Although it is difficult to determine the exact number of individuals murdered during the Stalinist terror of the 1930s, the most recent figures indicate that more than 100,000 religious leaders were executed between 1937 and 1941. […] Alexander Yakovlev, a former advisor to Gorbachev, explained the extent of the terror in the early days of the Soviet Union:
The offical term execution was often a euphemism for murder, fiendishly refined. For example, Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev was mutilated, castrated, and shot, and his corpse was left naked for the public to desecrate. Metropolitan Veniamin of St. Petersburg, in line to succeed the patriarch, was turned into a pillar of ice: he was doused with cold water in the freezing cold. Bishop Germogen of Tobolsk, who had voluntarily accompanied the czar into exile, was strapped to a paddlewheel of a steamboat and mangled by the rotating blades. Archbishop Andronnik of Perm, who had been renowned earlier as a missionary and had worked as such in Japan, was buried alive. Archbishop Vasily was crucified and burned.
—Paul Froese, The Plot to Kill God : Findings from the Soviet Experiment in Secularization (2008) (via zerogate)