Putin's No StalinRoundup: Talking About History
tags: 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
- Now it’s the University of Louisville’s turn to remove a Confederate statue
- A fortress built by Alexander the Great after he conquered Jerusalem has been discovered
- Yale students protest decision to keep Calhoun’s name
- Six maps that will make you rethink the world
- Middle Tenn. State President Wants to Strip Confederate General’s Name From Building
- The historian and cartographer Bill Rankin has developed a new way to visualize slavery
- Paula S. Fass says young Americans need required national service
- Historians are now trying to show that the gay revolution also took place in the midwest
- The Unconference Movement Grows – And Historians Are Taking the Lead
- New appeal to "Bring Back Military History"