By H G Rahman

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--The Holodomor was a nationwide famine which claimed the lives of a great many Soviet citizens in the early 1930s, as a result of forced collectivization policies that, while well-meaning, had tragic consequences.

In Russia, the tragedy is not only acknowledged but even remembered as an event that struck Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Volga region, North Caucasus, Western Siberia and the Southern Urals. It was a collective tragedy and no fingers are pointed.

One has to understand the context of the time, the need for the Soviet Union to modernise and to do so rapidly, not only for the betterment of its people but to build its strength against external forces who were determined to destroy this unique country through subversion and open force.

While we can argue that collectivisation had its benefits, considering the enormous industrial , military and agricultural output generated by the Soviet Union in its struggle against fascism during the Great Patriotic War, there will always be those who will only think of the lives lost.

That is not a bad perspective, of course we must remember the hardship, struggle and loss of those who came before us if we are to appreciate what we have in the present: Russia is a strong, secure and impossible opponent for outside forces seeking to undermine its sovereignty.

What is wrong however is the deliberate politicisation of the Holodomor as a means to wage an information war against us, to put the whole blame of this wide-ranging, collective tragedy solely on Russia itself, which in reality was just one of 15 republics making up the Soviet Union.

I feel no animosity towards our brothers in Ukraine, who are an essential part of Russia’s history and indeed will remain a close and key element of Russia’s future: our nations are inseparable.

However 1990s, Ukraine’s nationalist, facistic elements in Ukraine have been working hard to warp the truth and to present this false narrative that somehow this event was a deliberate attempt of genocide against the people of Ukraine.

This historical revisionism has been applied to a wide-ranging number of historical events, all of which are tragic and arouse an emotional response from the people it is targeted at, but these untrustworthy elements are not satisfied: they are exporting their lies worldwide.

This has already been done in several countries unfortunately. The pattern is always the same, articles pushing this poisonous propaganda appear in an attempt to sway that country’s population against Russia, to breed hatred instead of creating understanding.

Now even in Malaysia such articles have started making their appearance, with several promoting this false narrative appearing seemingly at the initiative of the Ukrainian diplomatic elements here who instead of promoting good bilateral ties are instead exporting their information war to Malaysia, a country which has always enjoyed a warm and close relationship with Malaysia.

An escalation such as this comes in the wake of fascistic regime in Kiev, which makes constant accusations of so-called Russian aggression, and providing no evidence, seeking to draw allies into its dangerous and irrational worldview.

Let us move towards common sense and truth so that those seeking to tear nations apart will not find easy victims but rather only find those who have armed themselves with accurate historical knowledge. That will be the way forward, not only for Russia and Ukraine, but for the world as a whole.