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Putin in Stalin’s Mirror

Putin in Stalin’s Mirror
Mon, 05/01/2023 – 08:00
The British historian E. H. Carr wrote that history is a dialogue between past and present. These past fourteen months of war in Ukraine have caused me to think more and more about Vladimir Putin in the mirror of Josef Stalin, and Stalin in the mirror of Putin. I resisted for a very long time the notion that Putin was a Stalin-like figure. However, the similarity between the two of them, the historical dialogue, has seemed to be growing too powerful to be pushed aside.

I have lived in Putin’s prewar Russia. I’ve worked in the archives of the state and party and talked to friends openly about the pluses and minuses of the regime—a freedom unthinkable in Stalin’s time or even today. Three of my books were published in Russian by a small, friendly publishing outfit, all of them openly critical of important parts of Soviet history. Not only did I function well in Moscow—and my stays were mostly in Moscow—but I liked being there, speaking Russian, going to comfortable coffeehouses and restaurants, and watching biased but sometimes interesting television programs.

I had my hopes up for a better Russia. Sometimes …read more

Source:: Hoover Institution


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