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The First Stalin Mass Operation (1927) *

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image of The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review

This article based on new archival documents introduces a new episode of mass operations, which took place in June and July of 1927 and was directed against the broad group of “anti-Soviet” forces. It preceded many practices of mass terror of the 1930s with judicial and extra-legal mechanisms. The goal of this article is to explain motivations, justifications, and mechanisms of this repressive campaign and to put this episode in the wider context of Soviet terror. Facing the combination of a perceived danger of war and real internal social hostility expressed in broad defeatism, both threatening the perpetuation of their governmental powers, authorities resorted to repressions. The 1927 episode highlights the factor of a perceived threat of war as a crucial motivating element in Soviet repressive tactics.

Affiliations: 1: University of North Texas,


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