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Joseph Stalin (Russian Leader)
Date of Birth:
December 18, 1878
Date of Death:
March 5, 1953
Joseph Stalin was General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee from 1922 until his death in 1953. During that time he established the regime now known as Stalinism. As one of several Central Committee Secretariats, Stalin's formal position was originally limited in scope, but he gradually consolidated power and became the de facto party leader and dictator of the Soviet Union.
Stalin launched a command economy in the Soviet Union, forced rapid industrialization of the largely rural country and collectivization of its agriculture. While the Soviet Union transformed from an agrarian economy to a major industrial powerhouse in a short span of time, millions of people died from hardships and famine that occurred as a result of the severe economic upheaval and party policies. At the end of 1930s, Stalin launched the Great Purge, a major campaign of political repression. During the continued repressions in the country under Stalin millions of people who were a threat to the Soviet politics or suspected of being such a threat were executed or exiled to Gulag labor camps in remote areas of Siberia or Central Asia. A number of ethnic groups in Russia were forcibly resettled for political reasons.