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Joseph Stalin

Joseph Stalin

Overview
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (18 December 1878 – 5 March 1953) was the Premier of the Soviet Union
Premier of the Soviet Union
The office of Premier of the Soviet Union was synonymous with head of government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics . Twelve individuals have been premier...

 from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

 revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

 and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee
Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union , abbreviated in Russian as ЦК, "Tse-ka", earlier was also called as the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party ...

 from 1922 until his death in 1953. While formally the office of the General Secretary was elective and was not initially regarded as the top position in the Soviet state, after Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist politician who led the October Revolution of 1917. As leader of the Bolsheviks, he headed the Soviet state during its initial years , as it fought to establish control of Russia in the Russian Civil War and worked to create a...

's death in 1924, Stalin managed to consolidate more and more power in his hands, gradually putting down all opposition groups within the party.
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Timeline

1917   The People's Commissars give authority to Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, and Joseph Stalin.

1917   Joseph Stalin enters the provisional government of Bolshevik Russia.

1922   Joseph Stalin becomes the first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1927   Leon Trotsky is expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, leaving Joseph Stalin in undisputed control of the Soviet Union.

1928   Boris Bazhanov defects through Iran. He is the only assistant of Joseph Stalin's secretariat to have defected from the Eastern Bloc.

1937   In Moscow, 17 leading Communists go on trial accused of participating in a plot led by Leon Trotsky to overthrow Joseph Stalin's regime and assassinate its leaders.

1937   Great Purge: The Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin executes eight army leaders.

1941   Soviet leader Joseph Stalin consolidates the Commissariats of Home Affairs and National Security to form the NKVD and names Lavrenti Beria its chief.

1941   World War II: Soviet leader Joseph Stalin addresses the Soviet Union for only the second time during his three-decade rule. He states that even though 350,000 troops were killed in German attacks so far, the Germans had lost 4.5 million soldiers and that Soviet victory was near.

1942   World War II: Soviet leader Joseph Stalin issues Order No. 227 in response to alarming German advances into the Soviet Union. Under the order all those who retreat or otherwise leave their positions without orders to do so were to be immediately executed.

 
Quotations

We think that a powerful and vigorous movement is impossible without differences — "true conformity" is possible only in the cemetery.

Stalin's article "Our purposes" Pravda 1, (22 January 1912)

Anti-Semitism, as an extreme form of racial chauvinism, is the most dangerous vestige of cannibalism.

"Anti-Semitism: Reply to an inquiry of the Jewish News Agency in the United States" (12 January 1931)
Encyclopedia
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (18 December 1878 – 5 March 1953) was the Premier of the Soviet Union
Premier of the Soviet Union
The office of Premier of the Soviet Union was synonymous with head of government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics . Twelve individuals have been premier...

 from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

 revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

 and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee
Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union , abbreviated in Russian as ЦК, "Tse-ka", earlier was also called as the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party ...

 from 1922 until his death in 1953. While formally the office of the General Secretary was elective and was not initially regarded as the top position in the Soviet state, after Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist politician who led the October Revolution of 1917. As leader of the Bolsheviks, he headed the Soviet state during its initial years , as it fought to establish control of Russia in the Russian Civil War and worked to create a...

's death in 1924, Stalin managed to consolidate more and more power in his hands, gradually putting down all opposition groups within the party. This included Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

, the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 organizer, proponent of world revolution
World revolution
World revolution is the Marxist concept of overthrowing capitalism in all countries through the conscious revolutionary action of the organized working class...

, and principal critic of Stalin among the early Soviet leaders, who was exiled from the Soviet Union in 1929. Instead, Stalin's idea of socialism in one country
Socialism in One Country
Socialism in One Country was a theory put forth by Joseph Stalin in 1924, elaborated by Nikolai Bukharin in 1925 and finally adopted as state policy by Stalin...

 became the primary line of the Soviet politics.

In 1928, Stalin replaced the New Economic Policy
New Economic Policy
The New Economic Policy was an economic policy proposed by Vladimir Lenin, who called it state capitalism. Allowing some private ventures, the NEP allowed small animal businesses or smoke shops, for instance, to reopen for private profit while the state continued to control banks, foreign trade,...

 of the 1920s with a highly centralised command economy and Five-Year Plans, launching a period of rapid industrialization and economic collectivization in the countryside. As a result, the USSR was transformed from a largely agrarian society into a great industrial power, and the basis was provided for its emergence as the world's second largest economy after World War II. However, during this period of rapid economic and social changes, millions of people were sent to penal labor camps
Gulag
The Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of...

, including many political convicts, and millions were deported and exiled
Population transfer in the Soviet Union
Population transfer in the Soviet Union may be classified into the following broad categories: deportations of "anti-Soviet" categories of population, often classified as "enemies of workers," deportations of entire nationalities, labor force transfer, and organized migrations in opposite...

 to remote areas of the Soviet Union. The initial upheaval in the changing agricultural sector disrupted food production in the early 1930s, contributing to the catastrophic Soviet famine of 1932–1933, one of the last major famines in Russia. In 1937–38, a campaign against former members of the communist opposition, potential rivals in the party, and other alleged enemies of the regime culminated in the Great Purge
Great Purge
The Great Purge was a series of campaigns of political repression and persecution in the Soviet Union orchestrated by Joseph Stalin from 1936 to 1938...

, a period of mass repression in which hundreds of thousands of people were executed, including Red Army leaders convicted
Case of Trotskyist Anti-Soviet Military Organization
The Case of Trotskyist Anti-Soviet Military Organization was a 1937 secret trial of the high command of the Red Army, orchestrated by Joseph Stalin as part of the Great Purge.-Defendants:...

 in coup d'état plots.

In August 1939, after the failure to establish an Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance, Stalin's USSR entered into a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, named after the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, was an agreement officially titled the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union and signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939...

, dividing their spheres of influence in Eastern Europe. This pact allowed the Soviet Union to regain some of the former territories of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 in Poland
Soviet invasion of Poland
Soviet invasion of Poland can refer to:* the second phase of the Polish-Soviet War of 1920 when Soviet armies marched on Warsaw, Poland* Soviet invasion of Poland of 1939 when Soviet Union allied with Nazi Germany attacked Second Polish Republic...

, Finland
Winter War
The Winter War was a military conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland. It began with a Soviet offensive on 30 November 1939 – three months after the start of World War II and the Soviet invasion of Poland – and ended on 13 March 1940 with the Moscow Peace Treaty...

, the Baltics, Bessarabia
Bessarabia
Bessarabia is a historical term for the geographic region in Eastern Europe bounded by the Dniester River on the east and the Prut River on the west....

 and northern Bukovina
Bukovina
Bukovina is a historical region on the northern slopes of the northeastern Carpathian Mountains and the adjoining plains.-Name:The name Bukovina came into official use in 1775 with the region's annexation from the Principality of Moldavia to the possessions of the Habsburg Monarchy, which became...

 during the early period of World War II. After Germany violated the pact by invading the Soviet Union
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

 in 1941 and thus opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history
Eastern Front (World War II)
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945...

, the Soviet Union joined the Allies. Despite heavy human and territorial losses in the initial period of war, the Soviet Union managed to stop the Axis advance in the battles of Moscow
Battle of Moscow
The Battle of Moscow is the name given by Soviet historians to two periods of strategically significant fighting on a sector of the Eastern Front during World War II. It took place between October 1941 and January 1942. The Soviet defensive effort frustrated Hitler's attack on Moscow, capital of...

 and Stalingrad
Battle of Stalingrad
The Battle of Stalingrad was a major battle of World War II in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in southwestern Russia. The battle took place between 23 August 1942 and 2 February 1943...

. Eventually, the Red Army drove through Eastern Europe in 1944–45 and captured Berlin
Battle of Berlin
The Battle of Berlin, designated the Berlin Strategic Offensive Operation by the Soviet Union, was the final major offensive of the European Theatre of World War II....

 in May 1945. Having played the decisive role in the Allied victory, the USSR emerged a recognized superpower after the war.

Stalin headed the Soviet delegations at the Yalta
Yalta Conference
The Yalta Conference, sometimes called the Crimea Conference and codenamed the Argonaut Conference, held February 4–11, 1945, was the wartime meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union, represented by President Franklin D...

 and Potsdam Conference
Potsdam Conference
The Potsdam Conference was held at Cecilienhof, the home of Crown Prince Wilhelm Hohenzollern, in Potsdam, occupied Germany, from 16 July to 2 August 1945. Participants were the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States...

s, which defined the map of post-war Europe. Communist-dominated leftist governments loyal to the Soviet Union were installed in the Eastern Bloc
Eastern bloc
The term Eastern Bloc or Communist Bloc refers to the former communist states of Eastern and Central Europe, generally the Soviet Union and the countries of the Warsaw Pact...

 satellite state
Satellite state
A satellite state is a political term that refers to a country that is formally independent, but under heavy political and economic influence or control by another country...

s as the USSR entered a struggle for global dominance, known as the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, with the United States and NATO. In Asia, Stalin established good relations with Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

 and Kim Il-sung
Kim Il-sung
Kim Il-sung was a Korean communist politician who led the Democratic People's Republic of Korea from its founding in 1948 until his death in 1994. He held the posts of Prime Minister from 1948 to 1972 and President from 1972 to his death...

, and the Stalin-era Soviet Union in various ways served as a model for the newly formed People's Republic of China and Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea)
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

.

In power until his death in 1953, Stalin led the USSR during the period of post-war reconstruction, marked by the dominance of Stalinist architecture
Stalinist architecture
Stalinist architecture , also referred to as Stalinist Gothic, or Socialist Classicism, is a term given to architecture of the Soviet Union between 1933, when Boris Iofan's draft for Palace of the Soviets was officially approved, and 1955, when Nikita Khrushchev condemned "excesses" of the past...

 (most famously represented by the Stalin skyscrapers). The successful development of the Soviet nuclear program enabled the country to become the world's second nuclear weapons power
Russia and weapons of mass destruction
Russia possesses the largest stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in the world. The country declared an arsenal of 39,967 tons of chemical weapons in 1997, of which 48% have been destroyed. The Federation of American Scientists, a renowned organization for assessing nuclear weapon...

; the Soviet space program
Soviet space program
The Soviet space program is the rocketry and space exploration programs conducted by the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics from the 1930s until its dissolution in 1991...

 was started as spin-off of the nuclear project. In his last years, Stalin also launched the so-called Great Construction Projects of Communism
Great construction projects of communism
Great construction projects of communism was a term used for a series of ambitious construction projects undertaken in 1950s on the command of Joseph Stalin....

 and the Great Plan for the Transformation of Nature.

Following his death, Stalin and his regime have both been questioned on numerous occasions, the most significant of these being the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1956, when Stalin's successor, Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

, denounced his legacy
On the Personality Cult and its Consequences
On the Personality Cult and its Consequences was a report, critical of Joseph Stalin, made to the Twentieth Party Congress on February 25, 1956 by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. It is more commonly known as the Secret Speech or the Khrushchev Report...

 and drove the process of de-Stalinization
De-Stalinization
De-Stalinization refers to the process of eliminating the cult of personality, Stalinist political system and the Gulag labour-camp system created by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Stalin was succeeded by a collective leadership after his death in March 1953...

 of the Soviet Union. Modern views of Stalin in the Russian Federation remain mixed, with some viewing him as a tyrant while others consider him a capable leader.

Early life


Stalin was born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili on 18 December 1878 to Ketevan Geladze
Ketevan Geladze
Ketevan Geladze was the mother of Joseph Stalin. She was born to a family of Georgian Orthodox Christian serfs in Gambareuli, Imperial Russia , in 1858. Her father, Glakh Geladze, was a potter belonging to Prince Amilakhvari...

 and Besarion Jughashvili
Besarion Jughashvili
Besarion Vanovis Jughashvili was Joseph Stalin's father. His surname means son of Juga, and is derived from either the Ossetian йуга Juga or the old Georgian ჯუღა djuga - 'steel'.-Family and early life:...

, a cobbler, in the town of Gori
Gori, Georgia
Gori is a city in eastern Georgia, which serves as the regional capital of Shida Kartli and the centre of the homonymous administrative district. The name is from Georgian gora , that is, "heap", or "hill"...

, Georgia.
At the age of seven, he contracted smallpox
Smallpox
Smallpox was an infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, which is a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning "spotted", or varus, meaning "pimple"...

, which permanently scarred his face. At ten, he began attending church school where the Georgian children were forced to speak Russian. By the age of twelve, two horse-drawn carriage accidents left his left arm permanently damaged. At sixteen, he received a scholarship to a Georgian Orthodox
Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church
The Georgian Apostolic Autocephalous Orthodox Church is an autocephalous part of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Since the 4th century AD, Georgian Orthodoxy has been the state religion of Georgia, and it remains the country's largest religious institution....

 seminary
Seminary
A seminary, theological college, or divinity school is an institution of secondary or post-secondary education for educating students in theology, generally to prepare them for ordination as clergy or for other ministry...

, where he rebelled against the imperialist and religious order. Though he performed well there, he was expelled in 1899 after missing his final exams. The seminary's records suggest he was unable to pay his tuition fees. The official Soviet version states that he was expelled for reading illegal literature and forming a Social Democratic study circle.

Shortly after leaving the seminary, Stalin discovered the writings of Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist politician who led the October Revolution of 1917. As leader of the Bolsheviks, he headed the Soviet state during its initial years , as it fought to establish control of Russia in the Russian Civil War and worked to create a...

 and decided to become a Marxist revolutionary, eventually joining Lenin's Bolsheviks in 1903. After being marked by the Okhranka
Okhranka
The Department for Protecting the Public Security and Order , usually called "guard department" and commonly abbreviated in modern sources as Okhrana or Okhranka in Russia, was a secret police force of the Russian Empire and part of the police department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in...

 (the Tsar's secret police) for his activities, he became a full-time revolutionary and outlaw. He became one of the Bolsheviks' chief operatives in the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

, organizing paramilitaries, inciting strikes, spreading propaganda and raising money through bank robberies, ransom kidnappings and extortion.

In the summer of 1906, Stalin married Ekaterina Svanidze
Ekaterina Svanidze
Ekaterina "Kato" Svanidze was the Georgian first wife of Joseph Stalin. They were married in 1906.She was a daughter of Semon Svanadze and Sephora...

, who later gave birth to Stalin's first child, Yakov
Yakov Dzhugashvili
Yakov Iosifovich Dzhugashvili was one of Joseph Stalin's four children . Yakov was the son of Stalin's first wife, Ekaterina Svanidze...

. A year later she died of typhus in Baku.

Stalin was captured and sent to Siberia
Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

 seven times, but escaped most of these exiles. He eventually adopted the name "Stalin", from the Russian word for steel, which he used as an alias and pen name in his published works.

During his last exile, Stalin was conscripted by the Russian army to fight in World War I, but was deemed unfit for service because of his damaged left arm.

Revolution, Civil War, and Polish-Soviet War



Role during the Russian Revolution of 1917



After returning to Saint Petersburg from exile, Stalin ousted Vyacheslav Molotov
Vyacheslav Molotov
Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov was a Soviet politician and diplomat, an Old Bolshevik and a leading figure in the Soviet government from the 1920s, when he rose to power as a protégé of Joseph Stalin, to 1957, when he was dismissed from the Presidium of the Central Committee by Nikita Khrushchev...

 and Alexander Shlyapnikov
Alexander Shlyapnikov
Alexander Gavrilovich Shliapnikov was a Russian communist revolutionary, metalworker, and trade union leader. He is best remembered as a memoirist of the October Revolution of 1917 and as the leader of one of the primary opposition movements inside the Russian Communist Party during the decade of...

 as editors of Pravda
Pravda
Pravda was a leading newspaper of the Soviet Union and an official organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party between 1912 and 1991....

. He then took a position in favor of supporting Alexander Kerensky
Alexander Kerensky
Alexander Fyodorovich Kerensky was a major political leader before and during the Russian Revolutions of 1917.Kerensky served as the second Prime Minister of the Russian Provisional Government until Vladimir Lenin was elected by the All-Russian Congress of Soviets following the October Revolution...

's provisional government
Russian Provisional Government
The Russian Provisional Government was the short-lived administrative body which sought to govern Russia immediately following the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II . On September 14, the State Duma of the Russian Empire was officially dissolved by the newly created Directorate, and the country was...

. However, after Lenin prevailed at the April 1917 Party conference, Stalin and Pravda supported overthrowing the provisional government. At this conference, Stalin was elected to the Bolshevik Central Committee. After Kerensky
Alexander Kerensky
Alexander Fyodorovich Kerensky was a major political leader before and during the Russian Revolutions of 1917.Kerensky served as the second Prime Minister of the Russian Provisional Government until Vladimir Lenin was elected by the All-Russian Congress of Soviets following the October Revolution...

 ordered the arrest of Lenin following the July Days
July Days
The July Days refers to events in 1917 that took place in Petrograd, Russia, between 3 July and 7 July , when soldiers and industrial workers engaged in spontaneous demonstrations against the Russian Provisional Government...

, Stalin helped Lenin evade capture. After the jailed Bolsheviks were freed to help defend Saint Petersburg in October 1917, the Bolshevik Central Committee voted in favor of an insurrection. On 7 November, from the Smolny Institute, Stalin, Lenin and the rest of the Central Committee coordinated the insurrection against Kerensky in the 1917 October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

. By 8 November, the Bolsheviks had stormed the Winter Palace
Winter Palace
The Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia, was, from 1732 to 1917, the official residence of the Russian monarchs. Situated between the Palace Embankment and the Palace Square, adjacent to the site of Peter the Great's original Winter Palace, the present and fourth Winter Palace was built and...

 and Kerensky's Cabinet had been arrested.

Role in the Russian Civil War, 1917–1919


Upon seizing Petrograd, Stalin was appointed People's Commissar for Nationalities' Affairs. Thereafter, civil war
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

 broke out in Russia, pitting Lenin's
Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist politician who led the October Revolution of 1917. As leader of the Bolsheviks, he headed the Soviet state during its initial years , as it fought to establish control of Russia in the Russian Civil War and worked to create a...

 Red Army against the White Army, a loose alliance of anti-Bolshevik forces. Lenin formed a five-member Politburo
Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Politburo , known as the Presidium from 1952 to 1966, functioned as the central policymaking and governing body of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.-Duties and responsibilities:The...

 which included Stalin and Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

. In May 1918, Lenin dispatched Stalin to the city of Tsaritsyn
Volgograd
Volgograd , formerly called Tsaritsyn and Stalingrad is an important industrial city and the administrative center of Volgograd Oblast, Russia. It is long, north to south, situated on the western bank of the Volga River...

. Through his new allies, Kliment Voroshilov
Kliment Voroshilov
Kliment Yefremovich Voroshilov , popularly known as Klim Voroshilov was a Soviet military officer, politician, and statesman...

 and Semyon Budyonny
Semyon Budyonny
Semyon Mikhailovich Budyonny , sometimes transliterated as Budennyj, Budyonnyy, Budennii, Budenny, Budyoni, Budyenny, or Budenny, was a Soviet cavalryman, military commander, politician and a close ally of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.-Early life:...

, Stalin imposed his influence on the military.

