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Russia. Mixed views about the past.

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Robert Harris, Jan 23, 2003.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006

    Here is some interesting news brought to us by RFE today. Both reflect the mixed feelings about figures of the past amont the Russian public. Lenin remembgered for good things and bad. Same for Dzerzhinskii. But it looks like sanith has prevailed over the damned statue.

    LENIN REMEMBERED. While communists in Ivanovo placed flowers before a statue dedicated to the world proletariat in Lenin Square to honor
    the 79th anniversary of the death of the founder of the Soviet state,
    Vladimir Lenin, on 21 January, some residents of Ulyanovsk -- where
    Lenin was born and which is named after him -- are lobbying to rename
    the city Oblomovsk, "Izvestiya" and Ivanovnews reported. The locals
    would prefer that their town be known instead as the birthplace of
    19th-century novelist Ivan Goncharov, who wrote the classic novel
    "Oblomov" about a man who quite often can find no compelling reason
    to get out of bed. Backers of the idea include the director of the
    Ulyanovsk-based Ivan Goncharov Museum and the director of the city's
    historical and cultural center. On 20 January, "Komsomolskaya pravda"
    asked some Russians how they remember Lenin. Writer Boris Vasilev
    said he remembers that Lenin introduced the death penalty to Russia
    and created the first death camps. Communist State Duma Deputy
    Vasilii Shandybin pointed out that thanks to Lenin, Russia has free
    education and health care. "I frequently go to the mausoleum to chat with [Lenin, and] two portraits of him hang in my office," Shandybin
    said. JAC

    commission of the Moscow City Duma voted to reject a proposal by
    Mayor Yurii Luzhkov to restore a statue of Soviet secret-police
    founder Feliks Dzerzhinskii to the spot on Lubyanka Square where it
    stood prior to 1991, nns.ru reported on 21 January. The commission
    ruled the restoration would mark the reinstallation of "a symbol of
    terror, concentration camps, and the persecution of the intelligentsia." Commission member Nina Moleva said the commission also feared that restoring the statue would be a prelude to returning the square's Soviet-era name -- Dzerzhinskii Square. Luzhkov first proposed restoring the monument on 13 September (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 16, 17, 18, and 20 September 2002). The statue was removed from the square in August 1991 following the collapse of an attempted coup against then-Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. At that time, Luzhkov was deputy chairman of the Moscow City Council, and he played an active role in removing the statue. After it was removed, it wasquietly taken to a park where many Soviet-era statues have ended up and was repaired. Advocating its restoration, Luzhkov called it "an impeccable sculptural work" and said Dzerzhinskii deserves to be honored for helping homeless children and restoring the railroad
    system. VY

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