As the Kremlin stokes Russian dreads of the West, some young people long for what they think they know about the despot who insured them through World War II.”>

MOSCOW The recent anniversary of the day Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, June 22, was the occasion for thousands of modern-day Communist Party members to take to the streets.

This time, the enemy they marched against was not the Nazis, they declared, it is NATO. But the man there is a desire to was currently leading them is Joseph Stalin.

In the middle of the demo, a big flag proved the Soviet leader, famous for his moustache and his brutality, knocking down chairperson Barack Obama. NATO is the fascism of the 21 st century, the banner declared. As the socialist demonstrators passed by the Bolshoi Theater, they waved red flag and chanted: No to the war! No to NATO!

Although that basic sentiment follows the party line of current Russian President Vladimir Putin, it seems that Putinism simply isnt as attractive for these partisans as is their idealized notion of Stalinism, especially at a time when hatreds with the West are on the rise.

NATOs plan to station up to 4,000 troops in Eastern Europe, and the participation of thousands of American troops in military exercises in Poland this week, frightens many Russians.

Putin stoked those dreads, advising his army commanders to get ready: NATO is strengthening its aggressive rhetoric and its aggressive actions near our own borders. In these conditions, we are duty-bound to pay special attention to solving the task of strengthening the combat defenses of our country, he declared.

Hearing such statements, 19 -year-old Sergei Mikhailov told The Daily Beast: The war is back, its reala war with NATO could happen and just like in 1941 marriage “re going to have to” volunteer, go and give our lives to our countrys defense.

Russia needs a really strong commander, said Mikhailov, and in his view Putin is just not as strong as Stalin was.

Gennadi Zyuganov, leader the communist party( KPRF) in the lower house of the members of parliament, the State Duma, called on the young demonstrators to take the best from your courageous parents and grandfathers who defended our independent power.

Zyuganov, who has been leading Russias communists for 21 years, is trying to take the mantle of anti-Western patriotism away from Putins United Russia party ahead of legisative elections in September. The KPRF hope to win 226 seats, up from 93, and enough to kind a majority.

That is within the realm of prospect. United Russias approval rating has fallen lately from 42 percentage to 35 percentage, and by October, when the looming economic crisis is expected to be knocking on everybodys door, the communists might well turn out more voters than anybody expected a year ago.

Neo-Stalinist nostalgia is part of this trend.

The Party, as it used to be called, has for a long time lacked young activists. Some 70 percent of its members are 30 years old or older. So KPRF leaders have been putting on what might be called a Stalinist charm offensive. They praise the glorious power of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and deny that during the rule of Lenin and Stalin the NKVD and KGB security services killed millions of innocent people in prisons and labor camps.

Indeed, KPRF activists have pushed the Kremlin to stop using the words victims of Stalins repressions in history classes in Russian schools.

These accusations against Stalin serve the Wests interests, State Duma Deputy Vadim Soloviev, one of KPRF leaders, told The Daily Beast. NATO countries fear Stalins power. They are terrified that Russia might once again turn into an almighty ogre and beat them.

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