Тихо прийшов, Тихо пішов”, або “Пісня спеціального значення”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_GjCOiRPuk&list=RDn8wLN79Ii5Q&index=31

     

     

    Ukrainian SOF - Don't Get In My Way

    Ukrainian SOF – Don’t Get In My Way – Stories of Ukrainian Spetsnaz exploits have made it into the American military music video community. This Feb 2019 English language video shows lots of current Spetsnaz public relations video clips to Zack Hemsey – “Don’t Get In My Way.“ The still frame above shows a Spetsnaz team with the latest Ukrainian purpose made UAV controllers. They are designed to be much more resistant to Russian electronic warfare than the 2015 era D-I-Y drone video controllers adapted into Iridium satellite phones.

    Ukrainian SOF – Don’t Get In My Way

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIKQTJXYFLk

     

     

    Тінь Сонця - Громом і Вогнем

    Тінь Сонця – Громом і Вогнем — This is hard driving rock music “War Porn” with numerous clips of the latest Ukrainian military hardware including jets, helicopter, artillery, tanks and infantry fighting vehicles

    Тінь Сонця – Громом і Вогнем
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qx5k-Cnr0bc&list=RDn8wLN79Ii5Q&index=35

     

     

    Гайдамаки, Богдан Кутєпов і Олександр Ткачук - УКРОП

    Гайдамаки, Богдан Кутєпов і Олександр Ткачук – УКРОП — This is another video with a hard driving beat, Tartar sword dancing, and video clips tied to early Cossack and Viking history. It promises that man, woman, and child, Ukraine would fight for it’s freedom.  The child with the plastic sword and shield above has a classic Viking hair style.

    Гайдамаки, Богдан Кутєпов і Олександр Ткачук – УКРОП
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zwh6WGGGFzw&list=RDn8wLN79Ii5Q&index=27

     

     

    Шабля - Браття Українці

    Шабля – Браття Українці — This video is sung by a gravelly male voice in the rhyme and meter of a sea-shanty.  It has news video clips of fighting at the Donetsk airport and various other locations in Donbas.

    Шабля – Браття Українці

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8qX8ggNc0k

     

     

    Синку, мій синку. Пісні АТО

    Синку, мій синку. Пісні АТО – This is a video of morning and loss, vowing to pay any price for Ukrainian freedom and promising a Viking’s retribution to Ukraine’s enemies.

    Синку, мій синку. Пісні АТО
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEpb-mlr6Nk&list=RDn8wLN79Ii5Q&index=29

     

     

     

    До слез / To tears / До сліз (АТО)

    До слез / To tears / До сліз (АТО) — This is another ATO propaganda video with a female voice singing, a male voice rapping, lots of military equipment, touching reunions between young Ukrainian soldiers and their women, and then, finally, scenes of combat ending with a tired Ukrainian soldier.

    До слез / To tears / До сліз (АТО

    .
    The above video concludes this tour.
    .
    Yet the videos displayed are only a taste of the wide ranging cultural markers of Ukraine’s emerging “Viking Revival.
    .
    -End-
     

    19 Responses to “Blood Lands Rising! — A Music Video Tour of Modern Ukrainian National Identity”

    1. Grurray Says:

      The Varangians were depicted, more or less, in the film The 13th Warrior. It was a box office flop, but it wasn’t half bad.

      It’s a clever strategic move for Ukraine to emphasize their Varangian heritage. For one, it marks a clear separation with Slavic Russia. It serves to remind everyone that Prince Oleg founded Kieven Rus in Kiev long before Moscow even existed.

      The Varangians converted to Christianity in 989 AD, after their then leader Prince Vladimir married the Byzantine Emperor’s sister. They then served as the Emperor’s personal guard. After Constantinople, known among the faithful as New Rome, fell to the Turks in 1453, Moscow claimed the title of Third Rome because the center of gravity of the Orthodox religion shifted their way. However, looking at the political and military history that was written in blood and treasure, that claim should be in dispute.

    2. Trent Telenko Says:

      Grurray,

      It’s not a deep clever strategic move on Ukraine’s part.

      It’s genetics.

