Stalin’s popularity undiminished despite purges

SOVIET dictator Josef Stalin remains one of Russia’s most popular historical figures despite the purges that marked his rule, according to the results in a nationwide poll.

Georgian-born Stalin came third place in the poll of most popular Russians run by Rossiya state television channel.

Millions of Soviet citizens perished from famine during forced collectivisation, were executed as “enemies of the people” or died in Gulag hard labour camps during Stalin’s rule, which lasted for almost 30 years until his death in 1953. Yet he won an 11.5% share of votes.

The most popular Russian was voted to be 13th century prince Alexander Nevsky, who defeated German invaders, with 11.7%.

He was followed by Pyotr Stolypin, a prime minister in the early 20th century known for agrarian reforms and a clampdown on leftist revolutionaries, with 11.6%.

The project was launched with an original list of 50 historical figures. and closed with the final vote broadcast yesterday.

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