3. Josef Stalin
“Death is the solution to all problems–no man, no problem.”
Josef Stalin became the leader of Soviet Union after Lenin died in 1924, and launched government programs that would make the country more progressive. His attempt to move to the new economy, however, led to the starvation of nearly 10 million people. With many intellectuals and activists not in favor of his leadership, Stalin also launched the “Great Purge,” killing every person who opposed him and his ideas.
Stalin imposed a deliberate famine on Ukraine and killed millions of the wealthier peasants (‘kulaks’) while forcing them off their land. He purged his own party as a result, shooting thousands and sending millions to work camps to only in the Gulag.
While the death count at his hands is widely agreed to be in millions, it is also noted that if famine were included, the death count of around 10 million deaths—6 million from famine and 4 million from other causes—can also be attributable to the regime. Recent historians suggest it to be a likely total of around 20 million, citing much higher death tolls from executions, Gulag camps, deportations and other causes.