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Russia's State Duma appoints an avowed Stalinist to head its Culture Committee

Source: Meduza

The State Duma has formally appointed United Russia deputy Elena Yampolskaya to replace Stanislav Govorukhin, who died on June 14, as chairperson of the Committee on Culture. The chief editor of the newspaper Kultura, Yampolskaya is infamous for her statements in support of Joseph Stalin and Russia’s ban on so-called “gay propaganda.”

Here are a few of her more noteworthy public comments over the years:

  • On God and Stalin: “There are two forces that can keep Russia from the abyss: the first is called God, and the second is Stalin.” (February 2007)
  • On nationalism: “Nationalism is more than economics, politics, and social injustice. It’s the answer of the body and soul to the imposed erasure of borders and the globalization of our more than intimate (our genetic) space.” (January 2011)
  • On homosexuality: “You know, the noticeable growth in our readership this last summer is due to the fact that Kultura supported the law banning gay propaganda.” (October 2013)
  • On pension reform: “Early retirement isn’t something sacred for us. For many — not for everyone, of course — but for many, this isn’t some urgent need, but a matter of habit, in the same zone as psychological comfort — and only psychological.” (July 2018)

Yampolskaya has served in the Duma since 2016. She was previously the first deputy chairperson of the Committee on Information Policy, Information Technology, and Communications.