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Encyclopedia > Droughts and famines in Russia and the USSR
Remember about Those Who Starve! A Soviet poster from 1921.

Droughts and famines in Russia and the USSR tend to occur on a fairly regular basis, with famine occurring every 10-13 years and droughts every 5-7 years. Golubev and Dronin distinguish three types of drought according to productive areas vulnerable to droughts: Central (Volga basin, Northern Caucasus), and Central Chernozem Region), Southern (Volga and Volga-Vyatka area , Ural, Ukraine), and Eastern (steppe and forest-steppe belts Western and Eastern Siberia and Kazakhstan). [1] A famine is a social and economic crisis that is commonly accompanied by widespread malnutrition, starvation, epidemic and increased mortality. ... A drought is a period of time when there is not enough water to support agricultural, urban, human, or environmental water needs. ... For other meanings of the word Volga see Volga (disambiguation) Волга Length 3,690 km Elevation of the source 225 m Average discharge  ? m³/s Area watershed 1. ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Southern Federal District (Northern Caucasus) is one of the seven federal districts of Russia. ... Central Black Earth Region or Central Chernozem Region (Центрально-черноземная область, центральная черноземная область, центрально-черноземная полоса) is a part of the Eurasian chernozem belt that lies within Central Russia and comprises Voronezh Oblast, Lipetsk Oblast, Belgorod Oblast, Tambov Oblast, Oryol Oblast and Kursk Oblast. ... Kirov (Ки́ров) is a city in eastern European Russia, on the Vyatka River, capital of Kirov Oblast. ... Ural (Russian: ) is a geographical region in Russia, around Ural Mountains. ... A steppe in Western Kazakhstan in early spring In physical geography, a steppe (Russian: - , Ukrainian: - , Kazakh: - ), pronounced in English as , is a plain without trees (apart from those near rivers and lakes); it is similar to a prairie, although a prairie is generally considered as being dominated by tall grasses... It has been suggested that Western Siberia be merged into this article or section. ...


Their report gives the following table of the major droughts in Russia. [1]

  • Central: 1920, 1924, 1936, 1946, 1972, 1979, 1981, 1984.
  • Southern: 1901, 1906, 1921, 1939, 1948, 1951, 1957, 1975, 1995.
  • Eastern: 1911, 1931, 1963, 1965, 1991.

The first famine in the USSR happened in 1921-1923 and garnered wide international attention. It was due to the Southern type of drought, the most affected area being the Southeastern areas of European Russia (including Volga area, or Povolzhye) and Ukraine. Fridtjof Nansen was honored with the 1922 Nobel Prize for Peace, in part for his work as High Commissioner for Relief In Russia. Other organizations that helped to combat the Soviet famine were UISE (Union Internationale de Secours aux Enfants, International Save the Children Union) and the International Red Cross. Help!, a Soviet poster from 1921. ... Year 1921 (MCMXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar). ... 1923 (MCMXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ... European Russia can be considered the western areas of Russia, where most of the population is centred. ... Fridtjof Nansen Fridtjof Wedel-Jarlsberg Nansen (born October 10, 1861 in Store Frøen, near Christiania - died May 13, 1930 in Lysaker, outside Oslo) was a Norwegian explorer, scientist and diplomat. ... The Nobel Peace Prize (where Nobel is pronounced with the stress on the second syllable) is one of five Nobel Prizes bequested by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel. ... The International Save the Children Union (French: L’Union Internationale de Secours aux Enfants) was a Geneva-based international organisation of childrens charities founded in 1920 by Eglantyne Jebb, who had earlier founded Save the Children in the UK with her sister, Dorothy Buxton. ... The International Save the Children Union (French: L’Union Internationale de Secours aux Enfants) was a Geneva-based international organisation of childrens charities founded in 1920 by Eglantyne Jebb, who had earlier founded Save the Children in the UK with her sister, Dorothy Buxton. ... The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is the worlds largest group of humanitarian non-governmental organizations, often known simply as the Red Cross, after its original symbol. ...


