Well, that was the Ukranian line, at a time when they were trying to wring reparation money out of Moscow. The fact is, however, that Stalin undoubtedly thought that, as Communist ideology implied, the collectivization of farming would lead to huge improvements in agricultural efficiency, and greater productivity, and that the Ukranian farms would be able to feed not only the people working them but the populations of the rapidly industrializing Russian cities. That expectation proved to be disastrously false and production fell precipitously, leading to shortages, and, in those circumstances, it was felt, rightly or wrongly, that the workers in the cities deserved to be fed as much or more than the farmers who were producing so much less, so much of the food that was produced was taken to feed the industrial workers. Communist ideology may have played a role in this prioritization of the needs of the industrial workers over the farmers, and, no doubt, Stalin, as was his wont, carried matters through with great ruthlessness. However, the notion that he deliberately set out to starve large numbers of the people whom he ruled, and from whom his and his country’s power ultimately derived, or even that he did not care that they starved, is absurd, and really could only be believed by people in a culture still deeply affected by the after effects of cold war propaganda. Clearly the famine greatly weakened the Soviet Union at a crucial time in its development. That was not what Stalin wanted or needed at all.