Joseph Stalin during the interwar period / Brandon Greer, Harley Slack

Joseph Stalin was one of the most ruthless and feared dictators that ever existed. he came to power in 1924 after Lenin's death and did many things to impact Russia. Many people thought he was a great ruler, some disagree.

Soviet Union symbol (left) and Joseph Stalin in TIME magazine (right)

Starting in the late 1920's, Joseph Stalin launched a series of five-year plans intended to transform the Soviet Union from a peasant society into an industrial superpower. His development plan was centered on government control of the economy and included the forced collectivization of Soviet agriculture, in which the government took control of farms. Millions of farmers refused to cooperate with Stalin’s orders and were shot or exiled as punishment. The forced collectivization also led to widespread famine across the Soviet Union that killed millions.

Stalin ruled by terror and with a totalitarian grip in order to eliminate anyone who might oppose him. He expanded the powers of the secret police, encouraged citizens to spy on one another and had millions of people killed or sent to the Gulag system of forced labor camps. During the second half of the 1930's, Stalin instituted the Great Purge, a series of campaigns designed to rid the Communist Party, the military and other parts of Soviet society from those he considered a threat.

he would continue to rule Russia until march 5th 1953 where is would die from a stroke. His body was embalmed and preserved in Lenin’s mausoleum in Moscow’s Red Square until 1961, when it was removed and buried near the Kremlin walls as part of the de-Stalinization process initiated by Stalin’s successor Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971).

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Created with images by Free Grunge Textures - - "USSR Grunge Flag" • PublicDomainPictures - "communism communist hammer" • manhhai - "TIME cover Feb 05-1945 ill. of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin"

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