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talin remained one of the most iconic figures within post-modern history, an important representative of the image of the dictator. He created a cult of personality, controlled the media, and killed millions. Thus, for a good reason, Stalin lived with the fear of being killed in public appearances, thus using duplicates. The dictator had a total of four doubles, and Felix Dadaev, one of them, told his story in 2008.

Felix Dadaev

So far, only the identity of one man is known to have been used by Stalin over, a man by the name of Felix Dadaev, a former dancer and magician. In 2008, after receiving permission from the Russian government, Felix Dadaev told his story in public. Dadaev’s real name, as he himself testified in an interview given to the Russian newspaper Pradva at that time, is Gazavat (Gazi) which means “fighter for faith”, and Felix’s name was taken during the war, in memory of a commander who died in his arms.

Felix Dadev in his Unifrom 2008 (Source: Pravda newspaper)

Gazi was born in 1926, in a mountain village in Daghestan, working as a shepherd. When he and his family moved to Grozny, he began to take dance lessons with a choreographer. Later, when they were moving to Ukraine, he started dancing in the ensemble “Lezginka” (from the name of a famous Caucasian dance, as mentioned in the 2008 interview). It seems that during the war, the fame of Stalin’s future doubles as a juggler, dancer, magician, and actor spread to generals. Gazavat was dedicated on the battlefield, participating mainly in reconnaissance missions.

As he testified in the same interview, due to information he obtained, Russian troops managed to blow up a bridge, isolate German troops and enter Cerkessk, for which he was decorated. In 1942, Gazavat was seriously injured and was transported to the hospital in an emergency. Shortly after, he was recruited by NKVD. He was declared dead and taken to the Kremlin to enter the skin of the only character he would play. The difference between the actor and the character of his life was about 45 years.

Dadaev declared that the only difference between him and the dictator was his ears, the latter having bigger ones. However, the duplication was exemplary, proving that sometimes even Stalin’s close friends could not tell the difference. The voice was also different. However, because the press at that time did not have the equipment today, no one was able to observe. Dadaev kept the secret of his life secret until he was 88, fearing that the KGB or even Stalin’s gang would hurt him, as thevintagenews.com writes.

Felix Dadaev (left) in the 1940s and the real Joseph Stalin (right) (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

When the story of the van became public, the KGB confirmed it. Details about Dadaev’s life can be found in several interviews he gave as well as in his autobiography. According to them, Stalin had four hired employees. Although he was practically abducted by the secret police, Dadaev explained that he was very proud of the striking resemblance between him and the dictator and his role.

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