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Lenin & the USA, Pripyat (Chernobyl), Ukraine | by Ferry Vermeer
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Lenin & the USA, Pripyat (Chernobyl), Ukraine

I was so excited to find this in the totally abandoned Palace of Culture in Pripyat, the town built nearby to shelter the employees of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Not very interesting in terms of colors, composition and other photographical characteristics, but very interesting, at least to me, for its historical value. The subject of the book with the blue cover is the "force of fast expansion" in the foreign policy of the USA, paying attention to the country's alleged subversive activities. Vladimir Ilich Lenin was captured with a few of his comrades by an unknown photographer. With Lenin's death more than sixty years prior to the Chernobyl disaster, this photo might highlight two important documents in the history of the collapsed Soviet Union.


I would like to thank my beloved Russian friend Lyudmila Izmaylova for her help with the translation of the book's title, clarifying its subject, and confirming my thoughts that I had recognized Lenin. Lyudmila lives in Krasnogorsk, a town adjacent to the northwestern boundary of Moscow, and she takes wonderful photos both in Krasnogorsk and Moscow.


"Recent concern about the resurgence of 'militaristic right-wing forces' in the United States and the policy intentions of the Carter White House is unquestionably genuine. After the heady days of the Nixon-Kissinger administration developments in Soviet-American relations since early 1975 have undoubtedly been dissapointing and worrisome. Nonetheless, the outlook of the Soviet Amerikanisty is not at all pessimistic. In fact, especially on the long run, they seem remarkably hopeful. (...) Current Soviet literature on détente assumes that there is a direct linkage between domestic and foreign politics, that, in the words of an artical in Pravda (very influential newspapers, literally meaning 'truth'), "the state of international relations has always influenced the development of internal processes." The author suggests, more particularly, that the "state of international relations" affects the rival tendencies in American politics in strikingly different ways. He writes: "international tension means that imperialist reaction, citing an external 'communist' threat, has an opportunity to give militarism a free reign, to surpress the workers' movement more openly and mercilessly, to institute a state of emergency in order to take reprisals against 'subversive' elements, and to flout elementary democratic rights. (...) That is why the easing, and even better the removal, of tension in the world arena knocks out of the hands of reaction the main key to 'turning the screws' and deceiving the working people. (...) Détente expands considerably the opportunities for the forces of (...) liberation to oppose imperialist pressure and use their growing political potential."


Morton Schwartz, Soviet perceptions of the United States, 1978, Berkely, Los Angeles, London, p. 173

- Didn't have the time to read the book shown above, nor I could read it, so I hope that the book quoted above explains more or less the same issues.


"As influential as he was in life, Lenin may have been more so in death. Over 100 million have lined up to view his mummified body. His memory has been used to support every change in Soviet policy and every new regime since his death. His theories inspired the successful revolutions of Fidel Castro, Mao Zedong, and Ho Chi Minh; as well as countless other revolutionaries in countries full of oppressed and powerless people."


Vladimir Lenin; voice of revolution, A&E Biography, 2005, ASIN B000AABKX6

- Hard to summarize Lenin's legacy in a few sentences, particularly in terms of foreign relations, but this might be a good attempt.

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Taken on September 18, 2009