Accessibility links

Even In Former Gulag, Stalin's Popularity Persists

Josef Stalin is remembered in the West as a brutal dictator who engineered mass famine, deportations, and the Gulag system. But in Russia, he is often seen as a strong and savvy leader -- even by those who suffered the most under his rule. In Vorkuta, a far-northern city founded as a labor camp, former Gulag prisoners give Stalin credit for winning World War II and have little to say about his policies of political repression. RFE/RL's Tom Balmforth spoke to former prisoners and other residents of Vorkuta about the complex legacy of the Soviet leader.