Written by Vladimir Moss



     In the summer of 1934, Stalin summoned Leningrad Party Boss Sergei Kirov to spend the summer at his dacha in Sochi, “to join him and Zhdanov in laying down the guidelines for the rewriting of history textbooks. Published in 1936, Remarks Concerning the Conspectus of a Textbook on the History of the USSR produced an abrupt reversal in Soviet historiography, establishing the Soviet regime as the custodian of national interests and traditions. The new history celebrated the great men of Russia’s Tsarist past – Peter the Great, Suvorov, Kutuzov – whose state-building, military victories and territorial conquests had created modern Russia. It was the autocratic [in this context – “absolutist”] tradition… which was highlighted, so establishing a natural link between the new patriotism and the cult of Stalin.”[1]

     It was ironic that Stalin, who had spent the last five years in an unprecedented assault on everything Russian, should now seek to celebrate the great tsars and military leaders of Russia’s past. Of course, not all of them were celebrated - Nicholas II would remain “bloody Nicholas” to the end. But Stalin was proud to see himself as the successor of the more totalitarian and bloody tsars such as Ivan the Terrible (his favourite) and Peter the Great.

     In this policy, as Alan Bullock writes, “sentiment and calculation coincided. To combine the Marxist vision with the deep-seated nationalist and patriotic feelings of the Russian people was to give it a wider and stronger emotional appeal than ideology by itself could generate. As early as June 1934 Pravda had sounded the new note, ‘For the Fatherland’, ‘which alone kindles the flame of heroism, the flame of creative initiative in all fields, in all the realms of our rich, our many-sided life… The defence of the Fatherland is the supreme law… For the Fatherland, for its honour, glory, might and prosperity!’”[2]

     Other factors influencing Stalin’s change of tactics probably included the failure of the revolution to catch fire in other countries – and the success of Hitler’s nationalist socialism. Probably he came to realize that, as Mussolini had put it, “the nation has not disappeared. We used to believe that it was annihilated. Instead, we see it rise, living, palpitating before us!” Hence his adoption of the slogan: “Socialism in one country”, which emphasized the national uniqueness of Russia.

     Hence, too, his persecution of many ethnic minorities from the early 1930s, transporting them en masse from one end of the Union to the other, and the artificially-induced famine of 1932-33, whose aim appears to have been to wipe out Ukrainian nationalism. After all, in spite of the fact that Stalin was Georgian, Lenin had called him “a real and true ‘nationalist-socialist’, and even a vulgar Great Russian bully”.

     In the middle of the 1930s, perhaps as a result of his new national policy, Stalin began to ease up in his unprecedentedly savage war on the Russian people. The God-haters seemed to have triumphed, violence was no longer so necessary, and they were now building a new, godless civilization to replace the old one of Holy Russia. But the reign of fear continued, and was about to be ratcheted up yet again…

     The West, to its shame, cooperated with the red beast. America now joined the European nations recognizing the Soviet Union, and helped its rapid industrial growth through trade. Moreover, comparing their own economic slump with the Soviet performance, westerners even began to applaud the achievements of Communism, as journalists closed their eyes to Stalin’s appalling assault on his own people. “The chief luminaries of the British Labour Party,” writes Norman Davies, “wrote a glowing survey of the ‘New Civilization’. The chief reporter of the New York Times, Walter Duranty, probably a victim of blackmail, was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his enthusiastic descriptions, which have since been found to be completely and knowingly false.”[3] Probably the cleverest of these fellow-travellers was the famous Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, who had spent his life championing democracy and equality, but who in this period spoke out for dictatorship – not only Stalin, but also Hitler and Mussolini!