Stalin challenged many of the decisions of Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

, ordered the killings of many former Tsarist officers in the Red Army and counter-revolutionaries and burned villages in order to intimidate the peasantry into submission and discourage bandit raids on food shipments. In May 1919, in order to stem mass desertions on the Western front, Stalin had deserters and renegades publicly executed as traitors.

Role in the Polish-Soviet War, 1919–1921


After their Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

 victory, the Bolsheviks moved to establish a sphere of influence in Central Europe, starting with what became the Polish–Soviet War. As commander of the southern front, Stalin was determined to take the Polish-held city of Lviv
Lviv
Lviv is a city in western Ukraine. The city is regarded as one of the main cultural centres of today's Ukraine and historically has also been a major Polish and Jewish cultural center, as Poles and Jews were the two main ethnicities of the city until the outbreak of World War II and the following...

. This conflicted with general strategy set by Lenin and Trotsky, which focused upon the capture of Warsaw
Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

 further north.

Trotsky's forces engaged with those of Polish commander Władysław Sikorski at the Battle of Warsaw
Battle of Warsaw (1920)
The Battle of Warsaw sometimes referred to as the Miracle at the Vistula, was the decisive battle of the Polish–Soviet War. That war began soon after the end of World War I in 1918 and lasted until the Treaty of Riga resulted in the end of the hostilities between Poland and Russia in 1921.The...

, but Stalin refused to redirect his troops from Lviv to help. Consequently, the battles for both Lviv
Lviv
Lviv is a city in western Ukraine. The city is regarded as one of the main cultural centres of today's Ukraine and historically has also been a major Polish and Jewish cultural center, as Poles and Jews were the two main ethnicities of the city until the outbreak of World War II and the following...

 and Warsaw
Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

 were lost, for which Stalin was blamed. Stalin returned to Moscow in August 1920, where he defended himself and resigned his military commission. At the Ninth Party Conference on 22 September, Trotsky openly criticized Stalin's behavior.

Rise to power



Stalin played a decisive role in engineering the 1921 Red Army invasion of Georgia
Red Army invasion of Georgia
The Red Army invasion of Georgia also known as the Soviet–Georgian War or the Soviet invasion of Georgia was a military campaign by the Soviet Russian Red Army against the Democratic Republic of Georgia aimed at overthrowing the Social-Democratic government and installing the Bolshevik regime...

, following which he adopted particularly hardline, centralist policies towards Soviet Georgia, which included the Georgian Affair
Georgian Affair
The Georgian Affair of 1922 was a political conflict within the Soviet leadership about the way in which social and political transformation was to be achieved in the Georgian SSR...

 of 1922 and other repressions. This created a rift with Lenin, who believed that all the Soviet states should stand equal.

Lenin still considered Stalin to be a loyal ally, and when he got mired in squabbles with Trotsky and other politicians, he decided to give Stalin more power. With the help of Lev Kamenev
Lev Kamenev
Lev Borisovich Kamenev , born Rozenfeld , was a Bolshevik revolutionary and a prominent Soviet politician. He was briefly head of state of the new republic in 1917, and from 1923-24 the acting Premier in the last year of Lenin's life....

, Lenin had Stalin appointed as General Secretary
General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was the title given to the leader of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. With some exceptions, the office was synonymous with leader of the Soviet Union...

 in 1922. This post allowed Stalin to appoint many of his allies to government positions.

Lenin suffered a stroke in 1922, forcing him into semi-retirement in Gorki
Gorki Leninskiye
Gorki Leninskiye is an urban locality in Leninsky District of Moscow Oblast, Russia, south of Moscow city limits and the MKAD. Population:...

. Stalin visited him often, acting as his intermediary with the outside world. The pair quarreled and their relationship deteriorated. Lenin dictated increasingly disparaging notes on Stalin in what would become his testament. He criticized Stalin's rude manners, excessive power, ambition and politics, and suggested that Stalin should be removed from the position of General Secretary. During Lenin's semi-retirement, Stalin forged an alliance with Kamenev and Grigory Zinoviev
Grigory Zinoviev
Grigory Yevseevich Zinoviev , born Ovsei-Gershon Aronovich Radomyslsky Apfelbaum , was a Bolshevik revolutionary and a Soviet Communist politician...

 against Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

. These allies prevented Lenin's Testament
Lenin's Testament
Lenin's Testament is the name given to a document written by Vladimir Lenin in the last weeks of 1922 and the first week of 1923. In the testament, Lenin proposed changes to the structure of the Soviet governing bodies...

 from being revealed to the Twelfth Party Congress in April 1923.

Lenin died of a heart attack on 21 January 1924. Again, Kamenev and Zinoviev helped to keep Lenin's Testament from going public. Thereafter, Stalin's disputes with Lev Kamenev
Lev Kamenev
Lev Borisovich Kamenev , born Rozenfeld , was a Bolshevik revolutionary and a prominent Soviet politician. He was briefly head of state of the new republic in 1917, and from 1923-24 the acting Premier in the last year of Lenin's life....

 and Zinoviev intensified. Trotsky, Kamenev and Zinoviev grew increasingly isolated, and were eventually ejected from the Central Committee and then from the Party itself. Kamenev and Zinoviev were later readmitted, but Trotsky was exiled from the Soviet Union.

The Northern Expedition in China became a point of contention over foreign policy by Stalin and Trotsky. Stalin followed a practical policy, ignoring communist ideology. He told the Chinese Communist Party to stop whining about the lower classes and follow the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

's orders. Stalin, like Lenin, believed that the KMT bourgeoisie would defeat the western imperialists in China and complete the revolution. Trotsky wanted the Communist party to complete an orthodox proletarian revolution and opposed the KMT. Stalin funded the KMT during the expedition. Stalin countered Trotsky's criticism by making a secret speech in which he said that Chiang's right wing Kuomintang were the only ones capable of defeating the imperialists, that Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek was a political and military leader of 20th century China. He is known as Jiǎng Jièshí or Jiǎng Zhōngzhèng in Mandarin....

 had funding from the rich merchants, and that his forces were to be utilized until squeezed for all usefulness like a lemon before being discarded. However, Chiang quickly reversed the tables in the Shanghai massacre of 1927
Shanghai massacre of 1927
The April 12 Incident of 1927 refers to the violent suppression of Chinese Communist Party organizations in Shanghai by the military forces of Chiang Kai-shek and conservative factions in the Kuomintang...

 by massacring the Communist party in Shanghai midway in the Northern Expedition.

Stalin pushed for more rapid industrialization and central control of the economy, contravening Lenin's New Economic Policy
New Economic Policy
The New Economic Policy was an economic policy proposed by Vladimir Lenin, who called it state capitalism. Allowing some private ventures, the NEP allowed small animal businesses or smoke shops, for instance, to reopen for private profit while the state continued to control banks, foreign trade,...

 (NEP). At the end of 1927, a critical shortfall in grain supplies prompted Stalin to push for collectivisation of agriculture and order the seizures of grain hoards from kulak
Kulak
Kulaks were a category of relatively affluent peasants in the later Russian Empire, Soviet Russia, and early Soviet Union...

 farmers. Bukharin
Nikolai Bukharin
Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin , was a Russian Marxist, Bolshevik revolutionary, and Soviet politician. He was a member of the Politburo and Central Committee , chairman of the Communist International , and the editor in chief of Pravda , the journal Bolshevik , Izvestia , and the Great Soviet...

 and Premier
Premier of the Soviet Union
The office of Premier of the Soviet Union was synonymous with head of government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics . Twelve individuals have been premier...

 Alexey Rykov opposed these policies and advocated a return to the NEP, but the rest of the Politburo sided with Stalin and removed Bukharin from the Politburo in November 1929. Rykov was fired the following year, and was replaced by Vyacheslav Molotov
Vyacheslav Molotov
Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov was a Soviet politician and diplomat, an Old Bolshevik and a leading figure in the Soviet government from the 1920s, when he rose to power as a protégé of Joseph Stalin, to 1957, when he was dismissed from the Presidium of the Central Committee by Nikita Khrushchev...

 on Stalin's recommendation.

In December 1934, the popular Sergei Kirov was murdered. Stalin blamed Kirov's murder on a vast conspiracy of saboteurs and Trotskyites. He launched a massive purge against these internal enemies, putting them on rigged show trials and then having them executed or imprisoned in Siberian gulags. Among these victims were old enemies, including Bukharin, Rykov, Kamenev and Zinoviev. Stalin made the loyal Nikolai Yezhov
Nikolai Yezhov
Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov or Ezhov was a senior figure in the NKVD under Joseph Stalin during the period of the Great Purge. His reign is sometimes known as the "Yezhovshchina" , "the Yezhov era", a term that began to be used during the de-Stalinization campaign of the 1950s...

 head of the secret police, the NKVD
NKVD
The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs was the public and secret police organization of the Soviet Union that directly executed the rule of power of the Soviets, including political repression, during the era of Joseph Stalin....

, and had him purge the NKVD of veteran Bolsheviks. With no serious opponents left in power, Stalin ended the purges in 1938. Yezhov was held to blame for the excesses of the Great Terror, and was dismissed and later executed.

Bolstering Soviet secret service and intelligence


Stalin vastly increased the scope and power of the state's secret police and intelligence agencies. Under his guiding hand, Soviet intelligence forces began to set up intelligence networks in most of the major nations of the world, including Germany (the famous Rote Kappelle spy ring), Great Britain, France, Japan, and the United States. Stalin made considerable use of the Communist International
Comintern
The Communist International, abbreviated as Comintern, also known as the Third International, was an international communist organization initiated in Moscow during March 1919...

 movement in order to infiltrate agents and to ensure that foreign Communist parties remained pro-Soviet and pro-Stalin.

One of the best examples of Stalin's ability to integrate secret police and foreign espionage came in 1940, when he gave approval to the secret police to have Leon Trotsky assassinated in Mexico.

Cult of personality


Stalin created a cult of personality
Cult of personality
A cult of personality arises when an individual uses mass media, propaganda, or other methods, to create an idealized and heroic public image, often through unquestioning flattery and praise. Cults of personality are usually associated with dictatorships...

 in the Soviet Union around both himself and Lenin. Many personality cults in history have been frequently measured and compared to his. Numerous towns, villages and cities were renamed after the Soviet leader (see List of places named after Stalin) and the Stalin Prize and Stalin Peace Prize were named in his honor. He accepted grandiloquent titles (e.g., "Coryphaeus
Coryphaeus
Coryphaeus, or Koryphaios , and often corypheus in English. In Attic drama, the coryphaeus was the leader of the chorus. Hence the term is used for the chief or leader of any company or movement...

 of Science," "Father of Nations," "Brilliant Genius of Humanity," "Great Architect of Communism," "Gardener of Human Happiness," and others), and helped rewrite Soviet history to provide himself a more significant role in the revolution. At the same time, according to Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

, he insisted that he be remembered for "the extraordinary modesty characteristic of truly great people." Statues of Stalin depict him at a height and build approximating Alexander III
Alexander III of Russia
Alexander Alexandrovich Romanov , historically remembered as Alexander III or Alexander the Peacemaker reigned as Emperor of Russia from until his death on .-Disposition:...

, while photographic evidence suggests he was between 5 ft 5 in and 5 ft 6 in (165–168 cm).

Trotsky criticized the cult of personality built around Stalin. It reached new levels during World War II, with Stalin's name included in the new Soviet national anthem. Stalin became the focus of literature, poetry, music, paintings and film, exhibiting fawning devotion, crediting Stalin with almost god-like qualities, and suggesting he single-handedly won the Second World War. It is debatable as to how much Stalin relished the cult surrounding him. The Finnish communist Arvo Tuominen
Arvo Tuominen
Arvo "Poika" Tuominen was a Finnish Communist revolutionary and later a social democratic journalist and politician. Tuominen was given his nickname Poika in 1920 because of his boyish looks—poika means "boy" in Finnish....

 records a sarcastic toast proposed by Stalin at a New Year Party in 1935 in which he said "Comrades! I want to propose a toast to our patriarch, life and sun, liberator of nations, architect of socialism [he rattled off all the appellations applied to him in those days] Josef Vissarionovich Stalin, and I hope this is the first and last speech made to that genius this evening."

In a 1956 speech, Nikita Khrushchev gave a denunciation of Stalin's actions: "It is impermissible and foreign to the spirit of Marxism-Leninism to elevate one person, to transform him into a superman possessing supernatural characteristics akin to those of a god."

Purges and executions


Stalin, as head of the Politburo
Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Politburo , known as the Presidium from 1952 to 1966, functioned as the central policymaking and governing body of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.-Duties and responsibilities:The...

, consolidated near-absolute power in the 1930s with a Great Purge
Great Purge
The Great Purge was a series of campaigns of political repression and persecution in the Soviet Union orchestrated by Joseph Stalin from 1936 to 1938...

 of the party, justified as an attempt to expel 'opportunists' and 'counter-revolutionary infiltrators'. Those targeted by the purge were often expelled from the party; however, more severe measures ranged from banishment to the Gulag labor camp
Labor camp
A labor camp is a simplified detention facility where inmates are forced to engage in penal labor. Labor camps have many common aspects with slavery and with prisons...

s, to execution after trials held by NKVD troika
NKVD troika
NKVD troika or Troika, in Soviet Union history, were commissions of three persons who convicted people without trial. These commissions were employed as an instrument of extrajudicial punishment introduced to circumvent the legal system with a means for quick execution or imprisonment...

s.

In the 1930s, Stalin apparently became increasingly worried about the growing popularity of Sergei Kirov. At the 1934 Party Congress where the vote for the new Central Committee was held, Kirov received only three negative votes, the fewest of any candidate, while Stalin received 1,108 negative votes. After the assassination of Kirov, which may have been orchestrated by Stalin, Stalin invented a detailed scheme to implicate opposition leaders in the murder, including Trotsky, Kamenev and Zinoviev
Grigory Zinoviev
Grigory Yevseevich Zinoviev , born Ovsei-Gershon Aronovich Radomyslsky Apfelbaum , was a Bolshevik revolutionary and a Soviet Communist politician...

. The investigations and trials expanded. Stalin passed a new law on "terrorist organizations and terrorist acts", which were to be investigated for no more than ten days, with no prosecution, defense attorneys or appeals, followed by a sentence to be executed "quickly."

Thereafter, several trials known as the Moscow Trials
Moscow Trials
The Moscow Trials were a series of show trials conducted in the Soviet Union and orchestrated by Joseph Stalin during the Great Purge of the 1930s. The victims included most of the surviving Old Bolsheviks, as well as the leadership of the Soviet secret police...

 were held, but the procedures were replicated throughout the country. Article 58 of the legal code, listing prohibited anti-Soviet activities as counterrevolutionary crime was applied in the broadest manner. The flimsiest pretexts were often enough to brand someone an "enemy of the people
Enemy of the people
The term enemy of the people is a fluid designation of political or class opponents of the group using the term. The term implies that the "enemies" in question are acting against society as a whole. It is similar to the notion of "enemy of the state". The term originated in Roman times as ,...

", starting the cycle of public persecution and abuse, often proceeding to interrogation, torture and deportation, if not death. The Russian word troika gained a new meaning: a quick, simplified trial by a committee of three subordinated to NKVD -NKVD troika
NKVD troika
NKVD troika or Troika, in Soviet Union history, were commissions of three persons who convicted people without trial. These commissions were employed as an instrument of extrajudicial punishment introduced to circumvent the legal system with a means for quick execution or imprisonment...

- with sentencing carried out within 24 hours. Stalin's hand picked executioner, Vasili Blokhin
Vasili Blokhin
Vasili Mikhailovich Blokhin was a Soviet Major-General who served as the chief executioner of the Stalinist NKVD under the administrations of Genrikh Yagoda, Nikolai Yezhov and Lavrenty Beria...

, was entrusted with carrying out some of the high profile executions in this period.
Many military leaders were convicted of treason, and a large scale purging of Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 officers followed. The repression of so many formerly high-ranking revolutionaries and party members led Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

 to claim that a "river of blood" separated Stalin's regime from that of Lenin. In August 1940, Trotsky was assassinated in Mexico, where he had lived in exile since January 1937; this eliminated the last of Stalin's opponents among the former Party leadership.

With the exception of Vladimir Milyutin
Vladimir Milyutin
Vladimir Pavlovich Milyutin was a Bolshevik leader who was appointed People's Commissar of Agriculture in 1917....

 (who died in prison in 1937) and Joseph Stalin himself, all of the members of Lenin's original cabinet who had not succumbed to death from natural causes before the purge were executed.

Mass operations of the NKVD
Mass operations of the NKVD
Mass operations of the NKVD were carried out during the Great Purge and targeted specific categories of people. As a rule, they were carried out according to the corresponding order of the People's Commissar of Internal Affairs Nikolai Yezhov....

 also targeted "national contingents" (foreign ethnicities) such as Poles, ethnic Germans, Koreans, etc. A total of 350,000 (144,000 of them Poles) were arrested and 247,157 (110,000 Poles) were executed. Many Americans who had emigrated to the Soviet Union during the worst of the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

 were executed; others were sent to prison camps or gulags. Concurrent with the purges, efforts were made to rewrite the history in Soviet textbooks and other propaganda materials. Notable people executed by NKVD
NKVD
The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs was the public and secret police organization of the Soviet Union that directly executed the rule of power of the Soviets, including political repression, during the era of Joseph Stalin....

 were removed from the texts and photographs as though they never existed. Gradually, the history of revolution was transformed to a story about just two key characters: Lenin and Stalin.

In light of revelations from the Soviet archives, historians now estimate that nearly 700,000 people (353,074 in 1937 and 328,612 in 1938) were executed in the course of the terror, with the great mass of victims being "ordinary" Soviet citizens: workers, peasants, homemakers, teachers, priests, musicians, soldiers, pensioners, ballerinas, beggars. Many of the executed were interred in mass graves
Mass graves in the Soviet Union
This page discusses mass graves in the Soviet Union.-Soviet repression and terror:The government of the USSR under Stalin murdered many of its own citizens and foreigners. These mass killings were carried out by the security organisations, such as the NKVD, and reached their peak in the Great Purge...

, with some of the major killing and burial sites being Bykivnia
Bykivnia
Bykivnia is a former small village on the outskirts of Kiev, Ukraine, that was incorporated into the city in 1923. It is known for the National Historic-Memorial Reserve "Bykivnia Graves"....

, Kurapaty
Kurapaty
Kurapaty is a wooded area on the outskirts of Minsk, Belarus, in which a vast number of people were executed between 1937 and 1941 by the Soviet secret police, the NKVD.The exact count of victims is uncertain, NKVD archives are classified in Belarus...

 and Butovo
Butovo firing range
The Butovo firing range is the name of a location where more than 20,000 political prisoners were shot during the Great Terror of the Soviet Union and thereafter from 1938 to 1953. It is located in the Yuzhnoye Butovo District of Moscow, near the village of Drozhzhino...

.

Some Western experts believe the evidence released from the Soviet archives is understated, incomplete or unreliable.

