Monday, April 22, 2019

Tanks and Guns Replacing Lenin Statues in Russia, Thereby Promoting Militarism

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 22 – In ever more cities and towns beyond the ring road around Moscow, tanks and guns occupy places of honor where statues of Lenin and other Soviet heroes stood, a change that underscores the ways in which militarism is the new ideology of the Putin regime, Iskander Yasaveyev says.

            The Higher School of Economics sociologist focuses on how this has occurred in Tatarstan where he serves as coordinator of the City without Borders initiative group.  Over the past year alone, he says, local officials have competed with each other to install military equipment in their main public squares (

                The militarization of Russia is manifested not only in the president’s rhetoric, the budget of ‘the military state,’ the programs of patriotic education of citizens with their accent on the defense of the state and the establishment of the Young Army but in the way in which cities, settlements and villages look,” Yasaveyev begins.

            What is worrisome, he continues, is that often these military objects are being installed in ways that destroy various historical monuments and not just survivals from the Soviet period.  Tanks, artillery pieces, APCs, and even planes are destroying the traditional image of the places where Russians live and children are growing up.

            Many residents of the places where these monuments have gone up have complained most often on social media, noting that they had no voice in the decision to put tanks and guns at the center of their cities and towns and do not like what these weapons say about them and their country. 

            Such machines of war cannot fail to have an impact on the way in which children growing up near them will think. And for that reason if for no other, there should be a serious public discussion of this new militarist architecture which Yaseveyev clearly hopes will lead to this trend being stopped and possibly reversed.

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