Russia Repeals Film Permit for Movie Satire 'The Death of Stalin'

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MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's Culture Ministry has banned a satirical film about Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's death two days before its scheduled release.

The ministry announced Tuesday it was rescinding the permit that would have allowed Scottish writer-director Armando Iannucci's "The Death of Stalin" to be shown in Russian theaters. The movie was scheduled to premiere on Thursday.

The ministry had been under pressure from communist lawmakers and conservative public figures who lambasted the movie as a mockery of Russian history.

Polls show that Stalin, who led the Soviet Union from 1924 until his death in 1953, remains widely revered in Russia. Many Russians credit him with leading the country to victory in World War II and making it a nuclear superpower despite brutal purges that killed millions.

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