Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

MOSCOW MAILBAG: Suicide Bombs, Korea And Statuesque Soviets




From Fukuoka, Japan, Fumito Hokamura wrote to express his hopes for peace in Chechnya and ask how I felt about the conflict.


The struggle in Chechnya has entered a new stage, featuring attacks by trucks loaded with explosives and driven by fanatics who die in the blast. In just one case, the kamikaze driver crashed through the gates and into the wall of a building where policemen from Chelyabinsk, Ural Mountains, were quartered, killing


40 and wounding 74.


To those who think that talks could end these terrorist acts, let me just note that Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov recently said that he has no control over the so-called field commanders. They do not obey him.There is hope that the new head of the Chechen administration, Mufti Akhmad Hadji Kadyrov, may help in combating this new fanaticism.


John Devon of Pasadena, California, wanted to know about the state of relations between North Korea and Russia in the light of the North-South Korea summit and President Vladimir Putin's visit to North Korea.


We saw on TV the leaders of the two Koreas hugging and exchanging greetings f a very friendly exchange between two nations that are diametrically opposed politically. I feel North Korea is beginning to move away from isolationism and that it wants contacts with Europe. The general feeling is that we can expect an improvement of relations with a country where internal conditions are abominable. Putin's visit will be an impetus to better relations.


Tony Anderson of New York, asked why, judging from television footage, all Russian cities seem to have statues of Lenin in their main squares.


I can't understand this either. We have condemned the totalitarian system, yet its symbols are still there. The camps, the shootings began under Lenin. It was he who ordered several thousand clergymen shot. Today there are no Stalin statues, but in the Moscow region alone there are 20,000 Lenin statues.


Several months ago they tried to rehabilitate Beria, Stalin's chief butcher. The appeal was rejected. Then Nikolai Kharitonov, the head of the Agro-Industrial group in the State Duma, raised the question of restoring Felix Dzerzhinsky's statue on Lubyanskaya Ploshchad, outside the building of the former KGB. Dzerzhinsky was the founding father of that dreaded security body. Can you imagine the Bundestag in Germany voting to put up Himmler's statue in Berlin? Or thousands of Hitler's statues decorating Germany today?


On Lubyanskaya Ploshchad there is a stone brought from one of the gulags in memory of the 40 million who fell victim to the repressions of the totalitarian system. That stone is sacred to many people in this country.


Joe Adamov hosts "Moscow Mailbag" on the Voice of Russia.