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A Past That Divides: Russia’s New Official History
Carnegie Moscow Center ^ | Oct 2017 | Andrei Kolesnikov

Posted on 12/16/2017 1:36:30 PM PST by GoldenState_Rose

Sometimes a state’s official view of the past can serve as the basis for an unwritten social contract between a government and its citizens. This is what is happening in Russia today. President Vladimir Putin has introduced the idea of what he terms a “thousand-year history” that Russians must take pride in, a history that incorporates many victorious pages from the country’s past, including Russia’s takeover of Crimea in 2014. This glorious history is offered to citizens in exchange for their political loyalty, and it is presented as being more important than economic progress.

Putin’s personal role has been critical to the formation of the state’s perceptions of history. He has determined, for example, how Russians should view past events like former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s transfer of Crimea to Ukraine in 1954, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and the Winter War with Finland...

Central to Putin’s vision of history is the Soviet Union’s 1945 victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War. The current regime, which calls itself the sole heir of this victory, uses this achievement to make itself immune to criticism on other issues while justifying its current militarization efforts and excessive state interference in all aspects of life. Russian official history is limited to the biographies of state and military leaders and to a series of victories and demonstrations of the state’s enduring military might, with no room left for doubts or defeats.

The official version of memory can be glamorized with marketing know-how and modern technologies, like the Bosco-themed ice rink in Red Square, and used to promote the supposedly correct vision of history. This process is like an old black-and-white film that is colorized and aired again on national television.

Russia’s current governing regime sends out ambiguous signals about Stalin...

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: history; propaganda; putin; russia; russianhistory; sovietunion; stalin; ussr; vladimirputin

1 posted on 12/16/2017 1:36:30 PM PST by GoldenState_Rose
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To: GoldenState_Rose
Russia was an ally in WW2 by circumstance, not by choice. As Napoleon once said “It is far easier to fight allies than to be one’’. The Russians always conveniently leave out the fact they were allies of the Nazis. They happily plunged a knife in the back of Poland, three weeks after Germany did the heavy lifting. They invaded Finland and annexed the Baltic States. Old Joe Stalin was content to sit fat and sassy in the Kremlin during the winter of 1940/41 while the Luftwaffe pounded London into dust. Then in June of 1941 Hitler decided he didn't need a partner anymore and suddenly the Commies were screaming "Hey you in the West, you English, you Americans you've got to save us!''.
2 posted on 12/16/2017 4:22:12 PM PST by jmacusa ("Made it Ma, top of the world!'')
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