     “Totalitarianism,” writes Piers Brendon, “won adherents across frontiers, for the failures of capitalism were palpable during the Depression and the democracies suffered a sharp crisis of confidence. Hearing that Stalin had achieved planned progress and social equality [!], that Hitler had abolished unemployment and built autobahns, that Mussolini had revived Italy and made the trains run on time, people in Britain, France and the United States were inclined to believe that Utopia was another country…”[4]

     “The trauma of the Great Slump,” writes Eric Hobsbawn, “was underlined by the fact that the one country that had clamorously broken with capitalism appeared to be immune to it: the Soviet Union. While the rest of the world, or at least liberal Western capitalism, stagnated, the USSR was engaged in massive ultra-rapid industrialization under its new Five Year plans. From 1929 to 1940 Soviet industrial production tripled, at the very least. It rose from 5 per cent of the world’s manufactured products in 1929 to 18 per cent in 1938, while during the same period the joint share of the USA, Britain and France, fell from 59 per cent to 52 per cent of the world’s total. What was more, there was [supposedly] no unemployment. These achievements impressed foreign observers of all ideologies, including a small but influential flow of socio-economic tourists to Moscow in 1930-35, more than the visible primitiveness and inefficiency of the Soviet economy, or the ruthlessness and brutality of Stalin’s collectivisation and mass repression. For what they were trying to come to terms with was not the actual phenomenon of the USSR but the breakdown of their own economic system, the depth of the failure of Western capitalism. What was the secret of the Soviet system? Could anything be learned from it? Echoing Russia’s Five Year Plans, ‘Plan’ and ‘Planning’ became buzz-words in politics… Even the very Nazis plagiarized the idea, as Hitler introduced a ‘Four Year Plan’ in 1933.”[5]

     So far, Stalin had simply continued the work of Lenin on a larger, more systematic scale. But in 1937 he began to do what Lenin had never done: destroy his own party. According to Hobsbawm: “Between 1934 and 1939 four or five million party members and officials were arrested on political grounds, four or five thousand of them were executed without trial, and the next (eighteenth) Party Congress which met in the spring of 1939, contained a bare thirty-seven survivors of the 1827 delegates who had been present at the seventeenth in 1934.”[6]

     Norman Davies writes that Stalin “killed every single surviving member of Lenin’s original Bolshevik government [Ordzhonikidze killed himself]. Through endless false accusations, he created a climate of collective paranoia which cast everyone and anyone into the role of suspected spy or traitor or ‘enemy’. Through orchestrated show trials, he forced distinguished Communists to confess to absurd, indecent charges. Through the so-called ‘purges’, he would thin the ranks of the Communist Party, and then, having put the comrades into a mood of zombie-like deference, he would order the exercise to be repeated again and again. Everyone accused would be cajoled or tortured into naming ten or twenty supposed associates in crime. By 1938 he reached he point where he was ordering the shooting of citizens by random quota: 50,000 this month from this province, 30,000 next month from the next province. The OGPU (the latest incarnation of the Cheka) sweated overtime. (They too were regularly purged.) The death pits filled up. The GULag became the biggest employer of labour in the land. State officials, artists and writers, academics and soldiers were all put through the grinder. Then, in March 1939, it stopped, or at least slowed down. The Census Bureau had just enough time to put an announcement in Izvestia saying that 17 million people were missing, before the census-takers themselves were shot…”[7] Thus was fulfilled the prediction of Pierre Vergniaud in 1793 concerning the French revolution: “There is reason to fear that, like Saturn, the Revolution may devour each of its children in turn”.[8]

     One of the few Old Bolsheviks who refused to incriminate themselves was Nicholas Bukharin, whom Lenin had called “the party’s favourite”. In his “Letter to a Future Generation of Party Leaders”, he wrote: “I feel my helplessness before a hellish machine, which has acquired gigantic power, enough to fabricate organised slander… and which uses the Cheka’s bygone authority to cater to Stalin’s morbid suspiciousness… Any member of the Central Committee, any member of the Party can be rubbed out, turned into a traitor or terrorist.”[9]

     Bukharin wrote to the Politburo from prison that he was innocent of the crimes to which he had confessed under interrogation – and, probably, torture. But he said that “he would submit to the Party because he had concluded that there was some ‘great and bold political idea behind the general purge’ which overshadowed all else. ‘It would be petty of me to put the fortunes of my own person on the same level as those tasks of world-historical importance, which rest upon all your shoulders’…

