But, as we can see, even this channel is not considered absolutely safe. The set of candidates for monumental perpetuation offered to Muscovites – the poll strongly resembles the choice before which the girl Natasha, the heroine of the immortal comedy “Foundling”, was put: “Tell me, little one, what do you want: to have your head torn off or to go to the country?” In short, not shortlisting, but shortlisting it.
“At the meeting, it was decided to propose two options for the survey, which received the greatest support in the information field, among the expert community and public figures,” the Council of the Public Chamber of Moscow explains its decision, without bothering with any details. Meanwhile, the details are, as always, the most important thing. How, I would like to know, Alexander Yaroslavich, who was announced to participate in this race at the last moment, managed to bypass those who “went to the start” much earlier?
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was one of the first alternative candidates to fill the “holy place” that was empty after the overthrow of the statue of Dzerzhinsky. This was proposed, in particular, by Mstislav Rostropovich, and now this option also has its supporters. The logic is obvious here. Solzhenitsyn, firstly, is the most famous and, perhaps, the most profound, fundamental exposer of the Soviet machine of political repression, the levers of which, as you know, were here, on Lubyanka Square.
Secondly, the main milestones in the life of the writer are associated with the Lubyanka. Here, in the internal prison of the NKVD, he spent the first months after his first arrest – from February to July 1945. Here, in 1974, the idea arose of his “expulsion from the Soviet Union.” It belonged to the then chairman of the KGB of the USSR, Yuri Andropov.
Andropov is another rejected option. Although he probably has more supporters than Solzhenitsyn. Among them is Mikhail Shvydkoi, former minister of culture, special presidential envoy for international cultural cooperation. Mikhail Efimovich explained his preference by the fact that: a) Andropov “played a greater role in the life of this place than Dzerzhinsky”; b) we need a figure “who will be understandable and uniting for the whole society.”
Well, about the unifying effect of the monument, Shvydkoy, perhaps, got a little excited. The living Andropov did it well with the consolidation of society: the conversation with the “renegades” was short at that time – either prison or exile awaited those who persisted. And the monumental Andropov can, what good, make an even greater split. But you can’t argue with the fact that Yuri Vladimirovich played a huge role in “the life of this place”: he spent 15 years as the head of the “office” longer than any of his predecessors and successors – 15 years.
Another often named candidate, Ivan III, the creator of the independent Russian state (it was during his reign that Moscow finally ceased subordination to the Horde) also played a significant role “in the life of the place”. It was thanks to Ivan III that the square got its current name. True, under circumstances that the supporters of this option would probably prefer not to recall today. The Novgorodians, who were resettled to Moscow by order of the Grand Duke after the defeat of the republic, began to call this area Lubyanka. In memory of Lubyanitsa Street (aka Lubyanka) in the conquered Veliky Novgorod.
In a word, in this case, associations are born, to put it mildly, not only positive. But if the authorities have decided to play democracy, then they must be consistent and follow the rules of the game to the end. Announce the entire list – and let the people choose.
Why was it not done? The obvious answer is that the authorities figure out who would have won if the events were allowed to take their course. And this outcome does not suit her at all.
Felix Dzerzhinsky would be the winner with a very high probability. This candidate has been “untwisted” for so long and so actively that whatever the shortlist, it was a choice between Dzerzhinsky and “anyone else.” The more “others” there were, the more they would spoil, “drown” each other. And all the more triumphant in the end would have been the victory of “Iron Felix”.
And the authorities could not have attributed this Victoria to their own account. Whoever says anything about this, this is not the hero of her novel. First of all, it was a triumph of the communists, who, moreover, do not go to a fortune-teller, they would present it as a victory over the government. After all, the struggle for the return of Dzerzhinsky to the Lubyanka was started by the Russian left back in the “dashing 1990s”, and all these years the authorities rather interfered with than helped them. A referendum on this issue, for example, did not allow to be held.
It is unlikely that the authorities plan to make such a gift, albeit a nominal one, to the opposition. And the very figure of Dzerzhinsky from the point of view of the current state ideology – well, more precisely, attempts to create it – is more than dubious. The statesman from Felix Edmundovich is still the same: he devoted most of his life not to strengthening, but, on the contrary, to crushing the sovereign foundations.
Dzerzhinsky also spent a significant part of the post-revolutionary period of his biography in opposition. For example, Stalin said about him (speech at an expanded meeting of the military council under the USSR People’s Commissar of Defense, June 2, 1937): “Dzerzhinsky voted for Trotsky, not only voted, but openly supported Trotsky under Lenin against Lenin … It was a very active Trotskyist, and he wanted to raise the entire GPU to defend Trotsky. He failed. “
If the “iron Felix” had survived until 1937, it would hardly have survived. Nevertheless, for the liberal part of society, he is primarily the organizer of the “red terror”. And it would be good only for the liberals: the Russian Orthodox Church is also categorically against Dzerzhinsky’s comeback. In general, wherever you throw – everywhere a wedge. No political points for power, no social consolidation. One headache.
In short, it was necessary to urgently save the situation. Who was the first to shout “Eureka” is not known for certain, but you can more or less accurately name the time when the discovery was made: 2008. It was then that Alexander Nevsky first grappled with the Bolshevik leaders, and with the most important ones. We are talking about the television project “Name of Russia”.
For a long time, Stalin was in the lead in this championship of popular sympathy, then Lenin took the lead. And then the previous results were canceled, and Alexander Nevsky was declared the winner. Doubts about the objectivity of the judges arose then among many, but there were practically no questions about the figure of the “champion” himself.
Something suggests that the story of the election of the monument at Lubyanka will follow a similar scenario. The older the historical figure, the less controversy it causes among contemporaries, therefore, Alexander Yaroslavovich, no doubt, will not spoil the furrows. Although, of course, he will not plow deeply. This figure is too far from modern political realities to count on a serious propaganda effect. But there is no time for fat.
Of course, Nevsky is far from the limit in terms of hypoallergenicity. Vladimir the Baptist, for example, would be even more impeccable in this respect. But the monument to Vladimir is already in the capital: the fifth year has gone, as it stands on Borovitskaya Square.
By the way, no one has asked for a long time what relation he has to this place and Moscow in general. And not because such questions are inappropriate. It’s just that no one cares about Vladimir for a long time.
See also: Bird Felix: Dzerzhinsky returns the faith of Russians in miracles to the Lubyanka