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US NewsAs Russia Celebrates Hitler’s Defeat, Stalin’s Ghost Is Haunting Putin

00:30  10 may  2019
00:30  10 may  2019 Source:   thedailybeast.com

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Russians have been encouraged to see Hitler as a tyrant, but Stalin as their defender. Now some wish Stalin were still around. Putin has criticized Stalin ’ s repression in the 1930 s , and has long said that communism doomed itself, forcing Russia to fall behind advanced countries, calling it “a blind alley

Adolph Hitler ’ s invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, “Operation Barbarossa,” was answered with ferocious resistance that , through That was followed by the subjugation of France and the Battle of Britain. Stalin ’ s repression and purges meanwhile had killed millions of his own subjects in the 1930s.

As Russia Celebrates Hitler’s Defeat, Stalin’s Ghost Is Haunting Putin © Provided by The Daily Beast Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

MOSCOW—Early Thursday morning, the Russian capital woke to the sound of music played every May 9, the day this country marked as the end of World War II. “This is our Victory Day. The smell of gunpowder. … The joy, with tears in our eyes.”

Adolph Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, “Operation Barbarossa,” was answered with ferocious resistance that, through long years of combat and sieges, cost tens of millions of lives. But most of Europe dates the beginning of the war to 1939, partly because of a nonaggression pact that Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin made with Hitler that opened the way for him to invade Poland. That was followed by the subjugation of France and the Battle of Britain. Stalin’s repression and purges meanwhile had killed millions of his own subjects in the 1930s.

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As Russians prepare to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany this Not many in Russia challenge the historical record of Stalin ’ s atrocities. Millions of people were killed in Under Mr. Putin , a more benign rendering of Stalin had emerged. In recent government-endorsed

JRL NEWSWATCH: “ As Russia Celebrates Hitler ’ s Defeat , Stalin ’ s Ghost Is Haunting Putin ” – The Daily Beast/ Anna Nemtsova. May 11, 2019 JRL Russia List History, Soviet Union, Human Rights, JRL NewsBlog, Politics, Government, Protests, Elections. “ Russians have been encouraged to see Hitler

As Russia Celebrates Hitler’s Defeat, Stalin’s Ghost Is Haunting Putin © Thomson Reuters Russia's President Vladimir Putin greets participants after the Victory Day parade, which marks the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in Red Square in central Moscow, Russia May 9, 2019. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. Both men were tyrants who wrought carnage on a scale never before seen in modern times, and almost every Russian family lost someone during the fateful decades of their rule. So it is not surprising at all that Russia would outlaw anything resembling a “rehabilitation of Nazism.” But it is a sad, disturbing sign of resurgent autocracy under President Vladimir Putin that the crimes of Stalinism not only are ignored, the Soviet dictator who died in 1953 is increasingly revered as a hero. This, even though Putin himself is not a Stalin fan.

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Educate me, Russian redditors: is Putin trying to rehabilitate the Soviet Union in the same way that the U. S . Confederacy was rehabilitated in the minds of When the Russians conquered that one, weak khanate, the road was open for them to explore, claim and settle the rest of the Siberian land mass.

JRL NEWSWATCH: “ As Russia Celebrates Hitler ’ s Defeat , Stalin ’ s Ghost Is Haunting Putin ” – The Daily Beast/ Anna Nemtsova. May 11, 2019 JRL Russia List History, Soviet Union, Human Rights, JRL NewsBlog, Politics, Government, Protests, Elections. “ Russians have been encouraged to see Hitler

As Russia Celebrates Hitler’s Defeat, Stalin’s Ghost Is Haunting Putin © ASSOCIATED PRESS Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier after the military parade marking 74 years since the victory in WWII in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

At noon on Thursday, a river of red Communist flags decorated with the hammer and sickle streamed across downtown Moscow and a giant banner with Stalin’s portrait floated above the demonstration.

As Russia Celebrates Hitler’s Defeat, Stalin’s Ghost Is Haunting Putin MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MAY 1, 2019: A portrait of Joseph Stalin during a rally held by the Russian Communist Party to mark International Workers' Day in Teatralnaya Square. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)

The admiration is not for an ideology but for the strongman who claimed to represent it, and who drove the country to defeat the invader.

Putin has criticized Stalin’s repression in the 1930s, and has long said that communism doomed itself, forcing Russia to fall behind advanced countries, calling it “a blind alley, far away from the mainstream of the world’s civilization.” But walking around Moscow’s center on Friday, one would think that the Party and Stalin were back in power.

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When Putin publicly applauds Joseph Stalin as a great national leader, his countrymen are told Stalin fulfilled another part of his satanic pact with Hitler by supplying him with commodities and oil Even in defeat , many soldiers of the Red Army fought to the death with a stubborn animal courage

Gallery: Revisiting Victory in Europe Day of 1945 (Photo Services)

Thousands of modern communists gathered on Pushkin Square at noon. A young man in a black leather jacket and sneakers was carrying a portrait of Stalin,  “the hero of our life,” he told The Daily Beast.

Russian Stalinists feel free to walk with their leader’s portraits around the capital on the country’s main holiday or even install Stalin’s monuments.

As Russia Celebrates Hitler’s Defeat, Stalin’s Ghost Is Haunting Putin © 2019 Oleg Nikishin MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MAY 01: A woman carries portrait of Joseph Stalin as Communist Party supporters march through Moscow on May Day on May 1, 2019 in Moscow, Russia. Thousands of Russian Communist Party (CPRF) supporters marched in Moscow to mark International Workers' Day. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images) To mark Victory Day, Novosibirsk opened a monument to Stalin in spite of widespread public criticism. Novosibirsk was the headquarters for management of the Gulag in 1938, when the population in those grim and deadly prison camps reached 78,838 people.

