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oseph Vissarionovich Stalin (born Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili; 18 December 1878[1] – 5 March 1953) was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution in Russia in 1917 and later held the position of General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee from 1922 until his death in 1953. HP Pavilion dv7-1150ew Battery While the office of the General Secretary was officially elective and not initially regarded as the top position in the Soviet state, Stalin managed to use it to consolidate more and more power in his hands after the death of Vladimir Lenin in 1924 and gradually put down all opposition groups within the Communist Party. This included Leon Trotsky, a socialist theorist and the principal critic of Stalin among the early Soviet leaders, who was exiled from the Soviet Union in 1929. HP Pavilion dv7-1150us BatteryWhereas Trotsky was an exponent of permanent revolution, it was Stalin's concept of socialism in one country that became the primary focus of Soviet politics. HP Pavilion dv6-3005sa Battery

In 1928, Stalin replaced the New Economic Policy of the 1920s with a highly-centralised command economy and Five-Year Plans that launched a period of rapid industrialization and economic collectivization in the countryside. HP Pavilion dv7-1153ca Battery HP Pavilion dv7-1151xx BatterAs a result, the USSR was transformed from a largely agrarian society into a great industrial power, the basis for its emergence as the world's second largest economy after World War II. HP Pavilion dv7-1155es Battery [2] As a result of the rapid economic, social and political changes of the Stalinist era, millions of people were sent to penal labor camps,[3] and millions were deported and exiled to remote areas of the Soviet Union.[3] The initial upheaval in the agricultural sector disrupted food production in the early 1930s and contributed to the catastrophic Soviet famine of 1932–1933. In 1937–38, HP Pavilion dv6-3000 Batterya campaign against alleged enemies of the Stalinist regime culminated in the Great Purge, a period of mass repression in which hundreds of thousands of people were executed, including Red Army leaders convicted of participating in plots to overthrow the Soviet government.[4]

In August 1939, after the failure to establish an Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance, HP Pavilion dv7-1157es Battery [5] Stalin's USSR entered into a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany that divided their spheres of influence in Eastern Europe. This pact allowed the Soviet Union to regain some of the former territories of the Russian Empire in Poland, Finland, the Baltics, Bessarabia and northern Bukovina during the early period of World War II. After Germany violated the pact by invading the Soviet Union in 1941 and opening an Eastern Front, HP Pavilion dv7-1160eb Batterythe Soviet Union joined the Allies. Despite heavy human and territorial losses in the initial period of war, the Soviet Union managed to stop the Axis advance in the battles of Moscow and Stalingrad. Eventually, the Red Army drove through Eastern Europe in 1944–45 and captured Berlin in May 1945. HP Pavilion dv7-1160ed Battery Having played the decisive role in the Allied victory,[6][7] the USSR emerged as a recognized superpower after the war.[8]

Stalin headed the Soviet delegations at the Yalta and Potsdam Conferences, which drew the map of post-war Europe. Communist-dominated leftist governments loyal to the Soviet Union were installed in the Eastern Bloc satellite states as the USSR entered a struggle for global dominance, HP Pavilion dv7-1160eg Batteryknown as the Cold War, with the United States and NATO. In Asia, Stalin established good relations with Mao Zedong in China and Kim Il-sung in North Korea, and the Stalin-era Soviet Union in various ways served as a model for the newly-formed People's Republic of China and Democratic People's Republic of Korea. HP Pavilion dv7-1160ek Battery

In power until his death in 1953, Stalin led the USSR during the period of post-war reconstruction, marked by the dominance of Stalinist architecture. The successful development of the Soviet nuclear program enabled the country to become the world's second nuclear weapons power. HP Pavilion dv7-1160eo Battery The Soviet space program was started as spin-off of the nuclear project. In his last years, Stalin also launched the so-called Great Construction Projects of Communism and the Great Plan for the Transformation of Nature. HP Pavilion dv6-3005TX Battery

Following his death, Stalin and his regime have been condemned on numerous occasions, HP Pavilion dv7-1160ep Batterythe most significant of these the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1956, when Stalin's successor Nikita Khrushchev denounced his legacy and drove the process of de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union. Modern views of Stalin in the Russian Federation remain mixed, with some viewing him as a tyrant,[9] others as a capable leader.[10] HP Pavilion dv7-1160er Battery

Early life

Main article: Early life of Joseph Stalin

Young Stalin, c. 1894, age 16, and Ioseb in his mid-twenties, c. 1902.

