Someone once told me there is a saying in Russian which basically translates to

"There are people, there are problems. There are no people, there are no problems"

Does anyone know this saying and if so please can you tell me what it is in Russian?

  • Есть люди - есть проблемы, нет людей - нет проблем
    – Oleg
    Feb 6, 2017 at 10:13

1 Answer 1


Есть человек — есть проблема, нет человека — нет проблемы.
Wrongly attributed to Stalin: there is no evidence that he ever said or wrote something similar.

This phrase from the novel "Children of the Arbat" (1987) by Анатолий Наумович Рыбаков (1911 — 1998). As Stalin said about the execution of military experts in Tsaritsyn in 1918 : "Death solves all problems. No person and no problem. " Later, in his «Роман-воспоминание» (1997), Рыбаков wrote that the phrase Stalin "possibly from someone heard, perhaps, he came up with." This was Stalin's principle. I just, it briefly formulated."

  • Thank you for the additional information behind it, that's really interesting :) Feb 6, 2017 at 10:57

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