They represent the officers and Communist ministers that were executed in the Soviet Union's Great Purge before World War II. In the Purge, officers and ministers were tortured into false confessions to provide evidence for their trials. The Rebel Pigs each confessed to their association with the exiled Snowball and were promptly killed by Napoleon's allegorical secret police force of dogs. The Purge's defendants were accused of conspiring with Western leaders to kill Joseph Stalin and reinstate a market economy in Russia. The closest parallels to the Rebel Pigs are Nikolai Bukharin, Alexei Rykov, Grigory Zinoviev, and Lev Kamenev.