There was a glorious opportunity after the end of the Soviet Union and Stalinism for the Russian people to become members of the democratic world. For a few years, there was high hope that wonderful goal would be achieved, but Putin arrived on the scene, and a modern version, less horrible, but still a version, of Stalinism appeared. The press was censored, the media became an arm of the government, innocent people were arrested on false charges, and the Russia so many of us loved and wanted to become a reality, is still trapped in the dead past. The other day, hundreds gathered in Lubyanskaya Ploshchad to read some of the names of those who died under the brutality of the KGB–Putin’s old stomping ground. Young and old read names of those brutalized by the Soviet Union.
“Kokakrevke, Alexander Danilovich, 30 years old. Exp[elled from the communal far for being a kulak. Shot January 31, 1938.”
The names were read with love. Hopefully, no names need be read in 2025.