Stalin personally signed 357 proscription
Proscription
Proscription is a term used for the public identification and official condemnation of enemies of the state. It is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as a "decree of condemnation to death or banishment" and is a heavily politically charged word, frequently used to refer to state-approved...

 lists in 1937 and 1938 which condemned to execution some 40,000 people, and about 90% of these are confirmed to have been shot. At the time, while reviewing one such list, Stalin reportedly muttered to no one in particular: "Who's going to remember all this riff-raff in ten or twenty years time? No one. Who remembers the names now of the boyars Ivan the Terrible got rid of? No one." In addition, Stalin dispatched a contingent of NKVD operatives to Mongolia, established a Mongolian version of the NKVD troika
NKVD troika
NKVD troika or Troika, in Soviet Union history, were commissions of three persons who convicted people without trial. These commissions were employed as an instrument of extrajudicial punishment introduced to circumvent the legal system with a means for quick execution or imprisonment...

 and unleashed a bloody purge
Stalinist purges in Mongolia
The Stalinist repressions in Mongolia had their climax between 1937 and 1939 , under the leadership of Khorloogiin Choibalsan. The purges affected the whole country, although the main focus was on upper party and government ranks, the army, and especially the Buddhist clergy. One very common...

 in which tens of thousands were executed as 'Japanese Spies.' Mongolian ruler Khorloogiin Choibalsan closely followed Stalin's lead.

During the 1930s and 40s the Soviet leadership sent NKVD squads into other countries to murder defectors and other opponents of the Soviet regime. Victims of such plots included Yevhen Konovalets
Yevhen Konovalets
Yevhen Konovalets was a military commander of the UNR army and political leader of the Ukrainian nationalist movement...

, Ignace Poretsky
Ignace Poretsky
Ignace Reiss, AKA "Ignace Poretsky," "Ignatz Reiss," "Ludwig," "Ludwik", "Hans Eberhardt," "Steff Brandt," and Nathan Poreckij was one of the "Great Illegals" or Soviet spies who worked in third party countries where they weren't nationals in the late 1920s and 1930s...

, Rudolf Klement, Alexander Kutepov
Alexander Kutepov
Alexander Pavlovich Kutepov was a leader of the anti-communist Volunteer Army during the Russian Civil War....

, Evgeny Miller, Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

 and the Workers' Party of Marxist Unification (POUM
Poum
Poum is a commune in the North Province of New Caledonia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean. The town of Poum is located in the far northwest, located on the southern part of Banare Bay, with Mouac Island just offshore....

) leadership in Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

 (e.g., Andreu Nin).

Population transfer


Shortly before, during and immediately after World War II, Stalin conducted a series of deportations on a huge scale which profoundly affected the ethnic map of the Soviet Union. It is estimated that between 1941 and 1949 nearly 3.3 million were deported to Siberia
Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

 and the Central Asian republics. By some estimates up to 43% of the resettled population died of diseases and malnutrition
Malnutrition
Malnutrition is the condition that results from taking an unbalanced diet in which certain nutrients are lacking, in excess , or in the wrong proportions....

.

Separatism, resistance to Soviet rule and collaboration with the invading Germans were cited as the official reasons for the deportations, rightly or wrongly. Individual circumstances of those spending time in German-occupied territories were not examined. After the brief Nazi occupation of the Caucasus, the entire population of five of the small highland peoples and the Crimean Tatars more than a million people in total were deported without notice or any opportunity to take their possessions.

As a result of Stalin's lack of trust in the loyalty of particular ethnicities, such ethnic groups as the Soviet Koreans
Koryo-saram
Koryo-saram is the name which ethnic Koreans in the post-Soviet states use to refer to themselves. Approximately 500,000 ethnic Koreans reside in the former Soviet Union, primarily in the now-independent states of Central Asia. There are also large Korean communities in southern Russia , the...

, the Volga Germans, the Crimean Tatars
Crimean Tatars
Crimean Tatars or Crimeans are a Turkic ethnic group that originally resided in Crimea. They speak the Crimean Tatar language...

, the Chechens, and many Poles
Poles
thumb|right|180px|The state flag of [[Poland]] as used by Polish government and diplomatic authoritiesThe Polish people, or Poles , are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the historical Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe...

 were forcibly moved out of strategic areas and relocated to places in the central Soviet Union, especially Kazakhstan in Soviet Central Asia
Soviet Central Asia
Soviet Central Asia refers to the section of Central Asia formerly controlled by the Soviet Union, as well as the time period of Soviet administration . In terms of area, it is nearly synonymous with Russian Turkestan, the name for the region during the Russian Empire...

. By some estimates, hundreds of thousands of deportees may have died en route.

According to official Soviet estimates, more than 14 million people passed through the Gulag from 1929 to 1953, with a further 7 to 8 million being deported and exiled to remote areas of the Soviet Union (including the entire nationalities in several cases).

In February 1956, Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

 condemned the deportations as a violation of Leninism
Leninism
In Marxist philosophy, Leninism is the body of political theory for the democratic organisation of a revolutionary vanguard party, and the achievement of a direct-democracy dictatorship of the proletariat, as political prelude to the establishment of socialism...

, and reversed most of them, although it was not until 1991 that the Tatars, Meskheti
Meskheti
Meskheti is in a mountainous area of Moschia and is a former province in southwestern Georgia. The ancient Georgian tribes of Meskhi and Mosiniks were the indigenous population of this region. A majority of the modern Georgian population of Meskheti are descendants of these ancient tribes...

ans and Volga Germans were allowed to return en masse to their homelands. The deportations had a profound effect on the peoples of the Soviet Union. The memory of the deportations played a major part in the separatist movements in the Baltic States, Tatarstan
Tatarstan
The Republic of Tatarstan is a federal subject of Russia located in the Volga Federal District. Its capital is the city of Kazan, which is one of Russia's largest and most prosperous cities. The republic borders with Kirov, Ulyanovsk, Samara, and Orenburg Oblasts, and with the Mari El, Udmurt,...

 and Chechnya
Chechnya
The Chechen Republic , commonly referred to as Chechnya , also spelled Chechnia or Chechenia, sometimes referred to as Ichkeria , is a federal subject of Russia . It is located in the southeastern part of Europe in the Northern Caucasus mountains. The capital of the republic is the city of Grozny...

, even today.

Collectivization



Stalin's regime moved to force collectivization
Collective farming
Collective farming and communal farming are types of agricultural production in which the holdings of several farmers are run as a joint enterprise...

 of agriculture. This was intended to increase agricultural output from large-scale mechanized farms, to bring the peasantry under more direct political control, and to make tax collection more efficient. Collectivization meant drastic social changes, on a scale not seen since the abolition of serfdom in 1861, and alienation from control of the land and its produce. Collectivization also meant a drastic drop in living standards for many peasants, and it faced violent reaction among the peasantry.

In the first years of collectivization it was estimated that industrial production would rise by 200% and agricultural production by 50%, but these estimates were not met. Stalin blamed this unanticipated failure on kulaks (rich peasants), who resisted collectivization. (However, kulaks proper made up only 4% of the peasant population; the "kulaks" that Stalin targeted included the slightly better-off peasants who took the brunt of violence from the OGPU
State Political Directorate
The State Political Directorate was the secret police of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and the Soviet Union from 1922 until 1934...

 and the Komsomol. These peasants were about 60% of the population). Those officially defined as "kulaks," "kulak helpers," and later "ex-kulaks" were to be shot, placed into Gulag labor camp
Labor camp
A labor camp is a simplified detention facility where inmates are forced to engage in penal labor. Labor camps have many common aspects with slavery and with prisons...

s, or deported to remote areas of the country, depending on the charge. Archival data indicates that 20,201 people were executed during 1930, the year of Dekulakization
Dekulakization
Dekulakization was the Soviet campaign of political repressions, including arrests, deportations, and executions of millions of the better-off peasants and their families in 1929-1932. The richer peasants were labeled kulaks and considered class enemies...

.

The two-stage progress of collectivization—interrupted for a year by Stalin's famous editorials, "Dizzy with success" and "Reply to Collective Farm Comrades"—is a prime example of his capacity for tactical political withdrawal followed by intensification of initial strategies.

Famines


Famine
Famine
A famine is a widespread scarcity of food, caused by several factors including crop failure, overpopulation, or government policies. This phenomenon is usually accompanied or followed by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality. Every continent in the world has...

 affected other parts of the USSR. The death toll from famine in the Soviet Union at this time is estimated at between five and ten million people. The worst crop failure of late tsarist Russia, in 1892, had caused 375,000 to 400,000 deaths. Most modern scholars agree that the famine was caused by the policies of the government of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 under Stalin, rather than by natural reasons. According to Alan Bullock, "the total Soviet grain crop was no worse than that of 1931 ... it was not a crop failure but the excessive demands of the state, ruthlessly enforced, that cost the lives of as many as five million Ukrainian peasants." Stalin refused to release large grain reserves that could have alleviated the famine, while continuing to export grain; he was convinced that the Ukrainian peasants had hidden grain away, and strictly enforced draconian new collective-farm theft laws in response. Other historians hold it was largely the insufficient harvests of 1931 and 1932 caused by a variety of natural disasters that resulted in famine, with the successful harvest of 1933 ending the famine. Soviet and other historians have argued that the rapid collectivization of agriculture was necessary in order to achieve an equally rapid industrialization of the Soviet Union and ultimately win World War II. Alec Nove claims that the Soviet Union industrialized in spite of, rather than because of, its collectivized agriculture.

The USSR also experienced a major famine in 1947
Soviet Famine of 1947
The last major famine to hit the USSR "began in July 1946, reached its peak in February–August 1947 and then quickly diminished in intensity, although there were still some famine deaths in 1948." It was triggered by a bad harvest caused by drought in 1946. However, the surplus stocks in the hands...

 as a result of war damage and severe droughts, but economist Michael Ellman argues that it could have been prevented if the government did not mismanage its grain reserves. The famine cost an estimated 1 to 1.5 million lives as well as secondary population losses due to reduced fertility.

Ukrainian famine



The Holodomor famine is sometimes referred to as the Ukrainian Genocide
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

, implying it was engineered by the Soviet government, specifically targeting the Ukrainian people to destroy the Ukrainian nation as a political factor and social entity. While historians continue to disagree whether the policies that led to Holodomor fall under the legal definition of genocide
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 9 December 1948 as General Assembly Resolution 260. The Convention entered into force on 12 January 1951. It defines genocide in legal terms, and is the culmination of...

, twenty six countries have officially recognized the Holodomor as such. On 28 November 2006, the Ukrainian Parliament approved a bill, according to which the Soviet-era forced famine was an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people. Professor Michael Ellman concludes that Ukrainians were victims of genocide in 1932–33, according to a more relaxed definition
Genocide definitions
This is a list of scholarly and international legal definitions of genocide, a word coined by Raphael Lemkin in 1944. While there are various definitions of the term, almost all international bodies of law officially adjudicate the crime of genocide pursuant to the Convention on the Prevention and...

, which is favored by some specialists in the field of genocide studies. He asserts that Soviet policies greatly exacerbated the famine's death toll (such as the use of torture and execution to extract grain (see Law of Spikelets
Law of Spikelets
Law of Spikelets or Law of Three Spikelets was a common name of the Soviet law to protect state property of kolkhozes. The common name came into use because the law was used to prosecute not only property thieves but also anyone who collected as little as a handful of grain or "spikelets" left...

), with 1.8 million tonnes of it being exported during the height of the starvation—enough to feed 5 million people for one year, the use of force to prevent starving peasants from fleeing the worst affected areas, and the refusal to import grain or secure international humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering) and that Stalin intended to use the starvation as a cheap and efficient means (as opposed to deportations and shootings) to kill off those deemed to be "counterrevolutionaries," "idlers," and "thieves," but not to annihilate the Ukrainian peasantry as a whole. He also claims that, while this is not the only Soviet genocide (e.g. The Polish operation of the NKVD
Polish operation of the NKVD
The Genocide of Poles in the Soviet Union often referred to as, the Polish operation of the NKVD, was a coordinated action of the Soviet NKVD and the Communist Party in 1937–1938 against the entire Polish minority living in the Soviet Union, representing only 0.4 percent of Soviet citizens...

), it is the worst in terms of mass casualties.

Current estimates on the total number of casualties within Soviet Ukraine range mostly from 2.2 million
to 4 to 5 million.

A Ukrainian court found Josef Stalin and other leaders of the former Soviet Union guilty of genocide by "organizing mass famine in Ukraine in 1932–1933" in January 2010. However, the court "dropped criminal proceedings over the suspects' deaths".

Industrialization


The Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

 and wartime communism had a devastating effect on the country's economy. Industrial output in 1922 was 13% of that in 1914. A recovery followed under the New Economic Policy
New Economic Policy
The New Economic Policy was an economic policy proposed by Vladimir Lenin, who called it state capitalism. Allowing some private ventures, the NEP allowed small animal businesses or smoke shops, for instance, to reopen for private profit while the state continued to control banks, foreign trade,...

, which allowed a degree of market flexibility within the context of socialism. Under Stalin's direction, this was replaced by a system of centrally ordained "Five-Year Plans" in the late 1920s. These called for a highly ambitious program of state-guided crash industrialization and the collectivization of agriculture.

With seed capital unavailable because of international reaction to Communist policies, little international trade
International trade
International trade is the exchange of capital, goods, and services across international borders or territories. In most countries, such trade represents a significant share of gross domestic product...

, and virtually no modern infrastructure, Stalin's government financed industrialization both by restraining consumption on the part of ordinary Soviet citizens to ensure that capital went for re-investment into industry, and by ruthless extraction of wealth from the kulaks.

In 1933 workers' real earnings sank to about one-tenth of the 1926 level. Common and political prisoners in labor camp
Labor camp
A labor camp is a simplified detention facility where inmates are forced to engage in penal labor. Labor camps have many common aspects with slavery and with prisons...

s were forced to do unpaid labor, and communists and Komsomol
Komsomol
The Communist Union of Youth , usually known as Komsomol , was the youth division of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The Komsomol in its earliest form was established in urban centers in 1918. During the early years, it was a Russian organization, known as the Russian Communist Union of...

 members were frequently "mobilized" for various construction projects. The Soviet Union used numerous foreign experts, to design new factories, supervise construction, instruct workers and improve manufacturing processes. The most notable foreign contractor was Albert Kahn's firm that designed and built 521 factories between 1930 and 1932. As a rule, factories were supplied with imported equipment.

In spite of early breakdowns and failures, the first two Five-Year Plans achieved rapid industrialization from a very low economic base. While it is generally agreed that the Soviet Union achieved significant levels of economic growth under Stalin, the precise rate of growth is disputed. It is not disputed, however, that these gains were accomplished at the cost of millions of lives. Official Soviet estimates stated the annual rate of growth at 13.9%; Russian and Western estimates gave lower figures of 5.8% and even 2.9%. Indeed, one estimate is that Soviet growth became temporarily much higher after Stalin's death.

According to Robert Lewis the Five-Year Plan substantially helped to modernize the previously backward Soviet economy. New products were developed, and the scale and efficiency of existing production greatly increased. Some innovations were based on indigenous technical developments, others on imported foreign technology. Despite its costs, the industrialization effort allowed the Soviet Union to fight, and ultimately win, World War II.

Science



Science in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 was under strict ideological control by Stalin and his government, along with art and literature. There was significant progress in "ideologically safe" domains, owing to the free Soviet education system and state-financed research. However, the most notable legacy during Stalin's time was his public endorsement of the Agronomist Trofim Lysenko
Trofim Lysenko
Trofim Denisovich Lysenko was a Soviet agronomist of Ukrainian origin, who was director of Soviet biology under Joseph Stalin. Lysenko rejected Mendelian genetics in favor of the hybridization theories of Russian horticulturist Ivan Vladimirovich Michurin, and adopted them into a powerful...

 who rejected Mendelian genetics as "bourgeois pseudoscience
Bourgeois pseudoscience
Bourgeois pseudoscience was a term of condemnation in the Soviet Union for certain scientific disciplines that were deemed unacceptable from an ideological point of view....

s" and instead supported Hybridization theories that caused widespread agricultural destruction and major setbacks in Soviet knowledge in biology. Although many scientists opposed his views, those who publicly came out were imprisoned and denounced. Some areas of physics were criticized.

Social services


Under the Soviet government people benefited from some social liberalization. Girls were given an adequate, equal education and women had equal rights in employment, improving lives for women and families. Stalinist development also contributed to advances in health care, which significantly increased the lifespan and quality of life of the typical Soviet citizen. Stalin's policies granted the Soviet people universal access to healthcare and education, effectively creating the first generation free from the fear of typhus
Typhus
Epidemic typhus is a form of typhus so named because the disease often causes epidemics following wars and natural disasters...

, cholera
Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

, and malaria
Malaria
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...

. The occurrences of these diseases dropped to record low numbers, increasing life spans by decades.

Soviet women under Stalin were the first generation of women able to give birth in the safety of a hospital, with access to prenatal care. Education was also an example of an increase in standard of living after economic development. The generation born during Stalin's rule was the first near-universally literate generation. Millions benefitted from mass literacy campaigns in the 1930s, and from workers training schemes. Engineers were sent abroad to learn industrial technology, and hundreds of foreign engineers were brought to Russia on contract. Transport links were improved and many new railways built. Workers who exceeded their quotas, Stakhanovite
Stakhanovite
In Soviet history and iconography, a Stakhanovite follows the example of Aleksei Grigorievich Stakhanov, employing hard work or Taylorist efficiencies to over-achieve on the job.- History :...

s
, received many incentives for their work; they could afford to buy the goods that were mass-produced by the rapidly expanding Soviet economy.

The increase in demand due to industrialization and the decrease in the workforce due to World War II and repressions generated a major expansion in job opportunities for the survivors, especially for women.

Culture



Although he was Georgian by birth, Stalin became a Russian nationalist and significantly promoted Russian history, language, and Russian national heroes, particularly during the 1930s and 1940s. He held the Russians up as the elder brothers of the non-Russian minorities.

During Stalin's reign the official and long-lived style of Socialist Realism
Socialist realism
Socialist realism is a style of realistic art which was developed in the Soviet Union and became a dominant style in other communist countries. Socialist realism is a teleologically-oriented style having its purpose the furtherance of the goals of socialism and communism...

 was established for painting, sculpture, music, drama and literature. Previously fashionable "revolutionary" expressionism
Expressionism
Expressionism was a modernist movement, initially in poetry and painting, originating in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. Its typical trait is to present the world solely from a subjective perspective, distorting it radically for emotional effect in order to evoke moods or ideas...

, abstract art
Abstract art
Abstract art uses a visual language of form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world. Western art had been, from the Renaissance up to the middle of the 19th century, underpinned by the logic of perspective and an...

, and avant-garde
Russian avant-garde
The Russian avant-garde is an umbrella term used to define the large, influential wave of modern art that flourished in Russia approximately 1890 to 1930 - although some place its beginning as early as 1850 and its end as late as 1960...

 experimentation were discouraged or denounced as "formalism
Formalism (art)
In art theory, formalism is the concept that a work's artistic value is entirely determined by its form--the way it is made, its purely visual aspects, and its medium. Formalism emphasizes compositional elements such as color, line, shape and texture rather than realism, context, and content...

".

