NOT from the article.
Watchtowers went up in the fields to keep peasants from taking anything for themselves. In the Odessa region alone, more than seven hundred watchtowers were constructed. Brigades went from hut to hut, five thousand youth organization members among their members, seizing everything they could find. Activists used, as one peasant recalled, “long metal rods to search through stables, pigsties, stoves. They looked everywhere and took everything, down to the last little grain.” They rushed through the village “like the black death” calling out “Peasant, where is your grain? Confess!” The brigades took everything that resembled food, including supper from the stove, which they ate themselves.47 Like an invading army the party activists lived off the land, taking what they could and eating their fill, with little to show for their work and enthusiasm but misery and death. Perhaps from feelings of guilt, perhaps from feelings of triumph, they humiliated the peasants wherever they went. They would urinate in barrels of pickles, or order hungry peasants to box each other for sport, or make them crawl and bark like dogs, or force them to kneel in the mud and pray. Women caught stealing on one collective farm were stripped, beaten, and carried naked through the village. In one village the brigade got drunk in a peasant’s hut and gang-raped his daughter. Women who lived alone were routinely raped at night under the pretext of grain confiscations—and their food was indeed taken from them after their bodies had been violated. This was the triumph of Stalin’s law and Stalin’s state.48
Snyder, Timothy. Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (pp. 39-40). Basic Books. Kindle Edition.