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Aftermath of the Kirov Murder

Stalin would, indeed, use the assassination of Sergei Kirov to his own political ends. First the assassination itself eliminated the growing personal power of Kirov, a power Stalin feared, perhaps justly. Yet with Kirov out of the way, it now became in his best interest to promote Kirov's cult of personality. It was thus that he allowed a city in Ukraine to be named in his honor. The ballet in Leningrad (Petersburg), of which Kirov was so fond, was changed to the "Kirov Ballet". Even a class of warship would later be named for the dead hero.

The new procedural laws Stalin had forced through the Central Executive Committee gave him frightening power to investigate and destroy any person or group of his choosing. Stalin wielded the new powers like a dull saber, cutting and hacking every adversary and leaving a bloody and gruesome trail wherever he went. He started by destroying his "ideological oponents", Kamenev, Zinoview and Bukharin. These men, through evidence gained by torture, coercion and fabrication were implicated in the assassination. Fantastic show trials were held. These men, their wives, families and associates were ruthlessly destroyed, usually with a bullet through the back of the head.

Purges and trials would continue in Kirov's name until the Soviet Union became embroiled in a world war, consuming even those who were not even remotely connected to Kirov, but only posed a perceived threat to the Great Dictator, Stalin.

To this day, no one knows all the facts surrounding the Kirov Murder. (Much of the information is still hidden away in musty Soviet Archives. Some was destroyed at the instigation of Krushev.) Yet there is enough evidence to justly say that Stalin was likely involved and even if he was not, he used Kirov's death to murder thousands, perhaps millions of others.

<-- Stalin's Involvement in the Assasination | Book Review: Who Killed Kirov? -->



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