Skip to comments.Putin Says Stalin No Worse Than 'Cunning' Oliver Cromwell
Posted on 12/19/2013 8:17:40 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
MOSCOW, December 19 (RIA Novosti) Soviet leader Josef Stalin may be credited with killing millions of his own people, but current Russian President Vladimir Putin says he was no worse than the cunning Oliver Cromwell, who ousted the 17th-century British monarchy.
Whats the real difference between Cromwell and Stalin? None whatsoever, Putin said at a press conference Thursday.
Putin said Stalin deserves statues in his honor as much as the late British lord protector, a cunning fellow who played a very ambiguous role in Britains history.
But unlike Cromwell, Stalin has a lack of state-endorsed monuments in his honor, Putin said.
Putin made the comments in response to a question about a Stalin monument possibly being erected in Moscow.
Authorities in the Russian capital recently announced plans to commemorate all Soviet leaders who lived in the city.
Putin said he could not influence the decisions of Moscows City Hall. But he cautioned, We must treat all periods of our history with care. Its better not to stir things up with premature actions, he added.
Stalin, who led the Soviet Union from 1922 until his death in 1953, is credited with implementing political purges that resulted in the deaths of several million people and the servitude of just as many in gulag prison camps.
Cromwell led a Protestant army to defeat the monarchy in the British Civil War, becoming the ruler of England from 1653 until his death five years later.
Cromwell endorsed the execution of King Charles II, though he never conducted any mass purges.
Whats the real difference between Cromwell and Stalin? None whatsoever, Putin said at a press conference Thursday.
Not just ignorant, but ignorant and proud of it.
I can understand why he is saying this.
Stalin expanded the USSR empire greatly after years of humiliation after they quit WWI.
He was the great Russian emperor,
So what if he had to break a few million eggs to make an omelet.
At the end of the day, Putin will always be a conniving Soviet.
It’s been a while since I have seen Oliver Cromwell in the news.
Cromwell slaughtered untold numbers of Irish and sold countless numbers into slavery so, yeah, I’d rank him with Stalin.
This is historically ignorant and reductive. Both men were very cunning, but while Cromwell was not a good guy in my opinion and did a lot of Robespierre-esque things, Stalin is only bested by Mao Zedong in the mass murder department. He was one of the most evil men in history, and if Putin truly wishes to understand all Russians and not just the permanent political class which in the DUMA does include a large cadre of communists, he may need to get out of Moscow and visit the small villages where people still bear the scars of the Soviet Union’s gulag program.
Comparing Cromwell to Stalin is like comparing Mandella to Hitler. They’re not even in the same league.
Yet we have more than a few dopes on this site that actually support, admire, and defend this guy! This "former" KGB thug.
Well I don’t suppose that England at the time had that many people he could starve to death.
Not to mention the millions starved to death in the Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Famine was dreadful famine premeditated by the Soviet Union, headed by Joseph Stalin during 1932-1933, as a means to undermine the nationalistic pride of the Ukrainian people. It served to control and further oppress the Ukrainian people by denying them the basic vital essentials they needed to survive. The Ukrainian Famine is also known as Holodomor, meaning death by hunger.
The Communist Regime sought to eliminate any threat from Ukrainian nationalists, whom they feared had the potential to form a rebellion and to seek independence from the Soviet Union. More than 5,000 Ukrainian intellectuals were arrested and later were either murdered or deported to prison camps in Siberia. These individuals were falsely accused of plotting an armed rebellion; however it was very clear that Stalins intentions were to eliminate the leaders of Ukrainian society, to leave the masses without any guidance or direction.
Stalin regarded the self-sufficient farms of the Ukraine peasants, as a threat to his ideals. He did not want the Ukrainian peasants to prosper freely from the wealth accumulated from independent farm holdings. The wealthier farmers were termed as kulaks, and became the primary target of dekulukization, an effort to eliminate independent farm-holdings, and create collective farm units. The Communists attempted to gain the support of the poorer class of peasants, by turning them against the kulak class of farmers. A false image of the Kulak class portrayed them as a danger to society. Contrary to the expected outcome of the Communists plan, the poor farmers sided with the kulaks, instead of siding with the Soviet authorities. As a result many of them became new targets of dekulakization. Many other poor farmers unwillingly joined collective farms. Those who attempted to aid a kulak were punished under the law.
