Medvedev vs. History

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The Moscow Times reports that, since the Russian economy is doing so well, “president” Dima Medvedev has plenty of time on his hands to mess around with academic projects, like this one for instance (look for our editorial and Yulia Latynina’s op-ed on the same topic in Monday’s issue):

President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered the creation of a new commission tasked with countering attempts to rewrite history to the detriment of Russia’s interests, the Kremlin said Tuesday. The presidential decree establishing the commission follows a May 8 video address posted on Medvedev’s web site in which the president complained that attempts to falsify history were becoming “increasingly harsh, depraved and aggressive.”

The initiative appears to be part of a Kremlin drive to defend its vision of the country’s 20th-century history.

The Kremlin has bristled at Ukraine’s efforts to get the Stalin-era Holodomor famine to be declared as genocide and the Baltic states’ anti-Soviet positions on World War II.

At the same time, Russian historians have repeatedly accused the Kremlin of trying to whitewash Soviet history in school textbooks and elsewhere.

Medvedev’s chief of staff, Sergei Naryshkin, is to head the 28-member commission, which is charged with collecting and analyzing information about attempts to diminish Russia’s prestige by falsifying history, according to the decree signed by Medvedev last week and published Tuesday.

The commission, which is to meet at least twice annually, is also to coordinate the government’s efforts to combat such falsifications, the decree says.

In his May 8 video address on the eve of the Victory Day holiday celebrating the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, Medvedev said Russians find themselves “in a situation in which we have to defend the historical truth and once again prove facts that not so long ago seemed most clear.”

“It is difficult, and sometimes even creepy. But it is necessary to do,” he said.

Members of the new commission include senior officials — primarily deputy ministers and security service officials — historians, Kremlin spin doctors and State Duma deputies.

Aleksei Makarkin, a political analyst with the Center for Political Technologies, welcomed the initiative, saying it could help the state formulate a coherent policy toward Soviet history and lead to the opening of archives for researchers.

Should Russia’s historical archives — many of which are maintained by the military and the secret services — remain closed, the entire campaign would degenerate into a “defense of the historical myth about Russia in the interests of the country’s rulers,” said Dmitry Oreshkin, an analyst with the Mercator think tank.

The creation of the new commission comes on the heels of a bill submitted to the Duma by a group of deputies from the ruling United Russia party that would criminalize attempts to rehabilitate Nazism in former Soviet republics.

Under the bill, which is likely to sail easily through both houses of the parliament, Russian and foreign citizens could be sent to prison for up to three years for accusing the Red Army of atrocities or illegal occupation during World War II, an allegation commonly lodged in the Baltic countries.

If such accusations are made by an official or disseminated in the media, the crime would be punishable by up to five years in prison, according to the legislation.

The bill, spearheaded by Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu, also calls for severing ties with countries that officially revise the history of World War II and barring the leaders of such countries from entering Russia.

38 responses to “Medvedev vs. History

  1. *The creation of the new commission comes on the heels of a bill submitted to the Duma by a group of deputies from the ruling United Russia party that would criminalize attempts to rehabilitate Nazism in former Soviet republics.*

    This must be re reson why the DCKT keeeps on repeating that Ukrainians, and others, are nazi.

  2. There hardly could be any serious talk about Ukranian Nazi parties. Germans came – made them Nazi, the Soviets came – made them Communists and if the Chinese ever come to their parts they will make them whatever you can imagine. Keep on giving them FOOD or MONEY and they will follow your feeding trough wherever you go.

    The same goes for most East European US client “nations”. That’s their destiny to be someone’s … and they know there’s no way out of this situation in the perspective but to be a wh… almost on the personal level.

    Hungary, Romania, Spain, Finland, Bolgaria, Italy – all of those nations took part in Nazi attack on Russia in the year 1941. Currently they are seemingly badly suffering from the post-traumatic shock after their beloved imperial master – Nazi Germany went to Hell.

    Russians and Americans did that trick in 1945.

