This chapter sums up the key findings of this study on the history of state security in the Soviet Union from Vladimir Lenin to Joseph Stalin. It suggests that the Praetorian Guard which Lenin and Stalin molded was one of the most successful Soviet institutions as judged by the system's objectives, and that the state security accomplished its main task throughout the course of Soviet history. The chapter describes the evolution of state security, and argues that Stalin's brutal repression of hundreds of thousands, and even millions, of “enemies,” most of whom were ordinary people doing ordinary things, appears to defy logical explanation.
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