Extent of wartime opposition in the USSR

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  • Areas such as Ukraine saw the invading Nazi’s as liberators or allies.
  • Possibly one million people from various national groups defected andfought on the side of the Germans against the Soviets.
  • Vlasov’s ‘Russian Liberation Army’ – Vlasov was a Red Army Commander,captured by the German’s in 1942, which he then fought alongside Germany with ex-Russian forces who defected to the German side. Vlasov was then was captured by the Americans in 1945.
  • He was then returned to the USSR, where they hung him for treason on August 1st 1946 along with other soldiers of the Russian Liberation Army.
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Reaction to opposition groups by the Soviet Regime


  • The regime saw many nationalities as traitors - “guilty by association”.
  • Crimean Tartars were deported to Kazakhstan and Central Asia –1943-1944.
  • Volga Germans were deported to Siberia and Central Asia in 1941.
  • Many Soviets were exiled from the Baltic States, Georgia, Ukraine.
  • Stalin was obsessed with the threat to national unity.
  • In early years of the war, one million people were deported from western Belorussia and western Ukraine.
  • June 1941 – 134,000 people were deported from the Baltic States into convict camps.
  • Around 3.3 million Soviet citizens were deported between 1941 and 1948.

Treatment of Jewish Soviets:

  • Lived mainly in Russia, Ukraine & Belorussia, which were occupied by the Germans in 1941-42.
  • By 1945 about 5 million Jews had disappeared- were either killed by the Germans, or by local nationalists.
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NKVD (Secret Police)

  • Displayed its massive authority under Beria during the war, ensured compliance from the population.
  • Punished the people for failure, incompetence, arrested those suspected of treason or disloyalty.
  • Monitored those who lived under German occupation, they were investigated on a regular basis for loyalty.
  • Used convict labour (prisoners, etc.) during the war economy.
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