- Category: History
- Created on Tuesday, 30 December 2008 09:30
- Written by Mike Ely
Gary Leupp and Andrei both remarked that this may deserve comment:
One of those semi-scientific TV polls has the commentators of the West clacking their tongues:
Joseph Stalin, general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and leader of the third Communist International, was voted the third most popular Russian historical figure.
He came in behind Alexander Nevsky (a warrior-king who beat off an invasion by German knights in the Middle Ages) and Pytor Stolypin (a tsarist prime minister and advocate of capitalist modernization in the early 1900s).
More than 50 million people voted by phone, the internet or via text messages in the poll held by Rossiya, one of Russia's biggest television stations.
The voting took place over six months as 500 original candidates were whittled down to a final 12.
In the official West media, Stalin is a symbol of everything horrific in the Russian past -- but for large numbers of Russian people, Stalin is remembered, and loved, as the leader of the Soviet Union's socialist days, and the period of great common struggle (for social advancement and the defeat of Hitler).
Lenin (the leader of the Soviet revolution) came in sixth.
It is widely rumored (western reports say) that Stalin's showing was artificially suppressed, including by giving special air time to Stolypin (who current Russian leader Putin is promoting as a symbol for Russia today).