Vasily Iosifovich Stalin
Russian: Василий Иосифович Сталин (Джугашвили)
Son of Joseph Stalin and Надежда Сергеевна Сталина
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About Vasily Iosifovich Stalin
Vasily Iosifovich Dzhugashvili, known also as Vasily Stalin, was the son of Joseph Stalin and his second wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva.
As a schoolboy, Vasily distinguished himself only for his pranks; his school marks were very poor (having mostly grades of 3 or 4 in the five-grade Russian system). The death of his mother represented a major change in his 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. After a short time, Stalin received not only the Efimov’s surveillance reports, but also Vasily’s “reports”, in which the dictator’s son justified his own pranks or informed on his supervisors.
When Vasily was 17, he expressed his wish to join the Kacinsc Aviation School, a well-known school in the Soviet Union. Lavrenti Beria’s intercession was necessary, because of Vasily's poor school grades. At the beginning, Vasily Stalin was given special treatment (single-occupancy room, meals in the officers’ mess, weekly leave permissions), but his father personally intervened and Vasily lost all the privileges.
Vasily started his active military service in the 16th Aviation Division in Moscow. However he spent more time using the sports facilities than with his military unit. Here he met Galina Burdonskaia, his future wife. They married when Vasily was 19.
As an officer of the Red Army, 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. During the war, carried out 26 armed sorties, shot down 2 aircraft. At the end of the war he was a General, Commander of an Air Division.
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, possibly due to drunkenness, leading to two Tupolev-4 bombers crashing).
After the death of his father, a long period of troubles began for Vasily. He 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, Lev Vladzimirskii. During the investigation, no pressure was put on Vasily, but 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 and he was judged in a behind-closed-doors trial and was not allowed legal representation. He was sentenced to 8 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, financial compensation of 30,000 rubles, a three-room 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 hoped to receive an official pardon, but that never happened. His problems with alcohol grew worse during this period. On April 9, 1960, he asked Kliment Voroshilov for reappointment to active military service. Irritated by a delay in conceding to his requests, Vasily went to the Chinese Consulate on April 15 and applied for a medical visa. Relations between the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China were very tense at the time, and the Supreme Soviet decided on April 16 to place Vasily under house arrest in Kazan and to deprive him of all privileges. Vasily Stalin died on March 19, 1962, due to chronic alcoholism.
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.