Why is Stalin so popular in Russia and other post-Soviet states? Because under him, USSR went from anarchial, impoverished rural state into a superpower. Tens of millions of former peasants became doctors, engineers, scientists. Peasants themselves received education and health-care. Hundreds of thousands of hospitals, universities, power plants, and scientific centers were built all around the country. The spirit was one of enthusiasm, patriotism, and unity. Ask anyone who lived during those times and this is what they will tell you 95%.
As for the "tens of millions" "murdered" by Stalin, this is total bogus based on vague "estimates" of psuedo-historians. Actual archival data shows this to be total lies.
January 1926 : 148,656,000
January 1937: 162,500,000
January 1939: 168,524,000
June 1941: 196,716,000
January 1946: 170,548,000
January 1951: 182,321,000
January 1959: 209,035,000
January 1970: 241,720,000
July 1991: 293,047,571
There is no corresponding drop for supposed "50 million" killed by Stalin, if the 27 million of WW2 deaths are obviously shown. This is a bogus myth with no historical foundation.
NKVD archives show the scale of repressions to be massively inflated. Historian Zhukov says, he went into the archives, opened in 1989, an anti-Stalinist, and came out a Stalinist. ÊÀÊÎÂÛ ÌÀÑØÒÀÁÛ "ÑÒÀËÈÍÑÊÈÕ ÐÅÏÐÅÑÑÈÉ"?
This shows the amount of people directly executed by NKVD for anti-state activities was 642,980. This includes terrorism, espionage, and sabotage. Many of them were innocent, yes. But the amount of people suffered is far, far less than the amount of people who gained from the Stalin system.
The adventure led from the illiteracy to literacy, from the NEP to socialism, from archaic agriculture to collective cultivation, from a rural society to a predominately urban community, from general ignorance of the machine to social mastery of modern technology.
Between the poverty stricken year of 1924, when Lenin died, and the relatively abundant year of 1940, the cultivated area of USSR expanded by 74 percent; grain crops increased 11 percent; coal production was multiplied by 10; steel output by 18; engineering and metal industries by 150; total national income by 10; industrial output by 24; annual capital investment by 57. During the First Five-year Plan, 51 billion rubles were invested; during the Second, 114; and during the Third, 192. Factory and office workers grew from 7,300,000 to 30,800,000 and school and college students from 7,900,000 to 36,600,000. Between 1913 and 1940, oil production increased from nine to 35 million tons; coal from 29 to 164; pig iron from 4 to 15; steel from 4 to 18; machine tools from 1000 to 48,000 units, tractors from 0 to over 500,000; harvestor combines from 0 to 153,500; electrical power output from two billion kWh to 50 billion; and the value of industrial output from 11 billion rubles to more than 100 billion by 1938. If the estimated volume of total industrial production in 1913 be taken as 100, the corresponding indices for 1938 are 93.2 for France; 113.3 for England, 120 United States; 131.6 for Germany, and 908.8 for the Soviet Union.
Schuman, Frederick L. Soviet Politics. New York: A.A. Knopf, 1946, p. 212
The Soviets attained under Stalin's rule the first place in the world in regard to tractors, machines, and motor trucks; the second as to electric power. Russia, 20 years ago the least mechanized country, has become the foremost.... In the same decade between 1929 in 1939, in which the production of all other countries barely mounted, while even dropping in some, Soviet production was multiplied by 4. The national income mounted between 1913 in 1938 from 21 to 105 billion rubles. The income of the individual citizen was increased by 370% in the last eight years--with only irrelevant income taxes and reasonable social security contributions imposed upon them--while it dropped almost everywhere else in the world.
Ludwig, Emil, Stalin. New York, New York: G. P. Putnam's sons, 1942, p. 129 When we consider Stalin's facts and figures, it becomes clear that we are witnessing the most concentrated economic advance ever recorded--greater even than those of the Industrial Revolution. Within 10 years a primarily feudal society had been changed into an industrialized one. And for the first time in history such an advance was due not to capitalism but to socialism.
Cameron, Kenneth Neill. Stalin, Man of Contradiction. Toronto: NC Press, c1987, p. 75
No other country has managed to accomplish what Stalin's USSR did. Without this, the USSR would have lost the war, and Russians would not exist as a nation at all. And in spite of poverty, the spirit in the air during Stalin period was one of extreme enthusiasm, patriotism, and excitement. People saw the incredible advancement that was going on around them and supported the Soviet government on that basis. Soldiers yelled "For Stalin" when they fought in battle, and the entire country cried when Stalin died. This is not my imagination- this is what I got from interacting with many people who lived during Stalin period.
It is truly remarkable that in spite of Kruschev's de-Stalinization, the extreme de-Stalinization of Gorbachev and Yeltsin, when TV would pound anti-Stalin and anti-Soviet propoganda 24/7, stretching even to this day, Stalin remains popular in the minds of Russians.