Stalin was born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili (Georgian: იოსებ ბესარიონის ძე ჯუღაშვილი) on 18 December 1878[1] to Ketevan Geladze and Besarion Jughashvili, a cobbler, HP Pavilion dv7-1160es Battery in the town of Gori, Georgia. At the age of seven, he contracted smallpox, which permanently scarred his face. At ten, he began attending church school where the Georgian children were forced to speak Russian. By the age of twelve, two horse-drawn carriage accidents left his left arm permanently damaged. HP Pavilion dv7-1165eb BatteryAt sixteen, he received a scholarship to a Georgian Orthodox seminary, where he rebelled against the imperialist and religious order. Though he performed well there, he was expelled in 1899 after missing his final exams. The seminary's records suggest that he was unable to pay his tuition fees.[11] The official Soviet version states that he was expelled for reading illegal literature and for forming a Social Democratic study circle.[12] HP Pavilion dv7-1165eg Battery

Shortly after leaving the seminary, Stalin discovered the writings of Vladimir Lenin and decided to become a Marxist revolutionary, eventually joining Lenin's Bolsheviks in 1903. After being marked by the Okhranka (the Tsar's secret police) for his activities, he became a full-time revolutionary and outlaw. HP Pavilion dv7-1165er Battery He became one of the Bolsheviks' chief operatives in the Caucasus, organizing paramilitaries, inciting strikes, spreading propaganda and raising money through bank robberies, ransom kidnappings and extortion. The infamy he gained from being associated with organizing the 1907 Tiflis bank robbery, HP Pavilion dv7-1166eg Battery which resulted in several deaths and the stealing of 250,000 rubles (about US $3.4 million in modern terms), would trouble him politically for years later.[13]

In the summer of 1906, Stalin married Ekaterina Svanidze, who later gave birth to Stalin's first child, Yakov. A year later she died of typhus in Baku. HP Pavilion dv7-1169er BatteryStalin was captured and sent to Siberia seven times, but escaped most of these exiles. He eventually adopted the name "Stalin" from the Russian word for steel and used it as an alias and pen name in his published works.

During his last exile, Stalin was conscripted by the Russian army to fight in World War I, HP Pavilion dv7-1170eg Batterybut was deemed unfit for service because of his damaged left arm.[14]

Revolution, Civil War, and Polish-Soviet War

Main article: Joseph Stalin in the Russian Revolution, Russian Civil War, and Polish-Soviet WarHP Pavilion dv7-1170el Battery

Role during the Russian Revolution of 1917

Prior to the revolution of 1917, Stalin played an active role in fighting the tsarist government. Here he is shown on a 1911 information card from the files of the Tsarist secret police in Saint Petersburg. HP Pavilion dv7-1170eo Battery [15][page needed]

After returning to Petrograd from exile, Stalin ousted Vyacheslav Molotov and Alexander Shlyapnikov as editors of Pravda. He then took a position in favor of supporting Alexander Kerensky's provisional government. However, after Lenin prevailed at the April 1917 Communist Party conference, HP Pavilion dv7-1170ez Battery Stalin and Pravda shifted to opposing the provisional government. At this conference, Stalin was elected to the Bolshevik Central Committee. In October 1917, the Bolshevik Central Committee voted in favor of an insurrection. On 7 November, from the Smolny Institute, Trotsky, HP Pavilion dv7-1170us Battery Lenin and the rest of the Central Committee coordinated the insurrection against Kerensky in the 1917 October Revolution. By 8 November, the Bolsheviks had stormed the Winter Palace and Kerensky's Cabinet had been arrested.

Role in the Russian Civil War, 1917–1919HP Pavilion dv7-1172eg Battery

A group of participants in the 8th Congress of the Russian Communist Party, 1919. In the middle are Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, and Mikhail Kalinin.

Upon seizing Petrograd, Stalin was appointed People's Commissar for Nationalities' Affairs. Thereafter, civil war broke out in Russia, HP Pavilion dv7-1173er Battery pitting Lenin's Red Army against the White Army, a loose alliance of anti-Bolshevik forces. Lenin formed a five-member Politburo, which included Stalin and Trotsky. In May 1918, Lenin dispatched Stalin to the city of Tsaritsyn. Through his new allies, Kliment Voroshilov and Semyon Budyonny, Stalin imposed his influence on the military.[citation needed] HP Pavilion dv7-1174ca Battery

Stalin challenged many of the decisions of Trotsky, ordered the killings of many counter-revolutionaries and former Tsarist officers in the Red Army[citation needed] and burned villages in order to intimidate the peasantry into submission and discourage bandit raids on food shipments. HP Pavilion dv7-1175eg Battery [citation needed] In May 1919, in order to stem mass desertions on the Western front, Stalin had deserters and renegades publicly executed as traitors.[16]

Role in the Polish-Soviet War, 1919–1921HP Pavilion dv7-1175eo Battery

After the Bolshevik victory in the Russian Civil War, Poland invaded Ukraine, starting what became known as the Polish–Soviet War, but the Bolsheviks pushed them back into Poland. As commander of the southern front, Stalin was determined to take the Polish-held city of Lviv. HP Pavilion dv7-1175er BatteryThis conflicted with the general strategy set by Lenin and Trotsky, which focused on the capture of Warsaw further north.

