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Russia Arrests Historian for Studying Russian History

Posted on Oct 15, 2009
Flickr / maocirpdsp

A Russian historian faces four years in prison for having the nerve to research Stalin’s gulags, which Russian revisionists would have you believe either didn’t exist or were a form of forced vacation.

Stalin has been enjoying something of a makeover in Russia. He’s a reminder of a time when the country was proud and strong and, inconveniently, killed millions of its own people. A time when Russian authorities did things like arrest historians for researching gulags.  —PZS

The Guardian:

Mikhail Suprun was detained last month by officers from Russia’s security services. They searched his apartment and carried off his entire personal archive. He has now been charged with violating privacy laws and, if convicted, faces up to four years in jail.

Suprun had been researching Germans sent to Russia’s Arctic gulags. A professor of history at Arkhangelsk’s Pomorskiy university, his study included German prisoners of war captured by the Red Army as well as Russian-speaking ethnic Germans, many from southern Russia, deported by Stalin. Both groups ended up in Arkhangelsk camps.

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By Lost, October 21, 2009 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

This historian didn’t publish any piece of collected
information yet. He has worked on “memories book”
which contains only names and dates of those who died
in local gulag part. That work covered by agreement
between Russian and German structures including
German Red Cross and Russian ministry of domestic
affairs and continued about four years for now. And
now it is suddenly stopped for ridiculous reason -
some mysterious family members of prisoners didn’t
allow publish that information. Most strange thing
here is consequent FSB move – in blink of eye they
rip off entire research group including chief of
achieves colonel Alexandr Dudarev! I never believe
that FSB can react so fast on common civil request.
It may take years for them to do something with any
simple law violation in our country but in this case
they where supersonic! That’s because this case seems
very suspicious as far as strangest story of “Arctic
Sea” ship.

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By Folktruther, October 20, 2009 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

It is quite true that historically national security questions has largely been circumscribed by geogrpaphy.  but the wars between major powers ended, so far, with WW 2.  this is due partially to the introduction of nuclear weapons, and partially due to the fact that war helped initiate revolutions that overthrew capitalism in both Russia and China.

As the Yale historian Paul Kennedy detailed in his huge THE RISE AND FALL OF THE GREAT POWERS, power is now determined largely by industrial production.  Since the US share of world industrial production is declining historically, the US is rapidly losing world power. As is the West.  And China and east Asia are gaining it, restoring the world that existed before the last few centuries.

Since the US was the dominent capitlist power, the Bushite strategy, which Obama is continuing, was to retain its power by neo-imperialist violence.  Invading the Muslim countries to control large oil deposits and then threating N Korea on the Chinese border.  This NPAC-Brizinski strategy avoided war with the large powers like China and Russia but tried to pressure them.  This insane policy was an histori disaster and, with Obama, the US is sstill pursuing its remains.

While the US is wasting its substance on wars, and its military becomes, as military men describe it ‘a wasting asset’ China is increasing its industrial production at an historically incredible pace.  The pace is concealed not only be Western deception but by the Chinese themselves, since they want to reveal it publically only when it is so advanced that China cannot be challenged.  This will occur in a surporisingly few years, mandated by the law of compound itnerest.

Isreal will be the victim of this transfer of world power from the West to Asia and the developing countries of Africa and Latin America. It is commiteed to a policy of neo-colonialism and war, supported by neozionists.  This policy is not only barbaric, it is irrational to the point of dementia.  But the neozionists are in power and define Israel’s security interests to serve their political interests.  Which sharply conflict. 

but neozionists have taught the clueless to characterize any criticism as anti-semitic, and this motivates the lemmings as they travel toward the historical abyss.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 19, 2009 at 7:43 pm Link to this comment


They shouldn’t.  Russia national security issues haven’t changed much from the time of the Tsars.  Iranian national security issues aren’t much different for the Islamic Republic than they were for the Shah, whether they realize it or not.  Chinese foreign policy is pretty much a continual straight logical line since the Europeans became strong enough to meddle in China hundreds of years ago.

The rules of national security are pretty simple and straight-forward.  Thankfully, President Obama, Vice President Biden and Secretary Clinton seem to have a good handle on what they are.  Bush, Cheney and Rice didn’t have a clue, but I suspect that in the last year, Bush and Rice began to have a clue.  Cheney never will.

