Staunton, February 26 – The Crimean Anschluss opened the way for the “completely open” justification of Stalin and thus of everything Soviet because “in fact, the Soviet was and is Stalin,” not only because he ruled for so long but also because “he created … the Soviet man, [and] the Soviet mentality and thus destroyed Russia,” according to historian Andrey Zubov.
Stalin “destroyed the Russian man and people of all nationalities as non-Soviet. If in the 1920s, there was still a so-called society under the Soviets and people were still Russians, Ukrainains and Jews, but not Soviet and still citizens of a Russian state … then after the death of Stalin Soviet society took its final shape” (openrussia.org/post/view/13010/).
And both because the entire leadership of Russia comes out of that Soviet crucible and because its values serve them so well, Zubov says, “Stalin is not only a symbol; he is if you like, the axis around which rotates the entire present-day elite. Take away this axis and everything falls apart because then people will say: you too are a criminal!”
That is why the Putin elite has to justify Stalin because if people accept that Stalin was somehow inevitable or unavoidable, then they will conclude that the same thing about the current rulers, Zubov continues. The elite thus has no choice if it wants to maintain itself in power; but if it continues on this course, Russia is doomed.
Not only are Stalin statues and museums appearing everywhere in Russia -- for a useful survey, see meduza.io/feature/2016/02/25/trepeschite-yadom-plyuyte?utm_