It’s Time to Recall Kennan’s Long Telegram and Forget His Later Optimism about Change in Russia

Joseph Stalin file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – August 6, 2015) Staunton, October 3 – George Kennan’s famous “long telegram” of February 1946 was written to explain to Western leaders something they found difficult to understand: how Moscow could turn from being a wartime ally into an implacable enemy, a problem that some Western leaders are again finding it difficult to […]

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Design Chosen for Moscow Monument Commemorating Gulag Victims

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – September 24, 2015) The winner of a public initiative competition to design a Moscow monument honoring victims of the gulags has been chosen from 336 entries by a jury and team of experts. Sculptor Georgy Frangulyan, announced Wednesday on his website that his proposal, a large-scale relief of human figures, symbolizing gulag […]

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Russian Senator Introduces Bill Criminalizing Pro-Stalin Propoganda

File Photo of Joseph Stalin and Sergei Kirov as Part of Group of Five, Next to Bust of Lenin, with Faces of Other Attendees Partially Blurred

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – September 22, 2015) A high-ranking Russian senator has sought to combat the increasing promotion of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in the country by introducing a bill that would criminalize attempts to justify the dictator’s totalitarian regime and political purges, state-run TASS news agency reported Tuesday. The bill introduced in the State Duma […]

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Like Stalin, Putin hasn’t Changed the Rules of the Game; He’s Destroyed Them, Portnikov Says

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 28, 2015) The Anschluss of Crimea and the murder of Boris Nemtsov were not continuations of the rules of the game that had existed before, with the first following the 2008 Russian actions in Georgia and the second that of murders like Galina Starovoitova and Anna Politkovskaya, Vitaly Portnikov says. Instead, […]

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Unlike Stalin’s Show-Trial Victims, Russia’s Political Defendants Don’t Back Down

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(RFE/RL – Robert Coalson – August 20, 2015) There are, of course, many differences between the infamous show trials of Josef Stalin’s Great Terror and the politically convenient prosecutions of the political adversaries of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Stalin liked to try his victims in huge mass productions on blatantly political charges and then march them off for summary execution […]

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New Policy on Commemorating Victims of Repression At Odds With Actions

Joseph Stalin file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – August 20, 2015) The government announced a new policy this week condemning attempts to justify mass Soviet repression, a move that appears to directly contradict official rhetoric and state actions during the last few years. The move shows a lack of unity in the Kremlin on the ideological front, or even the […]

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Ukraine Famine Monument Erected In Washington

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(RFE/RL – Tony Wesolowsky – August 6, 2015) After years of work and some setbacks, a memorial to the millions who perished in the Ukraine famine of the 1930s, or Holodomor, has been erected in the U.S. capital. The monument — a bronze slab resting on a stone plinth and showing a field of wheat stalks — was winched off […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: Waging Peace. Churchill requested plans for a British-American attack on Russia code-named “Operation Unthinkable.”

Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin and Crowd of Military Officers

The leaders of the Allied powers met three times during World War II, at Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam. The last conference stretched over 17 days in July and August 1945, longer than the first two put together. Harry Truman had replaced Franklin Roosevelt, and Winston Chur  

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Putin’s Personality Cult Exceeds Stalin’s ‘by Every Measure,’ Kantor Says

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 29, 2015) Although few want to recognize that this is the case, the personality cult surrounding Vladimir Putin far exceeds the one that surrounded Stalin “by all measures” and has become what can best be described as “the religion of a pagan empire,” according to Moscow commentator Maksim Kantor. In a post […]

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Russian Church Leader Says Stalin Fans Need to ‘Sober Up’ to Realities

Joseph Stalin file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 7, 2015) A Russian Orthodox Church leader has urged supporters of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin to “sober up” by visiting the mass graves of political dissidents executed under his regime, news reports said. The comments by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk came in response to poll results that showed a growing number of Russians view […]

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NEWSLINK Washington Post: Closing the doors on a museum of political repression in Russia

