Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin[b] (born Ioseb Besarionis dze
Jughashvili;[a] 18 December [O.S.
6] 1878 – 5 March 1953) was a Georgian
revolutionary and Soviet politician who led the
Soviet Union from the
mid–1920s until 1953 as General Secretary of the Communist Party of
Soviet Union (1922–1953) and Premier (1941–1953). Initially
presiding over a collective leadership as first among equals, by the
1930s he was the country's de facto dictator. A communist
ideologically committed to the Leninist interpretation of Marxism,
Stalin formalised these ideas as Marxism–Leninism, while his own
policies are known as Stalinism.
Born to a poor family in Gori in the
Russian Empire (now Georgia),
Stalin joined the Marxist
Russian Social Democratic Labour Party
Russian Social Democratic Labour Party as a
youth. He edited the party's newspaper, Pravda, and raised funds for
Vladimir Lenin's Bolshevik faction via robberies, kidnappings, and
protection rackets. Repeatedly arrested, he underwent several internal
exiles. After the
Bolsheviks seized power during the 1917 October
Revolution and created a one-party state under Lenin's newly renamed
Communist Party, Stalin joined its governing Politburo. Serving in the
Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War before overseeing the Soviet Union's establishment
in 1922, Stalin assumed leadership over the country following Lenin's
1924 death. Under Stalin, "
Socialism in One Country" became a central
tenet of the party's dogma. Through the Five-Year Plans, the country
underwent agricultural collectivisation and rapid industrialisation,
creating a centralised command economy. This led to significant
disruptions in food production that contributed to the famine of
1932–33. To eradicate accused "enemies of the working class", Stalin
instituted the "Great Purge", in which over a million were imprisoned
and at least 700,000 executed between 1934 and 1939. By 1937, he had
complete personal control over the party and state.
Stalin's government promoted Marxism–
Leninism abroad through the
Communist International and supported European anti-fascist movements
during the 1930s, particularly in the Spanish Civil War. In 1939, it
signed a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany, resulting in the
Soviet invasion of Poland. Germany ended the pact by invading the
Soviet Union in 1941. Despite initial setbacks, the Soviet Red Army
repelled the German incursion and captured
Berlin in 1945, ending
World War II
World War II in Europe. The Soviets annexed the Baltic states and
helped establish Soviet-aligned governments throughout Central and
Eastern Europe, China, and North Korea. The
Soviet Union and the
United States emerged from the war as global superpowers. Tensions
arose between the Soviet-backed
Eastern Bloc and U.S.-backed Western
Bloc which became known as the Cold War. Stalin led his country
through the post-war reconstruction, during which it developed a
nuclear weapon in 1949. In these years, the country experienced
another major famine and an anti-semitic campaign peaking in the
doctors' plot. Stalin died in 1953 he was eventually succeeded by
Nikita Khrushchev, who denounced his predecessor and initiated the
de-Stalinisation of Soviet society.
Widely considered one of the 20th century's most significant figures,
Stalin was the subject of a pervasive personality cult within the
international Marxist–Leninist movement which revered him as a
champion of the working class and socialism. Since the dissolution of
Soviet Union in 1991, Stalin has retained popularity in Russia and
Georgia as a victorious wartime leader who established the Soviet
Union as a major world power. Conversely, his totalitarian government
has been widely condemned for overseeing mass repressions, ethnic
cleansing, deportations, hundreds of thousands of executions, and
famines which killed millions.
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ul display:none Contents
1 Early life
1.1 Childhood to young adulthood: 1878–1899
1.2 Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party: 1899–1904
Revolution of 1905
Revolution of 1905 and its aftermath: 1905–1912
1.4 Rise to the Central Committee and editorship of Pravda:
1.5 Russian Revolution: 1917
2 In Lenin's government
2.1 Consolidating power: 1917–1918
2.2 Military Command: 1918–1921
2.3 Lenin's final years: 1921–1923
3 Rise to power
3.1 Succeeding Lenin: 1924–1927
3.2 Dekulakisation, collectivisation, and industrialisation:
3.2.1 Economic policy
3.2.2 Cultural and foreign policy
3.3 Major crises: 1932–1939
3.3.2 Ideological and foreign affairs
3.3.3 The Great Terror
4 World War II
4.1 Pact with Nazi Germany: 1939–1941
4.2 German invasion: 1941–1942
4.3 Soviet counter-attack: 1942–1945
4.4 Victory: 1945
5 Post-war era
5.1 Post-war reconstruction and famine: 1945–1947
Cold War policy: 1947–1950
5.2.1 Eastern Bloc
5.3 Final years: 1950–1953
5.4 Death, funeral and aftermath: 1953
6 Political ideology
7 Personal life and characteristics
7.2 Relationships and family
8.1 Death toll and allegations of genocide
8.2 In the
Soviet Union and its successor states
9 See also
11.3 Further reading
12 External links
Main article: Early life of Joseph Stalin
Childhood to young adulthood: 1878–1899
Stalin was born in the Georgian town of Gori on 18
December [O.S. 6
December] 1878.[c] He was the son of
Besarion "Beso" Jughashvili and Ekaterine "Keke" Geladze,
who had married in 1872 or 1874, and had lost two sons in
infancy prior to Stalin's birth. They were ethnically
Georgian, and Stalin grew up speaking the Georgian
language. Gori was then part of the Russian Empire, and was
home to a population of 20,000, the majority of whom were Georgian but
contained Armenian, Russian, and Jewish minorities. Stalin
was baptised on 29 December. He was nicknamed "Soso", a
diminutive of "Ioseb".
Stalin in 1894, aged about 15
Besarion was a shoemaker and owned his own workshop; it
was initially a financial success, but later fell into
decline. The family found itself living in
poverty, moving through nine different rented rooms during
ten years. Besarion became an alcoholic, and
drunkenly beat his wife and son. To escape the abusive
relationship, Keke took Stalin and moved into the house of a family
friend, Fr. Christopher Charkviani. She worked as a house
cleaner and launderer for local families sympathetic to her
plight. Keke was determined to send her son to school,
something that none of the family had previously achieved.
In late 1888, aged 10 Stalin enrolled at the Gori Church School. This
was normally reserved for the children of clergy, although Charkviani
ensured that the boy received a place. Stalin excelled
academically, displaying talent in painting and drama
classes, writing his own poetry, and singing
as a choirboy. He got into many fights, and a
childhood friend later noted that Stalin "was the best but also the
naughtiest pupil" in the class. Stalin faced several
severe health problems; in 1884, he contracted smallpox and was left
with facial pock scars. Aged 12, he was seriously injured
after being hit by a phaeton, which was the likely cause of a lifelong
disability to his left arm.
In 1894 Stalin began his studies at the Tiflis Spiritual Seminary
(pictured here in the 1870s).
At his teachers' recommendation, Stalin proceeded to the Spiritual
Seminary in Tiflis. He enrolled at the seminary in August
1894, enabled by a scholarship that allowed him to study
at a reduced rate. Here he joined 600 trainee priests who
boarded at the institution. Stalin was again academically
successful and gained high grades. He continued writing
poetry; five of his poems were published under the pseudonym of
"Soselo" in Ilia Chavchavadze's newspaper Iveria
('Georgia'). Thematically, they dealt with topics like
nature, land, and patriotism. According to Stalin's
Simon Sebag Montefiore
Simon Sebag Montefiore they became "minor Georgian
classics", and were included in various anthologies of
Georgian poetry over the coming years. As he grew older,
Stalin lost interest in his studies, his grades dropped,
and he was repeatedly confined to a cell for his rebellious
behaviour. Teachers complained that he declared himself an
atheist, chatted in class and refused to doff his hat to
Stalin joined a forbidden book club active at the school;
he was particularly influenced by Nikolay Chernyshevsky's 1863
pro-revolutionary novel What Is To Be Done? Another
influential text was Alexander Kazbegi's The Patricide, with Stalin
adopting the nickname "Koba" from that of the book's bandit
protagonist. He also read Capital, the 1867 book by German
sociological theorist Karl Marx. Stalin devoted himself to
Marx's socio-political theory, Marxism, which was then on
the rise in Georgia, one of various forms of socialism opposed to the
empire's governing Tsarist authorities. At night, he
attended secret workers' meetings, and was introduced to
Silibistro "Silva" Jibladze, the Marxist founder of Mesame Dasi
('Third Group'), a Georgian socialist group. Stalin left
the seminary in April 1899; he never returned, although
the school encouraged him to come back.
Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party: 1899–1904
A mugshot of Stalin made in 1902 by the
Batumi police gendarmerie
In October 1899, Stalin began work as a meteorologist at a Tiflis
observatory. He attracted a group of supporters through
his classes in socialist theory, and co-organised a secret
workers' mass meeting for
May Day 1900, at which he
successfully encouraged many of the men to take strike
action. By this point, the empire's secret police — the
Okhrana — were aware of Stalin's activities within Tiflis'
revolutionary milieu. They attempted to arrest him in
March 1901, but he escaped and went into hiding, living
off the donations of friends and sympathisers. Remaining
underground, he helped plan a demonstration for
May Day 1901, in which
3,000 marchers clashed with the authorities. He continued
to evade arrest by using aliases and sleeping in different
apartments. In November 1901, he was elected to the Tiflis
Committee of the
Russian Social Democratic Labour Party
Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP), a
Marxist party founded in 1898.
That month, Stalin travelled to the port city of Batumi.
His militant rhetoric proved divisive among the city's Marxists, some
of whom suspected that he might be an agent provocateur working for
the government. He found employment at the Rothschild
refinery storehouse, where he co-organised twice workers'
strikes. After several strike leaders were arrested, he
co-organised a mass public demonstration which led to the storming of
the prison; troops fired upon the demonstrators, 13 of whom were
killed. Stalin organised a second mass demonstration on
the day of their funeral, before being arrested in April
1902. He was initially held at
later being moved to the more secure Kutaisi Prison. In
mid-1903, Stalin was sentenced to three years of exile in eastern
Batumi in October, arriving at the small Siberian town of
Novaya Uda in late November. There, he lived in a two-room
peasant's house, sleeping in the building's larder. He
made two escape attempts; on the first he made it to
returning due to frostbite. His second attempt was
successful and he made it to Tiflis. There, he co-edited a
Georgian Marxist newspaper,
Proletariatis Brdzola ("Proletarian
Struggle"), with Philip Makharadze. He called for the
Georgian Marxist movement to split off from its Russian counterpart,
resulting in several RSDLP members accusing him of holding views
contrary to the ethos of Marxist internationalism and calling for his
expulsion from the party; he soon recanted his opinions.
During his exile, the RSDLP had split between Vladimir Lenin's
"Bolsheviks" and Julius Martov's "Mensheviks". Stalin
detested many of the
Mensheviks in Georgia and aligned himself with
the Bolsheviks. Although Stalin established a Bolshevik
stronghold in the mining town of Chiatura, Bolshevism
remained a minority force in the Menshevik-dominated Georgian
Revolution of 1905
Revolution of 1905 and its aftermath: 1905–1912
In January 1905, government troops massacred protesters in Saint
Petersburg. Unrest soon spread across the Russian Empire
in what came to be known as the Revolution of 1905.
Georgia was one of the regions particularly affected.
Stalin was in
Baku in February when ethnic violence broke out between
Armenians and Azeris; at least 2,000 were killed. He
publicly lambasted the "pogroms against Jews and Armenians" as being
part of Tsar Nicholas II's attempts to "buttress his despicable
throne". Stalin formed a Bolshevik Battle Squad which he
used to try and keep Baku's warring ethnic factions apart; he also
used the unrest as a cover for stealing printing
equipment. Amid the growing violence throughout Georgia he
formed further Battle Squads, with the
Mensheviks doing the
same. Stalin's Squads disarmed local police and
troops, raided government arsenals, and raised
funds through protection rackets on large local businesses and
mines. They launched attacks on the government's Cossack
troops and pro-Tsarist Black Hundreds, co-ordinating some
of their operations with the Menshevik militia.
Stalin first met
Vladimir Lenin (pictured) at a 1905 conference in
Tampere. Lenin became "Stalin's indispensable mentor".
In November 1905, the Georgian
Bolsheviks elected Stalin as one of
their delegates to a Bolshevik conference in Saint
Petersburg. On arrival, he met Lenin's wife Nadezhda
Krupskaya, who informed him that the venue had been moved to Tampere
in the Grand Duchy of Finland. At the conference Stalin
met Lenin for the first time. Although Stalin held Lenin
in deep respect, he was vocal in his disagreement with Lenin's view
Bolsheviks should field candidates for the forthcoming
election to the State Duma; Stalin saw the parliamentary process as a
waste of time. In April 1906, Stalin attended the RSDLP
Fourth Congress in Stockholm; this was his first trip outside the
Russian Empire. At the conference, the RSDLP—then led by
its Menshevik majority—agreed that it would not raise funds using
armed robbery. Lenin and Stalin disagreed with this
decision, and later privately discussed how they could
continue the robberies for the Bolshevik cause.
Kato Svanidze in a church ceremony at
Senaki in July
1906. In March 1907 she bore a son, Yakov. By
that year—according to the historian Robert Service—Stalin had
established himself as "Georgia's leading Bolshevik". He
attended the Fifth RSDLP Congress, held in London in May–June
1907. After returning to Tiflis, Stalin organised the
robbing of a large delivery of money to the Imperial Bank in June
1907. His gang ambushed the armed convoy in Yerevan Square with
gunfire and home-made bombs. Around 40 people were killed, but all of
his gang escaped alive.
After the heist, Stalin settled in
Baku with his wife and
Mensheviks confronted Stalin about the
robbery and voted to expel him from the RSDLP, but he took no notice
In Baku, Stalin secured Bolshevik domination of the local RSDLP
branch, and edited two Bolshevik newspapers, Bakinsky
Proletary and Gudok ("Whistle"). In August 1907, he
attended the Seventh Congress of the Second International—an
international socialist organisation—in Stuttgart,
Germany. In November 1907, his wife died of
typhus, and he left his son with her family in
Baku he had reassembled his gang, the
Outfit, which continued to attack
Black Hundreds and
raised finances by running protection rackets, counterfeiting
currency, and carrying out robberies. They also kidnapped
the children of several wealthy figures to extract ransom
money. In early 1908, he travelled to the Swiss city of
Geneva to meet with Lenin and the prominent Russian Marxist Georgi
Plekhanov, although the latter exasperated him.
In March 1908, Stalin was arrested and interned in Bailov Prison in
Baku There, he led the imprisoned Bolsheviks, organised
discussion groups, and ordered the killing of suspected
informants. He was eventually sentenced to two years
exile in the village of Solvychegodsk,
Vologda Province, arriving
there in February 1909. In June, he escaped the village
and made it to
Kotlas disguised as a woman and from there to Saint
Petersburg. In March 1910, he was arrested again, and
sent back to Solvychegodsk. There he had affairs with at
least two women; his landlady, Maria Kuzakova, later gave birth to his
second son, Konstantin. In June 1911, Stalin was given
permission to move to Vologda, where he stayed for two
months, having a relationship with Pelageya
Onufrieva. He escaped to Saint Petersburg,
where he was arrested in September 1911, and sentenced to a further
three-year exile in Vologda.
Rise to the Central Committee and editorship of Pravda: 1912–1917
The first issue of Pravda, the Bolshevik newspaper of which Stalin
While Stalin was in exile, the first Bolshevik Central Committee had
been elected at the Prague Conference, after which Lenin and Grigory
Zinoviev invited Stalin to join it. Still in Vologda, Stalin agreed,
remaining a Central Committee member for the rest of his
life. Lenin believed that Stalin, as a Georgian, would
help secure support for the
Bolsheviks from the Empire's minority
ethnicities. In February 1912, Stalin again escaped to
Saint Petersburg, tasked with converting the Bolshevik
weekly newspaper, Zvezda ("Star") into a daily, Pravda
("Truth"). The new newspaper was launched in April
1912, although Stalin's role as editor was kept
In May 1912, he was arrested again and imprisoned in the Shpalerhy
Prison, before being sentenced to three years exile in
Siberia. In July, he arrived at the Siberian village of
Narym, where he shared a room with fellow Bolshevik Yakov
Sverdlov. After two months, Stalin and Sverdlov escaped
back to Saint Petersburg.
During a brief period back in Tiflis, Stalin and the Outfit planned
the ambush of a mail coach, during which most of the group—although
not Stalin—were apprehended by the authorities. Stalin
returned to Saint Petersburg, where he continued editing and writing
articles for Pravda.
Stalin in 1915
After the October 1912 Duma elections resulted in six
Mensheviks being elected, Stalin wrote articles calling for
reconciliation between the two Marxist factions, for which he was
criticised by Lenin. In late 1912, he twice crossed into
Austro-Hungarian Empire to visit Lenin in Kraków,
eventually bowing to Lenin's opposition to reunification with the
Mensheviks. In January 1913 Stalin travelled to
Vienna, there focusing on the 'national question' of how
Bolsheviks should deal with the Russian Empire's national and
ethnic minorities. Lenin wanted to attract these groups
to the Bolshevik cause by offering them the right of secession from
the Russian state, but at the same time hoped they would remain part
of a future Bolshevik-governed Russia. Stalin's finished
article was titled
Marxism and the National Question;
Lenin was very happy with it. According to Montefiore,
this was "Stalin's most famous work". The article was
published under the pseudonym of "K. Stalin", a name he
had been using since 1912. Derived from the Russian word
for steel (stal), this has been translated as "Man of
Steel"; Stalin may have intended it to imitate Lenin's
pseudonym. Stalin retained this name for the rest of his
life, possibly because it had been used on the article which
established his reputation among the Bolsheviks.
In February 1913, Stalin was arrested while back in Saint
Petersburg. He was sentenced to four years exile in
Turukhansk, a remote part of Siberia from which escape was
particularly difficult. In August, he arrived in the
village of Monastyrskoe, although after four weeks was relocated to
the hamlet of Kostino. In March 1914, concerned over a
potential escape attempt, the authorities moved Stalin to the hamlet
of Kureika on the edge of the Arctic Circle. In the
hamlet, Stalin had a relationship with Lidia Pereprygia, who was
thirteen at the time and thus a year under the legal age of consent in
Tsarist Russia. In or about December 1914, Pereprygia
gave birth to Stalin's child, although the infant soon
died. She gave birth to another of his children,
Alexander, circa April 1917. In Kureika, Stalin lived
closely with the indigenous
Tunguses and Ostyak, and
spent much of his time fishing.
Russian Revolution: 1917
While Stalin was in exile, Russia entered the First World War, and in
October 1916 Stalin and other exiled
Bolsheviks were conscripted into
the Russian Army, leaving for Monastyrskoe. They arrived
Krasnoyarsk in February 1917, where a medical examiner
ruled Stalin unfit for military service due to his crippled
arm. Stalin was required to serve four more months on his
exile, and he successfully requested that he serve it in nearby
Achinsk. Stalin was in the city when the February
Revolution took place; uprisings broke out in Petrograd—as Saint
Petersburg had been renamed—and Tsar Nicholas II abdicated to escape
being violently overthrown. The
Russian Empire became a de facto
republic, headed by a Provisional Government dominated by
liberals. In a celebratory mood, Stalin travelled by
train to Petrograd in March. There, Stalin and fellow
Lev Kamenev assumed control of Pravda, and
Stalin was appointed the Bolshevik representative to the Executive
Committee of the Petrograd Soviet, an influential council of the
city's workers. In April, Stalin came third in the
Bolshevik elections for the party's Central Committee; Lenin came
first and Zinoviev came second. This reflected his senior
standing in the party at the time.
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The existing government of landlords and capitalists must be replaced
by a new government, a government of workers and peasants.The existing
pseudo-government which was not elected by the people and which is not
accountable to the people must be replaced by a government recognised
by the people, elected by representatives of the workers, soldiers and
peasants and held accountable to their representatives.
— Stalin's editorial in Pravda, October 1917
Stalin helped organise the
July Days uprising, an armed display of
strength by Bolshevik supporters. After the demonstration
was suppressed, the Provisional Government initiated a crackdown on
the Bolsheviks, raiding Pravda. During this raid, Stalin
smuggled Lenin out of the newspaper's office and took charge of the
Bolshevik leader's safety, moving him between Petrograd safe houses
before smuggling him to Razliv. In Lenin's absence,
Stalin continued editing
Pravda and served as acting leader of the
Bolsheviks, overseeing the party's Sixth Congress, which was held
covertly. Lenin began calling for the
Bolsheviks to seize
power by toppling the Provisional Government in a coup d'état. Stalin
and fellow senior Bolshevik
Leon Trotsky both endorsed Lenin's plan of
action, but it was initially opposed by Kamenev and other party
members. Lenin returned to Petrograd and secured a
majority in favour of a coup at a meeting of the Central Committee on
On 24 October, police raided the Bolshevik newspaper offices, smashing
machinery and presses; Stalin salvaged some of this equipment to
continue his activities. In the early hours of 25
October, Stalin joined Lenin in a Central Committee meeting in the
Smolny Institute, from where the Bolshevik coup—the October
Revolution—was directed. Bolshevik militia seized
Petrograd's electric power station, main post office, state bank,
telephone exchange, and several bridges. A
Bolshevik-controlled ship, the Aurora, opened fire on the Winter
Palace; the Provisional Government's assembled delegates surrendered
and were arrested by the Bolsheviks. Although he had been
tasked with briefing the Bolshevik delegates of the Second Congress of
Soviets about the developing situation, Stalin's role in the coup had
not been publicly visible. Trotsky and other later
Bolshevik opponents of Stalin used this as evidence that his role in
the coup had been insignificant, although later historians reject
this. According to the historian Oleg Khlevniuk, Stalin
"filled an important role [in the October Revolution]... as a senior
Bolshevik, member of the party's Central Committee, and editor of its
main newspaper"; the historian
Stephen Kotkin similarly
noted that Stalin had been "in the thick of events" in the build-up to
In Lenin's government
Joseph Stalin in the Russian Revolution, Russian Civil
War, and Polish–Soviet War
Consolidating power: 1917–1918
On 26 October, Lenin declared himself Chairman of a new government,
Council of People's Commissars
Council of People's Commissars ("Sovnarkom"). Stalin
backed Lenin's decision not to form a coalition with the Mensheviks
and Socialist Revolutionary Party, although they did form a coalition
government with the Left Socialist Revolutionaries.
