Political repression in the Soviet Union

Political Repression In The Soviet Union

Political repression in the Soviet Union

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Throughout the history of the Soviet Union millions of people became victims of political repression, which was an instrument of the state since the October Revolution. Culminating during the Stalin era, it still existed during the "Khrushchev Thaw", followed by increased persecution of Soviet dissidents during the Brezhnev stagnation, and didn't cease to exist during Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika. Its heritage still influences the life of modern Russia and other former Soviet states.

Origins and early Soviet times

Early on the theoretical basis of the repressions was the Leninist view of the class struggle and the resulting notion of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Its legal basis was formalized into the Article 58 in the code of Russian SFSR and similar articles for other Soviet republic.

At times, the repressed were called the enemies of the people. Punishments by the state included summary executions, sending innocent people to Gulag, forced resettlement, and stripping of citizen's rights. At certain times, all members of a family, including children, were punished as "traitor of Motherland family members". Repression was conducted by the Cheka and its successors, and other state organs. Periods of the increased repression include Red Terror, Collectivisation, the Great Purges, the Doctor's Plot, and others. The secret police forces conducted massacres of prisoners on numerous occasions. Repression was practiced in the Soviet republics and...
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