In the shadow of famine: How do Russo–Ukrainian and Russo–Kazakh relations impact memorialisation of the Holodomor and Kazakh famine?


  • Grace Vanderkolk The University of Melbourne



The trajectories of public memory and memorialisation of the famines of the 1930s have been vastly different for Kazakhstan and Ukraine, despite the common causation of these national tragedies. Many of the disparities between memorialisation of these events emerge from these nations’ different post–collapse trajectories. A not insignificant amount of vacillation on memory policy occurred as both nations grappled with the past, owing to the various orientations of national leadership and popular sentiment as contexts shifted. While Ukraine sought to forge an independent path quickly post–collapse, Kazakhstan maintained close relations with Russia until recently. Changes to Kazakhstan’s foreign policy spurred, in part, by the Russian full–scale invasion of Ukraine have in turn prompted a revaluation of famine memory. This article seeks to illustrate the complexity of nations coming to terms with their Soviet pasts alongside new domestic and international concerns and illustrate the value of comparative analysis of famine memory through a post–colonial lens.