Friday, May 31, 2024

Nearly Half of All Memorials to Stalin in Russia are in Republics whose Titular Nations He Deported, Outraging Survivors

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 27 – North Caucasians protesting the existence of statues to Stalin point out that the greatest number of such memorials are precisely in republics subject to deportation or repression, including most prominently North Ossetia, Dagestan and Sakha ( 00236).

            (A separate enumeration carried out at the end of last year found that there were then 110 busts of Stalin in Russia as a whole. Of these, 48 were in the North Caucasus. And more than 90 percent of these have been erected since Vladimir Putin came to power (

            Not surprisingly, the erection of such statues in places where Stalin committed some of his worst crimes against humanity raises serious questions about the motives of those who have done so. But even less surprisingly, this pattern has outraged the survivors of the deportations – and now some have protested, albeit with little hope that these memorials will be taken down.

            The authors of an appeal, seven elderly survivors of the deportations, have unsuccessfully appealed to both their republic leaders and to Moscow where the appeal at best will be ignored and at worst will lead to still more repressions ( and

            But the appeal shows that this issue remains very much alive; and some observers are suggesting that the condemnation of Stalin for his crimes rather than the celebration of his life with memorials is the only hope Russia has for ever becoming a country capable of having a more or less normal future.

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