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Statistics of Democide

Contents | Figures | Tables | Preface

Chapter 1: Summary and Conclusions [Why Democide?...]
Chapter 2: Pre-Twentieth Century Democide
Chapter 3 Japan's Savage Military
Chapter 4: The Khmer Rouge Hell State
Chapter 5: Turkey's Ethnic Purges
Chapter 6: The Vietnamese War State
Chapter 7: Poland's Ethnic Cleansing
Chapter 8: The Pakistani Cutthroat State
Chapter 9: Tito's Slaughterhouse
Chapter 10: Orwellian North Korea
Chapter 11: Barbarous Mexico
Chapter 13: Death American by bombing
Chapter 14: The Gang of Centi-Kilo Murderers
Chapter 15: The Lesser Murderers
Chapter 16: The Social Field of Democide
Chapter 17: Democracy, Power, and Democide
Chapter 18: Social Diversity, Power, and Democide
Chapter 19: Culture and Democide
Chapter 20: The Context of Democide Socio-Economic and Geographic
Chapter 21: War, Rebellion, and Democide
Chapter 22: The Social Field and Democide
Chapter 23: Democide Through the Years

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    Chapter 12

    Statistics Of Russian Democide
    Estimates, Calculations, And Sources *

    By R.J. Rummel

    From 1900 until he was deposed in 1917, Russia was ruled by the last of the Russian czars, Nicholas II. He was an absolute nationalist, an autocrat, and anti-semitic. Under him Jewish pogroms were encouraged, opposition repressed, dissident minorities bloodily subjugated, and in particular, during the First World War, German and other prisoners of war were treated atrociously, many dying as a result. Taking into account all the democide under the Czar, possibly near 900,000 to almost 1,500,000 Russians, subjects of the Russian empire, and foreigners were killed; perhaps around 1,000,000. But this figure is very uncertain. There are too few sources for the largest democides that earn the Czar's regime full status as a megamurderer, but still there is sufficient evidence to at least issue an indictment.

    I list in Table 12.1 the relevant estimates, sources, and calculations. The estimates are better for Russia than the other suspected megamurderers, Mexico and North Korea. Much less guessing and calculation is involved and sources do give the largest estimates that contribute to the final democide figure. However, the mid-value upon which I determine Russia's megamurder status is very close to 1,000,000 (line 124) and very sensitive to the few component democides. The largest of these is an alleged democide of 500,000 Central Asian Turks (line 75). This is from Arnold Toynbee, who admits that the toll is speculative. I could find no other sources for this democide other than the one he cites,1 which itself gives no estimates of those who died. But Toynbee's knowledge of these regions was gained from personal experience and access to information not easily available, and he is one of this century's foremost historians. His "speculation" is worthy of serious consideration. Still, almost half the alleged total democide of Russia hangs on this. Perhaps this is balanced by the fact that there was clearly much other killing by the Czar's forces in this region for which no estimates could have been made at all, as of the Armenians in the Caucasus, the Kara Kirghis, or the population of Samarkand.

    Another large democide component is that calculated for the Armenian irregulars with Russian forces when they invaded Turkey. These irregulars no doubt massacred Moslem Turks and Kurds in retaliation for the Turk massacres of Armenians reported in Chapter 5.2 But how many? The only sources I could find on this were from Moslem Turk and Iranian sources (lines 101 and 102), neither inclined to be even-handed about Armenians. Note that the one from a former Iranian Ambassador to Turkey (line 102) gives a figure of over 600,000 Kurds killed in the Eastern vilayets of Turkey, or almost 58 percent of all Moslem Kurd and Turk deaths in six Eastern vilayets, including those dead from disease and famine during the war.3 Moreover, in this region the number of Turks much outnumbered Kurds. That the Armenians would have killed 600,000 Kurds alone is therefore incredible.

    Other figures are given by the Professor Emin, a statistician, in his book on Turkey in the war, which enables me to calculate the massacre's total (line 101), which I get as 128,000 Muslims killed. In consolidating this with the 600,000 figure I very conservatively raise it to only 150,000 (near half what the average of these two estimates would be) to accept that there may be some value to the larger figure and to take account of other massacres that occurred in Turkey and the Caucasus by Armenian-Russian regular and irregular troops. Still, only one possibly good source and one very questionable one underlies this estimate.

    A third large democide component is the toll among Russian held POWs during the First World War. The lethal conditions that the POWs were imprisoned under are well described from personal experience by Brandstrom4 and further substantiated by the historical study of Speed.5 But what responsibility--democide--should be assigned to the Czar's regime. My sense for this from sources and histories of the period is that the regime bore the whole responsibility; it was within its power and resources to secure the lives of these POWs although not necessarily to much relieve their discomfort (straw huts and plank beds, perhaps, but at least water and minimum medical care). Another problem involves classifying the democide after the Czar abdicated in March 1917. Many POWs were held in Siberia up the end of 1919. My only interest here is the Czar's regime (the post-Czar POW deaths are counted elsewhere6). Most deaths took place in the early years of the war, but nonetheless, I conservatively reduce the estimate of the total democide by 10 to 30 percent to get that for the Czar's regime (line 98).

    Finally, there are the estimates for those Germans that died in their deportation from Wolbynia (Volhynia) during the war (lines 58 to 59). From 25,000 to 140,000 Germans lost their lives in these deportations, a number whose huge magnitude should not be lost among the much larger figures discussed previously. Yet this range depends on just two independent and inconsistent estimates.

    All this makes the acceptance of the final democide figures for Russia much more conjectural than for any of the megamurderers, such as Pakistan, Cambodia, or Turkey, and only sufficient to indict her regime for megamurder. 


    * From the pre-publisher edited manuscript of Chapter 12 in R.J. Rummel, Statistics of Democide, 1997. For full reference to Statistics of Democide, the list of its contents, figures, and tables, and the text of its preface, click book.

    1. Czaplicka (1918, pp. 16-17).

    2. See Sachar (1969, p. 114).

    3. I calculate the percentage from figures given by McCarthy (1983, p. 138).

    4. Brandstrom (1929).

    5. Speed (1990).

    6. See Centi-Kilo Murderers, Table 14.1d, lines 1934-1939f, for the Kerensky regime; and Rummel (1990) for the Soviets.

    For citations see the Statistics of Democide REFERENCES

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