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By Folktruther, October 18, 2009 at 9:34 pm Link to this comment

“The fact that he robbed under orders would not have been an acceptable defence at Nuremberg. Judging by what came after I’m pretty sure he enjoyed robbing banks;”

Well, if you’re sure, Diamand, you’re sure.
Good point, Virgina.  We don’t lock whistleblowers and dissidents up, we lock them OUT.
  ” Nor do you understand that national security issues for a nation have almost NOTHING to do with politics.” 

  Well, you’re certainly ritht there, Inherit, I always thought national security issues were very sensitive to politics.

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By diamond, October 18, 2009 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment

You say he wasn’t a poet, thief or Hitler but he was folktruther, he was. He essentially had a criminal mind and throughout his long and hideous life he was a criminal. I think if you check you’ll find that he carried out a genocide against his own people- at least Hitler was an Austrian- which makes him more of a model and inspiration for Pol Pot. The fact that he robbed under orders would not have been an acceptable defence at Nuremberg. Judging by what came after I’m pretty sure he enjoyed robbing banks: it was his first taste of inflicting fear on others.

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By Virginia777, October 18, 2009 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

While we might not lock investigators of dubious American history and institutions in jail,

we just as effectively shut them out (and shut them up) via our ridiculously biased mainstream Media.

(look how long Harry Markopolos screamed about clear, obvious problems with Bernie Madoff? The man faced threats to his family and most likely never would have been heard if the stock market didn’t crash)

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By Inherit The Wind, October 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

[iFolktruther, October 17 at 9:24 pm #

That’s why I like you, Inherit, you do know a lot of interesting facts.  Unforntuntely you can’t put them in a world historical perspective because of your identification with the American-neozionist truth conensus.

No head of a socialist state under threat from the capitalist powers is going to take at face value representations from the ambassador of the dominant capitalist power.

And the US and other capitalist states did give the Soviets aid enough to keep them fighting the Nazis, but not enough to win.  they wanted to bleed both sides, as Kissinger said publically he did in the Iraq-Iran war.]

That’s what I like about you, FT: You never let inconvenient facts get in the way of your “truth”.  Nor do you ask the OBVIOUS question: WHY would FDR have the ambassador warn Stalin of a Nazi attack if it was NOT true?  This was 1941, not 1948.  Nor do you realize the Laurence Steinhardt was a professional career diplomat, not a political appointment like Reagan and Bush liked to make.

Would Stalin trust Steinhardt? Probably not.  But why wouldn’t Stalin say “hmmmmm, let’s check this out” and confirm it?  Wasn’t Reagan who quoted the Russian expression “Trust, but verify”?

You just don’t get it, FolkTruther.  You don’t understand how diplomacy works, nor how nations make their decisions about national security.  Nor do you understand that national security issues for a nation have almost NOTHING to do with politics.  And, due to your dogmatic close-mindedness, you are incapable of learning how these things actually work.

Instead, you are hung up on calling me names and sticking absurd labels on me.

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By Folktruther, October 18, 2009 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment

I didn’t say Stalin was a great man, Diamand, and I don’t think so.  It was a great tragedy that he manuevered himself into power.  But he was not a poet, thief or Hitler.  After the 1905 uprising and consequent repression, the bolsheviks robbed banks to get funds.  He was one of those who did it under orders.  To his credit.  the major bank robbers nowadays are the theives who own one.

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By diamond, October 18, 2009 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment

Earth to folktruther. ‘He was a bankrobber only to get funds for the party?’ So it’s okay for me to go out and rob a bank to fund my ‘Screw the Rich’ (STR)political party? Stalin fancied himself as a poet in the early days and apparently his poetry wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great either. So he went off and did something he was really good at: having people arrested, tortured and killed. His treatment of one of Russia’s greatest poets is typical.  He could have had her arrested but that would have been too obvious and would have lacked finesse so he had her son arrested instead. That way he was able to torture her day and night without ever laying a hand on her. Yes, he was a great man -if you like sociopaths and monsters. The ghost of Stalin is presiding over Putin’s actions in Ingushetia where innocent people (mainly young men) are being kidnapped, tortured and killed, their bodies blown up to destroy the proof of torture. The latest act of valour by these Russian heroes was to kidnap and murder a woman who ran a shelter for children who had lost arms and legs to landmines. Anyone can see what a danger to the Russian state she was. It seems mad but it’s a time honoured strategy in Russia which began with Ivan the Terrible: persecute and kill the innocent as a warning to the others. If this is what we do to the innocent imagine what we’ll do to the guilty? Not content with putting Chechnya to the sword after getting the FSB to blow up all those apartment buildings in Moscow Putin has moved on. I’m sure he begins each day by asking himself ‘What would Stalin do?’

