Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Interactive: What Lay Beneath

According to the official propaganda, Stalin's Soviet Union was a land of peace, progress, harmony, and -- most of all -- unending love for and devotion to Stalin. But it was also a time of terror, mass executions, and brutal collectivization. In a special interactive feature to mark 60 years since Stalin's death, RFE/RL looks at the vast contradictions between the images and the reality.


Photogallery Sentenced To Death In Stalin's Great Purge

No one knows for sure how many people were murdered during Stalin's Great Purge, but estimates put the figure at more than 1 million. During the peak period of 1937-38, Stalin's secret police executed more than 1,000 people per day, most with a shot to the back of the head. These photos show some of the victims in their last weeks or days.

Video What Do Schoolkids Know About Stalin?

Ukraine is split between a largely Russian-speaking East and a nationalistic, Ukrainian-speaking West, and that divide can clearly be seen in citizens' attitudes to their own history.

Video In Georgia, Stalin's Birthplace, A Divided Legacy

Gori, a small town in central Georgia, is best known as the birthplace of Ioseb Jughashvili, the man who would rule the Soviet Union for three decades under his adopted name, Josef Stalin. For many older Georgians, Stalin is still a source of national pride, revered as the most powerful Georgian in history and the main victor of World War II. But what do members of today’s young generation think? To find out, RFE/RL Georgian Service correspondent Goga Aptsiauri visited a tenth-grade class at Gori’s gymnasium (high school), located at the former seminary from which Stalin graduated in 1894.

Photogallery Stalin: The Early Years

Josef Stalin rose from obscure origins in Georgia to rule the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. RFE/RL takes a look at some images from his early life. (11 PHOTOS)

Photogallery Vorkuta: From Labor Camps To Industrial Decline

The labor camps at Vorkuta were established in 1931 to mine coal deposits at the foot of the Arctic Ural Mountains, 150 kilometers above the Arctic Circle. For 25 years, prisoners and exiles labored to turn this area of tundra into one of the largest coal sources of the Soviet Union. The complex grew to include more than 20 mines, mining villages, power stations, roads, railroads, and the new city of Vorkuta. Today, Vorkuta is an industrial city in decline, plagued by corruption and poverty. These photos show Vorkuta at the height of the Gulag era -- and as it appears now. (17 PHOTOS)

In Focus: Back To The Gulag

Video Even In Former Gulag, Stalin's Popularity Persists

Josef Stalin is remembered in the West as a brutal dictator who engineered mass famine, deportations, and the Gulag system. But in Russia, he is often seen as a strong and savvy leader -- even by those who suffered the most under his rule. In Vorkuta, a far-northern city founded as a labor camp, former Gulag prisoners give Stalin credit for winning World War II. More

Question image

Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Josef Stalin?

Features & Analysis

Interview: 'Gulag' Author Applebaum On Enduring 'Distortions' Of Stalinism

Anne Applebaum is a columnist with "The Washington Post" and director of Global Transitions at the Legatum Institute. She is also author of the 2004 book "Gulag: A History" and last year's "Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956." RFE/RL's Robert Coalson spoke with Applebaum about the enduring legacy of the Gulag in Russia.

Russians And Stalin: ‘What Is Not Positive In History, They Prefer To Forget’

March 5 marks the 60th anniversary of the death of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. Over the last 15 years or so, attitudes among Russians about the role Stalin played in the life of their country have changed dramatically. RFE/RL asked Aleksei Levinson of the Levada Analytical Center about these changing views and how we can understand them.

Stalin's Legacy: Ethnic Time Bombs That Continue To Tick

After the Soviet Union collapsed, instability, conflict, and even war broke out across the vast territory of Eurasia. Much of the violence -- which still largely defines the former Soviet space today -- is a direct legacy of the nationalities policies of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.