Putins stark similarities to Stalin: 5 key connections explained

Ukrainian mass protest ruins Putin's 'propaganda film' plans

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Since Joseph Stalin’s reign ended nearly 80-years-ago, no other individual has ruled Russia for longer than its incumbent President Vladimir Putin. The 69-year-old’s time in office took a sinister turn little more than a week ago when he ordered troops to invade Ukraine on the grounds of demilitarisation and “denazification” of its former Soviet neighbour.

Below Express.co.uk explores five striking similarities that exist between Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Putin.

1.) Both became Russian President at a similar age

Mr Putin first became President in 2000 at the age of 47 while Stalin succeeded Vladimir Lenin aged 45, in 1924.

2.) Each promised to bring stability

Stalin made his pledge after Russia emerged from a civil war in 1921 as the newly formed Soviet Union.

In comparison, Mr Putin said he would fulfil a similar promise after Moscow had struggled financially due to the collapse of Soviet Russia in 1991.

3.) Similar use of historical narratives

Stalin and Mr Putin each repeated the rhetoric that Russia requires a “strong hand” to prevent internal disorder and protect against external aggression.

4.) Repression of political opponents

The repeated language both men used allowed them to forge political systems where no-one could challenge their personal authority.

Alexei Navalny was arrested immediately, in January 2021, after he had returned to Russia from Berlin.

He has remained in prison ever since on a charge relating to an embezzlement case from 2014.

Mr Navalny is a public critic of Mr Putin who has previously accused the Russian President’s party of being full of “crooks and thieves”.

Novichok, a Russian weapons-grade toxin, was used to poison Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in England in 2018.

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Kremlin state agents were blamed for that too. The Skripals survived, but a local woman died.

Mr Putin denied any links to those and other attacks on prominent political opponents.

Between 1937 and 1938 Stalin orchestrated the Great Purge – a series of campaigns of political persecution – which led to hundreds of thousands of deaths.

5.) Extreme patriotism of the state

Both men sought to protect the long-term security of the Russian or Soviet state above all else.

In essence, that meant valuing collective duties above individual rights.

Moreover, it symbolised using military force to expand the reach of the Russian state.

Stalin assumed great territorial gains for the Soviet Union at the close of World War Two, including the Baltic states.

Before launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine last month Mr Putin had annexed the southern peninsula of Crimea in 2014.

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