A brief visit to Red Square might leave many in the West confused; Stalin’s tomb, separated from Lenin’s only eight years after his death, remains one of the best decorated with tokens from his still enamoured supporters.
Let us not underestimate the scale to which he is still revered in the country. In December last year Josef Stalin was voted the third most popular Russian in a nationwide poll conducted on state television.
Seen by the West as a puppet of the former president and current prime minister, Vladimir Putin, Medvedev’s touching on a subject as sensitive as the heritage of such an emotive figure might seem alien to such a definition.
This is especially so since Putin’s own period as head of Russia took a much more cautious approach, including the rewriting of schoolbooks to emphasise his achievements during his 30 year rule.