Monday, November 5, 2018

Could United Russia Soon Become the CPSU?

Paul Goble

            Staunton, November 4 – Vladimir Putin’s proposal to restore GRU as the name of Russia’s military intelligence service has opened the floodgates for those who would like to go even further in bringing back Soviet-era names. Two such proposals have surfaced in the last 48 hours and more are likely to follow.

            On November 2, Putin proposed restoring the Soviet-era name of Russia’s military intelligence arm and call it once again the GRU given what he described as its glorious history (  As always, other Russians were listening and waiting to take their cue from the Kremlin leader’s remarks. 

            The very next day, the National Committee +60 called on Putin to restore the name KGB to what is now called the FSB. That is especially timely, it said, now that the GRU is back and that Russia is pushing to expand the union state with Belarus where the authorities still use the Soviet nomenclature (

            The group said that bringing back the KGB, the GRU and the militia (in place of the police) would “receive the full approval of Russians and neutralize the provocations of the opposition which lives on the generous handouts of the West!”

            And the very next day, poet and commentator Stanislav Kunyayev argued that it was time to combine the Day of National Unity on November 4 with the celebration of the 1917 October revolution on November 7 becaue they have “much more in common than many are inclined to think” ( nov 7).

            Such proposals may not gain much traction, but they are an indication of public attitudes in the age of Putin and of the ways in which his often incautious remarks lead people to go further and faster than even he would like in restoring the Soviet past, something Putin at least recognizes could be a danger to his regime even if some of his most passionate supporters don’t.

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