Stalin's grandson defends notorious Soviet leader's actions





The resemblance, you have been told, is uncanny. Yet, even still, when the man himself finally steps out of the shadows, it causes a momentary hesitation, a faltering of your step. And indeed it is true -- even the photos don't accurately portray it.

Yevgeny Dzhugashvili is a compact, solidly built man. His neatly trimmed mustache is white, but at age 70, his gray hair is still thick. He has a fine, broad forehead, a strong nose, large ears and dark, watchful eyes. He speaks slowly and quietly. His home is a small, working-class apartment in Tbilisi, the capital of the mountainous Republic of Georgia, which 15 years ago was a privileged part of the once-mighty Soviet Union.

Yevgeny's family name is virtually unknown beyond Tbilisi. Yet Yevgeny carries an enormous psychological burden, for he is the grandson of one Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili -- better known to the world as Joseph Stalin, one of history's most infamous mass murderers.

According to the prominent Russian human-rights group Memorial, during the time that Stalin ruled the Soviet Union, from 1928 until his death in 1953, he was responsible for the deaths of probably 14 million people, including those starved to death by his purposely launched famines of 1932-33 and 1946-47. Stalin also imprisoned 25 million people in his network of brutal Siberian work camps known as the gulags.


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