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By Folktruther, October 17, 2009 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment

That’s why I like you, Inherit, you do know a lot of interesting facts.  Unforntuntely you can’t put them in a world historical perspective because of your identification with the American-neozionist truth conensus.

No head of a socialist state under threat from the capitalist powers is going to take at face value representations from the ambassador of the dominant capitalist power.

And the US and other capitalist states did give the Soviets aid enough to keep them fighting the Nazis, but not enough to win.  they wanted to bleed both sides, as Kissinger said publically he did in the Iraq-Iran war.

The Russians were very worried about Japan, which had invaded in the post WW 1 capitalist invasion.  And Japan was also worried about Russis, and their declaration of war was decisive in the Japanese considering the war hopelenssly lost.

The soviets had 50 divisions facing China in the later stages of the Soviet-China split, the Chinese countering with over four million troops.  the dismemberment of the Soviets helped China more than it did the US militarily.  It was the decisive defeat for the White Man, sealing the dwarfing of Europe.

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By Folktruther, October 17, 2009 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

Stalin was a poet, Diamand?  Well, you get a new version of history every day.  I thought he was known for his great sense of humor, as de Gaulle mentioned to Ms Kennedy.  that he was penniless did not distinguish him from the majority of Russians of the time.  He was a bank robber only to get funds for the party.

He was neither a poet nor a thief, but originally was a divinity student. As a communist he was considered boorish and crude, a ‘practical’ not concerned with theory.  He was brutal and insensitive, but did not engage in genocide.  As Hitler did.  Nor did he begin the European war, as Hitler did, but did everything he could to avoid it.

The brutality that he practiced was partially mandated by his rule of an extremely backward country practicing a seige socialism under continuous threat of attack of the capitalist countries.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 16, 2009 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

Between Jackpine Savage and Folktruther we get fairy tales for history.

Stalin was WARNED in late 1940/early 1941 by the US ambassador, Laurence Steinhardt.  I found Steinhardt’s dispatches back in college in the Foreign Relations of the United States volumes for the period, 1939 to 1941. I don’t care what historians write—the documentary evidence is there: Stalin knew the Germans were going to attack because the USA warned him. It’s in Steinhardt’s dispatches.

Furthermore, Stalin’s reaction was to sign the April 1941 non-aggression pact with Japan, which he did not violate until AFTER Hiroshima.  So…Stalin being surprised is clearly contradicted by these facts.

As for his “brilliant” fighting of the War, two points are critical:
1) The Germans made mincemeat of the Russians even with the scorched earth policy of Stalin.  This was due to Stalin’s purges of competent Red Army leadership and his devastatio of the economy.
2) As SOON as the Germans attacked Russia, on June 22, 1941, FDR’s administration declared the USSR eligible for Lend-Lease and began shipping via Murmansk.  The Allies, particularly the US, continually supplied the Red Army with materiel that was critical to keeping them from defeat. Plus, the War in North Africa and Italy drained Germany of resources she needed on the Eastern Front.

Attempting to rehabilitate Stalin by ignoring facts is about as historically honest as Holocaust denial—it ain’t!

(BTW, I’ll bet that tour guide in St. Petersburg was from “Red October”.  We had a guide from there who still was a loyal Brezhnev supporter and thought it was still 1972—worst guide in the world.  Russia is STILL a very strange place to visit.)

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By diamond, October 16, 2009 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

Well, folktruther I’m always willing to learn. Perhaps you can explain in what way Stalin differed from Hitler in his contempt for human life and for his fellow human beings. Before he was Stalin (the man of steel) he was a penniless poet as well as a bank robber. He was what old ladies once used to refer to as a ‘bad hat’ meaning someone who is bad all the way through and cannot be changed. I’ve always thought that Stalin persecuted Russian poets the way he did because he knew he could never achieve what their gifts allowed them to achieve. Hitler was a failed painter and Stalin was a failed poet so they turned to politics and had their revenge.  It certainly makes Hitler’s obsession with wiping out modern art more understandable. The lesson is clear:  don’t put power in the hands of misfits. The Pentagon and the CIA are both entirely staffed by them and yes, this is a problem.

