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Last October, with the endorsement of Russia's Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky, the country's first-ever monument to Ivan the Terrible was unveiled in the city of Orel. A month later, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the leader of the ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, called for Lenin Avenue in Moscow to be renamed Ivan the Terrible Highway. Most historians agree that Ivan lived up to his name; not only did he kill his son and other relatives, he also ordered the oprichnina, the state-led purges that terrorized Russia from 1565 to 1572 . Since the mid-2000s, Russia's Eurasia Party – a political movement led by the pro-fascist mystic Alexander Dugin – has moved to position Ivan as the best incarnation of an "authentic" Russian tradition: authoritarian monarchy.Ivan the Terrible is not the only medieval vestige being revived in Russia.Even Russian officials speak approvingly of modern slavery. Putin's tacit support for the Eurasian vision of a neomedieval Russia invokes the historical memory of Stalinism.
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