    • That is a lie. Finland only took back what Russia stoled in the Winter War. Russia attacked Finland first on November 30 1939. Finland is doing great and so is Germany. Finland and Germany has Nokia and Siemens. Only thing Russia have is corruption and the oligarchs.

      Bulgaria never declared a war against the Soviet Union. Spain was neutral but did sent volunteers called the Blue Division.

    • Also may I remind you that the Soviet Union supported the communists in the Spanish Civil War.

    • Yeah Romania went on the Axis side after Russia annexed Bessarabia from Romania because of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.

    • And about Hungary. Nobody knows who did the Kosice attack wich forced Hungary into WW2.

    • Excuse me, but you are absolutely wrong and not just with your “historical facts” as others here pointed out. Countries of Central and Eastern Europe are not American slaves, they just dislike Russia, so it’s obvious they seek cooperation with force which can shield them against it (Western Europe and US). Why do most of citizens of those nations hate Russians so much? Maybe because whenever they tried to consider something on their own in USSR times, Russian tanks came (Hungary 1956, Czechoslovakia 1968). This is what it means to be “client” state. On the other hand, nowadays we can freely say no to any American or Western European proposal and there will be no brotherly help (read: no Abrams in Prague, no CIA operatives murdering those who went against such proposal, no government change, etc.).

    • First, your comment is extremely arrogant, biased, unsubstantiated and unjust.

      Two, you forget, that Soviets and Nazis were friends. All the way up till June 1941.

      So it is, actually, not about being on the Nazi side, that hurts you.

      It is being against Russia that does.

      :)

      All that politically correct BS about “fighting Nazis” and being white and fluffy knights on a white horse saving mankind is just that – a BS.

    • “all of those nations took part in Nazi attack on Russia in the year 1941”

      Typical self-pitying Rooshan point of view. Official state policy too.

      Would you like to be reminded how many nations were attacked BEFORE THAT by the Soviet Union, the friend and partner of Nazi Reich?

      Plain disgusting…

  3. rts, Russia’s near neighbors, those that could run away as fast as possible after the USSR collapsed, hate Russia. Deal with it.

    East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the Baltic countries, they all had your filthy boot on their necks for decades.

    Because you are a mental slave to the fascist imperialist Russian propaganda that you wear around your own neck doesn’t mean others want to be like you. Your arrogance is offensive to others.

    The quality of your life will probably be better when you have Chinese overlords.

    Get back to us in 50 years.

  4. rts

    Very good post!

    “Hungary, Romania, Spain, Finland, Bolgaria, Italy – all of those nations took part in Nazi attack on Russia in the year 1941. Currently they are seemingly badly suffering from the post-traumatic shock after their beloved imperial master – Nazi Germany went to Hell”.

    You are right now. I`m very glad to your changes.

  5. I haven’t changed a bit. I am not a Commusist, Soviet or whatever you might think and didn’t fell a prey of imperialist Russian propaganda.

    Simply I dare hope I’ve got a crystal clear vision of North America, Russia and to a smaller degree Europe. Just let me be honest about the countries which are integral parts of my mentality in my posts.

    Well, you say: “East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the Baltic countries, they all had your filthy boot on their necks for decades.”

    I love facts and arguments , not felicitous phrases. The facts are Russia lost 600,000 soldiers in the battle for Poland, 350,000 in the battle for Hungary and about that number in Checkoslovakia. If it were not for filthy Russian boots in Hungary they would have been still saluting Heil Hitler among themselves. The Nazi evidently had some other plans on the account of Polish “necks”. The whole Polack proud nation stood a good chance to turn into a black smoke from a Nazi gas stove if it were not for filthy Russian boots. These are the facts which you can’t deny. In case you can, do that here and right away for further consideration.

  6. If you love, as you put it, “facts and arguments , not felicitous phrases” so much you would know that neither Spain nor Bulgaria nor Finland were active belligerents on the Eastern front.

