- Friday, 13 December 2019 19:00
- Estonian Life No. 50 2019 - Laas Leivat
In spite of the deep wounds that Josef Stalin's crimes left across Eastern Europe, where most people revile him for abject intolerance, communist cruelty and inhumanity, Stalin's approval rating in Russia has hit a record high.
A 2019 poll, conducted by the internationally recognized Levada Centre, has revealed that fully 70 percent of Russians approve of the Russian dictator's role in the country's history. This is a substantial increase from the previous high of 54 percent in 2016.
Only a combined 13 percent actually said that they dislike, fear or hate Stalin, while 26 percent had neither positive or negative views about him.
In addition only 19 percent of respondents view his role negatively now compared to 32 percent in 2016. The share of Russians respondents who felt his crimes were justified rose from 45 percent in 2008 to 60 percent in 2019.
A 2017 survey indicated that Stalin was named by Russians as the world's most outstanding public figure. He was followed by the poet Alexander Pushkin and Vladimir Putin. Just three non-Russian figures made it to the top of international rankings, as seen by Russians themselves: Napoleon, Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton. Ethnocentrism plays a determining role in Russians' choices.
(Read more: EE# 50 13. Dec. 2019 paper issue or PDF/digileht)
Laas Leivat, Toronto