According to Wikipedia, the historian Timothy D. Snyder argues that Stalin might have deliberately killed about 6 to 9 million people. Other historians estimate a much higher number of deaths due to Stalin's rule, including deaths of famines, which were deliberately caused by Stalin.

I'm not interested in the exact number of deaths caused by Stalin, what I am interested in is how many people were killed "deliberately" after Stalin's rule in Soviet Russia.

Gathering from the same Wikipedia article, the ways people were deliberately killed are the following:

  • Executions
  • Death through gulags
  • Death through deportation
  • Death through (intentionally created) hunger
  • ...

I wonder how many were deliberately killed in these manners or others after Stalin's rule? I mean the time period of 1953 - 1989.

  • 2
    Do you mean "after" or "during"?
    – fdb
    Feb 10, 2018 at 17:38
  • 1
    I'm not convinced it's a great idea to lump together all killings by the post-Stalin Soviet state. The number would include some cases that would also have resulted in execution in other industrialized countries that have the death penalty, such as the US and China. It would also include people executed by the state for political crimes, which would be an extreme statistical rarity in the US. Wouldn't it be of more interest to separate out different categories, rather than lumping gangsters together with political dissidents?
    – user2848
    Feb 11, 2018 at 20:56
  • 1
    China? Industrial country? In 1953? How being indistrial is connected to executions? Being industrial forgives executions? Have you heard about the Cultural Revolution in China? Are we in the kindergarten?
    – Gangnus
    Feb 13, 2018 at 8:30
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    You have mixed principally different periods: 53-56 years, when Gulag system continued to exist, and 56-89, when repressions ceased to be a system and only people that did or said something against the system were repressed. Notice the difference: before 56 you could do NOTHING to guarantee that you won't be the target of repressions. In late 80-ties that was named the border between totalitarian and authoritarian regimes.
    – Gangnus
    Feb 13, 2018 at 8:56
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    A real dispute between my grandmother and her friend. - We were starving! - When? - In young age! We were starving! - You're just an old fool! We were not starving, we were losing weight! Because guys like slim girls!
    – Konstantin
    Feb 14, 2018 at 8:00

1 Answer 1


Since the amnesties after Stalin death the only method of "deliberate killing" was execution by a court decision. The numbers of executed were kept secret but it was probably less than 1000 per year (by most estimates):

http://articles.latimes.com/1990-10-02/news/mn-1746_1_death-penalty http://www.nytimes.com/1983/08/03/world/in-soviet-the-death-penalty-persists-without-any-debate.html

At the time of Stalin death there were millions of people in the camps, and certainly many of them died before the amnesties. But I suppose that after 1960 there were no "deliberate killings" except those executed by court decisions. Perhaps I should mention that certain crimes punishable by death in Soviet Union are not considered capital crimes nowadays, for example "currency speculation", and that some sentences were made by secret courts (in the cases of high treason).

EDIT. There were several occasional atrocities, like Novocherkassk massacre, or abuse of psychiatry which can be qualified as deliberate killings, but there was nothing on the scale comparable with Stalin's times.

  • 2
    By way of comparison, simply in order to get a feeling for the orders of magnitude involved, the US has usually had something like 0.1 death penalty cases resulting in legal execution per year per million people en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_the_United_States#/… , while China has about 2. The post-Stalin Soviet figure seems to be roughly on the same order of magnitude as China's.
    – user2848
    Feb 11, 2018 at 20:53
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    USSR 1937 - 200 million people - 2 million prisoners. Russia 200x a year - 140 million people - 2 million prisoners. Conclusion: either in Russia bloody repression right now, or "Stalin's repression" is a myth. But in a hundred years in Wikipedia there will be tales of bloody repressions in Russia throughout the whole history ... Crazy house.
    – Konstantin
    Feb 14, 2018 at 7:56
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    Mass deportations happened long after Stalin was dead, and had the silent objective to be rid of the deported population. Technically it may not have been deliberate killings, nobody personally pulled the trigger, but dumping thousands of people in summer clothes out of a train car in the Siberian winter with not even tools to build shelter has the exact same effect.
    – jwenting
    Feb 14, 2018 at 8:51
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    @jwenting : some sources for these massive post-1960 deportations ?
    – Evargalo
    Feb 14, 2018 at 12:57
  • "dumping thousands of people in summer clothes out of a train car in the Siberian winter" - this is Fake News of the Goebbels/CIA Propaganda. "Americans" cut out the entire population of the continent and believe that the Russians are the same. If you want to justify your stupidity and cruelty - Ok. If you want to understand what really happened, do not eat garbage. The real story is simple and logical. But in order to understand the real story, one must read a lot of books. And never touch Wikipedia.
    – Konstantin
    Feb 15, 2018 at 9:34

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