Stalin became part of an informal foursome leading the government,
alongside Lenin, Trotsky, and Sverdlov; of these,
Sverdlov was regularly absent, and died in March 1919.
Stalin's office was based near to Lenin's in the Smolny
Institute, and he and Trotsky were the only individuals
allowed access to Lenin's study without an appointment.
Although not so publicly well known as Lenin or Trotsky,
Stalin's importance among the
Bolsheviks grew. He
co-signed Lenin's decrees shutting down hostile
newspapers, and with Sverdlov chaired the sessions of the
committee drafting a constitution for the new Russian Soviet
Federative Socialist Republic. He strongly supported
Lenin's formation of the
Cheka security service and the subsequent Red
Terror that it initiated; noting that state violence had proved an
effective tool for capitalist powers, he believed that it would prove
the same for the Soviet government. Unlike senior
Bolsheviks like Kamenev and Nikolai Bukharin, Stalin never expressed
concern about the rapid growth and expansion of the
Moscow Kremlin, which Stalin moved into in 1918
Having dropped his editorship of Pravda, Stalin was
People's Commissar for Nationalities. He
Nadezhda Alliluyeva as his secretary, and at some
point married her, although the wedding date is unknown.
In November 1917, he signed the Decree on Nationality, according
ethnic and national minorities living in Russia the right of secession
and self-determination. The decree's purpose was
primarily strategic; the
Bolsheviks wanted to gain favour among ethnic
minorities but hoped that the latter would not actually desire
independence. That month, he travelled to
talk with the Finnish Social-Democrats, granting Finland's request for
independence in December. His department allocated funds
for the establishment of presses and schools in the languages of
various ethnic minorities. Socialist Revolutionaries
accused Stalin's talk of federalism and national self-determination as
a front for Sovnarkom's centralising and imperialist
Due to the ongoing First World War, in which Russia was fighting the
Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary, Lenin's government
relocated from Petrograd to
Moscow in March 1918. There, they based
themselves in the Kremlin; it was here that Stalin, Trotsky, Sverdlov,
and Lenin lived. Stalin supported Lenin's desire to sign
an armistice with the
Central Powers regardless of the cost in
territory. Stalin thought it necessary because—unlike
Lenin—he was unconvinced that Europe was on the verge of proletarian
revolution. Lenin eventually convinced the other senior
Bolsheviks of his viewpoint, resulting in the signing of the Treaty of
Brest-Litovsk in March 1918. The treaty gave vast areas
of land and resources to the
Central Powers and angered many in
Left Socialist Revolutionaries withdrew from the coalition
government over the issue. The governing RSDLP party was
soon renamed, becoming the Russian Communist Party.
Military Command: 1918–1921
Bolsheviks seized power, both right and left-wing armies
rallied against them, generating the Russian Civil War.
To secure access to the dwindling food supply, in May 1918 Sovnarkom
sent Stalin to Tsaritsyn to take charge of food procurement in
southern Russia. Eager to prove himself as a
commander, once there he took control of regional
military operations. He befriended two military figures,
Kliment Voroshilov and Semyon Budyonny, who would form the nucleus of
his military and political support base. Believing that
victory was assured by numerical superiority, he sent large numbers of
Red Army troops into battle against the region's anti-Bolshevik White
armies, resulting in heavy losses; Lenin was concerned by this costly
tactic. In Tsaritsyn, Stalin commanded the local Cheka
branch to execute suspected counter-revolutionaries, sometimes without
trial, and—in contravention of government
orders—purged the military and food collection agencies of
middle-class specialists, some of whom he also executed.
His use of state violence and terror was at a greater scale than most
Bolshevik leaders approved of; for instance, he ordered
several villages to be torched to ensure compliance with his food
Joseph Stalin, Lenin, and
Mikhail Kalinin meeting in 1919. All three
of them were "Old Bolsheviks"—members of the Bolshevik party before
the October Revolution.
In December 1918, Stalin was sent to
Perm to lead an inquiry into how
Alexander Kolchak's White forces had been able to decimate Red troops
based there. He returned to
Moscow between January and
March 1919, before being assigned to the Western Front at
Petrograd. When the Red Third Regiment defected, he
ordered the public execution of captured defectors. In
September he was returned to the Southern Front. During
the war, he proved his worth to the Central Committee, displaying
decisiveness, determination, and a willingness to take on
responsibility in conflict situations. At the same time,
he disregarded orders and repeatedly threatened to resign when
affronted. In November 1919, the government awarded him
Order of the Red Banner
Order of the Red Banner for his wartime service.
Bolsheviks had won the civil war by late 1919.
Sovnarkom turned its attention to spreading proletarian revolution
abroad, to this end forming the
Communist International in March 1919;
Stalin attended its inaugural ceremony. Although Stalin
did not share Lenin's belief that Europe's proletariat were on the
verge of revolution, he acknowledged that as long as it stood alone,
Soviet Russia remained vulnerable. In December 1918, he
drew up decrees recognising Marxist-governed Soviet republics in
Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia; during the civil war
these Marxist governments were overthrown and the Baltic countries
became fully independent of Russia, an act Stalin regarded as
illegitimate. In February 1920, he was appointed to head
the Workers' and Peasants' Inspectorate; that same month
he was also transferred to the Caucasian Front.
Following earlier clashes between Polish and Russian troops, the
Polish–Soviet War broke out in early 1920, with the Poles invading
Ukraine and taking Kiev. Stalin was moved to Ukraine, on
the Southwest Front. The
Red Army forced the Polish
troops back into Poland. Lenin believed that the Polish
proletariat would rise up to support the Russians against Józef
Piłsudski's Polish government. Stalin had cautioned against this; he
believed that nationalism would lead the Polish working-classes to
support their government's war effort. He also believed that the Red
Army was ill-prepared to conduct an offensive war and that it would
give White Armies a chance to resurface in Crimea, potentially
reigniting the civil war. Stalin lost the argument, after
which he accepted Lenin's decision and supported it.
Along the Southwest Front, he became determined to conquer Lwów; in
focusing on this goal he disobeyed orders to transfer his troops to
assist Mikhail Tukhachevsky's forces. In August, the
Poles repulsed the Russian advance and Stalin returned to
Moscow. A Polish-Soviet peace treaty was signed; Stalin
saw this as a failure for which he blamed Trotsky. In
turn, Trotsky accused Stalin of "strategic mistakes" in his handling
of the war at the Ninth Bolshevik Conference. Stalin felt
resentful and under-appreciated; in September he demanded demission
from the military, which was granted.
Lenin's final years: 1921–1923
Stalin (right) confers with an ailing Lenin at Gorky in September
The Soviet government sought to bring neighbouring states under its
domination; in February 1921 it invaded the Menshevik-governed
Georgia, while in April 1921, Stalin ordered the Red Army
into Turkestan to reassert Russian state control. As
People's Commissar for Nationalities, Stalin believed that each
national and ethnic group should have the right to
self-expression, facilitated through "autonomous
republics" within the Russian state in which they could oversee
various regional affairs. In taking this view, some
Marxists accused him of bending too much to bourgeois nationalism,
while others accused him of remaining too Russocentric by seeking to
retain these nations within the Russian state.
Stalin's native Caucasus posed a particular problem due to its highly
multi-ethnic mix. Stalin opposed the idea of separate
Georgian, Armenian, and Azerbaijani autonomous republics, arguing that
these would likely oppress ethnic minorities within their respective
territories; instead he called for a Transcaucasian Socialist
Federative Soviet Republic. The Georgian Communist Party
opposed the idea, resulting in the Georgian Affair. In
mid-1921, Stalin returned to the southern Caucasus, there calling on
Georgian Communists to avoid the chauvinistic Georgian nationalism
which marginalised the Abkhazian, Ossetian, and Adjarian minorities in
Georgia. On this trip, Stalin met with his son Yakov, and
brought him back to Moscow; Nadya had given birth to
another of Stalin's sons, Vasily, in March 1921.
After the civil war, workers' strikes and peasant uprisings broke out
across Russia, largely in opposition to Sovnarkom's food
requisitioning project; as an antidote, Lenin introduced
market-oriented reforms: the
New Economic Policy
New Economic Policy (NEP).
There was also internal turmoil in the Communist Party, as Trotsky led
a faction calling for the abolition of trade unions; Lenin opposed
this and Stalin helped rally opposition to Trotsky's
position. Stalin also agreed to supervise the Department
of Agitation and Propaganda in the Central Committee
Secretariat. At the 11th Party Congress in 1922, Lenin
nominated Stalin as the party's new General Secretary. Although
concerns were expressed that adopting this new post on top of his
others would overstretch his workload and give him too much power,
Stalin was appointed to the position. For Lenin, it was
advantageous to have a key ally in this crucial post.
Stalin is too crude, and this defect which is entirely acceptable in
our milieu and in relationships among us as communists, becomes
unacceptable in the position of General Secretary. I therefore propose
to comrades that they should devise a means of removing him from this
job and should appoint to this job someone else who is distinguished
from comrade Stalin in all other respects only by the single superior
aspect that he should be more tolerant, more polite and more attentive
towards comrades, less capricious, etc.
— Lenin's Testament, 4 January 1923; this was possibly
composed by Krupskaya rather than Lenin himself.
In May 1922, a massive stroke left Lenin partially
paralyzed. Residing at his Gorki dacha, Lenin's main
connection to Sovnarkom was through Stalin, who was a regular
visitor. Lenin twice asked Stalin to procure poison so
that he could commit suicide, but Stalin never did so.
Despite this comradeship, Lenin disliked what he referred to as
Stalin's "Asiatic" manner, and told his sister Maria that Stalin was
"not intelligent". Lenin and Stalin argued on the issue
of foreign trade; Lenin believed that the Soviet state should have a
monopoly on foreign trade, but Stalin supported Grigori Sokolnikov's
view that doing so was impractical at that stage. Another
disagreement came over the Georgian Affair, with Lenin backing the
Georgian Central Committee's desire for a Georgian Soviet Republic
over Stalin's idea of a Transcaucasian one.
They also disagreed on the nature of the Soviet state. Lenin called
for the country to be renamed the "Union of Soviet Republics of Europe
and Asia", reflecting his desire for expansion across the two
continents. Stalin believed this would encourage independence
sentiment among non-Russians, instead arguing that ethnic minorities
would be content as "autonomous republics" within the Russian Soviet
Federative Socialist Republic. Lenin accused Stalin of
"Great Russian chauvinism"; Stalin accused Lenin of "national
liberalism". A compromise was reached, in which the
country would be renamed the "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics"
(USSR). The USSR's formation was ratified in December
1922; although officially a federal system, all major decisions were
taken by the governing
Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet
Union in Moscow.
Their differences also became personal; Lenin was particularly angered
when Stalin was rude to his wife Krupskaya during a telephone
conversation. In the final years of his life, Krupskaya
provided governing figures with Lenin's Testament, a series of
increasingly disparaging notes about Stalin. These criticised Stalin's
rude manners and excessive power, suggesting that Stalin should be
removed from the position of General Secretary. Some
historians have questioned whether Lenin ever produced these,
suggesting instead that they may have been written by Krupskaya, who
had personal differences with Stalin; Stalin, however,
never publicly voiced concerns about their authenticity.
Rise to power
Main article: Rise of Joseph Stalin
Succeeding Lenin: 1924–1927
(From left to right) Stalin, Alexei Rykov, Lev Kamenev, and Grigori
Zinoviev in 1925
Lenin died in January 1924. Stalin took charge of the
funeral and was one of its pallbearers; against the wishes of Lenin's
Politburo embalmed his corpse and placed it within a
mausoleum in Moscow's Red Square. It was incorporated
into a growing personality cult devoted to Lenin, with Petrograd being
renamed "Leningrad" that year. To bolster his image as a
devoted Leninist, Stalin gave nine lectures at
Sverdlov University on
the "Foundations of Leninism", later published in book
form. At the following 13th Party Congress, "Lenin's
Testament" was read to senior figures. Embarrassed by its contents,
Stalin offered his resignation as General Secretary; this act of
humility saved him and he was retained in the position.
As General Secretary, Stalin had had a free hand in making
appointments to his own staff, implanting his loyalists throughout the
party and administration. Favouring new Communist Party
members, many from worker and peasant backgrounds, to the "Old
Bolsheviks" who tended to be university educated, he
ensured he had loyalists dispersed across the country's
regions. Stalin had much contact with young party
functionaries, and the desire for promotion led many
provincial figures to seek to impress Stalin and gain his
favour. Stalin also developed close relations with the
trio at the heart of the secret police (first the
Cheka and then its
replacement, the State Political Directorate): Felix Dzerzhinsky,
Genrikh Yagoda, and Vyacheslav Menzhinsky. In his private
life, he divided his time between his Kremlin apartment and a dacha at
Zubalova; his wife gave birth to a daughter, Svetlana, in
In the wake of Lenin's death, various protagonists emerged in the
struggle to become his successor: alongside Stalin was Trotsky,
Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin, Alexei Rykov, and Mikhail
Tomsky. Stalin saw Trotsky—whom he personally
despised—as the main obstacle to his dominance within
the party. While Lenin had been ill he had forged an
anti-Trotsky alliance with Kamenev and Zinoviev. Although
Zinoviev was concerned about Stalin's growing authority, he rallied
behind him at the 13th Congress as a counterweight to Trotsky, who now
led a party faction known as the Left Opposition. The
Left Opposition believed the NEP conceded too much to capitalism;
Stalin was called a "rightist" for his support of the
policy. Stalin built up a retinue of his supporters in
the Central Committee, while the
Left Opposition were
gradually removed from their positions of influence. He
was supported in this by Bukharin, who like Stalin believed that the
Left Opposition's proposals would plunge the
Soviet Union into
Stalin and his close associates
Anastas Mikoyan and Sergo
Ordzhonikidze in Tbilisi, 1925
In late 1924, Stalin moved against Kamenev and Zinoviev, removing
their supporters from key positions. In 1925, Kamenev and
Zinoviev moved into open opposition of Stalin and
Bukharin. They attacked one another at the 14th Party
Congress, where Stalin accused Kamenev and Zinoviev of reintroducing
factionalism—and thus instability—into the party. In
mid-1926, Kamenev and Zinoviev joined with Trotsky's supporters to
United Opposition against Stalin; in October
they agreed to stop factional activity under threat of expulsion, and
later publicly recanted their views under Stalin's
command. The factionalist arguments continued, with
Stalin threatening to resign in October and then December 1926 and
again in December 1927. In October 1927, Zinoviev and
Trotsky were removed from the Central Committee; the
latter was exiled to Kazakhstan and later deported from the country in
1929. Some of those
United Opposition members who were
repentant were later rehabilitated and returned to
Stalin was now the party's supreme leader, although he
was not the head of government, a task he entrusted to key ally
Vyacheslav Molotov. Other important supporters on the
Politburo were Voroshilov, Lazar Kaganovich, and Sergo
Ordzhonikidze, with Stalin ensuring his allies ran the
various state institutions. According to Montefiore, at
this point "Stalin was the leader of the oligarchs but he was far from
a dictator". His growing influence was reflected in the
naming of various locations after him; in June 1924 the Ukrainian
mining town of
Yuzovka became Stalino, and in April 1925,
Tsaritsyn was renamed
Stalingrad on the order of
Mikhail Kalinin and
In 1926, Stalin published On Questions of Leninism. Here,
he introduced the concept of "
Socialism in One Country", which he
presented as an orthodox Leninist perspective. It nevertheless clashed
with established Bolshevik views that socialism could not be
established in one country but could only be achieved globally through
the process of world revolution. In 1927, there was some
argument in the party over Soviet policy regarding China. Stalin had
called for the Communist Party of China, led by Mao Zedong, to ally
itself with Chiang Kai-shek's
Kuomintang (KMT) nationalists, viewing a
Kuomintang alliance as the best bulwark against Japanese
imperial expansionism. Instead, the KMT repressed the Communists and a
civil war broke out between the two sides.
Dekulakisation, collectivisation, and industrialisation: 1927–1931
We have fallen behind the advanced countries by fifty to a hundred
years. We must close that gap in ten years. Either we do this or we'll
This is what our obligations before the workers and peasants of the
USSR dictate to us.
— Stalin, February 1931
Soviet Union lagged behind the industrial development of Western
countries, and there had been a shortfall of grain; 1927
produced only 70% of grain produced in 1926. Stalin's
government feared attack from Japan, France, the United Kingdom,
Poland, and Romania. Many Communists, including in
Komsomol, OGPU, and the Red Army, were eager to be rid of the NEP and
its market-oriented approach; they had concerns about
those who profited from the policy: affluent peasants known as
"kulaks" and the small business owners or "Nepmen". At
this point, Stalin turned against the NEP, putting him on a course to
the "left" even of Trotsky or Zinoviev.
In early 1928 Stalin travelled to Novosibirsk, where he alleged that
kulaks were hoarding their grain and ordered that the kulaks be
arrested and their grain confiscated, with Stalin bringing much of the
area's grain back to
Moscow with him in February. At his
command, grain procurement squads surfaced across Western Siberia and
the Urals, with violence breaking out between these squads and the
peasantry. Stalin announced that both kulaks and the
"middle peasants" must be coerced into releasing their
harvest. Bukharin and several other Central Committee
members were angry that they had not been consulted about this
measure, which they deemed rash. In January 1930, the
Politburo approved the liquidation of the kulak class; accused kulaks
were rounded up and exiled to other parts of the country or to
concentration camps. Large numbers died during the
journey. By July 1930, over 320,000 households had been
affected by the de-kulakisation policy. According to
Stalin biographer Dmitri Volkogonov, de-kulakisation was "the first
mass terror applied by Stalin in his own country".
Aleksei Grigorievich Stakhanov
Aleksei Grigorievich Stakhanov with a fellow miner; Stalin's
government initiated the
Stakhanovite movement to encourage hard work.
It was partly responsible for a substantial rise in production during
In 1929, the
Politburo announced the mass collectivisation of
agriculture, establishing both kolkhozy collective farms
and sovkhoz state farms. Stalin barred kulaks from
joining these collectives. Although officially voluntary,
many peasants joined the collectives out of fear they would face the
fate of the kulaks; others joined amid intimidation and violence from
By 1932, about 62% of households involved in agriculture were part of
collectives, and by 1936 this had risen to 90%. Many of
the collectivised peasants resented the loss of their private
farmland, and productivity slumped. Famine
broke out in many areas, with the
ordering the distribution of emergency food relief to these
Armed peasant uprisings against dekulakisation and collectivisation
broke out in Ukraine, northern Caucasus, southern Russia, and central
Asia, reaching their apex in March 1930; these were suppressed by the
Red Army. Stalin responded to the uprisings with an
article insisting that collectivisation was voluntary and blaming any
violence and other excesses on local officials. Although
he and Stalin had been close for many years, Bukharin
expressed concerns about these policies; he regarded them as a return
to Lenin's old "war communism" policy and believed that it would fail.
By mid-1928 he was unable to rally sufficient support in the party to
oppose the reforms. In November 1929 Stalin removed him
from the Politburo.
Soviet Union had replaced the "irrationality" and
"wastefulness" of a market economy with a planned economy organised
along a long-term, precise, and scientific framework; in reality,
Soviet economics were based on ad hoc commandments issued from the
centre, often to make short-term targets. In 1928, the
first five-year plan was launched, its main focus on boosting heavy
industry; it was finished a year ahead of schedule, in
1932. The USSR underwent a massive economic
transformation. New mines were opened, new cities like
Magnitogorsk constructed, and work on the White Sea-Baltic Canal
begun. Millions of peasants moved to the cities, although
urban house building could not keep up with the demand.
Large debts were accrued purchasing foreign-made
Many of the major construction projects, including the White
Sea-Baltic Canal and the
Moscow Metro, were constructed largely
through forced labour. The last elements of workers'
control over industry were removed, with factory managers increasing
their authority and receiving privileges and perks;
Stalin defended wage disparity by pointing to Marx's argument that it
was necessary during the lower stages of socialism. To
promote the intensification of labour, a series of medals and awards
as well as the
Stakhanovite movement were introduced.
