Joseph Stalin  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Joseph Stalin (December 18, 1878March 5, 1953), from 1928 onwards the de facto dictator of Russia.

Political legacy

Historians argue that Stalin was partly responsible for the initial military disasters and enormous human casualties during WWII, because he eliminated so many experienced military officers during the purges. He especially attacked the most senior officers and had rejected intelligence warning of the German attack.

The harshness with which he conducted Soviet affairs was subsequently repudiated by his successors in the Communist Party leadership, notably in the denunciation of Stalinism by Nikita Khrushchev in February 1956. In his "Secret Speech", On the Personality Cult and its Consequences, delivered to a closed session of the 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Khrushchev denounced Stalin for his cult of personality, and his regime for "violation of Leninist norms of legality".

Under Stalin's rule, the Soviet Union was transformed from an agricultural nation into a global superpower. The USSR's industrialization was successful in that the country was able to defend against and defeat the Nazi invasion in World War II, though at an enormous cost in human life. In 1957, four years after Stalin's death, the nation put into orbit the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Joseph Stalin" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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