      The following is a several year old message from an e-mail list I subscribe too:

      “Russian propaganda about the Slavic “triune nation” of Russia-Ukraine-Belarus is pure ideological fantasy. All three nations have complex mixes of the Slavic / Indo-European R1a gene, the Norse I1 and I2 genes, and the Finnic N1c gene. Russians are at most 60% Slavic in Western Russia, the rest being a mix of mainly Finnic, and some Norse and Volga German. Ukraine, when we strip off the 20% ethnic Russian transmigrants, is about 60-70% Norse, of that mostly descendants of Roman Empire period Goths, and a bit of Finnic mostly from the Viking Varangian middle class of the Kyivan Rus era. Belarus is by far the most Slavic of the three, but still up to 20% Finnic in the North, and 30% Goth in the South.

      Taking the EUpedia maps, and looking at the Moscow region, we see:

      Slavic 50-60% (55%)
      Norse 15-25% (20%) [Norse-Gothic 10-15%; Norse-Varangian 5-10%]
      Finnic 15-20% (17.5%)
      Celtic 10-15% (7.5%)

      The average values in brackets so happen to add up exactly to 100%. This is actually a reasonable fit to history, migrations, and fits the Genotek data closely. Western Russia is perhaps half Slavic, but Slavic DNA density drops off in every geographical direction from there. These numbers also align closely with the Wikipedia entry on “Genetic studies on Russians”:
      The top four Y-DNA haplogroups among the sample of 1228 Russians are:[1]

      Haplogroup R1a (Y-DNA) – 19.8% to 62.7%, with an average of 46.7%
      Haplogroup I (Y-DNA) – 0% to 26.8%, with an average of 17.6% (All regions), and 23.5% (Central and South Russia)
      Haplogroup N (Y-DNA) – 5.4% to 53.7%, with averages of 21.6% (All regions), and 10% (Central and South Russia)
      Haplogroup R1b (Y-DNA) – 0% to 14%, with an average of 5.8%
      The DNA data and historical maps expose some ugly truths that Russian propagandists like to ignore.

      One is that pan-Slavism is an ideological myth, as genuine genetically Slavic people comprise in the most Slavic parts of Russia and Belarus at most about half of the population, and are outnumbered in North-Western Russia often by people with a Finnic heritage, while in Ukraine, descendants of two waves of Norse immigration outnumber people with a Slavic heritage.

      Another is that Ukrainians and ethnic Ukrainians, assimilated or otherwise in Russia, are numerically significant. Ukraine has a population of 36 million ethnic Ukrainians (with Slavic and Norse heritage), and Russia a subpopulation of approx 20 percent ethnic Ukrainians, or about 29 million people, which makes for a total of 65 million ethnic Ukrainians in the Russophone world. Ethnic Russians in the self identified “Great Russian” population comprise nominally 93 million people, of whom the Genotek survey identifies around 19 million that have a genuine “Russian” heritage.

      If Russia continues down its now well established track of forced Russification, aggravating ethnic minorities, and demonising all things Ukrainian, there is no telling where this could lead in Russia, as the potential for instability along ethnic lines is enormous. Even if only half of Russia’s almost 30 million ethnic Ukrainians turned against the regime, the outcome would the catastrophic.

      There is no evidence the Kremlin either understands or even cares about the realities of the colonial melting pot the Tsars created and Soviets sustained, including the ramifications of having almost 30 million ethnic Ukrainians in Russia.””

    3. Brian Says:

      The female voice is a very effective touch.

      Anyone who thinks the challenge of the 21st century is “climate change” is a delusional twit who knows nothing about humanity.

    4. Anonymous Says:

      Trent, most informative and impressive. Thanks.

      Death6

    5. Trent Telenko Says:

      Would you believe the following Ukraine video:

      Tin Sonzya – Mech Areya\Тінь Сонця – Меч Арея

      Just popped up English sub-titles?

    6. Trent Telenko Says:

      Would you believe Facebook moderated me for three photos from this post?

      Apparently they got tagged by somebody as controversial.

    7. Trent Telenko Says:

      And now my photos are back on Facebook and my comments calling them on it are gone.

      What the heck?