Stalin's message was that socialism was being established in the USSR
while capitalism was crumbling amid the Wall Street
crash. His speeches and articles reflected his utopian
vision of the
Soviet Union rising to unparalleled heights of human
development, creating a "new Soviet person". 
Cultural and foreign policy
In 1928, Stalin declared that class war between the proletariat and
their enemies would intensify as socialism developed. He
warned of a "danger from the right", including in the Communist Party
itself. The first major show trial in the USSR was the
Shakhty Trial of 1928, in which several middle-class "industrial
specialists" were convicted of sabotage. From 1929 to
1930, further show trials were held to intimidate
opposition: these included the Industrial Party Trial,
Menshevik Trial, and Metro-Vickers Trial. Aware that the
ethnic Russian majority may have concerns about being ruled by a
Georgian, he promoted ethnic Russians throughout the
state hierarchy and made the
Russian language compulsory throughout
schools and offices, albeit to be used in tandem with local languages
in areas with non-Russian majorities. Nationalist
sentiment among ethnic minorities was suppressed.
Conservative social policies were promoted to enhance social
discipline and boost population growth; this included a focus on
strong family units and motherhood, the re-criminalisation of
homosexuality, restrictions placed on abortion and divorce, and the
abolition of the
Zhenotdel women's department.
Photograph taken of the 1931 demolition of the Cathedral of Christ
the Saviour in
Moscow in order to make way for the Palace of the
Stalin desired a "cultural revolution", entailing both
the creation of a culture for the "masses" and the wider dissemination
of previously elite culture. He oversaw the proliferation
of schools, newspapers, and libraries, as well as the advancement of
literacy and numeracy. "Socialist realism" was promoted
throughout the arts, while Stalin personally wooed
prominent writers, namely Maxim Gorky, Mikhail Sholokhov, and Aleksey
Nikolayevich Tolstoy. He also expressed patronage for
scientists whose research fitted within his preconceived
interpretation of Marxism; he for instance endorsed the research of
Trofim Lysenko despite the fact that it was rejected by
the majority of Lysenko's scientific peers as
pseudo-scientific. The government's anti-religious
campaign was re-intensified, with increased funding given
to the League of Militant Atheists. Christian, Muslim,
and Buddhist clergy faced persecution. Many religious
buildings were demolished, most notably Moscow's Cathedral of Christ
the Saviour, destroyed in 1931 to make way for the (never completed)
Palace of the Soviets. Religion retained an influence
over much of the population; in the 1937 census, 57% of respondents
identified as religious.
Throughout the 1920s and beyond, Stalin placed a high priority on
foreign policy. He personally met with a range of Western
George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells, both of whom
were impressed with him. Through the Communist
International, Stalin's government exerted a strong influence over
Marxist parties elsewhere in the world; initially, Stalin
left the running of the organisation largely to Bukharin.
At its 6th Congress in July 1928, Stalin informed delegates that the
main threat to socialism came not from the right but from non-Marxist
socialists and social democrats, whom he called "social
fascists"; Stalin recognised that in many countries, the
social democrats were the Marxist-Leninists' main rivals for
working-class support. This preoccupation with opposing
rival leftists concerned Bukharin, who regarded the growth of fascism
and the far right across Europe as a far greater threat.
After Bukharin's departure, Stalin placed the Communist International
under the administration of
Dmitry Manuilsky and Osip
Stalin faced problems in his family life. In 1929, his son Yakov
unsuccessfully attempted suicide; his failure earned Stalin's
contempt. His relationship with Nadya was also strained
amid their arguments and her mental health problems. In
November 1932, after a group dinner in the Kremlin in which Stalin
flirted with other women, Nadya shot herself.
Publicly, the cause of death was given as appendicitis; Stalin also
concealed the real cause of death from his children.
Stalin's friends noted that he underwent a significant change
following her suicide, becoming emotionally harder.
Major crises: 1932–1939
Further information: Soviet famine of 1932–33
Starved peasants on the streets of Kharkiv, Ukraine in 1933
Within the Soviet Union, there was widespread civic disgruntlement
against Stalin's government. Social unrest, previously
restricted largely to the countryside, was increasingly evident in
urban areas, prompting Stalin to ease on some of his economic policies
in 1932. In May 1932, he introduced a system of kolkhoz
markets where peasants could trade their surplus produce.
At the same time, penal sanctions became more severe; at Stalin's
instigation, in August 1932 a decree was introduced meaning that the
theft of even a handful of grain could be a capital
offense. The second five-year plan had its production
quotas reduced from that of the first, with the main emphasis now
being on improving living conditions. It therefore
emphasised the expansion of housing space and the production of
consumer goods. Like its predecessor, this Plan was
repeatedly amended to meet changing situations; there was for instance
an increasing emphasis placed on armament production after Adolf
Hitler became German Chancellor in 1933.
Soviet Union experienced a major famine which peaked in the winter
of 1932–33; between five and seven million people
died. Worst affected were Ukraine and the North Caucuses,
although the famine also impacted Kazakhstan and several Russian
provinces. Historians have long debated whether Stalin's
government had intended the famine to occur or not; there
are no known documents in which Stalin or his government explicitly
called for starvation to be used against the population.
The 1931 and 1932 harvests had been poor ones due to weather
conditions, and had followed several years in which lower
productivity had resulted in a gradual decline in output.
Government policies—including the focus on rapid industrialisation,
the socialisation of livestock, and the emphasis on sown areas over
crop rotation—exacerbated the problem; the state had
also failed to build reserve grain stocks for such an
emergency. Stalin blamed the famine on hostile elements
and wreckers within the peasantry; his government
provided small amounts of food to famine-struck rural areas, although
this was wholly insufficient to deal with the levels of
starvation. In keeping with their ideology, the
Communists believed that food supplies should be prioritised for the
urban workforce; for Stalin, the fate of Soviet
industrialisation was far more important than the lives of the
peasantry. Grain exports, which were a major means of
Soviet payment for machinery, declined heavily. Stalin
would not acknowledge that his policies had contributed to the
famine, the existence of which was denied to foreign
Ideological and foreign affairs
In 1935–36, Stalin oversaw a new constitution; its dramatic liberal
features were designed as propaganda weapons, for all power rested in
the hands of Stalin and his Politburo. He declared that
"socialism, which is the first phase of communism, has basically been
achieved in this country". In 1938, The History of the
Communist Party of the
Soviet Union (Bolsheviks), colloquially known
as the Short Course, was released; Conquest later
referred to it as the "central text of Stalinism". A
number of authorised Stalin biographies were also
published, although Stalin generally wanted to be
portrayed as the embodiment of the Communist Party rather than have
his life story explored. During the later 1930s, Stalin
placed "a few limits on the worship of his own
greatness". By 1938, Stalin's inner circle had gained a
degree of stability, containing the personalities who would remain
there until Stalin's death.
Review of Soviet armored fighting vehicles used to equip the
Republican People's Army
Republican People's Army during the Spanish Civil War
Seeking improved international relations, in 1934 the Soviet Union
secured membership of the League of Nations, of which it had
previously been excluded. Stalin initiated confidential
communications with Hitler in October 1933, shortly after the latter
came to power in Germany. Stalin admired Hitler,
particularly his manoeuvres to remove rivals within the
Nazi Party in
the Night of the Long Knives. Stalin nevertheless
recognised the threat posed by fascism and sought to establish better
links with the liberal democracies of Western Europe; in
May 1935, the Soviets signed a treaty of mutual assistance with France
and Czechoslovakia. At the Communist International's 7th
Congress, held in July–August 1935, the Soviet government encouraged
Marxist-Leninists to unite with other leftists as part of a popular
front against fascism. In turn, the anti-communist
governments of Germany, Fascist Italy and Japan signed the
Anti-Comintern Pact of 1936.
Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War broke out in July 1936, the Soviets sent
648 aircraft and 407 tanks to the left-wing Republican faction; these
were accompanied by 3000 Soviet troops and 42,000 members of the
International Brigades set up by the Communist
International. Stalin took a strong personal involvement
in the Spanish situation. Germany and Italy backed the
Nationalist faction, which was ultimately victorious in March
1939. With the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War
in July 1937, the
Soviet Union and China signed a non-aggression pact
the following August. Stalin aided the Chinese as the KMT
and the Communists had suspended their civil war and formed the
desired United Front.
The Great Terror
Exhumed mass grave of the Vinnytsia massacre
Stalin often gave conflicting signals regarding state
repression. In May 1933, he released from prison many
convicted of minor offenses, ordering the security services not to
enact further mass arrests and deportations. In September
1934, he launched a commission to investigate false imprisonments;
that same month he called for the execution of workers at the Stalin
Metallurgical Factory accused of spying for Japan. This
mixed approach began to change in December 1934, after prominent party
Sergey Kirov was murdered. After the murder,
Stalin became increasingly concerned by the threat of assassination,
improved his personal security, and rarely went out in
public. State repression intensified after Kirov's
death; Stalin instigated this, reflecting his
prioritisation of security above other considerations.
Stalin issued a decree establishing NKVD troikas which could mete out
rulings without involving the courts. In 1935, he ordered
the NKVD to expel suspected counter-revolutionaries from urban
areas; in early 1935, over 11,000 were expelled from
Leningrad. In 1936,
Nikolai Yezhov became head of the
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Nikolai Yezhov is shown with Voroshilov, Molotov,
and Stalin inspecting the White Sea CanalThe image was later altered
to remove Yezhov completely
Stalin orchestrated the arrest of many former opponents in the
Communist Party as well as sitting members of the Central Committee:
denounced as Western-backed mercenaries, many were imprisoned or
exiled internally. The first
Moscow Trial took place in
August 1936; Kamenev and Zinoviev were among those accused of plotting
assassinations, found guilty in a show trial, and
executed. The second
Moscow Show Trial took place in
January 1937, and the third in March 1938, in which
Bukharin and Rykov were accused of involvement in the alleged
Trotskyite-Zinovievite terrorist plot and sentenced to
death. By late 1937, all remnants of collective
leadership were gone from the Politburo, which was controlled entirely
There were mass expulsions from the party, with Stalin
commanding foreign communist parties to also purge anti-Stalinist
During the 1930s and 1940s, NKVD groups assassinated defectors and
opponents abroad; in August 1940, Trotsky was
assassinated in Mexico, eliminating the last of Stalin's opponents
among the former Party leadership. In May, this was
followed by the arrest of most members of the military Supreme Command
and mass arrests throughout the military, often on fabricated
charges. These purges replaced most of the party's old
guard with younger officials who did not remember a time before
Stalin's leadership and who were regarded as more personally loyal to
him. Party functionaries readily carried out their
commands and sought to ingratiate themselves with Stalin to avoid
becoming the victim of the purge. Such functionaries
often carried out a greater number of arrests and executions than
their quotas set by Stalin's central government.
Repressions further intensified in December 1936 and remained at a
high level until November 1938, a period known as the Great
Purge. By the latter part of 1937, the purges had moved
beyond the party and were affecting the wider population.
In July 1937, the
Politburo ordered a purge of "anti-Soviet elements"
in society, targeting anti-Stalin Bolsheviks, former
Socialist Revolutionaries, priests, ex-White Army soldiers, and common
criminals. That month, Stalin and Yezhov signed Order No.
00447, listing 268,950 people for arrest, of whom 75,950 were
executed. He also initiated "national operations", the
ethnic cleansing of non-Soviet ethnic groups—among them Poles,
Germans, Latvians, Finns, Greeks, Koreans, and Chinese—through
internal or external exile. During these years,
approximately 1.6 million people were arrested, 700,000
were shot, and an unknown number died under NKVD torture.
Stalin initiated all key decisions during the Terror, personally
directing many of its operations and taking an interest in their
implementation. His motives in doing so have been much
debated by historians. His personal writings from the
period were — according to Khlevniuk — "unusually convoluted and
incoherent", filled with claims about enemies encircling
him. According to historian James Harris, contemporary
archival research shows that the motivation behind the purges was not
Stalin attempting to establish his own personal dictatorship; evidence
suggests he was committed to building the socialist state envisioned
by Lenin. The real motivation for the terror, according to Harris, was
an over-exaggerated fear of counterrevolution. He was
particularly concerned at the success that right-wing forces had in
overthrowing the leftist Spanish government, fearing a
domestic fifth column in the event of future war with Japan and
Germany. The Great Terror ended when Yezhov was removed
as the head of the NKVD, to be replaced by Lavrentiy
Beria, a man totally devoted to Stalin.
Yezhov was arrested in April 1939 and executed in 1940.
The Terror damaged the Soviet Union's reputation abroad, particularly
among sympathetic leftists. As it wound down, Stalin
sought to deflect responsibility from himself, blaming
its "excesses" and "violations of law" on Yezhov.
World War II
Soviet Union in World War II
Pact with Nazi Germany: 1939–1941
As a Marxist–Leninist, Stalin expected an inevitable conflict
between competing capitalist powers; after
Nazi Germany annexed
Austria and then part of Czechoslovakia in 1938, Stalin recognised a
war was looming. He sought to maintain Soviet neutrality,
hoping that a German war against France and Britain would lead to
Soviet dominance in Europe. Militarily, the Soviets also
faced a threat from the east, with Soviet troops clashing with the
expansionist Japanese in the latter part of the 1930s.
Stalin initiated a military build-up, with the
Red Army more than
doubling between January 1939 and June 1941, although in its haste to
expand many of its officers were poorly trained. Between
1940 and 1941 he also purged the military, leaving it with a severe
shortage of trained officers when war broke out.
Stalin greeting the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop
in the Kremlin, 1939
As Britain and France seemed unwilling to commit to an alliance with
the Soviet Union, Stalin saw a better deal with the
Germans. In May 1939, Germany began negotiations with the
Soviets, proposing that Eastern Europe be divided between the two
powers. Stalin saw this as an opportunity both for
territorial expansion and temporary peace with Germany.
In August 1939, the
Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact with
Germany, negotiated by Soviet foreign minister
Vyacheslav Molotov and
German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. A week
later, Germany invaded Poland, sparking the UK and France to declare
war on it. On 17 September, the
Red Army entered eastern
Poland, officially to restore order amid the collapse of the Polish
state. On 28 September, Germany and the Soviet Union
exchanged some of their newly conquered territories; Germany gained
the linguistically Polish-dominated areas of Lublin Province and part
of Warsaw Province while the Soviets gained Lithuania. A
German–Soviet Frontier Treaty
German–Soviet Frontier Treaty was signed shortly after, in Stalin's
presence. The two states continued trading, undermining
the British blockade of Germany.
The Soviets further demanded parts of eastern Finland, but the Finnish
government refused. The Soviets invaded Finland in November 1939, yet
despite numerical inferiority, the Finns kept the
Red Army at
bay. International opinion backed Finland, with the
Soviets being expelled from the League of Nations.
Embarrassed by their inability to defeat the Finns, the Soviets signed
an interim peace treaty, in which they received territorial
concessions from Finland. In June 1940, the Red Army
occupied the Baltic states, which were forcibly merged into the Soviet
Union in August; they also invaded and annexed Bessarabia
and northern Bukovina, parts of Romania. The Soviets
sought to forestall dissent in these new East European territories
with mass repressions. One of the most noted instances
Katyn massacre of April and May 1940, in which around 22,000
members of the Polish armed forces, police, and intelligentsia were
The speed of the German victory over and occupation of France in
mid-1940 took Stalin by surprise. He increasingly focused
on appeasement with the Germans to delay any conflict with
them. After the
Tripartite Pact was signed by Axis Powers
Germany, Japan and Italy, in October 1940, Stalin proposed that the
USSR also join the Axis alliance. To demonstrate peaceful
intentions toward Germany, in April 1941 the Soviets signed a
neutrality pact with Japan. Although de facto head of
government for a decade and a half, Stalin concluded that relations
with Germany had deteriorated to such an extent that he needed to deal
with the problem as de jure head of government as well: on 6 May,
Stalin replaced Molotov as Premier of the Soviet Union.
German invasion: 1941–1942
With all the men at the front,
Moscow women dig anti-tank trenches
Moscow in 1941
In June 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union, initiating the war on
the Eastern Front. Although intelligence agencies had
repeatedly warned him of Germany's intentions, Stalin was taken by
surprise. He formed a State Defense Committee, which he
headed as Supreme Commander, as well as a military
Supreme Command (Stavka), with
Georgy Zhukov as its Chief
of Staff. The German tactic of blitzkrieg was initially
highly effective; the Soviet air force in the western borderlands was
destroyed within two days. The German
deep into Soviet territory; soon, Ukraine, Belorussia,
and the Baltic states were under German occupation, and Leningrad was
under siege; and Soviet refugees were flooding into
Moscow and surrounding cities. By July, Germany's
Luftwaffe was bombing Moscow, and by October the
Wehrmacht was amassing for a full assault on the capital. Plans were
made for the Soviet government to evacuate to Kuibyshev, although
Stalin decided to remain in Moscow, believing his flight would damage
troop morale. The German advance on
Moscow was halted
after two months of battle in increasingly harsh weather
Against the advice of Zhukov and other generals, Stalin emphasised
attack over defence. In June 1941, he ordered a scorched
earth policy of destroying infrastructure and food supplies before the
Germans could seize them, also commanding the NKVD to
kill around 100,000 political prisoners in areas the Wehrmacht
approached. He purged the military command; several
high-ranking figures were demoted or reassigned and others were
arrested and executed. With Order No. 270, Stalin
commanded soldiers risking capture to fight to the death describing
the captured as traitors; among those taken as a prisoner
of war by the Germans was Stalin's son Yakov, who died in their
custody. Stalin issued
Order No. 227
Order No. 227 in July 1942, which
directed that those retreating unauthorised would be placed in "penal
battalions" used as cannon fodder on the front lines.
Amid the fighting, both the German and Soviet armies disregarded the
law of war set forth in the
Geneva Conventions; the
Soviets heavily publicised Nazi massacres of communists, Jews, and
Romani. Stalin exploited Nazi anti-Semitism, and in April
1942 he sponsored the
Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee
Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee (JAC) to garner
Jewish and foreign support for the Soviet war effort.
The center of
Stalingrad after liberation, 2 February 1943
The Soviets allied with the United Kingdom and United
States; although the US joined the war against Germany in
1941, little direct American assistance reached the Soviets until late
1942. Responding to the invasion, the Soviets intensified
their industrial enterprises in central Russia, focusing almost
entirely on production for the military. They achieved
high levels of industrial productivity, outstripping that of
Germany. During the war, Stalin was more tolerant of the
Russian Orthodox Church, allowing it to resume some of its activities
and meeting with Patriarch Sergius in September 1943. He
also permitted a wider range of cultural expression, notably
permitting formerly suppressed writers and artists like Anna Akhmatova
Dmitri Shostakovich to disperse their work more
The Internationale was dropped as the country's
national anthem, to be replaced with a more patriotic
song. The government increasingly promoted Pan-Slavist
sentiment, while encouraging increased criticism of
cosmopolitanism, particularly the idea of "rootless cosmopolitanism",
an approach with particular repercussions for Soviet
Jews. Comintern was dissolved in 1943, and
Stalin encouraged foreign Marxist–Leninist parties to emphasise
nationalism over internationalism to broaden their domestic
In April 1942 Stalin overrode
Stavka by ordering the Soviets' first
serious counter-attack, an attempt to seize German-held
eastern Ukraine. This attack proved unsuccessful. That
year, Hitler shifted his primary goal from a overall victory on the
Eastern Front, to the goal of securing the oil fields southern Soviet
Union crucial 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 move in a renewed effort to
take Moscow. In June 1942, the German Army began a major
offensive in Southern Russia, threatening Stalingrad; Stalin ordered
Red Army to hold the city at all costs. This resulted
in the protracted Battle of Stalingrad. In December 1942
Konstantin Rokossovski in charge of holding the
city. In February 1943, the German troops attacking
Stalingrad surrendered. The Soviet victory there marked a
major turning point in the war; in commemoration, Stalin
declared himself Marshal of the Soviet Union.
Soviet counter-attack: 1942–1945
The Big Three: Stalin, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and
British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill at the Tehran Conference,
By November 1942, the Soviets had begun to repulse the important
German strategic southern campaign and, although there were
2.5 million Soviet casualties in that effort, it permitted the
Soviets to take the offensive for most of the rest of the war on the
Eastern Front. Germany attempted an encirclement attack
at Kursk, which was successfully repulsed by the Soviets.
By the end of 1943, the Soviets occupied half of the territory taken
by the Germans from 1941 to 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 aerial assault.
In Allied countries, Stalin was increasingly depicted in a positive
light over the course of the war. In 1941, the London
Philharmonic Orchestra performed a concert to celebrate his
birthday, and in 1942, Time magazine named him "Man of
the Year". When Stalin learned that people in Western
countries affectionately called him "Uncle Joe" he was initially
offended, regarding it as undignified. There remained
mutual suspicions between Stalin, British Prime Minister Winston
Churchill, and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who were together
known as the "Big Three". Churchill flew to
visit Stalin in August 1942 and again in October 1944.