The Soviet police confiscated the Ukrainian farmers of their homes, livestock, wheat crops, and valuable possessions. They imposed heavy grain taxes, deliberately leaving families to starve. Those who resisted giving up their homes and crops, were violently shot to death or deported to regions in Siberia. Some families and individuals chose to burn their homes to the ground and kill their livestock, instead of handing it over to Soviet authorities. Families, who tried to hide grain resources, in order to sustain a source of food, were killed. This campaign of terror was organized to instill fear within the people, and force them to relinquish all that they had. The ultimate goal was to have these people embrace Soviet-ism and abandon all nationalistic pride.
A system of internal passports prevented Ukrainians from leaving their towns and villages. Thus villagers were not able to cross the border and escape the torment by fleeing to other countries. When news of the Famine reached the Ukrainian Diaspora in the United States and Europe, food supplies were sent to Ukraine to assist the starving people. However all food shipments were denied at the border by Soviet authorities. Following the Soviet Unions policy of denying any allegations having to do with the Famine, all outside assistance was refused. Even journalists were not allowed in Ukraine, because the Soviet government feared that the media would reveal the perpetrated crimes against the Ukrainian people. When an individual claimed that there was a famine in Ukraine they were considered to be spreading anti-Soviet propaganda. Even stating the words famine or hunger could cause someone to end up in jail.
All the grain taken from Ukrainian farmers were exported to European countries, and the money generated from these sales, were used to fuel Stalins Five Year Plan for the transformation of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union purchased many products and weapons from Western countries. Those western countries in return remained silent in regards to the starving Ukrainians. Grain that was not yet shipped out was reserved in granaries. While the animals that were needed for work on the farms were fed, the people were left to starve. The granaries were guarded to ensure no one would steal grain supplies. Anyone who attempted to do so was shot and killed.
It was estimated that about 25,000 Ukrainians were dying every day during the Famine. Desperation and extreme hunger even lead to cases of cannibalism and consequentially thousands were arrested for this act.
Despite many Ukrainian Communist leaders objections to Stalin and his decrees, Stalin continued to raise grain quotas, which led to worsening of the famine. Many Communists blame the orchestrated famine on an unsuccessful harvest and crop yield, failing to acknowledge the crimes perpetrated by the Soviet government and authorities. It is estimated that more than 10 million people died as a result of violent executions, deportation, and starvation.
Currently Russia does not recognize the Ukrainian Famine or Holodomor, as genocide. The Russian State Duma stated that there was starvation in many parts of the Soviet Union, and it is insulting and incorrect for the Ukrainians to claim that they were directly targeted. Despite Russias persistent denial of the Ukrainian Famine, many countries around the world have recognized the atrocious crimes committed against the Ukrainian people as genocide. Australia, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Estonia, Ecuador, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, and the United States of America regard the Ukrainian Famine from 1932-1933 as genocide. Argentina, Czech Republic, Chile, Slovakia, Spain, Balearic Islands, Spain, and Vatican consider Holodomor as a deliberate act of famine.
On November 28, 2006 the Parliament of Ukraine adopted a law that recognized the artificial famine in Ukraine as genocide committed against the Ukrainian people. The law also made public denial of the Ukrainian Genocide illegal. Ukrainian Genocide commemoration day is on November 26.
Plaque honoring Soviet leader Brezhnev restored in Moscow - Dec 19, 2013 - A plaque commemorating late Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev was restored to the facade of his former apartment building on Thursday, a sign of nostalgia in line with President Vladimir Putin's calls to respect all aspects of Russian history.
Critics say Brezhnev presided over a period of political repression and economic stagnation and have likened Putin's nearly 14 years in power to his 1964-82 rule - longer than any Soviet leader but dictator Josef Stalin.
But many Russians see the Brezhnev era as a time of stability for the superpower, which broke up in 1991.
The plaque was removed that year, but a survey last April by independent pollster Levada found Brezhnev evokes positive emotions in more than half of Russians - more than any other Soviet-era leader or the last tsar, Nicholas II.