      It looks like Facebook can’t tell the difference between Russian trolls and Ukrainian videos.

    8. pengun Says:

      Lovely. The Ukrainian Vampire Fascists are your new heroes. Our Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland shares that blood. One of the many reasons I am ashamed to be a Canadian these days.

    9. raymondshaw Says:

      So Penny endorses the ‘One Drop Rule’. Who’d a thunk it.

    10. miguel cervantes Says:

      the bloodlands (ht timothy Snyder) were very bloody indeed, petlura had bested stalin, he returned the favor by having him assassinated, the likes of bandera and Melnyk, arose in their place, the former killed a polish minister, subsequently was trained in a gestapo camp, but at one point, decided the Nazis had gone too far, so he was briefly jailed, after the war they lead the upa resistance against stalin, and then sought refuge in munich under the protection of the gehlen org, ultimately he was murdered by stashinsky, in 1958, (according to the Russian historian plekhov, stashinsky ultimately defected to south Africa of all places) so one can see how fraught this history is,

    11. Trent Telenko Says:

      Hi Pengun!

      I had expected Grey Eagle to show up first, given the amount of Ukrainian eyeball traffic this post has gotten.

      Thanks for that background intel on Canadian F.M. Freeland. It helps to explain why Canada is now giving all it’s surplus 6-wheeled Grizzly AFV’s to Ukraine’s military.

      While you may dislike it. The Ukrainian nationalist movement is successfully altering Ukraine’s national identity in the direction of a full and complete rejection of Russian/Slavic identity and cultural ties.

      See:

      Russia’s Bid to Win a Firmer Foothold in Ukraine Is Falling Flat
      By Volodymyr Verbyany and Yulia Surkova
      July 4, 2019,
      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-07-05/russia-s-bid-to-win-a-firmer-foothold-in-ukraine-is-falling-flat

      The blow back of Putin’s invasions of Crimea and Donbas was the fact that ethnic Russians who live there, and in the past have voted in Ukrainian elections, are no longer doing so. This forcible removal of Russians by Putin from Ukraine’s voting polity has paved the path to a non-Russian connected Ukrainian national identity.

      Nor are the Ukrainian organizations like Azov, ATO or Right Sector the only cultural forces involved here.

      When the Istanbul-based Orthodox patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople signed the formal decree confirming canonically the ‘Tomas of Autocephalous’ of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC). He unleashed and separated Ukrainian religious identity and expression from the Russian.

      See:

      Tomos for Ukraine’s Orthodox Church
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7U13qS2T7s

      This past January 7th 2019 was the first in seven centuries when the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has celebrated Orthodox Christmas independent from the ROC. It will not be the last. The more Christmas’ the UOC celebrated. The less “Russian/Slav” Ukraine becomes.

      If Putin does not conquer and subjugate Ukraine in the next 5-years…Russia never will.

      And Russia without Ukraine cannot be a major power.

    12. Tom Holsinger Says:

      You guys should follow trends in the stability of Putin’s regime at home. Strategy Page is covering that.

      https://www.strategypage.com/qnd/russia/articles/20190703.aspx

      “The current government, run by Vladimir Putin and his KGB cronies, is visibly losing its popular support. Despite the restoration of the many police state aspects of the old Soviet Union and a constant diet of “we are at war with NATO” propaganda, a growing number of Russians are visibly blaming Putin and his policies for a growing list of problems. Worse are the Russians who are defying new laws against public demonstrations. Because of declining support in opinion polls, using police state tactics on critics has now made the problem worse rather than burying it for a while. This is how the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, as did the communist governments in East Europe in 1989. Sacrificing good relations with the West for an alliance including traditional enemies like Iran, Turkey and China does not leave most Russians feeling better. That’s especially true as the economy keeps getting worse and living standards decline visibly every year since 2014. That was the year Putin sought to forcibly make Ukraine pro-Russian. That backfired badly, with Ukrainians very visibly mobilizing to stop the Russian “invasion”. Western trading partners imposed economic sanctions and a promising feature became an unwelcome revival of past mistakes.”

