Putin plans famine in Europe, says historian

Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi

Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi

photo: Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to devise a nefarious plan, which involves bringing hunger to tens of millions of people, as a strategy to win the war against Ukraine. At least, that’s what historian Timothy Snyder, specializing in Europe, believes, who shared his analysis on his Twitter profile.

“Putin prepares to starve a large part of the world as a next step in the war against Ukraine,” he wrote.

three steps

For Snyder, Putin’s alleged plan involves three steps, the first of which is already underway. “Putin’s plan for famine involves the destruction of the Ukrainian state through the blockade of exports. In this way, provoking a massive refugee crisis in Africa and the Middle East.” [que dependem dos alimentos exportados pela Ucrânia]which will generate instability in the European Union”, he wrote.

The concern about the food supply is already real. Blockades in Ukrainian ports, such as the important port of Odessa, and the destruction of agricultural silos in the European country have had impacts on the export of grains and other foods.

“Finally, and most terribly, the hungry world is what Putin needs to foment a campaign blaming Ukraine for this scenario,” he added. In the face of chaos and through this propaganda, Snyder explains, Putin will demand the Ukrainian territories more vehemently, as well as the lifting of sanctions against Russia.


Timothy Snyder recalls other occasions in history when famine was used as a tool of war. The historian cited an occasion that involved the same actors in the current conflict. During the Soviet Union, the government of dictator Josef Stalin killed more than four million Soviet-Ukrainians in what became known as the Holodomor in the 1930s.

Holodomor: famine killed more than 4 million Soviet-Ukrainians in the 1930s

Holodomor: famine killed more than 4 million Soviet-Ukrainians in the 1930s

Photo: Alexander Wienerberger / Wikipedia

Snyder also cited the Nazi regime, which tried to divert agricultural production from the Soviet Union and thereby bring famine to the region during World War II.

“Russian memory politics paved the way for a 21st century famine plan. Russians are told that Stalin’s famine was an accident and that Ukrainians are Nazis. It makes stealing and blocking seem acceptable,” says Snyder.

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