Events of the Stalin’s Great Terror in the USSR were only a small part of their appearing on the surface of public life since the Soviet press hardly published information on demonstration processes. Thus, the size, structure and mechanisms of repression remained hidden to the most of contemporaries (except, of course, the “ authors” and main perpetrators of the terror), as well as several further generations of historians. Nowadays the set of available sources makes it possible to see the real drawing of the Great Terror more or less clearly.
Some historians regard the Stalinist repression as a continuation of the political repression lead by Bolsheviks in Soviet Russia. But in this case the victims of the repression were both active political opponents of the Bolsheviks and people who simply disagreed with their politics. Actually, the repression campaign was designed to exterminate those classes and social groups, which were considered an obstacle to the achievement of the Stalin’s party objectives. Particularly, former police, gendarmes, tsarist government officials, priests, and former landowners and entrepreneurs were subjected to repressions (Burlatskiy, 2006).
The ideological basis of Stalin’s repression was stated on the Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) in July 1928, the concept of strengthening the class struggle as the socialism construction completion. According to the statement, the USSR was considered economically and culturally undeveloped comparing to developed capitalist states and was under the threat of military intervention, the most reliable guaranty of preserving the integrity and independence was the prevention destruction of bourgeoisie. Thus, these vital concepts were implemented by Stalin in 1920th as political repressions against political opponents, basically built on falsified accusations. In 1929-1931, dozens of scientists have been arrested including foreign technicians accused in launching a spy residence under the cover of foreign companies. Also repressions were held against former kulaks and ethnic minorities (including Greeks, Germans, Poles, Romanians, Latvians, Bulgarians, Crimean Tatars, Caucasians, etc.).
Just as the above mentioned measures against foreign interventions, the Russian-Georgian confrontations were partially based on interstate rivalry and competition. Currently, the nature of relations between Russia and Georgia is clearly not linked with the historic foundation of these relations, weaving the fate of their people, their close, though contradictory, interaction at various stages of history lived together. Political crisis in Georgia that broke out after the November 2003 parliamentary elections and the resignation of President Eduard Shevardnadze, has led to an aggravation of latently impending Russian-Georgian conflict, which helped a lot of the action of the Russian side in the midst of a political crisis – demonstrative contacts with the leaders of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Adjara. The key points of aggression are caused by growing the terrorist activity, not resolving the social and economic problems by the government and the President and they don’t let the rift between North Caucasian republics and the rest of Russia vanish.
The issues of critical state of Georgian economy, the problems of the Russian and American military presence of Georgian territory, and the urgent need of restoring the country’s territorial integrity overlap with the inner state issues the USSR had when Stalin implemented repression. The human rights violations were committed in Russian due to instability and regular armed clashes in Caucasian areas. The legitimate aim to curb the violence in the region by armed groups was achieved by methods that were critically contrary to international human rights law. This is another common point with Stalin regime. People were subjected to enforced disappearance or abducted, arbitrarily detained, tortured and even killed in prisons. For a long period of time Russian federal authorities did not allow the visit of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to those areas, particularly in the North Caucasus region (Amnesty International, 2009).
Amnesty International visiting North Caucasus in case of human rights. (2009, May 8). Amnesty International, pp. 12-3.
Burlatskiy, F. (2006). Stalin and Stalinism. Moscow: Eksmo.