Lenin's death in January 1924 marked the symbolic end of the first phase of the Bolshevik revolution, which was overshadowed by the defeat of the Red Army in Warsaw and the suppression of revolutionary movements in Western Europe. His successor, Józef Wissarionowicz Jugashvili, better known under his pseudonym Stalin, was well aware of the reasons that had influenced the failure of the communist idea expansion. After a short period of his absolute power consolidation when he arrested, sentenced to banishment or shot practically all the old Bolsheviks around Lenin who could pose a threat to him, he vigorously proceeded to transform the Soviet Union into a real base for the future universal revolution. This was achieved by almost full militarisation of all aspects of the state functioning.
Mass terror, which was supposed to cost the lives of up to 13 million people, was introduced in the Soviet Union as a collective form of agriculture. State-independent agriculture and private ownership in the countryside were eliminated completely. Mass social resistance against such radical reforms was brutally violated by the terror of internal security forces (OGPU, successors of the infamous WCzK) and even units of the Red Army. Those protesting against collectivization (mostly rich peasants) were baptized in the state propaganda as pests or kulaks, creating dangerous enemies of the system and guilty of a tragic economic situation. Resistant people were killed or sent to slave labour camps, the equivalents of concentration camps in Nazi Germany - the so-called Gulags.
Łagry was one of the main instruments of resocialisation of the counter-revolutionary elements, few were lucky enough to survive this attempt.
Voroshilov, Molotov, Stalin and Yezhov. None of the co-leaders of the chief could be sure of his fate.
Cheka, the NKVD and then the KGB, constituted the main apparatus of terror in the USSR.