Trotsky's forces engaged those of Polish commander Władysław Sikorski at the Battle of Warsaw, but Stalin refused to redirect his troops from Lviv to help. Consequently, the battles for both Lviv and Warsaw were lost, HP Pavilion dv7-1175nr Battery and Stalin was blamed. In August 1920, Stalin returned to Moscow, where he defended himself and resigned his military commamd. At the Ninth Party Conference on 22 September, Trotsky openly criticized Stalin's behavior.

Rise to powerHP Pavilion dv7-1177ca Battery

Main article: Rise of Joseph Stalin

Stalin played a decisive role in engineering the 1921 Red Army invasion of Georgia, following which he adopted particularly hardline, centralist policies towards Soviet Georgia. This led to the Georgian Affair of 1922 and other repressions. HP Pavilion dv7-1179er Battery [17][18] Stalin's actions in Georgia created a rift with Lenin, who believed that all the Soviet states should stand equal.

Lenin nonetheless considered Stalin to be a loyal ally, and when he got mired in squabbles with Trotsky and other politicians, he decided to give Stalin more power. With the help of Lev Kamenev, HP Pavilion dv7-1180eg Battery Lenin had Stalin appointed General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1922.[19] This post enabled Stalin to appoint many of his allies to government positions.

Stalin and Vladimir Lenin in 1919.

Lenin suffered a stroke in 1922, HP Pavilion dv7-1180eo Battery forcing him into semi-retirement in Gorki. Stalin visited him often, acting as his intermediary with the outside world,[19] but the pair quarreled and their relationship deteriorated.[19] Lenin dictated increasingly disparaging notes on Stalin in what would become his testament. He criticized Stalin's political views, HP Pavilion dv7-1183cl Battery rude manners, and excessive power and ambition, and suggested that Stalin should be removed from the position of General Secretary.[19] During Lenin's semi-retirement, Stalin forged an alliance with Kamenev and Grigory Zinoviev against Leon Trotsky. These allies prevented Lenin's Testament from being revealed to the Twelfth Party Congress in April 1923.[19] HP Pavilion dv7-1190eg Battery

Lenin died of a heart attack on 21 January 1924. Again, Kamenev and Zinoviev helped to keep Lenin's Testament from going public. Thereafter, Stalin's disputes with Kamenev and Zinoviev intensified. Trotsky, Kamenev and Zinoviev grew increasingly isolated, and were eventually ejected from the Central Committee and then from the Party itself.[19] Kamenev and Zinoviev were later readmittedHP Pavilion dv7-1190eo Battery, but Trotsky was exiled from the Soviet Union.

The Northern Expedition in China became a point of contention over foreign policy by Stalin and Trotsky. Stalin followed a policy which ignored communist ideology. HP Pavilion dv7-1190er Battery He told the Chinese Communist Party to stop their vocal advocacy for the lower classes and follow the Kuomintang's orders. Stalin believed that the KMT bourgeoisie would defeat the western imperialists in China and complete the revolution. Trotsky wanted the Communist party to complete an orthodox proletarian revolution and opposed the KMT. HP Pavilion dv7-1190es Battery Stalin funded the KMT during the expedition.[20] Stalin countered Trotsky's criticism by making a secret speech in which he said that Chiang's right-wing Kuomintang were the only ones capable of defeating the imperialists, that Chiang Kai-shek had funding from the rich merchants, and that his forces were to be utilized until squeezed for all usefulness like a lemon before being discarded.HP Pavilion dv7-1195eg Battery [citation needed] However, Chiang quickly reversed the tables in the Shanghai massacre of 1927 by massacring the membership of the Communist party in Shanghai midway through the Northern Expedition.[21][22]

Stalin pushed for more rapid industrialization and central control of the economy, HP Pavilion dv7-1195eo Battery contravening Lenin's New Economic Policy (NEP). At the end of 1927, a critical shortfall in grain supplies prompted Stalin to push for the collectivisation of agriculture and order the seizure of grain hoards from kulak farmers.[19][23] Nikolai Bukharin and Premier Alexey Rykov opposed these policies and advocated a return to the NEP, HP Pavilion dv7-1195er Battery but the rest of the Politburo sided with Stalin and removed Bukharin from the Politburo in November 1929. Rykov was fired the following year and was replaced by Vyacheslav Molotov on Stalin's recommendation.

