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TOPIC: joseph stalin

FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Snitch Nation: How Putin's Regime Is Getting Russians To Turn In Their Neighbors

The war in Ukraine has launched an epidemic of denunciations in Russia: 145,000 individual reports to the security services in just the first six months of the war. It's the latest evidence of the current regime's Stalinist approach.

On July 30, 1937, a secret Soviet order launched the Great Terror – a period of mass repressions during which hundreds of thousands of people were killed.

The order from dictator Joseph Stalin was dubbed, “On repressive operations of former Kulaks, criminals and other anti-Soviet elements,” and aimed to root out enemies of the Communist party by calling on citizens to denounce their neighbors to police and KGB agents, who had to meet arrest quotas set for each Soviet republic.

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In slogans, posters, work meetings, newspaper articles, books and films, official media and channels presented the denunciation of suspected enemies as every citizen’s duty to the Motherland.

Without mass participation in the search for traitors, the number of victims of repression and prisoners in camps would have been significantly lower. The Great Terror led to the arrest of 1.4 million people, and the deaths of at least 700,000 – although the real number is likely higher.

Since the beginning of the full-scale war against Ukraine, Russia and its current leader Vladimir Putin have been increasingly compared to Stalin and the Soviet Union during the era of the Great Terror. And the latest proof is in the explosion of similar denunciations by common citizens.

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How Putin Is Striving To Emulate Stalin In The Kremlin — And In Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin is often compared to Stalin, the Soviet leader responsible for the deaths of millions. In the West, it's not a compliment. For Putin, it's encouragement. Meanwhile, some Russian nationalists ask if he's "Stalin enough."


Infamous Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, who died 70 years ago this week, pushed millions of people toward the furnaces of World War II, built gulags where hundreds of thousands were tortured and perished — he also launched a veritable genocide in Ukraine.

His place in history is securely on the wrong side.

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His current successor in the Kremlin, Russian President Vladimir Putin, instead thinks Stalin is overdue for a reevaluation.

After Stalin died, his successor Nikita Khrushchev had torn apart his legacy in a secret 1956 speech given to Communist Party delegates — an intervention so shocking to the party faithful steeped in the "Cult of Stalin" that some reportedly suffered heart attacks, and others took their own lives after the speech.

Condemned for his decades of murderous repression and scrutinized for his political and military decisions during the war, which led to countless deaths — Stalin was finished.

Monuments were torn down, portraits removed. What was left to talk about?

Then, eight years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a young, unassuming KGB officer became president and sought to restore the dictator's legacy. Vladimir Putin had decided to resurrect Stalin.

History is not hard to rewrite. It is enough to repeat the new truth endlessly, and erase all sources of the old truth.

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This Happened — February 4: The Yalta Conference Begins

On this day between in 1945, following the events of World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt of the United States, Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom, and Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union met to discuss the postwar reorganization of a war-torn Europe.

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Calling Georgia: Time For Russia’s Ambivalent Neighbor To Pick A Side

Unlike other neighbors in the region, leading political figures in Georgia have refrained from officially denouncing Russia's invasion. From Joseph Stalin's birthplace, it's a complicated relationship. But winding up on the wrong side of history has its consequences.


Georgian Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili declared last week that his nation stands in solidarity with Ukraine in its opposition to Russian aggression, and will not allow its territory to be used to circumvent the sanctions imposed against Russia.

“Unfortunately, we Georgians, Moldovans, and Ukrainians have faced this many times before,” said the 46-year-old member of the ruling Georgian Dream party, recalling Moscow’s assault in 2008 in the disputed regions that wound up annexed by pro-Russian factions. “We saw Russian tanks destroying Georgian villages and Russian planes bombing our hopes for a better future. We witnessed the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of people from their ancestral homes and saw those who fled massacres and ethnic cleansing shelter in cold basements with their children and loved ones for months and years."

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The statement was clear, strong and specific — it was also eight months late.

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Dominique Moïsi

Is Soft Power Dead?

With an activist Supreme Court creating a gap between democratic rhetoric and reality in the U.S., and Russia and China eager to flex military muscle, the full-force return to hard power looks bound for dominance.


PARIS — Russia's war in Ukraine rages on, tensions are erupting in the South China Sea and now abortion rights are being stripped away in the U.S.: Looking around the world, we have to ask: what is left of the notion of soft power?

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How can we talk about the power to convince when the power to coerce is increasingly the norm? And when there is such a gap between rhetoric and reality in the U.S. and in Russia and China, hard power almost seems to have become part of soft power?

“We will lead the world not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example,” Joe Biden said the day after his election. But what kind of example was he talking about? That of the Supreme Court’s judges, whose decision promises a terrible future to women and to all those who still wanted to believe in an enlightened and liberal America?

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Mattia Feltri

Who Said That? Words From New Italian Leaders Echo Dark Past

Rhetoric coming from anti-establishment Five Star Movement and League evoke the words of historic tyrants like King Louis XIV, Joseph Stalin and Benito Mussolini.

ROME — Addressing his followers in Rome, Five Star leader and incoming labor minister Luigi Di Maio insisted last week that his party "is now the state." His words — delivered on June 2, Italy's Republic Day — recall the famous "I am the state" declaration by King Louis XIV of France that became a symbol of absolute monarchism. Enlightenment thinkers like Jean-Jacques Rousseau, supposedly much admired by Five Star members, are turning over in their graves.

Maybe, like the rest of us, Monsieur Rousseau would have become inured to these statements by now. Statements like infrastructure minister Danilo Toninelli's desire to establish "an ethical state." The field of ethics is profoundly misunderstood, and these misunderstandings are often manipulated by dictatorships that declare the state to be the ultimate arbiter of what is good and evil.

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Stalin's Cursed Statue

It took more than five years to build Prague's gigantic Stalin Monument, which was eventually unveiled in 1955. And only seven years later: BOOM, the Soviets dynamited what they thought was an outrageous display of Stalin's cult of personality. We were lucky enough to see it in all its might when we went to then Czechoslovakia, just a couple of months before it was destroyed.