Putin doesn’t want the nation to address its guilt and ignorance. So we started a civic movement that humanises the victims
Earlier this year the Russian ministry of culture banned the satirical film The Death of Stalin, supposedly because it contained “information whose dissemination is prohibited by law”. On Russian-language social media, the withdrawal of the film’s screening licence was met with widespread laughter and scorn: what sort of secrets could this movie possibly have disclosed? Could it be that Stalin is indeed dead? – so went the irony.
It looked ridiculous. But back in December, there had been an ominous precursor: Alexander Bortnikov, the head of Russia’s FSB intelligence services, told the Rossiyskaya Gazeta government newspaper that Stalin-era repressions had been justified. He mentioned the need to counter Trotsky’s networks, and plots that had “ties with foreign secret services”. He also claimed that “mass-scale political repression” had ended by 1938 – a blatant rewriting of history.
Stalinism is hidden in the minds of many Russians, how they perceive history and relate to basic values