Russia communist wing asks for probe into West's possible involvement in Stalin's death

  • World
  • Tuesday, 05 Mar 2024

FILE PHOTO: Supporters of the Russian Communist Party attend a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of Soviet leader Josef Stalin's death in Red Square in Moscow, Russia March 5, 2023. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/File Photo

(Reuters) - The Communists of Russia party has asked the FSB security service and top prosecutors to investigate the possible involvement of Western intelligence services in the death of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in 1953, RIA news agency reported on Tuesday.

"The party appealed to the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation and the FSB with a request to check the possible involvement of Western intelligence services in the death of Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin," RIA cited the chairman of the party, Sergei Malinkovich as saying.

"Many testimonies from Stalin's contemporaries speak of the possible poisoning of the leader of the Soviet nations by agents of Western influence," Malinkovich said, according to the report.

It was not immediately clear whether the FSB or the Prosecutor General's Office had replied to the party's request.

Tuesday marks the 71st anniversary of the death of Stalin, who was the leader of the Soviet Union from 1924 until the day he died. The cause of his death was a haemorrhagic stroke, according to the government.

He oversaw Russia's rapid industrialisation but also the deaths of millions in purges, Gulag labour camps and famines.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who casts himself as an heir to the tsars of the past, has offered a measured assessment of Stalin, praising his war leadership while condemning his domestic policies as "totalitarian".

The Communists of Russia party (CPCR) was registered in 2012. Its main rival on the left of Russia's political spectrum is the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF), which considers itself as the successor to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

Malinkovich told RIA that his party representatives would lay flowers at the bust of Stalin at the Kremlin Wall on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Jamie Freed)

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