The President of Russia’s Twitter account is buzzing with the unveiling of a monument dedicated to Sergei Mikhalkov, the undercover KGB agent who penned the Soviet anthem for Stalin:
As a 29-year-old in 1942, Mikhalkov’s work drew the attention of the Soviet Union‘s leader Joseph Stalin, who commissioned him to write lyrics for a new national anthem. At the time, the country was deeply embroiled in World War II and Stalin wanted a Russian theme for the national anthem, to replace the Internationale.
Mikhalkov penned words to accompany a musical score by the composer Alexander Alexandrov (1883–1946) that became known as National Anthem of the Soviet Union. The new anthem was presented to Stalin in the summer of 1943 and was introduced as the country’s new anthem on January 1, 1944.
On the death of Stalin in 1953, the lyrics, which mentioned him by name, were discarded during the process of destalinization and the anthem continued to be used without words. Mikhalkov wrote new lyrics in 1970, but they were not submitted to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet until May 27, 1977. The new lyrics, which removed any reference to Stalin, were approved on September 1 and were made official with the printing of the new Soviet Constitution in October 1977.
…Use of the Soviet anthem, with Mikhalkov’s lyrics, continued until 1991, when it was retired by President Boris Yeltsin after the USSR disintegrated. However, whenVladimir Putin took over from Yeltsin in 2000, he began to clamor for a restoration of Alexandrov’s music in place of Yeltsin’s choice.
Comments on the post were positive in nature, including this one, a possible Mikhalkov lyric, translated from the Russian via Google:
Sleeps Moscow. In the capital the night
At this late hour of
Only Stalin could not sleep
– Stalin thinks about us.
And for Putin, that anthem of disinformation is a peaceful thought, indeed. Perfect for the bucolic setting of one of the many Russian parks designed to placate the nation’s stifled intelligentsia.