How many people Stalin killed: years of government, historical facts, repressions during the Stalinist regime

History 2023

Table of contents:

How many people Stalin killed: years of government, historical facts, repressions during the Stalinist regime
How many people Stalin killed: years of government, historical facts, repressions during the Stalinist regime

The development of disputes about the period of Stalin's rule is facilitated by the fact that many documents of the NKVD are still classified. Various data are given on the number of victims of the political regime. That is why this period remains to be studied for a long time.

How many people Stalin killed: years of rule, historical facts, repressions during the Stalinist regime

Historical figures who built a dictatorial regime have distinctive psychological characteristics. Joseph Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili is no exception. Stalin is not a surname, but a pseudonym that clearly reflects his personality.

Stalin is one of the great despots

Could anyone suggest that a single washerwoman mother (later a milliner - a fairly popular profession at that time) from a Georgian village would raise a son who would defeat Nazi Germany, establish an industrial industry in a huge country and make millions of people shudder just by the sound of your name?

Now that our generation has ready-made knowledge from any field, people know that a harsh childhoodforms unpredictably strong personalities. So it was not only with Stalin, but also with Ivan the Terrible, Genghis Khan and with the same Hitler. What is most interesting, the two most odious figures in the history of the last century have a similar childhood: a tyrant father, an unhappy mother, their early death, studying in schools with a spiritual bias, love of art. Few people know about such facts, because basically everyone is looking for information about how many people Stalin killed.

The path to politics

The reins of the largest power in the hands of Dzhugashvili lasted from 1928 to 1953, until his death. About what policy he intended to pursue, Stalin announced in 1928 at an official speech. For the rest of the term, he did not retreat from his. Evidence of this is the facts about how many people Stalin killed.

Repressions began in 1928

When it comes to the number of victims of the system, some of the destructive decisions are attributed to his confidants: N. Yezhov and L. Beria. But at the end of all documents is Stalin's signature. As a result, in 1940, N. Yezhov himself became a victim of repression and was shot.


The goals of Stalin's repressions were pursued by several motives, and each of them achieved them in full. They are as follows:

  1. Reprisals pursued political opponents of the leader.
  2. Repression was a tool to intimidate citizens in order to strengthen Soviet power.
  3. A necessary measure to raise the economy of the state (repressions were also carried out in this direction).
  4. Exploitation of free labor.

Terror at its peak

Peak of repression1937-1938 are considered. Regarding how many people Stalin killed, statistics during this period give impressive figures - more than 1.5 million. The order of the NKVD under the number 00447 was different in that it chose its victims according to national and territorial criteria. Representatives of nations that differed from the ethnic composition of the USSR were especially persecuted.

And continued during the Second World War

How many people did Stalin kill because of Nazism? The following figures are given: more than 25,000 Germans, 85,000 Poles, about 6,000 Romanians, 11,000 Greeks, 17,000 Letts and 9,000 Finns. Those who were not killed were expelled from the territory of residence without the right to help. Their relatives were fired from their jobs, the military was excluded from the army.


Anti-Stalinists do not miss the opportunity to once again exaggerate the real data. For example:

  • Dissident Roy Medvedev believes there were 40 million.
  • Another dissident A.V. Antonov-Ovseenko did not waste time on trifles and exaggerated the data twice at once - 80 million.
  • There is also a version owned by rehabilitators of victims of repression. According to their version, the number of those killed was more than 100 million.
  • The audience was most surprised by Boris Nemtsov, who in 2003 announced 150 million victims live on air.

In fact, only official documents can answer the question of how many people Stalin killed. One of them is a memorandum by N. S. Khrushchev dated 1954. It contains data from 1921 to 1953. According to the document, more than 642,000 people received the death pen alty,that is, a little more than half a million, and not 100 or 150 million. The total number of convicts was over 2 million 300 thousand. Of these, 765,180 were exiled.

Repressions during the Second World War

The Great Patriotic War forced the rate of extermination of the people of their country to slow down a little, but the phenomenon as such was not stopped. Now the "culprits" were sent to the front lines. If you ask yourself how many people Stalin killed with the hands of the Nazis, then there is no exact data. There was no time to judge the perpetrators. A catchphrase about decisions "without trial and investigation" remained from this period. The legal basis now became the order of Lavrenty Beria.

