In case you had your doubts about the way things are going in Russia, check out Nina Khrushcheva's depressing op-ed in Sunday's Washington Post. A few stats: 51 percent of young Russians (ages 16-29) believe Stalin was "a wise leader." Was Stalin a "cruel tyrant"? 47 percent say no. And 56 percent of young Russians think "Stalin may have made some mistakes but did more good than bad."
As Khrushcheva, the great-granddaughter of Nikita Khrushchev, explains: "We yearned for monumental--if oppressive--leaders, like Ivan the Terrible or Stalin. Yes, they killed and imprisoned, but how great were our victories and parades! So what if Stalin ruled by fear? That was simply a fear for one's life. However terrifying, it wasn't as existentially threatening as the fear of freedom, of individual choice, with no one but oneself to blame if democracy turned into disarray and capitalism into corruption.
"This is why the country rallies behind President Vladimir Putin."
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