Stalin scarcely left
Moscow throughout the war, with
Roosevelt and Churchill frustrated with his reluctance to travel to
In November 1943, Stalin met with Churchill and Roosevelt in Tehran, a
location of Stalin's choosing. There, Stalin and
Roosevelt got on well, with both desiring the post-war dismantling of
the British Empire. At Tehran, the trio agreed that to
prevent Germany rising to military prowess yet again, the German state
should be broken up. Roosevelt and Churchill also agreed
to Stalin's demand that the German city of
Königsberg be declared
Soviet territory. Stalin was impatient for the UK and US
to open up a Western Front to take the pressure off of the East; they
eventually did so in mid-1944. Stalin insisted that,
after the war, the
Soviet Union should incorporate the portions of
Poland it occupied pursuant to the
Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact with
Germany, which Churchill opposed. Discussing the fate of
the Balkans, later in 1944 Churchill agreed to Stalin's suggestion
that after the war, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Yugoslavia would
come under the Soviet sphere of influence while Greece would come
under that of the West.
Soviet soldiers in Polotsk, 4 July 1944
In 1944, the
Soviet Union made significant advances across Eastern
Europe toward Germany, including Operation Bagration, a
massive offensive in the Byelorussian SSR against the German Army
Group Centre. In 1944 the German armies were pushed out
of the Baltic states, which were then re-annexed into the Soviet
Union. As the
Red Army reconquered the Caucasus and
Crimea, various ethnic groups living in the region—the Kalmyks,
Chechens, Ingushi, Karachai, Balkars, and Crimean Tatars—were
accused of having collaborated with the Germans. Using the idea of
collective responsibility as a basis, Stalin's government abolished
their autonomous republics and between late 1943 and 1944 deported the
majority of their populations to Central Asia and
Siberia. Over one million people were deported as a
result of the policy.
In February 1945, the three leaders met at the Yalta
Conference. Roosevelt and Churchill conceded to Stalin's
demand that Germany pay the
Soviet Union 20 billion dollars in
reparations, and that his country be permitted to annex
Kurile Islands in exchange for entering the war against
Japan. An agreement was also made that a post-war Polish
government should be a coalition consisting of both communist and
conservative elements. Privately, Stalin sought to ensure
that Poland would come fully under Soviet influence. The
Red Army withheld assistance to Polish resistance fighters battling
the Germans in the Warsaw Uprising, with Stalin believing that any
victorious Polish militants could interfere with his aspirations to
dominate Poland through a future Marxist government.
Although concealing his desires from the other Allied leaders, Stalin
placed great emphasis on capturing
Berlin first, believing that this
would enable him to bring more of Europe under long-term Soviet
control. Churchill was concerned that this was the case, and
unsuccessfully tried to convince the US that the Western Allies should
pursue the same goal.
British Prime Minister Clement Attlee, U.S. President Harry S.
Joseph Stalin at the Potsdam Conference, July 1945
In April 1945, the
Red Army seized Berlin, Hitler committed suicide,
and Germany surrendered in May. Stalin had wanted Hitler
captured alive; he had his remains brought to
Moscow to prevent them
becoming a relic for Nazi sympathisers. As the Red Army
had conquered German territory, they discovered the extermination
camps that the Nazi administration had run. Many Soviet
soldiers engaged in looting, pillaging, and rape, both in Germany and
parts of Eastern Europe. Stalin refused to punish the
offenders. After receiving a complaint about this from
Yugoslav communist Milovan Djilas, Stalin asked how after experiencing
the traumas of war a soldier could "react normally? And what is so
awful in his having fun with a woman, after such
With Germany defeated, Stalin switched focus to the war with Japan,
transferring half a million troops to the Far East.
Stalin was pressed by his allies to enter the war and wanted to cement
the Soviet Union's strategic position in Asia. On 8
August, in between the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,
the Soviet army invaded Japanese-occupied Manchuria and defeated the
Kwantung Army. These events led to the Japanese surrender
and the war's end. Soviet forces continued to expand
until they occupied all their territorial concessions, but the U.S.
rebuffed Stalin's desire for the
Red Army to take a role in the Allied
occupation of Japan.
Stalin attended the
Potsdam Conference in July–August 1945,
alongside his new British and U.S. counterparts, Prime Minister
Clement Attlee and President Harry Truman. At 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. He also 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. Germany was divided into four zones: Soviet,
U.S., British, and French, with
Berlin itself—located within the
Soviet area—also subdivided thusly.
Post-war reconstruction and famine: 1945–1947
After the war, Stalin was—according to Service—at the "apex of his
career". Within the
Soviet Union he was widely regarded
as the embodiment of victory and patriotism. His armies
Central and Eastern Europe
Central and Eastern Europe up to the River
In June 1945, Stalin adopted the title of Generalissimus,
and stood atop
Lenin's Mausoleum to watch a celebratory parade led by
Zhukov through Red Square. At a banquet held for army
commanders, he described the Russian people as "the outstanding
nation" and "leading force" within the Soviet Union, the first time
that he had unequivocally endorsed the Russians over other Soviet
nationalities. In 1946, the state published Stalin's
Collected Works. In 1947, it brought out a second edition
of his official biography, which eulogised him to a greater extent
than its predecessor. He was quoted in
Pravda on a daily
basis and pictures of him remained pervasive on the walls of
workplaces and homes.
Banner of Stalin in Budapest in 1949
Despite his strengthened international position, Stalin was cautious
about internal dissent and desire for change among the
population. He was also concerned about his returning
armies, who had been exposed to a wide range of consumer goods in
Germany, much of which they had looted and brought back with them. In
this he recalled the 1825
Decembrist Revolt by Russian soldiers
returning from having defeated France in the Napoleonic
Wars. He ensured that returning Soviet prisoners of war
went through "filtration" camps as they arrived in the Soviet Union,
in which 2,775,700 were interrogated to determine if they were
traitors. About half were then imprisoned in labour
camps. In the Baltic states, where there was much
opposition to Soviet rule, de-kulakisation and de-clericalisation
programs were initiated, resulting in 142,000 deportations between
1945 and 1949. The
Gulag system of labour camps was
expanded further. By January 1953, three percent of the Soviet
population was imprisoned or in internal exile, with 2.8 million in
"special settlements" in isolated areas and another 2.5 million in
camps, penal colonies, and prisons.
The NKVD were ordered to catalogue the scale of destruction during the
war. It was established that 1,710 Soviet towns and
70,000 villages had been destroyed. The NKVD recorded
that between 26 and 27 million Soviet citizens had been killed, with
millions more being wounded, malnourished, or orphaned.
In the war's aftermath, some of Stalin's associates suggested
modifications to government policy. Post-war Soviet
society was more tolerant than its pre-war phase in various respects.
Stalin allowed the Russian Orthodox Church to retain the churches it
had opened during the war. Academia and the arts were
also allowed greater freedom than they had prior to 1941.
Recognising the need for drastic steps to be taken to combat inflation
and promote economic regeneration, in December 1947 Stalin's
government devalued the ruble and abolished the ration-book
Capital punishment was abolished in 1947 but
reinstalled in 1950.
Stalin's health was deteriorating, and heart problems forced a
two-month vacation in the latter part of 1945.
He grew increasingly concerned that senior political and military
figures might try to oust him; he prevented any of them from becoming
powerful enough to rival him and had their apartments bugged with
listening devices. He demoted Molotov, and
increasingly favoured Beria and Malenkov for key
positions. In 1949, he brought
Nikita Khrushchev from
Ukraine to Moscow, appointing him a Central Committee secretary and
the head of the city's party branch. In the Leningrad
Affair, the city's leadership was purged amid accusations of
treachery; executions of many of the accused took place in
In the post-war period there were often food shortages in Soviet
cities, and the USSR experienced a major famine from 1946
to 1947. Sparked by a drought and ensuing bad harvest in
1946, it was exacerbated by government policy towards food
procurement, including the state's decision to build up stocks and
export food internationally rather than distributing it to famine hit
areas. Current estimates indicate that between one
million and 1.5 million people died from malnutrition or disease as a
result. While agricultural production stagnated, Stalin
focused on a series of major infrastructure projects, including the
construction of hydroelectric plants, canals, and railway lines
running to the polar north. Much of this was constructed
by prison labour.
Cold War policy: 1947–1950
Stalin at his seventieth birthday celebration with (left to right)
Mao Zedong, Nikolai Bulganin,
Walter Ulbricht and Yumjaagiin Tsedenbal
In the aftermath of the Second World War, the
British Empire declined,
leaving the U.S. and USSR as the dominant world powers.
Tensions among these former Allies grew, resulting in the
Cold War. Although Stalin publicly described the British
and U.S. governments as aggressive, he thought it unlikely that a war
with them would be imminent, believing that several decades of peace
was likely. He nevertheless secretly intensified Soviet
research into nuclear weaponry, intent on creating an atom
bomb. Still, Stalin foresaw the undesirability of a
nuclear conflict, saying in 1949 that "atomic weapons can hardly be
used without spelling the end of the world." He
personally took a keen interest in the development of the
weapon. In August 1949, the bomb was successfully tested
in the deserts outside
Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan.
Stalin also initiated a new military build-up; the Soviet army was
expanded from 2.9 million soldiers, as it stood in 1949, to 5.8
million by 1953.
The US began pushing its interests on every continent, acquiring air
force bases in Africa and Asia and ensuring pro-U.S. regimes took
power across Latin America. It launched the Marshall Plan
in June 1947, with which it sought to undermine Soviet hegemony in
eastern Europe. The US also offered financial assistance as part of
Marshall Plan on the condition that they opened their markets to
trade, aware that the Soviets would never agree.
The Allies demanded that Stalin withdraw the
Red Army from northern
Iran. He initially refused, leading to an international crisis in
1946, but one year later Stalin finally relented and moved the Soviet
Stalin also tried to maximise Soviet influence on the world stage,
unsuccessfully pushing for Libya—recently liberated from Italian
occupation—to become a Soviet protectorate. He sent
Molotov as his representative to
San Francisco to take part in
negotiations to form the United Nations, insisting that the Soviets
have a place on the Security Council. In April 1949, the
Western powers established the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
(NATO), an international military alliance of capitalist
countries. Within Western countries, Stalin was
increasingly portrayed as the "most evil dictator alive" and compared
In 1948, Stalin edited and rewrote sections of Falsifiers of History,
published as a series of
Pravda articles in February 1948 and then in
book form. Written in response to public revelations of the 1939
Soviet alliance with Germany, it focused on blaming Western powers for
the war. He erroneously claimed that the initial German
advance in the early part of the war was not a result of Soviet
military weakness, but rather a deliberate Soviet strategic
retreat. In 1949, celebrations took place to mark
Stalin's seventieth birthday (albeit not the correct year) at which
Stalin attended an event in the
Bolshoi Theatre alongside
Marxist–Leninist leaders from across Europe and Asia.
Eastern Bloc until 1989
After the war, Stalin sought to retain Soviet dominance across Eastern
Europe while expanding its influence in Asia. Cautiously
regarding the responses from the Western Allies, Stalin avoided
immediately installing Communist Party governments across Eastern
Europe, instead initially ensuring that Marxist-Leninists were placed
in coalition ministries. In contrast to his approach to
the Baltic states, he rejected the proposal of merging the new
communist states into the Soviet Union, rather recognising them as
He was faced with the problem that there were few Marxists left in
Eastern Europe, with most having been killed by the
Nazis. He demanded that war reparations be paid by
Germany and its Axis allies Hungary, Romania, and the Slovak
Republic. Aware that these countries had been pushed
toward socialism through invasion rather than by proletarian
revolution, Stalin referred to them not as "dictatorships of the
proletariat" but as "people's democracies", suggesting that in these
countries there was a pro-socialist alliance combining the
proletariat, peasantry, and lower middle-class.
Churchill observed that an "Iron Curtain" had been drawn across
Europe, separating the east from the west. In September
1947, a meeting of East European communist leaders was held in
Szklarska Poręba, Poland, from which was formed
co-ordinate the Communist Parties across Eastern Europe and also in
France and Italy. Stalin did not personally attend the
meeting, sending Zhdanov in his place. Various East
European communists also visited Stalin in Moscow. There,
he offered advice on their ideas; for instance he cautioned against
the Yugoslav idea for a Balkan federation incorporating Bulgaria and
Albania. Stalin had a particularly strained relationship
with Yugoslav leader
Josip Broz Tito
Josip Broz Tito due to the latter's continued
calls for Balkan federation and for Soviet aid for the communist
forces in the ongoing Greek Civil War. In March 1948,
Stalin launched an anti-Tito campaign, accusing the Yugoslav
communists of adventurism and deviating from Marxist–Leninist
doctrine. At the second
Cominform conference, held in
Bucharest in June 1948, East European communist leaders all denounced
Tito's government, accusing them of being fascists and agents of
Western capitalism. Stalin ordered several assassination
attempts on Tito's life and contemplated invading
Stalin suggested that a unified, but demilitarised, German state be
established, hoping that it would either come under Soviet influence
or remain neutral. When the US and UK remained opposed to
this, Stalin sought to force their hand by blockading
Berlin in June
1948. He gambled that the others would not risk war, but
they airlifted supplies into West
Berlin until May 1949, when Stalin
relented and ended the blockade. In September 1949 the
Western powers transformed Western Germany into an independent Federal
Republic of Germany; in response the Soviets formed
East Germany into
German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic in October. In accordance
with their earlier agreements, the Western powers expected Poland to
become an independent state with free democratic
elections. In Poland, the Soviets merged various
socialist parties into the Polish United Workers' Party, and vote
rigging was used to ensure that it secured office. The
1947 Hungarian elections were also rigged, with the Hungarian Working
People's Party taking control. In Czechoslovakia, where
the communists did have a level of popular support, they were elected
the largest party in 1946. Monarchy was abolished in
Bulgaria and Romania. Across Eastern Europe, the Soviet
model was enforced, with a termination of political pluralism,
agricultural collectivisation, and investment in heavy
industry. It was aimed for economic autarky within the
In October 1949, Mao took power in China. With this
accomplished, Marxist governments now controlled a third of the
world's land mass. Privately, Stalin revealed that he had
underestimated the Chinese Communists and their ability to win the
civil war, instead encouraging them to make another peace with the
KMT. In December 1949, Mao visited Stalin. Initially
Stalin refused to repeal the Sino-Soviet Treaty of 1945, which
significantly benefited the
Soviet Union over China, although in
January 1950 he relented and agreed to sign a new treaty between the
two countries. Stalin was concerned that Mao might follow
Tito's example by pursuing a course independent of Soviet influence,
and made it known that if displeased he would withdraw assistance from
China; the Chinese desperately needed said assistance after decades of
Mao Zedong depicted on a Chinese postage stamp from 1950
At the end of the Second World War, the
Soviet Union and the United
States divided up the Korean Peninsula, formerly a Japanese colonial
possession, along the 38th parallel, setting up a communist government
in the north and a pro-Western government in the south.
North Korean leader
Kim Il-sung visited Stalin in March 1949 and again
in March 1950; he wanted to invade the south and although Stalin was
initially reluctant to provide support, he eventually agreed by May
1950. The North Korean Army launched the
Korean War by
invading the south in June 1950, making swift gains and capturing
Seoul. Both Stalin and Mao believed that a swift victory
would ensue. The U.S. went to the UN Security
Council—which the Soviets were boycotting over its refusal to
recognise Mao's government—and secured military support for the
South Koreans. U.S. led forces pushed the North Koreans
back. Stalin wanted to avoid direct Soviet conflict with
the U.S., convincing the Chinese to aid the North.
Soviet Union was one of the first nations to extend diplomatic
recognition to the newly created state of Israel in 1948. When the
Golda Meir arrived in the USSR, Stalin was angered
by the Jewish crowds who gathered to greet her. He was
further angered by Israel's growing alliance with the
U.S. After Stalin fell out with Israel, he launched an
anti-Jewish campaign within the
Soviet Union and the Eastern
Bloc. In November 1948, he abolished the
JAC, and show trials took place for some of its
members. The Soviet press engaged in attacks on Zionism,
Jewish culture, and "rootless cosmopolitanism", with
growing levels of anti-Semitism being expressed across Soviet
society. Stalin's increasing tolerance of anti-Semitism
may have stemmed from his increasing Russian nationalism or from the
recognition that anti-Semitism had proved a useful mobilising tool for
Hitler and that he could do the same; he may have
increasingly viewed the Jewish people as a "counter-revolutionary"
nation whose members were loyal to the U.S. There were
rumours, although they have never been substantiated, that Stalin was
planning on deporting all Soviet Jews to the Jewish Autonomous Region
in Birobidzhan, eastern Siberia.
Final years: 1950–1953
A Soviet ukaz of 20 January 1953 awarding the cardiologist Lydia
Order of Lenin
Order of Lenin for "unmasking doctors-killers." It was
revoked after Stalin's death later that year.
In his later years, Stalin was in poor health. He took
increasingly long holidays; in 1950 and again in 1951 he spent almost
five months vacationing at his Abkhazian dacha. Stalin
nevertheless mistrusted his doctors; in January 1952 he had one
imprisoned after they suggested that he should retire to improve his
health. In September 1952, several Kremlin doctors were
arrested for allegedly plotting to kill senior politicians in what
came to be known as the Doctors' Plot; the majority of the accused
were Jewish. He instructed the arrested doctors to be
tortured to ensure confession. In November, the Slánský
trial took place in Czechoslovakia as 13 senior Communist Party
figures, 11 of them Jewish, were accused and convicted of being part
of a vast Zionist-American conspiracy to subvert Eastern Bloc
governments. That same month, a much publicised trial of
accused Jewish industrial wreckers took place in Ukraine.
In 1951, he initiated the Mingrelian affair, a purge of the Georgian
branch of the Communist Party which resulted in over 11,000
From 1946 until his death, Stalin only gave three public speeches, two
of which lasted only a few minutes. The amount of written
material that he produced also declined. In 1950, Stalin
issued the article "
Marxism and Problems of Linguistics", which
reflected his interest in questions of Russian
In 1952, Stalin's last book, Economic Problems of
Socialism in the
USSR, was published. It sought to provide a guide to leading the
country for after his death. In October 1952, Stalin gave
an hour and a half speech at the Central Committee
plenum. There, he emphasised what he regarded as
leadership qualities necessary in the future and highlighted the
weaknesses of various potential successors, particularly Molotov and
Mikoyan. In 1952, he also eliminated the
replaced it with a larger version which he called the
Death, funeral and aftermath: 1953
Main article: Death and state funeral of Joseph Stalin
On 1 March 1953, Stalin's staff found him semi-conscious on the
bedroom floor of his Volynskoe dacha. He had suffered a
cerebral hemorrhage. He was moved onto a couch and
remained there for three days. He was hand-fed using a
spoon, given various medicines and injections, and leeches were
applied to him. Svetlana and Vasily were called to the
dacha on 2 March; the latter was drunk and angrily shouted at the
doctors, resulting in him being sent home. Stalin died on
5 March 1953. According to Svetlana, it had been "a
difficult and terrible death". An autopsy revealed that
he had died of a cerebral hemorrhage and that he also suffered from
severe damage to his cerebral arteries due to
atherosclerosis. It is possible that Stalin was
murdered. Beria has been suspected of murder, although no
firm evidence has ever appeared.
Stalin's death was announced on 6 March. The body was
embalmed, and then placed on display in Moscow's House of
Unions for three days. Crowds were such that a crush
killed around 100 people. The funeral involved the body
being laid to rest in
Lenin's Mausoleum in
Red Square on 9 March;
hundreds of thousands attended. That month featured a
surge in arrests for "anti-Soviet agitation" as those celebrating
Stalin's death came to police attention. The Chinese
government instituted a period of official mourning for Stalin's
Stalin left no anointed successor nor a framework within which a
transfer of power could take place. The Central Committee
met on the day of his death, with Malenkov, Beria, and Khruschev
emerging as the party's key figures. The system of
collective leadership was restored, and measures introduced to prevent
any one member attaining autocratic domination again. The
collective leadership included the following eight senior members of
the Presidium of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the
Soviet Union listed according to the order of precedence presented
formally on 5 March 1953: Georgy Malenkov, Lavrentiy Beria, Vyacheslav
Molotov, Kliment Voroshilov, Nikita Khrushchev, Nikolai Bulganin,
Lazar Kaganovich and Anastas Mikoyan. Reforms to the
Soviet system were immediately implemented. Economic
reform scaled back the mass construction projects, placed a new
emphasis on house building, and eased the levels of taxation on the
peasantry to stimulate production. The new leaders sought
rapprochement with Yugoslavia and a less hostile relationship with the
U.S., pursuing a negotiated end to the
Korean War in July
1953. The doctors who had been imprisoned were released
and the anti-Semitic purges ceased. A mass amnesty for
those imprisoned for non-political crimes was issued, halving the
country's inmate population, while the state security and Gulag
systems were reformed, with torture being banned in April
Further information: Stalinism
A mourning parade in honor of Stalin in Dresden, East Germany
Stalin claimed to have embraced
Marxism at the age of
fifteen, and it served as the guiding philosophy
throughout his adult life; according to Kotkin, Stalin
held "zealous Marxist convictions", while Montefiore
Marxism held a "quasi-religious" value for
Stalin. Although he never became a Georgian
nationalist, during his early life elements from Georgian
nationalist thought blended with
Marxism in his outlook.
