Moscow: Activists detained for anti-Stalin protest

Activist Yevgeny Suchkov was detained at Stalin's tomb. Source: Dekomunizacja

On March 5, the Moscow police detained two persons who threw broken flowers at the bust monument to Josef Stalin in Moscow and called him executioner and assassin. At that moment, the devotees of the Communist Party were laying a floral tribute at the tomb near the Kremlin on the occasion of the 66th anniversary of his death.

The detainees were taken to a police station. After drawing up a protocol, the policemen released them.

Activist Yevgeny Suchkov, who is involved in the Decommunization project, shouted: “Burn in hell, the executioner of the nation and killer of women and children!”.He and another activist, Olga Savchenko, were immediately grabbed by the police.

Every year on March 5, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) pays tribute to Josef Stalin.

The tomb of Stalin should be removed from Red Square, Sergei Dorenko, editor-in-chief of Govorit Moskva radio, said on Tuesday. In his opinion, Stalin is alive s long as he rests in the centre of Moscow.

“We should stop it immediately. Stalin is our disgrace, it is something we are all ashamed of,” the prominent journalist stressed.

According to the polls conducted by the Levada Center, Stalin’s popularity has grown over the recent years. The sociologists defined three stages in the perception of Stalin by contemporary Russians. Interestingly, in 2001-2006 negative assessment of his activity were predominant; in 2008-12 – neutral ones, but since 2014, a number of praises has been increasing.

In the Levada Center’s survey of March 2018, 29% of respondents showed respect to Stalin, 9% – liking and 2% – adoration. 31% said they had an indifferent attitude towards him. 12% demonstrated negative feelings (hostility, fear and aversion).

According to the the Levada Center, Stalin’s supporters are older people, less educated and residing in smaller towns; people who do not benefit from the current political system; those who were hit by poverty or officials’ abuse.

Experts have different opinions on the boost of pro-Stalin sentiment. But it is common knowledge that the Russian authorities contribute to whitewashing Stalin, including by their uncritical evaluation of the policy pursued by the USSR in the pre-war period and during the Second World War.

Growing affection for Stalin caused by need of ‘steady hand’ – historian


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