The degree of Stalin's personal involvement in general, and in specific instances, has been the subject of discussion. Stalin's favorite novel Pharaoh
Pharaoh (novel)
Pharaoh is the fourth and last major novel by the Polish writer Bolesław Prus . Composed over a year's time in 1894–95, it was the sole historical novel by an author who had earlier disapproved of historical novels on the ground that they inevitably distort history.Pharaoh has been described...

, shared similarities with Sergei Eisenstein
Sergei Eisenstein
Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein , né Eizenshtein, was a pioneering Soviet Russian film director and film theorist, often considered to be the "Father of Montage"...

's film, Ivan the Terrible
Ivan the Terrible (film)
Ivan the Terrible is a two-part historical epic film about Ivan IV of Russia made by Russian director Sergei Eisenstein. Part 1 was released in 1944 but Part 2 was not released until 1958 due to political censorship...

, produced under Stalin's tutelage.

In architecture, a Stalinist Empire Style
Stalinist architecture
Stalinist architecture , also referred to as Stalinist Gothic, or Socialist Classicism, is a term given to architecture of the Soviet Union between 1933, when Boris Iofan's draft for Palace of the Soviets was officially approved, and 1955, when Nikita Khrushchev condemned "excesses" of the past...

 (basically, updated neoclassicism
Neoclassicism
Neoclassicism is the name given to Western movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that draw inspiration from the "classical" art and culture of Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome...

 on a very large scale, exemplified by the Seven Sisters
Seven Sisters (Moscow)
The "Seven Sisters" is the English name given to a group of Moscow skyscrapers designed in the Stalinist style. Muscovites call them Vysotki or Stalinskie Vysotki , " high-rises"...

 of Moscow) replaced the constructivism
Constructivist architecture
Constructivist architecture was a form of modern architecture that flourished in the Soviet Union in the 1920s and early 1930s. It combined advanced technology and engineering with an avowedly Communist social purpose. Although it was divided into several competing factions, the movement produced...

 of the 1920s. Stalin's rule had a largely disruptive effect on indigenous cultures within the Soviet Union, though the politics of Korenizatsiya
Korenizatsiya
Korenizatsiya sometimes also called korenization, meaning "nativization" or "indigenization", literally "putting down roots", was the early Soviet nationalities policy promoted mostly in the 1920s but with a continuing legacy in later years...

 and forced development were possibly beneficial to the integration of later generations of indigenous cultures.

Religion



Stalin followed the position adopted by Lenin that religion was an opiate that needed to be removed in order to construct the ideal communist society. To this end, his government promoted atheism through special atheistic education in schools, massive amounts of anti-religious propaganda, the antireligious work of public institutions (especially the Society of the Godless), discriminatory laws, and also a terror campaign against religious believers. By the late 1930s it had become dangerous to be publicly associated with religion.

Stalin's role in the fortunes of the Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

 is complex. Continuous persecution in the 1930s resulted in its near-extinction as a public institution: by 1939, active parishes numbered in the low hundreds (down from 54,000 in 1917), many churches had been leveled, and tens of thousands of priests, monks and nuns were persecuted and killed. Over 100,000 were shot during the purges of 1937–1938. During World War II, the Church was allowed a revival as a patriotic organization, and thousands of parishes were reactivated until a further round of suppression in Khrushchev's
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

 time. The Russian Orthodox Church Synod's recognition of the Soviet government and of Stalin personally led to a schism with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia
The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia , also called the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, ROCA, or ROCOR) is a semi-autonomous part of the Russian Orthodox Church....

.

Just days before Stalin's death, certain religious sects were outlawed and persecuted. Many religions popular in the ethnic regions of the Soviet Union including the Roman Catholic Church (including the Eastern Catholic Churches), Baptists, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, etc. underwent ordeals similar to the Orthodox churches in other parts: thousands of monks were persecuted, and hundreds of churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, sacred monuments, monasteries and other religious buildings were razed.

Stalin had a different policy outside of the Soviet Union, he supported the Communist Uyghur
Uyghur people
The Uyghur are a Turkic ethnic group living in Eastern and Central Asia. Today, Uyghurs live primarily in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China...

 Muslim separatists under Ehmetjan Qasim in the Ili Rebellion against the Anti Communist Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 regime. He supplied weapons to the Uyghur Ili army and Red Army support against Chinese forces, and helped them established the Second East Turkestan Republic
Second East Turkestan Republic
The Second East Turkestan Republic, usually known simply as the East Turkestan Republic , was a short-lived Soviet-backed Turkic people's republic which existed in the 1940s in three northern districts of Xinjiang province of the Republic of China, what is now the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous...

 of which Islam was the official state religion.

Theorist



Stalin and his supporters have highlighted the notion that socialism can be built and consolidated by a country
Socialism in One Country
Socialism in One Country was a theory put forth by Joseph Stalin in 1924, elaborated by Nikolai Bukharin in 1925 and finally adopted as state policy by Stalin...

 as underdeveloped as Russia during the 1920s. Indeed this might be the only means in which it could be built in a hostile environment. In 1933, Stalin put forward the theory of aggravation of the class struggle along with the development of socialism
Aggravation of class struggle under socialism
The theory of aggravation of the class struggle along with the development of socialism was one of the cornerstones of Stalinism in the internal politics of the Soviet Union...

, arguing that the further the country would move forward, the more acute forms of struggle will be used by the doomed remnants of exploiter classes in their last desperate efforts and that, therefore, political repression was necessary.

In 1936, Stalin announced that the society of the Soviet Union consisted of two non-antagonistic classes: workers and kolkhoz
Kolkhoz
A kolkhoz , plural kolkhozy, was a form of collective farming in the Soviet Union that existed along with state farms . The word is a contraction of коллекти́вное хозя́йство, or "collective farm", while sovkhoz is a contraction of советское хозяйство...

 peasantry. These corresponded to the two different forms of property over the means of production
Means of production
Means of production refers to physical, non-human inputs used in production—the factories, machines, and tools used to produce wealth — along with both infrastructural capital and natural capital. This includes the classical factors of production minus financial capital and minus human capital...

 that existed in the Soviet Union: state property (for the workers) and collective property (for the peasantry). In addition to these, Stalin distinguished the stratum of intelligentsia
Intelligentsia
The intelligentsia is a social class of people engaged in complex, mental and creative labor directed to the development and dissemination of culture, encompassing intellectuals and social groups close to them...

. The concept of "non-antagonistic classes" was entirely new to Leninist theory. Among Stalin's contributions to Communist theoretical literature were "Dialectical and Historical Materialism
Dialectical and Historical Materialism
Joseph Stalin's "Dialectical and Historical Materialism" is a central text within Soviet political theory.The work first appeared in 1938, and draws heavily upon both Lenin's philosophical works, and the then-new Short Course in the History of the All-Union Communist Party ; it was to become the...

," "Marxism and the National Question", "Trotskyism or Leninism", and "The Principles of Leninism."

Calculating the number of victims


Researchers before the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union attempting to count the number of people killed under Stalin's regime produced estimates ranging from 3 to 60 million. After the Soviet Union dissolved
Dissolution of the Soviet Union
The dissolution of the Soviet Union was the disintegration of the federal political structures and central government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , resulting in the independence of all fifteen republics of the Soviet Union between March 11, 1990 and December 25, 1991...

, evidence from the Soviet archives also became available, containing official records of the execution of approximately 800,000 prisoners under Stalin for either political or criminal offenses, around 1.7 million deaths in the Gulags and some 390,000 deaths during kulak forced resettlement for a total of about 3 million officially recorded victims in these categories.

The official Soviet archival records do not contain comprehensive figures for some categories of victims, such as the those of ethnic deportations
Population transfer in the Soviet Union
Population transfer in the Soviet Union may be classified into the following broad categories: deportations of "anti-Soviet" categories of population, often classified as "enemies of workers," deportations of entire nationalities, labor force transfer, and organized migrations in opposite...

 or of German population transfers
Expulsion of Germans after World War II
The later stages of World War II, and the period after the end of that war, saw the forced migration of millions of German nationals and ethnic Germans from various European states and territories, mostly into the areas which would become post-war Germany and post-war Austria...

 in the aftermath of World War II. Eric D. Weitz wrote, "By 1948, according to Nicolas Werth
The Black Book of Communism
The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression is a book authored by several European academics and edited by Stéphane Courtois, which describes a history of repressions, both political and civilian, by Communist states, including genocides, extrajudicial executions, deportations, and...

, the mortality rate of the 600,000 people deported from the Caucasus between 1943 and 1944 had reached 25%." Other notable exclusions from NKVD
NKVD
The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs was the public and secret police organization of the Soviet Union that directly executed the rule of power of the Soviets, including political repression, during the era of Joseph Stalin....

 data on repression deaths include the Katyn massacre, other killings in the newly occupied areas, and the mass shootings of Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 personnel (deserters and so-called deserters) in 1941. The Soviets executed 158,000 soldiers for desertion during the war, and the "blocking detachments" of the NKVD shot thousands more. Also, the official statistics on Gulag mortality exclude deaths of prisoners taking place shortly after their release but which resulted from the harsh treatment in the camps. Some historians also believe the official archival figures of the categories that were recorded by Soviet authorities to be unreliable and incomplete. In addition to failures regarding comprehensive recordings, as one additional example, Robert Gellately
Robert Gellately
Robert Gellately is a Newfoundland-born Canadian academic who is one of the leading historians of modern Europe, particularly during World War II and the Cold War era. He is presently Earl Ray Beck Professor of History at Florida State University....

 and Simon Sebag-Montefiore argue the many suspects beaten and tortured to death while in "investigative custody" were likely not to have been counted amongst the executed.

Historians working after the Soviet Union's dissolution have estimated victim totals ranging from approximately 4 million to nearly 10 million, not including those who died in famines. Russian writer Vadim Erlikman, for example, makes the following estimates: executions, 1.5 million; gulags, 5 million; deportations, 1.7 million out of 7.5 million deported; and POWs and German civilians, 1 million a total of about 9 million victims of repression.

Some have also included deaths of 6 to 8 million people in the 1932–1933 famine as victims of Stalin's repression. This categorization is controversial however, as historians differ as to whether the famine was a deliberate part of the campaign of repression against kulaks and others, or simply an unintended consequence
Unintended consequence
In the social sciences, unintended consequences are outcomes that are not the outcomes intended by a purposeful action. The concept has long existed but was named and popularised in the 20th century by American sociologist Robert K. Merton...

 of the struggle over forced collectivization.

Accordingly, if famine victims are included, a minimum of around 10 million deaths—6 million from famine and 4 million from other causes—are attributable to the regime, with a number of recent historians suggesting a likely total of around 20 million, citing much higher victim totals from executions, gulags, deportations and other causes. Adding 6–8 million famine victims to Erlikman's estimates above, for example, would yield a total of between 15 and 17 million victims. Researcher Robert Conquest
Robert Conquest
George Robert Ackworth Conquest CMG is a British historian who became a well-known writer and researcher on the Soviet Union with the publication in 1968 of The Great Terror, an account of Stalin's purges of the 1930s...

, meanwhile, has revised his original estimate of up to 30 million victims down to 20 million. In his most recent edition of The Great Terror
The Great Terror
The Great Terror is a book by British historian Robert Conquest, published in 1968. It gave rise to an alternate title of the period in Soviet history known as the Great Purge. The complete title of the book is The Great Terror: Stalin's Purge of the Thirties...

 (2007), Conquest states that while exact numbers may never be known with complete certainty, the various terror campaigns launched by the Soviet government claimed no fewer than 15 million lives. Others maintain that their earlier higher victim total estimates are correct.

World War II, 1939–1945




Pact with Hitler


After a failed attempt to sign an anti-German military alliance with France and Britain and talks with Germany regarding a potential political deal, on 23 August 1939, the Soviet Union entered into a non-aggression pact
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, named after the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, was an agreement officially titled the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union and signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939...

 with Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

, negotiated by Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov
Vyacheslav Molotov
Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov was a Soviet politician and diplomat, an Old Bolshevik and a leading figure in the Soviet government from the 1920s, when he rose to power as a protégé of Joseph Stalin, to 1957, when he was dismissed from the Presidium of the Central Committee by Nikita Khrushchev...

 and German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop
Joachim von Ribbentrop
Ulrich Friedrich Wilhelm Joachim von Ribbentrop was Foreign Minister of Germany from 1938 until 1945. He was later hanged for war crimes after the Nuremberg Trials.-Early life:...

. Officially a non-aggression treaty only, an appended secret protocol, also reached on 23 August 1939, divided the whole of eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence.

The eastern part of Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and part of Romania were recognized as parts of the Soviet sphere of influence, with Lithuania added in a second secret protocol in September 1939. Stalin and Ribbentrop traded toasts on the night of the signing discussing past hostilities between the countries.

Implementing the division of Eastern Europe and other invasions


On 1 September 1939, the German invasion of its agreed upon portion of Poland started World War II. On 17 September the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 invaded
Soviet invasion of Poland
Soviet invasion of Poland can refer to:* the second phase of the Polish-Soviet War of 1920 when Soviet armies marched on Warsaw, Poland* Soviet invasion of Poland of 1939 when Soviet Union allied with Nazi Germany attacked Second Polish Republic...

 eastern Poland and occupied the Polish territory assigned to it by the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, followed by co-ordination with German forces in Poland. Eleven days later, the secret protocol of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was modified, allotting Germany a larger part of Poland, while ceding most of Lithuania to the Soviet Union.

After Stalin declared that he was going to "solve the Baltic problem", by June 1940, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were merged into the Soviet Union, after repressions and actions therein brought about the deaths of over 160,000 citizens of these states. After facing stiff resistance in an invasion of Finland
Winter War
The Winter War was a military conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland. It began with a Soviet offensive on 30 November 1939 – three months after the start of World War II and the Soviet invasion of Poland – and ended on 13 March 1940 with the Moscow Peace Treaty...

, an interim peace was entered, granting the Soviet Union the eastern region of Karelia (10% of Finnish territory).

After this campaign, Stalin took actions to bolster the Soviet military, modify training and improve propaganda efforts in the Soviet military. In June 1940, Stalin directed the Soviet annexation of Bessarabia
Bessarabia
Bessarabia is a historical term for the geographic region in Eastern Europe bounded by the Dniester River on the east and the Prut River on the west....

 and northern Bukovina
Bukovina
Bukovina is a historical region on the northern slopes of the northeastern Carpathian Mountains and the adjoining plains.-Name:The name Bukovina came into official use in 1775 with the region's annexation from the Principality of Moldavia to the possessions of the Habsburg Monarchy, which became...

, proclaiming this formerly Romanian territory part of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic. But in annexing northern Bukovina, Stalin had gone beyond the agreed limits of the secret protocol.
After the Tripartite Pact
Tripartite Pact
The Tripartite Pact, also the Three-Power Pact, Axis Pact, Three-way Pact or Tripartite Treaty was a pact signed in Berlin, Germany on September 27, 1940, which established the Axis Powers of World War II...

 was signed by Axis Powers
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

 Germany, Japan and Italy, in October 1940, Stalin traded letters with Ribbentrop, with Stalin writing about entering an agreement regarding a "permanent basis" for their "mutual interests." After a conference
German–Soviet Axis talks
In October and November 1940, German–Soviet Axis talks occurred concerning the Soviet Union's potential entry as a fourth Axis Power. The negotiations included a two day Berlin conference between Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, Adolf Hitler and German Foreign Minister Joachim von...

 in Berlin between Hitler, Molotov and Ribbentrop, Germany presented the Molotov with a proposed written agreement for Axis entry. On 25 November, Stalin responded with a proposed written agreement for Axis entry which was never answered by Germany. Shortly thereafter, Hitler issued a secret directive on the eventual attempts to invade the Soviet Union. In an effort to demonstrate peaceful intentions toward Germany, on 13 April 1941, Stalin oversaw the signing of a neutrality pact with Axis power Japan.

Hitler breaks the pact


During the early morning of 22 June 1941, Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 broke the pact by implementing Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

, the German invasion of Soviet held territories and the Soviet Union that began the war on the Eastern Front
Eastern Front (World War II)
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945...

. Although Stalin had received warnings from spies and his generals, he felt that Germany would not attack the Soviet Union until Germany had defeated Britain. In the initial hours after the German attack commenced, Stalin hesitated, wanting to ensure that the German attack was sanctioned by Hitler, rather than the unauthorized action of a rogue general.

Accounts by Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

 and Anastas Mikoyan
Anastas Mikoyan
Anastas Ivanovich Mikoyan was an Armenian Old Bolshevik and Soviet statesman during the rules of Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev, and Leonid Brezhnev....

 claim that, after the invasion, Stalin retreated to his dacha in despair for several days and did not participate in leadership decisions. However, some documentary evidence of orders given by Stalin contradicts these accounts, leading some historians to speculate that Khrushchev's account is inaccurate. By the end of 1941, the Soviet military had suffered 4.3 million casualties and German forces had advanced 1,050 miles (1,690 kilometers).

Soviets stop the Germans


While the Germans pressed forward, Stalin was confident of an eventual Allied victory over Germany. In September 1941, Stalin told British diplomats that he wanted two agreements: (1) a mutual assistance/aid pact and (2) a recognition that, after the war, the Soviet Union would gain the territories in countries that it had taken pursuant to its division of Eastern Europe with Hitler in the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. The British agreed to assistance but refused to agree upon the territorial gains, which Stalin accepted months later as the military situation deteriorated somewhat in mid-1942. By December, Hitler's troops had advanced to within 20 miles of the Kremlin
Kremlin
A kremlin , same root as in kremen is a major fortified central complex found in historic Russian cities. This word is often used to refer to the best-known one, the Moscow Kremlin, or metonymically to the government that is based there...

 in Moscow. On 5 December, the Soviets launched a counteroffensive, pushing German troops back 40–50 miles from Moscow, the Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

's first significant defeat of the war.

In 1942, Hitler shifted his primary goal from an immediate victory in the East, to the more long-term goal of securing the southern Soviet Union to protect oil fields vital to a long-term German war effort. While Red Army generals saw evidence that Hitler would shift efforts south, Stalin considered this to be a flanking campaign in efforts to take Moscow
Battle of Moscow
The Battle of Moscow is the name given by Soviet historians to two periods of strategically significant fighting on a sector of the Eastern Front during World War II. It took place between October 1941 and January 1942. The Soviet defensive effort frustrated Hitler's attack on Moscow, capital of...

. During the war, Time magazine
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

 named Stalin Time Person of the Year twice and he was also one of the nominees for Time Person of the Century title.

Soviet push to Germany


The Soviets repulsed the important German strategic southern campaign and, although 2.5 million Soviet casualties were suffered in that effort, it permitted the Soviets to take the offensive for most of the rest of the war on the Eastern Front
Eastern Front (World War II)
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945...

.

Germany attempted an encirclement attack at Kursk
Battle of Kursk
The Battle of Kursk took place when German and Soviet forces confronted each other on the Eastern Front during World War II in the vicinity of the city of Kursk, in the Soviet Union in July and August 1943. It remains both the largest series of armored clashes, including the Battle of Prokhorovka,...

