The Church of the victims of Bolshevism at the Lubyanka or a historical reconciliation in Russian

The Moscow Sretensky monastery near the ominous building of the NKVD-KGB (now FSB) at Lubyanka (Russian media have focused on this geographical proximity), consecrated the new Cathedral. He received non-random in this neighborhood the name of the temple of Martyrs. So the Orthodox Church calls the victims of communism, suffered for their faith. In the new Cathedral of the relics of Archbishop Hilarion Troitsky, who was the Abbot of the monastery, and then came to the camp on the Solovetsky Islands, and died in a Leningrad prison. The reliquary was placed in brought from the Solovki stone. The monastery itself was closed in the 1920-ies, in its territory staged a barracks for the cadets of the school of the NKVD, and from the beginning of the 1930s there were executions and bury the bodies of the executed.

The new temple has all chances to become the main for the whole of Russia (and the second in Moscow after Church at Butovo, a place where there were mass executions and burials of the period of the great terror) the center of religious worship for the victims of Bolshevism. Even the address looks symbolic: a street called Bolshaya Lubyanka…

Apparently, the plan of the Church and state authorities was exactly the same as the new Cathedral was consecrated by Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill in the presence of President Putin. The Russian head of state, as you know, a former KGB officer, chose not only to participate in the ceremony, but also to speak. The confluence of all these circumstances gave a brief speech that Vladimir Putin is an important strategic meaning: it indicated the direction in which the Kremlin wants to turn Russian thinking about the Leninist-Stalinist era.

In this context, a short speech of the President can be called significant. “This temple is dedicated to the new martyrs and embodies reconciliation, — Putin said. — It is symbolic that the new Church is opened in the centenary year of the February and October revolutions, which became the starting point for many of the severest trials through which we had to pass our country in the XX century. We must remember the light and the tragic pages of history, to learn to perceive it as a whole, objectively, nothing is ignoring. The only way possible to fully understand and comprehend the lessons that teaches us the past.” What are the lessons?

“We know how fragile civil peace, — now we know, we should never forget about it. Must not forget how hard it wounds splits (Putin used here is badly translated into other languages the word “split,” which carries a much greater negative emotional charge than the word conflict or other Polish synonyms). That is why it is our common responsibility to do everything we can to preserve the unity of the Russian nation, through an ongoing dialogue to support socio-political harmony and, based on our traditional values, values of our traditional religions — Orthodoxy, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism — not to allow any bitterness and no split”.

The Polish reader it may surprise you, but these religions are considered to be in Russia in some way part of the Imperial Russian idea. Furthermore, Putin expressed confidence that the new temple will serve to perpetuate in the Russian society ideas of reconciliation and mutual respect.

That’s all. Readers who know Russian, can watch the ceremony and hear the President’s speech, but the above quotes to fully convey what he wanted to say about the victims of the Soviet regime. How to interpret it?

We are dealing here with the consolidation of those ideas, which is not the first declares that on this subject the Russian government and which have become an important element of its core political strategy. That is, first, the 1917 revolution was evil. It is significant that the condemnation extends not only to the October Bolshevik, but also on the democratic February revolution. Apparently, the Kremlin is giving her a negative rating because it had destroyed the Royal power, and that in the discourse of modern Russian rulers becoming more and more positive features, performs traditional and in some sense a natural phenomenon.

Second, Putin’s speech was not by chance such a lapidary. The longer it was the more ambiguous, filled with emotions and the contexts it could affect. Who were those who killed the martyrs? The look of today’s heirs of the executioners and the victims?
So it is better to be limited to short and unambiguous (but very common) condemnation and go right to the point.

This is the third point: the morality of modernity. From the lessons of the revolution, Leninism and Stalinism, it must be concluded that the split in the people can lead to very dire consequences. Then (this is the Mr President to say no longer had to, because that goes without saying), those who speak today in Russia against the government, — the heirs of the Bolsheviks, even if in youth they fought the Bolshevik power, and now shouting something about democracy. Therefore, the current management should any means to stop these people, although, paradoxically, it is the successor to the Soviet regime.

This, again, is nothing new. Such ideas came to the fore in the discourse of the Kremlin a couple of years ago. The Kremlin has assumed the role of the forces protecting the people from the revolution, which can bring only evil and suffering. And this discourse, we will add, is largely effective.