     “During his final speech from the dock [he] said that he had given in to the prison investigators after having completely re-evaluated his past. ‘For when you ask yourself: “If you must die, what are you dying for?” – an absolutely black vacuity suddenly rises before you with startling vividness. And, on the contrary, everything positive that glistens in the Soviet Union acquires new dimensions in a man’s mind. This is the end disarmed me completely and led me to bend my knees before the Party and the country… For in reality the whole country stands behind Stalin; he is the hope of the future…”[10]

     But it was Trotsky whom Stalin hated and feared most, and around whom so many of the trials and executions revolved. “By the mid-1930s,” write Christopher Andrews and Vasily Mitrokhin, “Stalin had lost all sense of proportion in his pursuit of Trotskyism in all its forms, both real and imaginary. Trotsky had become an obsession who dominated many of Stalin’s waking hours and probably interfered with his sleep at night. As Trotsky’s biographer, Isaac Deutscher, concludes: ‘The frenzy with which [Stalin] pursued the feud, making it the paramount preoccupation of international communism as well as of the Soviet Union and subordinating to it all political, tactical, intellectual and other interests, beggars description; there is in the whole of history hardly another case in which such immense resources of power and propaganda were employed against a single individual.’ The British diplomat R.A. Sykes later wisely described Stalin’s world view as ‘a curious mixture of shrewdness and nonsense’. Stalin’s shrewdness was apparent in the way that he outmanoeuvred his rivals after the death of Lenin, gradually acquired absolute power as general secretary, and later outnegotiated Churchill and Roosevelt during their wartime conferences. Historians have found it difficult to accept that so shrewd a man also believed in so much nonsense. But it is no more possible to understand Stalin without acknowledging his addiction to conspiracy theories about Trotsky (and others) than it is to comprehend Hitler without grasping the passion with which he pursued his even more terrible and absurd conspiracy theories about the Jews.”[11]

     In September, 1936 Stalin appointed Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov as head of the NKVD in succession to Yagoda. As he “supervised the spread of the Terror, arresting ever-larger circles of suspects to be tortured into confessing imaginary crimes, the Soviet press worked the population up into a frenzy of witch-hunting against Trotskyite spies and terrorists. Yezhov claimed that Yagoda had tried to kill him by spraying his curtains with cyanide. He then arrested most of Yagoda’s officers and had them shot. Then he arrested Yagoda himself. ‘Better that ten innocent men should suffer than one spy get away,’ Yezhov announced. ‘When you chop wood, chips fly!’”[12]

     In November, 1938 Yezhov himself was arrested and killed. He was succeeded by Stalin’s fellow-Georgian, Lavrenty Beria…

     With the murder of Trotsky in Mexico in 1940 the last possible threat to Stalin’s absolute authority from the Old Guard was gone. For, as Bullock writes, “his suspicion never slept: it was precisely the Bolshevik Old Guard whom he distrusted most. Even men who had been closely associated with him in carrying out the Second Revolution were executed, committed suicide or died in the camps.[13]

     Hannah Arendt defined the true role of Stalin’s party purges: as “an instrument of permanent instability.” “The state of permanent instability, in turn” writes Masha Gessen, “was the ultimate instrument of control, which sapped the energies and attention of all. The best way to insure being able to strike when it is least expected is to scramble all expectations.”[14] 

     The manifest absurdity of the trials, and of the idea that so many of Lenin’s and Stalin’s closest and most loyal collaborators were in fact spies, did not stop the “useful idiots” of the West from justifying the charade. Thus, as Tony Judt writes, in 1936 the French Ligue des Droits de l’Homme established a commission to investigate the great Moscow trials of that year. The conclusion to its report state: “It would be a denial of the French Revolution… to refuse [the Russian] people the right to strike down the fomenters of civil war, or conspirators in liaison with foreigners.”[15] Again, the US ambassador Joseph Davies wrote to Washington that “the indictments of the defendants in the Moscow show trials had been proved ‘beyond a reasonable doubt and that ‘the adjudication of the punishment’ had been entirely justified’”…[16]


