August 13, 2023

Kremlin Rewrites History


Kremlin Rewrites History
A stack of books. Alexander Grey, Unsplash.

Russia's latest history textbook for 16- to 18-year-olds includes a thorough rewriting of Russia’s history from the 1970s to the 2000s. Vladimir Medinsky, the Former Minister of Culture and one of the textbook’s co-authors, presented it at a press conference in Moscow. The book is scheduled for release in September.

“The sections for the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s have been completely revised and rewritten. A section has been added from 2014 to the present that includes the special military operation,” Medinsky said. With a mix of Soviet accomplishments, resentment over the USSR's downfall, and commendations for Russia’s revival since the late 90s, the book aligns with Putin’s lie-filled historical perspective.

According to another co-author, rector of Moscow's State Institute of International Relations Anatoly Torkunov, the textbook’s events are contextualized through “today’s understanding of what happened and what is happening at the moment.”

The textbook characterizes Ukraine as an "ultra-nationalist state" with a record of suppressing any kind of dissent. It contends that the invasion aims to safeguard Donbas and proactively secure Russia. The text also suggests that the United States is a "chief beneficiary" and accuses the West of financing Ukraine, imposing "illegal sanctions" on Russia, and appropriating over $300 billion in Russian assets.

Reuters obtained a copy of the textbook. On page 393, it says: "The West became fixated with destabilizing the situation inside Russia. The aim was not even hidden: to dismember Russia and to get control over its resources."

The textbook authors advised high school students to exercise caution when consuming online war-related information, warning of a persistent stream of fabricated content, staged videos, and misleading images flooding the digital sphere. The book's narrative emphasizes that Russia's younger generation should grasp the significance of the Soviet Union's demise, be wary of perceived Western ideals, and be prepared to contribute to their motherland through self-sacrifice.

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