NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
3rd August, 1921 : Russia is in the grip of a terrible famine and its Bolshevik leaders are appealing to the world community for help. Some 18 million people are said to be starving, typhus and cholera are rampant, and cannibalism has been reported. The worst-hit area is the huge Volga region to the east of Moscow. Reports say peasants are mixing clay with their grain and have been given to eating twigs. The immediate cause of the famine is a draught which wiped out the harvest, but the area, as well as whole of Russia, is devastated by the effects of the revolution and the civil war. Following the mutiny of Soviet sailors at the Kronstadt naval base, Vladimir Lenin introduced the New Economic Policy, a retreat from Marxism, in order to stay in power. Lenin has now said Russia needs outside relief if it is to survive. Britain, America and other countries are responding.