     Two events portended the coming of this unprecedentedly bloody massacre. The first was the suicide of Stalin’s wife, which made him turn more in on himself. (There is a parallel here with his favourite Ivan the Terrible, who also began to get worse after the death of his first wife.) The second was the murder of Kirov on December 1, 1934. As Evgenia Ginzburg put it in Into the Whirlwind: “That year, 1937, really began on the 1st of December, 1934”.[17] Although it is likely that Stalin himself ordered the killing, it – together with the continued opposition of Trotsky from abroad - became the excuse to root out supposed counter-revolutionary conspiracies and fascist spy-rings within the party.

     The great purges of 1937-38 wiped out a large proportion of the leaders of Soviet society, and not only the Party. In fact, no section of society was exempt from Stalin’s murderous cull of his own people. He used the term “enemy of the people” to wipe out anyone who represented the remotest prospect of opposition to the regime. In spite of these horrors, it was precisely in 1937 that Stalin said: “Life has become better, life has become happier”!

     His assault on the army was still more thorough than his assault on the party. Thus, according to the Soviet press, “the military purge accounted for:

     “3 of the 5 Soviet marshals

     “11 of the 15 army commanders

     “8 of the 9 fleet admirals and admirals Grade 1

     “50 of the 57 corps commanders

     “154 of the 186 divisional commanders

     “16 of the 16 army political commissars

     “25 of the 28 corps commissars

     “58 of the 64 divisional commanders

     “11 of the 11 vice-commissars of defence

     “98 of the 109 members of the Supreme Military Soviet

     The effect was not confined to the upper echelons. Between May 1937 and September 1938, 36,761 army officers and over 3000 navy officers were dismissed. Allowing for 13,000 re-enrolled and adding the numbers ‘repressed’ after September 1938, this gives a total for 1937-41 of 43,000 officers at battalion and company-commander level arrested and either shot or sent to the camps (the great majority) or permanently dismissed. Roy Medvedev sums up an operation without parallel in the striking sentence: ‘Never has the officer staff of any army suffered such great losses in any war as the Soviet Army suffered in this time of peace.’”[18]

     “However,” writes Brendon, “as the liquidation of top managers took its toll on the economy and the armed forces suffered a further assault, few doubted that Russia’s capacity to resist alien aggression was being seriously impaired. So on 24 January 1938 Stalin touched the brakes and changed direction, just as he had done in 1930 when he wrote his article ‘Dizzy with Success’, condemning the excesses of collectivisation. Now he launched a campaign against false informers, those who had denounced others in order to save their skins. He turned his withering gaze on the secret police, who had reckoned that their ‘personal salvation lay in swimming’ with the tide of terror. The purgers themselves should be purged, though no one knew who would accomplish this or how far they would go.”[19]

     Nevertheless, in just one day - September 12, 1938 - Stalin killed 3173 people - more than all the death sentences in the Russian Empire from 1905 to 1913 inclusive.

