"This is not the first time Russia has tried freezing and starving people to death to get them to submit. They’ve done it at least twice before, once successfully in 1932 and once unsuccessfully in 1949.
Although I wouldn’t be born for another two years, I “remember” the Berlin Airlift of 1948/1949. It was part of the story of my growing up: my mother’s first fiancée was killed fighting the Germans and my father volunteered for the war as soon as he got out of high school, returning from Japan, I believe, in 1948.
My parents felt so strongly that their kids should understand the hell their generation had lived through that today I have what seem like memories of those planes landing, one after another, at Berlin’s Tempelhof airport. They were probably formed by documentaries and conversations with my parents when I was a child.
Much like Vladimir Putin is doing now to Ukraine, in 1948/1949 the Russian soviets tried to starve and then freeze to death the residents of West Berlin.
The blockade of West Berlin was to be, essentially, a repeat of the Holodomor (“death by hunger” in Ukrainian) that Russia inflicted on Ukraine during the winter of 1932 when they blockaded that nation for demanding its independence, leading to the starvation of an estimated 3.2 million people....
In response, President Truman ordered the Berlin Airlift, which would soon be joined by Great Britain under the leadership of Prime Minister Clement Attlee. As the US Department of Defense notes on its webpage about the Airlift:
“At one point, Air Force and Navy planes were landing at Tempelhof Airport every 45 seconds.
“On Easter Sunday, April 17, 1949, the constant procession of planes managed to deliver 13,000 tons of cargo, including the equivalent of 600 railroad cars of coal – all in one day!”
It was the Berlin Airlift that led to the creation of NATO on April 4, 1949, just a bit more than a month before the Russians ended their blockade and the Airlift wrapped up on May 12, 1949.