Stalin has now been rehabilitated in some form despite the famous condemnation by Khrushchev who had the courage to tell the world and the Russian people of Stalin’s monstrous crimes against his own citizens and how he deliberately starved them to death when he felt they should be taught a lesson or two. However, most Russians now believe the Soviet dictator was ‘wise’, a poll showed recently.
While 62% accepted he was a ‘brutal tyrant’ who killed millions, 57% agreed he was a ‘wise leader’ who made the USSSR ‘powerful and prosperous’.
The independent polling centre Levada found that 71% of the 1,600 Russians it interviewed agreed that ‘whatever mistakes or sins are attributed to Stalin, the most important thing is that he led our people to victory in the Second World War.’
Levada said that positive feeling about Stalin was at a ‘maximum level’ for its polls, up 10% on four years ago. It added that such sentiments for the dictator tended to rise when Russia was involved in other conflicts, for example in Ukraine.
What does that tell you? It merely goes to prove why Putin is so popular. In conflict, the Russians show solidarity with their leader irrespective of his merits and the sacrifices inflicted upon them.
Stalin’s wisdom, if that’s the word to describe it, came at a price in human casualties that we find to be totally unacceptable today. Hence our revulsion at suicide bombers whose methods are inherently barbaric and take us back to the Dark Ages when human lives were dispensed with like sheep in the slaughter house.
Have our principles vanished with the passage of time? Or has expediency taken over our way of thinking, allowing cruelty to become permissible as a tool for dominance? Let’s ponder and pray that this is not the case.