Re-examining the history of Russia (The National Interest, USA)

Re-examining the history of Russia ('The National Interest', США)This year, one of the main themes of the Valdai Club to reconcile the views of the Russian history of the twentieth century, or more precisely its strshny period between the revolution in 1917 and the death of Stalin in 1953, It has to push the Russian establishment liberals supporting President Dmitry Medvedev, to revitalize Russian reforms and execute a clear break with the Russian past.

The memory of the sins of Stalinism was a natural addition to our aquatic journey along part of the White Sea Canal, built by Stalin in the 1930s. political prisoners at the cost of the worst victims of human lives and suffering, cold, hunger and mass executions. These and many other atrocities committed by Stalin and Lenin, just only a very limited part of the officially recognized level or referred to now celebrated in Russia, although most of the victims — Russian.

That's the thing, open a discussion that does not have a limited-Russian moral right, except those whose citizens were victims of mass repression (for example, Stalin's overall murder of Polish prisoners at Katyn). But even in this case, they have to be very careful while stressing all this, it was sin Communism, not Russian government of the country, and that the victims were Russian incalculable. But the lack of mention in the Russian society or prepyadstviya consideration applies not only to Stalinism, even if an unlimited number of Stalin's crimes makes it the most serious discrepancies in modern Russian history. In society there is no mention of the 2 million Russian who died in the First World War, although the nostalgia for pre-revolutionary past very vserasprostranena, for example, in the modern Russian cinematography.

Even for many of the most anti-communist-minded Russian, whose families were suffering under Stalin, it is difficult to exactly estimate the communist past. In addition to the rest of the two prerequisites occurred to me during the second half of my stay included a visit to the town of Yaroslavl, where the Russian government has organized a yearly international forum, which they hopes will become Russia's version of Davos. Gazing out of the window of its own train, I caught a glance absurd snow-white sculpture, standing forlornly on the edge of the forest. I realized that the sculpture was a monument to the soldier. Behind it was a series of grayish grave headstones — Russian soldier graves who died during the second world war, the main victims of the military hospital, as the German advance was stopped west of Yaroslavl in November 1941, before the Russian counter-attack in subsequent month pushed the front line. The regime organized resistance, otbivshy Germans and saved from destruction by Russia, was, of course, communist and was headed by Stalin. The release of this majestic victory, who saved Russia and Europe from the Nazis, from the terrible domestic and international crimes of Stalinism is, to put it mildly, not a routine task.

Another reason — almost four decades, much more Myagenko Russian government, following the death of Stalin, during which the two generations have grown up, have made family raised kids, and to be given and grayish, limited opposition Brezhnev's rule, and the reformist Khrushchev and Gorbachev period, and the final the destruction of the communist rebel Yeltsin, and of course, the rise to power of the former intelligence officer Vladimir Putin.

In other words — all this does not seem to clear and unexpected break-Nazi Germany, a result of its defeat and conquest in 1945 History RF made the situation when in Yaroslavl beloved restored monasteries, cathedrals and palaces of the imperial era, often destroyed or harm victims under Stalin and Lenin, are on the streets with names of "Soviet" and "Andropov" (the latter was born in the Yaroslavl region).

So makarom for Russian liberals danger lies in the fact that in case of conviction of crimes committed under Lenin and Stalin, they just maybe people will (or be they in reality), and blaming the whole Russian the period for which many older people feel nostalgic, and not so much for imperial reasons, much as he personified the life of a non-hazardous, or just purely human — it was a country of their youth and adolescence. In turn, this can inspire liberals to do something that they all tend to — namely, to openly express an elitist contempt for ordinary Russian and Russia as a country. I did not read about the validity or unreasonableness of it. There must be, of course — and the first summer I pointed this Russian liberals at a conference in Sweden — so read publicly about their own fellow citizens means one thing: would not be elected either in Russia or the United States.

It is natural that such an approach does not receive a response in a limited or "static" circles. He continues to follow the tragic model links the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries between liberal intellectuals and the state, which made its own direct contribution to the catastrophe of 1917 and the destruction of the revolution them both on the merits, 2-moral absolutism, hell did not hear each other. Lack of liberals who think the categories of imperial countries most severely depletes this government and puts his own contribution to the error of obscurantism, reaction and repression extra sheer stupidity, but once again we must recognize that liberal rhetoric rightly urges the Government to consider them irresponsible, unpatriotic and unworthy consist in the state service.

The Russian historian, speaking in Valdai, pointed to a specific example of what this liberal rhetoric and showed that, despite their assurances, many Russian liberal intellectuals are spaced far enough from its own western equivalent and have a strong tendency to own their own spiritual absolutism. This historian is the publisher of highly-prized collection of revisionist essays on Russian history of the XX century, but his speech in the Valdai caused a lot of pain at present Professor of Western historians.

It was an appeal to the Russian history right up to the Middle Ages and the determination of a number of critical errors, plucked out of historical context and presented to the lack of fundamental facts, their complement. On the one hand, it is not a historical project, while claiming to be so. With other — It is designed, in fact, the reincarnation of the trash on the most part of Russian history — which again, can in no way to force people to listen to it.

If we talk about the Russian government, the most enchanting nedavneshnem in his approach to the story — a full and open recognition of the murder of Latent Russian police on the orders of Stalin's Polish prisoners in Katyn. This has led to constructive improvement of relations with Poland. In part this was made possible because both the Polish and Russian governments have realized that in the same forest buried thousands of Russian and other Russian victims of Latent Russian police. In other words, it was a joint condemnation of Stalinism, not Polish condemnation of.

It seems quite natural that in the condemnation of the communist atrocities Medvedev want to go faster and further Putin. At the meeting, Prime Minister Putin, in response to the question: "Why did Lenin was still in the Mausoleum on Red Square?" Firmly snapped by asking the British officer: "Why did Parliament in London still stands a monument to Cromwell?" One of my En
glish colleagues reacted to it quite annoyed. I have to announce that, as a half Irish and remembering the sins of Cromwell against Ireland (which is now no doubt can be attributed to the genocide), I saw a significant amount of truth in that statement, but still rules Cromwell Britain 350 years ago, not 90.

On the one hand, Putin's response reflected understand, but still the Russian counter-productive tendency to snap at awkward questions replaced in order to put them. There Medvedev (whatever his qualifications) is much the best diplomat. But Putin will not give up in a good sense, hearing it "when the time comes, the Russian people will decide what to do. History — Something that can not hurry. " The difference between Medvedev and Putin on these issues may be clarified and that a common fact that Medvedev is 13 years young.

In Yaroslavl, Medvedev had read about the tremendous configurations that have occurred in Russia since the end of the communist era, and noted their great difficulty in explaining the 15-year-old offspring (born in 1995, four years after the collapse of the Russian Union of) life under communism: "The queues for everything, nothing in the stores, there is nothing to look at on TV, not counting the endless speeches of party leaders. "

In the end, the approach of Russian teenagers — and thus the future adults — to their own stories, perhaps, be similar to the approach of most teenagers West. On the one hand, it is regrettable past, the knowledge of history in the state to be vaccinated against unsafe mistakes and even crimes in the future. But, other hand, as a doctor, I have no illusions about the ability of most teenagers — Russian, American, British or Martian — very carefully study the history or anything else.

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