Russian human rights group has published a database containing personal information about nearly 40,000 members of the notorious security force that carried out Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin’s purges, shedding light on an ugly stretch of history the Kremlin would prefer to remain hidden.  
The archive, culled from the records of Stalin’s security forces (the NKVD) and posted on the website of Memorial, the human rights group, for the first time names those who carried out some 700,000 executions from 1935 to 1939 during “The Great Terror.” Russian President Vladi­mir Putin has in recent years revised Stalin’s legacy, emphasizing the dictator’s role in defeating Nazi Germany in World War II and turning the Soviet Union into a world power. 
The details of the purges, in which Communist Party leaders and rank-and-file citizens were summarily tried and convicted, usually on trumped-up charges, have been erased from school textbooks and public discourse.  
 “Until now, …
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