Grandson Who Fiercely Defended Stalin Has Died

Yevgeny Dzhugashvili one of what's believed to be Stalin's 8 grandkids
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2016 6:52 AM CST
In this March 1999 file photo, Yevgeny Dzhugashvili wears a USSR lapel pin. He was a fierce defender of his grandfather Josef Stalin's legacy.   (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)
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(Newser) – Yevgeny Dzhugashvili, a grandson of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and a fierce defender of his brutal legacy, has died at age 80, the BBC reports. Dzhugashvili's body was found on the street close to his home in Moscow. The cause of death is not yet known, per Israel Today. Born in 1936 in Rome, Dzhugashvili was the son of Stalin's eldest child Yakov, who is believed to have perished in a concentration camp. He's one of eight grandchildren Stalin is thought to have had. He studied at Russia's Air Force and participated in several space launches, per Sputnik News, but is being remembered for the legal battles he waged on his grandfather's behalf.

The BBC shares one example: Dzhugashvili last year lost a case he brought in the European Court of Human Rights related to the 1940 Katyn massacre in which 20,000 Polish prisoners were killed. He appealed to the court after several Russian courts threw out his defamation claim against the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which called Stalin a "bloodthirsty cannibal" who, along with other officials, was "bound by much blood" for ordering the execution of the Poles. (Read more Yevgeny Dzhugashvil stories.)

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