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Nevsky is the Name of Russia

Aleksandr Nevsky, 1220?-1263

The Name of Russia votes are in.  The project, which started on June 12, allowed voters to decide who are the most important political, cultural, and historical figures. According to the Name of Russia website, 44,569,665 people voted.  Here are the top ten Heroes of Russia:

1. Aleksandr Nevsky 2,011,766 votes.

The great Novgorodian prince who successfully repelled German and Swedish invaders in the 13th century.  Could there be a better indicator of the Russian political unconscious? Once again Russia feels embattled by Western invaders and its people look for a defender of nationality (even before nationalism and Russia as a unified political entity existed) by going old school.

2. Aleksandr Pushkin 1,781,863 votes.
3. Fedor Dostoevskii 1,678,083 votes.
4. Peter I 1,511,367 votes
5. Vladimir Lenin 1,356,281 votes
6. Aleksandr Suvorov 1,271,345 votes
7. Catherine II 1,365,784 votes
8. Ivan IV 1,216,812 votes
9. Petr Stolypin 1,165,377 votes
10. Aleksandr II 1,066,896 votes
11. Dmitrii Mendeleev 1,044,897 votes
12. Iosif Stalin 1,039,488

Update: Well, the Name of Russia was not without controversy. Especially when it came to Comrade Stalin’s place on the list.  Organizers, human rights activists and intellectuals freaked when Stalin quickly shot to the top spot when voting began. The dictator fell from his perch only after a campaign to boost Nicholas II, reports the Wall Street Journal.  But Stalin, tenacious in memory as he was in life, still hung around in second place. That is until the Name of Russia organizers practiced some Stalinism of their own:

Stalin kept his high position, dismaying human-rights activists and delighting Russia’s enfeebled Communist party.

That changed Wednesday when organizers announced the 12 finalists, from an original list of 500. They said Stalin had fallen from second to twelfth place after they had “adjusted” his tally because of what they called “an information war” by malicious hackers. In mid-August, the contest’s site gave Stalin just over two million votes; Wednesday he had just over one million.

One of the organizers, Alexander Lyubimov, told reporters that hackers chose Stalin as a mascot to stir up trouble.

“It caused a reaction in the press, the intelligentsia sighed, and the international media said that the Russian people had chosen Stalin,” as their favorite figure, he said. “Obviously hackers liked this.”

With those “just over two million” votes would have put Stalin second or maybe first.  In the end, Stalin still made the cut of the Twelve Heroes of Russia by coming in twelfth place.

As Comrade Stalin was famous for saying, “The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do.” Indeed.

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