Gulag is an acronym for the Russian term “Glavnoye Upravleniye ispravitelno-trudovyh Lagerey”, or “Chief Administration of Corrective Labour Camps”, the bureaucratic name of the governing board of the Soviet labor camp system, and by metonymy, the camp system itself. The original Russian title of the book is Arkhipelag GuLag, the rhyme supporting the underlying metaphor deployed throughout the work. The word archipelago compares the system of labor camps spread across the Soviet Union with a vast “chain of islands”, known only to those who were fated to visit them.
Soviet detention facilities
Concentration camps, prisons, and psychiatric prisons. There were over 14,000,000 forced laborers in the GULAG system.