Famines due to crop failure, warfare, and drought have recurred throughout history in Ukraine, including one induced by severe drought and military requisitions in 1921-1922 that resulted in only one-third the normal harvest. The result in 1921-1922 was one million dead, from a combination of hunger and infectious disease.
But the Great Famine of 1932-1933 (also known as the Holodomor) in Ukraine was caused exclusively by deliberate Soviet Stalinist policy rather than by climate, specifically in order to:
- break peasant resistance to collectivization
- destroy Ukrainian village culture
- forcibly trade grain for machinery
Estimates of Ukrainian dead from the famine of 1932-1933 range from two million to six million, and this event constitutes a planned genocide comparable to the Armenian Genocide committed two decades earlier or to the Jewish Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis a decade later.
"Harvest of Sorrow" by Robert Conquest 1986 Oxford University Press $20 ISBN 9780195051803
"Execution By Hunger" by Miron Dolot 1985 Norton and Company $16 ISBN 0393304167
"Encyclopedia of Ukraine" Volodymyr Kubijovyc, editor, University of Toronto Press 1984, Volume 1, pages 853-855, Famine article, ISBN 0802033628
"The Unknown Gulag" by Lynne Viola 2007 Oxford University Press $30 ISBN 9780195187694