A Russian Sanctified

Nostalgia in Russia, it appears, has no bounds. Brought on by current economic troubles, Russian fondness for the "good old days" of communism is well documented. But that's not the end of it.

The Russian Orthodox Church may canonize Russia's last czar, Nicholas II - perhaps by Christmas, 1998. This St. Nicholas, however, has been popular only since communism fell. Far from jolly or well-liked in his day, the bungling czar was deposed by his people in 1917, then executed by the Bolsheviks. But Nicholas always said the real Russian people (not the meddlesome revolutionaries) loved him. Now, it seems, he was just 80 years early.

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