     We should also not forget the foreign victims of the Terror. Trotskyites, real and imaginary, were killed all around the world; even in Spain, the NKVD was as occupied in destroying the Trotskyite organization POUM as in fighting fascists.[20] Christopher Andrew and Vasily Mitrokhin write: “Comintern representatives in Moscow from around the world lived in constant fear of denunciation and execution. Many were at even greater risk than their Soviet colleagues. By early 1937, following investigations by the NKVD (predecessor of the KGB), Stalin had convinced himself that Comintern was a hotbed of subversion and foreign espionage. He told Georgi Dmitrov, who had become its General Secretary three years earlier, ‘All of you there in the Comintern are working in the hands of the enemy.’ Nikolai Yezhov, the head of the NKVD whose sadism and diminutive stature combined to give him the nickname ‘Poison Dwarf’, echoed his master’s voice. ‘The biggest spies,’ he told Dmitrov, ‘were working in the Communist International’. Each night, unable to sleep, the foreign Communists and Comintern officials who had been given rooms at the Hotel Lux in the centre of Moscow waited for the sound of a car drawing up at the hotel entrance in the early hour, then heard the heavy footsteps of NKVD men echo along the corridors, praying that they would stop at someone else’s door. Those who escaped arrest listened with a mixture of relief and horror as the night’s victims were taken from their rooms and driven away, never to return. Some, for whom the nightly suspense became too much, shot themselves or jumped to their deaths in the inner courtyard. Only a minority of the hotel’s foreign guests escaped the knock on the door. Many of their death warrants were signed personally by Stalin. Mao’s ferocious security chief, Kang Sheng, who had been sent to Moscow to learn his trade, enthusiastically co-operated with the NKVD in the hunt for mostly imaginary traitors among Chinese émigrés…”[21]


     The category of the population that suffered most during Stalin’s great purges – and this fact has been woefully neglected by secular historians - was neither the party, nor the army, but the Orthodox clergy, followed by the Orthodox laity. If Metropolitan Sergius, deputy leader of the Russian Church, thought that by his “Declaration” of loyalty to the Communist state in 1927 he would “save the Church”, the next few years would prove him terribly wrong. From 1935 the Bolsheviks, having repressed most of the True Orthodox clergy, began to repress the sergianists – i.e. those who accepted Sergius’ leadership and justified his Declaration. In fact, the sergianists often received longer sentences than their True Orthodox brothers whom they had betrayed. This only went to show how futile their Judas-like collaboration with the Antichrist, and betrayal of their brothers in Christ, had been. Even a recent biography of Sergius by a sergianist author accepts this fact: “If Metropolitan Sergius, in agreeing in his name to publish the Declaration of 1927 composed by the authorities, hoping to buy some relief for the Church and the clergy, then his hopes not only were not fulfilled, but the persecutions after 1927 became still fiercer, reaching truly hurricane-force in 1937-38.”[22]

     In the nineteen years before the Great Terror of 1937-38, Soviet power killed: 128 bishops; 26,777 clergy; 7,500 professors; about 9,000 doctors; 94,800 officers; 1,000,000 soldiers; 200,000 policemen; 45,000 teachers; 2,200,000 workers and peasants. Besides that, 16 million Orthodox Russians died from hunger and three million from forced labour in the camps.[23]As for the years of the Great Terror, according to Russian government figures, in 1937 alone 136,900 clergy were arrested, of whom 106,800 were killed (there were 180,000 clergy in Russia before the revolution). Again, between 1917 and 1980, 200,000 clergy were executed and 500,000 others were imprisoned or sent to the camps.[24]The numbers of functioning Orthodox churches declined from 54,692 in 1914 to 39,000 at the beginning of 1929 to 15, 835 on April 1, 1936.[25] By the beginning of the Second World War, there were none at all in Belorussia (Kolarz), “less than a dozen” in Ukraine (Bociurkiw), and a total of 150-200 in the whole of Russia.[26]

     This was, without a doubt, the greatest persecution of Christianity in history. But it did not wipe out the faith: the census of 1937 established that one-third of city-dwellers and two-thirds of country-dwellers still believed in God. Stalin’s plan that the Name of God should not be named in Russia by the year 1937 had failed…


     The question of how to relate to the crimes of Russia’s Stalinist past, always important, became especially important again after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991… The first word of the Gospel as preached by both St. John the Baptist and Christ Himself is: “Repent!” Without repentance for the sins of the past, there is no way that a solid foundation for regeneration in the present can take place. We have seen that the beginnings of repentance were laid at the end of the 1980s in Russia, when the truth about the Soviet period began to become available to the general public n books and articles and films – and many responded for a time. Unfortunately, this good beginning was swept away by the neo-Soviet wave that began in the mid-1990s and was given state approval by Putin from the beginning of the millennium. From his time, while the facts about the terrible evils of the Soviet period were not exactly denied, they were justified – and the very idea of calling anybody to account for those crimes was not only mocked but condemned as criminally unpatriotic, a crime against the state.

