Vladimir Putin and the “Stalin Myth:” How Russia’s President Invokes Stalin to Fortify His Political Stature
Jacob Lewis Calloway
Global Politics Review
Vol. 5, no. 1-2 (2019): 107-120.
GPR ID: 2464-9929_v05_i1-2_p107
Received: May 21, 2019. Accepted: July 10, 2019. Published: August 6, 2019.
ABSTRACT: Vladimir Putin has sustained his political leadership and power for more than eighteen years. Among the many theories that seek to explain his impressive tenure are hypotheses that the structure of the Russian political system has been rendered incapable of removing him, that Russian society genuinely desires leaders like Putin, and other reasons. The conceptual framework for understanding Putin’s extended reign in Russia will focus on his leverage of a political predecessor, Joseph Stalin, to extend his tenure. This paper analyzes Vladimir Putin’s use of Stalin’s historical presence for his own political gain. Vladimir Putin’s personal statements on Stalin are analyzed in the context of Russia’s current affairs. His positive, although sometimes contradictory, comments about Stalin’s leadership offer unique insight into the nuanced relationship between the contemporary Russian government and its infamous Soviet predecessor. The political and social psychological consequences of Putin’s orientation towards Stalin are also examined as insightful aspects of how Russian society has interacted with its tumultuous past.
Keywords: Putin, Stalin, Russia, identity, history, memory.