News / Europe

Russians Mark 60th Anniversary of Stalin's Death

Communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov places flowers on Stalin's grave in Red Square, outside the Kremlin wall, Moscow, March 5, 2013.
Communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov places flowers on Stalin's grave in Red Square, outside the Kremlin wall, Moscow, March 5, 2013.
Mike Richman
Russians have marked the 60th anniversary of the death of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, who holds enduring popularity despite his tyrannical leadership, which killed millions.
 
Hundreds of people gathered in Moscow's Red Square to lay flowers at Stalin's tomb Tuesday near the Kremlin Wall.
 
His body was buried there in 1961 as part of a de-Stalinization process, after being preserved in the Mausoleum of Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Bolshevik Revolution.

The head of Russia's Communist Party, Gunnady Zyuganov, attended the commemoration. He praised Stalin as a "distinguished state and political figure," and as a symbol of the nation's "great victories."
 
A woman holds a portrait of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin during a communist rally marking Defenders of the Fatherland Day, Moscow, Feb. 23, 2013.A woman holds a portrait of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin during a communist rally marking Defenders of the Fatherland Day, Moscow, Feb. 23, 2013.
x
A woman holds a portrait of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin during a communist rally marking Defenders of the Fatherland Day, Moscow, Feb. 23, 2013.
A woman holds a portrait of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin during a communist rally marking Defenders of the Fatherland Day, Moscow, Feb. 23, 2013.
Stalin Still Widely Admired
 
An opinion survey on Stalin in Russia and the ex-Soviet states of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia found the former Soviet dictator remains widely admired. The U.S.-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace commissioned the report.
 
Carnegie report editor Thomas de Waal said Stalin’s popularity remains high because no proper de-Stalinization program has been carried out in the media or schools.
 
"It seems that Stalin is still there in peoples' minds, not only in Russia but in places like Georgia and Armenia as well, 60 years after his death, even though there are very few visual representations of him, very few statues or portraits," he said. "His shadow is still there."
 
De Waal said the poll also found that people do not fully understand the history of Stalin and his ruthlessness.
 
"I think one of the other things that this poll shows is a much higher level of indifference — not so much opposition, but indifference amongst younger people particularly in Azerbaijan, where 39 percent of younger people said they did not even know who Stalin is," he said. "So maybe Stalin is becoming a bit of a distant figure like ... Peter the Great or Ivan the Terrible — which is not so great. It would be important for people to have a proper discussion about the recent Soviet past. This poll shows that people are confused, that they do not really come to grips with the history of Stalin, but that they do not really want him back.”

A Tyrannical Ruler
 
Stalin ruled the Soviet Union from 1924 until his death in 1953 at age 74. Communists and other hardliners credit him with the defeat of Adolf Hitler in World War II and turning the Soviet Union into a nuclear superpower.
 
Critics condemn his tyranny. Historians estimate nearly one-million people were executed during his purges in the 1930s. Millions more died in his notorious Gulag prison camps and in his mass starvation system in Ukraine.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

1855 Slave Brochure Starkly Details Sale of Black Americans

Document lists entire families that were up for sale in New Orleans, offering graphic insight into the slavery trade More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
March 06, 2013 3:35 AM
Stalin=Hitler. Russians are fooled as ever.

by: Nazanee Topian from: Oklahoma
March 05, 2013 3:45 PM
Admired? Really?!?! I lived in post Soviet Armenia and heard the horror stories, sat with some of the intelligencia who were imprisoned by Stalin and NEVER did I hear admiration! Proves the days of propaganda are alive and well in the new Russia!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs