A complete re-appraisal of the death of the notorious 20th century dictator.
Was the official account of Stalin’s death a cover-up for what really happened? Secret KGB files are examined for the first time to discover the truth.
Venerated as a god by many Russians and socialists worldwide, Stalin’s death in March 1953 sparked a public outpouring of grief that bordered on hysteria. Officially, he was reported to have suffered a brain haemorrhage but the precise details surrounding his death have provoked extensive debate over the years. Was he murdered?
Acclaimed historian Simon Sebag-Montefiore travels to Moscow to play detective in this compelling mystery. A former KGB investigator analyses suppressed KGB files which suggest the official version of the death was a tissue of lies. So what really happened? Can Stalin’s embalmer shed any light on events? What does a doctor make of the claim that he was poisoned? And if Stalin did suffer a brain haemorrhage, would he have survived if medical help had been sought more swiftly?
Archive footage, dramatic reconstruction and computer graphics reveal the harsh reality of Stalinist Russia and witness testimonies help reconstruct the lives and motives of the five key suspects. Was it one of Stalin’s two children, avenging their mother’s death? Or Stalin’s foreign minister, Molotov, furious with Stalin for deporting his beloved wife and denouncing him? What about Khrushchev, Stalin’s successor? Or could the culprit have been Beria, the head of the secret police, angry with Stalin for publicly humiliating him and removing most of his powers?
Thursday, 8 January, 8:35pm