Sergey Kirov is Killed

Sergey Kirov, a leader of the Russian Revolution and a high-ranking member of the Politburo, is shot to death at his Leningrad office by Communist Party member Leonid Nikolayev, likely at the instigation of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.

Whatever Stalin's precise role in the assassination of his political rival Kirov, he used the murder as a pretext for eliminating many of his opponents in the Communist Party, the government, the armed forces, and the intelligentsia. Kirov's assassination served as the basis for seven separate trials and the arrest and execution of hundreds of notable figures in Soviet political, military, and cultural life.

Kirov and Joseph Stalin went on holiday together. Stalin, who treated Kirov like a son, used this opportunity to try to persuade him to remain loyal to his leadership. Stalin asked him to leave Leningrad to join him in Moscow. Stalin wanted Kirov in a place where he could keep a close eye on him. When Kirov refused, Stalin knew he had lost control over his protégé.

Sergei Kirov was assassinated by a young party member, Leonid Nikolayev, on 1st December, 1934. Stalin claimed that Nikolayev was part of a larger conspiracy led by Leon Trotsky against the Soviet government. This resulted in the arrest and execution of Genrikh Yagoda, Lev Kamenev, Gregory Zinoviev, and fourteen other party members who had been critical of Stalin.