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28

1932 There are two chief interpretations of the 1932 Soviet famine, or especially the more infamous Ukrainian component, the Holodomor. That the famine was at least partially caused or exacerbated by Soviet policies is well established. The main difference between the schools of thought is the degree to which Soviet authorities perpetuated or even ...


14

Stalin took ideology seriously... He started the Soviet meme "на идеологии мы не экономим" ("we don't skimp on ideology"). He also believed that "Учение Маркса всесильно, потому что оно верно" ("The teachings of Marx is omnipotent because it is true"). He also understood the critical importance of science and technology. He also continued the age-old ...


12

Beria I think it would be extremely instructive to consider the anti-Beria coup. The conspirators discussed the plans in secret and Beria was arrested by Marshal Georgy Zhukov himself. This plan required an absolute devotion of participants since any leak to a Beria agent was deadly. This is why only high-level people were involved - a Marshal(!!) making an ...


12

It is clear that Stalin supported the creation of Israel. From the Wiki: For Soviet foreign policy decision-makers, pragmatism took precedence over ideology. Without changing its official anti-Zionist stance, from late 1944, until 1948 and even later, Joseph Stalin adopted a pro-Zionist foreign policy, apparently believing that the new country would be ...


12

It is worth noting that in 1917, in the midst of The Great War (as it was then commonly known) both the French and Russian armies mutinied. That the French mutiny ultimately amounted to little was in no small measure due to both a massive assault by British forces (the Battle of Passchendaele) that occupied German forces on the Western Front, and a ...


11

Most people who are or want to be political leaders try to look like they love children, and children love them. The reason is very simple: Most adult people are parents. For almost all parents there is nothing more important in the world than their children. Hence, the best way to rise in the eyes of parents, and hence the best way to rise in the eyes of ...


10

Trotskyism, and by extension Trotsky himself (and vice versa) was definitely denounced in early Communist Chinese propaganda. Whether or not he was a "hate figure" depends on what criteria you use for that nebulous phrase. Since the question declined to define it, I'll focus on the government's general attitude instead - though personally, I would say it was ...


9

What do you mean, 'legal mechanisms'? Putting "how tyrants hold power" and "legal or moral mechanism" in the same sentence is completely missing the point. Stalin didn't have power because being chairman of Politburo, but he was chairman of Politburo because he had power. I'm not completely sure, but I believe that legally the Politburo decisions actually ...


9

Of course. It wasn't much of a secret. Some 85% of the Soviet military's top positions were removed; the scale alone makes it rather impossible to hide. In fact, knowledge that Stalin had decapitated his own army's backbone was one of the factors motivating Nazi Germany to invade. But not only did [the Great Purges] do incalculable damage to the future ...


9

There's not really a "specific reason" since he lost favour over some period of time, rather immediately in response to a single event. But some generally agreed factors were Stalin's paranoia and intolerance of dissent, as well as and Molotov's own personality. Vyacheslav Molotov is well known to be stubborn and independent minded. He argued with Stalin ...


9

It is impossible to tell for sure what was inside Stalin's brain. Historians can only speculate on this. I can outline some principal opinions stated in the process of this speculation: a) Stalin's primary goal was to consolidate his absolute power. Not only to remove any real, or potential or imaginary opposition, but to make sure that everyone was scared ...


8

It is difficult to characterize the reactions of whole organizations, and to separate out the reaction to the speech from the reaction to the 20th Party Congress as a whole, and to the other events of 1956. Many groups were internally split between those who saw it as a call for renewal and others as a betrayal. Because the Russian Revolution had progressed ...


8

The problem is the definition. Great Purge as itself wasn't a single event under Stalin's rule but waves of executions and convictions. In fact after Lenin's death in 1922 Stalin came to power. With increasing intensity he started to deal with rivals, first politically, then he had enough power to order uncontrolled massacre. The most famous period is the ...


7

At the Yalta Conference in February 1945 the following declaration was included in the conference proceedings in regards to Poland's Eastern border: "The three heads of Government consider that the eastern frontier of Poland should follow the Curzon Line with digressions from it in some regions of five to eight kilometers in favor of Poland. They ...


