Surviving the starvation of the Stalin era, Liubov Yarosh (102) is now a Ukrainian sniper camouflage uniform maker. Photo/Sarah Dean/CNN
KIEV – Liubov Yarosh, a native 102-year-old grandmother Ukraine , witnessed the history of events from two different eras. He survived three famines including the Holodomor of 1932-33 when Ukrainian peasants were stripped of grain to feed Moscow’s industrialization and suppress the resistance of Ukrainian nationalists in the era of Joseph Stalin.
He lives in his house which is heated by a wood-burning stove, carpeted in traditional Ukrainian rugs, decorated with family photos, and pastoral scenes on the cheap posters covering the walls of his cottage. The only records of her tragic past are her birth certificate and memories.
“There was nothing to eat then. We eat linden leaves and nettles. We used to grind these wild herbs into flour, roast them and eat them. That’s what we ate during the famine,” said Yarosh from his home in the village of Khodorkiv, in the Zhytomyr region, about two hours’ drive west of Kiev.
At the age of 13 she saw her older brother and sister die in Ukraine’s worst mass famine.
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“I am completely swollen. My feet are swollen, my hands are swollen. I am very sick. I thought I was going to die,” he recounted his own suffering as quoted by CNN, Wednesday (8/2/2023).
At that time the Kremlin was trying to rid Ukraine of independent peasantry, of its language, history, artists and independence.
Yarosh himself still holds his terrible memories of his childhood very strongly.
“Little children are dying of hunger. They were taken to a truck. They dug a big hole and dumped everything. There were arms and legs there and they threw dirt on them without any ceremony,” he said.
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