Putin or Pravda

by Ryan on June 25, 2007

in Russia

Vladimir Putin is trying to whitewash Soviet History in a way reminiscent of the old Soviet propaganda newspaper, Pravda, which used clever language and bold-faced lies to advance the Bolshevik’s totalitarian agenda.  As an historian, this kind of thing really bugs me and is often a harbinger of reactionary and revisionist politics, which Putin is steeped in lately.

Among the things Putin blabs about is how “bleak” American History looks when compared to the old Soviet Union!  I laughed out loud!  Twice!!  The article notes, though, that he passively mentions Stalin and that Russia’s past is not perfect.  That was nice of him.  Yes, America is the only country (to date) who had nuked civilians (by the way Hiroshima and Nagasaki were both chosen because they were industrial sites).  Yes, we dropped more TNT on Vietnam than in World War II.  Yes, we also dropped tons of chemicals to defoilate those Southeast Asian jungles too.  And I’ll even add America’s violent, genocidal history against the Amerindians led to the deaths of countless thousands over the course of 250 years. 

But to equivocate the murder of 20-30 million internal political dissodents, innocents, and peasants though enciting famine and filling gulags for one’s own twisted ideology, all while actively trying to export this horrid ideology at the expense of human rights and the will of the people with anything America’s ever done is revisionist at best and ridiculous at its heart.  I believe it was Stalin (not George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, FDR, Ronald Reagan or even Dubya) that gave us the infamous quote: “One death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.” I, too, would be weary of such a legacy if I were President of Russia– by the way, an office that would not have existed without the United States.

Link via Drudge. Pic from Eurasia Daily Monitor.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

BillT June 25, 2007 at 12:01 pm

A cultural revolution? Sounds awfully familiar.


Ryan June 25, 2007 at 12:17 pm

I’m sure he’s trying to garner a certain amount of Russian pride and nationalism since so many of Russia’s professionals and youth are leaving. There is a certain amount of brain drain and entrepreneurial drift that has been happening under Putin’s tenure. To Putin, one needs to knock America because of the Cold War history and our current superpower status. It’s pretty transparent on our end, but how many in Russia are eating all this up? That is concerning.


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