Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 until his death in 5 March 1953. Among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the Russian Revolution in 1917. Stalin probably exercised greater political power than any other figure in history. In the 1930s, by his orders, millions of peasants were either killed or permitted to starve to death. Stalin brought about the deaths of more than 20 million of his own people while holding the Soviet Union in an iron grip for 29 years.