The historian Alfred J. Rieber noted that he had been raised in "a
society where rebellion was deeply rooted in folklore and popular
rituals". Stalin believed in the need to adapt
changing circumstances; in 1917, he declared that "there is dogmatic
Marxism and there is creative Marxism. I stand on the ground of the
latter". Volkogonov believed that Stalin's
shaped by his "dogmatic turn of mind", suggesting that this had been
instilled in the Soviet leader during his education in religious
institutions. According to scholar Robert Service,
Stalin's "few innovations in ideology were crude, dubious developments
of Marxism". Some of these derived from political
expediency rather than any sincere intellectual
commitment; Stalin would often turn to ideology post hoc
to justify his decisions. Stalin referred to himself as a
praktik, meaning that he was more of a practical revolutionary than a
As a Marxist and an extreme anti-capitalist, Stalin believed in an
inevitable "class war" between the world's proletariat and
bourgeoise. He believed that the working classes would
prove successful in this struggle and would establish a dictatorship
of the proletariat, regarding the
Soviet Union as an
example of such a state. He also believed that this
proletarian state would need to introduce repressive measures against
foreighn and domestic "enemies" to ensure the full crushing of the
propertied classes, and thus the class war would
intensify with the advance of socialism. As a propaganda
tool, the shaming of "enemies" explained all inadequate economic and
political outcomes, the hardships endured by the populace, and
military failures. The new state would then be able to
ensure that all citizens had access to work, food, shelter,
healthcare, and education, with the wastefulness of capitalism
eliminated by a new, standardised economic system.
According to Sandle, Stalin was "committed to the creation of a
society that was industrialised, collectivised, centrally planned and
Stalin adhered to the Leninist variant of Marxism. In his
book, Foundations of Leninism, he stated that "
Leninism is the Marxism
of the epoch of imperialism and of the proletarian
revolution". He claimed to be a loyal
Leninist, although was—according to Service—"not a
blindly obedient Leninist". Stalin respected Lenin, but
not uncritically, and spoke out when he believed that
Lenin was wrong. During the period of his revolutionary
activity, Stalin regarded some of Lenin's views and actions as being
the self-indulgent activities of a spoiled émigré, deeming them
counterproductive for those Bolshevik activists based within the
Russian Empire itself. After the October Revolution, they
continued to have differences. Whereas Lenin believed that all
countries across Europe and Asia would readily unite as a single state
following proletariat revolution, Stalin argued that national pride
would prevent this, and that different socialist states would have to
be formed; in his view, a country like Germany would not readily
submit to being part of a Russian-dominated federal
state. Stalin biographer
Oleg Khlevniuk nevertheless
believed that the pair developed a "strong bond" over the
years, while Kotkin suggested that Stalin's friendship
with Lenin was "the single most important relationship in Stalin's
life". After Lenin's death, Stalin relied heavily on
Lenin's writings—far more so than those of Marx and Engels—to
guide him in the affairs of state. Stalin adopted the
Leninist view on the need for a revolutionary vanguard who could lead
the proletariat rather than being led by them. Leading
this vanguard, he believed that the Soviet peoples needed a strong,
central figure—akin to a Tsar—whom they could rally
around. In his words, "the people need a Tsar, whom they
can worship and for whom they can live and work". He read
about, and admired, two Tsars in particular:
Ivan the Terrible
Ivan the Terrible and
Peter the Great. In the personality cult constructed
around him, he was known as the vozhd, an equivalent to the Italian
duce and German fuhrer.
A statue of Stalin in
Grūtas Park near Druskininkai, Lithuania; it
originally stood in Vilnius, Lithuania
Stalinism was a development of Leninism, and while Stalin
avoided using the term "Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism", he allowed others
to do so. Following Lenin's death, Stalin contributed to
the theoretical debates within the Communist Party, namely by
developing the idea of "
Socialism in One Country". This concept was
intricately linked to factional struggles within the party,
particularly against Trotsky. He first developed the idea
in December 1924 and elaborated upon in his writings of
1925–26. Stalin's doctrine held that socialism could be
completed in Russia but that its final victory there could not be
guaranteed because of the threat from capitalist intervention. For
this reason, he retained the Leninist view that world revolution was
still a necessity to ensure the ultimate victory of
socialism. Although retaining the Marxist belief that the
state would wither away as socialism transformed into pure communism,
he believed that the Soviet state would remain until the final defeat
of international capitalism. This concept synthesised
Marxist and Leninist ideas with nationalist ideals, and
served to discredit Trotsky—who promoted the idea of "permanent
revolution"—by presenting the latter as a defeatist with little
faith in Russian workers' abilities to construct
Stalin viewed nations as contingent entities which were formed by
capitalism and could merge into others. Ultimately he
believed that all nations would merge into a single, global human
community, and regarded all nations as inherently
equal. In his work, he stated that "the right of
secession" should be offered to the ethnic-minorities of the Russian
Empire, but that they should not be encouraged to take that
option. He was of the view that if they became fully
autonomous, then they would end up being controlled by the most
reactionary elements of their community; as an example he cited the
largely illiterate Tatars, whom he claimed would end up dominated by
their mullahs. Stalin argued that the Jews possessed a
"national character" but were not a "nation" and were thus
unassimilable. He argued that Jewish nationalism, particularly
Zionism, was hostile to socialism. According to
Khlevniuk, Stalin reconciled
Marxism with great-power imperialism and
therefore expansion of the empire makes him a worthy to the Russian
tsars. Service argued that Stalin's
Marxism was imbued
with a great deal of Russian nationalism. According to
Montefiore, Stalin's embrace of the Russian nation was pragmatic, as
the Russians were the core of the population of the USSR; it was not a
rejection of his Georgian origins. Stalin's push for
Soviet westward expansion into eastern Europe resulted in accusations
of Russian imperialism.
Personal life and characteristics
Stalin brutally, artfully, indefatigably built a personal dictatorship
within the Bolshevik dictatorship. Then he launched and saw through a
bloody socialist remaking of the entire former empire, presided over a
victory in the greatest war in human history, and took the Soviet
Union to the epicentre of global affairs. More than for any other
historical figure, even Gandhi or Churchill, a biography of Stalin...
eventually comes to approximate a history of the world.
— Stephen Kotkin
Ethnically Georgian, Stalin grew up speaking the Georgian
language, and did not begin learning Russian until the
age of eight or nine. He remained proud of his Georgian
identity, and throughout his life retained a heavy
Georgian accent when speaking Russian. According to
Montefiore, despite Stalin's affinity for Russia and Russians, he
remained profoundly Georgian in his lifestyle and
personality. Stalin's colleagues described him as
"Asiatic", and he told a Japanese journalist that "I am not a European
man, but an Asian, a Russified Georgian". Service also
noted that Stalin "would never be Russian", could not credibly pass as
one, and never tried to pretend that he was. Montefiore
was of the view that "after 1917, [Stalin] became quadri-national:
Georgian by nationality, Russian by loyalty, internationalist by
ideology, Soviet by citizenship."
Stalin had a soft voice, and when speaking Russian did so
slowly, carefully choosing his phrasing. In private he
used coarse language, although avoided doing so in
public. Described as a poor orator,
according to Volkogonov, Stalin's speaking style was "simple and
clear, without flights of fancy, catchy phrases or platform
histrionics". He rarely spoke before large audiences, and
preferred to express himself in written form. His writing
style was similar, being characterised by its simplicity, clarity, and
conciseness. Throughout his life, he used various
nicknames and pseudonyms, including "Koba", "Soselo", and
"Ivanov", adopting "Stalin" in 1912; it was based on the
Russian word for "steel" and has often been translated as "Man of
Lavrenti Beria with Stalin's daughter, Svetlana, on his lap and
Stalin seated in the background. Stalin's dacha near Sochi, mid-1930s.
In adulthood, Stalin measured 5 feet 4 inches (1.63 m)
tall. To appear taller, he wore stacked shoes, and stood
on a small platform during parades. His mustached face
was pock-marked from smallpox during childhood; this was airbrushed
from published photographs. He was born with a webbed
left foot, and his left arm had been permanently injured in childhood
which left it shorter than his right and lacking in
flexibility, which was probably the result of being hit,
at the age of 12, by a horse-drawn carriage. During his
youth, Stalin cultivated a scruffy appearance in rejection of
middle-class aesthetic values. He grew his hair long and
often wore a beard; for clothing, he often wore a traditional Georgian
chokha or a red satin shirt with a grey coat and red
fedora. From mid-1918 until his death he favoured
military-style clothing, in particular long black boots,
light-coloured collarless tunics, and a gun. He was a
lifelong smoker, who smoked both a pipe and cigarettes.
He had few material demands and lived plainly, with simple and
inexpensive clothing and furniture; his interest was in
power rather than wealth.
As Soviet leader, Stalin typically awoke around
11 am, with lunch being served between 3 and
5 pm and dinner no earlier than 9 pm; he then
worked late into the evening. He often dined with other
Politburo members and their families. As leader, he
Moscow unless to go to one of his dachas; he
disliked travel, and refused to travel by
plane. His choice of favoured holiday house changed over
the years, although he holidayed in southern parts of the
USSR every year from 1925 to 1936 and again from 1945 to
1951. Along with other senior figures, he had a dacha at
Zubalova, 35 km outside Moscow, although ceased
using it after Nadya's 1932 suicide. After 1932, he
favoured holidays in Abkhazia, being a friend of its leader, Nestor
Lakoba. In 1934, his new
Kuntsevo Dacha was built;
9 km from the Kremlin, it became his primary
residence. In 1935 he began using a new dacha provided
for him by Lakoba at Novy Afon; in 1936, he had the
Kholodnaya Rechka dacha built on the Abkhazian coast, designed by
Chinese Marxists celebrate Stalin's seventieth birthday in 1949
Trotsky and several other Soviet figures promoted the idea that Stalin
was a mediocrity. This gained widespread acceptance
Soviet Union during his lifetime but was
misleading. According to Montefiore, "it is clear from
hostile and friendly witnesses alike that Stalin was always
exceptional, even from childhood". Stalin had a complex
mind, great self-control, and an excellent
memory. He was a hard worker, and displayed
a keen desire to learn; when in power, he scrutinised
many details of Soviet life, from film scripts to architectural plans
and military hardware. According to Volkogonov, "Stalin's
private life and working life were one and the same"; he did not take
days off from political activities.
Stalin could play different roles to different audiences,
and was adept at deception, often deceiving others as to his true
motives and aims. Several historians have seen it
appropriate to follow Lazar Kaganovich's description of there being
"several Stalins" as a means of understanding his multi-faceted
personality. He was a good organiser, with a
strategic mind, and judged others according to their
inner strength, practicality, and cleverness. He
acknowledged that he could be rude and insulting,
although rarely raised his voice in anger; as his health
deteriorated in later life he became increasingly unpredictable and
bad tempered. Despite his tough-talking attitude, he
could be very charming; when relaxed, he cracked jokes
and mimicked others. Montefiore suggested that this charm
was "the foundation of Stalin's power in the Party".
Stalin was ruthless, temperamentally cruel,
and had a propensity for violence high even among the
Bolsheviks. He lacked compassion, something
Volkogonov suggested might have been accentuated by his many years in
prison and exile, although he was capable of acts of
kindness to strangers, even amid the Great Terror. He was
capable of self-righteous indignation, and was
resentful, vindictive, and vengeful, holding
onto grievances against others for many years. By the
1920s, he was also suspicious and conspiratorial, prone to believing
that people were plotting against him and that there were vast
international conspiracies behind acts of dissent. He
never attended torture sessions or executions, although
Service thought Stalin "derived deep satisfaction" from degrading and
humiliating people and keeping even close associates in a state of
"unrelieved fear". Montefiore thought Stalin's brutality
marked him out as a "natural extremist"; Service
suggested he had a paranoid or sociopathic personality
disorder. Other historians linked his brutality not to
any personality trait, but to his unwavering commitment to the
survival of the
Soviet Union and the international Marxist-Leninist
It is hard for me to reconcile the courtesy and consideration he
showed me personally with the ghastly cruelty of his wholesale
liquidations. Others, who did not know him personally, see only the
tyrant in Stalin. I saw the other side as well – his high
intelligence, that fantastic grasp of detail, his shrewdness and his
surprising human sensitivity that he was capable of showing, at least
in the war years. I found him better informed than Roosevelt, more
realistic than Churchill, in some ways the most effective of the war
leaders... I must confess that for me Stalin remains the most
inscrutable and contradictory character I have known – and leave the
final word to the judgment of history.
— U.S. ambassador W. Averell Harriman
Keenly interested in the arts, Stalin admired artistic
talent. He protected several Soviet writers, such as
Mikhail Bulgakov, even when their work was labelled harmful to his
regime. He enjoyed music, owning around
2,700 albums, and frequently attending the Bolshoi
Theatre during the 1930s and 1940s. His taste in music
and theatre was conservative, favouring classical drama, opera, and
ballet over what he dismissed as experimental
"formalism". He also favoured classical forms in the
visual arts, disliking avant-garde styles like cubism and
futurism. He was a voracious reader, with a library of
over 20,000 books. Little of this was
fiction, although he could cite passages from Alexander
Pushkin, Nikolay Nekrasov, and
Walt Whitman by heart. He
favoured historical studies, keeping up with debates in the study of
Russian, Mesopotamian, ancient Roman, and Byzantine
history. An autodidact, he claimed to read
as many as 500 pages a day, with Montefiore regarding him
as an intellectual. Stalin also enjoyed watching films
late at night at cinemas installed in the Kremlin and his
dachas. He favoured the Western genre; his
favourite film was the 1938 picture Volga Volga.
Stalin was a keen and accomplished billiards player, and
collected watches. He also enjoyed practical jokes; he
for instance would place a tomato on the seat of
Politburo members and
wait for them to sit on it. When at social events, he
encouraged singing, as well as alcohol consumption; he
hoped that others would drunkenly reveal their secrets to
him. As an infant, Stalin displayed a love of
flowers, and later in life he became a keen
gardener. His Volynskoe suburb had a 50-acre park, with
Stalin devoting much attention to its agricultural
Stalin publicly condemned anti-Semitism, although was
repeatedly accused of it. People who knew him, such as
Khrushchev, suggested he long harbored negative sentiments toward
Jews, and anti-Semitic trends in his policies were
further fueled by Stalin's struggle against Trotsky.
After Stalin's death, Khrushchev claimed that Stalin encouraged him to
incite anti-Semitism in Ukraine, allegedly telling him that "the good
workers at the factory should be given clubs so they can beat the hell
out of those Jews." In 1946, Stalin allegedly said
privately that "every Jew is a potential spy." Conquest
stated that although Stalin had Jewish associates, he promoted
anti-Semitism. Service cautioned that there was "no
irrefutable evidence" of anti-Semitism in Stalin's published work,
although his private statements and public actions were "undeniably
reminiscent of crude antagonism towards Jews"; he added
that throughout Stalin's lifetime, the Georgian "would be the friend,
associate or leader of countless individual Jews".
According to Beria, Stalin had affairs with several Jewish
Relationships and family
Stalin carrying his daughter, Svetlana
Friendship was important to Stalin, and he used it to
gain and maintain power. Kotkin observed that Stalin
"generally gravitated to people like himself: parvenu intelligentsia
of humble background". He gave nicknames to his
favourites, for instance referring to Yezhov as "my
blackberry". Stalin was sociable and enjoyed a
joke. According to Montefiore, Stalin's friendships
"meandered between love, admiration, and venomous
jealousy". While head of the
Soviet Union he remained in
contact with many of his old friends in Georgia, sending them letters
and gifts of money.
Stalin was attracted to women and there are no reports of any
homosexual tendencies; according to Montefiore, in his
early life Stalin "rarely seems to have been without a
girlfriend". He was sexually promiscuous, although rarely
talked about his sex life. Montefiore noted that Stalin's
favoured types were "young, malleable teenagers or buxom peasant
women", who would be supportive and unchallenging toward
him. According to Service, Stalin "regarded women as a
resource for sexual gratification and domestic comfort".
Stalin married twice and had several offspring.
Stalin married his first wife, Ekaterina Svanidze, in 1906. According
to Montefiore, theirs was "a true love match"; Volkogonov
suggested that she was "probably the one human being he had really
loved". When she died Stalin said "This creature softened
my heart of stone." They had a son, Yakov, who often
frustrated and annoyed Stalin. Yakov had a daughter,
Galina, before fighting for the
Red Army in the Second World War. He
was captured by the German Army and then committed
Stalin's second wife was Nadezhda Alliluyeva; theirs was not an easy
relationship, and they often fought. They had two
biological children—a son, Vasily, and a daughter, Svetlana—and
adopted another son, Artyom Sergeev, in 1921. During his
marriage to Nadezhda, Stalin had affairs with many other women, most
of whom were fellow revolutionaries or their wives.
Nadezdha suspected that this was the case, and committed
suicide in 1932. Stalin regarded Vasily as spoiled and
often chastised his behaviour; as Stalin's son, Vasily nevertheless
was swiftly promoted through the ranks of the
Red Army and allowed a
lavish lifestyle. Conversely, Stalin had an affectionate
relationship with Svetlana during her childhood, and was
also very fond of Artyom. In later life, he disapproved
of Svetlana's various suitors and husbands, putting a strain on his
relationship with her. After the Second World War he made
little time for his children and his family played a decreasingly
important role in his life. After Stalin's death,
Svetlana changed her surname from Stalin to Allilueva,
and defected to the U.S.
After Nadezdha's death, Stalin became increasingly close to his
sister-in-law Zhenya Alliluyeva; Montefiore believed that
they were probably lovers. There are unproven rumours
that from 1934 onward he had a relationship with his housekeeper
Valentina Istomina. Stalin had at least two illegitimate
children, although he never recognised them as being
his. One of them, Konstantin Kuzakov, later taught
philosophy at the Leningrad Military Mechanical Institute, but never
met his father. The other, Alexander, was the son of
Lidia Pereprygia; he was raised as the son of a peasant fisherman and
the Soviet authorities made him swear never to reveal that Stalin was
his biological father.
A poster of Stalin on the
Unter den Linden
Unter den Linden in
Berlin in 1945
Robert Conquest stated that Stalin, "perhaps[…]
determined the course of the twentieth century" more than any other
individual. Biographers like Service and Volkogonov have
considered him an outstanding and exceptional politician;
Montefiore labelled Stalin as "that rare combination: both
'intellectual' and killer", a man who was "the ultimate politician"
and "the most elusive and fascinating of the twentieth-century
titans". According to historian Kevin McDermott,
interpretations of Stalin range from "the sycophantic and adulatory to
the vitriolic and condemnatory". For most Westerners and
anti-communist Russians, he is viewed overwhelmingly negatively as a
mass murderer; for significant numbers of Russians and
Georgians, he is regarded as a great statesman and
Stalin strengthened and stabilised the Soviet Union;
Service suggested that without him the country might have collapsed
long before 1991. In under three decades, Stalin
Soviet Union into a major industrial world
power, one which could "claim impressive achievements" in
terms of urbanisation, military strength, education, and Soviet
pride. Under his rule, the average Soviet life expectancy
grew due to improved living conditions, nutrition, and medical
care; mortality rates declined. Although
millions of Soviet citizens despised him, support for Stalin was
nevertheless widespread throughout Soviet society.
Soviet Union has been characterised as a totalitarian
state, with Stalin its authoritarian leader.
Various biographers have described him as a dictator, an
autocrat, or accused him of practicing
Caesarism. Montefiore argued that while Stalin initially
ruled as part of a Communist Party oligarchy, in 1934 the Soviet
government transformed from this oligarchy into a personal
dictatorship, with Stalin only becoming "absolute
dictator" between March and June 1937, when senior military and NKVD
figures were eliminated. According to Kotkin, Stalin
"built a personal dictatorship within the Bolshevik
dictatorship". In both the
Soviet Union and elsewhere he
came to be portrayed as an "Oriental despot". The
Dmitri Volkogonov characterised him as "one of the most
powerful figures in human history", while McDermott
stated that Stalin had "concentrated unprecedented political authority
in his hands", and Service noted that by the late 1930s,
Stalin "had come closer to personal despotism than almost any monarch
A contingent from the Communist Party of Great Britain
(Marxist–Leninist) carrying a banner of Stalin at a
May Day march
through London in 2008.
McDermott nevertheless cautioned against "over-simplistic
stereotypes"—promoted in the fiction of writers like Aleksandr
Solzhenitsyn, Vasily Grossman, and Anatoly Rybakov—that portrayed
Stalin as an omnipotent and omnipresent tyrant who controlled every
aspect of Soviet life through repression and
totalitarianism. Service similarly warned of the
portrayal of Stalin as an "unimpeded despot", noting that "powerful
though he was, his powers were not limitless", and his rule depended
on his willingness to conserve the Soviet structure he had
inherited. Kotkin observed that Stalin's ability to
remain in power relied on him having a majority in the
all times. Khlevniuk noted that at various points,
particularly when Stalin was old and frail, there were "periodic
manifestations" in which the party oligarchy threatened his autocratic
control. Stalin denied to foreign visitors that he was a
dictator, stating that those who labelled him such did not understand
the Soviet governance structure.
A vast literature devoted to Stalin has been produced.
