Friday, August 11, 2023

Putin Animated by Soviet Past rather than by Russian National Interests, Khazanov-Pashkovsky Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Aug. 2 – The Kremlin insists and its supporters echo the idea that Vladimir Putin is guided by Russian national interests, but his decision to invade Ukraine and the recrudescence of Soviet symbols since then makes such arguments unsustainable, Sergey Khazanov-Pashkovsky says.

            In an essay for the Riga-based conservative Russian Harbin portal, the Russian nationalist who still lives in Russia despite being persecuted by the Putin regime says that there is ever more evidence that Putin is animated not by Russian national interests but by the ideas from the Soviet past (

            According to Khazanov-Pashkovsky, it is not the words of the chief of state that matter but his actions. Stalin raised a toast to the Great Russian People after the end of World War II, but his actions were directed against the interests of that nation. Putin is much the same; and those who rely on his words alone need to focus on what he has overseen and done.

            When Putin launched his war in Ukraine, his regime prepared and Russian generals wore “openly” communist symbols. Moreover, in every population point they seized, they immediately returned “the old Soviet toponymic names and restored monuments to Bolshevik leaders,” not to Russian historical ones as might have been expected.

            Despite Putin’s criticism of Lenin, the Bolshevik leader remains a subject of honor and respect across the Russian Federation. His mummy remains in the mausoleum on Red Square, there are more than 8500 streets and places, including two federal subjects, named and maintained in his honor.

            Moreover, Khazanov-Pashkovsky points out, there are more than 6500 monuments to the founder of the Bolshevik state, including more than 200 in Moscow and St. Petersburg alone. And their number and the number of monuments to other Bolshevik leaders are increasing not decreasing across the country with government support.

            And such noxious monuments are going up not only to Lenin but to other members of the communist pantheon, including, Marx, Stalin, Dzerzhinsky, and lesser figures, at a cost which must exceed “tens of millions of rubles.” Thus any talk about decommunization of Russia under Putin can “be considered only a case of black humor or adistortion of reality beyond recognition.


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