In explaining why the new Russian Guard plans to restore the red banner and the name Feliks Dzerzhinsky in its operations, Col. General Sergey Melikov told Izvestiya that such moves were entirely appropriate because veterans have asked for this and because his organization is “the heir of the NKVD.”
Those words were included in the original article but then taken down when someone recognized the dangers of drawing a direct link between an organization that repressed millions of Russians and Putin’s new Guard. However, those who took them down from the webpage forgot that in the age of Screenshot, nothing is really ever lost forever.
In reporting this incident, Snob portal commentator Ivan Davydov says that words like these matter, however much some may devalue them in their efforts to hide what they are really about. And he then offers what is certainly the most succinct and accurate definition of national unity under Putin now available.
In Putin’s Russia, he writes, “the unity of the nation is when one and the same people scurry to churches built in memory of those innocents who were killed and then write on their banners the name of the executioner who killed those innocents.” This sends a horrific signal about the direction in which Russia is now moving.
Individual Russians can privately believe what they like, but when the state sends such signals, society should respond with horror, Davydov says, because “people must understand that out of this ‘continuity’ and ‘unity of the nation grows the chance” that the horrors of the past can return.
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- Why Putin can’t allow Ukraine to succeed and why the West must make sure it does
- Moscow deploys Russian Guard and OMON against truckers in Daghestan
- Lists of NKVD victims killed in mass executions in 1941 published online