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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2008, 04:08 AM Thread Starter
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Poll finds Russia's surprise hero

FOCUS: EUROPE
Poll finds Russia's surprise hero
By Alan Fisher in Moscow

A television programme revealed that Stalin is still revered by some in Russia [AFP]

One of the most popular television programmes in Russia this winter has been a series which asks viewers to vote for who they believe to be the country's most celebrated historical figure.

Stalin still considered a 'hero'
With hundreds of thousands of people casting their votes by email, text and phone, Alexander Nevsky, a name little known to outsiders, has emerged in first place so far.

Nevsky was an early Russian hero who is now revered as a saint.

In second place is perhaps the predictable favourite, Peter the Great. However, the third place winner is a historical figure which will surprise many outside Russia: Joseph Stalin.

This was a man who presided over the murder of millions of his own countrymen, who had thousands shipped off to forced labour camps for an attitude adjustment or just because they displeased him.

He shattered families and lives, and yet to many in Russia, he is still considered a hero. He ensured victory for Russia in World War Two, a defining moment in the Russian national psyche.

He turned the country from its rural, agricultural - almost backward - ways into an industrialised giant with global power.

He also built Soviet influence around the world as the dominant figure in Russian life for 31 years.



The television poll closes on December 28.

Stalin was the dominant figure in Russia for 31 years [AFP]
Young mischief-makers?

Alexander Lyubimov, the man behind the television programme, has been a TV host for more than 20 years and believes the support Stalin received is perhaps due to an anti-establishment campaign launched by young, internet-savvy mischief-makers.

However, he also accepts there are many people around the country who revere the former dictator.

That surprises Masha Lipman of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She believes that her role as a liberal academic would have made her a target for the Stalinist police.

"What you have when you see this poll is the butchered, the murdered pushed aside and almost forgotten. It's as if there were no killings, no disappearances, and no labour camps," she said.

"People only see the war hero, the reformer and that is the story that's now beginning to creep into a lot of history books."

Man for the times

Al Jazeera asked Russians on the streets of Moscow what they think about the list of historical figures and the winners. One man told me: "I would vote for Peter the Great, [but] I could never support Stalin, he was evil."

However, one smart young woman is more considered; she, too, would like Peter the Great to win but said: "Russia needed someone like Stalin at that time, someone to move the country forward. If it had not been him it would have been someone else with all the horrible things that brought."

It is hard to find statues of Stalin anywhere in Russia any more. However, in an isolated corner of a very quiet park is a statuary graveyard.

The statues are brought here when the historical figures they represent are no longer welcome on the squares and in the streets.

And at the back sits Joseph Stalin. There are two busts of him; one is tall and grand but the nose has been violently broken off while the other is made of white marble, now looking weather-beaten and worn.

Stalin might be hidden away and almost forgotten but this poll shows there are thousands more who still believe he is a true Russian hero.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2008, 04:26 AM
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Jayhawk was right!

Turns out there's hope for G.W.Bush after all.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2008, 04:39 AM
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Funny enough the wife mentioned Stalin ( in a roundabout way ) this morning
vis-a-vis the defence of Stalingrad.
It appears the Russians have kept very secret the numbers who deserted and fought for the Germans, a Divisions worth or thereabouts.
Plus the vast numbers shot by the NKVD, "to encourage the others"
You advance the Germans will TRY and shoot you
You attempt to retreat WE WILL shoot you
an efficient motivator indeed
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2008, 10:34 AM
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putin's working his magic.



in political asylum
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2008, 12:18 PM
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Alexander Nevsky was the number one..

Interesting.

Enemy of the West, adopted son of Batu, The Khan of the Golden Horde, grandson of Chengis Khan.

Some of the Batu actions in regards to Russia:

"In November 1237 Batu Khan sent his envoys to the court of Yuri II of Vladimir and demanded his allegiance. A month later, the hordes besieged Ryazan. After six days of the bloody battle, the city was totally annihilated, and never restored its former glory. Alarmed by the news, Yuri II sent his sons to detain the horde, but these were soundly defeated. Having burnt Kolomna and Moscow, the horde laid siege to Vladimir on February 4, 1238. Three days later the capital of Vladimir-Suzdal was taken and burnt to the ground. The royal family perished in the fire, while the grand prince hastily retreated northward. Crossing the Volga, he mustered a new army, which was totally exterminated by the Mongols on the Sit' River on March 4.