In December 1934, HP Pavilion dv7-1196eg Battery the popular Communist Party boss in Leningrad, Sergei Kirov, was murdered. Stalin blamed Kirov's murder on a vast conspiracy of saboteurs and Trotskyites. He launched a massive purge against these internal enemies, putting them on rigged show trials and then having them executed or imprisoned in Siberian Gulags. HP Pavilion dv7-1198eg Battery Among these victims were old enemies, including Bukharin, Rykov, Kamenev and Zinoviev. Stalin made the loyal Nikolai Yezhov head of the secret police, the NKVD, and had him purge the NKVD of veteran Bolsheviks. With no serious opponents left in power, Stalin ended the purges in 1938. HP Pavilion dv7-1199ec Battery Yezhov was held to blame for the excesses of the Great Terror. He was dismissed from office and later executed.

Changes to Soviet society, 1927–1939

Bolstering Soviet secret service and intelligence

Main article: Chronology of Soviet secret police agencies

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Stalin vastly increased the scope and power of the state's secret police and intelligence agencies. HP Pavilion dv7-1199eg Battery Under his guiding hand, Soviet intelligence forces began to set up intelligence networks in most of the major nations of the world, including Germany (the famous Rote Kappelle spy ring), Great Britain, France, Japan, and the United States. Stalin made considerable use of the Communist International movement in order to infiltrate agents and to ensure that foreign Communist parties remained pro-Soviet and pro-Stalin. HP Pavilion dv7-1199el Battery

One of the best examples of Stalin's ability to integrate secret police and foreign espionage came in 1940, when he gave approval to the secret police to have Leon Trotsky assassinated in Mexico.[24]

Cult of personalityHP Pavilion dv7-1199eo Battery

Stalin created a cult of personality in the Soviet Union around both himself and Lenin. Many personality cults in history have been frequently measured and compared to his. Numerous towns, villages and cities were renamed after the Soviet leader (see List of places named after Stalin) and the Stalin Prize and Stalin Peace Prize were named in his honor. HP Pavilion dv7-1199es Battery He accepted grandiloquent titles (e.g., "Coryphaeus of Science," "Father of Nations," "Brilliant Genius of Humanity," "Great Architect of Communism," "Gardener of Human Happiness," and others), and helped rewrite Soviet history to provide himself a more significant role in the revolution of 1917. At the same time, HP Pavilion dv7-1199ev Battery according to Nikita Khrushchev, he insisted that he be remembered for "the extraordinary modesty characteristic of truly great people." Statues of Stalin depict him at a height and build approximating the very tall Tsar Alexander III, while photographic evidence suggests he was between 5 ft 5 in and 5 ft 6 in (165–168 cm).[25] HP Pavilion dv7-1199ew Battery

Trotsky criticized the cult of personality built around Stalin. It reached new levels during World War II, with Stalin's name included in the new Soviet national anthem. Stalin became the focus of literature, poetry, music, paintings and film that exhibited fawning devotion. He was sometimes credited with almost god-like qualities, HP Pavilion dv7-1199ez Battery including the suggestion that he single-handedly won the Second World War. The degree to which Stalin himself relished the cult surrounding him is debatable. The Finnish communist Arvo Tuominen records a sarcastic toast proposed by Stalin at a New Year Party in 1935 in which he said "Comrades! I want to propose a toast to our patriarch, HP Pavilion dv7-1200 Battery life and sun, liberator of nations, architect of socialism [he rattled off all the appellations applied to him in those days] – Josef Vissarionovich Stalin, and I hope this is the first and last speech made to that genius this evening."[26]

In a 1956 speech, Nikita Khrushchev denounced Stalin's cult of personality with these words: HP Pavilion dv7-1200eg Battery"It is impermissible and foreign to the spirit of Marxism-Leninism to elevate one person, to transform him into a superman possessing supernatural characteristics akin to those of a god."[citation needed]

Purges and deportations

Purges and executionsHP Pavilion dv7-1200eo Battery

Stalin, as head of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, consolidated near-absolute power in the 1930s with a Great Purge of the party that was justified as an attempt to expel "opportunists" and "counter-revolutionary infiltrators".HP Pavilion dv7-1201ef Battery [27][28] Those targeted by the purge were often expelled from the party, however more severe measures ranged from banishment to the Gulag labor camps to execution after trials held by NKVD troikas.[27][29][30]

In the 1930s, Stalin apparently became increasingly worried about the growing popularity of the Leningrad party boss Sergei Kirov. HP Pavilion dv7-1201eg BatteryAt the 1934 Party Congress where the vote for the new Central Committee was held, Kirov received only three negative votes, the fewest of any candidate, while Stalin received 1,108 negative votes.[31] After the assassination of Kirov, which may have been orchestrated by Stalin, Stalin invented a detailed scheme to implicate opposition leaders in the murder, including Trotsky, HP Pavilion dv7-1201tx Battery Kamenev and Zinoviev.[32] The investigations and trials expanded.[33] Stalin passed a new law on "terrorist organizations and terrorist acts" that were to be investigated for no more than ten days, with no prosecution, defense attorneys or appeals, followed by a sentence to be executed "quickly."[34] HP Pavilion dv7-1201xx Battery

