Since Joseph Stalin’s reign ended nearly 80-years-ago, no other individual has ruled Russia for longer than its incumbent President Vladimir Putin. The 69-year-old’s time in office took a sinister turn little more than a week ago when he ordered troops to invade Ukraine on the grounds of demilitarisation and “denazification” of its former Soviet neighbour.
Below Express.co.uk explores five striking similarities that exist between Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Putin.
1.) Both became Russian President at a similar age
Mr Putin first became President in 2000 at the age of 47 while Stalin succeeded Vladimir Lenin aged 45, in 1924.
2.) Each promised to bring stability
Stalin made his pledge after Russia emerged from a civil war in 1921 as the newly formed Soviet Union.
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In essence, that meant valuing collective duties above individual rights.
Moreover, it symbolised using military force to expand the reach of the Russian state.
Stalin assumed great territorial gains for the Soviet Union at the close of World War Two, including the Baltic states.
Before launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine last month Mr Putin had annexed the southern peninsula of Crimea in 2014.