    Spain was officially and in other ways a neutral non-belligerent and universally-hated Franco nonetheless opened its borders to persecuted Jews and others. Every Jew who made it across French-Spanish frontier found a safe refuge. Franco refused military cooperation with Hitler, in spite of heavy pressure that was being applied. There was, however, something called “Blue Division” of perhaps 20,000 Spaniards on the Eastern front. All of them were volunteers and none wore Spanish uniform. They fought against Russia due to their personal preferences and ideological inclinations, not on behalf of the Spanish state. There were also many volunteers fighting on the side of the Allies.

    Now, Bulgaria never sent a single soldier to the Russian Front. There were a few naval skirmishes in the Black Sea region when Russia attacked Bulgarian shipping. That and some operations in Greece and Macedonia was all Bulgaria did during the war, militarily. And of course, in 1944 she switched sides and declared war on Germany.

    Finland’s role was so minor it is not even worth discussing.

    These are well known facts. So, why are you saying that these countries attacked the USSR in 1941? It is simply not true. I may agree with you about Hungary’s and Rumania’s participation, but by adding those I discussed above, you simply lose credibility.

  7. Finland’s role was so minor it is not even worth discussing. ???

    Finland blocked Leningrad in 1941 from the North and held position till 1944. More than 1,000,000 died of malnutrition but “it’s a minor matter not even worth discussing”. And you call me a rasist?

    About the rest of scouts from Nazi client states – let their bones rest in Russian mud and their souls burn in Hell.

    • Read this before you say anything else, please.

      “By August 1941, the Finns had advanced within 20km of the northern suburbs of Leningrad, threatening the city from the north, and were also advancing through Karelia, east of Lake Ladoga, threatening the city from the east. However, Finnish forces halted their advance several kilometers away from the suburbs of Leningrad at the old Soviet-Finnish border on the Karelian Isthmus.[39] The Finnish headquarters rejected German pleas for aerial attacks against Leningrad[40] and did not advance further south from the River Svir in the occupied East Karelia (160 kilometers northeast of Leningrad), which they reached on September 7.”

      It’s part of this article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_leningrad

      Except occupation of Eastern Karelia which lead to declaration of war from UK on 6 December (utlimatum for pull-out of troops came on 22 September). Why did UK declare war to enemy of their ally against Nazi Germany so late? Simply because Finns did nothing else in first part of war than advancing to their pre-Winter War borders. And Winter War was started by USSR which you can hardly deny.

      And another interesting note from Wikipedia:

      “Some scholars believe that Mannerheim’s refusal to attack Leningrad had ultimately saved the city, because a coordinated German-Finnish attack launched in September 1941 would have overwhelmed the Soviet defence of the city.[21]”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuation_War

    • “More than 1,000,000 died of malnutrition but “it’s a minor matter not even worth discussing””

      Sure it is worth discussing.

      But not the way you thought it.

      They died, because their own government (Stalin) chose to let them die, instead of evacuating them. They were used as a slave labor. As an expendable commodity.

      Finns have nothing to do with it.

      That is just the centuries old way of Russia treating its own people.

      P.S.
      It is not even relevant here, that it was the USSR who started the hostilities between the two.

  8. Fighting over the history of a war that ended over 60 years ago is a very convenient way for Russia to avoid thinking about its current problems.

    • To ‘mlp”, You have written profound words of wisdom. No matter what happened in the past, who did what to who…..good/bad/or indifferent, …the whole world lives in the NOW.
      But the poor Russian nation, or at least a large segment of it (excepting the enlightened intelligent Russians, the dissidents), it seems, has only the past to dwell in, both the real past, and their currently preferred version of it all.
      Reader Daniel

  9. mlp

    Well said, really. The same might be said about the US, Europe , Japan in their Russian connection.

    Deith

    “However, Finnish forces halted their advance several kilometers away from the suburbs of Leningrad at the old Soviet-Finnish border.”

    They “stopped their advance several kilometers away from Leningrad” not on their good will. The Ruskies made them stop as they did later in “several kilometers away from Moscow and Stalingrad.”

    “Some scholars (equally) believe that Mannerheim’s refusal to attack Leningrad had ultimately saved” but not the city of Leningrad but the country under the name of Suomi.

