In April in Novosibirsk has appeared the bust of Josef Stalin. With a size of about one meter, it is still in the sculptor’s Studio. The look of a serious dictator, it is a military uniform with the order of the star-shaped hero of the Soviet Union. On holidays such as Victory Day, a monument will be exhibited to the wider public.
Alexey Denisyuk firmly believe that soon the day will come when he will occupy a permanent place in the Siberian city of one million. 39-year-old lawyer from marginalizadas of the Bolshevik party gathered at a sculpture of about 3,800 euros of donations, he still needs 2,500 euros for the granite pedestal. “In many cities now established a monument to Stalin, he says. — Stalin’s policy in demand now than ever”.
Since 1998, Russia has at least 132 new monuments, busts and memorial plaques in honor of Stalin. The data on this subject was received by Alexander Arkhipov, the anthropologist RANH. At the same time in 2014 it was established almost two times more monuments than three years earlier.
Arkhipova talks about “people’s faith” in Stalin, who has always existed and is now particularly strong. “Stalin is becoming the father figure who looks after everyone,” she says. This figure is particularly sought after when the current position is perceived as heavy.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Stalin left a lot of supporters in Russia. His terrifying dominance, terror, the Gulag, the relocation of whole peoples — all this has never been a complete re-think. Millions of people fell victim to Stalin’s purges. According to estimates, there were over 20 million victims.
But in recent years the popularity of the deceased in 1953, the dictator has rapidly increased, as polls show. Almost two-thirds of Russians, or rather 62%, according to opinion polls, believe that the need to establish a monument in honor of Stalin’s “political success”.
Amazing this is what most of the supporters of Stalin (77%) are young people aged 18 to 24 years. Among all respondents, two-thirds — 65% — against monuments which remind of the crimes of Stalin.
And independent Institute of public opinion studies, “Levada-the centre” also reported that the number of Russians who have at Stalin sympathy, admiration, or respect, for the first time in 16 years peaked at 46%. Sociologists talk about “creeping” destalinization. It is supported and in the highest political circles.
Sociologist Denis Volkov of the Levada-Center cites a number of reasons for the growing popularity of mass murderers. Since the beginning of the annexation of Crimea in 2014, the widespread view that Russia is a great power. The idea of the great powers associated with the figure of Stalin.
This includes the cult of Soviet victory in world war II that the Kremlin has in recent years actively supported. This victory was possible thanks to Stalin. Critical thinking victims needed to win or Pact between Hitler and Stalin is absent in this case. “In the last two years, we see that making excuses for Stalin at the highest level.”
In the film, Oliver stone (Oliver Stone) “Interview with Putin”, which was recently released, Putin said, “it seems to Me that the excessive demonization of Stalin is one of the ways, one of the ways of attack on the Soviet Union and Russia.” It is “complex figure”. Two years ago Putin during the meeting with Angela Merkel in Moscow justified the Pact between Stalin and Hitler. There had been a marked change in policy. During Dmitry Medvedev’s presidency in 2008-2012, attempts were made to have a critical understanding of their own history.
A fan of Stalin Denisyuk from Novosibirsk nevertheless I am sure that Russia again needs a strong hand. “We need someone who will bring order in the country,” he says. “Putin is not a man”.
Although, according to him, the annexation of Crimea and military intervention in Syria, he made the right move to restore Russia’s status as a great power. But in domestic policy he is serving the interests of oligarchs. Denisyuk believes that large businesses and banks should be transferred, as in Soviet times.
Denisyuk recognize that under Stalin’s repressions were. “But we have to consider it in a historical context,” he says. For the Soviet Union from foreign enemies have posed a threat, and it was necessary to take measures against the “fifth column”.
A small movement of your opponents
In parallel with the growing cult of Stalin was formed and a small movement of your opponents. So, Russians are increasingly seeking information about their relatives who were persecuted under Stalin, who were killed. Denis Karagodin is a symbol of this group. His great-grandfather Stepan Karagodin January 21, 1938, was shot by the NKVD. Family for a long time trying to find out what happened to him.
Five years ago Denis Karagodin, who studied philosophy, found in the family archive a folder with documents and began to investigate the fate of his ancestor. “We’re investigating a crime,” he says. “We are not historians, and the investigation team”. Its purpose — everyone who was involved in the death of his father, should be brought to justice. Even if they are long dead. He wants the proceedings.
In the documents there is a list of the 32 artists, torturers and security officials. At the top is written the name — Dzhugashvili Joseph Stalin, also known as Stalin. “Dzhugashvili, one of the organizers, he will be charged under the relevant article of the criminal code. All very simple,” Karagodin says. “The question is not whether this is possible, but how it will happen.” Relative to the predominantly positive perception of Stalin in Russian society, he says: “It does not concern me, that’s not my question”.
Karadogan lives in the Siberian city of Tomsk is just few hundred kilometers from Novosibirsk, where Denisyuk want to perpetuate the memory of Stalin in the bust. However, both men share the worlds.