    13. tommy Says:

      Have the Ukrainians forgotten the Kulaks pre-WWII who were forced to turn over their harvest to the Russians? And subsequently starve?
      I would think with the long memories of the area there would be little chance of Russia subverting Ukrainian allegiance to go with Russia rather than their own independence. I am not a deep student of the area and history so may have mumbled the details.
      tom

    14. Gringo Says:

      Have the Ukrainians forgotten the Kulaks pre-WWII who were forced to turn over their harvest to the Russians? And subsequently starve?

      Having met a Ukrainian visiting the US at a Book Club discussion of Gogol’s Dead Souls – Gogol was Ukrainian- I would say that they haven’t forgotten. Not at all. “Hell, no!”

      In my student days I knew from my workplaces a couple from the Ukraine, born circa 1920, who had gotten out of the Ukraine courtesy of being “guest workers” in Germany during WW2. They didn’t want to discuss a thing about the Ukraine. Nor were they the first Iron Curtain refugees I knew who reacted that way.

      A neighbor, recently deceased, told me that in the early days of the Soviet Union, the Iron Curtain was more permeable. A relative immigrated to the US, went back to Ukraine, and subsequently returned to the US.But the relative returned to the US before 1930. He also said that several of his uncles fought against the Soviets in WW2, but did not survive the war.
      I recently found out that the term “Iron Curtain” preceded Churchill’s use of it in his 1946 speech in Missouri. From Victor Serge’s Memoirs of a Revolutionary:

      The Fifteenth Congress (Oct 1927) decreed the expulsion of the Opposition, which it termed a Menshevik or a Social-Democratic deviation. Kamenev, who had just asked from the rostrum, in crushed tones, “Is it to be demanded that we forswear our convictions overnight?” now spoke again to say, “We submit unreservedly to the decisions of the Congress, painful as they may be for us.” They had got rid of Trotsky: what a relief! Bukharin, inexhaustibly sprightly and mocking, used an impressive phrase: “The iron curtain of History was falling, and you got out of its way in the nick of time … “

      A decade later the iron curtain of History fell on Bukharin. Which helps indicate why I have little sympathy for the old Bolsheviks killed in the Purges and show trials. Just another gang war. “It’s business.”

    15. Trent Telenko Says:

      The Ukrainians have forgotten nothing.

      For which see:

      Harvest of Despair – The 1933 Ukrainian Holodomor Famine Genocide (Documentary)

      https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3182620/?ref_=ttls_li_tt

      https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x43qf8o

      This is a Harvest of Despair “review of reviews” from an e-mail list I am on:

      Reviews of the Bitter Harvest movie are very mixed. It gets very positive reviews for very good on site cinematography, and authenticity, as it was shot on location in Ukraine, making use of a historically accurate period village recreation. Equally so the depiction of culture and village life is rated as highly accurate.

      Conversely, reviewers are very critical of both the script and the directing of the movie, rating it as very poor.

      The movie in many ways falls into the same genre as Holocaust movies, depicting the lives of ordinary people in the middle of a massive genocide, but unlike many Holocaust movies, it aims to give the world a picture of the lives of the victims before their families and communities were destroyed, which is more the genre of Fiddler on the Roof, which successfully captured the Jewish Shtetl settlement culture before it was destroyed by Russian Tsarist ethnic cleansing.

      None of the reviews mention whether the movie also shows the repopulation of the massacred villages with ethnic Russian transmigrants, which was recently highlighted by the Ukrainian government releasing declassified Soviet KGB records showing the planning and scheduling of the resettlement effort in Eastern Ukraine.

      The movie is important as it is the first general release Hollywood production that addresses the Holodomor, and depicts a genocide on the scale of the Holocaust that the Soviets successfully kept hidden for decades. Also it provides the public, globally, with important education on Ukraine’s 20th century history and traditional rural culture. Put simply, it provides context to an audience who mostly only know about Ukraine from skewed, inaccurate or biased mass media reporting, much of it regurgitated Russian government propaganda.

    16. Trent Telenko Says:

      FYI, the Associated Press accepted millions from Stalin to keep silent about Holodomor.