Thereafter, several trials known as the Moscow Trials were held, but the procedures were replicated throughout the country. Article 58 of the legal code, which listed prohibited anti-Soviet activities as counterrevolutionary crime, was applied in the broadest manner. HP Pavilion dv7-1202ef Battery [35] The flimsiest pretexts were often enough to brand someone an "enemy of the people", starting the cycle of public persecution and abuse, often proceeding to interrogation, torture and deportation, if not death. The Russian word troika gained a new meaning: a quick, HP Pavilion dv7-1202tx Batterysimplified trial by a committee of three subordinated to NKVD -NKVD troika- with sentencing carried out within 24 hours.[34] Stalin's hand-picked executioner, Vasili Blokhin, was entrusted with carrying out some of the high profile executions in this period.[36]

Nikolai Yezhov, HP Pavilion dv7-1203ef Batterywalking with Stalin in the top photo from the 1930s, was killed in 1940. Following his execution, Yezhov was edited out of the photo by Soviet censors.[37] Such retouching was a common occurrence during Stalin's rule.

Many military leaders were convicted of treason and a large-scale purge of Red Army officers followed. HP Pavilion dv7-1203em Battery [38] The repression of so many formerly high-ranking revolutionaries and party members led Leon Trotsky to claim that a "river of blood" separated Stalin's regime from that of Lenin.[39] In August 1940, Trotsky was assassinated in Mexico, where he had lived in exile since January 1937; this eliminated the last of Stalin's opponents among the former Party leadershipHP Pavilion dv7-1203tx Battery.[40]

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

Mass operations of the NKVD also targeted "national contingents" (foreign ethnicities) such as Poles, HP Pavilion dv7-1204ef Batteryethnic Germans, Koreans, etc. A total of 350,000 (144,000 of them Poles) were arrested and 247,157 (110,000 Poles) were executed.[23] Many Americans who had emigrated to the Soviet Union during the worst of the Great Depression were executed; others were sent to prison camps or gulags.[41] Concurrent with the purges, HP Pavilion dv7-1204eg Battery efforts were made to rewrite the history in Soviet textbooks and other propaganda materials. Notable people executed by NKVD were removed from the texts and photographs as though they never existed. Gradually, the history of revolution was transformed to a story about just two key characters: Lenin and Stalin. HP Pavilion dv7-1204tx Battery

In light of revelations from Soviet archives, historians now estimate that nearly 700,000 people (353,074 in 1937 and 328,612 in 1938) were executed in the course of the terror,[42] with the great mass of victims merely "ordinary" Soviet citizens: workers, peasants, homemakers, teachers, priests, musicians, HP Pavilion dv7-1205ef Battery soldiers, pensioners, ballerinas, beggars.[43][44] Many of the executed were interred in mass graves, with some of the major killing and burial sites being Bykivnia, Kurapaty and Butovo.[45]

Some Western experts believe the evidence released from the Soviet archives is understated, incomplete or unreliable.[46][47][48][49][50]HP Pavilion dv7-1205eg Battery

Stalin personally signed 357 proscription lists in 1937 and 1938 that condemned to execution some 40,000 people, and about 90% of these are confirmed to have been shot.[51] At the time, while reviewing one such list, Stalin reportedly muttered to no one in particular: "Who's going to remember all this riff-raff in ten or twenty years time? HP Pavilion dv7-1205eo BatteryNo one. Who remembers the names now of the boyars Ivan the Terrible got rid of? No one."[52] In addition, Stalin dispatched a contingent of NKVD operatives to Mongolia, established a Mongolian version of the NKVD troika, and unleashed a bloody purge in which tens of thousands were executed as "Japanese Spies." HP Pavilion dv7-1205tx BatteryMongolian ruler Khorloogiin Choibalsan closely followed Stalin's lead.[53]

During the 1930s and 1940s, the Soviet leadership sent NKVD squads into other countries to murder defectors and other opponents of the Soviet regime. Victims of such plots included Yevhen Konovalets, Ignace Poretsky, HP Pavilion dv7-1206ef BatteryRudolf Klement, Alexander Kutepov, Evgeny Miller, Leon Trotsky and the Workers' Party of Marxist Unification (POUM) leadership in Catalonia (e.g., Andreu Nin).[54]

Population transfer

Main article: Population transfer in the Soviet Union

Shortly before, HP Pavilion dv7-1206el Battery during and immediately after World War II, Stalin conducted a series of deportations on a huge scale that profoundly affected the ethnic map of the Soviet Union. It is estimated that between 1941 and 1949 nearly 3.3 million[55][56] were deported to Siberia and the Central Asian republics. By some estimates up to 43% of the resettled population died of diseases and malnutrition.[57]