During Stalin's lifetime, his approved biographies were largely
hagiographic in content. Stalin ensured that these works
gave very little attention to his early life, particularly because he
did not wish to emphasise his Georgian origins in a state numerically
dominated by Russians. Since his death many more
biographies have been written, although until the 1980s
these relied largely on the same sources of information.
Under Mikhail Gorbachev's Soviet administration various previously
classified files on Stalin's life were made available to
historians, at which point Stalin became "one of the most
urgent and vital issues on the public agenda" in the Soviet
Union. After the dissolution of the Union in 1991, the
rest of the archives were opened to historians, resulting in much new
information about Stalin coming to light, and producing a
flood of new research.
Leninists remain divided in their views on Stalin; some view him as
Lenin's authentic successor, while others believe he betrayed Lenin's
ideas by deviating from them. The socio-economic nature
Soviet Union has also been much debated, varyingly being
labelled a form of state socialism, state capitalism, bureaucratic
collectivism, or a totally unique mode of production.
Socialist writers like Volkogonov have acknowledged that Stalin's
actions damaged "the enormous appeal of socialism generated by the
Death toll and allegations of genocide
Main article: Excess mortality in the
Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin
With a high number of excess deaths occurring under his rule, Stalin
has been labeled "one of the most notorious figures in
history". These deaths occurred as a result of
collectivisation, famine, terror campaigns, disease, war and mortality
rates in the Gulag. As the majority of excess deaths under Stalin were
not direct killings, the exact number of victims of
difficult to calculate due to lack of consensus among scholars on
which deaths can be attributed to the regime.
Interior of the
Gulag Museum in Moscow
Victims of Stalin's Great Terror in the Bykivnia mass graves
Official records reveal 799,455 documented executions in the Soviet
Union between 1921 and 1953; 681,692 of these were carried out between
1937 and 1938, the years of the Great Purge. However,
according to Michael Ellman, the best modern estimate for the number
of repression deaths during the
Great Purge is 950,000–1.2 million,
which includes executions, deaths in detention, or soon after their
release. In addition, while archival data shows that
1,053,829 perished in the
Gulag from 1934 to 1953, the
current historical consensus is that of the 18 million people who
passed through the
Gulag system from 1930 to 1953, between 1.5 and 1.7
million died as a result of their incarceration. The
historian and archival researcher
Stephen G. Wheatcroft and Michael
Ellman attribute roughly 3 million deaths to the Stalinist regime,
including executions and deaths from criminal
negligence. Wheatcoft and historian Robert
Davies estimate famine deaths at 5.5–6.5 million while
scholar Steven Rosefielde gives a number of 8.7 million.
The American historian
Timothy D. Snyder
Timothy D. Snyder in 2011 summarised modern
data, made after the opening of the Soviet archives in the 1990s, and
concludes that Stalin's regime was responsible for 9 million deaths,
with 6 million of these being deliberate killings. He notes that the
estimate is far lower than the estimates of 20 million or above which
were made before access to the archives.
Historians continue to debate whether or not the 1932–33 Ukrainian
famine—known in Ukraine as the Holodomor—should be called a
genocide. Twenty-six countries officially recognise it
under the legal definition of genocide. In 2006, the Ukrainian
Parliament declared it to be such, and in 2010 a
Ukrainian court posthumously convicted Stalin, Lazar Kaganovich,
Stanislav Kosior, and other Soviet leaders of
genocide. Popular among some Ukrainian
nationalists is the idea that Stalin consciously organised the famine
to suppress national desires among the Ukrainian people. This
interpretation has been rejected by more recent historical
studies. These have articulated the view that—while
Stalin's policies contributed significantly to the high mortality
rate—there is no evidence that Stalin or the Soviet government
consciously engineered the famine. The idea
that this was a targeted attack on the Ukrainians is complicated by
the widespread suffering that also affected other Soviet peoples in
the famine, including the Russians, and the fact that more died in
Kazakhstan than Ukraine itself. Within Ukraine, ethnic
Poles and Bulgarians died in similar proportions to ethnic
Ukrainians. Despite any lack of clear intent on Stalin's
part, the historian
Norman Naimark noted that although there may not
be sufficient "evidence to convict him in an international court of
justice as a genocidaire[...] that does not mean that the event itself
cannot be judged as genocide".
Michael Ellman argues that mass deaths from famines are not a
"uniquely Stalinist evil", and compares the behavior of the Stalinist
regime vis-à-vis the
Holodomor to that of the British empire (towards
Ireland and India) and even the G8 in contemporary times, saying that
he is sympathetic to the idea that the latter "are guilty of mass
manslaughter or mass deaths from criminal negligence because of their
not taking obvious measures to reduce mass deaths." He argues that a
possible defense of Stalin and his associates is that "their behaviour
was no worse than that of many rulers in the nineteenth and twentieth
Soviet Union and its successor states
Interior of the
Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori, Georgia
Shortly after his death, the
Soviet Union went through a period of
de-Stalinization. Malenkov denounced the Stalin personality
cult, which was subsequently criticised in
Pravda. In 1956, Khruschev gave his "Secret Speech",
titled "On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences", to a closed
session of the Party's 20th Congress. There, Khrushchev denounced
Stalin for both his mass repression and his personality
cult. He repeated these denunciations at the 22nd Party
Congress in October 1962. In October 1961, Stalin's body
was removed from the mausoleum and buried in the Kremlin Wall
Necropolis next to the Kremlin walls, the location marked only by a
Stalingrad was renamed
Khrushchev's de-Stalinisation process in Soviet society ended when he
was replaced as leader by
Leonid Brezhnev in 1964; the latter
introduced a level of re-Stalinisation within the Soviet
Union. In 1969 and again in 1979, plans were proposed for
a full rehabilitation of Stalin's legacy, but on both occasions were
defeated by critics within the Soviet and international
Marxist-Leninist movement. Gorbachev saw the total
denunciation of Stalin as necessary for the regeneration of Soviet
society. After the fall of the
Soviet Union in 1991, the
first President of the new Russian Federation, Boris Yeltsin,
continued Gorbachev's denunciation of Stalin but added to it a
denunciation of Lenin. His successor, Vladimir Putin, did
not seek to rehabilitate Stalin but emphasised the celebration of
Soviet achievements under Stalin's leadership rather than the
Stalinist repressions; however, in October 2017 Putin
Wall of Grief
Wall of Grief memorial in Moscow, noting that the "terrible
past" would neither be "justified by anything" nor "erased from the
Marxist–Leninist activists from the Communist Party of the Russian
Federation laying wreaths at Stalin's
Moscow grave in 2009
Amid the social and economic turmoil of the post-Soviet period, many
Russians viewed Stalin as having overseen an era of order,
predictability, and pride. He remains a revered figure
among many Russian nationalists, who feel nostalgic about the Soviet
Nazi Germany in World War II, and he is
regularly invoked approvingly within both Russia's far-left and
far-right. In the 2008 Name of Russia television show,
Stalin was voted as the third most notable personality in Russian
history. Polling by the
Levada Center suggest Stalin's
popularity has grown since 2015, with 46% of Russians expressing a
favourable view of him in 2017 and 51% in
2019. At the same time, there was a growth
in pro-Stalinist literature in Russia, much relying upon the
misrepresentation or fabrication of source material. In
this literature, Stalin's repressions are regarded either as a
necessary measure to defeat "enemies of the people" or the result of
lower-level officials acting without Stalin's knowledge.
The only part of the former
Soviet Union where admiration for Stalin
has remained consistently widespread is Georgia. Many
Georgians resent criticism of Stalin, the most famous figure from
their nation's modern history; a 2013 survey by Tbilisi
University found 45% of
Georgians expressing "a positive attitude" to
him. Some positive sentiment can also be found elsewhere
in the former Soviet Union. A 2012 survey commissioned by the Carnegie
Endowment found 38% of Armenians concurring that their county "will
always have need of a leader like Stalin".
In early 2010 a new monument to Stalin was erected in Zaporizhia,
Ukraine; in December unknown persons cut off its head and
in 2011 it was destroyed in an explosion. In a 2016 Kiev
International Institute of Sociology poll, 38% of respondents had a
negative attitude to Stalin, 26% a neutral one and 17% a positive (19%
refused to answer).
Foreign relations of the Soviet Union
Index of Soviet Union-related articles
Joseph Stalin Museum, Gori
List of places named after Joseph Stalin
Stalin and the Scientists
Georgia (country) portalPolitics
Soviet Union portal
^ a b Stalin's original Georgian name was Ioseb Besarionis dze
Jughashvili (იოსებ ბესარიონის ძე
ჯუღაშვილი). The Russian equivalent of this is Iosif
Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili (Ио́сиф Виссарио́нович
Джугашви́ли).During his years as a revolutionary, he
adopted the alias "Stalin", and after the
October Revolution he made
it his legal name.
^ Russian: Ио́сиф Виссарио́нович Ста́лин
^ Although there is an inconsistency among published sources about
Stalin's exact date of birth, Ioseb Jughashvili is found in the
records of the Uspensky Church in
Gori, Georgia as born on 18 December
(Old Style: 6 December) 1878. This birth date is maintained in his
School Leaving Certificate, his extensive tsarist Russia police file,
a police arrest record from 18 April 1902 which gave his age as 23
years, and all other surviving pre-Revolution documents. As late as
1921, Stalin himself listed his birthday as 18 December 1878 in a
curriculum vitae in his own handwriting. After coming to power in
1922, Stalin gave his birth date as 21 December 1879 (Old Style date 9
December 1879). That became the day his birthday was celebrated in the
^  Before and for a long period after his death in 1953, Stalin was
widely believed to have been born on 21 December [O.S.
9] 1879, but recent researchers have determined that he was
instead born a year before, on 18 December [O.S.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 2; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 11.
^ Service 2004, p. 14; Montefiore 2007, p. 23.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 23.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 2; Volkogonov 1991, p. 5; Service 2004,
p. 14; Montefiore 2007, p. 19; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 11.
^ Service 2004, p. 14; Montefiore 2007, p. 19; Kotkin 2014,
^ Volkogonov 1991, p. 5; Service 2004, p. 16; Montefiore
2007, p. 22; Kotkin 2014, p. 17; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 11.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 1; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 11.
^ Service 2004, p. 15.
^ Service 2004, p. 16.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 11; Service 2004, p. 16; Montefiore
2007, p. 23; Kotkin 2014, p. 17.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 5; Service 2004, p. 14; Montefiore 2007,
p. 22; Kotkin 2014, p. 16.
^ Service 2004, p. 16; Montefiore 2007, pp. 22, 32.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 11; Service 2004, p. 19.
^ Montefiore 2007, pp. 30–31; Kotkin 2014, p. 20.
^ Service 2004, p. 17; Montefiore 2007, p. 25; Kotkin 2014,
p. 20; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 12.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 10; Volkogonov 1991, p. 5; Service 2004,
p. 17; Montefiore 2007, p. 29; Kotkin 2014, p. 24;
Khlevniuk 2015, p. 12.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 12; Montefiore 2007, p. 31; Kotkin 2014,
^ a b Montefiore 2007, p. 32.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 31.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 11; Service 2004, p. 20; Montefiore
2007, pp. 32–34; Kotkin 2014, p. 21.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 12; Service 2004, p. 30; Montefiore
2007, p. 44; Kotkin 2014, p. 26.
^ Montefiore 2007, pp. 43–44.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 44.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 13; Service 2004, p. 30; Montefiore
2007, p. 43; Kotkin 2014, p. 26.
^ Service 2004, p. 20; Montefiore 2007, p. 36.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 45.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 12; Volkogonov 1991, p. 5; Service 2004,
p. 19; Montefiore 2007, p. 31; Kotkin 2014, p. 20.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 12; Service 2004, p. 25; Montefiore
2007, pp. 35, 46; Kotkin 2014, pp. 20–21.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 51; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 15.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 53.
^ Montefiore 2007, pp. 52–53.
^ Montefiore 2007, pp. 54–55.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 19; Service 2004, p. 36; Montefiore
2007, p. 56; Kotkin 2014, p. 32; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 16.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 18; Montefiore 2007, p. 57; Kotkin 2014,
^ Service 2004, p. 38.
^ a b Montefiore 2007, p. 58.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 69; Kotkin 2014, p. 32; Khlevniuk
2015, p. 18.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 19; Montefiore 2007, p. 69; Kotkin 2014,
pp. 36–37; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 19.
^ Montefiore 2007, pp. 70–71.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 19; Montefiore 2007, p. 62; Kotkin 2014,
pp. 36, 37; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 18.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 63.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 14; Volkogonov 1991, p. 5; Service 2004,
pp. 27–28; Montefiore 2007, p. 63; Kotkin 2014,
pp. 23–24; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 17.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 64.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 69.
^ Service 2004, p. 40; Kotkin 2014, p. 43.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 66.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 65; Kotkin 2014, p. 44.
^ Service 2004, p. 41; Montefiore 2007, p. 71.
^ a b Montefiore 2007, p. 73.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 27; Service 2004, pp. 43–44;
Montefiore 2007, p. 76; Kotkin 2014, pp. 47–48.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 79.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 27; Montefiore 2007, p. 78.
^ a b Montefiore 2007, p. 78.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 27; Service 2004, p. 45; Montefiore
2007, pp. 81–82; Kotkin 2014, p. 49.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 82.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 28; Montefiore 2007, p. 82; Kotkin 2014,
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 87.
^ Rieber 2005, pp. 37–38; Montefiore 2007, pp. 87–88.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 29; Service 2004, p. 52; Rieber 2005,
p. 39; Montefiore 2007, p. 101; Kotkin 2014, p. 51.
^ Montefiore 2007, pp. 91, 95; Kotkin 2014, p. 53.
^ Montefiore 2007, pp. 90–93; Kotkin 2014, p. 51;
Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 22–23.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 29; Service 2004, p. 49; Montefiore
2007, pp. 94–95; Kotkin 2014, p. 52; Khlevniuk 2015,
^ Montefiore 2007, pp. 97–98.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 29; Service 2004, p. 49; Rieber 2005,
p. 42; Montefiore 2007, p. 98; Kotkin 2014, p. 52.
^ Service 2004, p. 52; Montefiore 2007, p. 101.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 29; Service 2004, p. 52; Montefiore
2007, p. 105.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 29; Montefiore 2007, p. 107; Kotkin
2014, p. 53; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 23.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 29; Service 2004, p. 52; Montefiore
2007, pp. 108–110.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 111.
^ Service 2004, p. 52; Montefiore 2007, pp. 114–115.
^ Service 2004, p. 52; Montefiore 2007, pp. 115–116;
Kotkin 2014, p. 53.
^ Service 2004, p. 57; Montefiore 2007, p. 123.
^ Service 2004, p. 54; Montefiore 2007, pp. 117–118;
Kotkin 2014, p. 77.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 33–34; Service 2004, p. 53;
Montefiore 2007, p. 113; Kotkin 2014, pp. 78–79; Khlevniuk
2015, p. 24.
^ Service 2004, p. 59; Kotkin 2014, p. 80; Khlevniuk 2015,
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 131.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 38; Service 2004, p. 59.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 56; Montefiore 2007, p. 126.
^ Service 2004, p. 56.
^ Service 2004, p. 58; Montefiore 2007, pp. 128–129.
^ a b Montefiore 2007, p. 129.
^ Montefiore 2007, pp. 131–132.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 132.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 143.
^ Montefiore 2007, pp. 132–133.
^ Montefiore 2007, pp. 135, 144.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 137.
^ Kotkin 2014, p. 81.
^ Service 2004, p. 60; Montefiore 2007, p. 145.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 145.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 37; Service 2004, p. 60; Kotkin 2014,
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 147; Kotkin 2014, p. 105.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 39–40; Service 2004, pp. 61, 62;
Montefiore 2007, p. 156.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 40; Service 2004, p. 62; Khlevniuk 2015,
^ Service 2004, p. 62; Kotkin 2014, p. 113.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 168; Kotkin 2014, p. 113.
^ Service 2004, p. 64; Montefiore 2007, p. 159; Kotkin 2014,
^ Service 2004, p. 64; Montefiore 2007, p. 167; Kotkin 2014,
p. 106; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 25.
^ Service 2004, p. 65.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 41; Service 2004, p. 65; Montefiore
2007, pp. 168–170; Kotkin 2014, p. 108.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 41–42; Service 2004, p. 75; Kotkin
2014, p. 113.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 180; Kotkin 2014, p. 114.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 43–44; Service 2004, p. 76;
Montefiore 2007, p. 184.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 190.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 186.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 189.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 191; Kotkin 2014, p. 115.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 44; Service 2004, p. 71; Montefiore
2007, p. 193; Kotkin 2014, p. 116.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 194.
^ Service 2004, p. 74; Montefiore 2007, p. 196; Kotkin 2014,
^ Montefiore 2007, pp. 197–198; Kotkin 2014, p. 115.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 195.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 44; Service 2004, p. 68; Montefiore
2007, p. 203; Kotkin 2014, p. 116.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 45; Montefiore 2007, pp. 203–204.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 45; Service 2004, p. 68; Montefiore
2007, pp. 206, 208; Kotkin 2014, p. 116.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 46; Montefiore 2007, p. 212; Kotkin
2014, p. 117.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 46; Montefiore 2007, pp. 222, 226;
Kotkin 2014, p. 121.
^ Service 2004, p. 79; Montefiore 2007, pp. 227, 229,
230–231; Kotkin 2014, p. 121.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 47; Service 2004, p. 80; Montefiore
2007, pp. 231, 234; Kotkin 2014, p. 121.
^ Service 2004, p. 79; Montefiore 2007, p. 234; Kotkin 2014,
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 236; Kotkin 2014, p. 121.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 237; Kotkin 2014, pp. 121–22.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 48; Service 2004, p. 83; Montefiore
2007, p. 240; Kotkin 2014, pp. 122–123.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 240.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 241.
^ Service 2004, p. 84; Montefiore 2007, p. 243.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 84; Montefiore 2007, p. 247.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 51; Montefiore 2007, p. 248.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 249; Kotkin 2014, p. 133.
^ Service 2004, p. 86; Montefiore 2007, p. 250; Kotkin 2014,
^ Conquest 1991, p. 51; Service 2004, pp. 86–87;
Montefiore 2007, pp. 250–251.
^ Montefiore 2007, pp. 252–253.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 255.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 256.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 52; Service 2004, pp. 87–88;
Montefiore 2007, pp. 256–259; Kotkin 2014, p. 133.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 263.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 54; Service 2004, p. 89; Montefiore
2007, p. 263.
^ Service 2004, p. 89; Montefiore 2007, pp. 264–265.
^ a b Montefiore 2007, p. 266.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 53; Service 2004, p. 85; Montefiore
2007, p. 266; Kotkin 2014, p. 133.
^ a b Montefiore 2007, p. 267.
^ Himmer 1986, p. 269; Volkogonov 1991, p. 7; Service 2004,
^ Himmer 1986, p. 269; Service 2004, p. 85.
^ Himmer 1986, p. 269; Volkogonov 1991, p. 7; Montefiore
2007, p. 268; Kotkin 2014, p. 133.
^ a b Himmer 1986, p. 269.
^ Montefiore 2007, pp. 267–268.
^ Montefiore 2007, pp. 268–270; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 28.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 54; Service 2004, pp. 102–103;
Montefiore 2007, pp. 270, 273; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 29.
^ Montefiore 2007, pp. 273–274.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 55; Service 2004, pp. 105–106;
Montefiore 2007, pp. 277–278; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 29.
^ Service 2004, p. 107; Montefiore 2007, pp. 282–285;
Kotkin 2014, p. 155; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 30.
^ Montefiore 2007, pp. 292–293.
^ Montefiore 2007, pp. 298, 300.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 287.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 56; Service 2004, p. 110; Montefiore
2007, pp. 288–289.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 57; Service 2004, pp. 113–114;
Montefiore 2007, p. 300; Kotkin 2014, p. 155.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 57; Montefiore 2007, pp. 301–302;
Kotkin 2014, p. 155.
^ Service 2004, p. 114; Montefiore 2007, p. 302; Kotkin
2014, p. 155.
^ Service 2004, p. 114; Montefiore 2007, p. 302.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 57–58; Service 2004, pp. 116–117;
Montefiore 2007, pp. 302–303; Kotkin 2014, p. 178;
Khlevniuk 2015, p. 42.
^ Volkogonov 1991, pp. 15, 19; Service 2004, p. 117;
Montefiore 2007, p. 304; Kotkin 2014, p. 173.
^ Volkogonov 1991, p. 19; Service 2004, p. 120; Montefiore
2007, p. 310.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 59–60; Montefiore 2007, p. 310.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 64; Service 2004, p. 131; Montefiore
2007, p. 316; Kotkin 2014, p. 193; Khlevniuk 2015,
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 316.
^ Service 2004, p. 144.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 65; Montefiore 2007, pp. 319–320.
^ Montefiore 2007, pp. 322–324; Kotkin 2014, p. 203;
Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 48–49.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 326; Kotkin 2014, p. 204.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 68; Service 2004, p. 138.
^ Montefiore 2007, pp. 332–333, 335.
^ Service 2004, p. 144; Montefiore 2007, pp. 337–338.
^ Service 2004, p. 145; Montefiore 2007, p. 341.
^ Montefiore 2007, pp. 341–342.
^ Montefiore 2007, pp. 344–346.
