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Bigcountry02 05-08-2010 07:41 AM

Russian president slams 'totalitarian' USSR
 
This is an interesting read! Read some of comments!

Found one interesting:

"Am I the only one that finds it odd that Russia is increasing human rights, increasing capatalism, and limiting government while America is busy promoting communism, crushing constitutional rights, and expanding the government?

With America becoming increasingly socialistic the ripples are going outward, Greece is the first casualty. The economy collapsing...thats change. Oh, but let me guess, it's Bush's fault right?"


Russian president slams 'totalitarian' USSR

Russian president slams 'totalitarian' USSR

President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday slammed the Soviet Union as a totalitarian regime that suppressed human rights, in the most damning assessment of the USSR by a Russian leader in recent years.

In an interview with the Izvestia newspaper published two days before Russia marks the 65th anniversary of victory in World War II, Medvedev said the crimes of wartime dictator Joseph Stalin could never be forgiven.

"The Soviet Union was a very complicated state and if we speak honestly the regime that was built in the Soviet Union... cannot be called anything other than totalitarian," he said.

"Unfortunately, this was a regime where elementary rights and freedoms were suppressed."

Medvedev and his predecessor in the Kremlin, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, have until now rarely criticised the Soviet system and instead focused on its achievements.

"Medvedev has made a very strong declaration which has been awaited for a very long time," Russian human rights activist Lev Ponomarev, usually one of the Kremlin's harshest critics, told AFP.

Putin, still seen by most observers as Russia's de-facto number one leader, once famously described the collapse of the Soviet Union as the "greatest geopolitical catastrophe" of the 20th century.

The president -- who succeeded Putin exactly two years ago on May 7, 2008 -- said that after its World War II triumph, the Soviet Union failed to allow its economy to develop.

"This was accompanied by deaths and everything connected with dictatorship," commented Medvedev.

Medvedev also issued his clearest condemnation of Stalin, who is blamed for the deaths of millions in prison camps, purges and the forced collectivization of agriculture, yet is still admired by many Russians as a strong leader.

"Stalin committed a mass of crimes against his own people," said Medvedev.

"And despite the fact that he worked a lot, and despite the fact that under his leadership the country recorded many successes, what was done to his own people cannot be forgiven."

Russia is due to mark Victory Day on Sunday with a giant military parade attended by a host of world leaders and featuring 10,000 Russian troops and nuclear-capable missiles, as well as British, French, Polish and US soldiers.

Parade preparations were overshadowed by a controversy about a plan to hang posters of Stalin, initially proposed by the Moscow municipality but then scrapped, reportedly on Kremlin orders.

Medvedev rubbished the notion that Stalin won the war for the Soviet Union, saying that "the Great Patriotic War was won by our people, not by Stalin or even the generals."

Both of Medvedev's grandfathers fought in the Red Army.

Western historians have for years said an overconfident Stalin was stunned by the German invasion in 1941 and Medvedev admitted the Soviet Union could "have prepared more carefully" for the Nazi attack.

Long criticised by human rights activists and Western historians for painting too rosy a picture of the Soviet past, Russia has over the past months taken cautious steps towards eroding powerful taboos over its wartime history.

Last month it published on the Internet documents proving that Soviet secret police massacred Polish officers at Katyn forest in 1940, a crime the USSR long attempted to cover up by blaming it on the Nazis.

Katyn "was a very dark page.... It is not just those abroad who allow history to be falsified. We ourselves have allowed history to be falsified," Medvedev said.

Political analyst Alexander Konovalov, director of the Institute for Strategic Evaluations, said that Medvedev was moving little-by-little to change Russian public opinion on history.

"These comments will contribute to re-establish historical truths," he said.

zhuk 05-09-2010 01:48 AM

Sounds like 'product differentiation' for Western ears to me (and protection of lucrative investment possibilites). Despite Putin's administration bearing the hallmarks of repression (diminishing press freedoms [& look out if you're an 'investigative journalist' with any dirt on the Govt...the list of fatal 'accidents' and 'Chechen attacks' on these writers is well documented], State control of media, restriction of political parties opposing 'United Russia' etc) in other words if they tell a lie often enough....you know how it goes. Yes there is nominal 'freedom of speech' for the ordinary person (media not so much) and of course its now nothing like the Soviet repressions or Stalinism, but to say Russia is increasing its freedoms to what we know in the West as such...hmm.

Not sure if this commenter realises that...

Quote:

"Am I the only one that finds it odd that Russia is increasing human rights, increasing capatalism, and limiting government while America is busy promoting communism, crushing constitutional rights, and expanding the government?
:confused:

Increasing captialism? well if you don't count the extremely corrupt nature of doing business in Russia today - I wouldn't say its a 'free market' as we know it. Free for those with the wherewithal to bribe and have the right connections and stay on the right side of political sponsors, maybe.

Naturally they realise that there is far more money to be made in a 'capitalist' system than the creaking nightmare that was centralised economic planning of Communism...doesn't mean that Western freedom/checks & balances/anti-corruption laws etc necessarily follow.

gorknoids 05-09-2010 04:31 AM

Russia will be a humanitarian sewer long after Chernobyl is safe for growing beets.

zhuk 05-09-2010 05:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gorknoids (Post 282651)
Russia will be a humanitarian sewer long after Chernobyl is safe for growing beets.

You said it gork...I like that analogy.


Quote:

Admittedly, the president in October spoke of a "national catastrophe of Stalinist repression." But then, in December, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin defended his view that Russia underwent fundamental change under Stalin, when it was transformed from an agrarian to an industrial country. "Nobody can today throw stones at those who organized and led us to victory," Putin said.
Free Internet Press :: The Return Of Uncle Joe - Crisis-Stricken Russians Nostalgic For Stalin :: Uncensored News For Real People

Its that old political tactic of contrasting statements; one for international vs one for domestic consumption. And many still see Stalin as the saviour of the nation.


The (centuries-old) intrinsic desire for a Russian 'strongman' will not thwarted...

http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowln.../1219putin.jpg


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