Separatism, HP Pavilion dv7-1206ez Batteryresistance to Soviet rule and collaboration with the invading Germans were cited as the official reasons for the deportations, rightly or wrongly. Individual circumstances of those spending time in German-occupied territories were not examined.[58] After the brief Nazi occupation of the Caucasus, HP Pavilion dv7-1206tx Batterythe entire population of five of the small highland peoples and the Crimean Tatars – more than a million people in total – were deported without notice or any opportunity to take their possessions.[58]

As a result of Stalin's lack of trust in the loyalty of particular ethnicities, ethnic groups such as the Soviet Koreans, the Volga Germans, HP Pavilion dv7-1207ef Batterythe Crimean Tatars, the Chechens, and many Poles were forcibly moved out of strategic areas and relocated to places in the central Soviet Union, especially Kazakhstan in Soviet Central Asia. By some estimates, hundreds of thousands of deportees may have died en route.[55] HP Pavilion dv7-1207tx Battery

According to official Soviet estimates, more than 14 million people passed through the Gulag from 1929 to 1953, with a further 7 to 8 million being deported and exiled to remote areas of the Soviet Union (including the entire nationalities in several cases).[59]

In February 1956, HP Pavilion dv7-1208ef Battery Nikita Khrushchev condemned the deportations as a violation of Leninism, and reversed most of them, although it was not until 1991 that the Tatars, Meskhetians and Volga Germans were allowed to return en masse to their homelands. The deportations had a profound effect on the peoples of the Soviet Union. HP Pavilion dv7-1208ez BatteryThe memory of the deportations has played a major part in the separatist movements in the Baltic States, Tatarstan and Chechnya, even today.


Main article: Collectivization in the Soviet Union

Stalin's regime moved to force collectivization of agriculture. HP Pavilion dv7-1208tx BatteryThis was intended to increase agricultural output from large-scale mechanized farms, to bring the peasantry under more direct political control, and to make tax collection more efficient. Collectivization brought social change on a scale not seen since the abolition of serfdom in 1861 and alienation from control of the land and its produce. HP Pavilion dv7-1209ef BatteryCollectivization also meant a drastic drop in living standards for many peasants, and it faced violent reaction among the peasantry.

In the first years of collectivization it was estimated that industrial production would rise by 200% and agricultural production by 50%,[60] but these expectations were not realized. HP Pavilion dv7-1209em BatteryStalin blamed this unanticipated failure on kulaks (rich peasants), who resisted collectivization. However, kulaks proper made up only 4% of the peasant population; the "kulaks" that Stalin targeted included the slightly better-off peasants who took the brunt of violence from the OGPU and the Komsomol. HP Pavilion dv7-1209tx Battery These peasants were about 60% of the population. Those officially defined as "kulaks," "kulak helpers," and later "ex-kulaks" were to be shot, placed into Gulag labor camps, or deported to remote areas of the country, depending on the charge. Archival data indicates that 20,201 people were executed during 1930, the year of Dekulakization.[53] HP Pavilion dv7-1210ea Battery

The two-stage progress of collectivization—interrupted for a year by Stalin's famous editorials, "Dizzy with success"[61] and "Reply to Collective Farm Comrades"[62]—is a prime example of his capacity for tactical political withdrawal followed by intensification of initial strategies. HP Pavilion dv7-1210ed Battery


Main article: Soviet famine of 1932–1933

Famine in USSR, 1933. Areas of most disastrous famine marked with black.

Famine affected other parts of the USSR. HP Pavilion dv7-1210eg BatteryThe death toll from famine in the Soviet Union at this time is estimated at between 5 and 10 million people.[63] The worst crop failure of late tsarist Russia, in 1892, had caused 375,000 to 400,000 deaths.[64] Most modern scholars agree that the famine was caused by the policies of the government of the Soviet Union under Stalin, HP Pavilion dv7-1210el Battery rather than by natural reasons.[65] According to Alan Bullock, "the total Soviet grain crop was no worse than that of 1931 ... it was not a crop failure but the excessive demands of the state, ruthlessly enforced, that cost the lives of as many as five million Ukrainian peasants." HP Pavilion dv7-1210eo Battery Stalin refused to release large grain reserves that could have alleviated the famine, while continuing to export grain; he was convinced that the Ukrainian peasants had hidden grain away and strictly enforced draconian new collective-farm theft laws in response.[66][67] Other historians hold it was largely the insufficient harvests of 1931 and 1932 caused by a variety of natural disasters that resulted in famine, HP Pavilion dv7-1210er Battery with the successful harvest of 1933 ending the famine.[68] Soviet and other historians have argued that the rapid collectivization of agriculture was necessary in order to achieve an equally rapid industrialization of the Soviet Union and ultimately win World War II. Alec Nove claims that the Soviet Union industrialized in spite of, rather than because of, its collectivized agriculture.[citation needed] HP Pavilion dv7-1210et Battery

