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THE FORCE OF DISCIPLINE: The Procuracy in Stalinist Russia, 1938-1956

The history of the procuracy illustrates that Stalinist justice was more than orchestrating show trials. Ordinary state prosecutors very rarely dealt with political enemies. Their main task was to investigate and prosecute millions of non-political offenses, such as theft, murder, or rape. At the same time, they bore responsibility to enforce legal norms within the state apparatus. All branches of government, including police work, were subject to prosecutors’ supervision. The procuracy not only was a crucial instrument for controlling the Soviet populace.