^ Service 2004, pp. 145, 147.
^ Service 2004, pp. 144–146; Kotkin 2014, p. 224;
Khlevniuk 2015, p. 52.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 53.
^ Kotkin 2014, p. 177.
^ Service 2004, pp. 147–148; Kotkin 2014, pp. 227–228,
229; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 52.
^ Volkogonov 1991, pp. 28–29; Service 2004, p. 148.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 71; Kotkin 2014, p. 228.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 71, 90; Kotkin 2014, p. 318.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 71; Kotkin 2014, p. 229.
^ Montefiore 2003, p. 27; Kotkin 2014, p. 226.
^ Service 2004, p. 150.
^ Montefiore 2003, p. 157.
^ Service 2004, p. 149.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 155.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 158.
^ Service 2004, p. 148.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 70; Volkogonov 1991, p. 30; Service
2004, p. 148; Kotkin 2014, p. 228; Khlevniuk 2015,
^ Conquest 1991, p. 72; Service 2004, p. 151.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 72; Service 2004, p. 167; Kotkin 2014,
p. 264; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 49.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 71.
^ a b Conquest 1991, p. 71; Service 2004, p. 152.
^ Service 2004, p. 153.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 72; Service 2004, pp. 150–151; Kotkin
2014, pp. 259–264.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 75; Service 2004, pp. 158–161; Kotkin
2014, p. 250.
^ Service 2004, pp. 159–160; Kotkin 2014, p. 250.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 75; Service 2004, p. 161; Kotkin 2014,
^ Service 2004, p. 161; Kotkin 2014, pp. 258–259, 265.
^ Kotkin 2014, p. 259.
^ Service 2004, p. 165; Kotkin 2014, pp. 268–270.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 77; Volkogonov 1991, p. 39; Montefiore
2003, p. 27; Service 2004, p. 163; Kotkin 2014,
pp. 300–301; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 54.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 173.
^ Service 2004, p. 164; Kotkin 2014, pp. 302–303.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 78, 82; Montefiore 2007, p. 28;
Khlevniuk 2015, p. 55.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 81; Service 2004, p. 170.
^ Volkogonov 1991, p. 46; Montefiore 2007, p. 27; Kotkin
2014, pp. 305, 307; Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 56–57.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 78–79; Volkogonov 1991, p. 40;
Service 2004, p. 166; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 55.
^ Service 2004, p. 171.
^ Service 2004, p. 169.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 83–84; Service 2004, p. 172; Kotkin
2014, p. 314.
^ a b c Service 2004, p. 172.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 85; Service 2004, p. 172.
^ Service 2004, pp. 173, 174.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 86; Volkogonov 1991, p. 45; Kotkin 2014,
^ Service 2004, p. 175.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 91; Service 2004, p. 175.
^ Service 2004, p. 176.
^ Service 2004, p. 199.
^ Service 2004, pp. 203, 190.
^ Service 2004, p. 174.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 178.
^ Service 2004, p. 176; Kotkin 2014, pp. 352–354.
^ Service 2004, p. 178; Kotkin 2014, p. 357; Khlevniuk 2015,
^ Service 2004, pp. 176–177.
^ Service 2004, p. 177.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 87; Service 2004, p. 179; Kotkin 2014,
p. 362; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 60.
^ Service 2004, pp. 180, 182.
^ Service 2004, p. 183.
^ Davies 2003, p. 211; Service 2004, pp. 183–185; Kotkin
2014, pp. 376–377.
^ Service 2004, pp. 182–183; Kotkin 2014, p. 365.
^ Kotkin 2014, pp. 396–397.
^ Kotkin 2014, p. 388.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 202.
^ Service 2004, pp. 199–200; Kotkin 2014, p. 371.
^ Service 2004, p. 200.
^ Service 2004, pp. 194–196; Kotkin 2014, p. 400.
^ Service 2004, pp. 194–195; Kotkin 2014, pp. 479–481.
^ Service 2004, pp. 203–205; Kotkin 2014, p. 400.
^ a b Conquest 1991, p. 127; Service 2004, p. 232.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 89; Service 2004, p. 187; Kotkin 2014,
p. 344; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 64.
^ Service 2004, p. 186.
^ Service 2004, p. 188.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 96; Volkogonov 1991, pp. 78–70;
Service 2004, pp. 189–190; Kotkin 2014, p. 411.
^ Service 2004, p. 190.
^ Service 2000, p. 369; Service 2004, p. 209; Kotkin 2014,
^ a b Kotkin 2014, p. 501.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 97; Volkogonov 1991, p. 53; Service
2004, p. 191.
^ Service 2004, pp. 191–192; Kotkin 2014, p. 413.
^ Service 2004, p. 192; Kotkin 2014, p. 414; Khlevniuk 2015,
^ Conquest 1991, p. 102; Service 2004, pp. 191–192; Kotkin
2014, p. 528.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 98; Service 2004, p. 193; Kotkin 2014,
p. 483; Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 69–70.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 95; Service 2004, p. 195; Khlevniuk
2015, pp. 71–72.
^ Volkogonov 1991, p. 71; Service 2004, p. 194; Kotkin 2014,
pp. 475–476; Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 68–69.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 98–99; Service 2004, p. 195; Kotkin
2014, p. 477, 478; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 69.
^ Service 2004, p. 195.
^ Volkogonov 1991, p. 74; Service 2004, p. 206; Kotkin 2014,
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 99–100, 103; Volkogonov 1991,
pp. 72–74; Service 2004, pp. 210–211; Khlevniuk 2015,
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 100–101; Volkogonov 1991, pp. 53,
79–82; Service 2004, pp. 208–209; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 71.
^ Kotkin 2014, p. 528.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 104; Montefiore 2003, p. 30; Service
2004, p. 219; Kotkin 2014, p. 534; Khlevniuk 2015,
^ Conquest 1991, p. 110; Montefiore 2003, p. 30; Service
2004, p. 219; Kotkin 2014, pp. 542–543.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 130; Montefiore 2003, p. 30; Service
2004, p. 221; Kotkin 2014, p. 540.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 111–112; Volkogonov 1991,
pp. 117–118; Service 2004, p. 221; Kotkin 2014,
^ Conquest 1991, p. 111; Volkogonov 1991, pp. 93–94;
Service 2004, pp. 222–224; Kotkin 2014, pp. 546–548;
Khlevniuk 2015, p. 79.
^ Kotkin 2014, p. 426.
^ Kotkin 2014, p. 453.
^ Kotkin 2014, p. 455.
^ Kotkin 2014, p. 469.
^ Kotkin 2014, p. 432.
^ Kotkin 2014, pp. 495–496.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 127; Service 2004, p. 235.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 127; Service 2004, p. 238.
^ Fainsod & Hough 1979, p. 111.
^ Volkogonov 1991, p. 136.
^ Montefiore 2003, p. 27.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 98; Kotkin 2014, p. 474; Khlevniuk 2015,
^ Service 2004, pp. 214–215, 217.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 87.
^ Service 2004, p. 225.
^ Service 2004, p. 227.
^ Service 2004, p. 228.
^ Service 2004, p. 228; Kotkin 2014, p. 563.
^ Service 2004, p. 340.
^ Service 2004, pp. 240–243; Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 82–83.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 126; Conquest 2008, p. 11; Kotkin 2014,
p. 614; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 83.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 137, 138; Kotkin 2014, p. 614.
^ Service 2004, p. 247; Kotkin 2014, pp. 614, 618; Khlevniuk
2015, p. 91.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 85.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 139, 151; Service 2004, pp. 282–283;
Conquest 2008, pp. 11–12; Kotkin 2014, pp. 676–677;
Khlevniuk 2015, p. 85.
^ Volkogonov 1991, p. 164; Service 2004, p. 282.
^ Service 2004, p. 276.
^ Service 2004, pp. 277–278.
^ Service 2004, pp. 277, 280; Conquest 2008, pp. 12–13.
^ Service 2004, p. 278.
^ Montefiore 2003, p. 39.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 130.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 130; Volkogonov 1991, p. 160; Kotkin
2014, p. 689.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 244.
^ Service 2004, p. 392; Kotkin 2014, pp. 626–631;
Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 89–90.
^ Service 2004, p. 273.
^ Service 2004, p. 256.
^ Service 2004, p. 254.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 172–173; Service 2004, p. 256; Kotkin
2014, pp. 638–639.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 144, 146; Service 2004, p. 258.
^ Service 2004, p. 256; Kotkin 2014, p. 571.
^ Service 2004, p. 253; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 101.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 147–148; Service 2004, pp. 257–258;
Kotkin 2014, pp. 661, 668–669, 679–684; Khlevniuk 2015,
^ Service 2004, p. 258; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 103.
^ Service 2004, p. 258.
^ Service 2004, p. 258; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 105.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 267.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 160; Volkogonov 1991, p. 166.
^ Volkogonov 1991, p. 167.
^ a b Sandle 1999, p. 231.
^ Service 2004, pp. 265–266; Khlevniuk 2015,
^ Sandle 1999, p. 234.
^ Service 2004, p. 266; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 112.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 113.
^ Service 2004, p. 271.
^ Service 2004, p. 270.
^ Service 2004, p. 270; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 116.
^ Service 2004, p. 272; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 116.
^ Service 2004, p. 272.
^ Service 2004, p. 270; Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 113–114.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 160; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 114.
^ Volkogonov 1991, p. 174.
^ Volkogonov 1991, p. 172; Service 2004, p. 260; Kotkin
2014, p. 708.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 158; Service 2004, p. 266; Conquest
2008, p. 18.
^ Sandle 1999, pp. 227, 229.
^ Service 2004, p. 259.
^ Service 2004, p. 274.
^ a b c Service 2004, p. 265.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 118.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 186, 190.
^ Sandle 1999, pp. 231–233.
^ Sandle 1999, pp. 241–242.
^ Service 2004, p. 269.
^ Service 2004, p. 300.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 152–153; Sandle 1999, p. 214;
Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 107–108.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 108.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 152–155; Service 2004, p. 259; Kotkin
2014, pp. 687, 702–704, 709; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 107.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 268.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 155.
^ Service 2004, p. 324.
^ Service 2004, p. 326.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 301.
^ Sandle 1999, pp. 244, 246.
^ Service 2004, p. 299.
^ Service 2004, p. 304.
^ Volkogonov 1991, pp. 111, 127; Service 2004, p. 308.
^ Sandle 1999, p. 246; Montefiore 2003, p. 85.
^ Service 2004, pp. 302–303.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 211, 276–277; Service 2004, p. 307.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 157.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 191.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 325.
^ Service 2004, p. 379.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 183–184.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 282.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 261.
^ McDermott 1995, pp. 410–411; Conquest 1991, p. 176;
Service 2004, pp. 261, 383; Kotkin 2014, p. 720.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 173.
^ Service 2004, p. 289; Kotkin 2014, p. 595.
^ Service 2004, p. 289.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 169; Montefiore 2003, p. 90; Service
2004, pp. 291–292.
^ Montefiore 2003, pp. 94, 95; Service 2004, pp. 292, 294.
^ Service 2004, p. 297.
^ Service 2004, p. 316.
^ a b c Service 2004, p. 310.
^ Service 2004, p. 310; Davies & Wheatcroft 2006,
^ a b Davies & Wheatcroft 2006, p. 628.
^ a b c Service 2004, p. 318.
^ Service 2004, p. 312; Conquest 2008, pp. 19–20;
Khlevniuk 2015, p. 117.
^ a b Khlevniuk 2015, p. 117.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 119.
^ Ellman 2005, p. 823.
^ Ellman 2005, p. 824; Davies & Wheatcroft 2006,
pp. 628, 631.
^ Ellman 2005, pp. 823–824; Davies & Wheatcroft 2006,
p. 626; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 117.
^ Ellman 2005, p. 834.
^ Davies & Wheatcroft 2006, p. 626.
^ Ellman 2005, p. 824; Davies & Wheatcroft 2006,
pp. 627–628; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 120.
^ a b Davies & Wheatcroft 2006, p. 627.
^ Ellman 2005, p. 833; Kuromiya 2008, p. 665.
^ Davies & Wheatcroft 2006, p. 628; Ellman 2007, p. 664.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 164; Kotkin 2014, p. 724.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 319.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 212; Volkogonov 1991, pp. 552–443;
Service 2004, p. 361.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 212.
^ Service 2004, p. 361.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 362.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 216.
^ Service 2004, p. 386.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 217.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 176; Montefiore 2003, p. 116; Service
2004, p. 340.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 218; Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 123, 135.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 135.
^ Haslam 1979, pp. 682–683; Conquest 1991, p. 218; Service
2004, p. 385; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 135.
^ Service 2004, p. 392; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 154.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 219; Service 2004, p. 387.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 154.
^ Service 2004, pp. 387, 389.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 156.
^ Service 2004, pp. 392.
^ a b Khlevniuk 2015, p. 126.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 125.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 179; Montefiore 2003, pp. 126–127;
Service 2004, p. 314; Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 128–129.
^ Overy 2004, p. 327.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 128, 137.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 347.
^ Service 2004, p. 315.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 139.
^ Service 2004, pp. 314–317.
^ Montefiore 2003, pp. 139, 154–155, 164–172, 175–176;
Service 2004, p. 320; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 139.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 139–140.
^ Montefiore 2003, pp. 192–193; Service 2004, p. 346;
Conquest 2008, p. 24; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 140.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 176–177.
^ Service 2004, p. 349.
^ Service 2004, p. 391.
^ Service 2004, p. 394.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 230; Service 2004, p. 394; Overy 2004,
p. 338; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 174.
^ Montefiore 2003, p. 201; Service 2004, p. 349; Khlevniuk
2015, p. 140.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 137–138, 147.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 140.
^ Montefiore 2003, p. 204.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 141, 150.
^ Service 2004, p. 350; Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 150–151.
^ Montefiore 2003, pp. 203–204; Service 2004,
pp. 350–351; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 150.
^ Montefiore 2003, p. 204; Service 2004, pp. 351, 390;
Khlevniuk 2015, p. 151.
^ a b c Khlevniuk 2015, p. 151.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 151, 159.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 152.
^ Harris, James (26 July 2016). "Historian James Harris says Russian
archives show we've misunderstood Stalin". History News Network.
Archived from the original on 20 February 2019. Retrieved 1 December
2018. So what was the motivation behind the Terror? The answers
required a lot more digging, but it gradually became clearer that the
violence of the late 1930s was driven by fear. Most Bolsheviks, Stalin
among them, believed that the revolutions of 1789, 1848 and 1871 had
failed because their leaders hadn't adequately anticipated the
ferocity of the counter-revolutionary reaction from the establishment.
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^ Service 2004, pp. 347–248; Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 125,
^ Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 153, 156–157.
^ Service 2004, p. 367.
^ Montefiore 2003, p. 245.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 209; Service 2004, p. 369; Khlevniuk
2015, p. 160.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 162.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 157.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 159.
^ Montefiore 2003, p. 308.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 220–221; Service 2004, pp. 380–381.
^ Service 2004, p. 392–393; Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 163,
^ Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 185–186.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 232–233, 236.
^ Service 2004, pp. 399–400.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 220; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 166.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 220; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 168, 169.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 221; Roberts 1992, pp. 57–78; Service
2004, p. 399; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 166.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 222; Roberts 1992, pp. 57–78;
Khlevniuk 2015, p. 169.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 222; Roberts 2006, p. 43.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 223; Service 2004, pp. 402–403; Wettig
2008, p. 20.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 224.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 224; Service 2004, p. 405.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 228; Service 2004, p. 403; Khlevniuk
2015, pp. 172–173.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 279; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 173.
^ Service 2004, p. 403; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 173.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 227; Service 2004, pp. 404–405; Wettig
2008, pp. 20–21; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 173.
^ Brackman 2001, p. 341; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 173.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 170.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 229; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 170.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 229; Service 2004, p. 405.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 229; Service 2004, p. 406.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 231; Brackman 2001, pp. 341, 343;
Roberts 2006, p. 58.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 233; Roberts 2006, p. 63.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 234; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 180.
^ Service 2004, pp. 410–411; Roberts 2006, p. 82;
Khlevniuk 2015, p. 198.
^ Service 2004, pp. 408-409, 411–412; Roberts 2006, p. 67;
Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 199–200, 202.
^ Service 2004, pp. 414–415; Khlevniuk 2015,
^ Service 2004, p. 413.
^ Service 2004, p. 420.
^ Service 2004, p. 417; Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 201–202.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 235; Service 2004, p. 416.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 418.
^ Service 2004, p. 417.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 248–249; Service 2004, p. 420;
Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 214–215.
^ Glantz 2001, p. 26.
^ Service 2004, pp. 421, 424; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 220.
^ Service 2004, p. 482; Roberts 2006, p. 90.
^ Gellately 2007, p. 391.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 239–240; Roberts 2006, p. 98;
Khlevniuk 2015, p. 209.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 241; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 210.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 241–242; Service 2004, p. 521.
^ Roberts 2006, p. 132; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 223.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 423.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 422.
^ Overy 2004, p. 568.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 211.
^ Service 2004, p. 421.
^ Service 2004, pp. 442–443; Khlevniuk 2015,
^ Service 2004, p. 441.
^ Service 2004, p. 442.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 446.
^ Service 2004, pp. 446–447.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 260; Service 2004, p. 444.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 254; Service 2004, p. 424; Khlevniuk
2015, pp. 221–222.
^ Roberts 2006, pp. 117–8.
^ Roberts 2006, p. 124.
^ Service 2004, p. 425.
^ Service 2004, p. 426.
^ Service 2004, p. 427.
^ Service 2004, p. 428; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 225.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 225.
^ Service 2004, p. 429; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 226.
^ Roberts 2006, p. 155.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 255; Roberts 2006, p. 156; Khlevniuk
2015, p. 227.
^ Roberts 2006, p. 159.
^ Roberts 2006, p. 163.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 452.
^ Service 2004, p. 466.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 317; Service 2004, p. 466.
^ Service 2004, p. 458.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 252; Service 2004, p. 460; Khlevniuk
^ Service 2004, p. 456.
^ Service 2004, p. 460.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 262; Service 2004, p. 460; Roberts 2006,
p. 180; Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 229–230.
^ Service 2004, p. 462.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 463.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 244, 251; Service 2004, p. 461, 469;
Roberts 2006, p. 185; Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 223, 229.
^ Roberts 2006, pp. 186–7.
^ Service 2004, pp. 464–465; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 244.
^ Roberts 2006, pp. 194–5.
^ Service 2004, p. 469; Roberts 2006, pp. 199–201.
^ a b c Service 2004, p. 492.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 258; Service 2004, p. 492; Khlevniuk
2015, pp. 232–233.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 233.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 264; Service 2004, p. 465; Khlevniuk
2015, p. 244.
^ Service 2004, pp. 465–466.
^ Service 2004, pp. 465–466; Roberts 2006, pp. 241–244.
^ Service 2004, p. 471; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 245.
^ Service 2004, pp. 471–472; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 244.
^ a b c Service 2004, p. 473.
^ Service 2004, p. 474; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 247.
^ Service 2004, pp. 479–480.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 265; Service 2004, p. 473; Khlevniuk
2015, p. 234.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 265–266; Service 2004, p. 473;
Khlevniuk 2015, p. 235.
^ Service 2004, p. 474.
^ Glantz 1983.
^ Service 2004, p. 476; Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 248–249.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 268; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 248.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 267; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 249.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 267; Service 2004, p. 475.
^ Roberts 2006, pp. 274–5.
^ a b Wettig 2008, pp. 90–1.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 506.
^ a b c Service 2004, p. 481.
^ a b c Service 2004, p. 484.
^ Service 2004, p. 493; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 247.
^ Service 2004, pp. 480–481.
^ Service 2004, p. 479.
^ Service 2004, p. 541.
^ Service 2004, pp. 543–544.
^ Service 2004, p. 548.
^ Service 2004, p. 485; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 262.
^ Service 2004, p. 485.
^ Service 2004, p. 493; Roberts 2006, p. 202.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 268.
^ Service 2004, p. 482.
^ Service 2004, pp. 482–483.
^ Service 2004, p. 482; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 261.
^ Service 2004, p. 500.
^ Service 2004, p. 496.
^ Service 2004, p. 497.
^ Service 2004, p. 497; Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 274–278.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 289.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 269; Service 2004, p. 491.
^ Service 2004, p. 526; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 268.
^ Service 2004, pp. 531–532; Khlevniuk 2015,
^ Service 2004, p. 534.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 303.
^ Service 2004, pp. 534–535; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 282.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 300–301.
^ Service 2004, p. 498; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 261.
^ Ellman 2000, pp. 611, 618–620.
^ Ellman 2000, p. 622; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 261.
^ a b Khlevniuk 2015, p. 299.
^ Service 2004, pp. 502–503.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 503.
^ Service 2004, p. 487.
^ Gaddis, John L. (2005). The Cold War: A New History. New York:
Penguin Press. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-14-303827-6.
^ Service 2004, p. 508.
^ Service 2004, p. 508; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 293.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 297.
^ Service 2004, p. 502.
^ Service 2004, p. 504; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 267.
^ Service 2004, p. 504.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 494.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 507; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 281.
^ Service 2004, p. 551.
^ Roberts 2002, pp. 96–98.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 264.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 296; Service 2004, pp. 548–549;
Khlevniuk 2015, p. 290.
