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Stalin died in 1953 and was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who denounced his predecessor and initiated a de-Stalinisation process throughout Soviet society.
Widely considered one of the 20th century's most significant figures, Stalin was the subject of a pervasive personality cult within the international Marxist–Leninist movement, for whom Stalin was a champion of socialism and the working class.
Despite initial setbacks, the Soviet Red Army halted the German incursion and captured Berlin in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.
The Soviets annexed the Baltic states and helped establish pro-Soviet Marxist–Leninist governments throughout Eastern Europe.
The existing government of landlords and capitalists must be replaced by a new government, a government of workers and peasants.
Believing that victory was assured by numerical superiority, he sent large numbers of Red Army troops into battle against the region's anti-Bolshevik White armies, resulting in heavy losses; Lenin was concerned by this costly tactic.Stalin was among the Bolsheviks who backed Lenin's decision not to form a coalition with the Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionary Party, although they did form a coalition government with the Left Socialist Revolutionaries.He strongly supported Lenin's formation of the Cheka security service and the subsequent Red Terror that it initiated; noting that state violence had proved an effective tool for capitalist powers, he believed that it would prove the same for the Soviet government.To eradicate those regarded as "enemies of the working class", from 1934 to 1939 Stalin organised the "Great Purge" in which hundreds of thousands—including senior political and military figures—were interned in prison camps, exiled, or executed.
Stalin's government promoted Marxism–Leninism abroad through the Communist International and supported anti-fascist movements throughout Europe during the 1930s, particularly in the Spanish Civil War.Although Stalin held Lenin in deep respect, he was vocal in his disagreement with Lenin's view that the Bolsheviks should field candidates for the forthcoming election to the State Duma; Stalin saw the parliamentary process as a waste of time.