Russia Votes for History
“He acted entirely rationally – as the guardian of a system, as a consistent support of reshaping the country into an industrialised state.”
— Quote from A History of Russia, 1900-1945 referring to Soviet ruler Josef Stalin, the greatest mass murderer of Russians in the nation’s history (the volume will used as a guide for teaching history in Russian schools)
For several months now, Kremlin-operated TV network “Rossiya” has been conducting a nationwide internet poll called “The Name of Russia” asking who was the most important Russian of all time. As time went on, a large field of initial nominees was winnowed down to 12 finalists, and the polls finally closed last Sunday with nearly 5 million votes having been collected from Russians across the country among the 12 finalists. The winner was to be announced live on the network’s “Vesti Nedeli” (“Kicking off the Week”) program Sunday evening.
At the same time, a specially selected “jury” of experts was asked for their opinion. The members of the 12-man (yes, all male) jury were: Metropolitan Kirill, Viktor Chernomyrdin, Valentin Varennikov, Sergei Kapitsa, Dimitri Rogozin, Alexander Tkachev, Ilya Glazunov, Gennady Zyuganov, Yuri Kublanovsky, Nikita Mikhailkov, Sergei Mironov and Andrei Sakharov Jr.
The 12 “Name of Russia” finalists included four monarchs (Peter I, Ivan IV, Ekaterina II and Alexander II) and the prime minister of a fifth (Nicholas II’s Peter Stolypin), two Communists (Lenin and Stalin), two writers (Pushkin and Dostoevsky), two generals (Alexander Suvorov and Alexander Nevsky) and a scientist (Dmitry Mendeleev).
On Sunday, we learned the Russian people’s selection.