Anne Applebaum tells the horrible story of the Holodomor, the Stalin-lead extermination of Ukrainians by hunger in Red Famine - Stalin's War on Ukraine. The Russians proved brutal and anything but good Slavic cousins to the Ukrainians.
Thanks to Stalin's policies, at least 5 million people died due to famine in Russia from 1931 to 1934. Of these, it was the Ukrainians in the Breadbasket of Europe who died in the largest numbers. At least 3.9 million Ukrainians starved to death. Stalin had Russians thugs take all of their food from them and would not allow them to leave to find food elsewhere.
This was not the end of his attempts to destroy any possible dissent in Ukraine. As the famine struck down so many Ukrainians, Stalin also had virtually all Ukrainian intellectuals, educated professionals, and public officials rounded up and jailed or murdered. Any Ukrainian associated with the independent Ukrainian Republic from 1917 to 1922 was especially eliminated. People who had promoted Ukrainian history or the Ukrainian language or literature were sent to labor camps or murdered. Stalin feared the desire of Ukrainians to be Ukrainians and to be independent. He wanted to squash all aspirations of a separate Ukrainian nation. Putin is of the same mind.