The Famine 1921–22


Map Code: Ax01067

The 1921–22 Russian famine left millions without food and is thought to have killed between five to eight million people. It was at its most devastating in the Volga and Tatar regions and is thought to have been the result of natural and human causes. It began with severe drought causing crop failure. Normally the peasants stored grain as insurance against poor crop yields, but six and a half years of war had resulted in all stored crops being requisitioned by the Bolshevik army. The famine was so bad that people were reduced to eating acorns and grinding animal bones to make bread. Diseases spread, including typhus and smallpox. Eventually Lenin was persuaded to accept help from the American Relief Administration, who sent over a million tons of grain to Russia, insisting that they be given the freedom to travel to all parts of famine-stricken country.

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