Staunton, December 23 – On the anniversary of the execution of Stalin’s notorious secret police chief Lavrenty Beria whose removal from the scene required Moscow to require owners of the Bolshaya Sovetskaya Entsiklopedia to remove the article on Beria and insert one on the Bering Straits, Vladimir Putin has released a new Bolshaya Rossiiskaya Entsiklopedia.
The current Kremlin leader called for the compilation of such an encyclopedia in 2002, and now all 35 volumes have been released. Like its Soviet predecessors, the new source reflects the ideological preferences of the employers of the compilers at least as they exist at the present time (svobodaradio.livejournal.com/3301419.html).
Like Stalin, Putin gets enormous attention: 22 pages in the new set; but Aleksandr Pushkin, Russia’s greatest poet, gets only four; and there are none at all for figures like Boris Nemtsov, Boris Berezovsky, Mikhail Khodorkovsky or Yury Shevchuk. One wonders what new Bering Straits articles will be needed when the ideological winds shift.