People visit an exhibition dedicated to the former Communist leader and KGB head, Yuri Andropov, in Moscow, on July 6, 2014. AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV
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Amid a public mood of nostalgia for a vanished Soviet empire, Russia is marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Soviet leader v with exhibitions and documentaries that gloss over his harsh treatment of dissidents.President Vladimir Putin lionised Andropov, who died in 1984, as "a man of talent with great abilities" in a message read out at the opening of a new exhibition dedicated to the late Soviet leader and former head of the KGB secret service. The exhibition's organisers made no attempt to question Andropov's role in waging a harsh campaign against those who disagreed with Soviet ideology -- or his controversial decision in 1983 to order the shooting down of a Korean airliner after it strayed into Soviet airspace, killing all 269 on board.The exhibition also highlights Andropov's role in sending Soviet tanks to crush the 1956 anti-communist rebellion in Budapest when he was Soviet ambassador to Hungary and the period between 1967 and 1982 when he headed the KGB.
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