Birthday: March 21, 1921
Died At Age: 40
Sun Sign: Aries
Also Known As: Vasily Iosifovich Stalin, Vasili Iosifovich Dzhugashvili
Born in: Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Famous as: Joseph Stalin's Son
Spouse/Ex-: Galina Burdonskaya (m. ? – 1962), Timoshenko Kapitolina, Yekaterina Semyonovna
father: Joseph Stalin
mother: Nadezhda Alliluyeva
siblings: Konstantin Kuzakov, Svetlana Alliluyeva, Yakov Dzhugashvili
children: Alexander Burdonsky, Lina Dzhugashvili, Lyudmila Dzhugashvili, Nadezhda Stalina, Svetlana Stalina, Tatyana Dzhugashvili, Vasily Stalin
Died on: March 19, 1962
place of death: Kazan, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
City: Moscow, Russia
Who was Vasily Stalin?
Vasily Iosifovich Stalin was the son of Soviet revolutionary and politician Joseph Stalin, who ruled the Soviet Union for over three decades. Vasily was born from Joseph Stalin’s second marriage with Nadezhda Alliluyeva. Vasily’s life changed drastically after his mother committed suicide following which he and his sister Svetlana were left under the care of Stalin’s personnel. Vasily became a fighter pilot for the ‘Red Air Force.’ He worked his way up rather quickly as he received multiple promotions within a short span of time. In 1947, he became a Lieutenant-General. In 1948, he became Commander of the ‘Air Forces of the Moscow Military District.’ However, Vasily’s career went downhill after his father’s death. Less than two months after Joseph Stalin’s demise, Vasily was arrested for revealing top-secret information. He was sentenced to eight years of imprisonment and disciplinary work. After his release, he was granted a pension of 300 rubles, a three-month vacation in Kislovodsk, and a flat in Moscow. He was also allowed to wear his general's uniform and military medals. Vasily Stalin passed away on March 19, 1962.
Childhood & Early Life
Vasily Iosifovich Stalin was born on March 21, 1921, in Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union, to Joseph Stalin and his second wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva. Vasily had a younger sister and two half-brothers, namely Svetlana, Yakov Dzhugashvili, and Konstantin Kuzakov.
From 1922, Vasily’s father, Joseph Stalin, ruled the Soviet Union until he died in 1953. He remained General Secretary of the ‘Communist Party of the Soviet Union’ for more than three decades starting from 1922. He served as the Premier of the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1953.
Vasily was raised in Kremlin where he had expensive toys, private governess, and servants. Things went awry after his mother died from a self-inflicted gunshot on November 9, 1932. However, the official announcement stated that she succumbed to appendicitis. After the incident, Stalin stopped visiting Vasily and Svetlana. The siblings were then taken care by a nursemaid and head of security guards of Stalin. An officer named Sergei Efimov was ordered to look after the siblings.
Vasily was an average student who graduated school with poor grades. He wanted to study at the best aviation school in Kacinsk. Despite obtaining low grades, he got admitted into a top aviation school upon the insistence of a Soviet politician named Lavrentiy Beria. Initially, he received special treatment at the school. He was given a private room and special meals which were later cancelled on his father’s order.
Vasily had inherited several of Stalin’s traits, including being manipulative and harsh with people. Gradually, Vasily became a womanizer and despite his excessive drinking, he managed to become a pilot. He often used his political influence to advance his career, much to the disappointment of his father who considered him spoiled.
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Vasily began his military career in Moscow in the 16th ‘Fighter Aviation Regiment.’ Initial days of the ‘Second World War’ saw him serving as Inspector of Air Forces in the General Staff. He was promoted by the ‘Red Air Force’ on multiple occasions. All his promotions came in quick succession which allowed him to lead a lavish lifestyle.
He was promoted to the rank of major in December 1941 and then became a colonel after a couple of months. He served as commander of the 32nd ‘Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment’ in January 1943. He lacked sense of responsibility and remained unpopular for his excessive drinking habit, rude behaviour, and unacceptable temper. He was even sacked by Stalin once for ‘hard drinking, debauchery, and corrupting the regiment’ only to be re-instated after seven months.
Vasily carried out 26 armed sorties in February-March 1943. He shot down a ‘Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger’ (fighter aircraft) of the Germans on March 5, 1943. Within the next few days he claimed another German aircraft.
In 1946, he was promoted to Major-General and in the following year he became a Lieutenant-General. He became Commander of the ‘Air Forces of the Moscow Military District’ in 1948.
He also became a patron of the ‘Soviet Air Force’ sports club ‘VVS Moscow’ and even served as its president. On January 5, 1950, ‘Lisunov Li-2’ transport aircraft crashed near the ‘Koltsovo Airport’ at Sverdlovsk amidst heavy snowstorm and strong winds. The crash resulted in the killing of all 19 aboard including most of the members of the ice hockey team of ‘VVS Moscow.’ Afraid of his father’s possible reaction, Vasily went on to recruit a new ice hockey team within 24 hours. Only three players, who had not boarded the crashed plane, were retained.
On July 27, 1952, Vasily insisted on flying planes during a military parade despite bad climatic conditions. Unfortunately, a Soviet strategic bomber plane named ‘Tupolev Tu-4’ crashed. This incident led to the dismissal of Vasily from military service.
Life After Stalins Death
Vasily endured hard times following the death of Stalin on March 5, 1953. Vasily was arrested on April 28, 1953 for disclosing top-secret information to foreign diplomats at a dinner-party. He was charged with criminal negligence, anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda, and defamation of leaders of Soviet Union.
He pleaded guilty to all the charges during a judicial investigation conducted by prosecutor Lev Yemelianovich Vlodzimirsky. Vasily was asked to grant clemency. But the appeal was denied by new Soviet leaders, Nikita Khrushchev and Georgy Malenkov. Moreover, he was not permitted a legal representation and was judged in a behind-closed-doors trial where he was sentenced to eight years of disciplinary work and imprisonment. He completed his jail term in the special penitentiary of Vladimir under the name ‘Vasily Pavlovich Vasilyev.’
On January 11, 1960, he was released from prison. It was decided by the ‘Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’ to grant Vasily 300 rubles as pension, a flat in Moscow, and a treatment vacation of three months in the spa city of Kislovodsk in Stavropol Krai, Russia. Consent was also given to Vasily to wear his general’s uniform and the medals he had received during his military service.
Vasily could not reform his ways. He resorted to excessive drinking and started creating havoc. He landed in prison in less than a year’s time due to a traffic accident. Before he could complete his term in prison, Vasily was released due to ill health. He was then exiled to Kazan where he stayed for the rest of his life.
Family & Personal Life
Vasily married Galina Burdonskaia at the age of 19. He was also married to other women - Kapitolina Georgievna Vasil'yeva, Yekaterina Semyonovna Timoshenko, and Maria Ignat'yeva Nusberg.
On March 19, 1962, he succumbed to chronic alcoholism in Kazan. In 1999, Vasily’s honor was restored partially after accusations of anti-Soviet propaganda dating back to 1953 were lifted. In 2002, his body was re-interred next to the grave of his fourth wife in a cemetery in Moscow.
The 1991 film ‘My Best Friend, General Vasili, Son of Joseph Stalin’ and the 2017 political satire comedy film ‘The Death of Stalin’ featured his character, which was portrayed by Vladimir Steklov and Rupert Friend respectively.