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Third of Russians consider Stalin 'state criminal', 44 per cent disagree - poll

Moscow, 4 September: Just over a third of Russians (38 per cent) think that Joseph Stalin was a state criminal, with 12 per cent "in total agreement" with this statement and 26 per cent "largely in agreement", says a survey published by the Levada Centre on Friday (4 September).

"Overall I can't say that he is," said 32 per cent of respondents, and 12 per cent absolutely disagreed with this (with the statement that Stalin was a criminal). Eighteen per cent found it difficult to answer.

Levada Centre experts asked respondents who, in their opinion, was responsible for the repressions of the 1930s and 1950s. Nineteen per cent each thought that Stalin or the state system as a whole were to blame for this. A further 41 per cent laid the blame on both the leader and the system at the same time. The remaining 6 per cent (as received) said that someone else was to blame, possibly enemies of the USSR. Fifteen per cent gave no answer to the sociologists.

Only 11 per cent of citizens think that there were many features in common between the structure in the USSR under Stalin and that of Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler. Certain common features are seen by 32 per cent. Nineteen per cent do not see anything in common between the two regimes, and 22 per cent think that it is unacceptable to compare the USSR and Nazi Germany, and Stalin with Hitler. Sixteen per cent found it hard to answer.

The Levada Centre carried out a representative survey of 1,600 Russians in 128 locations in 46 regions across the country between 23 and 31 August. The answers to the questions asked in this research are given in percentages from the overall number of respondents. Statistical error does not exceed 3.4 per cent.

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