Putin's No Stalintags: Russia, Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Putin, Russian history
Dimitri A. Simes is an editorial assistant at the National Interest.
In response to the Pussy Riot trial, the Washington Post editorial page wasted no time likening the feminist punk band to victims of Stalinist repression. Then, at an event held in Washington in early June, the Russian activist Boris Nemtsov condemned Putin “as a modern combination of Stalin and Abramovich” and suggested that Stalin, whom he deemed a “murderer but...not corrupt,” might have been the preferable one, at least morally, of the two. Most recently, writing in the US News & World Report, Stephen Blank has proclaimed that: “In his quest for a pure autocracy, Russian president Vladimir Putin and his government have improved upon Joseph Stalin's epic achievements.” Even Putin’s call for an increased emphasis on physical education in Russian schools was interpreted by some in the media as further evidence of his affinity for Uncle Joe. Putin’s government record on corruption and civil liberties is unimpressive at best, yet, that does not logically lead to the conclusion that modern-day Russia is the Soviet Union redux. This interpretation is not only wrong, but it also interferes with the United States’ ability to pursue its national interests in dealing with Russia. When you demonize somebody, working together with them on issues of common interest becomes far more difficult.Let us first establish the obvious. The number of people murdered by Stalin’s regime is in the millions, with some estimates as high as sixty million dead. Not only is there no evidence that Putin has done anything similar, but no one has accused him of doing so....
comments powered by Disqus
- ‘Google must not be left to censor history’ – Wikipedia founder
- The most important battle you've probably never heard of
- ISIS is destroying both Shia and Sunni shrines and buildings in Mosul
- Study: Violent radicalism in UK isn't associated with poverty
- CONFIRMED: the Shrine of Jonah/Mosque of Yunus (Nineveh, Mosul, Iraq) has been destroyed
- Plagiarism scandals galore … but no consequences?
- Stephen Cohen was once considered a top Russia historian. Now he publishes odd defenses of Vladimir Putin.
- Historian who calls bull&%$@ on July 4th parade causes controversy
- This is what motivated history students in high school and middle school can do!
- Obama to award National Humanities Medals to 3 historians