Millions of Russians still believe in the Stalin myth which argues his leadership in the war prevented defeat and if not for organizing resistance to the Nazi invasion, defeat was most probable. Prime Minister Putin still harbors nostalgia for a man who came close to leading Russia into a disastrous defeat. As Putin recently stated: “no one can throw a stone against those who organized and led the victory.” It has been extensively documented that Stalin came close to leading his nation to defeat, not victory. He was repeatedly told a German invasion would shortly begin, but refused to allow military commanders to take the initiative because of fear it might anger Hitler. The result was disaster during the initial six months of the German invasion during which time over three million Russian soldiers were captured and millions of others killed or wounded. In fact, there is evidence during the first weeks of the invasion, Stalin was, literally, paralyzed with fear. After that initial collapse, he did recover to help lead the nation.
President Medvedev, unlike Putin, wants the world to know, “there is no way that Stalin will return to our everyday life. That’s absolutely impossible… The Great Patriotic War was won by our people, not by Stalin or even military commanders. Stalin committed a lot of crimes against our people.” He also promised the “people should know the whole truth about the war.”
Stalin killed millions of his own people, and Medvedev is correct in stating the Russian people won the war, despite Stalin mistakes.