“As a person born in 1937, I want to warn you”

“As a person born in 1937, I want to warn you”

A group of prominent Russian scientists criticized interview of the Director of FSB Alexander Bortnikov, which he gave on the eve of the Day of worker of security agencies. Academicians and corresponding members of the RAS felt that in this text the head of the security services justifies the Stalinist repressions that were not told about numerous victims among ordinary citizens. In the letter they resemble, “how many great scientists were destroyed in the heyday of his activities,” and urge the public to join their concern.

An open letter to scientists on Friday gave the “b” academician Sergei Stishov, a renowned physicist, the head of Troitsk scientific center of RAS. According to him, the appeal was written after “the Russian newspaper” has published interview of the head of the FSB Alexander Bortnikov. The conversation was dedicated to the centenary of the all-Russian extraordinary Commission, the successor to which is the FSB.

In the beginning of the interview the FSB chief warns he wants “to place necessary accents and to respond to some controversial issues” to “objectively assess the past.” Answering the question about the repressions of the 1930-ies, Alexander Bortnikov focused on the fate of the security officers themselves: he recalled that on 22 618 employees of the security organs themselves become victims of repression.

“Their place was occupied by the people (…) ready for a career in the execution of any instructions. This is partly linked to “excesses” in the NKVD on the ground”, — said Mr. Bortnikov.

However, he noted that security officers really struggled with the real “conspirators”, as well as representatives of the party nomenklatura, “mired in corruption, in arbitrariness and lynching.”

In an interview, he talked about the fate of ordinary citizens, which are estimated by modern historians, were the majority among the victims of Stalinist repression.

“When I read an interview where Mr. Bortnikov says that the majority of decisions in the 1930s were the case… That through repression, the country punished the bad security officers and party officials bad… I wanted to ask: why punish scientists? — said “Kommersant” Sergei Stishov.— Why punish artists, artists? Why punish the peasants, workers, ordinary citizens?” Mr. Stishov appealed to colleagues in the scientific “Club on 1 July” (established in 2013, brings together academics who disagree with the reform of the RAS. “B”) with a proposal to respond to the interview with the head of the FSB.