The only museum of political repression set in an old Stalinist labor camp has closed, the latest casualty of the Russian government’s effort to silence independent voices. After a three-year struggle with the government of the Perm region, in the western foothills of the Ural Mountains, the nongovernmental organization that operated the museum, known officially as the Memorial Historical Center […]

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NEWSLINK Reuters: Russian court refuses to rehabilitate Soviet-era commissar Yagoda

Joseph Stalin file photo

Russia’s highest court on Thursday refused to legally rehabilitate Genrikh Yagoda, the head of the Soviet-era NKVD secret police who oversaw Stalinist purges in the 1930s and set up the GULAG forced labor camps. Yagoda ran the NKVD between 1934 and 1936, was dismissed in 1937 and executed in 1938 for treason and conspiracy, becoming one of millions of victims […]

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Interfax: Poll: Almost a quarter of Russians regard Stalin’s death as loss of leader, teacher

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Interfax – April 1, 2015) Thirty-one percent of the respondents want Volgograd to be renamed to Stalingrad, and 69 percent are against.. Source: AFP / East News The attitude of Russians to Joseph Stalin has transformed in the past 15 years: the number of respondents who dislike or are disgusted by him has dropped from 27 percent in 2001 to […]

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Nemtsov: Kremlin-Watchers Find Eerie Parallel In An 80-Year-Old Murder

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Daisy Sindelar – March 1, 2015) On December 1, 1934, a killing took place that would set the stage for one of the blackest chapters in Soviet history. The victim was Sergei Kirov, the popular head of the Leningrad Communist Party and one of the few men who could stand toe-to-toe with the increasingly powerful Soviet […]

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Is Nemtsov’s Murder a Replay of Kirov’s?

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(Jack Matlock – jackmatlock.com – March 1, 2015) Jack Matlock is a career diplomat who served on the front lines of American diplomacy during the Cold War and was U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union when the Cold War ended. Responding to the shock of the gang-style execution of Nemtsov in Moscow, Duma Deputy Ilya Ponomarev, speaking at Tufts University yesterday, said […]

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RIA Novosti: Rostislav Ishchenko, 2015: Year of a Fundamental Turnabout

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(RIA Novosti – January 6, 2015) The world is entering 2015. People hope for better, but are preparing for the worst. It is hard to be optimists when the year is beginning to the salvoes of the incessant civil war in Ukraine, to Kiev’s threats to settle the problem of the Donbass and Crimea militarily before the end of 2015, […]

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De-Stalinization Hasn’t Been Completed in Russia, Lukin Says

Joseph Stalin file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 23, 2014) De-Stalinization will have occurred not when everyone denounces Stalin in a chorus at the direction of the state but rather when each person can assess him in his or her own way and have debates about him, Vladimir Lukin says. Unfortunately, Russia has not succeeded in taking that step […]

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Don’t speak, memory: Voice against Stalin’s crimes may soon be silenced

File Photo of Prison in Russia with Wall, Barbed Wire, Guard Tower

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Oleg Yegorov, special to RBTH – November 21, 2014) Russia’s supreme court is preparing to examine the lawsuit filed by the Ministry of Justice requesting to liquidate Memorial, Russia’s first organization dedicated to preserving the memory of Stalin’s repressions and victims. RBTH reports on who else is telling the truth about the past […]

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Re: Churchill and War with USSR

Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin and Crowd of Military Officers

Subject: Churchill and War with USSR Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2014 From: Jake Kipp <jacobkipp@cs.com> In May 1945 before he knew about the atomic bomb, Churchill asked the British General Staff under Field Marshal Alan Brooke to do a study of a possible war between attacking British, US, German, and Polish forces against the USSR with a start date of […]

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Russia Reenacts WWII March After Putin Defends Nazi Pact

File Photo of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Riding in Convertible

