The rehabilitation of Stalin, both in Russia and the other countries of the CIS, has got to stop. If there is anyone out there tempted to put his photo in a locket next to their heart, please consider the following:
- The death of millions in Ukraine from famine during the 30's due to Stalin's misguided collectivization policies.
- His failure to enter the war against Germany in 1939 and 1940, leaving Britain to stand alone against fascism.
- His failure to recogonise the shipments of British and American gold into Archangelsk during the war (NB: it was this gold which largely facilitated the construction of the Siberian armaments factories)
- His cowardice in failing to engage his political opponents in open debate (he chose the path of exterminating or exiling millions of them)
- His gross stupidity in failing to properly arm the Soviet military during the war, leading to millions of deaths among soldiers sharing rifles and using pitch forks.
- His cowardly and opportunistic late declaration of war on Japan, which came after the US had fought its way through the Pacific and dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
- His installation of undemocratic communist regimes in Eastern Europe, against the will of the peoples concerned.
If Stalin is your hero, then you are either mad, bad or brainwashed. My guess in Miscenko's case is a touch of all three.
NB: As with all comments of this nature it is important to separate the heroism and tragic losses of the people of the former Soviet Union (which I greatly respect and honour) from the depravity and incompetence of their leadership (which I do not)