Dictator Stalin was softie and cry-baby
Saturday 28 December 1996
The dictator Josef Stalin was a "kind" man often ready to break into tears. His feared security chief, Lavrenty Beria, was "weird". "He tore all the papers on his desk into small pieces and tossed them around his office," she said.
And the current President, Boris Yeltsin, sometimes sneaks off to a church in the Kremlin's grounds, she said in an interview published yesterday in the daily Komsomolskaya Pravda.
"I've heard he secretly visits the church and is praying quietly so that [Communist leader Gennady] Zyuganov doesn't see him," she said. "Can you rule Russia without God?"
Ms Malinkina, who is in her eighties and still works at the Kremlin, said she is so well-known that only she and Mr Yeltsin are not asked to show identification when entering the building. She joined the Kremlin staff in the winter of 1937 at the height of Stalin's purges, which claimed countless lives, but said she never feared him. "He was a very short man and so kind too," she said. "He had a very tender look and his eyes were often full of tears. He had such a pity for simple people." Ms Malinkina is a religious woman, and said the only time Stalin offended her was when he ordered a church bell to be thrown off a Kremlin bell tower.
For her, all Kremlin dwellers fall into two categories: those who wipe their feet at the door and those who don't. Mr Yeltsin falls into the first, along with Stalin and former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.
Ms Malinkina, nicknamed "Baba Polya", said that her only dream, unfulfilled after 60 years, was to get a telephone in her apartment. "What if they need me urgently at the Kremlin?" she said.
- 1 Cyclist who knocked down three-year-old girl says his life has been 'destroyed'
- 2 A politically correct lefty goes to see Top Gear live – you'll probably believe what happened next
- 4 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...