Stalin Again

March 5 marks the 70th anniversary of Joseph Stalin's death.

The Russian government is looking for different ways to improve the morale of the people by emphasizing the connection of the current ruling regime, which is fighting the Ukrainian "Nazis," with the victory of the Soviet Army over the Wehrmacht. February 2, 2023 marked the 80th anniversary of the Soviet Army's victory over the German forces at Stalingrad. This battle was the bloodiest battle in history: about two million people died on both sides.

To mark the occasion, a bronze bust of Generalissimo Joseph Stalin, the bloody Soviet dictator, was erected and unveiled on a granite pedestal near the Battle of Stalingrad memorial in the former city of Stalingrad, now Volgograd, a city of over a million people. The bust was unveiled during a visit to Volgograd by Vladimir Putin, the current leader of the fight against "Nazism." The ceremony included criticism of countries that destroy historical monuments -- Ukraine and the United States -- and praise for the Russians who are erecting monuments to their leaders and heroes.

At the ceremony, Stalin was called the victor over Nazism. Although another victor over "Nazism," President Putin, who was in Volgograd at the time, did not attend the unveiling of the monument to his predecessor, the glory of Stalin, the "victor" of the Nazis, was also directed at him, Stalin's heir.

In Volgograd, there was even talk of renaming the city Stalingrad. This city, formerly called Tsaritsyn, was called Stalingrad from 1925 to 1961. Tsaritsyn comes from the root "Tsar," that is "Caesar." Stalin was also "Caesar," but his power was much greater than that of the Russian emperors led by Peter the Great. Putin emphasizes that he surpassed Peter the Great, who only went to the Sea of Azov, whereas he, Putin, made the Sea of Azov an inland sea of the Russian Federation by annexing four provinces of Ukraine.

During Stalin's reign millions of people were repressed. There was actually a "civil" war, that is, a war of the government against its citizens. When the war between the USSR and the Nazis began, called the Great Patriotic War, the socialist component of Soviet propaganda weakened, and the patriotic component came to the fore: the fatherland was in danger.

The war unleashed by the Russian Federation required a forcing of the Soviet anti-Nazi past, in which the figure of Stalin reappeared next to the tallest statue of Russia, the Motherland, calling the people to fight the enemy and standing in the center of the Battle of Stalingrad memorial.

On October 29, 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued Decree No. 536 on the creation of the Yunarmiya, the "Young Army," an all-Russian national military-patriotic social movement numbering a million and a quarter teenagers, with numbers growing as teachers in schools were ordered to persuade students to join the movement. The "Young Army" is supported and funded by the Russian government through the Ministry of Defense. On the movement’s website, it is written that among its goals are "raising the prestige and authority of military service in the society" and "preservation and multiplication of patriotic traditions."

Patriotism under tyranny is associated with militarization. Young soldiers are dressed in military uniforms with red neck scarves. On the red banner and on the red beret of the Young Army men the emblem of the movement is depicted, very similar to the red star, one of the symbols of the USSR. This establishes a link between the Russian Federation and the USSR.

The Yunarmeyers are dressed similarly to the members of the paramilitary youth organization of Nazi Germany, the Hitler Youth, Hitlerjugend. Like the young Nazis, members of the Russian military-patriotic movement receive military training. The Russian Federation, which has attacked Ukraine and declared its goal to "demilitarize" it, militarizes its youth.

Against whom can they defend their homeland with conventional small arms? From NATO? Putin signed the decree creating the Yunarmiya not after the action demanding the defense of the homeland, but after the annexation of Crimea and the outbreak of war in Donbass. At the time the Yunarmiya was established, no country had attacked the Russian Federation. The Russian regime, which declared the "denazification" of Ukraine as the goal of the war, is busy nazifying Russia, educating its youth in a militaristic spirit with the image of an enemy who allegedly wants to attack the Russian Federation.

Putin, who considers himself heir to the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire, relies on Stalin and Peter the Great. Nostalgia for the Soviet Union, for its superpower status and for Stalin's dictatorship escalated during the war in Ukraine. Young men in bright uniforms attended the unveiling of the Stalin bust. The fascist-like Yunarmiya saluted and welcomed the return of dictator Stalin under dictator Putin. Germany condemned Nazism and dictatorship and became a democratic state. The Russian Federation is a dictatorship. It needs the tradition of autocracy and dictatorship to exist as a dictatorship.

Image: Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

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