7

The main historiography, which you should really have searched prior to asking the question. Most obviously Sheila Fitzpatrick's work on everyday Stalinism at the work unit level, particularly Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times (1999). Rossman (2005) Worker resistance under Stalin. Andrle (1988) Workers in Stalin's Russia.


7

Stalin developed Lenin's idea of absolute value of the power to the upper limit. Never was he interested in effectiveness for the sake of Russia or even "The Revolution". His only aim was his own power. He had annihilated the lead economists of the USSR, set by Lenin, because they were not his people. He annihilated millions of farmers because his way to ...


6

The modern period was characterized by a belief that the world could be reinvented in light of the superior understanding provided by modern thinking. The communists were major proponents of this movement. The result of this ego-driven idea was that it attracted people who believed their understanding of the world was superior to a traditional view hewn from ...


6

It's explained from page 84 of Shostakovich: A Life by Laurel E. Fay. Stalin went to a performance of "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District" and left early. Two days later (28 Jan 1936) an editorial appeared in Pravda attacking the opera, with a further editorial on 6 Feb 1936 attacking The Limpid Stream. By the time of the scheduled premiere of the 4th, on ...


5

First of all, Lysenko did not oppose genetics in general, he was against so-called "formal genetics". He was the director of the Institute of Genetics of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR since 1940. In 1939 he said in a speech: Unfairly comrades Mendelists alledge that we profess closing of Genetics (...) Genetics is necessary and we struggle for ...


5

He was exiled to Turkey by way of Khazakstan and not Siberia - and it wasn't until the Show Trials until Stalin felt he had consolidated enough power to order Trotsky's death.


5

Basically, this is a lot of tosh. This, ahem, quaint theory is a nice specimen of the modern neo-Stalinist cottage industry. Reality was much simpler: the purges were ordered and organized by Stalin; no alternative elections were ever held in the Soviet Union (till the late 1980s when the system was in its death throes). This was of course by design - the ...


5

For me at least, this question may be re-phrased thus: To what extent were the contours of the Communist regime in Russia determined by Russian national peculiarities? Scholars like Richard Pipes hold that the Soviet regime was a development of some sort of immanent Russian matrix. Here is a wiki summary: Pipes is known for arguing that the origins of ...


5

The decrypted "Ultra" evidence revealed in "Marching Orders" suggests just the opposite: that the Japanese were more likely to attack Soviet Siberia if the Germans were successful in the Soviet Union, e.g. at Moscow, Stalingrad and/or the Caucasus, than if they attacked the United States. Therefore, in theory, Hitler should have concentrated his arms ...


5

Unlike other East European states, the Russians did not free Yugoslavia from the Axis, so they never had forces deployed in the country. An attack would be an invasion. Also, Yugoslavia was easy for the West to send support to, from the Adriatic, Greece and Italy. They had their own army, and it was a fairly good one. So you have a good army to fight, ...


4

No, it is not needed. I think you better should read the history of Marxism and about the Great French Revolution. If you want to deepen in history, you can start from the Commune of Rome (1144).


4

Stalin was an ideologue, but not a very rigid one, and he was not an idiot. He supported Israel because it was a thorn in the side of the British Empire (and its Arab relationships), not because the Zionist were left wing. After all, left wing or right wing, anyone who did not toe the Moscow's line precisely was an enemy. Stalin knew full well that people ...


4

With regards to Finland, it was the second country that the USSR invaded after signing the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, where Finland was one of the countries that had been assigned to the Soviet "Sphere of influence" together with Estonia, Latvia, Bessarabia and half of Poland. (The first country invaded was of course Poland). However, there is a dispute ...


4

Some considerations you may consider. Stalin was extremely popular with the people, and after the war he was seen as the leader of the victorious side in WWII. There was a huge personality cult. Any move against him would be very much suspicious of treachery even if formally legal. Mafia-style rule. As you know many of the mafia leaders in Russia are of ...



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