One Place Stalin Can Win a Popularity Contest? Russia
Some may have tampered with web ballot, but brutal leader in Kremlin's top 12
By Victoria Floethe,  Newser User
Posted Sep 25, 2008 1:36 PM CDT
A Georgian national flag lowered down seen near a statue of former Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in downtown Gori, Georgia, Aug. 16, 2008.    (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – An effort to celebrate Russian nationalism has turned up an uncomfortable number of votes for Josef Stalin, the Wall Street Journal reports. The dictator blamed for the deaths of millions of Russians often led during 3 months of Internet balloting for the nation’s top historical figure, but was pushed to 12th when organizers "adjusted" his tally by one million votes, citing hacker interference.

Prominent public figures will debate Stalin—whose firm hand in World War II still makes him a hero to many Russians—and the other finalists on prime-time TV before voting wraps up in December. Currently in the lead is Alexander Nevsky, a 13th-century prince and nationalist hero, followed by writers Alexander Pushkin and Fyodor Dostoyevsky.