Written by Africanews

The Premier of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, passed away last night, in what is already shaping up to be a controversial death. The aged leader was 74 at the time of his passing, and there is no clear heir to his political power.

With his passing the Central Committee will be forced into session in order to seek a way to go forward for the Russian people. Stalin had held office for over thirty years before his passing and had consolidated much of the executive power in the USSR.

He had started as one of the members of the Russian Social Democratic Party in which he was a divisive member and left to join the Bolshevik party shortly after. He was skilled in organizing strikes and movements during the first decade of the 1900’s. It was during this time that he became one of the disciples of Vladimir Lenin, kickstarting a rise to power that would culminate in his attaining the position of General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1922.

During his years of power, Stalin oversaw the rapid industrialization of the Soviet Union, in which the cities saw greatly expanded industry. This focus on modernizing the workforce came during the years of the Great Depression, when the world was militarizing, particularly Nazi controlled Germany.

Because of this era of heightened tensions, the government that Stalin oversaw agreed to a non-aggression pact with Germany, which is infamous for becoming null when Germany invaded in the summer of 1941. The German machine pushed deep into Soviet land, however the winter brought heavy casualties for the Germans and they were pushed backwards for the rest of the war in the Western Front.

In the recent year after World War II, the stoic leader of the Soviet Union oversaw his country become a nuclear power and entered into the most dangerous arms race in humanity’s existence. This race began when the Soviet Union successfully tested nuclear weapons, becoming the second state in the world to have such nuclear capabilities.

As the USSR scrambles to find its next leader, the Communist party is too without a leader for the first time in nearly thirty years. Some speculation appears to indicate that the party may appoint a more moderate politician. Georgy Malenkov and Nikita Khrushchev seem to be favorites for the position, however the Central Committee will likely take their time to nominate a successor as the decision will likely have decades-long consequences.