So Stalin took a convincing first place among the most popular historical figures. He was the winner in the poll “About the most significant and outstanding personality of all times and peoples”. Current Russian leader Vladimir Putin was “only” second, and even had to “share” the silver with the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. Third place was taken by another perpetrator of mass murder — the leader of the Bolshevik revolution, Vladimir Lenin. The fourth was Peter.
In fact, all this did not become a special surprise. Except, perhaps, that our people would expect to see in the first place of the current Russian ruler Putin. But the difference between them was minimal. The results of the survey can be trusted because he spent the best Russian sociological service, known for his independence from the Kremlin — the Levada Center.
Famous, though overthrown
Russian is a difficult attitude to Stalin. Historically it is proven that he is guilty of incredible cruelty in the massacres, and his deeds can be compared with those that did such evil genius like Adolf Hitler. However, the majority of Russian citizens already doubt. But after coming to power, General Secretary of the Communist party of the Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev during the perestroika and glasnost under Mikhail Gorbachev, Stalin was by no means popular. At the time the public if the sight and sensibly assessed their past. Of people came in the whole true facts, and the people immediately responded to this education.
The popularity of Joseph Stalin declined until almost reached the bottom. It seemed to go on forever.
But with the onset of the mode a firm hand of Vladimir Putin, after the return of the cult of power, the authorities and the KGB, was revived and a special relationship to the person who has killed more of its own citizens than the enemy. But not because President Putin began to praise his longtime predecessor. Or ordered again to hang his portraits throughout the country. Or on each anniversary of the went to bow to the Kremlin wall, where on the night of 31 October to 1 November 1961 was secretly buried the remains of Stalin after they snuck out of the Mausoleum.
In reality, Putin did not give any order to punish its citizens would be to love Stalin with all my heart. However, Putin did not do anything to the Russians well aware of all the things that made Stalin. Also from time to time Putin makes a statement which made clear: he is also very tolerant to Joseph Stalin, and sometimes even admires them.
According to Putin, this man was, above all, a great General who won the great Patriotic war and saved the world from the fascist yoke. But that first Stalin divided Europe together with Hitler and together they were going to enslave it in Russian history books is forbidden to write. Putin also recognizes the great achievements of Stalin in the industrial development of the country. The President tactfully silent about how many lives cost, this electrification, dispossession and technical progress.
Putin praises Stalin’s regime during the heyday of space research, but does not say that the credit for them belongs to the scientist, whom Stalin sent to the camps and forced to work. In General, Putin’s not lying, but not telling the truth, though sparing their citizens. However, the reason of such behavior of the Russian President is somewhat different.
Putin admires the power, the order of which he himself sets. He was close to a system where power is concentrated in some “safe” hands. Putin preaches the cult of the influential intelligence services, of which he came out, and is a supporter of the principle of “if we do not like, let it be afraid.” And this is exactly the same political position Stalin. But most importantly, the current master of the Kremlin is happy with the people who are willing to live in a spiritual slavery. If we resist, he will be punished, albeit much softer than in the days of Stalin.
Her patient ideological work Putin has achieved even greater success than could be achieved by applying for approval of its position only repression. Putin succeeded and what did not dare even Leonid Brezhnev in the days of his relative mental freshness: it’s about the rehabilitation of Stalin in all his terrifying glory.
The enemy in the first place
Stalin was practically canonized, and Putin is fascinated, because deep down he feels the same way. But compared with the Stalinist regime Putin stood on the step above: Stalin is celebrated not as the father of Communist ideas — now all the attention is turned to its Imperial essence. Therefore in modern Russia, along with the Generalissimo also idealized the Imperial house of Romanov.
Every year more and more people in Russia may say: “King is best for us President or Parliament, we don’t need — a talented leader who will quickly solve all the issues without unnecessary discussions and ceremonies and will take care of us, need a man who can be relied upon”.
Along with the returned popularity of Stalin and Stalinist architecture, which should cause a person the feeling of worthlessness and subordination to the Supreme authority. Example — “Triumph Palace” in Moscow, which for a time was the tallest residential building in Europe. It is a copy of Stalin’s skyscrapers. All of this should confirm the “efficiency of dictatorship.” Discussion delayed, but the opposition is hurting the large-scale plans. Both to anything.
From mixing Imperial and Communist ideas in the minds of many Russians turned the jumble. After all, how else to explain that the fans of Alexander Solzhenitsyn and his books about the Gulag are both fans of Stalin, one of the fathers of the Soviet concentration camps. The Putin regime shows a clear neostalinskogo features and sharpens their supporting myths which totally distort the view of Russians on a number of historical events.
It is, first and foremost, about the Second world war, which in Russia today is presented as exclusively the victory of the Soviet people. Of course, the victory is undeniable, but no one remembers about the Western allies, looting and rapes by Soviet soldiers, or, for example, about the willingness of many Soviet peoples to fight on the side of the German troops against the hated Bolshevism. Therefore, only 12% of Russians accused in large number of casualties during the war, the Soviet leadership headed by Stalin. Few people think about why the Germans suffered much smaller losses. Economist and historian Grigory Popov refers to the thinking minority. He found that in the 30-ies of the last century, the Soviet Union has allocated much more funds for the construction of camps and the creation of a repressive apparatus aimed at eliminating the internal enemy, than for defence of the country, armed and trained personnel. And it is also “merit” of Stalin. Repression? Yes, some were, but they were the price paid for industrialization and victory in the war. Without them, Stalin would not have been able to hold fast to the reins in his hands.
Most interesting is that back in 2011 the Russians are much more critical attitude to Stalin: 18% blame him too much military losses. In 1997 believed 34%! It is clear that someone deftly manipulating the Russian society, it deforms and isolates from the civilized world. The story lacks any scientific ideological and covered with bloom. She is not used to learning of their roots, past and traditions, and to strengthen patriotism and chauvinism. The country needs to mobilize, and the danger once again lurks everywhere. The best to Russia, is the Manager of the authoritarian type. And so she has.
The history of tyrannies
For the first time in 25 years the Russians looking for my greatest hero in history. They are not always inclined to Stalin, but almost always chose the tyrant. Them — if under hypnosis — delights a brutal ruler. In one survey conducted during the “pre-Putin”, the times, defeated Alexander Nevsky, medieval warrior who lived in an era when Russia was a colony of the Mongol Empire. Nevsky was famous, first of all, how collected taxes and killed the Russian princes fighting against the Mongol yoke. Nevsky and he served him with all his strength.
“How to build a story that stands on endless killing each other and betrayals?” — asks a distinguished Russian-British political analyst Peter Pomerantsev. One of the options — feel free to come to grips with this legacy. But while Russians prefer another: they rewrite history so that it matches the real.