Before, during, and after the Second World War, Ukrainians resisted (often in underground organisations), occupation by both Russia and Germany, as well as military aggression from others including Hungary and Romania. Additionally, the west of Ukraine was under Polish rule before the Soviets invaded. The region suffered heavily during Operation Barbarossa.
These vintage Ukrainian Easter cards are from that turbulent time – note the rifle carried by the man on the horse.
The writing is the typical Easter message for Ukraine, and translates to ‘Christ is Risen’.
American professor Timothy Snyder is a good place to start for information on the most overlooked aspect of the war, particularly his book Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin.
People magazine cover from the 1st of April, 1985. Featured are English actress Jacqueline Bisset and her then partner Alexander Godunov. Godunov was a Soviet ballet star who defected in the late 1970s, becoming a featured actor in Hollywood until his shock death a decade after this picture was taken.
While everybody knows about the Holocaust, there was another major genocide in Europe in the 20th century that is almost unknown.
The Holodomor, Stalin’s manufactured famine/genocide, is believed to have killed up to ten million people in Ukraine in the 1930s. Still denied by Moscow, this genocide has received little to no attention from the West, and none whatsoever from Hollywood.
A new film is due out now which tackles this topic, focusing on a Ukrainian Cossack couple. Keep an eye out for Bitter Harvest this month.