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By Folktruther, October 16, 2009 at 9:57 am Link to this comment

The reason that the American people are so deluded about history is because Prog truth organs like truthdig deliberately deceive us.  We cannot accept the simple historical truth because it conflicts with the power delusions that the Con-Prog mainstream truth instills in the American people.  We are miseducated, misinformed and misentertained from childhood by this mainstream truth to generte what marxists call a ‘false conseciousness.”

Lenin and Trosky both dispised Stalin’s political crudeness.  But he made a speech in 1931 stating that the USSR had to industrialize rapidly or be crushed by capitalism. And the only way this could be done is to take food from the richer peasants to feed the cities.  At the price of starvation and political oppression.

the European ruling classes were lagely oriented to egging on Hitler against Communism and the USSR.  Stalin had to deal with this aggression, and he did, and the country survived.  With horrific damage. 

Stalin industrailized the country and defeated the Nazis under terrible conditions.  this is the simple historical truth which the US mainstream media conceals, dissguises and downplays.  To equate Stalin with Hitler.  It is hisstorical deceit of this kind that james Loewin exposed in his classic examinaation of a dozen history texts in LIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME.

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By Annie, October 16, 2009 at 7:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All I know is that when I suggested to our Russian tour
guide in St Petersburg in the summer of 2007 that maybe
Peter the Great was just another thug and great bully
she gave me the look that kills and a good talking to
so that I never dared think such heretical thoughts out
loud afterwards. Dang, I thought Americans were averse
to any critical thinking about their history, the
Russian’s got us beat!

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By jackpine savage, October 16, 2009 at 6:44 am Link to this comment

Stalin did not see the war coming. The USSR had been supplying Germany under the non-aggression pact; in fact, train loads of supplies were wheeling West even as the Wehrmacht was moving East.

And unless every history book i’ve ever read is lying, Stalin refused to believe that Germany was attacking even after Barbarossa began. It’s well documented that Stalin wasn’t seen or heard from during the opening of hostilities and that the Soviet defenses were almost non-existent.

But this move to rehabilitate Stalin in Russia isn’t news to anyone except Westerners. He’s never been reviled en masse in Russia. I knew plenty of young people there in the 90’s who considered him Russia’s greatest politician.

Maybe some of it is that Russians don’t tend to pretend (like Americans) that they believe that human life has so much value. But most of it is about our willingness to lay our conception of history over the actual events, regardless of what the people involved in/affected by the actual events think about them.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 16, 2009 at 3:46 am Link to this comment

Your attempt to connect George Washington to Stalin is a pathetic attempt at an apology for one of the greatest mass murderers in history.  It’s also simply bad history.

The genocide of the Native Americans is primarily and at its worst, on the Spanish conquests of the Americas—exterminating every N/A on Caribbean islands, for example.  As bad as the 400 years of Colonies/USA were, the Spanish conquest was 10x worse.

The massive Manifest Destiny push when the REAL genocide of N/As happened was long after Washington was dead.  When HE was fighting in the French and Indian War, the very existence of the British colonial presence in America was at stake—and the Indians were allied with the French—who treated them no better than the British.

So again, your history is wrong.  The fact that Washington freed his slaves in his will doesn’t change the fact that he freed them (Here’s a factoid: His will only freed them upon MARTHA’s death).  Jefferson did NOT free his slaves on his death, not even Sally Hemmings, his erst-while wife.

Yes, slavery was a blight. It still is.  Trafficking in human beings is at an all time high, mainly in the sex trade.  Oh—and the Russians are some of the biggest purveyors of it.

Stalin’s purges actually began in the 20’s, not the 30’s, when he deliberately instituted starvation in the Ukraine and other farming areas to force collectivization.  He destroyed Russia’s bread-basket, referring to independent farmers as “rich muzhiks”. 

His preparations for WWII consisted of purging the military of EVERY general or admiral whom he thought could be “disloyal” or even could attract personal loyalty.  The initial Nazi thrusts deep into Russian territory was mainly possible due to Stalin’s having destroyed effective, thoughtful leadership in the Red Army.  10’s of millions of Russians died as a result—both soldiers and civilians—and that’s just from the War.

