Fake news of the week: Azaronak justifies Stalin’s actions and doesn’t see anything wrong with the 2.7 million Gulag prisoners

Rygor Azaronak tried to defend Stalin's honour and prove that almost 3 million prisoners was not that much

Rygor Azaronak tried to defend Stalin's honour and prove that almost 3 million prisoners was not that much. 

"You know, we had people yelling about Gulag. But do you know when the biggest number of people in Russia were imprisoned ? In the ‘90s. In the '90s, the biggest number was then, it was somewhat like 3% or 4% of the population. The Gulag was half that number. Well, our zmagars (the term used by the Lukashenka supporters towards the opposition) are stupid, they don’t know any of this," Azaronak said.

We checked this statement of Azaronak, but for some reason we didn’t find any figures to support his statement. The largest number of prisoners in the USSR was in 1950 — about 2.7 million people. Meanwhile, there were about 180 million people living in the USSR. And if you do the math, it turns out that 1.5% of the population was imprisoned.

After the collapse of the USSR, Russia peaked in 1999, with almost 1.1 million people in prison. This is the official data from the Russian State Statistics Committee. With a population of 147 million, this is only 0.7%, not 3-4% as Azaronak's calculations suggest.

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