     “For Putin,” writes Shaun Walker, “this was a red line. While he never went so far as to justify the terror [of the 1930s], he also never called it out as a crime. For someone who fetished statehood, it was impossible to allow that the state itself could be criminal, especially a state that less than a decade later would win victory in the ultimate war. Putin said explicitly that while Russians should remember the terrible pages of their history, ‘nobody must be allowed to impose the feeling of guilt on us’. In other words: it’s our dirty laundry, and we will deal with it how we like…

     “There were only three museums in Russia devoted entirely to the camps and repressions: Panikarov’s flat in Yagodnoye [Kolyma region], a former Gulag site in the Urals, and a new museum that opened in Moscow in late 2015. Many city museums had a section on the Gulag, but the way they presented the facts was largely down to the mood and opinions of the individual directors. ‘You can either put up a big portrait of Stalin and note construction achievements, or you can put up death rates and haggard faces. Unfortunately more often than not, it’s the former,’ said Galina Ivanova, a historian who had researched the Gulag for twenty-five years and wold become deputy director of the Moscow museum.

     “Ivanova was refreshingly frank about the Gulag. She had no cautious approval for awful methods in a difficult time. Economic studies ad shown clearly that forced labour was ineffective economically, she said. Progress would have come quicker if tens of thousands of highly qualified specialists had been allowed to work in their natural fields and not rotted in the Gulage for years, not to mention the large number of specialists that were shot in the purges. Sergei Korolev, who went on to become the chief scientific brain behind the Soviet space project that sent Yuri Gagarin into orbit, was imprisoned for six years in 1938, some of which he spent laboring in the Kolyma camps. It was hardly the most effective use of his talents. And even in cases where prisoners mined huge quantities of gold, it was inappropriate to glorify the slave labour, she said. ‘You shouldn’t make heroes out of prisoners, even if they really did achieve major feats.’

     “The Western impulse when mulling Russia’s failure to come to terms with Stalin’s crimes has been to compare them to those of Hitler. Bt it took the collective German consciousness decades to come to terms with the Nazi past, Ivanova said, and perhaps now Russia would also be able to face its demons, twenty-five years after the Soviet collapse. The Moscow museum, with modern exhibits, a cinema hall, and a memorial garden of saplings brought from the earth of different Gulag sites, was an attempt to start that process, but it was a drop in the ocean. Millions of children across Russia… would get a very different view of history.

     “Still, Ivanova was right that the German ability to feel betroffen – to experience a sense of shame, guilt, and embarrassment over the crimes of the past, and in doing so to receive absolution from them – did not come about overnight. The Nuremburg trials were largely seen as occupiers’ justice, and it was only later, when the immediate scars of the war had healed and the full horror of the concentration camps percolated into the collective consciousness, that the shame began. It was the sheer evil of the Holocaust, more than any other war crimes, that eventually came to haunt the German imagination and provide for repentance. For all that Kolyma was appalling, it was not Auschwitz. There was also an age factor, as a new generation of Germans in the 1960s demanded answers about the Nazi past from their elders. Germany’s path to remembrance would doubtless have been very different had Hitler died undefeated, to be replaced by more moderate Nazi leaders who ceased his bloodiest policies but forbade discussion of them for a generation, in the same way that happened with Stalin.

     “A more interesting comparison with Russia is Spain. Franco ruled the country for nearly four decades until he died in 1975, and most of the violence came in the early years of his reign. This meant that when it came to the transition to democracy, the really grievous crimes were long in the past, as with the Soviet case. In Spain, an informal agreement was made, the Pacto del Obido (Pact of Forgetting), which meant there was no inquiry into past bloodshed and nobody was barred from serving in the new government. There was a 1977 amnesty law, but the pact of forgetting was never formalized or even much discussed. It was simply accepted by all sides that dredging up the bad blood of the past was inadvisable. The writer Jorge Semprún, a member of the Republican exile who was minister of culture between 1988 and 1991, said: ‘If you want to live a normal life you must forget. Otherwise those wild snakes freed from their box will poison public life for years to come.’

