Stephen Sestanovich is a professor of international diplomacy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
If you want to know what might keep Vladimir Putin from a good night’s sleep after his expected landslide reelection as president of Russia on Sunday, there’s no better place to start than Armando Iannucci’s satirical film, “The Death of Stalin,” which has just opened in Washington. It was banned in Russia for what the minister of culture called “insulting mockery of the Soviet past.” But don’t be misled. If you were president of Russia you’d want this movie banned not for its ideas about Joseph Stalin but for the ideas it may give people about you. It’s an inventory of Putin’s nightmares as he embarks on a new term.
Imagine Putin’s staff nervously summarizing “The Death of Stalin” for him. The
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