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He deceived them by putting on a front of respect and honor towards their beloved, idolized Lenin. When Lenin died, Stalin made it seem as though he was appointed successor, when in reality Lenin had tried and expose Stalin in his Testaments.

Originally, he had been elected as Chief Secretary (something which Lenin regretted later on.) And used his powers to steadily grow and gain followers. Acted as a humble, friendly man. But the Russians would soon learn this cover was completely false. He also embraced his "Russianism" which was what the Russians wanted in their leader - a native, someone like them. This all helped him become Dictator of the Soviet Union in December 1929.

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Q: How did Stalin portray himself to the Russian people after World War 1?
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