  10. Finland only entered the war to recover lands stolen from it by Russian agression in the winter war of 39-40.
    They had no intention of assisting the Germans any further once their own (ligitimate) aims were achieved.
    Russia had, and has, no friends in its “backyard” precisely because of its agressive, imperialistic behaivour.
    No to mention its genocidal tendencies.

  11. “Finland only entered the war to recover lands stolen from it by Russian agression in the winter war of 39-40”.

    Yes the lands which was stolen from Russia in 1917 when Finland had helped to bolsheviki (some group of criminal pro-western) to seize power. During Civil War bolsheviki were interested in to avoid any collisions with national outlying districts. And bolsheviki had gifted these territories to Suomy for exclude Finlands from the list of anti-communist allies. So Findlands made a contrat with a Red Devil. It was the greatest fraud in which Suomy took part ever too. Millions Russians were killed fighting against communists. Anticommunist White armies did not get any help from Finland although such support could change the tide of the war. But Finland government had understood that if bolsheviky will escape then new Russian authority will refuse to Finland in some territories. Finland authority understood also that some their territories was undubiously a historical part of Russia so they supported communists. Then bolsheviky get a vicory in Civil War and Red Devil have not any intentions to comply with the scopes of above mentioned contract. And Red Devil attacked its recent ally! So Findland was also gulty! There are no innocent countries in the world!

    • Here we go again…

      Watch out, Poles, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians! You have stolen lands from Holly Mother Russia too, damn you!

      Mother Russia is going to get them back!

      P.S.
      What a crap!

    • “bolsheviki (some group of criminal pro-western)”

      Oh, yes.

      Man, you used to be funny, but today you are overdoing it.

      Though, thank you for demonstrating to the whole world what a typical Russian “patriot” looks like.

      I hope a lot of people from the old democracies are reading your writings because otherwise they sometimes frown when Eastern Europeans tell them what does that mean to deal with Russians.

  12. RV

    “If you love, as you put it, “facts and arguments , not felicitous phrases” so much you would know that neither Spain nor Bulgaria nor Finland were active belligerents on the Eastern front”.
    It is lie as usual. Finland was very active participant of NAZI invasion of Russia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Finland_during_World_War_II
    Also Spain which sent its Blue division tio Russia whithout announced of war.

    • Russia attacked Finland in 1939. What about that?

      Russia sent a lot of “military specialists” to fight in Spanish Civil war! Just like they later did in VietNam. What about that?

      Russia itself attacked Japan without declaration of war. What about that?

      Conclusion: F you!

  13. o01

    I ever thought that was the Soviet Union but not Russia as a state way back then. If we follow your logic there’s no difference between modern Germany and the Nazi Germany. Let’s make an effort to apply the similar logic to Russia to a degree.

  14. 001

    “Russia sent a lot of “military specialists” to fight in Spanish Civil war! Just like they later did in VietNam. What about that?”

    About that goes this – Though I know it’s hard to make you believe that but Germany also sent a lot of “military specialists” to fight in the Spanish Civil war as later did the US in VietNam.
    It takes two to Tango.

    “Russia itself attacked Japan without declaration of war. What about that?”

    About that is this: Japan attacked Pearl Harbor US Navy base without any declaration of war, as did the Nazi Germany vs the Soviet Union.

    001 — You seem to be a bit too formal about such things in your comments. On the other hand everything is fair in love and war.

  15. 001

    I have not ever been alleging that Russia is absolutely innocent country which is populated by Saint people! But I have said that THERE AREN`T ANY INNOCENT COUNTRY OR PEOPLE IN THE WORLD! No one country was absolutely part aside from others. So I state If we want to avoid a new Great War then we should be more flexible to learn history and we mustn`t accuse only one country. Otherwise we get a wrong view and therefore unfavourable consequences in all the world.
    So I am ardently protesting against La Russophobe policy to accuse only my Motherland with anything what happend in the world. Russia is a normal country with many advantages or disadvantages and Russia of course may be as object for critic review but only with another countries. Accusation against only one part is the way to fascism and war.
    In addition Russia since 1991- to present is not USSR 1917-1991. We Russians have been going a long way by our own feet without support from anyone else.

