Poll: More than half of Russians belive Stalin played a positive role in the country's history

According to a poll conducted by the Levada Center, 54% of Russian citizens believe that Josef Stalin played a positive role in the country’s history, Vedmosti reported.

Approximately the same number of respondents believe that Stalin was a wise leader who led the Soviet Union to prosperity. The majority of respondents (60%) would not want to live under such a head of state, falling from 74% in 2008.

At the same time, two-thirds of respondents considered Stalin to be a tyrant, responsible for the deaths of millions of people, while 23% said they had “positive feelings” for the former Soviet leader.

About half consider the political repressions during his reign to be a crime, but more and more of those believe that they were “a political necessity”.

Dozhd noted that the positive attitude towards Stalin gained momentum following Russia’s annexation of the Crimea in March of 2014.

"Stalin, according to the Russians, was a suitable figure to lead the country during the war [World War Two], at a critical time, when a stiff hand was required… Russians now do not want to live in such times,” said deputy director of the Levada Center, Alexei Grazhdankin.

According to him, the change in perception of Stalin is related to the Kremlin's current leadership style.

  Russia, poll