Russian guards order Stalin's police-style coats (updated)

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June 9, 2011, 8:04 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Associated Press

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, right, listens to reporting Moscow Police Chief Vladimir Kolokoltsev while visiting Moscow police headquarters in Moscow, Monday, May 23, 2011.
© AP

MOSCOW (AP) — The long black leather coats that struck fear into Soviet citizens as part of the ominous dress code for Stalin's secret police appear to be making a comeback. The security forces who guard President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin are holding a state tender for 60 such coats and 60 shorter jackets.

The website for state tenders showed the Federal Guards Service order is worth 3 million rubles ($108,000). The tender closes June 15.

The Kremlin and security forces couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Stalin's secret police, named NKVD after its Russian acronym, was primarily responsible for carrying out the dictator's repression and purges of the 1930s.

Its officers executed hundreds of thousands of people and ran labor camps.

The image of the dark garment invokes a deep trepidation in many Russians, who recall — some firsthand — accounts of neighbors vanishing after Stalin's henchmen came knocking.

Bringing the coats back into official use would fit into a wider push by Russian authorities to reintroduce imagery associated with Stalin.

In recent years, old Soviet national anthem lyrics praising Stalin were restored to a rotunda in a Moscow subway station.

His portrait has also been put on public buses in St. Petersburg and the Urals city of Yekaterinburg.

Rights activists have voiced concern that he is being quietly rehabilitated as memories of his reign of terror fade.
The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively debate. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. If you think that a posted comment violates these standards, please flag it and alert us. We will take steps to block violators.
Anonymous June 9, 2011, 8:11 p.m.    

can recreating the GULAG be far off in the future?

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Anonymous June 9, 2011, 10:27 p.m.    

Долче і Ковбаська?

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Anonymous June 11, 2011, 1:41 p.m.    

There is no need to 'recreatign the GULAGS' there are THERE. It is a matter of opening the dates and march the russian slaves there - it will take only a short while. Russians, of course, will follow the orders - truly a nation of slaves...

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Anonymous June 9, 2011, 9:33 p.m.    

Isn't nostalgia wonderful? Morons!

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