The Red Army played an outsized role in defeating Nazi Germany, paying an exceptionally high price for this achievement: about 8.7 million soldiers and officers perished in the war. Despite this laudable feat, Red Army soldiers committed atrocities against civilians — both abroad and at home. Such violence included summary executions, robberies, rapes, and murders. This army, indeed, was not ideal: Military tribunals convicted almost a million soldiers for various crimes, and 135,000 of them were executed. Oleg Budnitskii's current book project, based on recently declassified materials from Russian archives, examines this unpleasant dimension of the war.
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