    17. David Foster Says:

      Trent, a link would be useful for that

    18. Trent Telenko Says:

      David,

      It was mentioned in a Feb 18, 2017 Interview with Tamer Hassan, Max Irons and Samantha Barks for the film Bitter Harvest at BUILD Series, New York, New York, United States that the Associated Press accepted millions from Stalin to keep silent about Holodomor.

      The Youtube video clip of this interview mentioning the bribery of the Associated Press has since been scrubbed by Google.

      The scrubbing was something I found out about when I went to post the link.

    19. Trent Telenko Says:

      I found the following while trying to running down the “AP was bribed by Stalin” links that were scrubbed by Google:

      ==============

      DIARY THAT HELPED EXPOSE STALIN’S FAMINE DISPLAYED
      Welsh journalist Gareth Jones snuck into Ukraine in March of 1933

      By Raphael G. Satter, The Associated Press (AP)
      London, United Kingdom, Thursday, November 12, 2009
      The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., Friday, November 13, 2009
      The Boston Globe, Boston, Massachusetts, Friday, November 13, 2009
      FoxNews11AZ, Tucson, Arizona, Thursday, November 12, 2009

      LONDON — The diaries of a British reporter who risked his reputation to expose the horrors of Stalin’s murderous famine in Ukraine are to go on display on Friday.

      Welsh journalist Gareth Jones snuck into Ukraine in March of 1933, at the height of an artificial famine engineered by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin as part of his campaign to force peasants into collective farms. Millions were starving to death as the Soviet secret police emptied the countryside of grain and livestock.

      Jones’ reporting was one of first attempts to bring the disaster to the world’s attention.

      “Famine Grips Russia – Millions Dying” read the front page of the New York Evening Post on March 29, 1933. “Famine on a colossal scale, impending death of millions from hunger, murderous terror … this is the summary of Mr. Jones’s firsthand observations,” the paper said.

      As starvation and cannibalism spread across Ukraine, Soviet authorities exported more than a million tons of grain to the West, using the money to build factories and arm its military.

      Historians say that between 4 million and 5 million people perished in 1932-1933 in what Ukrainians called the Great Famine.

      Walking from village to village, Jones recorded desperate Ukrainians scrambling for food, scribbling brief interviews in pencil on lined notebooks.

      “They all had the same story: ‘There is no bread – we haven’t had bread for two months – a lot are dying,'” Jones wrote in one entry.

      “We are the living dead,” he quoted one peasant as saying.

      Jones’ eyewitness account had little effect on world opinion at the time. Stalin’s totalitarian regime tightly controlled the flow of information out of the U.S.S.R., and many Moscow-based foreign correspondents – some of whom had pro-Soviet sympathies – refused to believe Jones’ reporting.

      The New York Times’ Walter Duranty, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, dismissed his article as a scare story.

      “Conditions are bad, but there is no famine,” Duranty wrote a few days after Jones’ story was published. Other correspondents chimed in with public denials.

      With his colleagues against him, Jones was discredited.

      Eugene Lyons, an American wire agency reporter who gradually went from communist sympathizer to fierce critic of the Soviet regime, later acknowledged the role that fellow journalists had played in trying to destroy Jones’ career.

      “Jones must have been the most surprised human being alive when the facts he so painstakingly garnered from our mouths were snowed under by our denials,” Lyons wrote in his 1937 autobiography, “Assignment in Utopia.”

      Lyons’ admission came too late for Jones, who was killed under murky circumstances while covering Japan’s expansion into China in the run-up to World War II.

      British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, whom Jones had once served as an aide, said shortly after his death in 1935 that the intrepid journalist might have been killed because he “knew too much of what was going on.”

      “I had always been afraid that he would take one risk too many.”

      Jones’ handwritten diaries are on display at the Wren Library at Trinity College in Cambridge, where he was a student, until mid-December.

      On the Net: Trinity College: http://www.trin.cam.ac.uk/

      Web site devoted to Gareth Jones: http://www.garethjones.org/

      LINK: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/12/AR2009111210298.html

      LINK: http://www.boston.com/news/world/europe/articles/2009/11/12/diary_that_helped_expose_stalins_famine_displayed/

      LINK: http://www.fox11az.com/news/world/69872487.html