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, October 16, 2009 at 3:46 am Link to this comment

A P.S. to Stalin:

After the war, Marshal Zhukov, hero of Moscow and Berlin, was placed under house arrest for unknown reasons.  Many believe Stalin was fearful of Zhukov’s popularity with the people and removed him from public view so he would not threaten him.  Zhukov made one public appearance before a party meeting during the Brezhnev era and the meeting went absolutely wild with adoration that even overshadowed the party secretary.  The next day Zhukov went back under house arrest and was never seen again in public.

Stalin was paranoid on top of his sociopathic tendencies.  Many of those killed were believed to be direct threats to Uncle Joe’s absolute power.

Although Stalin may have saved the USSR, his changes to the party structure and power distribution may have ultimately lead to its demise.  Power became far too centralized in his time and this continued until Gorbachev attempted to fix the mess.  The government that he fashioned was not Communism as envisioned by Lenin and Trotsky but a collective dictatorship with most power concentrated at the top.  The worker’s paradise of Marx became a bureaucratic, nepotistic command from the top disaster after the war.  The workers had little say in this situation.

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, October 16, 2009 at 3:33 am Link to this comment

Arguing that Stalin was a better mass murder than Churchhill or worse misses the whole point ... Stalin was a monster.  I’m sure he understood war was coming as did many but continuing to butcher his officer corp would indicate he had other axes to grind than the coming conflagration.  He also identified whole ethnic groups (Crimea Tartars is an example I am intimately familiar with) as traitors and deported them to Siberia and elsewhere in mass.  He drove his own wife to suicide and his daughter to defect rather than stay with him.

What “saved” Stalin was the war.  Had it not come, his brutality would have been his enduring legacy and it would have been impossible to hide.  But he took charge of the country and, at least publicly, steered it to victory.  But, like most sociopaths, he needed to be the center of attention and revered as the great leader.  Thus, when one of his directives was successful he stood front and center to take all the credit.  When one went wrong, he blamed his incompetent generals for the disaster.  Thus, the strategy that evolved which threw millions of poorly trained soldiers under the German tanks so the battle would be successful no matter how badly conceived the plan.  I get this argument all the time ... we (USSR) lost 7 million men while the US lost how many?  350K!  No comparison!  No Russian general wanted to confront Stalin’s wrath for a failed battle plan.  So they sacrificed whatever was needed to succeed.

Sometimes, conversations with my friends turn to the war.  I get the usual ridicule about how America did nothing to win the war (despite lend-lease giving billions of dollars in equipment to Stalin which even he acknowledged help greatly in the war effort) and how only the USSR mattered.  I agree that they made huge sacrifices (27 million dead plus much of the country in ruins).  But bringing up Stalin is always a flash point because he is revered so much (especially by Russians like my wife).  Those who were oppressed, like Ukrainians and Tartars, have a much different view of him and his administration.  Any attempt to discuss his “negatives” generates so much vapor that it is impossible to continue.  Everything negative is propaganda by the revisionists who want to destroy his legacy.

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By diamond, October 16, 2009 at 3:00 am Link to this comment

You’re right race-to-the-bottom the Duke of Windsor was a supporter of fascists as were a large majority of the British aristocracy, but you’re missing the bigger point: Stalin WAS a fascist who believed the Russian people had to submit to the state or be devoured by it. He was worse than Bush and Cheney because he couldn’t be thrown out of power by the people and had to be endured until he died.

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By race_to_the_bottom, October 16, 2009 at 1:34 am Link to this comment

It’s late, but I just want to say that all the comparisons of Hitler and Stalin really completely miss the point. It is not these two individuals here which are important, but the fact that there was a virtually bloodless revolution in Russia in 1917 which the imperialist powers and counterrevolutionaries tried to destroy killing a couple of million people in the process, but losing eventually.

Everyone knew that this was not the end and the imperialists would be back, especially after the USSR was registering double digit economic growth during the depression in the capitalist countries. It was understood by all that the fascists would do the job led by Nazi Germany, hence Hitler.

Stalin became the leader of the USSR mainly because he had been down in the trenches since the turn of the century when Lenin et al were in exile and was pretty much supported by everyone. Don’t forget that the purges didn’t happen until the late 30s. So it was Stalin’s job to prepare for what everyone knew was a fascist assault. Not a German assault, but a fascist assault led by Nazi Germany which had imposed fascism on most of Europe with the tacit approval of the ruling circles of Britain and France.

