At the pinnacle of the Great Terror, the Politburo issued "quotas" to the police authorities, instructing them as to what percentage of the population in their district was to be shot and what percentage sent to camps. For example, on June 2, 1937, it set a quota of 35,000 persons to be "repressed" in Moscow city and Moscow province, of which number 5,000 were to be shot. One month later, the Politburo provided each region with quotas of persons to be "rounded up" nationwide; 70,000 of them were to be executed without trial. A high proportion of the victims of the Great Terror were persons with a higher education considered difficult to control and prone to engage in "sabotage."
- From Communism: A History by Richard Pipes
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