A new survey by Russian polling agency Levada-Centre has revealed that 24% of the population feels favourably about former dictator Joseph Stalin, up from 8% in 1990.
When asked which revolutionary leader they felt most positively about, almost a quarter of the 1,600 people polled went with Stalin; his predecessor Vladimir Lenin, on the other hand, has seen his popularity decline since the fall of the USSR. In 1990, 67% of respondents had something good to say about him: now the number is down to 26%. Aside from Lenin and Stalin, the last Romanov tsar, Nicholas II, and the founder of the Soviet secret police, Felix Dzerzhinsky each garnered 16% of the votes.
The survey also asked respondents to assess the broad success or failure of the revolution. 42% of those polled agreed that the fall of the monarchy had represented a "significant loss" for the country, up from 11% in 1990. 36% thought that the revolution led to social and economic progress, with 21% holding that the Soviet project had held the country back. In response to the eternal question of whether the revolution was a good or bad thing overall, half of those polled answered in the positive and 30% in the negative, with 21% declining to respond.
In news that will no doubt please current Russian President Vladimir Putin, only 28% of respondents thought it was likely that modern Russia could see a repeat of the upheavals of 1917, with 59% considering such a turn of events unlikely.
Source: TV Rain (in Russian)