Better late than never, Princeton University Fellow Alexander Etkind writes about Vladimir Putin’s Gazeta Wyborcza article on RCW:
That article reflects the deep, unresolved problems of Putin’s era: the inability to distinguish between the Soviet past and the Russian present; an unscrupulous mix of political conservatism and historical revisionism; and indifference, bordering on incomprehension, with regard to the key values of democracy. (…)
Moreover, while the Munich Agreement cynically blessed Hitler’s dismemberment of Czechoslovakia, it was a public document that meant what it said. But the truly important part of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was its Secret Protocols, which divided Europe into two imperial domains, Stalin’s and Hitler’s, without the consent — or even the knowledge — of the nations consigned to them. Molotov, who remained in power throughout the war and until 1956, denied the existence of the Secret Protocols until his death 30 years later. Democracies make shameful mistakes, but they eventually correct them, or at least apologize for them. And they dethrone those who got them into trouble.
It is wrong, and even immoral, to equate democratic and dictatorial practices. But this is the new Russian equation.