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Stalin had eliminated all likely potential opposition to his leadership by late 1934. From then on, he was the unchallenged leader of both party and state. Nevertheless, he proceeded to purge the party rank and file and to terrorize the entire country with widespread arrests and executions. During the ensuing Great Terror, millions of innocent Soviet citizens were sent off to labor camps or killed in prison. Between 1936-38, a series of notorious show trials were held, during which thousands of Stalin's former Bolshevik opponents were sentenced to death.