The exact number of victims is unknown

Even emigrants became victims of the system: they were returned en masse and decisions were made. Almost all cases were qualified by Article 58. But this is conditional. In practice, the law was often ignored.

Characteristic features of the Stalin period

After the war, repression gained a new mass character. How many people died under Stalin from among the intelligentsia is evidenced by the "Doctors' Case". The culprits in this case were doctors who served at the front, and many scientists. If we analyze the history of the development of science, then the vast majority of the “mysterious” deaths of scientists fall on that period. The large-scale campaign against the Jewish people is also the fruit of the politics of the time.

Degree of cruelty

Speaking about how many people died in Stalin's repressions, it cannot be said that all the accused wereshot. There were many ways to torture people both physically and psychologically. For example, if the relatives of the accused are expelled from their place of residence, they were deprived of access to medical care and food products. This is how thousands of people died from cold, hunger or heat.

About 4.5 million people died

Prisoners were kept in cold rooms for long periods without food, drink or the right to sleep. Some were handcuffed for months. None of them had the right to communicate with the outside world. Notifying their relatives about their fate was also not practiced. A brutal beating with broken bones and spine did not escape anyone. Another type of psychological torture is arrest and "forget" for years. There were people "forgotten" for 14 years.

Mass character

Specific figures are difficult to give for many reasons. First, is it necessary to count relatives of prisoners? Is it necessary to consider those who died even without arrest, "under mysterious circumstances"? Secondly, the previous population census was carried out even before the start of the civil war, in 1917, and during the reign of Stalin - only after the Second World War. There is no exact information about the total population.

Politicization and anti-nationality

It was believed that repression rid the people of spies, terrorists, saboteurs and those who do not support the ideology of Soviet power. However, in practice, completely different people became victims of the state machine: peasants, ordinary workers, public figures and entire peoples who wished to preserve their national identity.

Diedin 1953, being in power

The first preparatory work for the creation of the Gulag dates back to 1929. Today they are compared with German concentration camps, and quite rightly. If you are interested in how many people died in them during Stalin, then figures are given from 2 to 4 million.

Attack on the cream of society

The biggest damage was caused by the attack on the "cream of society". According to experts, the repression of these people greatly delayed the development of science, medicine and other aspects of society. A simple example - publishing in foreign publications, collaborating with foreign colleagues or conducting scientific experiments could easily end in arrest. Creative people published under pseudonyms.

By the middle of the Stalin period, the country practically remained without specialists. Most of those arrested and killed were graduates of monarchist educational institutions. They closed just some 10-15 years ago. There were no specialists with Soviet training. If Stalin waged an active struggle against classism, then he practically achieved this: only poor peasants and an uneducated layer remained in the country.

Excluding losses in WWII

Studying genetics was banned because it was "too bourgeois". Psychology was the same. And psychiatry was engaged in punitive activities, concluding thousands of bright minds in special hospitals.

Judicial system

How many people died in the camps under Stalin can be clearly seen if we consider the judicial system. If aat an early stage, some investigations were carried out and cases were considered in court, but after 2-3 years of repression, a simplified system was introduced. Such a mechanism did not give the accused the right to have the defense present in court. The decision was made on the basis of the testimony of the accusing party. The decision was not subject to appeal and was put into effect no later than the next day after it was issued.

Repressions violated all the principles of human rights and freedoms, according to which other countries at that time had been living for several centuries. The researchers note that the attitude towards the repressed was no different from how the Nazis treated the captured soldiers.


Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili died in 1953. After his death, it turned out that the whole system was built around his personal ambitions. An example of this is the termination of criminal cases and prosecutions in many cases. Lavrenty Beria was also known to those around him as a quick-tempered person with inappropriate behavior. But at the same time, he significantly changed the situation by banning torture against the accused and recognizing the groundlessness of many cases.

Stalin is compared with the Italian ruler - dictator Benetto Mussolini. But a total of about 40,000 people became Mussolini's victims, as opposed to Stalin's 4.5 million plus. In addition, those arrested in Italy retained the right to communicate, to protection and even to write books behind bars.

It is impossible not to note the achievements of that time. Victory in the Second World War, of course, is beyond discussion. But due to the labor of the inhabitants of the Gulag, a hugethe number of buildings, roads, canals, railways and other structures. Despite the hardships of the post-war years, the country was able to restore an acceptable standard of living.

Popular topic