Tales of the New Cold War: Putin inaugurates “The Wall of Sorrow.” Stephen F. Cohen @NYU @Princeton. PART 1 of 2.

Nov 08, 2017, 04:51 AM

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Tales of the New Cold War: Putin inaugurates “The Wall of Sorrow.” Stephen F. Cohen @NYU @Princeton. PART 1 of 2.

MOSCOW — President Vladimir V. Putin on Monday called the unveiling of the first Kremlin-promoted monument to the victims of political repression an important step toward preventing oppression in Russia, but critics accused the government of hypocrisy given the continued lack of political rights. “We and our successors should remember the tragedy of repressions and the reasons that caused them,” Mr. Putin said during the rainy evening ceremony. The memory serves “as a powerful admonition against their repetition.” The Russian president, who ordered the construction of the monument, the “Wall of Sorrow,” three years ago, described political repression as a crime, but stressed that future generations should remember the victims without bringing the country to renewed confrontation by “settling scores.” About 40 critics, many of them veterans of the struggle for human rights in the Soviet Union, accused the Kremlin in a petition they released on Facebook of trying to whitewash the present. “The current Russian government, in sponsoring the opening of the monument, is trying to pretend that political repression is a thing long since past,” the petition read. “We state with certainty that Russia’s current political prisoners are worthy of our help and attention no less than the victims of the Soviet regime are worthy of our memory and respect.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/30/world/europe/russia-soviet-repression-monument.html