Russian court throws out Stalin libel case

MOSCOW, (Reuters) – A Russian court yesterday threw  out a libel case brought by Josef Stalin’s grandson against a  newspaper which said the leader had personally ordered the  killings of thousands of Soviet citizens. Judge Alexandra Lopatkina ruled that the Novaya Gazeta  newspaper had not smeared Stalin’s name and refused to award the  10 million roubles ($340,000) that his grandson, Yevgeny  Dzhugashvili, was seeking in damages from the paper. The decision was greeted with cheers by the newspaper’s  supporters in Moscow’s Basmanny Court while a group of elderly  Stalinists screamed “shame” and vowed to appeal. Historians said the court’s decision was a victory in Russia  where they say there is a creeping attempt to paint a more  benevolent picture of the Soviet Union’s most feared leader,  under whose rule millions perished.

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