This chapter reconstructs pre-famine events in Ukraine from a comparative perspective, making reference both to overall Soviet political developments and to ‘regional’ or, more precisely, to national tensions. Andrea Grazioisi argues that while the famine may have initially been the inadvertent consequence of Soviet policy responses to the resistance of the peasantry to collectivisation and the threat of an agricultural collapse, it subsequently became a politically orchestrated weapon of state power. According to Grazioisi, a fuller understanding of the Holodomor necessitates a recognition of the overlapping nature of social (that is, the peasant) and national (that is, the Ukrainian) factors, bridging the divide between those scholars who offer an interpretation based largely on one or the other perspective.