Communist party members lay flowers at Stalins grave Natalia Kolesnikova/Getty Images

De Sovjet-Unie is definitief dood

MOSKOU – Dit Nieuwjaar markeert de 25e verjaardag van de formele ontbinding van de Sovjet-Unie. Maar in plaats van dit feit te vieren, zijn veel Russen – en sommige mensen in het Westen – ambivalent over deze uitkomst.

De Russische president Vladimir Poetin leidt de schare twijfelaars. Hij liet in 2005 weten hoe hij dacht over de desintegratie van de Sovjet-Unie, toen hij dat “een grote geopolitieke tragedie van de 20e eeuw” noemde. En sommigen in het Westen zien de nieuwe staten die uit de puinhopen tevoorschijn zijn gekomen – Oekraïne en de Baltische republieken, met name – als de voornaamste bron van het Russische ressentiment en revanchisme in de wereld van na de Koude Oorlog.

Deze twijfels staan in scherp contrast met de consensus die vele jaren na de val van het communisme in Europa in 1989-1991 de boventoon voerde. Het werd alom aanvaard dat het einde van de Koude Oorlog niet alleen de bevrijding van Midden- en Oost-Europa betekende, maar ook de triomf van liberale ideeën.

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