The Shadow of Stalin Hangs Over Russian Anti-Putin Protests

Daily Beast
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Summary: ” “The official told us that police are to detain anybody carrying a banner, or yelling opposition slogans,” Olga Bychkova, deputy chief editor of Echo of Moscow told The Daily Beast. Last weekend for instance, a man glued Stalin’s portrait to the display in a food store here in the Russian city of Sochi, just where President Putin has his summer residence. There was a strong belief, then, that an independent Russia divested of the old Soviet republics had put its totalitarian past history in back of it and condemned Stalin’s massive repression. By Monday evening, police reported more than 1,00 detainees in Moscow, and St. The banner with the portrait of the moustached dictator in a dress uniform quoted the late French President Charles De Gaulle: “Stalin didn’t walk away into the past, he dissolved into the future.” Similar banners appeared on the windows of Sochi busses. Police kept after 21-year-old activist Olga Tochenaya in Makhachkala, a city in Dagestan. In a photograph from Dagestan’s anti-corruption protest against Tochenaya holds out an indictation from the window of a police bus, which says: “For our freedom, and yours,” a traditional slogan of Russian dissidents. Yet Stalin’s image has been burnished under Putin in part because, at the end of Hitler went ahead, and invaded the Soviet Union, Stalin led the ferocious resistance that came to be known as “The Great Patriotic War.” Today Stalin’s face shall be able to be seen on banners and souvenirs, it would appear that a source of national pride. SOCHI, Russia—When Vladimir Putin was first of all appointed “acting president” of Russia 17 years ago, nobody could’ve imagined that the image of Josef Stalin would appear on mugs, and T-shirts on sale in Russian airports. All this came into anticipation of Russia Day, a national holiday meant to celebrate Russia’s independence from the collapsed Soviet Union in 1991—which is never an easy notion to grasp, especially at a time when Putin’s transparent ambition is to rebuild a new Russian empire on old models. Hundreds of opposition activists, lots of them teenagers, poured onto the festive street chanting: “Putin is a thief, Putin is a thief!” But Navalny wasn’t with the protesters.”

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