Disinfo: The Law of Spikelets in the USSR did not kill citizens, but defended socialist property from plunder


Anti-Soviet people like to talk about the allegedly innocent “tortured, arrested and executed” because of the Law of Spikelets, which allegedly provided for terrible punishment to all who, in difficult conditions, would dare to cut one wheat from the field in order to survive. And on this basis, they begin to assert (their opinion) about the “cruel” and “totalitarian” communist system, about the “crimes of Stalinism”, about the “sadism of the NKVDs”, etc. The law of 7 August 1932 spoke about the inadmissibility of plundering socialist property.


The decree of the Central Executive Committee and the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR "On the protection of property of state enterprises, collective farms and cooperatives and the strengthening of public (socialist) property" appeared on 7 August 1932. The authorship of the document is personally attributed to Joseph Stalin. Among the population, the decree of the Soviet leadership is better known as the Law of Spikelets.

The law became a consistent continuation of the Soviet policy of the so-called "collectivisation", which began back in the 1920s. It was the Law of Spikelets that became the last straw in plundering the population of the USSR: the Soviet regime created an artificial famine in Ukraine, which affected parts of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Russia. The Stalinist regime used confiscation of food as a weapon of mass destruction - food was forcibly taken from farmers.

The famine of 1932-1933 claimed the lives of 7 to 10 million citizens of the Soviet Union. In 1933, mortality in Ukraine became catastrophic, 28,000 people died every day, 1168 people every hour, 20 Ukrainians every minute.

In 2006, the Verkhovna Rada officially recognised the Holodomor of 1932-33 as the genocide of the Ukrainian people. According to the latest data, 15 UN member states and the Vatican state recognise the Holodomor genocide act in Ukraine. The European Parliament and PACE have recognised the Holodomor as a crime of the Soviet regime against their own people and a crime against humanity.


  • Reported in: Issue 209
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/08/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian, Bosnian
  • Country: USSR
  • Keywords: Holodomor, USSR, Joseph Stalin


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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