, which was successfully repulsed by the Soviets. Kursk marked the beginning of a period where Stalin became more willing to listen to the advice of his generals. By the end of 1943, the Soviets occupied half of the territory taken by the Germans from 1941–1942. Soviet military industrial output also had increased substantially from late 1941 to early 1943 after Stalin had moved factories well to the East of the front, safe from German invasion and air attack.

In November 1943, Stalin met with Churchill and Roosevelt in Tehran
Tehran Conference
The Tehran Conference was the meeting of Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill between November 28 and December 1, 1943, most of which was held at the Soviet Embassy in Tehran, Iran. It was the first World War II conference amongst the Big Three in which Stalin was present...

. The parties later agreed that Britain and America would launch a cross-channel invasion of France in May 1944, along with a separate invasion of southern France. Stalin insisted that, after the war, the Soviet Union should incorporate the portions of Poland it occupied pursuant to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, named after the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, was an agreement officially titled the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union and signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939...

 with Germany, which Churchill opposed.

In 1944, the Soviet Union made significant advances across Eastern Europe toward Germany, including Operation Bagration, a massive offensive in Belorussia against the German Army Group Centre.

Final victory


By April 1945, Nazi Germany faced its last days with 1.9 million German soldiers in the East fighting 6.4 million Red Army soldiers while 1 million German soldiers in the West battled 4 million Western Allied soldiers. While initial talk existed of a race to Berlin
Race to Berlin
The Race to Berlin refers mainly to the competition between two Soviet Marshals to be the first to enter Berlin during the final months of World War II....

 by the Allies, after Stalin successfully lobbied for Eastern Germany to fall within the Soviet "sphere of influence" at Yalta
Yalta Conference
The Yalta Conference, sometimes called the Crimea Conference and codenamed the Argonaut Conference, held February 4–11, 1945, was the wartime meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union, represented by President Franklin D...

, no plans were made by the Western Allies
Western Allies
The Western Allies were a political and geographic grouping among the Allied Powers of the Second World War. It generally includes the United Kingdom and British Commonwealth, the United States, France and various other European and Latin American countries, but excludes China, the Soviet Union,...

 to seize the city by a ground operation.

On 30 April, Hitler and Eva Braun
Eva Braun
Eva Anna Paula Hitler was the longtime companion of Adolf Hitler and, for less than 40 hours, his wife. Braun met Hitler in Munich, when she was 17 years old, while working as an assistant and model for his personal photographer and began seeing him often about two years later...

 committed suicide, after which Soviet forces found their remains, which had been burned at Hitler's directive. German forces surrendered a few days later. Despite the Soviets' possession of Hitler's remains, Stalin did not believe that his old nemesis was actually dead, a belief that remained for years after the war.

Fending off the German invasion and pressing to victory in the East required a tremendous sacrifice by the Soviet Union. Soviet military casualties totaled approximately 35 million (official figures 28.2 million) with approximately 14.7 million killed, missing or captured (official figures 11.285 million). Although figures vary, the Soviet civilian death toll probably reached 20 million. One in four Soviets were killed or wounded. Some 1,710 towns and 70,000 villages were destroyed. Thereafter, Stalin was at times referred to as one of the most influential men in human history.

Nobel Peace Prize nominations


In 1945, he was mentioned by Halvdan Koht
Halvdan Koht
Halvdan Koht was a Norwegian historian and politician representing the Labour Party.As a politician he served as the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1935 to 1941. He was never elected as a member of the Parliament of Norway, but was a member of Bærum municipal council in 1917–1919 and...

 among seven candidates that were qualified for the Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.-Background:According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who...

. However, he did not explicitly nominate any of them. The person actually nominated was Cordell Hull
Cordell Hull
Cordell Hull was an American politician from the U.S. state of Tennessee. He is best known as the longest-serving Secretary of State, holding the position for 11 years in the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during much of World War II...

.

In 1948, he was officially nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Wladislav Rieger.

Questionable tactics



After taking around 300,000 Polish prisoners in 1939 and early 1940, 25,700 Polish POWs were executed on 5 March 1940, pursuant to a note to Stalin from Lavrenty Beria, in what became known as the Katyn massacre
Katyn massacre
The Katyn massacre, also known as the Katyn Forest massacre , was a mass execution of Polish nationals carried out by the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs , the Soviet secret police, in April and May 1940. The massacre was prompted by Lavrentiy Beria's proposal to execute all members of...

. While Stalin personally told a Polish general they'd "lost track" of the officers in Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

, Polish railroad workers found the mass grave after the 1941 Nazi invasion. The massacre became a source of political controversy, with the Soviets eventually claiming that Germany committed the executions when the Soviet Union retook Poland in 1944. The Soviets did not admit responsibility until 1990.

Stalin introduced controversial military orders, such as Order No. 270, requiring superiors to shoot deserters on the spot while their family members were subject to arrest. Thereafter, Stalin also conducted a purge of several military commanders that were shot for "cowardice" without a trial. Stalin issued Order No. 227, directing that commanders permitting retreat without permission to be subject to a military tribunal, and soldiers guilty of disciplinary procedures to be forced into "penal battalions", which were sent to the most dangerous sections of the front lines. From 1942 to 1945, 427,910 soldiers were assigned to penal battalions. The order also directed "blocking detachments" to shoot fleeing panicked troops at the rear.

In June 1941, weeks after the German invasion began, Stalin also directed employing a scorched earth
Scorched earth
A scorched earth policy is a military strategy or operational method which involves destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy while advancing through or withdrawing from an area...

 policy of destroying the infrastructure and food supplies of areas before the Germans could seize them, and that partisans were to be set up in evacuated areas. He also ordered the NKVD to murder around one hundred thousand political prisoners in areas where the Wermacht approached, while others were deported east.

After the capture of Berlin, Soviet troops reportedly raped from tens of thousands to two million women, and 50,000 during and after the occupation
Battle of Budapest
The Siege of Budapest centered on the Hungarian capital city of Budapest. It was fought towards the end of World War II in Europe, during the Soviet Budapest Offensive. The siege started when Budapest, defended by Hungarian and German troops, was first encircled on 29 December 1944 by the Red Army...

 of Budapest
Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

. In former Axis countries, such as Germany, Romania and Hungary, Red Army officers generally viewed cities, villages and farms as being open to pillaging and looting.

In the Soviet Occupation Zone of post-war Germany
Allied Occupation Zones in Germany
The Allied powers who defeated Nazi Germany in World War II divided the country west of the Oder-Neisse line into four occupation zones for administrative purposes during 1945–49. In the closing weeks of fighting in Europe, US forces had pushed beyond the previously agreed boundaries for the...

, the Soviets set up ten NKVD-run "special camps"
NKVD special camps
NKVD special camps were NKVD-run late and post-World War II internment camps in the Soviet-occupied parts of Germany and areas east of the Oder-Neisse line. The short-lived camps east of the line were subsequently transferred to the Soviet occupation zone, where they were set up by the Soviet...

 subordinate to the gulag. These "special camps" were former Stalag
Stalag
In Germany, stalag was a term used for prisoner-of-war camps. Stalag is a contraction of "Stammlager", itself short for Kriegsgefangenen-Mannschafts-Stammlager.- Legal definitions :...

s, prisons, or Nazi concentration camps
Nazi concentration camps
Nazi Germany maintained concentration camps throughout the territories it controlled. The first Nazi concentration camps set up in Germany were greatly expanded after the Reichstag fire of 1933, and were intended to hold political prisoners and opponents of the regime...

 such as Sachsenhausen (special camp number 7)
Sachsenhausen concentration camp
Sachsenhausen or Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg was a Nazi concentration camp in Oranienburg, Germany, used primarily for political prisoners from 1936 to the end of the Third Reich in May, 1945. After World War II, when Oranienburg was in the Soviet Occupation Zone, the structure was used as an NKVD...

 and Buchenwald (special camp number 2). According to German government estimates, "65,000 people died in those Soviet-run camps or in transportation to them."

According to recent figures, of an estimated four million POWs taken by the Soviets, including Germans, Japanese, Hungarians, Romanians and others, some 580,000 never returned, presumably victims of privation or the Gulags. Soviet POWs and forced laborers who survived German captivity were sent to special "transit" or "filtration" camps to determine which were potential traitors.

Of the approximately 4 million to be repatriated 2,660,013 were civilians and 1,539,475 were former POWs. Of the total, 2,427,906 were sent home and 801,152 were reconscripted into the armed forces. 608,095 were enrolled in the work battalions of the defense ministry. 272,867 were transferred to the authority of the NKVD for punishment, which meant a transfer to the Gulag system. 89,468 remained in the transit camps as reception personnel until the repatriation process was finally wound up in the early 1950s.

Allied conferences on post-war Europe



Stalin met in several conferences with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 (and later Clement Attlee
Clement Attlee
Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee, KG, OM, CH, PC, FRS was a British Labour politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951, and as the Leader of the Labour Party from 1935 to 1955...

) and/or U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 (and later Harry Truman) to plan military strategy
Military strategy
Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organizations to pursue desired strategic goals. Derived from the Greek strategos, strategy when it appeared in use during the 18th century, was seen in its narrow sense as the "art of the general", 'the art of arrangement' of troops...

 and, later, to discuss Europe's postwar reorganization. Very early conferences, such as that with British diplomats in Moscow in 1941
Moscow Conference (1941)
The First Moscow Conference of World War II took place from September 29, 1941 to October 1, 1941.Averell Harriman representing the United States of America and Lord Beaverbrook representing the United Kingdom met with Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union to give assurances that those two leading...

 and with Churchill and American diplomats in Moscow in 1942
Moscow Conference (1942)
The Second Moscow Conference between the major Allies of World War II took place from August 12, 1942 to August 17, 1942.Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Averell Harriman...

, focused mostly upon war planning and supply, though some preliminary postwar reorganization discussion also occurred. In 1943, Stalin met with Churchill and Roosevelt in the Tehran Conference
Tehran Conference
The Tehran Conference was the meeting of Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill between November 28 and December 1, 1943, most of which was held at the Soviet Embassy in Tehran, Iran. It was the first World War II conference amongst the Big Three in which Stalin was present...

. In 1944, Stalin met with Churchill in the Moscow Conference
Moscow Conference (1944)
The Fourth Moscow Conference, also Tolstoy Conference for its code name Tolstoy, between the major Allies of World War II took place from October 9 to October 19 1944....

. Beginning in late 1944, the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 occupied much of Eastern Europe during these conferences and the discussions shifted to a more intense focus on the reorganization of postwar Europe.

In February 1945, at the conference at Yalta
Yalta Conference
The Yalta Conference, sometimes called the Crimea Conference and codenamed the Argonaut Conference, held February 4–11, 1945, was the wartime meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union, represented by President Franklin D...

, Stalin demanded a Soviet sphere of political influence in Eastern Europe. Stalin eventually was convinced by Churchill and Roosevelt not to dismember Germany. Stalin also stated that the Polish government-in-exile demands for self-rule were not negotiable, such that the Soviet Union would keep the territory of eastern Poland they had already taken by invasion with German consent in 1939
Soviet invasion of Poland
Soviet invasion of Poland can refer to:* the second phase of the Polish-Soviet War of 1920 when Soviet armies marched on Warsaw, Poland* Soviet invasion of Poland of 1939 when Soviet Union allied with Nazi Germany attacked Second Polish Republic...

, and wanted the pro-Soviet Polish government installed. After resistance by Churchill and Roosevelt, Stalin promised a re-organization of the current Communist puppet government
Polish Committee of National Liberation
The Polish Committee of National Liberation , also known as the Lublin Committee, was a provisional government of Poland, officially proclaimed 21 July 1944 in Chełm under the direction of State National Council in opposition to the Polish government in exile...

 on a broader democratic basis in Poland. He stated the new government's primary task would be to prepare elections.

The parties at Yalta further agreed that the countries of liberated Europe and former Axis satellites would be allowed to "create democratic institutions of their own choice", pursuant to "the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live." The parties also agreed to help those countries form interim governments "pledged to the earliest possible establishment through free elections" and "facilitate where necessary the holding of such elections." After the re-organization of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Poland, the parties agreed that the new party shall "be pledged to the holding of free and unfettered elections as soon as possible on the basis of universal suffrage and secret ballot." One month after Yalta, the Soviet NKVD arrested 16 Polish leaders wishing to participate in provisional government negotiations, for alleged "crimes" and "diversions", which drew protest from the West. The fraudulent Polish elections
Polish legislative election, 1947
The Polish legislative election of 1947 was held on January 19, 1947 in the People's Republic of Poland. The anti-communist opposition candidates and activists were persecuted and the eventual results were falsified...

, held in January 1947 resulted in Poland's official transformation to undemocratic communist
People's Republic of Poland
The People's Republic of Poland was the official name of Poland from 1952 to 1990. Although the Soviet Union took control of the country immediately after the liberation from Nazi Germany in 1944, the name of the state was not changed until eight years later...

 state by 1949.

At the Potsdam Conference
Potsdam Conference
The Potsdam Conference was held at Cecilienhof, the home of Crown Prince Wilhelm Hohenzollern, in Potsdam, occupied Germany, from 16 July to 2 August 1945. Participants were the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States...

 from July to August 1945, though Germany had surrendered months earlier, instead of withdrawing Soviet forces from Eastern European countries, Stalin had not moved those forces. At the beginning of the conference, Stalin repeated previous promises to Churchill that he would refrain from a "Sovietization" of Eastern Europe. Stalin pushed for reparations from Germany without regard to the base minimum supply for German citizens' survival, which worried Truman and Churchill who thought that Germany would become a financial burden for Western powers.

In addition to reparations, Stalin pushed for "war booty", which would permit the Soviet Union to directly seize property from conquered nations without quantitative or qualitative limitation, and a clause was added permitting this to occur with some limitations. By July 1945, Stalin's troops effectively controlled the Baltic States, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania, and refugees were fleeing out of these countries fearing a Communist take-over. The western allies, and especially Churchill, were suspicious of the motives of Stalin, who had already installed communist governments in the central European countries under his influence.

In these conferences, his first appearances on the world stage, Stalin proved to be a formidable negotiator. Anthony Eden
Anthony Eden
Robert Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon, KG, MC, PC was a British Conservative politician, who was Prime Minister from 1955 to 1957...

, the British Foreign Secretary noted: "Marshal Stalin as a negotiator was the toughest proposition of all. Indeed, after something like thirty years' experience of international conferences of one kind and another, if I had to pick a team for going into a conference room, Stalin would be my first choice. Of course the man was ruthless and of course he knew his purpose. He never wasted a word. He never stormed, he was seldom even irritated."

The Iron Curtain and the Eastern Bloc


After Soviet forces remained in Eastern and Central European countries, with the beginnings of communist puppet regimes in those countries, Churchill referred to the region as being behind an "Iron Curtain
Iron Curtain
The concept of the Iron Curtain symbolized the ideological fighting and physical boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II in 1945 until the end of the Cold War in 1989...

" of control from Moscow. The countries under Soviet control in Eastern and Central Europe were sometimes called the "Eastern bloc
Eastern bloc
The term Eastern Bloc or Communist Bloc refers to the former communist states of Eastern and Central Europe, generally the Soviet Union and the countries of the Warsaw Pact...

" or "Soviet Bloc".

In Soviet-controlled East Germany, the major task of the ruling communist party in Germany was to channel Soviet orders down to both the administrative apparatus and the other bloc parties pretending that these were initiatives of its own, with deviations potentially leading to reprimands, imprisonment, torture and even death. Property and industry were nationalized.

The German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic
The German Democratic Republic , informally called East Germany by West Germany and other countries, was a socialist state established in 1949 in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany, including East Berlin of the Allied-occupied capital city...

 was declared on 7 October 1949, with a new constitution which enshrined socialism and gave the Soviet-controlled Socialist Unity Party ("SED")
Socialist Unity Party of Germany
The Socialist Unity Party of Germany was the governing party of the German Democratic Republic from its formation on 7 October 1949 until the elections of March 1990. The SED was a communist political party with a Marxist-Leninist ideology...

 control. In Berlin, after citizens strongly rejected communist candidates in an election, in June 1948, the Soviet Union blockaded West Berlin
Berlin Blockade
The Berlin Blockade was one of the first major international crises of the Cold War and the first resulting in casualties. During the multinational occupation of post-World War II Germany, the Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies' railway and road access to the sectors of Berlin under Allied...

, the portion of Berlin not under Soviet control, cutting off all supply of food and other items. The blockade failed due to the unexpected massive aerial resupply campaign carried out by the Western powers known as the Berlin Airlift. In 1949, Stalin conceded defeat and ended the blockade.

While Stalin had promised at the Yalta Conference
Yalta Conference
The Yalta Conference, sometimes called the Crimea Conference and codenamed the Argonaut Conference, held February 4–11, 1945, was the wartime meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union, represented by President Franklin D...

 that free elections would be held in Poland, after an election failure in "3 times YES
Polish people's referendum, 1946
The People's Referendum of 1946, also known as the "Three Times Yes" referendum, was a referendum held in Poland on 30 June 1946 on the authority of the State National Council...

" elections, vote rigging
Electoral fraud
Electoral fraud is illegal interference with the process of an election. Acts of fraud affect vote counts to bring about an election result, whether by increasing the vote share of the favored candidate, depressing the vote share of the rival candidates or both...

 was employed to win a majority in the carefully controlled poll. Following the forged referendum, the Polish economy started to become nationalized
Nationalization
Nationalisation, also spelled nationalization, is the process of taking an industry or assets into government ownership by a national government or state. Nationalization usually refers to private assets, but may also mean assets owned by lower levels of government, such as municipalities, being...

.

In Hungary, when the Soviets installed a communist government, Mátyás Rákosi
Mátyás Rákosi
Mátyás Rákosi was a Hungarian communist politician. He was born as Mátyás Rosenfeld, in present-day Serbia...

, who described himself as "Stalin's best Hungarian disciple" and "Stalin's best pupil", took power. Rákosi employed "salami tactics
Salami tactics
Salami tactics, also known as the salami-slice strategy, is a divide and conquer process of threats and alliances used to overcome opposition. With it, an aggressor can influence and eventually dominate a landscape, typically political, piece by piece. In this fashion, the opposition is eliminated...

", slicing up these enemies like pieces of salami, to battle the initial postwar political majority ready to establish a democracy. Rákosi, employed Stalinist political and economic programs, and was dubbed the "bald murderer" for establishing one of the harshest dictatorships in Europe. Approximately 350,000 Hungarian officials and intellectuals were purged from 1948 to 1956.

During World War II, in Bulgaria, the Red Army crossed the border and created the conditions for a communist coup d'état
Bulgarian coup d'état of 1944
The Bulgarian coup d'état of 1944, also known as the 9 September coup d'état and called in pre-1989 Bulgaria the National Uprising of 9 September or the Socialist Revolution of 9 September was a change in the Kingdom of Bulgaria's administration and government carried out on the eve of 9 September...

 on the following night. The Soviet military commander in Sofia assumed supreme authority, and the communists whom he instructed, including Kimon Georgiev
Kimon Georgiev
Colonel General Kimon Georgiev Stoyanov was a Bulgarian general and prime minister.Born at Pazardzhik, Kimon Georgiev graduated from the Sofia military academy in 1902. He participated in the Balkan Wars as a company commander and in the First World War as a commander of a battalion. In 1916 he...

