Tuesday, February 14, 2006

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."


Anonymous said...

I wish I could remember who first said it, but a wit once described Russia as a nation of "angry sheep."

Anonymous said...

Makes me want to cry. I have often felt sorry for the Russians, but if this lady is any indication of widespread feelings, they are gonna get what they deserve. Sad. (Oh, when did the National Education Association take over Russian schools? That can be the only reason that the knowledge of history is so warped.)

Anonymous said...

anonymous 10:04-

You're misinterpreting Kruscheva. She was attempting to convey feelings among Russians that are not her own, to explain Stalin's renewed appeal.

No Kruschev would say such fluffy things about Stalin and mean them.

Read the article for context.