     “But the Russian experience was fundamentally different to the Spanish one. The Spanish forgetting had the clear goal of moving on and entering the European family. In Russia too, the broad idea was to unite the nation, but the ultimate aim was not to transcend the pain of the difficult history, but to retain glory for those bloody years and ensure legitimacy for the successor state…”[27]


March 27 / April 9, 2018.

Bright Monday.



[1] Bullock, Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives, London, 1991, p. 702.

[2] Bullock, op. cit., p. 701.

[3] Davies, Europe at War 1939-1945. No Simple Victory, London: Pan Books, 2006, p. 49.

[4] Brendon, The Dark Valley. A Panorama of the 1930s, London: Pimlico, 2001, p. xvi.

[5] Hobsbawn, Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century 1914-1991, London: Abacus, 1994, pp. 96, 97.

[6] Hobsbawm, Age of Extremes, p. 391.

[7] Davies, op. cit., p. 50.

[8] Bullock, op. cit., p. 511.

[9] Bukharin, in Bullock, op. cit., p. 541; Brendon, op. cit., p. 568.

[10] Brendon, op. cit., p. 569.

[11] Andrews and Mitrokhin, The Mitrokhin Archive, London: The Allen Press, 1999, pp. 93-94.

[12] Simon Sebag Montefiore, Titans of History, London: Quercius, 2012, pp. 522-523.

[13] Bullock, op. cit., p. 425.

[14] Masha Gessen, “The Very Strange Writings of Putin’s New Chief of Staff”, The New Yorker, August 15, 2016,

[15] Judt, “Francois Furet (1927-1997)”, in When the Facts Change, London: Vintage, 2015, p. 352.

[16] Robert Service, Comrades, London: Pan, 2007, p. 208.

[17] Ginzburg, in Bullock, op. cit., p. 516.

[18] Bullock, op. cit., pp. 547-548.

[19] Brendon, op. cit., p. 565.

[20] Andrew and Mitrokhin, The Mitrokhin Archive, p. 95.

[21] Andrew and Mitrokhin, The KGB and the World, London: Penguin, 2006, pp. 3-4.

[22] Sergius Fomin, Strazh Doma Gospodnia (Guardian of the House of the Lord), Moscow, 2003, p. 262.

[23] Kharbinskoe Vremia, February, 1937, N 28, in Protopriest John Stukach, “Vyskomerie kak prepona k uiedineniu” (Haughtiness as an obstacle to union),

[24] A document of the Commission attached to the President of the Russian Federation on the Rehabilitation of the Victims of Political Repressions, January 5, 1996; Service Orthodoxe de Presse(Orthodox Press Service), N 204, January, 1996, p. 15. The rate of killing slowed down considerably in the following years. In 1939 900 clergy were killed, in 1940 – 1100, in 1941 – 1900, in 1943 – 500. In the period 1917 to 1940 205 Russian hierarchs “disappeared without trace”; 59 disappeared in 1937 alone. According to another source, from October, 1917 to June, 1941 inclusive, 134,000 clergy were killed, of whom the majority (80,000) were killed between 1928 and 1940 (Cyril Mikhailovich Alexandrov, in V. Lyulechnik, “Tserkov’ i KGB” (The Church and the KGB), in

[25] Nicholas Werth, “A State against its People”, in Stéphane Courtois, Nicolas Werth, Jean-Louis Panné, Andrzej Packowski, Karel Bartošek, Jean-Louis Margolin, The Black Book of Communism, London: Harvard University Press, 1999, pp. 172, 173.

[26] Nathanael Davis, A Long Walk to Church: A Contemporary History of Russian Orthodoxy, Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2003, p. 13.

[27] Walker, The Long Hangover. Putin’s New Russia and the Ghosts of the Past, Oxford University Press, 2018, pp. 94-96.

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