The USSR also experienced a major famine in 1947 as a result of war damage and severe droughts, but economist Michael Ellman argues that it could have been prevented if the government had not mismanaged its grain reserves. The famine cost an estimated 1 to 1.5 million lives as well as secondary population losses due to reduced fertility.[69] HP Pavilion dv7-1210tx Battery

Ukrainian famine

Main article: Holodomor

The Holodomor famine is sometimes referred to as the Ukrainian Genocide, implying it was engineered by the Soviet government, specifically targeting the Ukrainian people to destroy the Ukrainian nation as a political factor and social entity. HP Pavilion dv7-1211ea Battery [70] While historians continue to disagree whether the policies that led to Holodomor fall under the legal definition of genocide, twenty-six countries have officially recognized the Holodomor as such. On 28 November 2006, the Ukrainian Parliament approved a bill declaring the Soviet-era forced famine an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people. HP Pavilion dv7-1211tx Battery [71] Professor Michael Ellman concludes that Ukrainians were victims of genocide in 1932–33 according to a more relaxed definition that is favored by some specialists in the field of genocide studies. He asserts that Soviet policies greatly exacerbated the famine's death toll. Although 1.8 million tonnes of grain were exported during the height of the starvation—enough to feed 5 million people for one year-the use of torture and execution to extract grain under the Law of Spikelets, the use of force to prevent starving peasants from fleeing the worst-affected areas, HP Pavilion dv7-1212ea Battery and the refusal to import grain or secure international humanitarian aid to alleviate conditions led to incalcuable human suffering in the Ukraine. It would appear that Stalin intended to use the starvation as a cheap and efficient means (as opposed to deportations and shootings) to kill off those deemed to be "counterrevolutionaries," "idlers, HP Pavilion dv7-1212tx Battery" and "thieves," but not to annihilate the Ukrainian peasantry as a whole. Ellman also claims that, while this was not the only Soviet genocide (e.g. The Polish operation of the NKVD), it was the worst in terms of mass casualties.[51]

Current estimates on the total number of casualties within Soviet Ukraine range mostly from 2.2 million[72][73] to 4 to 5 million.[74][75][76] HP Pavilion dv7-1213ea Battery

A Ukrainian court found Josef Stalin and other leaders of the former Soviet Union guilty of genocide by "organizing mass famine in Ukraine in 1932–1933" in January 2010. However, the court "dropped criminal proceedings over the suspects' deaths".[77][78]

IndustrializationHP Pavilion dv7-1213tx Battery

The Russian Civil War and wartime communism had a devastating effect on the country's economy. Industrial output in 1922 was 13% of that in 1914. A recovery followed under the New Economic Policy, which allowed a degree of market flexibility within the context of socialism. Under Stalin's direction, this was replaced by a system of centrally-ordained "Five-Year Plans" in the late 1920s. HP Pavilion dv7-1214ea Battery These called for a highly ambitious program of state-guided crash industrialization and the collectivization of agriculture.

Stalin on building of Moscow-Volga canal. It was constructed from the year 1932 to the year 1937 by Gulag prisoners. HP Pavilion dv7-1214tx Battery

With seed capital unavailable because of international reaction to Communist policies, little international trade, and virtually no modern infrastructure, Stalin's government financed industrialization both by restraining consumption on the part of ordinary Soviet citizens to ensure that capital went for re-investment into industry, HP Pavilion dv7-1215ef Batteryand by ruthless extraction of wealth from the kulaks.

In 1933 workers' real earnings sank to about one-tenth of the 1926 level.[citation needed] Common and political prisoners in labor camps were forced to perform unpaid labor, and communists and Komsomol members were frequently "mobilized" for various construction projects. The Soviet Union used numerous foreign experts to design new factories, supervise construction, HP Pavilion dv7-1215eg Batteryinstruct workers and improve manufacturing processes. The most notable foreign contractor was Albert Kahn's firm that designed and built 521 factories between 1930 and 1932. As a rule, factories were supplied with imported equipment.

