Stalinir: ghosts of the past in South Ossetia

Feature History – Russo-Georgian War

Stalinir: ghosts of the past in South Ossetia

Leader of separatist South Ossetia issues a decree on the revival of the old name of Tskhinvali

The old name of the city of Tskhinvali – “Stalinir”, will alternatively be used as the designation of the capital of the separatist South Ossetia during the events associated with the Second World War. The corresponding decree was signed on April 27 by the de facto South Ossetian President Anatoly Bibilov..

Tskhinvali was renamed Stalinir in 1934 in honor of Joseph Stalin. The city was given back its historical name – Tskhinvali, in 1961.

It is noteworthy that similar decisions were made by separatist leaders in Ukraine. So, according to the decrees of the local de facto authorities, in the days associated with the memory of the Second World War, in relation to Donetsk, its former name will be used – “the city of Stalino”, and in relation to Luhansk – “the city of Voroshilovgrad”.

“Absurd experiments”

Tbilisi called the decision of the separatists to revive the old name of Tskhinvali “absurd”.

“This decision, of course, will not change anything on the world map, although it is tragic because of the people who for years live in the expanded territory of the military base, isolated by barbed wire, and at the same time are victims of absurd experiments that force them to get stuck in time , during the period of the Soviet Union, ”said Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, State Minister of Georgia for Reconciliation.

Tsikhelashvili noted that she would not have made comments in this regard if it were not for the involvement of children in these experts, who are “forced to sing songs to the glory of the USSR against the background of portraits of Lenin and Stalin with pioneer ties”, tearing them away from reality and depriving them of their sense of the future.

“Naturally, we are not indifferent to the fate of these people … We will continue to pursue a peaceful policy oriented towards the future and the future,” the minister said..

Ghosts of the past

Political scientist from the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies Kakha Gogolashvili calls the decision of the separatist authorities to revive the name “Stalinir”, “the return of retrograde ideology.” According to him, “time has stopped” in the territories occupied by Russia. Gogolashvili connects this with what is happening in Russia, in particular with the tendency of the rehabilitation of Stalinist crimes and the revival of the cult of Stalin, which is actively promoted through the Russian media..

“In modern Russia, an authoritarian regime is supported by the same great-power ideology that Stalin advocated at one time, that is, human freedom, his well-being are secondary in comparison with the fact that there is a great Russia, which the whole world is afraid of. It is not surprising that in the enclave of the Russian military base, which is practically cut off from the outside world and modernity, is mired in corruption, devastation, poverty, they are trying to support the mood of the population with propaganda that they are part of something great and indestructible. Moreover, there is a myth that Stalin was an ethnic Ossetian. It is outrageous that this is happening in the 21st century, and people in these places are so depressed that, without thinking, they look back, not forward, “Gogolashvili summed up.

Head of the Center for the Study of Security and International Relations Nika Chitadze considers it symbolic that nostalgia for the Soviet Union and, moreover, for its most repressive ruler is being introduced in the occupied territories. According to the expert, this is not surprising, since the leaders of the separatist regions, which exist in violation of all international norms, cannot promote the ideals of civilized, free and developed countries..

“In Tskhinvali and Donetsk, where tyranny rules, freedom of expression is suppressed, as well as human rights, Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela cannot be ideals. So it is not surprising that they turn to the ghosts of Stalin and Voroshilov for inspiration, “Chitadze believes..

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