Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Good news from Russia: Monuments dedicated to Stalin are on the rise

By Nikos Mottas

At least 110 monuments dedicated to Soviet leader and architect of the Great Antifascist Victory of the Peoples, Joseph Stalin, have been erected in Russia. 

According to “Mozem Obyasnit”, 95 monuments of Stalin,  including 22 full-scale statues, have been installed in various regions of the country during the last 24 years. 

Russian media reported that a bust of Stalin appeared at a memorial site dedicated to the so-called “victims of Soviet political repression” in Tver region, alongside new statues of his predecessor Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, the founder of the Soviet secret police, Felix Dzerzhinsky, and Politburo member Mikhail Kalinin.

According to “Mozem Obyasnit”, in 1990s there were only five monuments dedicated to the leader of the Great Patriotic War. The vast majority of Stalin's memorials have been erected during the leadership of Vladimir Putin, who rose to power in 1999. Furthermore, the pace of construction of such memorials has been doubled since the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and continues during the ongoing imperialist war in Ukraine.

Nonetheless, it is important to stress out this: The Russian government under Vladimir Putin didn't fall in love with Stalin or the Soviet Union. In fact, it is a deeply anti-communist, anti-soviet administration. Mr Putin himself, a political offspring of counterrevolutionaries like Boris Yeltsin and Anatoly Sobchak, has been engaged in furious attacks against Lenin and the Soviet state, while he has officially adopted the Nazi narrative on the Katyn Massacre.

Putin's leadership seeks popular support for its aspirations in the imperialist war that is taking place in Ukraine, within the framework of the broader competition between USA-NATO-EU and capitalist Russia. Therefore, the government of United Russia party appeals to the memory and the pro-Soviet feelings of a large part of the Russian population, especially the older generations who reminisce the socialist period. 
The references to Stalin and the Great Patriotic War by government officials, as well as by the allies of Putin (e.g. the Communist Party of the Russian Federation), aim at the rallying of working class masses around the governmental policy in the Ukrainian front.

The increase of monuments dedicated to Joseph Stalin and other heroes of the Soviet Union is definitely a positive development. But not be fooled by the actual motives of the bourgeois Russian leadership; in fact, beware of Mr Putin bearing gifs. 

* Nikos Mottas is the Editor-in-Chief of In Defense of Communism. 


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