Causes of the Resurrection of a Positive Image of Stalin in Today's Russia: Its Historical Background and Putin's Strategy of Maneuvering People's Perceptions

47 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2017 Last revised: 22 Oct 2017

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

This article examines the reasons of the rise in Stalin’s popularity in today’s Russia. Researchers and journalists have provided several accounts for the phenomenon: the lack of an effectual de-Stalinization campaign; psychological factors in Russians’ minds; and Putin’s personal endeavors into driving re-Stalinization. This paper, however, argues that the increased popularity of Stalin should be explained not only in its historical context but also as an indirect product of Putin’s strategy (“indirect re-Stalinization”). The author claims that as Putin has glorified the victory in World War II, the image of Stalin, widely associated with the War, has been firmly resurrected. Moreover, Putin’s strategy of feeding Russians with an authoritarian and statist view has arguably served as the basis for increasing number of people with a positive view on Stalin’s policies. Demonstrating various facts and figures with an original conceptual typology, the paper attempts to analyze the essence of the current social trends in Russia, motives and effects of Putin’s strategy, and the relation between the two.

Keywords: Russia, Stalin, repression, dictator, popularity, Putin, history, World War II, victory, symbol, St. George’s Ribbon (Georgievskaya Lenta), youth group, Nashi, history textbook, NGO, criminal law, Crimea, east Ukraine, authoritarian, statist

JEL Classification: N44, P39

Suggested Citation

Ozawa, Yuto, Causes of the Resurrection of a Positive Image of Stalin in Today's Russia: Its Historical Background and Putin's Strategy of Maneuvering People's Perceptions (2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2985309 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2985309

Yuto Ozawa (Contact Author)

Columbia University ( email )

420 W 118th St
New York, NY 10027
United States

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