Masha Lipman: Remembering Stalin

Masha Lipman has an op/ed running in the Washington Post today which raises many poignant questions about the new Russian nationalism and historical reconciliation:

Vladimir Putin’s government is averse to exposing or dwelling on the crimes of communism. Under Putin, the Federal Security Service (FSB), the successor to the KGB and earlier Soviet secret police agencies, has regained power. The FSB occupies the offices above a basement where innocent people were tortured and shot in Stalin’s time. Today, FSB officers refer to themselves as “chekisty,” the pseudo-romantic name for the state security officers of Lenin’s, Stalin’s and Brezhnev’s times. The mood of self-assertive nationalism also plays a role. “There’s an official tendency to portray the past as a succession of victorious or positive developments, and terror simply does not fit in,” Arseny Roginsky, the head of the human rights group Memorial, told me. His group has collected and made available to the public archival materials about mass repression.

Full article here.