Stalin and Putin: a tale of two dictators

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What does Vladimir Putin owe Stalin? In this week’s audio long read, the historian Simon Sebag Montefiore reflects on the parallels between the two Russian leaders, from their formative years to their ultimate reckoning in the history books.

Putin keeps half of Stalin’s library in his office, annotated by the former dictator, and has embraced the Soviet cult of ruling through fear and control. By invading Ukraine, he has made a colossal gamble on securing his own legacy.

Written by Simon Sebag Montefiore and read by Adrian Bradley.


Read the text version here. It was first published on the New Statesman website on 9 March 2022, and in the magazine on 11 March 2022.


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