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer – November 7, 2014) Russian troops marched in Red Square to commemorate a World War II parade held under the noses of German invaders in 1941 two days after President Vladimir Putin defended a 1939 non-aggression pact with Hitler. Six thousand soldiers and cadets accompanied by World War II-era warplanes and other weaponry today […]

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Stalin Invented Hybrid War, Not Vladimir Putin, Archival Record Shows

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 4, 2014) One of the most frequently invoked explanations for the inability of leaders to cope with a challenge is that it is something fundamentally new that they could not have been expected to recognize, understand, and know precisely how to respond. That has been the case in Ukraine and the […]

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Victims of Stalinist repressions remembered at Moscow ceremony

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Marina Obrazkova, RBTH – October 30, 2014) Every year on October 30, Russia marks the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repression. The day before, on October 29, a day-long demonstration called ‘The Return of the Names’ is held in Moscow, where people gather on Lubyanka Square to read out the […]

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Five Important Things That Memorial’s Done (And Is Still Doing) For Russia

File Photo of Prison in Russia with Wall, Barbed Wire, Guard Tower

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – October 13, 2014 – Daisy Sindelar) Russia’s Justice Ministry has asked the country’s Supreme Court to liquidate Memorial, the country’s oldest and best-known human rights organization, which groups together more than 50 bodies nationwide. Founded in 1989 under the auspices of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Andrei Sakharov, Memorial has led efforts to uncover communist-era repressions and fight discrimination […]

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Putin’s War in Ukraine Marks Rebirth of Stalinism in Russia, Chubais Says

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 16, 2014) The Russian authorities have unleashed and are conducting a war in Ukraine, “a new type of war without declaration or a front line” and one that is simultaneously “destroying all official Soviet and post-Soviet myths and clarifying the real nature of the political regime in Russia,” according to Igor […]

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Mass Grave in Moscow Suburbs is Among Russia’s Holiest Sites

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Annin – May 7, 2014) On May 10, the Russian Orthodox Church will hold its annual special service in the Church of New Martyrs and Confessors in Butovo, a little-known site that is home to Russia’s largest collection of holy relics. In the forest near old Butovo, about 5 kilometers south of the Moscow […]

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Apparatchik Apartments: Behind the facades of the House on the Embankment

Back side of House on Embankment (central part), view from Patriarshy Bridge pedestrian walkway, from Wikimedia Commons, user NVO, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Moscow,_House_on_Embankment_back_side.jpg

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Dmitriy Romendik, RBTH – April 16, 2014) This huge apartment block across the river from the Kremlin is one of the enduring symbols of the Stalin era. In the 1930s the apartments inside were allocated only to senior officials and the Soviet elite, but when many of them fell from favor, a grim […]

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RIA Novosti: In Olympic Sochi, Stalin’s Sanatoria All But Forgotten

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

SOCHI, February 17 (Kevin O’Flynn and Howard Amos, RIA Novosti) – It was once the pride and joy of Stalinist Sochi, a grandiose palace for workers to recover from their labor in mines and factories, a mythical showcase resort for a society that didn’t truly exist. But the Ordzhonikidze Sanatorium stands empty now, a metal sign declaring “Entry Forbidden” strung […]

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Fury Over Biographical Stalin Calendar Published by Orthodox Church

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – January 8, 2014) A publishing house run by the Russian Orthodox Church has released a 2014 calendar devoted to Josef Stalin, unleashing a flurry of indignation among Russian bloggers and a discussion about the Church’s ties to the former Soviet dictator. The calendar, published by the Moscow-based patriarchal printing house of the […]

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Interfax: Putin calls for showing respect for all periods of national history

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

MOSCOW. Dec 19 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin is opposed to the attempts to agitate or split society over attitude to monuments to certain historical figures. “We should respect every period in our history, and it is better not to agitate or blow our minds with certain premature actions that may split our society,” Putin said. He said he […]

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How much does the rest of the world hate Russia?

