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|Birth name||Vasily Iosifovich Dzhugashvili|
|Born||21 March 1921|
Moscow, Russian SFSR
|Died||19 March 1962 (aged 40)|
Kazan, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Service/||Soviet Air Forces|
|Years of service||1938–1953|
|Unit||1st Baltic Front|
1st Belorussian Front
|Battles/wars||World War II|
|Awards||Order of the Red Banner|
Vasily Iosifovich Stalin (Russian: Васи́лий Ио́сифович Ста́лин; né Dzhugashvili; Russian: Джугашви́ли; 21 March 1921 – 19 March 1962) was the son of Joseph Stalin by his second wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva.
The death of Vasily's mother from a self-inflicted gunshot in 1932 (eight years after his father ascended to General Secretary) represented a major change in the eleven year-old 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.
The Red Air Force promoted Vasily rapidly. 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 to colonel. In January 1943, Colonel Vasily Stalin was designated commander of the 32nd Guards Fighter Aviation 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 Forces of the Moscow Military District in 1948.
Arrest and imprisonment
After his father's death, a long period of troubles began for Vasily. Less than two months after his father's death on 5 March 1953, Vasily was arrested on 28 April 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 prosecutor Lev Yemelianovich Vlodzimirsky. During the investigation, he confessed to all of the charges, even the most fantastical ones.
Vasily Stalin asked the new Soviet leaders, Nikita Khrushchev and Georgy Malenkov, for clemency but he was considered a dangerous person, 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. He was imprisoned in the special penitentiary of Vladimir under the name "Vasily Pavlovich Vasilyev". He was released from prison on 11 January 1960. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union issued him a pension of 300 rubles, an apartment 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 19 March 1962, due to chronic alcoholism, two days before his 41st birthday.
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 next to his fourth wife in a Moscow cemetery in 2002.
In popular culture
In the film My Best Friend, General Vasili, Son of Joseph Stalin, Vasili Stalin is portrayed by actor Vladimir Steklov. In the 2017 satirical film The Death of Stalin he is played by Rupert Friend and is depicted as being severely unhinged and irrational. In the TV series Сын отца народов (The Son of the Father of Nations), Vasily Stalin was played by Gela Meskhi.