Still not sorry for Soviet crimes

By Vladimir Kovalyev
March 17, 2005

For the last couple of months, I have been wondering what is wrong with theRussian political elite. Its members are behaving like obstinate donkeys and stupidly dragging their heels on any reconciliation with the Baltic states.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have one simple request: that Russia recognize that Josef Stalin committed crimes against their citizens. In other words, they are asking the Kremlin to do exactly what Germany did decades ago in relation toAdolf Hitler.

I was surprised by the government's reluctance. Many members of the Russian political elite, including President Vladimir Putin, were born in the 1950s and 1960s, which means that their formative years came during the era of stagnation under Leonid Brezhnev. Every more or less educated person in the Soviet Union understood that the way the Soviet rulers ran the country was wrong, and in the case of Stalin extremely wrong.