“Society must become more humane”, Alexander Arkhangelsky to President Putin

On 21 December literary critic ALEXANDER ARKHANGELSKY spoke, at a meeting of the Council on Culture and Art with the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, about the pressure being put on cultural figures and the need to humanise Russian culture and society.

“If such things take place at the federal level, in the glare of publicity, it’s not surprising that in places further from our national media the same kind of thing is happening. It is now one year that Yury Dmitriev, an outstanding historian, the author of classic works about Solovki, has been kept in detention, awaiting a verdict in his trial.

“The court – and this is a rare instance – rejected the results of the expert assessment that seemed to confirm his guilt. The case materials were again sent not to State institutions for expert evaluation, however, but to semi-private companies – a second time, let me emphasise.”

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Russia – Past, Present and Future

THE OFFICIAL VIEW

“As Russia marks the centenary of the October Revolution, President Vladimir Putin has urged the society to end discord over the Soviet era,” reported the TASS news agency[1] on 21 December 2017.

“This year, the centenary of the October Revolution, we have been seeking to encourage the society to abandon confrontation, to see themselves as a single society and realize that we are continuing our common centuries-long history,” Putin told a session of the Council for Culture and Art.

“Whether we like certain years or not, but there was everything there – bad things, but also a lot of good things that should not be forgotten,” he said.

Johnson’s Russia List
2017-#239, Friday, 22 December 2017, Item 1 (Excerpt)

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HOW RUSSIA REPRESSES THE PAST

Nikita Petrov (Memorial)

Every spring, buses covered in portraits of Joseph Stalin appear on the streets of Russian cities. His face replaces ads for cell phones, soft drinks, laundry detergent, and cat food. With each passing year, the dictator gets more handsome and more glamorous; a portrait of him in his gorgeous white generalissimo’s jacket has become especially popular. He casts his stern gaze on the citizens, as if to say, “Remember me? I’m here, I didn’t go anywhere – and don’t you forget it!” 

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The Day of Remembrance in Petrozavodsk

On Monday, 30 October 2017, the Karelian capital Petrozavodsk marked the annual Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Political Repression. At the city’s Zaretsky Graveyard and then at Krasny Bor access to the microphone was limited to those who talked about spiritual values, Holy Russia and forgiveness. Your correspondent observed how official Karelia strove not to mention the name of YURY DMITRIEV, one of the pioneers in locating and investigating such sites of mass burial (writes Sergei Markelov, 7×7 – Horizontal Russia).

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Putin unveils monument in Moscow

Amid controversy over his own methods of maintaining control over Russia, President Vladimir Putin has unveiled a memorial dedicated to victims of Soviet-era government repression and said the years of suffering at the hands of the state must never be forgotten.

Putin was speaking at the opening ceremony for the Wall Of Sorrow on 30 October 2017 as part of the official Day Of Remembrance For Victims Of Political Repression — an event first held in 1991, the year the Soviet Union ceased to exist. […] Some one hundred people — mainly elderly citizens, human rights activists, and city officials — attended the ceremony (reports Radio Liberty)

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