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Putin: Lenin to Blame for Soviet Union Collapse

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday Soviet revolutionary Vladimir Lenin and his flow of thought led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — During a meeting of the Presidential Council for Science and Education in the Kremlin, one of the participants quoted a work by Russian writer Boris Pasternak, analyzing Lenin's revolution and his ability to manage his flow of thought.

"Controlling the flow of thought is the right thing, but it is necessary that this thought led to correct results, not like in the case of Vladimir Iliyich [Lenin]. Because this thought in the end led to the collapse of the Soviet Union…There were many thoughts, autonomization and so on. They put a nuclear bomb under the building which is called Russia, and it exploded. We did not need a world revolution. That’s what the thought was," Putin said at the meeting.

Vladimir Ulyanov, better known as Lenin, was a Russian revolutionary and the leader of the Bolshevik party and of the October Revolution. He was the first leader of the USSR and the government that took over Russia in 1917.

Vladimir Ulyanov
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Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin)
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Vladimir Lenin, Vladimir Putin
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  • rogertidy
    The collapse of the Soviet Union was not inevitable. A reformed Soviet Union could still be in existence if the coup attempt against Gorbachev, which ultimately brought Yeltsin to power, had not happened. Lenin created the Soviet Union. It was Yeltsin who destroyed it, plunging Russia into chaos and weakening its standing in the international community. The Soviet Union cannot be recreated, but at least Putin has given Russia back its pride and prestige.
  • michael
    I would very much like to read what the president said in Russian.
  • karlof1
    I beg to differ with Putin's historical interpretation about the need for a world revolution. Does he believe that today's geopolitical situation would be any different sans Lenin and the USSR? What if the Socialists had been successful in Germany and succeeded in changing the socio-economic direction of Europe thus negating the rise of Hitler? And I can describe many more historical What Ifs? that would have changed the direction of history and thus today's context.
  • terryjohnodgers
    Russia was ripe for revolution. The feudal system still in place at the start of the Great War was a breeding ground of contempt for the elite who controlled Russia. Lenin was given safe passage and much money to travel through Germany to Russia to instigate his revolution - who gave him this and for what purpose were they hoping to achieve?
  • Porkbelly Porkerpig
    Socialism is like Chemotherapy. The cure is worse than the disease.
  • ivanwa88
    Go and ask the survivors and lets see what they say! Socialism is the glue that bonds it is both a spiritual force as well as being a treatment for schizophrenia of the landlords and bankers. Socialism is a safeguard to limiting the chronic abuse of the working class. Your classic example is US today. No unions no socialism and the people have been horribly neglected because they can! there are no safeguards in place to stop the abuse.
  • JoyInStruggle
    I usually agree with Putin, but here, he is wrong. He is trying too hard to appease the fascists and war-addicts in the "West". I find his comment very superficial. It's Lenin who pulled Russia out of WW I, it's Lenin who ended that vast pointless slaughter, it's Lenin who led the idealistic Bolsheviks in a practical direction, it's Lenin who won the Civil War, it's Lenin who created NEP, its Lenin who tried to put Russia on a sound economic footing, it's Lenin who defeated nationalism and taught internationalism, it's Lenin who taught us to oppose colonialism, it's Lenin who promoted rights for women and rights for labor, and it's Lenin who saw through the lies of the "West".
  • ivanwa88
    Lenin embodied the spirit of Russia his strength of belief and iron will forged the resolute unbreakable Russian psyche that is still feared by the West to this day. Putin has given that spirit a new surge of life! for which we are all eternally grateful. In saying that the pride of mother Russia is now beyond any individual it is cast in granite and belongs to whomever seeks its power. Without Lenin's legacy Putin would not have the power to succeed. They are both inseparable as the blood of Russia flows through their veins as one entirety the power of struggle and achievement of a humble and just Mother Russia.
  • in reply toivanwa88(Show commentHide comment)
    ivanwa88, Exactly right. No one is standing up for the majority.
  • cshames
    Putin and others in the Soviet leadership made a massive miscalculation that Russia is paying very dearly for. They believed that once Soviet communism was laid to rest the world would become one big happy family of capitalist states competing in a collegial manner. Perhaps if Putin had read Lenin's work on imperialism he would have understood that this could never happen. Lenin also questioned whether a capitalist state would have the strength to withstand the pressures from imperialism, since the capitalist class ultimately is loyal to capital, not to their own nation. We shall see. In the meantime it appears Putin's understanding of his own country's history is a little faulty.
  • ivanwa88
    Putin is still learning, his forte is the art of International diplomacy a completely different species of fish to Lenin who like Putin have equal measure of strength belief and courage. Lenin was the father of Russia his intellectualism was so far advanced beyond all but a handful of great minds. He also knew how to interpret and deliver his intelligent observations of reality and what was required for a positive future for Russia. Each was ready in their respective eras to lead their nation. Lenin's task required the reorganisation of the pathway to a future with social and Industrial balances and a collective way to forge the new nation and form its real identity. Putin's task was one of reinvigorating Lenin's legacy in the new world challenges of the nuclear age. Who was the greater? that comparison can never be made as Putin's finest hour is yet in the making. Without question Russia is Lenin with Putin at the helm in a fierce storm getting through in the finest tradition of Russian strength courage and capability.
  • slavixtube
    This article misinterprets what Putin said.
    Putin did not blame Lenin for USSR collapse, but for breakup into separate countries what used be one country - Russian empire, which on Lenin's initiative was transformed into a union of republics. (USSR -Union of Soviet Socialist Republics).
  • Baybars in reply toPorkbelly Porkerpig(Show commentHide comment)
    Porkbelly Porkerpig, Everything can look good on paper but if it is not executed correctly then even the best laid plans can go astray. Lenin-style communism should not be confused with the ideal of non-market socialism. Even though Lenin initially tried to distance his country from the capitalists, he was slowly drawn back into market-socialism to prevent the total downfall of the country. Western powers, looking to demonize Lenin gave us the 'commie' and 'red scare' and McCarthy, the ugliness of that period still resonating in western dreams.
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