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Moscow dusts the statue of “the father of the KGB,” and votes to return it to his place – Corriere.it

I amto On August 23, 1991, in Lubyanka Square in Moscow, one of the most symbolic acts of the August Revolution took place, which began with the failed communist coup and then led to a series of twists, turns, and dramatic events. The coup lasted a few days, with Gorbachev being arrested in the Crimea, tanks on the Kutuzovsky Prospekt, the state of siege, and Boris Yeltsin’s call from a tank tower for the Muscovites to take to the streets in defense of Parliament, the crowd in the street, the barricades, the killing of three young protesters. Then the turning point, the return of Gorbachev’s hero only one night, his humiliation in front of the Russian Parliament, the victory of Corfu Bianco Yeltsin, the end of the Communist Party, the Soviet Communist Party, a prelude to the suffering that in just four months would bring in December to the end of the Soviet Union.

But that evening, in the always established clearing with the headquarters of the KGB, the unimaginable happened: We saw the gigantic statue of Felix Dzerzhinskij, the founder of Cheka, the first USSR secret police and the pioneer of the KGB.It was removed from the pedestal in the center of the square, to applause from a crowd of more than 20,000 people. It weighed 11 tons, and it took hours to tear it down, tying it to steel cables pulled from a truck. The “Iron Felix” simulation, as it was known in the myth of the October Revolution for not only corrupt but also cruel, was moved to a park with other statues of communist gods.

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It’s been 30 years. But Dzerzhinsky could return to his place, in the heart of the Russian capitalIn the center of the square where everything has changed except for one thing: the headquarters of the Russian intelligence service, now renamed FSB, is still in the dominant building that controls the vastness.

From yesterday until March 5, in fact, Muscovites can vote online on the municipality’s proposal to take a fresh look at Lubyanka Square. Among the many projects presented, including the fountain project as in the time of the Tsar, when the palace was the headquarters of a large insurance companyIt is a statue that has been approved by the municipal authorities.

Yes, but a statue of whom? There are two names at stake. In fact, Dzerzhinsky was launched in December by the “Russia Officers” organization surrounded by many different bloggers and writers. But Uncle Felix, the ruthless proletarian Jacobin of Lenin, has to contend with a formidable rival: the other name is really nothing less than Alexander Nevsky, Prince of Novgorod and Vladimir, the hero who defended Russia against the Swedish invaders and Teutonic knights in the thirteenth century. Nevsky was voted “the greatest Russian of all time” even before the great poet Alexander Pushkin.

The debate is raging and it is not just a matter of taste. At stake is what historical memory Russia’s capital Putin wants to reconnect with. The Orthodox Church, one of the pillars of the system, had no doubt: “Propaganda for Dzerzhinsky means historical amnesia,” said the second man in the Patriarchate, Bishop Savva Totunov. s.Bringing one of the most brutal figures of the Soviet era into the fashion world would be a slap in the face to the new liberal generations.

But the Kremlin remains silent, saying it is the prerogative of the Moscow authorities. Although it is known that Vladimir Putin admires Prince Nevsky, whose 800th anniversary was celebrated in 2020. Putin forced it to be postponed due to the pandemic by decree ordering celebrations for this year. But his predecessor at the head of the Secret Service could spoil the party. When asked whether the return of the Dzerzhinsky statue was a national issue, the Kremlin spokesman replied that it was “a provocative matter.”

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February 25, 2021 (Change to February 25, 2021 | 21:20)

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Harold Manning

"Infuriatingly humble social media ninja. Devoted travel junkie. Student. Avid internet lover."

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