Stalin Proves Resilient

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No matter how powerful the Russian government may appear nowadays, it hasn't been able to quell nostalgia for some of the country's most brutal leaders.

Dictator Josef Stalin made the final cut Wednesday in a Kremlin-backed contest to identify Russia's most significant historical figure, though he was stripped of almost one million votes organizers called "illegal."

The "Name of Russia" contest is part of a broad effort by the Kremlin and state media to strengthen national pride, drawing on Russia's Soviet and Czarist past. But the campaign has turned into a political minefield.

When the online contest kicked off in June, Internet voting gave Stalin a huge lead, before a grass-roots campaign pushed Czar Nicholas II into first place. Other figures went on to occupy the top slot but Stalin always remained a close second.

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