New Year is coming and for many post-Soviet countries this holiday has a distinct symbol – gift-giving smiley bearded man in a red fur coat, called Ded Moroz.
However, only few people know of his “creator”, who in 1937 reimagined traditional Christmas characters to create a secular Soviet Ded Moroz – high-ranking communist party member Pavel Postyshev.
Postyshev was a zealous follower of Stalin and a promoter of mass purges, which he enforced under the guise of “class war”.
This man was known for his manic desire to “conquer the enemies of the regime”, especially trotskists, and for encouraging anonymous complaints to secret services.
His near lack of education did not stop him from building a cult around his persona, with many streets and even towns named after him.
While in the end Postyshev was purged by the regime he so fervently supported in 1938, Ded Moroz with all his Soviet baggage, unfortunately, lives on.