Joseph stalin

Xi Jinping is acting like Stalin

The General Secretary of China’s Communist Party is a different kind of leader. Now in his third five-year term, Xi Jinping believes that time is running out for him to secure his legacy as Mao Zedong’s true successor. He spent a decade dismantling the technocracy and politburo consensus government ushered in by Deng Xiaoping after Mao’s death, rolled back the authority of local party nomenklatura in favour of more centralised control from Beijing, and worked to subordinate China’s economy to the Communist Party’s (meaning Xi’s) political priorities. In abandoning the ‘to get rich is glorious’ social contract of the post-Tiananmen Square era, Xi has come to bury Deng and not

Why Russians celebrate monsters

Nobody knows how long people live in Dzerzhinsk – life expectancy statistics for the Russian city, 250 miles east of Moscow, aren’t released to the public. In the days of the Soviet Union, it was closed to outsiders and left off official maps, but those in neighbouring Nizhny Novgorod joked that residents must have purple skin and second heads because of the emissions from its secretive chemical weapons plants. In recent years, however, it has gained notoriety as one of the most polluted places on the planet, with a study after the fall of the Iron Curtain reporting locals usually died in their mid-forties. ‘You can make more money here