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris – September 11, 2013) How much does the rest of the world hate Russia? Answer: a lot. This excerpt below is part of an internal memo by a major US bank, which will remain nameless, to clients on the results of the Moscow mayoral elections at the weekend. What is supposed to […]

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Stalin Won’t Be Called a ‘Bloody Butcher’ in New Standardized History Texts

File Photo of Prison in Russia with Wall, Barbed Wire, Guard Tower

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 6, 2013) The October Revolution will be considered a “process” and the term “bloody butcher” won’t be applied to Soviet leader Josef Stalin or his henchmen. Russian historians are on their way to creating a single standard for how history is taught to schoolchildren. Historians from the Russian Academy of Sciences reached several agreements […]

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1953 Says More about Future of Russia than Does 1991, Pastukhov Argues

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 25, 2013) Most people in Moscow and the West see Russia’s current political problems as a working out of the events of 1991, a view that very much defines what they are doing and what they expect to happen next, according to Vladimir Pastukhov, perhaps the most penetrating analyst writing on […]

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Moscow’s killing fields: inside a Stalinist execution site

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Joy Neumeyer – August 5, 2013) Across from the sprawling Gazprom offices on Moscow’s southern fringes, there is a forest. It is quiet, full of mushrooms and dead leaves. The only people usually there are a pair of monks, who live by a church built on the property. The forest is part of a village […]

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Georgian Culture Ministry Denies Agreeing To Return of Stalin Statue

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(RIA Novosti – TBILISI, July 31, 2013) ­ Georgia’s Culture Ministry said Wednesday it did not authorize the reinstallation of the six-meter (20 foot) statue of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin that was torn down overnight three years ago in his hometown of Gori. The Gruziya Online website reported Tuesday that the ministry had decided to re-erect the landmark statue outside […]

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Windows on Eurasia: Russia’s Future Belongs Not to the Opposition but to the Stalinized Young, Pavlova Says

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 5, 2013) The supporters of Stalin and those who want to continue his political approach have in fact “triumphed” in today’s Russia, and these people consist not of the older generation but of the young who have grown up in the course of the re-Stalinization of the country during the last […]

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Putin’s Patriotism: Duma May Make Criticism of WWII Illegal

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – May 17, 2013) Editor’s note: This is part of an occasional series on state initiatives to promote patriotism. The State Duma has ordered an evaluation of a comment made by opposition politician Leonid Gozman in which he compared a Soviet intelligence agency to Adolf Hitler’s SS on the grounds that the comment […]

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Judicial probe needed into activities of Stalin’s security agencies – rights group

File Photo of Prison in Russia with Wall, Barbed Wire, Guard Tower

(Interfax – MOSCOW, May 16, 2013) A leading Russian human rights group has called for a judicial inquiry into the activities of Stalin-era security services after a high-profile public figure accused a Soviet counterintelligence service that existed during World War II of methods similar to those of Nazi Germany’s security agencies. Leonid Gozman, head of humanitarian projects at state corporation […]

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Why Stalin Would Be Proud of Putin

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Victor Davidoff – May 13, 2013) One year ago on May 7, President-elect Vladimir Putin’s motorcade traversed the empty streets of Moscow, cleared of every living soul by the police, to his inauguration in the Kremlin. This anniversary passed mostly unnoticed by the public and mainstream media. The reason is not so much that it […]

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Putin denies accusations of Stalinism

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – April 25, 2013) President Vladimir Putin said his methods don’t have anything in common with those of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, and that the trials of opposition leader Alexei Navalny and the members of the Pussy Riot feminist punk group were not politically motivated. Putin made the remarks in response to a […]

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Stalin’s secret kill lists

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Joy Neumeyer – April 1, 2013) In 1934, Ivan Nosov appeared in a photo in Pravda, gazing rapt as his friend Joseph Stalin addressed the 17th Party Congress. In 1937, Stalin scribbled “za” (“I approve”) on a list condemning Nosov to death. Nosov is one of 44,500 names that appear in “Stalin’s Shooting Lists,” a […]

