Joseph Stalin's long reign as leader of the Soviet Union was marked by ruthless tyranny and the deaths of millions. The demise of Stalin on 5 March 1953 brought an end to his brutal rule, but the Soviet Union remained a repressive dictatorship. Stalin left such a decisive imprint on the Soviet political system that his legacy outlived him for decades. Even now, some seventy years after Stalin's death, the Russian army's invasion of Ukraine has underscored the persistence of Stalin's legacy in the Kremlin.
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