^ Service 2004, p. 517.
^ Service 2004, p. 483.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 518.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 279; Service 2004, p. 503.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 286; Service 2004, p. 506; Khlevniuk
2015, p. 267.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 511.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 286–287; Service 2004, p. 515.
^ a b c Service 2004, p. 515.
^ a b c Service 2004, p. 516.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 287.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 507.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 280; Service 2004, p. 507; Khlevniuk
2015, p. 281.
^ Service 2004, p. 476.
^ Service 2004, p. 512, 513.
^ Service 2004, p. 513.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 301; Service 2004, p. 509; Khlevniuk
2015, p. 286.
^ Service 2004, p. 509.
^ Service 2004, p. 553.
^ Service 2004, p. 509; Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 287–291.
^ Service 2004, p. 552; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 287.
^ Service 2004, p. 552; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 294.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 302; Service 2004, p. 553; Khlevniuk
2015, pp. 294–295.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 554.
^ Service 2004, p. 554; Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 295–296.
^ Service 2004, pp. 555–556; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 296.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 291.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 285.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 291; Service 2004, p. 577; Khlevniuk
2015, p. 284.
^ Volkogonov 1991, p. 567; Brackman 2001, pp. 384–5.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 291; Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 308–309.
^ Service 2004, pp. 576–577.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 290.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 286.
^ Service 2004, p. 577; Overy 2004, p. 565; Khlevniuk 2015,
^ a b Service 2004, p. 571.
^ Service 2004, p. 572; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 195.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 309; Etinger 1995, p. 104; Service 2004,
p. 576; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 307.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 309; Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 307–308.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 308; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 307.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 308.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 304–305.
^ a b c Service 2004, p. 560.
^ Service 2004, pp. 564–565.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 307; Service 2004, pp. 566–567.
^ Service 2004, p. 578.
^ Service 2004, p. 579; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 306.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 305–306.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 311; Volkogonov 1991, pp. 571–572;
Service 2004, pp. 582–584; Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 142, 191.
^ a b c Conquest 1991, p. 312.
^ Conquest 1991, pp. 311–312; Volkogonov 1991, p. 572;
Khlevniuk 2015, p. 142.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 312; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 250.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 313; Volkogonov 1991, p. 574; Service
2004, p. 586; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 313.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 313; Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 313–314.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 189.
^ Service 2004, p. 587.
^ Service 2004, p. 588.
^ Service 2004, p. 588; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 314.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 317.
^ Service 2004, p. 588; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 317.
^ Volkogonov 1991, p. 576; Service 2004, p. 589; Khlevniuk
2015, p. 318.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 319.
^ Li 2009, p. 75.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 310.
^ Service 2004, pp. 586–587.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 312.
^ Ra'anan, Uri, ed. (2006). Flawed Succession: Russia's Power Transfer
Crises. Oxford: Lexington Books. p. 20.
^ Service 2004, p. 591.
^ a b Khlevniuk 2015, p. 315.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 593.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 316.
^ Etinger 1995, pp. 120–121; Conquest 1991, p. 314;
Khlevniuk 2015, p. 314.
^ Rieber 2005, p. 32.
^ a b c d Service 2004, p. 9.
^ Kotkin 2014, p. xi.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 336.
^ a b Rieber 2005, p. 43.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 67.
^ Service 2004, p. 136; Kotkin 2014, p. 205; Khlevniuk 2015,
^ Volkogonov 1991, p. 7.
^ McDermott 2006, p. 7.
^ Service 2004, p. 92; Kotkin 2014, p. 462.
^ Service 2004, p. 93; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 7.
^ a b Service 2004, p. 93.
^ Sandle 1999, p. 216.
^ Service 2004, pp. 93–94.
^ Sandle 1999, p. 214; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 8.
^ a b Khlevniuk 2015, p. 8.
^ a b c Service 2004, p. 94.
^ a b Sandle 1999, p. 211.
^ Kotkin 2014, pp. 10, 699.
^ Kotkin 2014, p. 545.
^ Service 2004, p. 92.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 211.
^ Service 2004, p. 95; Montefiore 2007, p. 211.
^ Service 2004, pp. 179–180.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 67.
^ Kotkin 2014, p. 531.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 93–94.
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^ Volkogonov 1991, pp. xx–xxi.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 329.
^ Volkogonov 1991, p. 21; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 97.
^ Montefiore 2007, p. 395.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 12; Volkogonov 1991, p. 5.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 12.
^ Kotkin 2017, p. 4.
^ Service 2004, p. 25; Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 13–14.
^ Montefiore 2007, pp. 21, 29, 33–34.
^ Service 2004, p. 44.
^ Montefiore 2007, pp. 9–10.
^ Service 2004, p. 167; Kotkin 2017, p. 1.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 282; Volkogonov 1991, p. 146; Service
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^ Volkogonov 1991, p. 102; Service 2004, p. 498.
^ Montefiore 2003, p. 60.
^ Montefiore 2003, p. 60; Service 2004, p. 525.
^ Service 2004, p. 525.
^ Montefiore 2003, pp. 35, 60.
^ Service 2004, p. 331.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 102, 227.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 195; Kotkin 2017, p. 3.
^ Montefiore 2003, p. 64.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 191.
^ Montefiore 2003, pp. 57–58; Kotkin 2014, p. 594.
^ Montefiore 2003, p. 102.
^ Montefiore 2003, pp. 66–67; Service 2004, p. 296.
^ Conquest 1991, p. 215; Montefiore 2003, p. 103; Service
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^ Montefiore 2003, p. 178.
^ Service 2004, p. 572.
^ Conquest 1991, p. xvi; Volkogonov 1991, p. xxiii; Service
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^ a b Montefiore 2007, p. xxiv.
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^ a b Service 2004, p. 115.
^ Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 4–5.
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^ Kotkin 2014, p. 424.
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^ Service 2004, p. 258; Montefiore 2007, p. 285.
^ Service 2004, pp. 4, 344.
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^ Montefiore 2007, p. 42.
^ McDermott 2006, p. 12.
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^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 96.
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^ Khlevniuk 2015, p. 6.
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^ Volkogonov 1991, p. 131.
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^ Montefiore 2003, p. 86.
^ Volkogonov 1991, p. 127; Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 2–3.
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^ Khlevniuk 2015, pp. 3–4.
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Joseph Stalin at the Encyclopædia Britannica
Stalin Library (with all 13 volumes of Stalin's works and "volume 14")
Library of Congress: Revelations from the Russian Archives
Electronic archive of Stalin's letters and presentations
Сollection of songs about Stalin in different languages (another
Stalin digital archive
Sovetika.ru – A site about the Soviet era ‹See Tfd›(in Russian)
Stalin Biography from Spartacus Educational
A List of Key Documentary Material on Stalin
Stalinka: The Digital Library of Staliniana
Joseph Stalin on IMDb
Newspaper clippings about
Joseph Stalin in the 20th Century Press
Archives of the German National Library of Economics
Preceded byVyacheslav Molotov
Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet UnionCouncil of
People's Commissars until 19461941–1953
Succeeded byGeorgy Malenkov
Preceded bySemyon Timoshenko
Minister of Defence of the Soviet Union
People's Commissar until
Succeeded byNikolai Bulganin
Party political offices
Preceded byVyacheslav Molotovas Responsible Secretary
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of
the Soviet Union1922–1953
Succeeded byNikita Khrushchevas First Secretary
vteJoseph StalinHistoryand politicsOverviews
Russian Revolution, Russian Civil War, Polish–Soviet War
Rule as Soviet leader
Cult of personality
Anti-religious campaign (1921–1928)/(1928–1941)
Chinese Civil War
First five-year plan
Sino-Soviet conflict (1929)
16th / 17th Congress of the All-Union Communist Party
1931 Menshevik Trial
Spanish Civil War
Soviet invasion of Xinjiang
Soviet–Japanese border conflicts
1937 Islamic rebellion in Xinjiang
Soviet Union legislative election
18th Congress of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks)
Invasion of Poland
Moscow Peace Treaty
Occupation of the Baltic states
German–Soviet Axis talks
Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact
World War II
Soviet atomic bomb project
Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Alliance
1946 Iran crisis
Soviet Union legislative election
Turkish Straits crisis
First Indochina War
Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance
Greek Civil War
1948 Czechoslovak coup d'état
Soviet Union legislative election
19th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Socialism in One Country
Aggravation of class struggle under socialism
Great Construction Projects of Communism
Engineers of the human soul
1936 Soviet Constitution
New Soviet man
Transformation of nature
Crimes, repressions,and controversies
National delimitation in the Soviet Union
Demolition of Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
Population transfer (Nazi–Soviet)
Tax on trees
Hitler Youth Conspiracy
Soviet war crimes
Night of the Murdered Poets
Case of Trotskyist Anti-Soviet Military Organization
Allegations of antisemitism
NKVD prisoner massacres
Murder of Sergey Kirov
Medvedev Forest massacre
1937 Soviet Census
Deportations (Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina
Relationship with Shostakovich
Suppressed research in the Soviet Union
Censorship of images
Operation "Lentil" in the Caucasus
1946–1947 Soviet famine
Red Army purge
1906 Bolshevik raid on the Tsarevich Giorgi
1907 Tiflis bank robbery
Soviet offensive plans controversy
Marxism and the National Question"
"Foundations of Leninism"
"Dizzy with Success"
"Declaration of the Rights of the Peoples of Russia"
"Ten Blows" speech
Alleged 19 August 1939 speech
Falsifiers of History
The History of the Communist Party of the
Soviet Union (Bolsheviks)
1936 Soviet Constitution
Dialectical and Historical Materialism
Order No. 227
Order No. 270
Marxism and Problems of Linguistics"
Economic Problems of
Socialism in the USSR
20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences
Gomulka thaw (Polish October)
Soviet Nonconformist Art
22nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Era of Stagnation
Russian Liberation Movement (Russian Liberation Army
Ukrainian Liberation Army
Darkness at Noon
Comparison of Nazism and Stalinism
The Soviet Story
Iosif Stalin tank
Iosif Stalin locomotive
Generalissimus of the Soviet Union
1956 Georgian demonstrations
Stalin Monument in Budapest
Stalin Monument in Prague
Joseph Stalin Museum, Gori
Batumi Stalin Museum
Places named after Stalin
Yanks for Stalin
State Stalin Prize
Stalin Peace Prize
Stalin Bloc – For the USSR
Besarion Jughashvili (father)
Keke Geladze (mother)
Kato Svanidze (first wife)
Yakov Dzhugashvili (son)
Konstantin Kuzakov (son)
Artyom Sergeyev (adopted son)
Nadezhda Alliluyeva (second wife)
Vasily Stalin (son)
Svetlana Alliluyeva (daughter)
Yevgeny Dzhugashvili (grandson)
Galina Dzhugashvili (granddaughter)
Joseph Alliluyev (grandson)
Sergei Alliluyev (second father-in-law)
Alexander Svanidze (brother-in-law)
Yuri Zhdanov (son-in-law)
William Wesley Peters (son-in-law)
Stalin's residencesStalin's house, Gori
Tiflis Spiritual Seminary
Room at Kremlin
New Athos Dacha
Kholodnaya Rechka Dacha
Lake Ritsa Dacha
Articles and topics related to Joseph Stalin
vteHistory of the Communist Party of the Soviet UnionOrganization
3rd (August 1907)
4th (November 1907)
10th (May 1921)
11th (December 1921)
Party leadershipParty leaders
Vladimir Lenin (1912–1924)
Joseph Stalin (1929–1953)
Nikita Khrushchev (1953–1964)
Leonid Brezhnev (1964–1982)
Yuri Andropov (1982–1984)
Konstantin Chernenko (1984–1985)
Mikhail Gorbachev (1985–1991)
7th (Apr.–Aug. 1917)
7th (Jan.–Mar. 1919)
Departments of theCentral Committee
Light- and Food Industry
Planning and Financial Organs
Political Administration of the Ministry of Defence
Science and Education
Trade and Consumers' Services
General Jewish Labour Bund in Lithuania, Poland and Russia
League of Russian Revolutionary Social Democracy Abroad
League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class
Siberian Social-Democratic Union
Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania
Union of Russian Social Democrats Abroad
vtePremiers of the Soviet UnionPremiers
Pavlov (Jan.–Aug. 1991)
Silayev (Sep.–Dec. 1991)
Beria (Mar.–June 1953)
Velichko (Jan.–Nov. 1991)
Doguzhiyev (Jan.–Nov. 1991)
First Deputy Premiers
Prime Ministers of Russia
vteMarshals of the Soviet Union
vteLeaders of the ruling Communist parties of the Eastern Bloc
Communist Party of the
Party of Labour of Albania
Bulgarian Communist Party
Communist Party of Czechoslovakia
Socialist Unity Party of Germany
Hungarian Working People's PartyHungarian Socialist Workers' Party
Polish United Workers' Party
Romanian Communist Party
League of Communists of Yugoslavia
Josip Broz Tito
(1980–1990, rotating leadership)
Cold War II
Guerrilla war in the Baltic states
Occupation of the Baltic states
Division of Korea
Operation Blacklist Forty
Iran crisis of 1946
Greek Civil War
Corfu Channel incident
Turkish Straits crisis
Restatement of Policy on Germany
First Indochina War
Asian Relations Conference
May 1947 Crises
1948 Czechoslovak coup d'état
1947–1949 Palestine war
1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine
1948 Arab–Israeli War
1948 Palestinian exodus
Chinese Civil War
Chinese Civil War (Second round)
Egyptian Revolution of 1952
1953 Iranian coup d'état
Uprising of 1953 in East Germany
1954 Guatemalan coup d'état
Partition of Vietnam
Jebel Akhdar War
First Taiwan Strait Crisis
Geneva Summit (1955)
Poznań 1956 protests
Hungarian Revolution of 1956
Yemeni–Adenese clan violence
"We will bury you"
Arab Cold War
Syrian Crisis of 1957
1958 Lebanon crisis
Iraqi 14 July Revolution
Second Taiwan Strait Crisis
1959 Tibetan uprising
1959 Mosul uprising
1960 U-2 incident
Bay of Pigs Invasion
1960 Turkish coup d'état
First Iraqi–Kurdish War
Berlin Crisis of 1961
Dirty War (Mexico)
Portuguese Colonial War
Angolan War of Independence
Guinea-Bissau War of Independence
Mozambican War of Independence
Cuban Missile Crisis
Communist insurgency in Sarawak
Iraqi Ramadan Revolution
Eritrean War of Independence
North Yemen Civil War
1963 Syrian coup d'état
Assassination of John F. Kennedy
Cyprus crisis of 1963–64
Guatemalan Civil War
1964 Brazilian coup d'état
Dominican Civil War
Rhodesian Bush War
South African Border War
Transition to the New Order
Transition to the New Order (Indonesia)
Laotian Civil War
1966 Syrian coup d'état
Korean DMZ Conflict
Greek military junta of 1967–1974
Years of Lead (Italy)
USS Pueblo incident
War of Attrition
Protests of 1968
1968 Polish political crisis
Communist insurgency in Malaysia
Invasion of Czechoslovakia
Iraqi Ba'athist Revolution
1969 Libyan coup d'état
Sino-Soviet border conflict
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
Black September in Jordan
Corrective Movement (Syria)
Western Sahara conflict
Cambodian Civil War
Corrective Revolution (Egypt)
1971 Turkish military memorandum
1971 Sudanese coup d'état
Four Power Agreement on Berlin
Bangladesh Liberation War
1972 Nixon visit to China
North Yemen-South Yemen Border conflict of 1972
Yemenite War of 1972
Communist insurgency in Bangladesh
Eritrean Civil Wars
1973 Uruguayan coup d'état
1973 Chilean coup d'état
Yom Kippur War
1973 oil crisis
Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
Second Iraqi–Kurdish War
Turkish invasion of Cyprus
Angolan Civil War
Mozambican Civil War
Western Sahara War
Ethiopian Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
Dirty War (Argentina)
1976 Argentine coup d'état
Korean Air Lines Flight 902
Yemenite War of 1979
Grand Mosque seizure
New Jewel Movement
1979 Herat uprising
Seven Days to the River Rhine
Struggle against political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union
1980 and 1984 Summer Olympics boycotts
1980 Turkish coup d'état
Gulf of Sidra incident
Ugandan Bush War
Lord's Resistance Army insurgency
Eritrean Civil Wars
1982 Ethiopian–Somali Border War
United States invasion of Grenada
Able Archer 83
1986 Black Sea incident
South Yemen Civil War
1988 Black Sea bumping incident
Bougainville Civil War
Central American crisis
Korean Air Lines Flight 007
People Power Revolution
Afghan Civil War
United States invasion of Panama
1988 Polish strikes
Tiananmen Square protests of 1989
Revolutions of 1989
Fall of the
Mongolian Revolution of 1990
Fall of communism in Albania
Breakup of Yugoslavia
Dissolution of Czechoslovakia
Dissolution of the Soviet Union
Sino-Indian border dispute
North Borneo dispute
Sovereignty of Puerto Rico during the Cold War
Crusade for Freedom
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Voice of America
Voice of Russia
Nuclear arms race
Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War
Eastern Bloc agents in the United States
Soviet espionage in the United States
United States relations
Russian espionage in the United States
American espionage in the
Soviet Union and Russian Federation
CIA and the Cultural Cold War
Cold War II
War on terror
List of conflicts
vteTime Persons of the Year1927–1950
Charles Lindbergh (1927)
Walter Chrysler (1928)
Owen D. Young
Owen D. Young (1929)
Mohandas Gandhi (1930)
Pierre Laval (1931)
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1932)
Hugh S. Johnson
Hugh S. Johnson (1933)
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1934)
Haile Selassie (1935)
Wallis Simpson (1936)
Chiang Kai-shek /
Soong Mei-ling (1937)
Adolf Hitler (1938)
Joseph Stalin (1939)
Winston Churchill (1940)
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1941)
Joseph Stalin (1942)
George Marshall (1943)
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1944)
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman (1945)
James F. Byrnes
James F. Byrnes (1946)
George Marshall (1947)
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman (1948)
Winston Churchill (1949)
The American Fighting-Man (1950)
Mohammed Mosaddeq (1951)
Elizabeth II (1952)
Konrad Adenauer (1953)
John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles (1954)
Harlow Curtice (1955)
Hungarian Freedom Fighters (1956)
Nikita Khrushchev (1957)
Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle (1958)
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1959)
George Beadle / Charles Draper / John Enders /
Donald A. Glaser
Donald A. Glaser /
Joshua Lederberg /
Willard Libby /
Linus Pauling /
Edward Purcell / Isidor Rabi /
Emilio Segrè /
William Shockley /
Edward Teller / Charles Townes /
James Van Allen
James Van Allen / Robert Woodward
John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy (1961)
Pope John XXIII
Pope John XXIII (1962)
Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. (1963)
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson (1964)
William Westmoreland (1965)
The Generation Twenty-Five and Under (1966)
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson (1967)
Apollo 8 Astronauts:
William Anders /
Frank Borman /
The Middle Americans (1969)
Willy Brandt (1970)
Richard Nixon (1971)
Henry Kissinger /
Richard Nixon (1972)
John Sirica (1973)
King Faisal (1974)
Susan Brownmiller /
Kathleen Byerly /
Alison Cheek /
Jill Conway /
Betty Ford /
Ella Grasso / Carla Hills / Barbara Jordan
Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King /
Susie Sharp /
Carol Sutton / Addie Wyatt (1975)
Jimmy Carter (1976)
Anwar Sadat (1977)
Deng Xiaoping (1978)
Ayatollah Khomeini (1979)
Ronald Reagan (1980)
Lech Wałęsa (1981)
The Computer (1982)
Ronald Reagan /
Yuri Andropov (1983)
Peter Ueberroth (1984)
Deng Xiaoping (1985)
Corazon Aquino (1986)
Mikhail Gorbachev (1987)
The Endangered Earth (1988)
Mikhail Gorbachev (1989)
George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush (1990)
Ted Turner (1991)
Bill Clinton (1992)
Yasser Arafat /
F. W. de Klerk
F. W. de Klerk /
Nelson Mandela /
Yitzhak Rabin (1993)
Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II (1994)
Newt Gingrich (1995)
David Ho (1996)
Andrew Grove (1997)
Bill Clinton /
Ken Starr (1998)
Jeff Bezos (1999)
George W. Bush
George W. Bush (2000)
Rudolph Giuliani (2001)
The Whistleblowers: Cynthia Cooper /
Coleen Rowley /
The American Soldier (2003)
George W. Bush
George W. Bush (2004)
The Good Samaritans:
Bill Gates /
Melinda Gates (2005)
Vladimir Putin (2007)
Barack Obama (2008)
Ben Bernanke (2009)
Mark Zuckerberg (2010)
The Protester (2011)
Barack Obama (2012)
Pope Francis (2013)
Ebola Fighters: Dr. Jerry Brown / Dr.
Kent Brantly / Ella
Watson-Stryker / Foday Gollah /
Salome Karwah (2014)
Angela Merkel (2015)
Donald Trump (2016)
The Silence Breakers (2017)
Jamal Khashoggi /
Maria Ressa / Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe
Oo / Staff of The
BNF: cb11925406n (data)
ISNI: 0000 0001 2145 7825
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