Russian communists celebrate Stalin's 125th birthday

A lot of politicians and historians believe that Joseph Stalin is one of the largest political figures of all time

The whole Russia, as well as the republics of the former Soviet Union, marked the 125th anniversary of Joseph Stalin's birthday yesterday. Seventy communists of Georgia and the communists of other regions of the country laid wreaths to Stalin's monument in the center of the town of Gori on December 21st. The Georgian communists arranged a meeting in front of the town's museum afterwards, at which they harshly criticized the actions of the incumbent Georgian government on the whole and the president Mikhail Saakashvili in particular.

”We recalled Saakashvili last year here, but he disavowed us, when he said that he had nothing to do with Stalin. I do not want to recall him again today - Comrade Stalin would be offended with that," the leader of the Communist Party of Georgia, Panteleimon Giorgadze said during the meeting.

Russian communists revered Stalin's memory too. The Communist Party of the Russian Federation organized a commemorating meeting in the Russian city of Vologda. Local writer, Robert Balakshin, who currently works on a book about the notorious Soviet leader, became a guest of honor at the meeting. ”I think that Stalin is one of the leading figures of the Russian history, which counts over four thousand years. A lot of politicians and historians believe that Joseph Stalin is one of the largest political figures of all time. When I wrote a story about Stalin, a lot of people joined the communist party,” the writer said.

Ishim is the only town in the Tyumen region of Russia, where the great Soviet leader is immortalized in a monument. However, only 40 people, presumably pensioners, came to lay carnations to Stalin's bust yesterday. Tamara Sazhina, the chairwoman of the local public organization “Stalin” said that the turnout was so low because of severe frost: it was 30 degrees below zero Centigrade in the town yesterday.

The Communist Party committee in Kaliningrad organized a meeting in honor of Stalin's 125th anniversary. Kaliningrad communists blamed mass media outlets for distorting Stalin's role in history. In addition, they said that massive repressions and the personality cult was nothing but a myth, which “nation's enemies” created. About 30 elderly communists were chanting slogans for about an hour.

One of the latest opinion polls revealed that Russian people differed in their attitudes to Stalin's role in the country's history. Thirty-one percent of respondents said that Joseph Stalin was a brutal tyrant, who was guilty of destroying millions of innocent people. Twenty-one percent said that he was a wise leader, who made the USSR become a powerful and prosperous state. Sixteen percent of respondents believe that the Russian nation will never do without such a leader as Stalin. They are sure that only a brutal leader could maintain law and order in the country under the condition of class struggle and menace from abroad.

One may say that the attitude to Joseph Stalin has not changed over the recent five years in Russia. People do not compare the Stalin era with contemporary Russia, specialists say. It is worth mentioning that people's attitude to the Soviet leader is based on the memory of his brutality and atrocities, as well as on the memory of the war.

Igor Bukker

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Author`s name Olga Savka