Thereupon Batu Khan divided his army into smaller units, which ransacked fourteen Rus' cities: Rostov, Uglich, Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Kashin, Ksnyatin, Gorodets, Galich, Pereslavl-Zalessky, Yuriev-Polsky, Dmitrov, Volokolamsk, Tver, and Torzhok. The most difficult to take was the small town of Kozelsk, whose boy-prince Titus and inhabitants resisted the Mongols for seven weeks. As the story goes, at the news of Mongol approach, a city of Kitezh was submerged into a lake with all its inhabitants, where it may be seen to this day. The only major cities to escape destruction was Smolensk, who submitted to the Mongols and agreed to pay tribute, and Novgorod with Pskov, which could not be reached by the Mongols on account of considerable distance and winter weather."
Batu Khan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2008, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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The re writing of History

As depicted in Eisenstein's 'Alexander Nevsky,' he sure was instrumental in kicking the Teutonic Knights (my homies) butt in the 'Battle on the Ice.'

From Wikipedia:
The film depicts the 13th century conflict between the Teutonic Knights of the Holy Roman Empire and the Russian people of Novgorod. It follows the knights as they invade Pskov and massacre its population. Alexander Nevsky then rallies the people of Novgorod and at a battle on the surface of the frozen Lake Peipus, the outnumbered Novgorodians defeat the Germanic invaders.


Alexander Nevsky was made during the Stalinist era, when the Soviet Union was at odds with Nazi Germany. Stalin directly requested that Eisenstein make a film that would warn the Soviet people of German aggression. The film contains many elements of political allegory that reflect the political situation of the 1930s, and portrays Nevsky as a fisherman and a folk hero. The helmets worn by the Teutonic soldiers resemble larger versions of German soldier helmets from the 20th century, while "in the first draft of the Alexander Nevsky script, swastikas even appeared in the invaders' helmets" The film also shows Nevsky making peace with the Mongols, his old enemies, in order to face the Teutonic Knights.

Unfortunately for Eisenstein, the film explicitly mocked treaty-making with the Germans, and was released a few months before Stalin agreed to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which provided for non-aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union. The film was therefore suppressed and not shown in theaters. This changed dramatically in 1941 after the German attack on the Soviet Union, and the film began to be shown in many Soviet cinemas. Scenes from the film were also incorporated in the American propaganda film The Battle of Russia.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2008, 03:16 PM
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As depicted in Eisenstein's 'Alexander Nevsky,' he sure was instrumental in kicking the Teutonic Knights (my homies) butt in the 'Battle on the Ice.'
True.

So he thought it would be much better for Russians to be killed by the Tataro-mongols than conquered by the Teutonic Knights / Livonian Order.

BTW, Teutonic Order was outlawed by Hitler in 1938.

The Order is still in existence by now.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2008, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by maine_coon View Post
True.

So he thought it would be much better for Russians to be killed by the Tataro-mongols than conquered by the Teutonic Knights / Livonian Order.

BTW, Teutonic Order was outlawed by Hitler in 1938.

The Order is still in existence by now.
Hitler, and the Nazi's used the Teutonic Knight's image to promote German nationalism, and ironically continued to do so after the order was outlawed.
IMO, Stalin used pages of Hitler's play book in pushing the same nationalistic agenda with 'Alexander Nevsky.
The film really had two directors, Stalin, and Eisenstein.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2008, 03:56 PM
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The neocons have a new land.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2008, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Teutone View Post
Hitler, and the Nazi's used the Teutonic Knight's image to promote German nationalism, and ironically continued to do so after the order was outlawed.
IMO, Stalin used pages of Hitler's play book in pushing the same nationalistic agenda with 'Alexander Nevsky.
The film really had two directors, Stalin, and Eisenstein.
Funny part is, Stalin described Bolsheviks Party to be an "order of sword-bearers."
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