The Trouble With Russia

The Russian government has established a presidential commission charged with countering “attempts to harm Russian interests by falsifying history.”  The history it refers to is that of the 20th century, in which domestic and international crimes committed by the former Soviet Union played a salient and notorious role.  The Kremlin insists that the sacrifices made by the Soviet Union during World War II have been insufficiently appreciated by her former allies in that conflict.  “Human-rights advocates” will surely contend that President Medvedev is attempting to rewrite history by whitewashing it.  Since the fall of the Third Reich, one German government after another has abased its people by ventriloquistic self-professions of guilt, while subjecting them to a profusion of legislation criminalizing free speech, and even free thought.  No doubt the former Soviets could profit by collective acts of mea culpa in respect of their own unsavory history.  Only they have never done so, because such has never been demanded of them.  Which perhaps is one reason why the Russian state has been behaving as it has since Vladimir Putin came to power.

Anticommunists have argued for better than six decades that, heinous as Hitler’s crimes were, Stalin’s were as great—or worse, if one judges such matters on a quantitative scale.  Certainly, Stalin killed millions more human beings...

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