At OpenDemocracy, Arseny Roginsky writes about The Embrace of Stalinism in contemporary Russia. Excerpt:
In the new history textbooks, Stalinism is presented as an institutional phenomenon, even an achievement. But the terror is portrayed as a historically determined and unavoidable tool for solving state tasks. This concept does not rule out sympathy for the victims of history. But it makes it absolutely impossible to consider the criminal nature of the terror, and the perpetrator of this crime.
The intention is not to idealise Stalin. This is the natural side-effect of resolving a completely different task - that of confirming the idea of the indubitable correctness of state power. The government is higher than any moral or legal assessments. It is above the law, as it is guided by state interests that are higher than the interests of the person and society, higher than morality and law. The state is always right - at least as long as it can deal with its enemies. This idea runs through the new textbooks from beginning to end, and not only where repressions are discussed.