, took full control of domestic politics.

In 1949, the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

, Hungary
People's Republic of Hungary
The People's Republic of Hungary or Hungarian People's Republic was the official state name of Hungary from 1949 to 1989 during its Communist period under the guidance of the Soviet Union. The state remained in existence until 1989 when opposition forces consolidated in forcing the regime to...

, Poland
People's Republic of Poland
The People's Republic of Poland was the official name of Poland from 1952 to 1990. Although the Soviet Union took control of the country immediately after the liberation from Nazi Germany in 1944, the name of the state was not changed until eight years later...

, and Romania
Communist Romania
Communist Romania was the period in Romanian history when that country was a Soviet-aligned communist state in the Eastern Bloc, with the dominant role of Romanian Communist Party enshrined in its successive constitutions...

 founded the Comecon
Comecon
The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance , 1949–1991, was an economic organisation under hegemony of Soviet Union comprising the countries of the Eastern Bloc along with a number of communist states elsewhere in the world...

 in accordance with Stalin's desire to enforce Soviet domination of the lesser states of Central Europe and to mollify some states that had expressed interest in the Marshall Plan
Marshall Plan
The Marshall Plan was the large-scale American program to aid Europe where the United States gave monetary support to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II in order to combat the spread of Soviet communism. The plan was in operation for four years beginning in April 1948...

, and which were now, increasingly, cut off from their traditional markets and suppliers in Western Europe. Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland had remained interested in Marshall aid despite the requirements for a convertible currency and market economies
Market economy
A market economy is an economy in which the prices of goods and services are determined in a free price system. This is often contrasted with a state-directed or planned economy. Market economies can range from hypothetically pure laissez-faire variants to an assortment of real-world mixed...

. In July 1947, Stalin ordered these communist-dominated governments to pull out of the Paris Conference on the European Recovery Programme. This has been described as "the moment of truth" in the post–World War II division of Europe.

In Greece, Britain and the United States supported the anti-communists in the Greek Civil War
Greek Civil War
The Greek Civil War was fought from 1946 to 1949 between the Greek governmental army, backed by the United Kingdom and United States, and the Democratic Army of Greece , the military branch of the Greek Communist Party , backed by Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Albania...

 and suspected the Soviets of supporting the Greek communists, although Stalin refrained from getting involved in Greece, dismissing the movement as premature. Albania remained an ally of the Soviet Union, but Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

 broke with the USSR
Tito-Stalin Split
The Tito–Stalin Split was a conflict between the leaders of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which resulted in Yugoslavia's expulsion from the Communist Information Bureau in 1948...

 in 1948.

In Stalin's last year of life, one of his last major foreign policy initiatives was the 1952 Stalin Note
Stalin Note
The Stalin Note, also known as the March Note, was a document delivered to the representatives of the Western allied powers from the Soviet Occupation in Germany on March 10, 1952...

 for German reunification
German reunification
German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany , and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz constitution Article 23. The start of this process is commonly referred by Germans as die...

 and Superpower disengagement
Superpower disengagement
Superpower disengagement is a foreign policy option whereby the most powerful nations, the superpowers, reduce their interventions in an area. Such disengagement could be multilateral among superpowers or lesser powers, or bilateral between two superpowers, or unilateral. It could mean an end to...

 from Central Europe, but Britain, France, and the United States viewed this with suspicion and rejected the offer.

Sino-Soviet Relations



In Asia, the Red Army had overrun Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

 in the last month of the war and then also occupied Korea above the 38th parallel north
38th parallel north
The 38th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 38 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean...

. Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

's Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

, though receptive to minimal Soviet support, defeated the pro-Western and heavily American-assisted Chinese Nationalist Party in the Chinese Civil War
Chinese Civil War
The Chinese Civil War was a civil war fought between the Kuomintang , the governing party of the Republic of China, and the Communist Party of China , for the control of China which eventually led to China's division into two Chinas, Republic of China and People's Republic of...

.

There was friction between Stalin and Mao from the beginning. During World War II Stalin had supported the dictator of China, Chiang Kai-Shek
Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek was a political and military leader of 20th century China. He is known as Jiǎng Jièshí or Jiǎng Zhōngzhèng in Mandarin....

, as a bulwark against Japan and had turned a blind eye to Chiang's mass killings of communists. He generally put his alliance with Chiang against Japan ahead of helping his ideological allies in China in his priorities. Even after the war Stalin concluded a non-aggression pact between the USSR and Chiang's Kuomintang (KMT) regime in China and instructed Mao and the Chinese communists to cooperate with Chiang and the KMT after the war. Mao did not follow Stalin's instructions though and started a communist revolution against Chiang. Stalin did not believe Mao would be successful so he was less than enthusiastic in helping Mao. The USSR continued to maintain diplomatic relations with Chiang's KMT regime until 1949 when it became clear Mao would win.

Stalin supported the Turkic Muslims known today as Uyghur
Uyghur people
The Uyghur are a Turkic ethnic group living in Eastern and Central Asia. Today, Uyghurs live primarily in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China...

 in seeking their own state, Second East Turkestan Republic
Second East Turkestan Republic
The Second East Turkestan Republic, usually known simply as the East Turkestan Republic , was a short-lived Soviet-backed Turkic people's republic which existed in the 1940s in three northern districts of Xinjiang province of the Republic of China, what is now the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous...

 during the Ili Rebellion against the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

. He backed the Uyghur Communist Muslim leader Ehmetjan Qasim against the anti Communist Chinese Kuomintang forces.

Stalin did conclude a new friendship and alliance treaty with Mao after he defeated Chiang. But there was still a lot of tension between the two leaders and resentment by Mao for Stalin's less than enthusiastic help during the civil war in China.

The Communists controlled mainland China while the Nationalists held a rump state
Rump state
A rump state is the remnant of a once-larger government, left with limited powers or authority after a disaster, invasion, military occupation, secession or partial overthrowing of a government. In the last case, a government stops short of going in exile because it still controls part of its...

 on the island of Taiwan. The Soviet Union soon after recognized Mao's People's Republic of China, which it regarded as a new ally. The People's Republic claimed Taiwan, though it had never held authority there.

Diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and China reached a high point with the signing of the 1950 Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Alliance. Both countries provided military support to a new friendly state in North Korea. After various Korean border conflicts, war broke out with U.S.-allied South Korea in 1950, starting the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

.

However, not surprisingly, the relations with the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 deteriorated. In 1951, in Taiwan, the Chinese Muslim
Hui people
The Hui people are an ethnic group in China, defined as Chinese speaking people descended from foreign Muslims. They are typically distinguished by their practice of Islam, however some also practice other religions, and many are direct descendants of Silk Road travelers.In modern People's...

 Kuomintang General Bai Chongxi
Bai Chongxi
Bai Chongxi , , also spelled Pai Chung-hsi, was a Chinese general in the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China and a prominent Chinese Nationalist Muslim leader. He was of Hui ethnicity and of the Muslim faith...

 made a speech broadcast on radio to the entire Muslim world calling for a war against Russia, claiming that the "imperialist ogre" leader Stalin was engineering World War III, and Bai also called upon Muslims to avoid the Indian leader Nehru, accusing him of being blind to Soviet imperialism.

North Korea


Contrary to America's policy which restrained armament (limited equipment was provided for infantry and police forces) to South Korea, Stalin extensively armed Kim Il Sung's North Korean army and air forces with military equipment (to include T-34/85 tanks) and "advisors" far in excess of those required for defensive purposes) in order to facilitate Kim's (a former Soviet Officer) aim of conquering the rest of the Korean peninsula.

The North Korean Army
Korean People's Army
The Korean People's Army , also known as the Inmin Gun, are the military forces of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Kim Jong-il is the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army and Chairman of the National Defence Commission...

 struck in the pre-dawn hours of Sunday, 25 June 1950, crossing the 38th parallel behind a firestorm of artillery, beginning their invasion of South Korea. During the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

, Soviet pilots flew Soviet aircraft from Chinese bases against United Nations aircraft defending South Korea. Post–Cold War research in Soviet Archives has revealed that the Korean War was begun by Kim Il-sung with the express permission of Stalin, though this is disputed by North Korea.

Israel


Stalin originally supported the creation of Israel in 1948. The USSR was one of the first nations to recognize the new country. Golda Meir
Golda Meir
Golda Meir ; May 3, 1898 – December 8, 1978) was a teacher, kibbutznik and politician who became the fourth Prime Minister of the State of Israel....

 came to Moscow as the first Israeli Ambassador to the USSR that year. However, after providing war materiel for Israel through Czechoslovakia, Stalin later changed his mind and came out against Israel.

Falsifiers of History


In 1948, Stalin personally edited and rewrote by hand sections of the cold war book Falsifiers of History
Falsifiers of History
Falsifiers of History is a book published by the Soviet Information Bureau, edited and partially re-written by Joseph Stalin, in response to documents made public in January 1948 regarding German–Soviet relations before and after the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.-Background on Nazi–Soviet Relations...

. Falsifiers was published in response to the documents made public in Nazi-Soviet Relations, 1939–1941: Documents from the Archives of The German Foreign Office, which included the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, named after the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, was an agreement officially titled the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union and signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939...

 and other secret German-Soviet relations documents. Falsifiers originally appeared as a series of articles in Pravda
Pravda
Pravda was a leading newspaper of the Soviet Union and an official organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party between 1912 and 1991....

in February 1948, and was subsequently published in numerous language and distributed worldwide.

The book did not attempt to directly counter or deal with the documents published in Nazi-Soviet Relations and rather, focused upon Western culpability for the outbreak of war in 1939. It argues that "Western powers" aided Nazi rearmament and aggression, including that American bankers and industrialists provided capital for the growth of German war industries, while deliberately encouraging Hitler to expand eastward. It depicted the Soviet Union as striving to negotiate a collective security against Hitler, while being thwarted by double-dealing Anglo-French appeasers who, despite appearances, had no intention of a Soviet alliance and were secretly negotiating with Berlin. It casts the Munich agreement
Munich Agreement
The Munich Pact was an agreement permitting the Nazi German annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland. The Sudetenland were areas along Czech borders, mainly inhabited by ethnic Germans. The agreement was negotiated at a conference held in Munich, Germany, among the major powers of Europe without...

, not just as Anglo-French short-sightedness or cowardice, but as a "secret" agreement that was a "a highly important phase in their policy aimed at goading the Hitlerite aggressors against the Soviet Union." The book also included the claim that, during the Pact's operation, Stalin rejected Hitler's offer to share in a division of the world, without mentioning the Soviet offers to join the Axis. Historical studies, official accounts, memoirs and textbooks published in the Soviet Union used that depiction of events until the Soviet Union's dissolution
Dissolution of the Soviet Union
The dissolution of the Soviet Union was the disintegration of the federal political structures and central government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , resulting in the independence of all fifteen republics of the Soviet Union between March 11, 1990 and December 25, 1991...

.

Domestic support


Domestically, Stalin was seen as a great wartime leader who had led the Soviets to victory against the Nazis.

An increasingly nationalistic emphasis on Russian history and achievements became a salient feature of Soviet culture in the 1940s. At the end of May 1945, Stalin proposed a victory toast to the Soviet people, and to the virtues of the Russian majority in particular:

Various foreign scientific discoveries and inventions (such as the Wright Brothers
Wright brothers
The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur , were two Americans credited with inventing and building the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903...

' airplane) were attributed to Russians in post-war Soviet propaganda. Examples include the boiler
Boiler
A boiler is a closed vessel in which water or other fluid is heated. The heated or vaporized fluid exits the boiler for use in various processes or heating applications.-Materials:...

, reclaimed by father and son Cherepanovs; the electric light
Electric light
Electric lights are a convenient and economic form of artificial lighting which provide increased comfort, safety and efficiency. Most electric lighting is powered by centrally-generated electric power, but lighting may also be powered by mobile or standby electric generators or battery systems...

, by Yablochkov
Pavel Yablochkov
Pavel Nikolayevich Yablochkov was a Russian electrical engineer, the inventor of the Yablochkov candle and businessman.-Biography:...

 and Lodygin; the radio, by Popov; and the airplane, by Mozhaysky. Stalin's internal repressive policies continued (including in newly acquired territories), but never reached the extremes of the 1930s.

"Doctors' plot"



The "Doctors' plot
Doctors' plot
The Doctors' plot was the most dramatic anti-Jewish episode in the Soviet Union during Joseph Stalin's regime, involving the "unmasking" of a group of prominent Moscow doctors, predominantly Jews, as conspiratorial assassins of Soviet leaders...

" was a plot outlined by Stalin and Soviet officials in 1952 and 1953 whereby several doctors (over half of whom were Jewish) allegedly attempted to kill Soviet officials. The prevailing opinion of many scholars outside the Soviet Union is that Stalin intended to use the resulting doctors' trial to launch a massive party purge. The plot is also viewed by many historians as an antisemitic provocation. It followed on the heels of the 1952 show trials of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee
Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee
The Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee was formed on Joseph Stalin's order in Kuibyshev in April 1942 with the official support of the Soviet authorities...

 and the secret execution of thirteen members on Stalin's orders in the Night of the Murdered Poets
Night of the Murdered Poets
On August 12, 1952, thirteen Soviet Jews were executed in the Lubyanka Prison in Moscow, Russia as a result of charges of espionage based on forced, false confessions resulting from coercion and torture. This massacre is known as the Night of the Murdered Poets....

.

Thereafter, in a December Politburo
Politburo
Politburo , literally "Political Bureau [of the Central Committee]," is the executive committee for a number of communist political parties.-Marxist-Leninist states:...

 session, Stalin announced that "Every Jewish nationalist is the agent of the American intelligence service. Jewish nationalists think that their nation was saved by the United States (there you can become rich, bourgeois, etc.). They think they're indebted to the Americans. Among doctors, there are many Jewish nationalists." To mobilize the Soviet people for his campaign, Stalin ordered TASS and Pravda to issue stories along with Stalin's alleged uncovering of a "Doctors Plot" to assassinate top Soviet leaders, including Stalin, in order to set the stage for show trials.

The next month, Pravda published stories with text regarding the purported "Jewish bourgeois-nationalist
Bourgeois nationalism
Bourgeois nationalism is a term from Marxist phraseology. It refers to the alleged practice by the ruling classes of deliberately dividing people by nationality, race, ethnicity, or religion, so as to distract them from possible class warfare...

" plotters. Nikita Khrushchev wrote that Stalin hinted him to incite anti-Semitism in the Ukraine, telling him that "the good workers at the factory should be given clubs so they can beat the hell out of those Jews." Stalin also ordered falsely accused physicians to be tortured "to death". Regarding the origins of the plot, people who knew Stalin, such as Khrushchev, suggest that Stalin had long harbored negative sentiments toward Jews
Stalin's antisemitism
Though communist leader Joseph Stalin initially denounced antisemitism, numerous instances of Stalin's antisemitism, manifested in the executions and deportations of Jews, have been witnessed by contemporaries and documented by historical sources....

, and anti-Semitic trends in the Kremlin's policies were further fueled by the exile of Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

. In 1946, Stalin allegedly said privately that "every Jew is a potential spy." At the end of January 1953, Stalin's personal physician Miron Vovsi
Miron Vovsi
Miron Vovsi was a prominent physician of the Soviet Union.He was Joseph Stalin's personal physician. At the end of January 1953 Miron Vovsi was arrested within the frame of the so-named Doctors' Plot. Vovsi is the cousin of Solomon Mikhoels who was assassinated in 1948 at the orders of Stalin...

 (cousin of Solomon Mikhoels
Solomon Mikhoels
Solomon Mikhoels ; was a Soviet Jewish actor and the artistic director of the Moscow State Jewish Theater. Mikhoels served as the chairman of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee during the Second World War...

, who was assassinated in 1948 at the orders of Stalin) was arrested within the frame of the plot. Vovsi was released by Beria after Stalin's death in 1953, as was his son-in-law, the composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg
Mieczyslaw Weinberg
Mieczysław Weinberg was a Soviet composer of Polish-Jewish origin....

.

Some historians have argued that Stalin was also planning to send millions of Jews to four large newly built labor camps in Western Russia using a "Deportation Commission" that would purportedly act to save Soviet Jews from an engraged Soviet population after the Doctors Plot trials. Others argue that any charge of an alleged mass deportation lacks specific documentary evidence. Regardless of whether a plot to deport Jews was planned, in his "Secret Speech
On the Personality Cult and its Consequences
On the Personality Cult and its Consequences was a report, critical of Joseph Stalin, made to the Twentieth Party Congress on February 25, 1956 by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. It is more commonly known as the Secret Speech or the Khrushchev Report...

" in 1956, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

 stated that the Doctors Plot was "fabricated ... set up by Stalin", that Stalin told the judge to beat confessions from the defendants and had told Politburo members "You are blind like young kittens. What will happen without me? The country will perish because you do not know how to recognize enemies."

Death and aftermath


Stalin's health deteriorated towards the end of World War II. He suffered from atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis is a condition in which an artery wall thickens as a result of the accumulation of fatty materials such as cholesterol...

 from his heavy smoking. He suffered a mild stroke around the time of the Victory parade, and a severe heart attack in October 1945.

On the early morning hours of 1 March 1953, after an all-night dinner and a movie Stalin arrived at his Kuntsevo residence some 15 km west of Moscow centre with interior minister Lavrentiy Beria
Lavrentiy Beria
Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria was a Georgian Soviet politician and state security administrator, chief of the Soviet security and secret police apparatus under Joseph Stalin during World War II, and Deputy Premier in the postwar years ....

 and future premiers Georgy Malenkov
Georgy Malenkov
Georgy Maximilianovich Malenkov was a Soviet politician, Communist Party leader and close collaborator of Joseph Stalin. After Stalin's death, he became Premier of the Soviet Union and was in 1953 briefly considered the most powerful Soviet politician before being overshadowed by Nikita...

, Nikolai Bulganin
Nikolai Bulganin
Nikolai Alexandrovich Bulganin was a prominent Soviet politician, who served as Minister of Defense and Premier of the Soviet Union . The Bulganin beard is named after him.-Early career:...

 and Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

 where he retired to his bedroom to sleep. At dawn, Stalin did not emerge from his room, having probably suffered a stroke that paralyzed the right side of his body.


Although his guards thought that it was odd for him not to rise at his usual time, they were under strict orders not to disturb him and left him alone the entire day. At around 10 p.m. he was discovered by Peter Lozgachev, the Deputy Commandant of Kuntsevo, who entered his bedroom to check up on him and recalled a horrifying scene of Stalin lying on the floor of his room wearing pyjama bottoms and an undershirt with his clothes soaked in stale urine. A frightened Lozgachev asked Stalin what happened to him, but all he could get out of the Generalissimo was unintelligible responses that sounded like "Dzhh." Lozgachev frantically called a few party officials asking them to send good doctors. Lavrentiy Beria was informed and arrived a few hours afterwards, and the doctors only arrived in the early morning of 2 March in which they changed his bedclothes and tended to him. The bedridden Stalin died four days later, on 5 March 1953, at the age of 74, and was embalmed on 9 March. Officially, the cause of death was listed as a cerebral hemorrhage. His body was preserved in Lenin's Mausoleum
Lenin's Mausoleum
Lenin's Mausoleum also known as Lenin's Tomb, situated in Red Square in the center of Moscow, is the mausoleum that serves as the current resting place of Vladimir Lenin. His embalmed body has been on public display there since shortly after his death in 1924...

 until 31 October 1961, when his body was removed from the Mausoleum and buried next to the Kremlin walls as part of the process of de-Stalinization
De-Stalinization
De-Stalinization refers to the process of eliminating the cult of personality, Stalinist political system and the Gulag labour-camp system created by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Stalin was succeeded by a collective leadership after his death in March 1953...

