Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, June 18, 2012

Forward to the past

While it seems that Putin is doing his best to recreate the Soviet system of governance, one of his supporters wants to return even farther into the past. What's next? Tsar Vladimir?

Bury Lenin? Russian Minister Stirs Debate Over Soviet Past
Russia’s new culture minister had already riled liberals who viewed him as the odd monarchist who is also somehow an apologist for Stalin.

Vladimir Medinsky, a best-selling author, then decided to aggravate the Communists, too, when he called for burying Lenin’s preserved corpse and renaming streets after the murdered czar’s family.

Mr. Medinsky, appointed as minister last month, reopened the long, simmering debate about Lenin’s corpse and street names as tensions mounted between the opposition and the government over Tuesday’s rally. His critics said he was aiming to deflect criticism of his appointment…

Mr. Medinsky, 41, has been a government bureaucrat since the 1990s and closely affiliated with the pro-Putin United Russia party for the past decade. He is co-founder of an organization that lobbies for the elimination of Soviet place names, and has said that Russia needs a “real czar.” He was chosen by Mr. Putin, a former K.G.B. colonel, who has made repeated efforts to unite the Communists and czarists in Russia...

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