After two decades of Putin’s rule, the efforts to restore Stalin’s cult make Russians believe that the victorious commander in chief during what’s called the Great Patriotic War was not a tyrant but an effective manager.  And this year public respect for Stalin, along with nostalgia for the USSR, has reached a record level: 70 percent of Russians say that Stalin’s rule was good for the country, and Stalinists in the Putin era grow hostile to critics of their idol.

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As Russia Celebrates Hitler’s Defeat, Stalin’s Ghost Is Haunting Putin MOSCOW, RUSSIA MAY 9, 2019: Russia's President Vladimir Putin makes remarks a Victory Day military parade marking the 74th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War, the Eastern Front of World War II, in Moscow's Red Square. Mikhail Metzel/TASS (Photo by Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images) On the eve of the Victory Day, an award-winning St. Petersburg novelist, Yelena Chizhova was accused of “rehabilitation of Nazism” after saying in an article that both Hitler and Stalin were to blame for the German siege of Leningrad (as St. Petersburg was called at the time) from 1941 to 1944.

Chizhova‘s article was about her latest book, which tells of the horrors her family had to survive during a Siege in which almost one million people died of hunger.

“I wrote that Stalin and Hitler were the worst dictators of the time,” Chizhova told The Daily Beast. “Stalin did not do anything to save stored food, so Leningrad was left without strategic reserve.”

As Russia Celebrates Hitler’s Defeat, Stalin’s Ghost Is Haunting Putin © 2018 Mikhail Svetlov MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MOSCOW, 1 (RUSSIA OUT) Russian communists with portrait of Joseph Stalin march during the rally marking the Labour Day, in Central Moscow, Russia, May,1,2019. Thousands activisits of Russian Communist Party (PRF), left-wing politic movements and animals rights radicals have gathered for the rally, to celebrate the International Labour Day,also known as May Day. (Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images) Stalin, originally from Soviet Georgia, did not like the old royal city of St. Petersburg, even after it was renamed. “Famous authors, including Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Olga Berggolts, Lydia Chukovskaya have written about Stalin’s hate for Leningrad,” Chizhova added. “Thousands of people share the opinion I expressed in my article.”

Boris Vishnevsky, a municipal deputy in St.Petersburg, believes that  the attack on Chizhova, a Jewish-Russian novelist, was “shameful” on the eve of the Victory Day. “Chizhova was right: Stalin and his management did fail to prevent the Leningrad Siege. That is common knowledge, which has nothing to do with justification of Nazism.”

As Russia Celebrates Hitler’s Defeat, Stalin’s Ghost Is Haunting Putin © Thomson Reuters Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a flower-laying ceremony near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall on the Victory Day, which marks the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in central Moscow, Russia May 9, 2019. Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. In Putin’s Russia it is considered, at a minimum, bad form to discuss the Nazi-Soviet pact approved by Stalin in 1939. Stalin’s fans are not proud of a famous photograph of Stalin shaking hands with Hitler’s adviser, Joachim von Ribbentrop, who visited the USSR in August 1939. Millions of Russians have no idea, that on that visit Ribbentrop signed a neutrality accord with Stalin’s close associate Vyacheslav Molotov, the Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars.

Gallery: Vintage May Day celebrations (Photo Services)

According to a 2017 poll conducted by the Levada Center, 38 percent of Russians don’t know what the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was about; that the document defined the borders of Soviet and Nazi “spheres of influence” in Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and Finland.

“When it comes to public awareness of the pact, everything depends on what people learn at school, at university,” history professor Daniil Kotsyubinsky told The Daily Beast. “It depends on teachers and professors. My students know the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact perfectly well.”

Kotsyubinsky believes the enthusiasm for Stalin in Putin’s Russia actually works against him. “By admiring Stalin, Russians show their mistrust in the current government,” he said. “Our society is irritated by the free-market authoritarian regime, so when they say they support Stalin, people demonstrate how much they dislike their life under Putin.”

“The Kremlin’s weak authoritarian power has been helping to develop Stalin’s cult to justify its own anti-democratic policy. So society reaches the conclusion there is no better alternative than a severe dictatorship.”

This year’s Victory Day parade displayed 13,000 soldiers and a record 138 weapon systems, including some ballistic missiles. The Kremlin’s Sputnik agency described one system that “carries ICBMs with multiple, independently targetable nuclear warheads and has a range of 11,000 km (6,800 miles).”

In the afternoon hundreds of thousands joined the “Immortal Regiment” march carrying portraits of their parents and grandparents, the WWII veterans and casualties.

As Russia Celebrates Hitler’s Defeat, Stalin’s Ghost Is Haunting Putin © Thomson Reuters Participants carry portraits of people, including Red Army soldiers, during the Immortal Regiment march on the Victory Day, marking the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in central Moscow, Russia May 9, 2019. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

The “Immortal Regiment” is the biggest civil patriotic movement of President Putin’s rule. But this year the Kremlin organizers asked the Communists not to bring images of Stalin to the event. Apparently there’s a realization that the public passion for the Stalin cult may be getting out of control. “They must have understood that the popularity of Stalin in Russia means nothing but a vote of censure for Putin,” Kotsyubinsky told The Daily Beast.

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Gallery: Photos of the day (Reuters)

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