Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Russia Won’t Tear Down Lenin Statues but Post-Russia Successor States Will, Shtepa Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 21 – Sometimes a brief Facebook post can say in brief compass more than an extended discourse of article or book-length. That happened yesterday when Vadim Shtepa observed that those who hope Russia will tear down Lenin statues are bound to be disappointed but these statues will be destroyed by people in the post-Russia successor states.

            Specifically, the Russian regionalist now living in exile in Estonia says that confronted with pictures of the statues of the founder of the Soviet state being torn down, “Ukrainian comrades dreamily say – but when alas will this happen in Russia?” (facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1169204453130543&set=a.101578849893114.588.100001229974500&type=3&theater).

            Shtepa says he “must disappoint them: this will never happen in RUSSIA. It will, [however], occur  in the Republic of Koenigsberg, in Ingria, Karelia, and in the Urals and Primore republics” that are emerging within the borders of the current Russian Federation and that will be the successors to the current state formation.

            And he ends by asking the open question: “Do you understand what I am talking about?”

            Many in the post-Soviet space and in the West don’t, and so it is important to make explicit three things that Shtepa’s observation points to:

            First, for all too many Russians, Lenin is still celebrated as is Stalin not because of his social policies but because he saved the Russian Empire from collapse. Consequently, despite the expectations of many they are not prepared to cast him and hence many of his ideas into the dustbin of history.

            Second, because they were and remain double victims of Lenin’s system and its successors, victims first of its repression and second of its imperial nature, the non-Russians and those Russians who reject Moscow as the center of all things will be the only ones who will get rid of the Lenin statues.

            And third, and this is perhaps the most important point, those who want to see the Leninist socialist-imperialist syndrome finally destroyed must recognize that this will happen only when the Russian Federation dissolves and new states emerge. 1991 was the beginning of that process. If it doesn’t continue, Lenin statues will continue to stand in Eurasia.

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