What Was Stalin's Attempt to Breed Men With Animals?

In 1926, Soviet Union dictator Joseph Stalin sent an animal breeding expert to Guinea to try to create a species that was half-man and half-monkey. Stalin dreamed of creating an army of interspecies soldiers. The expert’s attempts to impregnate female chimps with human sperm and to inseminate women with the sperm of monkeys both failed.

Stalin envisioned a subservient yet powerful army of ape men that were insensitive to pain and indifferent about the food they consumed. Stalin planned to use the ape men in both his military campaigns and industrial work in the USSR.

Stalin recruited animal husbandry expert Ilya Ivanov, a Russian scientist and the creator of the first artificial breeding center for race horses, to conduct the research. At first, Ivanov captured chimps and attempted to impregnate them with human sperm, an attempt that was unsuccessful. Ivanov tried to recruit local women in Guinea for impregnation by the semen of apes, but none of the women agreed, so he moved his research back to Russia, where he attempted to impregnate at least five women with ape semen. The experiment was a failure.

After the research proved fruitless, the government exiled Ivanov from the Soviet Union. Sent into exile in Kazakhstan for a period of five years, Ivanov died a short while later. Rumors of continued experiments by the Soviets to create a hybrid human-monkey race persisted until at least the 1950s.