The Magazine

Don't Cry for Russia

The world's unlikeliest "victim."

Sep 1, 2008, Vol. 13, No. 47 • By CATHY YOUNG
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The new Russia bristles at any effort to account for those crimes, be it Ukraine's attempt to have the state-engineered famine of 1932-33 recognized as genocide by the United Nations or Estonia's prosecution of veteran Communist Arnold Meri for his role in the deportation of Estonian "undesirables" in 1949. In July, the Russian foreign ministry issued a peevish protest against President Bush's Captive Nations Week proclamation that mentioned "the evils of Soviet Communism and Nazi fascism," decrying it as an attempt to "continue the Cold War." "But how can it not continue," asked Soviet-era dissident Alexander Podrabinek in an article on the EJ.ru website, "when those in charge of Russia's foreign policy openly try to whitewash Communist ideology?"

National humiliation is not a thing to wish on anyone. But perhaps, after Russia's 20th-century history, a few lessons in humility would have been useful--and well deserved.

Cathy Young, a contributing editor to -Reason, is author of Growing Up in Moscow: Memories of a Soviet Girlhood.