Moscow authorities restored the plaque, on a stately Stalin-era building that Putin sometimes passes on his way to the Kremlin, following a proposal whose backers included a lawmaker from the ruling United Russia party.
Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov has called the Brezhnev era a "huge plus" for the country.
Putin is trying to deny the horrors of history it seems
Cromwell killed many of my family, forced them to leave Ireland—I have no love for the dictator. BUT I don’t think you can rank him with Stalin—who killed Millions of people.
Cromwell was not nice, he did make some good points - until he got real power. Robespierre was much worse of course, but Stalin and Mao and Hitler are the ones who deserve to be in that top box.
“Cromwell killed many of my family, forced them to leave Ireland”
You must be centuries old!
Famine? Aw, that didn’t happen. The New York Times assured us all that that was not happening.
They even won the Pulitzer for saying so.
May 7, 2003
We will never know how many Ukrainians died in Stalin's famines of the early 1930s. As Nikita Khrushchev later recalled, "No one was keeping count." Writing back in the mid- 1980s, historian Robert Conquest came up with a death toll of around six million, a calculation not so inconsistent with later research (the writers of The Black Book of Communism (1999) estimated a total of four million for 1933 alone).
Four million, six million, seven million, when the numbers are this grotesque does the exact figure matter? Just remember this instead:
The first family to die was the Rafalyks father, mother and a child. Later on the Fediy family of five also perished of starvation. Then followed the families of Prokhar Lytvyn (four persons), Fedir Hontowy (three persons), Samson Fediy (three persons). The second child of the latter family was beaten to death on somebody's onion patch. Mykola and Larion Fediy died, followed by Andrew Fediy and his wife; Stefan Fediy; Anton Fediy, his wife and four children (his two other little girls survived); Boris Fediy, his wife and three children: Olanviy Fediy and his wife; Taras Fediy and his wife; Theodore Fesenko; Constantine Fesenko; Melania Fediy; Lawrenty Fediy; Peter Fediy; Eulysis Fediy and his brother Fred; Isidore Fediy, his wife and two children; Ivan Hontowy, his wife and two children; Vasyl Perch, his wife and child; Makar Fediy; Prokip Fesenko: Abraham Fediy; Ivan Skaska, his wife and eight children.
Some of these people were buried in a cemetery plot; others were left lying wherever they died. For instance, Elizabeth Lukashenko died on the meadow; her remains were eaten by ravens. Others were simply dumped into any handy excavation. The remains of Lawrenty Fediy lay on the hearth of his dwelling until devoured by rats.*
And that's just one village Fediivka, in the Poltava Province.
We will never know whether Walter Duranty, the principal New York Times correspondent in the U.S.S.R., ever visited Fediivka. Almost certainly not. What we do know is that, in March 1933, while telling his readers that there had indeed been "serious food shortages" in the Ukraine, he was quick to reassure them that "there [was] no actual starvation." There had been no "deaths from starvation," he soothed, merely "widespread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition." So that was all right then.
But, unlike Khrushchev, Duranty, a Pulitzer Prize winner, no less, was keeping count in the autumn of 1933 he is recorded as having told the British Embassy that ten million had died. ** "The Ukraine," he said, "had been bled white," remarkable words from the journalist who had, only days earlier, described talk of a famine as "a sheer absurdity," remarkable words from the journalist who, in a 1935 memoir had dismayingly little to say about one of history's greatest crimes. Writing about his two visits to the Ukraine in 1933, Duranty was content to describe how "the people looked healthier and more cheerful than [he] had expected, although they told grim tales of their sufferings in the past two years." As Duranty had explained (writing about his trip to the Ukraine in April that year), he "had no doubt that the solution to the agrarian problem had been found".
Well, at least he didn't refer to it as a "final" solution.
As the years passed, and the extent of the famine and the other, innumerable, brutalities of Stalin's long tyranny became increasingly difficult to deny, Duranty's reputation collapsed (I wrote about this on NRO a couple of years ago), but his Pulitzer Prize has endured.
Ah, that Pulitzer Prize. In his will old Joseph Pulitzer described what the prize was designed to achieve: " The encouragement of public service, public morals, American literature, and the advancement of education."