The need for the USSR to be on a war footing almost from the beginning created serious distortions of democracy, to put it mildly. It was as though the whole country was forced to become an army with all the brutal and undemocratic practices which are characteristic of an army under savage attack during wartime. This was the reality of the situation. Therefore this “Hitler and Stalin” business is ahistorical at best and a lie to cover up the monstrous crimes of the fascists and their less retrograde collaborators in the ruling classes of every capitalist country.

And yes, the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact was a ploy to buy time, after many fruitless years of trying to get Britain especially to participate in an antifascist front, which the ruling class there was not interested in because many were fascist sympathizers who wanted what the fascists wanted: the destruction of the USSR. You will recall that the former king, the Duke of Windsor was a notorious fascist supporter.

That will do for now.

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By Laugher, October 16, 2009 at 12:04 am Link to this comment

No it isn’t revisionism at all to compare one mass murder to another.
The Washington analogy is actually quite perfect, because we are discussing killing people in their home country.  Obviously you made the native american and african connection.  But don’t forget all the British, they are people too. 
BTW He freed his slaves only after he was dead, so your talking point fails miserably

But I see this example is a little bit too close to home, being from your home country.  So how about one of Stalin’s contemporaries.  Winston Churchill.  Surely the Indians might have some stories to tell that have been ignored by most english historians.  Its not that they deny them exactly, although they will try to minimize death counts and so forth, but its just not part of their narrative.  In Russia they actually deny their crimes much less then we do because the west consider ourselves to be the “winners” of the world wars so we didn’t really do any self examination

And trust me there is still plenty of classified documents in the US, Britain and France from those days that you could be locked up for revealing

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By Inherit The Wind, October 15, 2009 at 8:53 pm Link to this comment

Many of the founding fathers recognized their hypocrisy and FREED their slaves—George Washington was first and foremost among them.  Even the mlitary leader of the greatest treason in American history, Robert E. Lee, freed his slaves.

Most of the Northern founding fathers, like Adams, refused to own slaves, finding it anathema. Franklin founded an abolition society.  Madison freed some of his slaves and was stricken by guilt about it, for he knew it was wrong.

To equate them with Stalin is the height of propagandistic revisionism.

Te argue that Russia PROSPERED under Stalin is simply insane.  Lenin himself clearly warned against Stalin.

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By pgg804, October 15, 2009 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It sounds like Russia is following in the footsteps of western European countries,
Australia and Canada.  In those countries they jail historians if they say less than 6
million Jews died in the holocaust.

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By diman, October 15, 2009 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

The lack of the really objective comments proves that you people of America apparently still remain willfully ignorant as far as the history is concerned. By the way Stalin is not a bigger monster than say Bush, Cheney or your revered founding fathers - slaveowners who wanted to be free.

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By diamond, October 15, 2009 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

Daniel Ellsberg was arrested for having classified documents too. He wanted to tell the truth about the Vietnam war and he was charged with treason I believe. Fortunately there were still some decent judges around in those days and the judge threw the charges out. The present Russian government don’t like the truth to be told about anything much. Like most far right reactionaries they’ve got a lot to hide.

Stalin was a psychopath. There’s no other explanation for the vicious cruelty displayed in his persecution of his own people. In one respect his reign was worse than Hitler’s. Hitler persecuted and murdered Jews and dissidents and minorities such as Slavs and Gypsies- but NO ONE was safe from Stalin. His decisions served no rational agenda, not even a version of ethnic cleansing, they were done purely to terrorize his own people into complete submission to his insane version of government.

Those who actually believed in democracy and freedom of speech in present day Russia are now either in exile, dead or silent out of fear. Having said all that there is reason to hope that the future will be better for Russians than their past. As long as Russia is kept inside the tent and not locked out of it.

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By Laugher, October 15, 2009 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

So he was arrested for having classified documents not for publishing a study on Stalin’s Gulag

Every country in the world has similar laws.

As for Russian Revisionism.  It sounds like they think of Stalin the same way we think of George Washington. Sure he was a mass muderer.  But then again the country known as Russia is better off economically and geo-politically today for having went through him.  Just like the current residents of the United States clearly benefited from the genocide of the native americans

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