Nicholas II, Stalin and Lenin top popularity rating of Russian historical figures


Recent poll shows Nicholas II as the most popular figure in the 20th century Russian history

NOTE: All of the articles pertaining to Nicholas II and his family which were originally published in my Royal Russia News blog, have been moved to this Nicholas II blog. This article was originally posted on 26 June 2018 in my Royal Russia News blog – PG

Public attitudes towards Nicholas II have undergone several shifts since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, with the most recent studies carried out during the last few years showing an increase in appreciation of the monarch. This is partially due to the the efforts of the Russian Orthodox Church, and research by post Soviet Russian historians. Both have worked diligently by challenging the negative assessments of the life and reign of Russia’s last emperor and tsar, disproving the lies and myths which continue to be popular to this day, particularly by Western historians and biographers.

According to the most recent poll, Emperor Nicholas II, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, and Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin are the most popular figures among Russians from the 20th century.

Research conducted by the Russian state-run public opinion center VTSIOM showed that the last Russian emperor is now the most popular of all historical figures throughout the volatile 20th century – 54 percent of respondents said that they sympathize with the monarch. Joseph Stalin was second with 51 percent and the head of the Bolshevik party and the mastermind behind the 1917 revolution, Vladimir Lenin, was on the third place with 49 percent. Leader of the White Movement during the Russian Civil War, Alexander Kolchak was in fourth place with 36 percent, while general of the White Movement during the Russian Civil War Anton Denikin came in fifth place with 30 percent.

The share of respondents who told researchers that the feeling they had towards these people was strongly negative was 23 for Nicholas II, 28 for Stalin and 29 for Lenin. Most of the other prominent figures of the period, both among the revolutionaries and on the Tsarist sides, cause neither good nor bad emotions in the Russian public, research revealed.


Results of the poll show Nicholas II more popular among Russian than both Stalin and Lenin

The least liked figures were the leader of the Ukrainian anarchists Nestor Makhno, and the founder of the Red Army Leon Trotsky. 58 and 46 percent of Russians described their attitude to them as negative and only 12 and 20 percent confessed to sympathizing with them.

In the same poll researchers asked the Russian public what sources they used to get information about the October Revolution and the Civil War. 79 percent of respondents named schools and universities, 48 percent said they got information from books and 30 percent mentioned films and television series.

A different poll conducted by VTSIOM in late 2017, in connection with the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, revealed that 92 percent of Russians wanted similar events prevented at any cost, up from 78 percent five years ago. Only 5 percent of respondents told researchers that they considered a new revolution necessary (13 percent in 2012). 3 percent of respondents said that they had no opinion on the issue.

Still, 46 percent of the public agreed with the statement that the 1917 revolution was in the interests of the majority of Russians. 13 percent hold that the revolution benefited a minority and 33 percent said that only a small group of people managed to gain anything from the events of 1917.

38 percent of Russians currently think that the 1917 Revolution was a major stimulus for the social and economic development of the country. 23 percent agreed that the revolution “had opened a new era in Russia’s history.” At the same time, 14 percent of the poll participants said that the revolution had seriously impeded the development of Russia and 13 percent called the events a total disaster. 12 percent remained undecided over the role that the revolution had played in the Russian history.

© Russia Today and Paul Gilbert. 8 December 2019

Poll reveals nearly 60% of Russians believe murder of Tsar’s family as an atrocity


NOTE: All of the articles pertaining to Nicholas II and his family which were originally published in my Royal Russia News blog, have been moved to this Nicholas II blog. This article was originally posted on 26 July 2018 in my Royal Russia News blog – PG

Most Russians believe the murder of the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II, and his family members in 1918 had no justification, describing it as a monstrous crime rather than an act of retribution, a poll conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center ahead of the centenary of the murders of the Imperial family showed earlier this month.

“Most Russians (57%) believe that the murders of the Imperial family is a heinous unjustified crime (this number is bigger among people aged 35+ than among the younger generation aged between 18 and 34). Another 29% said the last Russian emperor paid too high a price for his mistakes. Nevertheless, young people believe that he had to be punished for them, with 46% among those aged between 18 and 24 more often expressing this point of view. Just 3% of those polled were certain that the Imperial family’s execution was the public’s just retribution for the emperor’s blunders,” the pollster said.

That said, Russians generally see Nicholas II in a positive light (43%). This viewpoint was expressed most often by people aged 45 (45-46%).

On the other hand, 22% tend to think of him negatively. Young people aged between 18 and 24 often said they disliked the last Russian emperor. However, 7% of the respondents stressed they were indifferent to Nicholas II, while 4% said they felt empathy for him.

“By now, the Soviet narrative, which claimed the murders of the Tsar’s family by their Bolshevik captors near Ekaterinburg during [Russia’s] Civil War was a necessary and fair act of revenge for the blunders and crimes committed by the Romanov family, has finally exhausted its credibility. Regardless of their political views and relations towards the tragic events that occurred a century ago, Russians consider that a crime, which has no justification whatsoever. Amid this sentiment, the last tsar, whatever his accomplishments or failures, is seen by today’s public as a nice person who deserves compassion, at the very least,” the pollster’s Director General Valery Fyodorov noted.

The survey was conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center on July 11, 2018, with 1,600 people aged 18 and above interviewed over the phone. The margin of error does not exceed 2.5% with a probability of 95%.

© TASS News Agency / Paul Gilbert. 7 December 2019