Sunday, July 23, 2017

Putin Attempts Populist Spin to Make Russia Great Again

"During a question and answer session last week, Putin tried to cast doubt on historical accounts that Ivan the Terrible killed his own son.... Putin said the version in which first Russian tsar killed his offspring was created by a Vatican emissary to Moscow in order to discredit the Russian leader."

“Many researchers think that [Ivan] didn’t kill anyone at all,” Putin said, “and that this [story] was concocted by the Papal emissary who came to Russia for negotiations and wanted to turn Orthodox Russia into Catholic Russia.”

"It is widely believed that in a fit of rage and paranoia the tsar murdered his son. The incident instigated a succession crisis that plunged the country into prolonged chaos and civil war."

“But after Ivan refused and told him to get lost — several legends began to spring up," Putin continued. "They began to label him `Ivan the Terrible’ — the super cruel person.”

"Putin’s comments came during his explanation for why Russia’s history is regularly tarnished abroad."

“What concerns the distortion of our history? This has been a trend throughout the entirety of our history. Why? Because, as Alexander III wrote, ‘our vastness is feared by everyone.’”

"Ivan, who ruled from 1530 to 1584 remains one of Russia’s most divisive rulers. Under his reign Russia transformed from a medieval state into a vast empire."

"An overwhelming majority of Russians positively evaluate the historical role of Tsar Ivan IV, better known as Ivan the Terrible. According to a poll carried out by the Public Opinion Foundation, 71 percent of respondents had a positive opinion of Ivan the Terrible, while only 13 percent had a contrary view. The most positive opinions came from the 18-30 year old demographic."

"The pollsters also found that more than half of Russians were unaware that the first official monument in honor of Ivan the Terrible was unveiled in Orel in late October. While only 19 percent knew that the monument had been unveiled, 65 percent approved of it."

"Supporters of the monument claim that Ivan the Terrible was a defender of Russia and an important historical figure. Opponents, however, see him as a paranoid despot."

The Moscow Times is:

Comment: It seems that Russia has a stronger 'populist movement' than we do. The truth is that Ivan the Terrible earned this name for far more than just murdering his son. To believe otherwise is 'naïveté' -- the first prerequisite for becoming a populist.

Also read:
In the new history textbook just released for schoolchildren, Ivan the Terrible is a "reformer," Stalin is a "modernizer," the democratic achievements of Gorbachev and Yeltsin are ignored, and Putin is a hero who restored Russia's greatness.

Putin's Distorted History