In 1932 the Pulitzer Board awarded Walter Duranty its prize. It's an achievement that the New York Times still celebrates. The gray lady is pleased to publish its storied Pulitzer roster in a full-page advertisement each year, and, clearly, it finds the name of Duranty as one that is still fit to print. His name is near the top of the list, an accident of chronology, but there it is, Duranty, Times man, denier of the Ukrainian genocide proudly paraded for all to see. Interestingly, the list of prizewinners posted on the New York Times Company's website is more forthcoming: Against Duranty's name, it is noted that "other writers in the Times and elsewhere have discredited this coverage."
Understandably enough, Duranty's Pulitzer is an insult that has lost none of its power to appall. In a new initiative, Ukrainian groups have launched a fresh campaign designed to persuade the Pulitzer Prize Board to revoke the award to Duranty. The Pulitzer's nabobs do not appear to be impressed. A message dated April 29, 2003 from the board's administrator to one of the organizers of the Ukrainian campaign includes the following words:
The current Board is aware that complaints about the Duranty award have surfaced again. [The campaign's] submission will be placed on file with others we have received. However, to date, the Board has not seen fit to reverse a previous Board's decision, made seventy years ago in a different era and under different circumstances.
A "different era," "different circumstances" would that have been said, I wonder, about someone who had covered up Nazi savagery? But then, more relevantly, the Pulitzer's representative notes that Duranty's prize was awarded "for a specific set of stories in 1931," in other words, before the famine struck with its full, horrific, force. And there he has a point. The prize is designed to reward a specific piece of journalism not a body of work. To strip Duranty of the prize on the grounds of his subsequent conduct, however disgusting it may have been, would be a retrospective change of the rules, behavior more typical of the old U.S.S.R. than today's U.S.A.
But what was that "specific set of stories?" Duranty won his prize " for [his] dispatches on Russia especially the working out of the Five Year Plan." They were, said the Pulitzer Board "marked by scholarship, profundity, impartiality, sound judgment and exceptional clarity ."
Really? As summarized by S. J. Taylor in her excellent and appropriately titled biography of Duranty, Stalin's Apologist, the statement with which Duranty accepted his prize gives some hint of the "sound judgment" contained in his dispatches.
""Despite present imperfections," he continued, he had come to realize there was something very good about the Soviets' "planned system of economy." And there was something more: Duranty had learned, he said, "to respect the Soviet leaders, especially Stalin, who [had grown] into a really great statesman.""
In truth, of course, this was simply nonsense, a distortion that, in some ways bore even less resemblance to reality than "Jimmy's World," the tale of an eight-year-old junkie that, briefly, won a Pulitzer for Janet Cooke of the Washington Post. Tragic "Jimmy" turned out not to exist. He was a concoction, a fiction, nothing more. The Post did the right thing Cooke's prize was rapidly returned.
After 70 years the New York Times has yet to do the right thing. There is, naturally, always room for disagreement over how events are interpreted, particularly in an era of revolutionary change, but Duranty's writings clearly tipped over into propaganda, and, often, outright deception, a cynical sugarcoating of the squalor of a system in which he almost certainly didn't believe. His motivation seems to have been purely opportunistic, access to the Moscow "story" for the Times and the well-paid lifestyle and the fame ("the Great Duranty" was, some said, the best-known journalist in the world) that this brought. Too much criticism of Stalin's rule and this privileged existence would end. Duranty's "Stalin" was a lie, not much more genuine than Janet Cooke's "Jimmy" and, as he well knew at the time, so too were the descriptions of the Soviet experiment that brought him that Pulitzer.
And if that is not enough to make the Pulitzer Board to reconsider withdrawing an award that disgraces both the name of Joseph Pulitzer and his prize, it is up to the New York Times to insist that it does so.
*From an account quoted in Robert Conquest's The Harvest of Sorrow.
** On another occasion (a dinner party, ironically) that autumn Duranty talked about seven million deaths.
Proportionally, population wise, it was far worse for the Irish actually. Some estimates have half or more of the population of Ireland dead through the sword, disease, privation or sold into slavery.