Stalin’s approval rating at highest level in 16 years

A man holds portraits of Josef Stalin before laying flowers at the grave of the Soviet leader during a ceremony to mark the 61th anniversary of Stalin's death in the Red Square in Moscow, March 2014.

A man holds portraits of Josef Stalin before laying flowers at the grave of the Soviet leader during a ceremony to mark the 61th anniversary of Stalin's death in the Red Square in Moscow, March 2014.

EPA
Overall, Russians expressed a favorable opinion of strong leaders

Russian support for Joseph Stalin hit the highest level in 16 years, reported RBK daily, citing the results of a survey by the Levada Center.

In the past year, support for Stalin rose from 37 percent to 46 percent. The number of people who said they’re "indifferent" to the brutal Soviet dictator decreased from 32 percent to 22 percent, while the number of people who look unfavorable upon Stalin increased from 17 percent to 21 percent.

In general, strong Soviet and Russian leaders are enjoying more popularity. Leonid Brezhnev’s approval rating rose from 39 percent to 47 percent, primarily because people now remember his rule as a time when Russia was a superpower feared by the U.S. The number of those antagonistic to the Soviet leader decreased from 12 percent to 9 percent. Russia’s current leader saw his popularity rise from 76 percent to 83 percent in the past decade, while those unhappy with President Vladimir Putin dropped from 8 percent to 5 percent.

The Levada Center survey measured Russian attitudes toward historical figures, and was conducted in 48 regions from Jan 20-23. In total, 1,600 adult Russians were interviewed.

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