.

It has been suggested that Stalin was assassinated. The ex-Communist exile Avtorkhanov
Abdurakhman Avtorkhanov
Abdurakhman Avtorkhanov was an acclaimed Soviet historian and writer turned anti-communist. He worked primarily in the fields of Soviet history and History of the CPSU...

 argued this point as early as 1975. The political memoirs of Vyacheslav Molotov
Vyacheslav Molotov
Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov was a Soviet politician and diplomat, an Old Bolshevik and a leading figure in the Soviet government from the 1920s, when he rose to power as a protégé of Joseph Stalin, to 1957, when he was dismissed from the Presidium of the Central Committee by Nikita Khrushchev...

, published in 1993, claimed that Beria had boasted to Molotov that he poisoned Stalin: "I took him out."

Khrushchev wrote in his memoirs that Beria had, immediately after the stroke, gone about "spewing hatred against [Stalin] and mocking him", and then, when Stalin showed signs of consciousness, dropped to his knees and kissed his hand. When Stalin fell unconscious again, Beria immediately stood and spat.

Later analysis of death


In 2003, a joint group of Russian and American historians announced their view that Stalin ingested warfarin
Warfarin
Warfarin is an anticoagulant. It is most likely to be the drug popularly referred to as a "blood thinner," yet this is a misnomer, since it does not affect the thickness or viscosity of blood...

, a powerful rat poison that inhibits coagulation of the blood and which predisposes the victim to hemorrhagic stroke (cerebral hemorrhage). Since it is flavorless, warfarin is a plausible weapon of murder. The facts surrounding Stalin's death will probably never be known with certainty.

His demise arrived at a convenient time for Lavrenty Beria and others, who feared being swept away in yet another purge. It is believed that Stalin felt Beria's power was too great and threatened his own.

Reaction by successors




The harshness with which Soviet affairs were conducted during Stalin's rule was subsequently repudiated by his successors in the Communist Party leadership, most notably by Nikita Khrushchev's repudiation of Stalinism in February 1956. In his "Secret Speech", On the Personality Cult and its Consequences
On the Personality Cult and its Consequences
On the Personality Cult and its Consequences was a report, critical of Joseph Stalin, made to the Twentieth Party Congress on February 25, 1956 by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. It is more commonly known as the Secret Speech or the Khrushchev Report...

, delivered to a closed session of the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Khrushchev denounced Stalin
Khrushchev Thaw
The Khrushchev Thaw refers to the period from the mid 1950s to the early 1960s, when repression and censorship in the Soviet Union were partially reversed and millions of Soviet political prisoners were released from Gulag labor camps, due to Nikita Khrushchev's policies of de-Stalinization and...

 for his cult of personality, and his regime for "violation of Leninist norms of legality".

A 1974 Soviet work describes Stalin's leadership in the following manner:

Views on Stalin in the Russian Federation


Results of a controversial poll taken in 2006 stated that over 35% of Russians would vote for Stalin if he were still alive. Fewer than a third of all Russians regarded Stalin as a murderous tyrant; however, a Russian court in 2009, ruling on a suit by Stalin's grandson, Yevgeny Dzhugashvili
Yevgeny Dzhugashvili
Yevgeny Yakovlevich Dzhugashvili is a retired polkovnik of the Soviet/Russian Air Force and the son of Yakov Dzhugashvili. He has gained note as a defender of his grandfather Joseph Stalin's reputation, and in the 1999 elections of the Russian State Duma, he was one of the faces of the Stalin...

, against the newspaper, Novaya Gazeta
Novaya Gazeta
Novaya Gazeta is a Russian newspaper well known in the country for its critical and investigative coverage of Russian political and social affairs....

, ruled that referring to Stalin as a "bloodthirsty cannibal" was not libel. In a July 2007 poll 54% of the Russian youth agreed that Stalin did more good than bad while 46% (of them) disagreed that Stalin was a cruel tyrant. Half of the respondents, aged from 16 to 19, agreed Stalin was a wise leader.

In December 2008 Stalin was voted third in the nationwide television project Name of Russia (narrowly behind 13th century prince Alexander Nevsky
Alexander Nevsky
Alexander Nevsky was the Prince of Novgorod and Grand Prince of Vladimir during some of the most trying times in the city's history. Commonly regarded as the key figure of medieval Rus, Alexander was the grandson of Vsevolod the Big Nest and rose to legendary status on account of his military...

 and Pyotr Stolypin
Pyotr Stolypin
Pyotr Arkadyevich Stolypin served as the leader of the 3rd DUMA—from 1906 to 1911. His tenure was marked by efforts to repress revolutionary groups, as well as for the institution of noteworthy agrarian reforms. Stolypin hoped, through his reforms, to stem peasant unrest by creating a class of...

, one of Nicholas II's prime ministers), leading to accusations from Communist Party of the Russian Federation
Communist Party of the Russian Federation
The Communist Party of the Russian Federation is a Russian political party. It is the second major political party in the Russian Federation.-History:...

 that the poll had been rigged in order to prevent him or Lenin being given first place.

On 3 July 2009, Russia's delegates walked out of an Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe is the world's largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization. Its mandate includes issues such as arms control, human rights, freedom of the press and fair elections...

 session to demonstrate their objections to a resolution for a remembrance day for the victims of both Nazism and Stalinism. Only eight out of 385 assembly members voted against the resolution.

In a Kremlin video blog posted on 29 October 2009, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
Dmitry Medvedev
Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev is the third President of the Russian Federation.Born to a family of academics, Medvedev graduated from the Law Department of Leningrad State University in 1987. He defended his dissertation in 1990 and worked as a docent at his alma mater, now renamed to Saint...

 denounced the efforts of people seeking to rehabilitate Stalin's image. He said the mass extermination during the Stalin era cannot be justified.

Origin of name, nicknames and pseudonyms


Stalin's original Georgian is transliterated as "Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili" (Georgian:
Georgian language
Georgian is the native language of the Georgians and the official language of Georgia, a country in the Caucasus.Georgian is the primary language of about 4 million people in Georgia itself, and of another 500,000 abroad...

 იოსებ ბესარიონის ძე ჯუღაშვილი). The Russian transliteration of his name Ио́сиф Виссарио́нович Джугашви́ли is in turn transliterated to English as "Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili". Like other Bolsheviks, he became commonly known by one of his revolutionary noms de guerre, of which "Stalin" was only the last. Prior nicknames included "Koba", "Soselo", "Ivanov" and many others.

Stalin is believed to have started using the name "K. Stalin" sometime in 1912 as a pen name.

During Stalin's reign his nicknames included:
  • "Uncle Joe", by western media, during and after World War II.
  • "Kremlin Highlander" , in reference his Caucasus Mountains
    Caucasus Mountains
    The Caucasus Mountains is a mountain system in Eurasia between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in the Caucasus region .The Caucasus Mountains includes:* the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range and* the Lesser Caucasus Mountains....

     origin, notably by Osip Mandelstam
    Osip Mandelstam
    Osip Emilyevich Mandelstam was a Russian poet and essayist who lived in Russia during and after its revolution and the rise of the Soviet Union. He was one of the foremost members of the Acmeist school of poets...

     in his Stalin Epigram
    Stalin Epigram
    The Stalin epigram, also known as The Kremlin Highlander is a satirical poem by the Russian Acmeist poet Osip Mandelstam, dated as being written in November 1933...

    .
  • "Dear father" , as he was portrayed as the paternal figure of the Revolution.
  • "Vozhd" , a term from pre-Tsarist times.

Appearance


While photographs and portraits portray Stalin as physically massive and majestic (he had several painters shot who did not depict him "right"), he was only five feet four inches high (160 cm). (President Harry S. Truman, who stood only five feet nine inches himself, described Stalin as "a little squirt".) His mustached face was pock-marked from small-pox during childhood. After a carriage accident in his youth, his left arm was shortened and stiffened at the elbow, while his right hand was thinner than his left and frequently hidden. He could be charming and polite, mainly towards visiting statesmen. In movies, Stalin was often played by Mikheil Gelovani
Mikheil Gelovani
Mikheil Gelovani was a Georgian-Soviet actor, known for his many portrayals of Joseph Stalin in cinema.-Early life:Mikheil Gelovani was a descendant of the old Georgian princely house of Gelovani. He made his stage debut in a theater in Batumi during 1913. From 1919 to 1920, he attended the Drama...

 and, less frequently, by Aleksei Dikiy
Aleksei Dikiy
-Ukraine:He was born Aleksei Denisovich Dikiy on February 24, 1889, inEkaterinoslav, Russian Empire, now Dnepropetrivsk, Ukraine. At youngage he moved to Kharkov, where his sister, named Maria Sukhodolska - Dikova, was a popular actress, and she helped...

.

Marriages and family



Stalin's son Yakov
Yakov Dzhugashvili
Yakov Iosifovich Dzhugashvili was one of Joseph Stalin's four children . Yakov was the son of Stalin's first wife, Ekaterina Svanidze...

, whom he had with his first wife Ekaterina Svanidze, shot himself because of Stalin's harshness toward him, but survived. After this, Stalin said "He can't even shoot straight". Yakov served in the Red Army during World War II and was captured by the Germans. They offered to exchange him for Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus
Friedrich Paulus
Friedrich Wilhelm Ernst Paulus was an officer in the German military from 1910 to 1945. He attained the rank of Generalfeldmarschall during World War II, and is best known for having commanded the Sixth Army's assault on Stalingrad during Operation Blue in 1942...

, who had surrendered after Stalingrad, but Stalin turned the offer down, stating "You have in your hands not only my son Yakov but millions of my sons. Either you free them all or my son will share their fate." Afterwards, Yakov is said to have committed suicide, running into an electric fence in Sachsenhausen concentration camp
Sachsenhausen concentration camp
Sachsenhausen or Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg was a Nazi concentration camp in Oranienburg, Germany, used primarily for political prisoners from 1936 to the end of the Third Reich in May, 1945. After World War II, when Oranienburg was in the Soviet Occupation Zone, the structure was used as an NKVD...

, where he was being held. Yakov had a son Yevgeny
Yevgeny Dzhugashvili
Yevgeny Yakovlevich Dzhugashvili is a retired polkovnik of the Soviet/Russian Air Force and the son of Yakov Dzhugashvili. He has gained note as a defender of his grandfather Joseph Stalin's reputation, and in the 1999 elections of the Russian State Duma, he was one of the faces of the Stalin...

, who is recently noted for defending his grandfather's legacy in Russian courts. Yevgeny is married to a Georgian woman, has two sons, and grandchildren.

Stalin had a son, Vasiliy
Vasily Dzhugashvili
Vasily Iosifovich Dzhugashvili , known also as Vasily Stalin , , was the son of Joseph Stalin and his second wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva....

, and a daughter, Svetlana
Svetlana Alliluyeva
Svetlana Iosifovna Alliluyeva , later known as Lana Peters, was the youngest child and only daughter of Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin and Nadezhda Alliluyeva, Stalin's second wife...

, with his second wife Nadezhda Alliluyeva
Nadezhda Alliluyeva-Stalina
Nadezhda Sergeevna Alliluyeva was the second wife of Joseph Stalin.Nadezhda was the youngest child of Russian revolutionary Sergei Alliluyev, a railway worker, and his wife Olga, a woman of German, Romani and Georgian ancestry who spoke Russian with a strong accent.Sergei Alliluyev, though...

. She died in 1932, officially of illness. She may have committed suicide by shooting herself after a quarrel with Stalin, leaving a suicide note which according to their daughter was "partly personal, partly political". According to A&E
A&E Network
The A&E Network is a United States-based cable and satellite television network with headquarters in New York City and offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, London, Los Angeles and Stamford. A&E also airs in Canada and Latin America. Initially named the Arts & Entertainment Network, A&E launched...

 Biography, there is also a belief among some Russians that Stalin himself murdered his wife after the quarrel, which apparently took place at a dinner in which Stalin tauntingly flicked cigarettes across the table at her. Historians also claim her death ultimately "severed his link from reality."

Vasiliy rose through the ranks of the Soviet air force, officially dying of alcoholism in 1962; however, this is still in question. He distinguished himself in World War II as a capable airman. Svetlana emigrated to the United States in 1967. In March 2001 Russian Independent Television NTV interviewed a previously unknown grandson living in Novokuznetsk
Novokuznetsk
Novokuznetsk is a city in Kemerovo Oblast, Russia. It serves as the administrative center of Novokuznetsky District, but it is not administratively a part of it...

, Yuri Davydov, who stated that his father had told him of his lineage, but, was told to keep quiet because of the campaign against Stalin's cult of personality.

Beside his suite in the Kremlin
Kremlin
A kremlin , same root as in kremen is a major fortified central complex found in historic Russian cities. This word is often used to refer to the best-known one, the Moscow Kremlin, or metonymically to the government that is based there...

, Stalin had numerous domiciles. In 1919 he started with a country house near Usovo, he added dacha
Dacha
Dacha is a Russian word for seasonal or year-round second homes often located in the exurbs of Soviet and post-Soviet cities. Cottages or shacks serving as family's main or only home are not considered dachas, although many purpose-built dachas are recently being converted for year-round residence...

s at Zuvalova and Kuntsevo (Blizhny dacha built by Miron Merzhanov
Miron Merzhanov
Miron Ivanovich Merzhanov, born Meran Merzhanyantz , was a Soviet architect of Armenian descent, notable for being the de-facto personal architect of Joseph Stalin in 1933–1941...

). Before World War II he added the Lipki
Lipki, Tula Oblast
Lipki is a town in Kireyevsky District of Tula Oblast, Russia, located south of Tula. Population: The village of Lipki has been known since at least the 17th century. In 1949, it was granted urban-type settlement status due to the development of coal deposits. It was granted town status in 1955....

 estate and Semyonovskaya
Semyonovskaya
Semenovskaya is a station on the Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya Line of the Moscow Metro. Opened concurrently with Partizanskaya in 1944, it too is war-themed, sporting plaques along the outer walls depicting a variety of Soviet weapons used in the war, including swords, sniper rifles, and machine guns...

, and had at least four dachas in the south by 1937, including one near Sochi
Sochi
Sochi is a city in Krasnodar Krai, Russia, situated just north of Russia's border with the de facto independent republic of Abkhazia, on the Black Sea coast. Greater Sochi sprawls for along the shores of the Black Sea near the Caucasus Mountains...

. A luxury villa near Gagri was given to him by Beria. In Abkhazia he maintained a mountain retreat. After the war he added dachas at Novy Alon, near Sukhumi
Sukhumi
Sukhumi is the capital of Abkhazia, a disputed region on the Black Sea coast. The city suffered heavily during the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict in the early 1990s.-Naming:...

, in the Valdai Hills, and at Lake Mitsa. Another estate was near Zelyony Myss on the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

. All these dachas, estates, and palaces were staffed, well furnished and equipped, kept safe by security forces, and were mainly used privately, rarely for diplomatic purposes. Between places Stalin would travel by car or train, never by air; he flew only once when attending the 1943 Tehran conference
Tehran Conference
The Tehran Conference was the meeting of Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill between November 28 and December 1, 1943, most of which was held at the Soviet Embassy in Tehran, Iran. It was the first World War II conference amongst the Big Three in which Stalin was present...

.

In 1967 Svetlana
Svetlana Alliluyeva
Svetlana Iosifovna Alliluyeva , later known as Lana Peters, was the youngest child and only daughter of Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin and Nadezhda Alliluyeva, Stalin's second wife...

 defected to the USA and later married William Wesley Peters
William Wesley Peters
William Wesley Peters was a noted architect and engineer, apprentice to and protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright.Born in Terre Haute, Indiana, Peters was educated at Evansville College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology...

 and by him had a daughter Olga (surname now Evans).

Habits


Stalin enjoyed drinking, but could keep it under control. He would also often force those around him to join in. Stalin preferred Georgian wine
Georgian wine
Georgia is one of the oldest wine producing regions of the world. The fertile valleys of the South Caucasus, which Georgia straddles, are believed by many archaeologists to be the source of the world's first cultivated grapevines and neolithic wine production, over 8,000 years ago...

 over Russian vodka, but usually ate traditional Russian food.

Khrushchev reports in his memoirs that Stalin was fond of American cowboy movies. He would often sleep until evening in his dacha, and after waking up summon high-ranking Soviet politicians to watch foreign movies with him in the Kremlin movie theater. The movies, being in foreign languages, were given a running translation. After the movie had ended, Stalin often invited the audience for dinner, even though the clock was usually past midnight.

Attitude to religion


Stalin had a complex relationship with religious institutions in the Soviet Union. Historians Vladislav Zubok and Constantine Pleshakov have suggested that "[Stalin's] atheism remained rooted in some vague idea of a God of nature." One account states that Stalin's reversal on bans against the church during World War II
Stalin in World War II
Joseph Stalin was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee from 1922 until his death in 1953. In the years following Lenin's death in 1924, he rose to become the authoritarian leader of the Soviet Union....

 followed a sign that he believed he received from heaven.

During the Second World War Stalin reopened the Churches. One reason could have been to motivate the majority of the population who had Christian beliefs. The reasoning behind this is that by changing the official policy of the party and the state towards religion, the Church and its clergymen could be to his disposal in mobilizing the war effort. On 4 September 1943, Stalin invited Metropolitan Sergius
Patriarch Sergius I of Moscow
Patriarch Sergius I , – May 15, 1944) was the 12th Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, from September 8, 1943 until his death. He was also the de facto head of the Russian Orthodox Church as Patriarchal locum tenens in 1925-1943.-Early life:...

, Metropolitan Alexy and Metropolitan Nikolay
Metropolitan Nikolay of Krutitsy
Metropolitan Nicholas , Kovno – December 13, 1961, Moscow), was a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church.He supported the controversial 1927 declaration of Metropolitan Sergius, pledging loyalty of the Church to the Soviet authorities against the will of the imprisoned Patriarchal locum tenens,...

 to the Kremlin and proposed to reestablish the Moscow Patriarchate, which had been suspended since 1925, and elect the Patriarch. On 8 September 1943, Metropolitan Sergius was elected Patriarch.

The CPSU Central Committee continued to promote atheism and the elimination of religion during the remainder of Stalin's lifetime after the 1943 concordat. Stalin's greater tolerance for religion after 1943 was limited by party machinations. Whether persecutions after World War II were more aimed at certain sections of society over and above detractors is a disputed point.