In spite of early breakdowns and failures, HP Pavilion dv7-1215eo Batterythe first two Five-Year Plans achieved rapid industrialization from a very low economic base. While it is generally agreed that the Soviet Union achieved significant levels of economic growth under Stalin, the precise rate of growth is disputed. It is not disputed, however, that these gains were accomplished at the cost of millions of lives. Official Soviet estimates stated the annual rate of growth at 13.9%;HP Pavilion dv7-1215er Battery Russian and Western estimates gave lower figures of 5.8% and even 2.9%. Indeed, one estimate is that Soviet growth became temporarily much higher after Stalin's death.[79]

According to Robert Lewis, the Five-Year Plan substantially helped to modernize the previously backward Soviet economy. New products were developed, and the scale and efficiency of existing production greatly increased. HP Pavilion dv7-1215ez BatterySome innovations were based on indigenous technical developments, others on imported foreign technology.[80] Despite its costs, the industrialization effort allowed the Soviet Union to fight, and ultimately win, World War II.

ScienceHP Pavilion dv7-1215tx Battery

Main articles: Science and technology in the Soviet Union and Suppressed research in the Soviet Union

Science in the Soviet Union was under strict ideological control by Stalin and his government, HP Pavilion dv7-1216tx Batteryalong with art and literature. There was significant progress in "ideologically safe" domains, owing to the free Soviet education system and state-financed research. However, the most notable legacy during Stalin's time was his public endorsement of the Agronomist Trofim Lysenko, HP Pavilion dv7-1217em Battery who rejected Mendelian genetics as "bourgeois pseudoscience" and instead supported hybridization theories that caused widespread agricultural destruction and major setbacks in Soviet knowledge in biology. Although many scientists opposed his views, those who publicly came out were imprisoned and denounced. Some areas of physics were criticized.[81][82] HP Pavilion dv7-1220eb Battery

Social services

Under the Soviet government people benefited from some social liberalization. Girls were given an adequate, equal education and women had equal rights in employment, HP Pavilion dv7-1220ed Battery [23][page needed] improving lives for women and families. Stalinist development also contributed to advances in health care, which significantly increased the lifespan and quality of life of the typical Soviet citizen.[23][page needed] Stalin's policies granted the Soviet people universal access to healthcare and education, effectively creating the first generation free from the fear of typhus, cholera, HP Pavilion dv7-1220ef Battery and malaria.[83][page needed] The occurrences of these diseases dropped to record low numbers, increasing life spans by decades.[83][page needed]

Soviet women under Stalin were the first generation of women able to give birth in the safety of a hospital with access to prenatal care.[83][page needed] Education was also an example of an increase in the standard of living after economic development. HP Pavilion dv7-1220eg Battery The generation born during Stalin's rule was the first near-universally literate generation. Millions benefited from mass literacy campaigns in the 1930s, and from workers training schemes.[84][page needed] Engineers were sent abroad to learn industrial technology, and hundreds of foreign engineers were brought to Russia on contract.[83][page needed] Transport links were improved and many new railways built. HP Pavilion dv7-1220el Battery Workers who exceeded their quotas, Stakhanovites, received many incentives for their work;[84][page needed] they could afford to buy the goods that were mass-produced by the rapidly expanding Soviet economy.

The increase in demand due to industrialization and the decrease in the workforce due to World War II and repressions generated a major expansion in job opportunities for the survivors, HP Pavilion dv7-1220em Battery especially for women.[84][page needed]


Main article: Socialist Realism

Although he was Georgian by birth, Stalin became a Russian nationalist[85] and significantly promoted Russian history, language, HP Pavilion dv7-1220er Batteryand Russian national heroes, particularly during the 1930s and 1940s. He held the Russians up as the elder brothers of the non-Russian minorities.[86]

During Stalin's reign the official and long-lived style of Socialist Realism was established for painting, sculpture, HP Pavilion dv7-1220es Battery music, drama and literature. Previously fashionable "revolutionary" expressionism, abstract art, and avant-garde experimentation were discouraged or denounced as "formalism".

The degree of Stalin's personal involvement in general, and in specific instances, has been the subject of discussion. HP Pavilion dv7-1220ew Battery [citation needed] Stalin's favorite novel Pharaoh, shared similarities[citation needed] with Sergei Eisenstein's film, Ivan the Terrible, produced under Stalin's tutelage.

In architecture, a Stalinist Empire Style (basically, updated neoclassicism on a very large scale, HP Pavilion dv7-1222ez Batteryexemplified by the Seven Sisters of Moscow) replaced the constructivism of the 1920s. Stalin's rule had a largely disruptive effect on indigenous cultures within the Soviet Union, though the politics of Korenizatsiya and forced development were possibly beneficial to the integration of later generations of indigenous cultures. HP Pavilion dv7-1223ca Battery


Main article: Religion in the Soviet Union

Stalin followed the position adopted by Lenin that religion was an opiate that needed to be removed in order to construct the ideal communist society. His government promoted atheism through special atheistic education in schools, HP Pavilion dv7-1225ef Batteryanti-religious propaganda, the antireligious work of public institutions (Society of the Godless), discriminatory laws, and a terror campaign against religious believers. By the late 1930s it had become dangerous to be publicly associated with religion.[87]


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