A Moscow court has rejected a libel suit filed against a newspaper by the grandson of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin,to protect his grandfather’s good name.
In his plea Stalin’s grandson Evgeny Jugashvili had demanded that liberal Novaya Gazeta co-owned by last Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev should retract parts of an article that said Stalin personally signed death warrants.
He had also demanded 10 million roubles (about USD 350,000) in compensation for damage to his grandfather’s honour.
Novaya Gazeta spokesperson Nadezhda Prusenkova said the article was based on recently declassified documents,including death warrants bearing Stalin’s personal signature.
The warrants were then forwarded to the powerful secret police NKVD Chief Lavrenty Beria for execution.
“We did not expect a different ruling,” Jugashvili’s lawyer Yuri Mukhin was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.
Mukhin said his client would appeal the ruling and insisted that Stalin single-handedly ordered repressions against innocent people.
In the course of Stalin’s purges in early 1930s several million people were executed or banished in the concentration camps.