“Pawns,” in this case, are in the American right wing.
I just ran into this New York Times story about Stalin’s killing spree and where he hid the bodies. I began reading it because my family and family friends were involved in left wing, i.e., Stalinist communist or Trotskyist, politics before World War II and, specifically, before the Hitler-Stalin Non-Aggression Pact of 1939.
The pact created turmoil in American Communist groups. A proportion of American radicals were Jewish and, as my mother told me, were already shaken by Stalin’s Great Purge of the 1930s.
Mom told me that the sister of one of my parents’ friends had married a Russian engineer and had left the U.S. with him to join the Russian “workers’ paradise.” For a while, her letters from the Soviet Union arrived regularly. Then, in 1938, the letters stopped.
Her family made efforts to find out what had happened to her and her husband. There was never a question that she had begun to doubt Russian communism. She was a devotée.
Yet she had disappeared. Her family never heard from her or about her again. No one could imagine what had happened until word leaked out about the number of people whom Stalin had had executed in the late 1930s. The total, my mother said, was thought to be around a million.
Wikipedia says this:
Official figures put the total number of documentable executions during the years 1937 and 1938 at 681,692, in addition to 136,520 deaths in the Gulag; whereas the total estimate of deaths brought about by Soviet repression during the Great Purge ranges from 950,000 to 1.2 million, which includes executions, deaths in detention and those who died shortly after being released from the Gulag, as a result of their treatment therein.
I think about this woman — whose name I don’t recall — whenever I read about the purge or about the mass graves into which Stalin had all those bodies dumped. So that’s why I began to read, “He Found One Of Stalin’s Mass Graves. Now He’s In Jail,” by Andrew Higgins, the Times’ Moscow bureau chief.
Here’s how the story begins. Pay attention to the last paragraph in this excerpt:
SANDARMOKH, Russia — The day began, like many others in her childhood years, with hours of tramping through an insect-infested forest with the family dog while her eccentric father, Yuri Dmitriev, wandered off to hunt in vain for corpses buried among the trees.
On that day more than 20 years ago, however, Mr. Dmitriev, an amateur but very determined historian, finally found the gruesome prize he had long been searching for — burial mounds containing the remains of political prisoners executed by Stalin’s secret police.
“Everything started here,” said Mr. Dmitriev’s 35-year-old daughter, Katerina Klodt, during a recent visit to the forest at Sandarmokh in Karelia, a peninsula in northern Russia. “My dad’s work has clearly made some people very uncomfortable.”
Mr. Dmitriev is now in jail, awaiting trial on what his family, friends and supporters dismiss as blatantly fabricated charges of pedophilia, an accusation that has frequently been used to discredit and silence voices the Russian authorities do not like.
OK, I didn’t trust you’d pay particular attention so I bolded it.
It seems clear to me that the lazy Russian technique of accusing “enemies” of pedophilia has not disappeared from Putin’s playbook and that pedophilia kompromat has been avidly taken up by Republican filthy tricksters.
I’m thinking it’s one more suggestion of collusion between Putin and the stupid, eager Trump — Putin’s perfect pawn — along with the thoroughly Trumpetized GOP as collateral beneficiaries.
Ugh, these are horrible people, every single one of them. But we don’t need mass forest graves to bury literal bodies. We only need one election to bury them metaphorically.