World History Moment: The Murder Of Sergei Kirov

A smiling General Joseph V. Stalin raises his right hand in salute while reviewing a May Day Parade, in Moscow, May 1, 1946. Photo from Russian film.
A smiling General Joseph V. Stalin raises his right hand in salute while reviewing a May Day Parade, in Moscow, May 1, 1946. Photo from Russian film. AP Photo
A smiling General Joseph V. Stalin raises his right hand in salute while reviewing a May Day Parade, in Moscow, May 1, 1946. Photo from Russian film.
A smiling General Joseph V. Stalin raises his right hand in salute while reviewing a May Day Parade, in Moscow, May 1, 1946. Photo from Russian film. AP Photo

World History Moment: The Murder Of Sergei Kirov

Audio available after show airs.

When popular communist leader Sergei Kirov was shot in the back in 1934, many of Joseph Stalin’s opponents were scapegoated and executed. With opponents out of the way, Stalin cemented his spot as one of the most brutal dictators of the 20th century.

Historian John Schmidt tells us the story of the murder that consolidated power for Joseph Stalin.