Stalin's Shadow Hangs over Medvedev's Modernization

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Baev, Pavel K. (2011) Stalin's Shadow Hangs over Medvedev's Modernization, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 11 April.

Many liberal experts see the need to move from a shouting match to a meaningful debate on the program of de-Stalinization, focusing particularly on the idea of denying totalitarian crimes an offense leading to immediate dismissal in the case of a state official.

The gala-event for celebrating Mikhail Gorbachev's 80th birthday took place in London, and not a single Russian politician was present because Gorbachev is not forgiven for rejecting the lies that camouflaged the bankruptcy of totalitarianism.

Medvedev resembles Gorbachev somewhat in his smooth talking about reforms and modernization but is nowhere close in his readiness to take responsibility for unpopular decisions or in understanding that there is such a thing as moral imperative. De-Stalinization has emerged as a crucial test for his leadership, but he is clearly failing it. Fedotov and Karaganov have few illusions about whether the proposal can be implemented in an election year, but Medvedev still apparently cherishes the illusion that a second term might be in the cards for him. The position of stability-provider is, however, occupied by his senior partner, who excels at saying to bureaucrats and pensioners as well as siloviki exactly what they want to hear. Medvedev needs to discard this discourse of comfortable lies, but the right words escape him.

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Authors

Pavel K. Baev

Pavel K. Baev

Research Professor