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Robert Conquest, in the latest revision (2007) of his book The Great Terror, estimates that Communist leaders of the USSR were responsible for 13–15 million deaths including man-made famines, revised downward from 20-30 million.
During the Russian Revolution and Russian Civil War, both sides unleashed terror campaings (the Red and White Terrors, accordingly).
Right: The Politburo's decision is signed by Secretary Stalin Stalin's attempts to solidify his position as leader of the Soviet Union lead to an escalation in detentions and executions of various people, climaxing in 1937–38 (a period sometimes referred to as the "Yezhovshchina," or Yezhov era), and continuing until Stalin's death in 1953. Of these, the Polish operation appears to have been the largest, with 140,000 arrests and 111,000 executions out of a (Polish) population of 636,000.
Around 700,000 of these were executed by a gunshot to the back of the head, Arrests were typically made citing counter-revolutionary laws, which included failure to report treasonous actions and, in an amendment added in 1937, failing to fulfill one's appointed duties. Stalin biographer Simon Sebag Montefiore concurs with this view, and referred to the Polish operation as 'a mini-genocide.'In September 1939, the Red Army invaded eastern Poland and occupied it in accordance with the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
A map of countries who declared themselves to be socialist states under the Marxist-Leninist or Maoist definition (in other words, "communist states") at some point in their history. Under the Genocide Convention, the Crime of Genocide does not apply to the mass killing of political and social groups.
History is understanding, not just propaganda." Estimates on the number of deaths brought about by Stalin's rule are hotly debated by scholars in the field of Soviet studies. Wheatcroft, Stalin's regime can be charged with causing the "purposive deaths" of about a million people, although the number of deaths caused by the regime's "criminal neglect" and "ruthlessness" was considerably higher, and perhaps exceed Hitler's.) Many scholars and historians, among them Stalin biographer Simon Sebag Montefiore, former Politburo member Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev and the director of Yale's "Annals of Communism" series Jonathan Brent, put the death toll at about 20 million.Nevertheless, direct causes of most of the excess preventable deaths under Communist rule were not murders or executions but war, famine and disease.Although some scholars argue that government policies and mistakes in management contributed to these calamities, and, based on that conclusion add a considerable part of these deaths to a total democide or genocide death toll, the validity of such an approach is questioned by others.There is a general consensus among historians that after seizing power by Mao Zedong, his policies and political purges, such as the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, the Campaign to Suppress Counterrevolutionaries and land reform, caused directly or indirectly the deaths of tens of millions of people.The first large-scale killings under Mao took place during land reform and the counterrevolutionary campaign. the target for this year’s executions may be eight or nine thousand." had been implemented.