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Joseph Stalin, December 18, 1878 - March 5, 1953, was a Georgian revolutionary and Soviet politician who ruled the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. He served as the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1952 and premier of the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1953. Despite initially governing the Soviet Union as part of a collective leadership, he eventually consolidated power to become the country's de facto dictator by the 1930s, and his policies became known as Stalinism. The following recording (in Russian) is from a speech Stalin made on November 7, 1941 in the midst of World War II.