Death and Horses in the Ukraine

By on December 16, 2014

Being a horse lover, this article caught my eye. The article tells the story of why thousands of horses were dying (or being killed?) in the Ukraine in World War II and of Nikita Khruschev, who commissioned scientists to determine the real reason for the deaths.

Why were the horses so important to the Soviet Union? Well, the Red Army literally ran on horse power until the Allies started delivering motorized vehicles to the Soviets during World War II. Were the Germans sending agents to kill the horses and cripple the Red Army?

No. There were no German agents killing the horses. The culprit was botulism from fungus on wet hay — must have been a really wet year with a really widespread fungus. Nowadays we (personally) have our horses inoculated against botulism every year, just in case.

Anyway, Khrushchev wrote a memoir, Khrushchev Remembers,that was published in the good old USA, of course. Did he twist the facts to make himself look better? Probably. Was he responsible for many thousands, or even tens of thousands of Soviet citizens being imprisoned or killed? Oh, yeah. Did he save the horses to help the Red Army? Without a doubt. But he did save the horses, so maybe he had a spark of compassion in him. Or not.

Does this have anything to do with Kindle? Nope, and the book is not even available as an ebook. But it might be an interesting book, so I bought a copy.

Read the article at the International Policy Digest website: Pale Horse, Pale Rider: Death and Horses in Ukraine.


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