On Monday evening representatives of an extreme leftist organization hanged an effigy of Russia’s Nobel Prize winner Alexander Solzhenitsyn. On the effigy’s chest there was a sign with a poem in which he was called a ‘traitor’ who ‘lied about the Gulag’.
The Revolutionary Communist Youth Union has claimed to have carried the action. According to them, Russia’s ‘bourgeois government’ is using the issue of Stalinist repression to draw the curtain over more serious problems such as ‘the mess in the country’. This has to be achieved by financing the Museum of the Gulag, erecting monuments to the victims of repression and naming the year of 2018 The Year of Solzhenitsyn. In 2015, the sign ‘Judas’ was attached to the monument to the author of The Gulag Archipelago in Vladivostok, they recall.
The extreme left-wingers, however, have put the saddle on the wrong horse because the ‘bourgeois Russian government’ is actually doing much to wipe off the truth about the Gulag from public awareness. On October 4, the Russian Ministry of Justice listed Memorial, an organization documenting Stalin-era crimes, as a ‘foreign agent’. The ministry also accused Memorial of ‘interfering into politics’ for their criticizing the introduction of the law on ‘foreign agents’ and condemning Russian aggression in Ukraine.
Memorial, officialy the International Historical, Educational, Human Rights And Charitable Society, was founded in the wake of Gorbachev’s glasnost and perestroika in 1989. It focuses on recording and publicising the totalitarian past, but also monitors human rights in Russia and other post-Soviet states. It has received many prestigious international awards, including Right Livelihood Award (2004), Medal of the Day of Remembrance of Victims of the Katyn Massacre (2008), the Sakharov Prize (2009).
Belsat.eu, following Novaya Gazeta, Gazeta Wyborcza
photo by www.mk.ru