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European Court Rejects Stalin Grandson's Complaint

The European Court of Human Rights has rejected a complaint by one of Josef Stalin's grandsons over an article calling the Soviet dictator a "bloodthirsty cannibal."

The 2009 report in Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta examined Stalin's role in the massacre of some 20,000 Polish prisoners at Katyn in 1940.

The grandson, Yevgeny Dzhugashvili, filed a defamation suit against the newspaper in a Moscow court, which ruled against him.

He later lodged a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, claiming the Russian court's decision violated his right to privacy.

The European court said on January 15 that there is a distinction between private life and criticism of public figures.

It said an event of significant historical importance and historical figures involved "inevitably remain open to public scrutiny and criticism."

Based on reporting by AP and TASS