The Life of Vasily Stalin

Source: Children of Stalin (2022; available at

Vasily Iosifovich Stalin (ڤاسيلى دزهوجاشڤيلى) was the second son of the renowned Soviet Union leader, Joseph Stalin. He had a close relationship with his mother, Nadezhda Alliluyeva who was the second wife of Joseph Stalin. Vasily suffered from alcoholism. Even though he witnessed a series of setbacks, Vasily Stalin is known for his contributions to sports and as a pilot who fought for his nation.

Relationship with his mother, Nadezhda Alliluyeva

Nadezhda Alliluyeva married Joseph Stalin and had two children, Vasily and Svetlana. Vasily Stalin shared a better relationship with his mother, Nadezhda Alliluyeva as compared to his father, Joseph Stalin.

Nadezhda Alliluyeva was a career woman and started off her career as Vladimir Lenin’s secretary [Morgan Dunn, 2021]. Her husband, Joseph Stalin wanted Nadezhda to focus on raising his children but her interest in pursuing her career made Nadezhda Alliluyeva to hire a nanny to look after Joseph Stalin’s children. Due to which, the young Vasily did not get his parents love and care in upbringing which a normal child would have got.

Things become worse for Vasily Iosifovich Stalin when his mother committed suicide and the cause of the suicide is believed to be her husband’s boorish behaviour [UPI, 1988]. Although initially the children of Nadezhda Alliluyeva were told that their mother passed away due to an illness.

Marriage to Galina Burdonskaya

In early 1940, Galina Burdonskaya met Vasily Stalin and in December of the year, the couple got married. Joseph Stalin held his son in such a low regard that he even mentions that he was not against the marriage but rather felt sorry for his son’s wife, Galina Burdonskaya. Their marriage lasted for less than four years. Vasily Stalin and Galina Burdonskaya had two children, Alexander Vasilyevich Burdonsky and Nadezhda Vasilyevna Stalin. Their marriage did not last long due to Vasily depriving his wife of maternal rights, the opportunity to communicate with her two children, and due to Vasily Stalin womanizing tendencies [Istmira, n.d].

Pilot in World War II 

Vasily Stalin studied aviation in a military school. When the Soviet Union was invaded by Nazi Germany in 1941, Vasily Stalin was sent to fight for his nation. He was actively involved in air battles and carried out 26 sorties and shot down two enemy aircraft. Vasily Stalin has to his name a dozen military decorations, including three Orders of the Red Banner which is one of the highest awards in the Soviet Union [Russia Beyond, 2021]. These accolades have made Vasily Iosifovich Stalin to be admired in the eyes of Russian military history and has not only been known as Joseph Stalin’s son but also someone who was willing to put his life on the line for his nation.

Popularized hockey and football to the Soviet Union

Vasily Stalin was the president of VVS Moscow, a sports club representing the Soviet Air Force. Through this club, he popularized the sport of ice hockey and football in the Soviet Union.

Cause of Death

The cause of Vasily Stalin’s death was alcoholism. He died in 1962 [Morgan Dunn, 2021]. Vasily Stalin’s alcoholism was due to the many setbacks he had in his life, starting from the death of his mother, Nadezhda Alliluyeva, his failure to keep his marriage intact with Galina Burdonskaya and the one that would have hurt him the most was the lack of a father figure, in where, his father, the renowned Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin played a distant role in his son’s life.

By: Kester Pereira




Istmira, n.d: ‘Galina Alexandrovna Burdonskaya’ <>

Morgan Dunn (2021): ‘Inside The Tragic Descent Of Vasily Stalin, The Soviet Dictator’s Second Son’ <> (last viewed on 10th April 2022)

Russia Beyond (2021): ‘How Soviet leaders’ sons fought in World War II’ <> (last viewed on 11th April 2022)

UPI (1988): ‘Stalin’s behavior led to wife’s suicide’ <> (last viewed on 10th April 2022)

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