Russians blame Stalin for WW II losses: Opinion poll

Most Russians blame Joseph Stalin for huge losses of life the nation suffered during World War II.

Moscow: Most Russians blame the Soviet
leadership under dictator Joseph Stalin for the huge losses of
life the country suffered during the World War II, an opinion
poll suggested today.

More than half of (51 percent) Russians believe that
the Soviet leadership was caught napping when Nazi Germany
attacked the USSR, the Interfax reported, quoting an opinion
poll conducted by the independent pollster Levada-Centre ahead
of the 69th anniversary of Nazi Germany?s attack on USSR on
June 22.

Most of the 1,600 Russians polled in May said Stalin
erred by purging the military of top officials, failing to
prepare for combat and abandoning millions of Soviet prisoners
of war.

Over 27 million Soviet citizens, mostly ethnic
Russians had died in the bloodiest war of the 20th century
remembered in the former Soviet Union as the "Great Patriotic

When asked to identify the guilty of such huge losses,
30 percent Russians named Stalin personally and 20 percent
named the Soviet leadership and the Communist Party, of which
the dictator was the leader at the time.

51 percent Russians still believe that victory of the
allied forces was a victory of the Soviet Union, while 45
percent agrees that it was the victory of anti-Hitler
coalition of which besides USSR, US, Britain and France were
also members.