MOSCOW, Jan. 18, 1935 (UP) - Josef Stalin ruled unchallenged throughout the 8,000,000 square miles of Soviet Russia today after the addition of 98 more names to the long list of those who have paid with liberty or life for the assassination of Sergei Kirov.
Nineteen men were sentenced to prison terms last night and 79 men and seven women to exile for participation in the Moscow and Leningrad opposition groups whose activities, it is held, made possible the conditions under which Kirov, Stalin's old friend and co-leader, was killed.
Two veteran Bolsheviks, once of world renown, were among the 19 sentenced to prison after trial before the military collegium of the Supreme Court - Gregory Zinoviev and Leo Kamanev.
Zinoviev was sentenced to 10 years and Kamanev to five. That they escaped with their lives was probably due to the fact that they were pioneers in the Bolshevik cause; that they endured outlawry, imprisonment and exile in the fight against czarism and were leaders in the audacious coup by which the Bolshevik faction seized power from the Kerensky government.
They were tried at Leningrad where Kirov was killed and found guilty of organizing counter-revolution to overthrow the government. The court found they did not inspire Kirov's murder but knew of the terroristic inclinations of the Leningrad opposition group and encouraged them.
It was announced erroneously, at first, that Zinoviev and Kamanev had been exiled.
Those sentenced last night brought to 215 the number of persons who have been punished for opposition activities since Kirov's assassination. One hundred and seventeen, including two women, have been shot. In addition a number of Communists, including A.P. Smirnov, a veteran also, have been dismissed from the party apparently as part of a "purge."
The 19 sentenced to prison terms last night pleaded guilty to counter-revolutionary activities, and some made eloquent confessions of guilt in which they professed repentance. Zinoviev is a veteran confessionist; twice before he engaged in opposition activities, and twice was restored to favor. That fact probably caused the severity of his punishment, for perhaps no leader of such prominence as he had been sentenced to a long prison term before.
Of the 19, four received 10 years, five eight years, seven six years and three five years. The sentences included confiscation of all property.
The 79 persons banished were tried by a special council of the Ministry of Interior on charges of participation in the opposition of which Zinoviev was the general leader. Forty-nine, including four women, were sentenced to exile in concentration camps; the remaining 30, including three women, to administrative exile - forced residence in designated areas.