‘Take kids to Lubyanka!’ Nearly half of Russians approve Stalinist repressions

45% of respondents agreed that Stalin’s terror may be excused by big goals and results achieved in a short term, Russian NGO Yuri Levada Analytical Center’s recent survey says.

According to the survey, more Russians have a positive attitude to Joseph Stalin. One third of respondents treat him with respect, 24% called his death ‘a loss of the great leader and teacher’, and 45% believe that the Soviet people’s sufferings during the Stalin era may be justified by big goals and results achieved. In 2012, the number of those who justified repression was almost two times less (25%).

The amount of Stalin’s vocal supporters of the leader is constantly growing. In 2010, the idea of ​​erecting a monument to him was backed by 24% of interviewees, in 2015 – 37%.

Monuments to Stalin may appear throughout Russia

They are set to erect monuments to Stalin in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Orel, Makhachkala, Nizhniy Novgorod, Sochi, Dagestanskiye Ogni, the town which can already boast of Stalin Avenue. However, Moscow’s authorities are in no hurry to give consent because ‘there are too many different opinions’. Kommersant’s source in the Kremlin reported that the country’s leadership hardly puts forward such initiatives: it is the regions that come up with the proposal.

In Rzhev (Tver region) Stalin’s memorial house is to be opened by the oncoming Victory Day. Meanwhile, museum of the Gulag victims of ‘Perm-36′ has been recently closed down.

A week ago, an advertising campaign of the Central Children’s Store, which is located in Bolshaya Lubyanka Street in Moscow, not far from the Federal Security Service headquarters, started. The building which was occupied by NKVD, GPU and the KGB (people call it ‘Lubyanka’) has become a symbol of the Stalinist terror for many generations. The campaign slogan says: “Do you like children? Take them to Lubyanka!”; the videos feature children who tried on the role of state security agents.

Belarus honoured Stalin twice

In Belarus there are two busts of Stalin. One appeared in 2000 in the town of Svislach. Anatoly Kuzma, the then chairman of the local executive committee, decided to place all the monuments in the ‘Alley of Heroes’. As a result, Lenin and Stalin happened to be ‘neighbours’ of Romuald Traugutt, one of the leaders of the 1863-64 uprising. The other bust is located in open-air museum ‘Stalin Line’, which was opened near Minsk in 2005.

Inha Astrautsova