Vasily Stalin

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Vasily Iosifovich Dzhugashvili (Russian Васи́лий Ио́сифович Джугашви́ли; March 21, 1921 – March 19, 1962), also known as Vasily Iosifovich Stalin (Russian Васи́лий Ио́сифович Ста́лин), was the son of Joseph Stalin by his second wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva.

Early life[edit]

The death of Vasily's mother in 1932 represented a major change in Vasily's life. Starting from this moment, Joseph Stalin ceased to visit his children; only the nursemaid and head of Stalin's security guards looked after Vasily and his sister, Svetlana. One officer, Sergei Efimov, was charged with continuously looking after the two children.

Military service[edit]

Vasily started his active military service in the 16th Aviation Division in Moscow. Here he met Galina Burdonskaia, his future wife. They married when Vasily was 19.

As an officer of the Red Air Force, Vasily received rapid promotion. At the beginning of World War II, he was Inspector of Air Forces in the General Staff. In December 1941, he was a Major and after a couple of months was promoted Colonel. In January 1943, Colonel Vasily Stalin was designated commander of the 32nd Guards Air Regiment. During February and March 1943 he carried out 26 armed sorties. On 5 March he shot down a Fw 190. He claimed another German aircraft soon after.

He was promoted to Major-General in 1946, to Lieutenant-General in 1947, and to Commander of the Air Force in the Moscow Military District in 1948. However, he was dismissed as a result of an aviation incident during a military parade on July 27, 1952 (Vasily insisted on letting the planes fly in bad weather, leading to one Tupolev Tu-4 bomber crashing).

Vasily Stalin was also the manager of the USSR Air Force ice hockey team. In 1950, most of its members died when its plane went down in a snowstorm as it approached the Sverdlovsk airport. The crash is said to have been covered up by Vasily Stalin, who feared his father’s reaction. The younger Stalin immediately recruited a new team, and his father apparently never knew the difference.[1]

Arrest and imprisonment[edit]

After the death of his father, a long period of troubles began for Vasily. Less than two months after his father's unexpected death Vasily was arrested on April 28, 1953, because he revealed top-secret information during a dinner-party with foreign diplomats. He was charged with denigration of the Soviet Union's leaders, anti-Soviet propaganda and criminal negligence. The judicial investigation was conducted by one of the most brutal prosecutors[according to whom?], Lev Vladzimirskii. During the investigation, he confessed to guilt of all the charges, even the most fantastical ones. Shortly after, in December 1953, the prosecutor and his boss Lavrenty Beria were executed as a result of a power struggle between Stalin's successors.

Vasily Stalin asked the new Soviet leaders, Nikita Khrushchev and Georgi Malenkov, for clemency but he was considered a dangerous person [according to whom?], and he was judged in a behind-closed-doors trial and was not allowed legal representation. He was sentenced to eight years' imprisonment and disciplinary work period. He was imprisoned in the special penitentiary of Vladimir under the name "Vasily Pavlovich Vasilyev". He was released from prison on January 11, 1960. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union decided to give him a pension of 300 rubles, a flat in Moscow, and a three-month treatment vacation in Kislovodsk. He was also granted permission to wear his general's uniform and all of his military medals.

Vasily Stalin died on March 19, 1962, due to chronic alcoholism, two days before his 41st birthday.[citation needed]

Vasily Stalin was partially rehabilitated in 1999, when the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court lifted charges of anti-Soviet propaganda that dated from 1953. His body was re-buried in a Moscow cemetery in 2002.

In popular culture[edit]

In the film My Best Friend, General Vasili, Son of Joseph Stalin, Vasili Stalin is portrayed by actor Vladimir Steklov.

References[edit]

External links[edit]