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On Masha Gessen’s article in The New Yorker

Even death cannot save you from joining the Kremlin’s propaganda and historical revisionism. In fact, you are even more defenseless against it! As the invaluable Masha Gessen points out here, this is a natural part of Putin’s continuation of the Soviet practice of altering and controlling history to suit the present. Dissidents and artists who were persecuted and exiled are brought back and buried by a regime they would despise. Soviet brutality is whitewashed in order to whitewash Putin’s brutality. The eternal messages: only the all-powerful leader will defend you; human life is cheap; individual rights are toxic decadence from abroad; the people do not deserve power. – Garry Kasparov


The Dearly Departed Return to Russia

by Masha Gessen

Russia’s minister of culture, Vladimir Medinsky, wants to exhume the remains of composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, which have rested for over seventy years at Kensico cemetery, in Valhalla, New York, and re-inter them in Russia. “The greatest of the Russian geniuses, Sergei Rachmaninoff, has been portrayed in an utterly wrong way in the West recently,” said the minister. “Americans have the gall to privatize Rachmaninoff’s name,” he said, explaining that the composer, who left Russia in 1917, at the age of forty-four, is considered by Americans to be an American.


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