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How Cruel Was Joseph Stalin?

Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin was so cruel, it is reported that he even ordered shamans to be killed by being thrown out of helicopters. Siberia, a territory located near North Asia that was colonized by Russians in the late 1500s, historically had a tradition of practicing shamanism. Shamanism refers to the ancient belief system that humans can make contact with a spirit world through rituals to reach altered states of consciousness.

After Stalin took power in the late 1920s, he ordered shamans to be executed, either through being shot or forcing them out of helicopters as a form of ridicule to see if they could fly, because he viewed them as an inferior social group.

More about Stalin:

  • Although Stalin was known for his anti-religion stance, he was actually a student of theology before he became involved in the Russian revolutions.

  • The name Stalin means “Man of Steel” in Russian – the dictator changed his surname from Djugashvili when he was in his 30s.

  • Stalin’s stature of 5 feet 4 inches (1.63 m) earned him the mocking nickname of “Little Father of the Peoples” by his dissenters.

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