Film censors in Russia have banned a British-made satire about the final days of Joseph Stalin's life.

The Death of Stalin was written and directed by British comedian Armando Iannucci and boasts a high-profile cast including actors Steve Buscemi and Rupert Friend.

The movie is a humorous depiction of the power struggle in Soviet politics following the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953, and features representations of major political figures of the time, including Stalin, Georgy Zhukov and Nikita Khrushchev.

The film was released in UK cinemas in October of last year but has fallen foul of Russian authorities ahead of its official debut on Thursday (January 25).

Politicians and other public figures attended a special screening hosted by the culture minister Vladimir Medinsky on Monday, and many were scathing of its portrayal of events.

Yelena Drapeko, deputy head of the lower house of parliament's culture committee, said she had "never seen anything so disgusting", while Yuri Polyakov, a member of parliament's culture committee, said he considered some aspects "ideological warfare".

Marshal Zhukov's daughter was one of 21 signatories that petitioned the Kremlin with an open letter in protest of its depiction of her father and other WWII Red Army heroes.

The film's official release certification has been withdrawn and it is unclear whether it will ever be shown across the nation. "A decision on whether it will be shown will be made later," the Russian culture ministry said.

The film's creator says he is still confident that the movie will play in Russian theatres.

Iannucci said: "All the Russians we've shown the film to so far, including Russian press, have said how much they enjoyed and appreciated the film."

"They say two things: it's funny, but it's true. I'm still confident we can get it in cinemas," he added.

Stalin's stature has experienced a revival in recent years. A poll taken in June showed that most young people thought he was the "most outstanding person" in the country's history, despite being responsible for the death of 1 million people as a result political purges.