Ryutin, Martemyan

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(18901937), leader of an antiStalin opposition group that emerged within the Russian Communist Party in the 1930s.

Martemyan Ryutin was born on February 26, 1890, the son of a Siberian peasant from the Irkutsk province. He joined the Bolshevik party in 1914. During the civil war, he fought against Alexander Vasilievich Kolchak's forces in Siberia, and in the early 1920s he held party posts in Irkutsk and Dagestan. In 1925, Ryutin became party secretary in the Krasnaya Presnia district of Moscow, and in 1927 he was elected a non-voting member of the party Central Committee. In the following year he incurred Stalin's wrath for his conciliatory attitude towards Bukharin and his followers.

Experience of the collectivization drive convinced Ryutin of the ruinous nature of Stalin's economic policies, and the criticisms he voiced led, at the end of 1930, to his expulsion from the party and a brief spell of imprisonment. In 1932, Ryutin and some associates circulated a manifesto, "To All Members of the Russian Communist Party," which condemned the Stalin regime and demanded Stalin's removal from power. Ryutin also composed a more detailed analysis of Stalin's dictatorship and economic policies in the essay "Stalin and the Crisis of the Proletarian Dictatorship" (first published in 1990). He was arrested, along with his group, in September 1932. Although Stalin wanted the death penalty, the Politburo, at the insistance of Sergei Mironovich Kirov, rejected the demand, and Ryutin was sentenced to ten years imprisonment. Ryutin, however, was re-arrested in 1936 on a trumpedup charge of terrorism, and was executed on January 10, 1937.

See also: kirov, sergei mironovich; kolchak, alexan der vasilievich; purges, the great; stalin, josef vissarionovich


Conquest, Robert. (1990). The Great Terror: A Reassessment. New York: Oxford University Press.

Getty, J. Arch, and Naumov, Oleg V. (1999). The Road to Terror : Stalin and the SelfDestruction of the Bolsheviks, 1932-1939: Annals of Communism. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Medvedev, Roy Aleksandrovich, and Shriver, George. (1989). Let History Judge: The Origins and Consequences of Stalinism. New York: Columbia University Press.

Tucker, Robert C. (1990). Stalin in Power: The Revolution from Above, 1928-1941. New York: Norton.

James White