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Estimates of the number of deaths attributable to the Soviet revolutionary and dictator Joseph Stalin vary widely. The scholarly consensus affirms that archival materials declassified in 1991 contain irrefutable data far superior to sources used prior to 1991, such as statements from emigres and other informants. Before the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the archival revelations, some historians estimated that the numbers killed by Stalin's regime were 20 million or higher. After the Soviet Union dissolved, evidence from the Soviet archives was declassified and researchers were allowed to study it. This contained official records of 799,455 executions (1921–1953), around 1.7 million deaths in the Gulag, some 390,000 deaths during the dekulakization forced resettlement, and up to 400,000 deaths of persons deported during the 1940s, with a total of about 3.3 million officially recorded victims in these categories. According to historian Stephen Wheatcroft, approximately 1 million of these deaths were "purposive" while the rest happened through neglect and irresponsibility. The deaths of at least 5.5 to 6.5 million persons in the Soviet famine of 1932–1933 are sometimes, though not always, included with the victims of the Stalin era. Events Gulag According to official Soviet estimates, more than 14 million people passed through the Gulag from 1929 to 1953, and a further 7 to 8 million were deported and exiled to remote areas of the Soviet Union. According to a 1993 study of recently declassified archival Soviet data, a total of 1,053,829 people died in the Gulag (not including labor colonies) from 1934 to 1953 (there was no archival data for the period 1919–1934).: 1024  More recent archival figures for the deaths in the Gulag, labor colonies and prisons combined for 1931–1953 were 1.713 million. According to historian Michael Ellman, non-state estimates of the actual Gulag death toll are usually higher because historians such as Robert Conquest took into account the likelihood of unreliable record keeping. According to author Anne Applebaum, it was common practice to release prisoners who were either suffering from incurable diseases or near death. Golfo Alexopoulos, history professor at the University of South Florida, believes that at least six million people died as a result of their detention in the gulags. This estimate is disputed by other scholars, with critics such as J. Hardy stating that the evidence Alexopoulos used is indirect and misinterpreted. Historian Dan Healey argues that the estimate has obvious methodological difficulties. Citing materials pre-1991, author John G. Heidenrich estimates the number of deaths at 12 million. His book is not primarily about estimating deaths from repressive policies in the Soviet Union, and he appears to have relied on Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's political and literary work The Gulag Archipelago, which historian Stephen G. Wheatcroft explains was not intended as a historical fact but as a challenge to Soviet authorities after their years of secrecy. According to estimates based on data from Soviet archives post-1991, there were around 1.6 million deaths during the whole period from 1929 to 1953. The tentative historical consensus is that of the 18 million people who passed through the gulag system from 1930 to 1953, between 1.5 and 1.7 million died as a result of their incarceration. Soviet famine of 1932–1933 The deaths of 5.7 to perhaps 7.0 million people in the Soviet famine of 1932–1933 and Soviet collectivization of agriculture are included among the victims of repression during the period of Stalin by some historians. This categorization is controversial, as historians differ as to whether the famine in Ukraine was created as a deliberate part of the campaign of repression against kulaks and others was an unintended consequence of the struggle over forced collectivization, or was primarily a result of natural factors. Judicial executions According to official figures there were 777,975 judicial executions for political charges from 1929 to 1953, including 681,692 in 1937–1938, the years of the Great Purge. Unofficial estimates estimate a total number of Stalinism repression deaths in 1937–38 at 700,000–1,200,000. There were also operations of mass ethnic cleansing against various minorities living in Stalin's USSR, known as the National operations of the NKVD, with the largest one being the Polish Operation of the NKVD during which 150,000 Poles were arrested, of whom over 111,000 were exterminated. Soviet famine of 1946–1947 The last major famine to hit the Soviet Union began in July 1946, reached its peak in February–August 1947 and then quickly diminished in intensity, although there were still some famine deaths in 1948. Economist Michael Ellman states that the hands of the state could have fed all those who died of starvation. He argues that had the policies of the Soviet regime been different, there might have been no famine at all or a much smaller one. Ellman claims that the famine resulted in an estimated 1 to 1.5 million lives lost in addition to secondary population losses due to reduced fertility. Population transfer by the Soviet Union Deportation of kulaks Large numbers of kulaks regardless of their nationality were resettled to Siberia and Central Asia. According to data from Soviet archives, which were published in 1990, 1,803,392 people were sent to labor colonies and camps in 1930 and 1931, and 1,317,022 reached the destination. Deportations on a smaller scale continued after 1931. Data from the Soviet archives indicates 2.4 million kulaks were deported from 1930 to 1934. The reported number of kulaks and their relatives who had died in labour colonies from 1932 to 1940 was 389,521. Popular history author Simon Sebag Montefiore estimated that 15 million kulaks and their families were deported by 1937; during the deportation, many people died, but the full number is not known. Forced settlements in the Soviet Union of 1939–1953 According to Russian historian Pavel Polian, 5.870 million persons were deported to forced settlements from 1920 to 1952, including 3.125 million from 1939 to 1952. Those ethnic minorities considered a threat to Soviet security in 1939–52 were forcibly deported to Special Settlements run by the NKVD. Poles, Ukrainians from western regions, Soviet Germans, Balts, and Estonians peoples from the Caucasus and Crimea were the primary victims of this policy. Data from the Soviet archives list 309,521 deaths in the Special Settlements from 1941 to 1948 and 73,454 in 1949–50. According to Polian these people were not allowed to return to their home regions until after the death of Stalin, the exception being Soviet Germans who were not allowed to return to the Volga region of the Soviet Union. According to Soviet archives, the heaviest mortality rate was documented in people from the Northern Caucasus (the Chechens, Ingush) with 144,704 deaths, or 24.7% of t.... Discover the Dan Wheatcroft popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Dan Wheatcroft books.

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  • Ask the River synopsis, comments

    Ask the River

    Dan Wheatcroft

    With death taking a break, DCI Thurstan Baddeley, with nothing to do and too much time to do it in, agrees to delve into a 'something or nothing' job for one of his team. What seem...

  • The Road To Eden Is Overgrown synopsis, comments

    The Road To Eden Is Overgrown

    Dan Wheatcroft

    DCI Thurstan Baddeley takes over his new desk at the local Police Force's Major Investigations Team and, naturally, he's expecting to deal with a few odd murders, it's what they sp...

  • No Room For The Innocent synopsis, comments

    No Room For The Innocent

    Dan Wheatcroft

    The MIT's DCI Thurstan Baddeley reluctantly recognises the return of an old adversary but as if that wasn't enough, there's a complication in their equation, an encrypted clue, a p...

  • The Summer of 66 synopsis, comments

    The Summer of 66

    Dan Wheatcroft

    Special Branch Detective Constable John Gallagher is seconded to a British Home Office Statistical Unit for what he considers a minor violation of trust. He's not well pleased; he ...