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Shedding Light in the Darkness

New Russian Poll Names Brutal Dictator Josef Stalin Most Outstanding Person In History

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He may have killed and imprisoned millions of Soviet citizens during his brutal reign, but Russians today seemed to have forgotten Josef Stalin’s abhorrent past naming him the most outstanding person in history.  The survey by the independent Levada Center in Moscow showed 38 percent of those two took part chose Stalin. 

In the poll Russians were asked to pick the ten greatest individuals of all time. Putin shared second place on 34 percent with Russia’s beloved national poet Alexander Pushkin.

Vladimir Lenin, Tsar Peter the Great, and first man in space Yury Gagarin came next in the list of 20 people, with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in last place with six percent.

According to The Washington Post, Stalin in Russia is increasingly portrayed not as the murderous architect of the Gulag, forced collectivization, mass starvation and political purges that claimed millions of his citizens’ lives, but as the steely architect of the Soviet victory in World War II — called the Great Patriotic War here. In the Kremlin’s view, saving the world from Nazi fascism was the greatest achievement of the 20th century.

“The use of the cult of victory for propaganda goals naturally adds up to the acquittal of Stalin to a certain degree,” said Denis Volkov, a sociologist at the Levada Center.

Tanya Lokshina, Russia program director for Human Rights Watch, told The Washington Post recently that “there is little awareness” of Stalin’s crimes in Russia today.

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