Hypotheses, rumors and misconceptions about Stalin


There are conflicting accounts of Stalin's birth
Stalin before the Revolution
Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union in the mid-20th century, was born on 18 December 1878 to a Georgian cobbler in Gori, Georgia. After not finishing his church-sponsored education, he embraced Marxism and became an avid follower of Vladimir Lenin. After being marked by Russian secret...

, who listed his birth year in various documents as being in 1878 before coming to power in 1922. The phrase "death of one man is a tragedy, death of a million is a statistic" is sometimes attributed to Stalin, but was actually made by the German writer and pacifist Erich Maria Remarque
Erich Maria Remarque
Erich Maria Remarque was a German author, best known for his novel All Quiet on the Western Front.-Life and work:...

.
In addition, hypotheses and popular rumors exist about Stalin's real father. Some Bolsheviks and others have accused Stalin of being an agent for the Okhrana.

Works


  • "Anarchism or Socialism?," 1907
  • "Marxism and the National Question," 1913
  • "The Principles of Leninism," 1924
  • "Trotskyism or Leninism?," 1924
  • "Dialectical and Historical Materialism
    Dialectical and Historical Materialism
    Joseph Stalin's "Dialectical and Historical Materialism" is a central text within Soviet political theory.The work first appeared in 1938, and draws heavily upon both Lenin's philosophical works, and the then-new Short Course in the History of the All-Union Communist Party ; it was to become the...

    ," 1938
  • "The Questions of Leninism," 1946
  • "Marxism and Problems of Linguistics," 1950
  • "Economic Problems of Socialism in the U.S.S.R.," 1952
  • Works. Volume 1–13: Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1950s/"Volume 14": Red Star Press, London 1978


Stalin was also a well-regarded poet in his youth. Some of his poems were published in Ilia Chavchavadze's journal Iveria and later anthologized.

Generalissimus


Any kind of Rank like Generalissimus Stalin was denied (from CPSU
History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which evolved out of the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1912, can roughly be divided into the following periods; the early years of the Bolshevik Party in clandestinity and exile, the period of the October...

).

See also



Index of Soviet Union-related articles
  • Stalinism
    Stalinism
    Stalinism refers to the ideology that Joseph Stalin conceived and implemented in the Soviet Union, and is generally considered a branch of Marxist–Leninist ideology but considered by some historians to be a significant deviation from this philosophy...

  • Neo-Stalinism
    Neo-Stalinism
    Neo-Stalinism is a political term referring to attempts at rehabilitating the role of Joseph Stalin in history and re-establishing the political course of Stalin, at least partially. The term is also used to designate the modern political regimes in some states, political and social life of which...

  • Stalin Society
    Stalin Society
    The Stalin Society is a British discussion group for individuals who see Joseph Stalin as a great Marxist-Leninist and wish to preserve what they believe is his positive legacy...

  • Anti-Stalinist left
    Anti-Stalinist left
    The anti-Stalinist left is an element of left-wing politics that is critical of Joseph Stalin's policies and the political system that developed in the Soviet Union under his rule...

  • Stalinist architecture
    Stalinist architecture
    Stalinist architecture , also referred to as Stalinist Gothic, or Socialist Classicism, is a term given to architecture of the Soviet Union between 1933, when Boris Iofan's draft for Palace of the Soviets was officially approved, and 1955, when Nikita Khrushchev condemned "excesses" of the past...

  • Stalin Peace Prize


  • Joseph Stalin Museum, Gori
    Joseph Stalin Museum, Gori
    thumb|right|The Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori- in the foreground, the house where Stalin was bornThe Joseph Stalin Museum is a museum in Gori, Georgia dedicated to the life of Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, who was born in Gori.-Organization:...

  • Stalin Monument in Budapest
    Stalin Monument in Budapest
    The Stalin Monument in Budapest was completed in December 1951 as a gift for Joseph Stalin from the Hungarian People on his seventieth birthday . It was torn down on October 23, 1956 during Hungary's October Revolution.-Monument:...

  • Stalin Monument (Prague)
  • List of places named after Joseph Stalin
  • Stalin's antisemitism
    Stalin's antisemitism
    Though communist leader Joseph Stalin initially denounced antisemitism, numerous instances of Stalin's antisemitism, manifested in the executions and deportations of Jews, have been witnessed by contemporaries and documented by historical sources....

  • Stalin Bloc – For the USSR
  • Yanks for Stalin
    Yanks for Stalin
    Yanks for Stalin is a 60-minute History Undercover series special documentary that aired on the History Channel. It chronicles the story of American white- and blue-collar workers who left the United States during the Great Depression to work in the Soviet Union to bolster Joseph Stalin's...



Further reading


  • Anton Antonov-Ovseenko
    Anton Antonov-Ovseenko
    Anton Vladimirovich Antonov-Ovseyenko is a Russian historian and writer.He is the son of a Bolshevik military leader Vladimir Antonov-Ovseenko....

    . The Time of Stalin: Portrait of a Tyranny. Harpercollins
    HarperCollins
    HarperCollins is a publishing company owned by News Corporation. It is the combination of the publishers William Collins, Sons and Co Ltd, a British company, and Harper & Row, an American company, itself the result of an earlier merger of Harper & Brothers and Row, Peterson & Company. The worldwide...

    , 1983 (ISBN 0060390271)
  • Brent, Jonathan. Inside the Stalin Archives: Discovering the New Russia. Atlas & Co., 2008 (ISBN 0977743330) Introduction online
  • Brent, Jonathan; Naumov, Vladimir Pavlovich. Stalin's Last Crime: The Plot Against the Jewish Doctors, 1948–1953. New York: HarperCollins, 2003 (ISBN 0-06-019524-X); as Stalin's Last Crime: The Doctor's Plot. London: John Murray, 2004 (ISBN 0-7195-6508-1).
  • Broekmeyer, Marius. Stalin, the Russians, and Their War, 1941–1945. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2004 (ISBN 0-299-19590-2).
  • Bullock, Alan. Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives. London: HarperCollins, 1991 (ISBN 0002154943).
  • Boterbloem, Kees. Life and Death under Stalin: Kalinin Province, 1945–1953. Montreal, Quebec; Kingston, ON: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1999 (ISBN 0-7735-1811-8).
  • Robert Conquest
    Robert Conquest
    George Robert Ackworth Conquest CMG is a British historian who became a well-known writer and researcher on the Soviet Union with the publication in 1968 of The Great Terror, an account of Stalin's purges of the 1930s...

    . The Great Terror: A Reassessment. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990 (ISBN 0-19-507132-8).
  • Robert Conquest
    Robert Conquest
    George Robert Ackworth Conquest CMG is a British historian who became a well-known writer and researcher on the Soviet Union with the publication in 1968 of The Great Terror, an account of Stalin's purges of the 1930s...

    . The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986 (ISBN 0-19-505180-7).
  • Davies, Sarah; Harris, James R. Stalin: A New History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005 (ISBN 0-521-85104-1).
  • Isaac Deutscher
    Isaac Deutscher
    Isaac Deutscher was a Polish-born Jewish Marxist writer, journalist and political activist who moved to the United Kingdom at the outbreak of World War II. He is best known as a biographer of Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin and as a commentator on Soviet affairs...

    . Stalin: A Political Biography. New York: Oxford University Press, 1967 (ISBN 0-19-500273-3); London: Penguin Books, 1990 (ISBN 0140135049).
  • Milovan Đilas. Conversations With Stalin. Harcourt Trade Publishers New York, 1962 (ISBN 0151225907)
  • Orlando Figes
    Orlando Figes
    Orlando Figes is a British historian of Russia, and Professor of History at Birkbeck, University of London.-Overview:Figes is the son of the feminist writer Eva Figes. His sister is the author and editor Kate Figes. He attended William Ellis School in north London from 1971-78...

    . The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia. Metropolitan Books, 2007 (ISBN 0805074619)
  • Gellately, Robert. Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe. Knopf, August 2007 (ISBN 1400040051).
  • Gill, Graeme. Stalinism (2nd ed.). New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 1998 (ISBN 0-312-17764-X).
  • Jonge, Alex de. Stalin and the Shaping of the Soviet Union. New York: William Morrow, 1986 (ISBN 0-688-04730-0); 1987 (ISBN 0688072917).
  • Keep, John L.H.; Litvin, Alter L. Stalinism: Russian and Western Views at the Turn of the Millennium (Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions). New York: Routledge, 2004 (ISBN 0-415-35108-1)
  • Kuromiya, Hiroaki. Stalin. Harlow, UK: Longman, 2006 (ISBN 0-582-78479-4).
  • Kuromiya, Hiroaki. The Voices of the Dead: Stalin's Great Terror in the 1930s. Yale University Press
    Yale University Press
    Yale University Press is a book publisher founded in 1908 by George Parmly Day. It became an official department of Yale University in 1961, but remains financially and operationally autonomous....

    , 24 December 2007. ISBN 0300123892
  • The Leader Cult in Communist Dictatorships: Stalin and the Eastern Bloc, edited by Apor, Balázs; Jan C. Behrends, Polly Jones and E.A. Rees. Houndmills, UK; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004 (ISBN 1-4039-3443-6).
  • The Lesser Evil: Moral Approaches to Genocide Practices (Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions), edited by Helmut Dubiel and Gabriel Motzkin. New York: Routledge, 2004 (ISBN 0-7146-5493-0).
  • Laqueur, Walter. Stalin: The Glasnost Revelations. New York: Scribner, 1990 (ISBN 0684192039).
  • Mace, James E. "The Man-Made Famine of 1933 in Soviet Ukraine", Famine in Ukraine 1932–1933: A Memorial Exhibition, edited by Roman Serbyn and Bohdan Krawchenko. Edmonton, Alberta: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, 1986 (ISBN 0-920862-43-8), pp. 1–14.
  • Mawdsley, Evan. The Stalin Years: The Soviet Union, 1929–53. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003 (ISBN 0-7190-6377-9).
  • McDermott, Kevin. Stalin: Revolutionary in an Era of War (European History in Perspective). New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006 (ISBN 0-333-71121-1).
  • McLoughlin, Barry and McDermott, Kevin (eds). Stalin's Terror: High Politics and Mass Repression in the Soviet Union. Palgrave Macmillan
    Palgrave Macmillan
    Palgrave Macmillan is an international academic and trade publishing company, headquartered in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom and with offices in New York, Melbourne, Sydney, Hong Kong, Delhi, Johannesburg. It was created in 2000 when St...

    , 2002. ISBN 1403901198
  • Roy Medvedev
    Roy Medvedev
    Roy Aleksandrovich Medvedev |Georgia]]) is a Russian historian renowned as the author of the dissident history of Stalinism, Let History Judge , first published in English in 1972...

    ; Zhores Medvedev
    Zhores Medvedev
    Zhores Aleksandrovich Medvedev is a Russian biologist, historian and dissident. His twin brother is the historian Roy Medvedev.-Biography:Zhores Medvedev and his twin brother Roy Medvedev were born on 14 November 1925 in Tbilisi, Georgia, USSR....

     The Unknown Stalin: His Life, Death, and Legacy. London: I.B. Tauris, 2003 (ISBN 1-86064-768-5)
  • Simon Sebag Montefiore
    Simon Sebag Montefiore
    Simon Jonathan Sebag Montefiore is a British historian and writer.-Family history:Simon's father, a doctor, is descended from a famous line of wealthy Sephardic Jews who became diplomats and bankers all over Europe...

    . Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004 (ISBN 1-4000-4230-5); New York: Vintage, 2005 (ISBN 1400076781).
  • Simon Sebag Montefiore
    Simon Sebag Montefiore
    Simon Jonathan Sebag Montefiore is a British historian and writer.-Family history:Simon's father, a doctor, is descended from a famous line of wealthy Sephardic Jews who became diplomats and bankers all over Europe...

    . Young Stalin. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2007 (ISBN 9780297850687). An excerpt.
  • Murphy, David E. What Stalin Knew: The Enigma of Barbarossa. Yale University Press, 2005 (ISBN 0300107803).
  • Norman Naimark
    Norman Naimark
    Norman M. Naimark is an American historian, and author who specializes in modern Eastern European history, and genocide and ethnic cleansing in the region....

     Stalin's Genocides (Human Rights and Crimes against Humanity). Princeton University Press
    Princeton University Press
    -Further reading:* "". Artforum International, 2005.-External links:* * * * *...

    , 2010. ISBN 0691147841
  • Richard Overy
    Richard Overy
    Richard Overy is a British historian who has published extensively on the history of World War II and the Third Reich. In 2007 as The Times editor of Complete History of the World he chose the 50 key dates of world history....

    . Dictators: Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia. Allen Lane, 2004 (ISBN 0-393-32797-3).
  • Parrish, Michael. The Lesser Terror: Soviet state security, 1939–1953. Praeger Press, 1996 (ISBN 0275951138)
  • Richard Pipes
    Richard Pipes
    Richard Edgar Pipes is an American academic who specializes in Russian history, particularly with respect to the Soviet Union...

    . Communism: A History. Modern Library Chronicles
    Modern Library Chronicles
    The Modern Library Chronicles are a series of short books, most under 150 pages, intended to introduce readers to a period of history.A partial list includes:*The Renaissance, by Paul Johnson*Islam, by Karen Armstrong...

    , 2001 (ISBN 0679640509)
  • Priestland, David. Stalin and the Politics of Mobilization: Ideas, Power, and Terror in Inter-war Russia. New York: Oxford University Press (U.S.), 2006 (ISBN 0-19-924513-4).
  • Edvard Radzinsky
    Edvard Radzinsky
    Edvard Stanislavovich Radzinsky is a Russian playwright, writer, TV personality, and film screenwriter. He is also known as an author of several books on history which were characterized as "folk history" by journalists and academic historians.-Biography:Edvard Stanislavovich Radzinsky was born...

    . Stalin: The First In-Depth Biography Based on Explosive New Documents from Russia's Secret Archives. Doubleday, 1996 (ISBN 0-385-47397-4). Chapter 1.
  • Rayfield, Donald
    Donald Rayfield
    Donald Rayfield is professor of Russian and Georgian at Queen Mary, University of London. He is an author of books about Russian and Georgian literature, and about Joseph Stalin and his secret police...

    , Stalin and his Hangmen: The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him
    Stalin and His Hangmen
    Stalin and His Hangmen: An Authoritative Portrait of a Tyrant and Those Who Served Him by Donald Rayfield, and the imprinted with another subtitle: Stalin and His Hangmen: The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him, is a political biography by Donald Rayfield, of Joseph Stalin and his subordinates who...

    , (2005), Random House
  • Redefining Stalinism (Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions), edited by Harold Shukman. New York: Routledge, 2003 (ISBN 0-7146-5415-9).
  • Ree, Erik van. The Political Thought of Joseph Stalin: A Study in Twentieth-Century Revolutionary Patriotism. London; New York: Routledge Courzon, 2002 (ISBN 0-7007-1749-8).
  • Roberts, Geoffrey. Stalin's Wars: From World War to Cold War, 1939–1953. New Heaven, CT; London: Yale University Press, 2006 (ISBN 0300112041).
  • Rosefielde, Steven
    Steven Rosefielde
    Steven Rosefielde is a Professor of Comparative Economic Systems at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.. He is also a member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences.-Selected works:...

    . Red Holocaust. Routledge
    Routledge
    Routledge is a British publishing house which has operated under a succession of company names and latterly as an academic imprint. Its origins may be traced back to the 19th-century London bookseller George Routledge...

    , 2009. (ISBN 0415777577)
  • Rudolph Rummel Death By Government. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 1994 (ISBN 1560001453).
  • Rudolph Rummel Lethal Politics: Soviet Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1917. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 1990 (ISBN 0887383335)
  • Sandag, Shagdariin; Kendall, Harry H.; Wakeman, Frederic E. Poisoned Arrows: The Stalin-Choibalsan Mongolian Massacres, 1921–1941. Westview Press (October 1999). ISBN 0813337100
  • Service, Robert
    Robert Service (historian)
    Robert John Service is a British historian, academic, and author who has written extensively on the history of Soviet Russia, particularly the era from the October Revolution to Stalin's death...

    . Stalin: A Biography. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2005 (ISBN 0-674-01697-1).
  • Timothy Snyder
    Timothy Snyder
    Timothy D. Snyder is an American professor of history at Yale University, specializing in the history of Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the Holocaust...

    . Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin
    Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin
    Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin is a book written by Timothy D. Snyder, first published by Basic Books on October 28, 2010. The book is about the mass killing of an estimated 14 million non-combatants by the regimes of Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union and Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany...

    .
    Basic Books
    Basic Books
    Basic Books is a book publisher founded in 1952 and located in New York. It publishes books in the fields of psychology, philosophy, economics, science, politics, sociology, current affairs, and history.-History:...

    , 2010. ISBN 0465002390
  • Boris Souvarine
    Boris Souvarine
    Boris Souvarine was an Imperial Russian-born French socialist, communist activist, essayist, and journalist.-Early years:...

    . Stalin: A Critical Survey of Bolshevism. Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing, 2005 (ISBN 1-4191-1307-0)Online.
  • Stalin's Terror Revisited. Edited by Melanie Ilic and Stephen G. Wheatcroft. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006 (ISBN 1-4039-4705-8).
  • Robert C. Tucker
    Robert C. Tucker
    Robert Charles Tucker was an American political scientist.Born in Kansas City, Missouri, he was a Sovietologist at Princeton University. He served as an attaché at the American Embassy in Moscow from 1944–1953. He received his PhD degree from Harvard University in 1958; his doctoral dissertation...

     Stalin as Revolutionary, 1879–1929: A Study in History and Personality. (W.W. Norton, 1973) online edition
  • Robert C. Tucker Stalin in Power: The Revolution from Above, 1928–1941. New York: W.W. Norton, 1990 (ISBN 0-393-02881-X).
  • Tzouliadis, Tim. The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin's Russia. The Penguin Press, 2008 (ISBN 1594201684)
  • Ulam, Adam Bruno. Stalin: The Man and His Era. Boston: Beacon Press, 1989 (ISBN 0-8070-7005-X)
  • Vaksberg, Arkady. The Murder of Maxim Gorky. A Secret Execution. (Enigma Books: New York, 2007. ISBN 978-1-929631-62-9.)
  • Dmitri Volkogonov
    Dmitri Volkogonov
    Dmitri Antonovich Volkogonov was a Russian historian and officer.-Biography:...

     (Author); Shukman, Harold (Editor, Translator). Autopsy for an Empire: the Seven Leaders Who Built the Soviet Regime. Free Press, 1998 (ISBN 0684834200)
  • Ward, Chris. The Stalinist Dictatorship. London: Arnold Publishers, 1998 (ISBN 0-340-70640-6).
  • Ward, Chris. "Stalin Through Seventeenth-Century Eyes", Journal of European Studies, Vol. 36, No. 2. (2006), pp. 181–200.
  • Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev
    Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev
    Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev was a Soviet politician and historian who was a Soviet governmental official in the 1980s and a member of the Politburo and Secretariat of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union...

     (Author); Austin, Anthony (Translator). A Century of Violence in Soviet Russia. Yale University Press
    Yale University Press
    Yale University Press is a book publisher founded in 1908 by George Parmly Day. It became an official department of Yale University in 1961, but remains financially and operationally autonomous....

    , 2002 (ISBN 0300087608)


External links