The second Soviet famine happened during the collectivisation in the USSR. In 1932-1933 confiscations of grain and other food by the Soviet authorities[2] caused a famine which affected more than 40 million people, especially in the south on the Don and Kuban areas and in Ukraine, where by various estimates from 2.5 to 4.8 million may have starved to death (the event known as Holodomor). About 200,000 Kazakh nomads fled to China, Iran, Mongolia and Afghanistan during the famine. The information about this famine was suppressed by Stalin's regime.[2] A famine is a social and economic crisis that is commonly accompanied by widespread malnutrition, starvation, epidemic and increased mortality. ... In the Soviet Union, collectivisation was a policy introduced in the late 1920s, of consolidation of individual land and labour into co-operatives called collective farms (Russian: , kolkhoz) and state farms (Russian: , sovkhoz). ... Year 1932 (MCMXXXII) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link will take you to a full 1932 calendar). ... 1933 (MCMXXXIII) was a common year starting on Sunday. ... The word grain has several meanings, most being descriptive of a small piece or particle. ... Soviet redirects here. ... The Don (Дон) is one of the major rivers of Russia. ... Kuban (Ukrainian - Кубань) is an ethnical ukrainian territory. ... Child victim of the Holodomor The Ukrainian famine (1932-1933) or Holodomor was one of the largest national catastrophes of the Ukrainian nation in modern history with direct loss of human life in the range of millions (estimates vary). ... Languages Kazakh (and/or languages in country of residence) Religions Sunni Islam Related ethnic groups Kipchak and other Turk peoples, ancient Indo-Iranian tribes, Mongols The Kazakhs (also spelled Kazaks, Qazaqs; Kazakh: Қазақтар []; Russian: Казахи; the English name is transliterated from Russian) are a Turk people of the northern parts of Central... Kazakh nomads in the steppes of the Russian Empire, ca. ... Joseph Stalin Stalinism is the political and economic system named after Joseph Stalin, who implemented it in the Soviet Union. ...


The last major famine in the USSR happened mainly in 1947 due to the severe drought in 1946 in over 50% of the grain-productive zone of the country and to government mismanagement of its reserves.[citation needed] This led to an estimated 1 to 1.5 million excess deaths as well as to secondary population losses due to reduced fertility.[3] Partly as a result of this famine, unlike many countries in Europe and North America the Soviet Union did not experience a Post-World War II baby boom. 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1947 calendar). ... A drought is a period of time when there is not enough water to support agricultural, urban, human, or environmental water needs. ... 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... My white haired-crooked fingered Social Studies teacher was a baby boomer. ...


The drought of 1963 caused panic slaughtering of livestock, but there was no risk of famine. Since that year the Soviet Union started importing feed grains for its livestock in increasing amounts. Year 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Look up Slaughter in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Sheep are commonly bred as livestock. ... Fodder growing from barley In agriculture, fodder or animal feed is any foodstuff that is used specifically to feed livestock, such as cattle, sheep, chickens and pigs. ... An assortment of grains The word grain has a great many meanings, most being descriptive of a small piece or particle. ...


References and Notes

  1. ^ a b Genady Golubev and Nikolai Dronin, Geography of Droughts and Food Problems in Russia (1900-2000), Report of the International Project on Global Environmental Change and Its Threat to Food and Water Security in Russia (February, 2004).
  2. ^ U.S. Commission on the Ukraine Famine, "Findings of the Commission on the Ukraine Famine" [1], Report to Congress, Washington, D.C., April 19, 1988
  3. ^ M. Ellman, "The 1947 Soviet famine and the entitlement approach to famines," Cambridge Journal of Economics 24 (2000): 603-630.
  • Zima, V. F. The Famine of 1946-1947 in the USSR: Its Origins and Consequences. Ceredigion, UK: Mellen Press, 1999. (ISBN 0-7734-3184-5)
  • Nikolai M. Dronin, Edward G. Bellinger, "Climate Dependence and Food Problems in Russia, 1900-1990: The Interaction of Climate and Agricultural Policy and Their Effect on Food Problems" (2005) Central European University Press ISBN 9637326103

April 19 is the 109th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (110th in leap years). ... 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Central European University is a US-licensed and accredited university based in Budapest, Hungary. ...

External links

West Virginia University is an institution of higher learning based in Morgantown, West Virginia, USA, with the off-site campuses of West Virginia University at Parkersburg in Parkersburg, West Virginia, West Virginia University Institute of Technology in Montgomery, West Virginia, Potomac State College of West Virginia University in Keyser, West...

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