It was me, I talked about how Malenkov feels the pain of the common man and how Ian Kershaw begins his book by humanising Hitler showing him as someone who loves Eva and likes vinyl discs.Just some thoughts on this:
I don't remember if it was posted on the old TNO thread, or over on the sub-Reddit, but I do recall someone commenting that one of the concepts that TNO had deconstructed was that 'Only crazy people are evil'. On a similar vein, I honestly don't mind the idea of TNO Sablin always being a wholesome and morally upstanding person at his core, since thematically, he can be used to deconstruct/examine yet another common trope: That only bad people end up becoming tyrants. Or that the only problem with dictatorships is that you cannot get the right person in power.
So, with Sablin, if I am in charge of a rework and rewrite, the theme of the story arc would be him being a genuinely idealistic, incorruptible, and all around wholesome guy that is also an aspiring communist dictator that idolizes Lenin, having 'drank the kool aid' ideologically, so to speak. With his character development being an examination on the question on if such a thing as a wholesome Leninist dictator exist (Answer: NO). With Sablin having to make a choice on if he is going to stop being wholesome, or stop being a Leninist.
I also said that the "consensus" at the time of WWII was that Hitler and others were evil and this would never happen on a sane democratic country, and it was exactly this that enabled the model citizens to do this kind of thing.