AsiaNews, the Roman Catholic news service, looks at how some elements in Russian society are working to rehabilitate Stalin’s reputation and sees the Russian Orthodox Church “co-opted” into this process.
The makeover of Stalin’s image and the Soviet Era go together with an attempt by Russian rulers to restore the country’s cultural identity, an impossible mission without the cooptation of Russian Orthodoxy. The Moscow Patriarchate, in spite of itself, is much involved in this issue, and has often been accused of playing right into the Kremlin’s hands in order to gain cultural supremacy in Russian society.
Aleksandr Cipko, a philosopher and editorial writer, from the pages of Nezavisimaja Gazeta on 15 September slammed the operation to revive the myth of Russia’s supremacy over the West. For him, there is a danger that Stalin will be seen as the embodiment of the original Russian project rather than Communism. The philosopher is angered by self-styled “true patriots” who “not only associate, but identify Russianness, orthodoxy and Stalinism as one, and exclude freedom, dignity, personhood, material well-being, from so-called ‘fundamental Russian values’.”
Apparently, whoever wrote this story (which did not carry a byline) had not seen Archbishop Hilarion’s statement that Stalin was a “monster.”