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‘Stalin knew’: why NGO work is important

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova – April 1, 2013) The NGO raids in Russia are the big story right now – and yet this story is one that threatens to overshadow some of the important work being done by one particular NGO. I’m talking about “Stalin’s Shooting Lists,” an updated and corrected disk recently reissued by Memorial scans […]

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Stalin’s national policy helped Soviet demise

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Sergei Markedonov, special to RBTH – March 18, 2013) Sergey Markedonov is a visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. The 60th anniversary of the death of Joseph Stalin (March 5, 1953) has galvanized the debate about his role in both Russian and world history. The desire […]

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How to Talk to Children about Joseph Stalin

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexandra Guzeva, RBTH – March 16, 2013) The first children’s book about Stalin, “Breaking Stalin’s Nose,” has been released, almost sixty years to the day since the dictator’s death. Are Russians ready to discuss this period of their country’s past with their children? Russian émigré author Eugene Yelchin’s “Breaking Stalin’s Nose” has appeared […]

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Hatreds of Deeply Divided Russian Population ‘Saving’ Putin, Commentator Says

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, March 11, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/03/window-on-eurasia-hatreds-of-deeply.html) The hatreds Russians feel toward others past and present domestic and foreign are an important reason why Vladimir Putin has been able to maintain himself in power even at a time when polls show that an increasing number of the citizens of his country do not actively […]

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Stalin: Still a Dividing Legacy Among Russians

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(www.opendemocracy.net – Alexei Levinson – March 5, 2013) Alexei Levinson is sociologist and senior researcher at the Levada Center, Russia’s leading polling organisation, Moscow On the 60th anniversary of Joseph Stalin’s death, with Russian and international TV news bulletins showing old footage of his life and his funeral, Alexei Levinson looks at how his legacy still divides Russians today. Why […]

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Stalin’s Legacy: Ethnic Time Bombs That Continue To Tick

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(RFE/RL -– rferl.org – Robert Coalson – March 1, 2013) Eighty-one-year-old Nikolai Khasig was born in Sukhumi in 1932. It was just one year after Soviet dictator Josef Stalin stripped Abkhazia of its short-lived status as a full-fledged republic of the USSR and made it a region of Soviet Georgia. At the end of 1936, Lavrenty Beria — at that […]

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Re-Elected, Zyuganov Defends Stalin’s Grave

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – February 27, 2013) Gennady Zyuganov, re-elected Saturday as leader of the Communist Party, a position he’s held for 17 years, said Tuesday that public calls to remove Stalin’s and Brezhnev’s graves from the Kremlin Wall Necropolis came from “provocateurs” and “SS loyalists.” He vowed that his party would continue to fight proposals […]

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Russian city to bear Stalin’s name six days a year

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – www.rbth.ru – Yulia Ponomareva, Combined report – February 7, 2013) Disputes about Stalin’s role in history have flared up again, as the legislature of the city of Volgograd rules that the city shall be called Stalingrad on dates commemorating key anniversaries of World War II. Volgograd, one of 15 Russian cities with a population of […]

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Volgograd to Regain Stalin’s Name For Battle Anniversary

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

MOSCOW, January 31 (RIA Novosti) ­ The Russian city of Volgograd will call itself Stalingrad again for a few days this year, to mark the 70th anniversary of the epic World War II battle in that city, after local officials approved the measure on Thursday. The city legislature said Volgograd would be named “hero-city Stalingrad” on February 2, marking the […]

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Food for thought ­- Stalin documentary to be released this week

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Alina Lobzina – November 19, 2012) Well-known personalities who are descendants of Stalin-era forced collectivization victims are to tell their family stories in a film screening at Moscow’s center for documentary films DOC on Wednesday. The center is holding a screening of a new film, “Bread for Stalin. Stories of the dispossessed,” which was created […]

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