Court rejects Stalin grandson’s libel lawsuit

A Moscow court has ruled against Joseph Stalin‘s grandson Yevgeny Dzhugashvili in a defamation lawsuit against the Novaya Gazeta newspaper.

The relative of the Soviet dictator wanted 10 million rubles (around $330,000) in compensation.

The reason for the claim was an article in a special edition of Novaya Gazeta dedicated to the Katyn massacre – the mass killings of Polish prisoners by the infamous NKVD. Dzhugashvili claimed facts in the April 22 article infringed on the honor and dignity of his grandfather, and went to court with a lawsuit.

The court decision was greeted with mixed emotions. Some present at the hearing applauded, and elderly supporters of Stalin’s grandson shouted at the court, “Shame on you.”
“We didn’t expect any other result,” said Dzhugashvili’s attorney, Yury Mukhin, adding that his client will appeal the ruling.

The lawyer for Anatoly Yablokov, the author of the article, also said he doesn’t find the outcome surprising.

“All the facts presented by the plaintiff’s side looked like a farce,” Aleksey Benetsky told RIA-Novosti news agency. “Justice was done today at the Basmanny Court.”

The lawyer also stressed that all the information used in the article was taken from declassified documents open to the general public.

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