February 12, 2018 – FRN –
What if everything you think you know about Joseph Stalin isn’t true? Similarly, what if the icon you perceive Winston Churchill to have been – is a mere illusion of history? Anomalies in the way history is written is nothing new; the more or less objective truth is published many years later.
In this episode, Mikhail Poltoranin, former Head of the Government Committee on the Declassification of KGB Archives, talks about the way that the US airforce bombed Soviet bases in 1950 – in reaction to Stalin’s power. But they didn’t stop until their mission was complete – that is the death of Stalin. It’s even possible that others within the Soviet system were asked to take responsibility for his death – given the many theorists who took on that claim, as explained by Poltoranin.
Joseph Stalin has been attributed many crimes against humanity – the figures are in the hundreds of millions according to some liberal sources. In reality, contemporary Russian historians cannot account for even a fraction of the said deaths he is thought to have ordered. That is not to say that he never did such a thing – the current figure is around 100,000 people over the course of his leadership (compared to many millions attributed to him in common text books.)
But, in the words of President Putin himself – Stalin must be judged by the era that he lived in. In a time when the country faced almost sure defeat, jeopardised by the fifth column – “enemies of the state” were done away with. Is this correct according to contemporary human rights law? Surely not – but I struggle to find an example of another country that faced the choice between survival, or its ultimate destruction at the hands of foreign powers and its internal accomplices in the most critical of times.
Stalin turned a mostly agrarian society into a force to be reckoned with in the defeat of Nazi Germany – albeit at a high human cost. But does that make him a dictator? For many Russians, it is a very personal question and is highly contested. Stalin is a figure about whom much is written – but not much of it is based on fact. What remains, is that just 16 years after the USSR was reduced to rubble by the Germans – the Soviet Union won the space race, by launching the first man into space. Against a country that has never seen destruction on its own soil, together with the economy.
Very little about Stalin written in Western literature is true – you could test it now by doing a simple google search for “Stalin quotes”. Not one image that shows up is attributed to a real text.
Why might the USSR not have publicised such crucial information earlier? Or even the modern Russian state? In my personal opinion – nobody wants to admit defeat. If the MI6 was able to carry this out, this means the intelligence was somehow better equipped or more richly resourced to have been successful. Of course that’s not hard, when international bankers have their bets on you.