Moscow’s Misplaced Indignation
Archived Articles 21 Jul 2009  EWR
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Vladimir Ryzhkov, Moscow Times

This summer marks a number of tragic dates — the 70th anniversaries of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of Aug. 23, 1939, the start of World War II on Sept. 1, the Soviet Army’s entry into Poland on Sept. 17 and the partitioning of Poland between Josef Stalin and Adolf Hitler. And the closer those dates approach, the stranger, if not more foolish, becomes the position taken by Russia’s rulers. The authorities label any criticism of Stalin’s actions or the crimes of his regime as criticisms of Russia and Russians, and even an affront to the memory of the Soviet people’s wartime dead and heroic deeds. By doing so, modern Russia, for some reason, increasingly associates itself with Stalinism. Not only does this fail to raise the country’s prestige and improve its foreign policy positions, but it causes Russia to become even more isolated and could spark conflicts with its neighbors.

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