As the enemy of the people, Lev Trotski proved indispensable to the regime he had helped install. Back in 1929, Stalin forcibly exiled the erstwhile Bolshevik Number 2 from the Soviet Union, and turned him into the epitome of all the horror that threatened the Soviet Motherland, the bogeyman that the people must rally around the Vozhd to oppose. Moscow show trials were built on alleged ties of the "criminal trotskiite underground" to their exiled principal. All the ills and failures of the Soviet society were explained by the plotting of "trotskiite wreckers." Even after Stalin's agent murdered Trotski with an ice-pick in Mexico in August 1940, his name was invoked to justify terror until Stalin's death in March 1953, and remained a curse till the late 1980s.
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