Date: 2 weeks ago   Category: Politics

The Guardian: Russia Putin rehabilitates Stalin


"1989 was characterized by huge expectations. In Russia the rock group "Cinema" sang "We wait for changes!" On huge public meetings on streets of Moscow millions of people demanded freedom and democracy. (...)

Many also understood that for change of the rotted-through Soviet system it is necessary to know the truth about its Stalin past. It was year when the Memorial human rights organization which united hundreds of activists from all Soviet Union was founded. Some of them endured life in GULAGS. Some were dissidents who returned from labor camps or places of the reference, for example, the nuclear physicist Andrei Sakharov recently. The mission was clear: we wanted to return the memory of Stalin's victims and to make it public", - Irina Scherbakova, the historian, the writer and one of founders of Memorial human rights organization writes in the article for The Guardian.

" (...) At that time we thought that it was only the beginning of long process and that our new political leaders realized that a key task is to understand and accept the past. But reformers had no interest in history; they hurried to construct market economy. They did not see communication between successful economic reforms and need of creation of active civil society. Boris Yeltsin's government mentioned the Soviet political repressions only before elections to fight back communists. Soon, under the influence of a serious economic crisis, "democracy" became abusive word for many Russians. They were disappointed and it seemed to them that reforms were not carried out. Russian society gave in to fatigue and indifference. Crimes of Stalinism (...) were so terrifying that people did not want to spend time for reflections about them", - the author of the publication reminds.

"To the middle of the 1990th years began to accrue nostalgia on the Soviet period. The dullness of a Brezhnev's era with her infinite turns and empty shops began to be remembered as the peace, prospering time. And gradually the fact that it seemed impossible during reorganization became a reality: again Stalin's shadow grew to the huge sizes", - it is said in article.

"Coming to power of Vladimir Putin was followed by the new version of patriotism relying on "heroic" and "bright" aspects of the Soviet past. Stalin's image as strong leader who ensured a victory in World War II and headed the Soviet superstate revived. Over creation of this image again television promotion worked hard. Millions of political repressions which died in waves were forced out on a roadside of collective consciousness. (...) Today Stalin's face everywhere watches you from billboards, walls of cars of the subway and windows of bookstore. Across all Russia tens of monuments to it appeared", - Scherbakova writes.

"Cannot tell that Russians forgot about direct link between a name of Stalin and political repressions which affected almost each family. More likely, they do not want to reflect on terror, on the one who made it or than it

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