The number of Russians who approve of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin has reached a 16-year high, according to a poll by Levada Centre.
The number of respondents whose attitude towards Stalin can be described as "admiration", "respect" or "liking", reached 46%, up from 37% a year ago.
The number who profess indifference declined from 32% to 22% and those who say they hate him increased slightly, from 17% to 21%.
The name of Stalin, who is held responsible for the deaths of millions of citizens during his 1922-52 rule of the Soviet Union, is mainly associated in people's minds with "order in the country", Alexei Grazhdankin, deputy director of Levada Centre, was quoted as saying by RBC. When the overall situation in the country declines, they tend to praise "people with a strong stand", he added.
Meanwhile, the approval rating of late Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev went up from 39% to 47% and that of Russian President Vladimir Putin rose from 76% to 83%.
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