    So f. you 001.

  16. mlp – fighting over the history of a war isn’t the point.

    They are fighting over Stalin.

    The whole legitimacy of the current regime, a huge part of it, rests on legitimizing Stalin.

    Pootler and the rest are KGB.

    The idea is to justify a totalitarian state.

    As the saying goes – “Russia’s past is unpredictable.”

    Why do you think that Medvedev and the rest of his clan are fighting to hard to protect the lies that were made up about Stalin, about how “heroic” and “efficient” Stalin was?

    Why do you think that they still keep Stalin’s green corpse, and Lenin’s, in the Kremlin?

    Read the following article, and you will find out.

    Russia’s past is unpredictable.

    They brainwashed millions of people for years and years, to the point where they react like Pavlov’s dogs.

    That’s what Pootler and his henchmen still count on – they still count on the sovok brainwashing, the stories about “fascists” and other bogeymen.

    Russia’s past is unpredictable.

    http://www.rferl.org/content/Medvedevs_Terrifying_Order/1736554.html

  17. To “I’m Russian”

    Once again, the Blue Division was not sent by the Spanish state. They were all volunteers who fought for ideology, perhaps for money, or for whatever reasons they had. They were a private entity armed by Germans. They did not wear Spanish uniform and did not fly Spanish colors.

    Finland could have helped Germany a great deal and together they could have taken Leningrad. Yet, the Finns stopped quite from from the city and were not active.

    Clear enough

  18. RV

    “I’m Russian” just can’t get your point – “The Blue Division was not sent by the Spanish state.”

    I will try to explain it to him my own way. They were sort of Blackwater well paid experts on humanitarian actions trained to perform some memory recovering waterboarding at Fort Benning, Ga. Actually they have nothing to do with the US army and the US concepts of freedom as you can see.

  19. RV

    “Finland could have helped Germany a great deal and together they could have taken Leningrad. Yet, the Finns stopped quite from from the city and were not active.”.

    Yes they stopped and with Hitler they killed more then 1000000 (1 million) civilians by starvation. I live in Saint-Petersburg (former Leningrad) and some of my ancestors was Leningrad`s citizens. The most of them relatives were killed by starvation as result of German-Finland blockade.
    Really German and Finand have not any possibility to seize Leningrad. It may be proved by Stalingrad battle. Leningrad was impregnable fortress, but there were almost two millions civilians in my city (the most of them refugees). They had nothing to eat and enemies understood this fact. NAZI hoped to create the favourable environment for rebellion. So they made blocke. Our starvation was more considerable then Ukrainian one. So my grandfather hated Germans until he passed away. He lost ALL HIS RELATIVES who were civilians. He had battled against fascism from 1941 to may 1945 from Leningrad to Rostok in Germany. And I his grandson hate fascists also, I have a good historical memory so I remember who killed my grand father relatives and who helped him.
    About Blue division – it does not matter who send it to us. They were NAZI they were Europeans they killed our people! We lost 28 millions people approximately 20 millions of them were civilians and they were killed by enemies. German forces were disciplined units. They fought and their cruelty was as rule related with war necessity. Unlike German units nationl forces – Latvian, Estonian, West-Ukrainian SS divisions, another national non-Germans units diplayed unexplicable wild-cruelty against civilians. They were a bad, coward soldiers, but excellent punitive expedition squard. The most of Russian, Jews, Ukrainians, Gipsy etc. were killed by nationality SS and other nationality units. And countries which were they motherland must keep a memory about their monster.

    • Calm down. I know about the Siege of Leningrad, and I am truly sorry and sad about those tremendous losses. I am serous about it. However, what does it have to do with Finland? Germany is responsible, not Finland. There is no credible historic account that Finland participated in the siege. I looked at the map in the link you provided and it is clear that Finnish forces were in Karelia, quite far from the city.

      Second, about that Blue Division, nobody denies they participated in the invasion. My point was you cannot from this fact conclude that Spain participated in that war (that was your point, wasn’t it), because soldiers and officers in that division were merely of Spanish nationality, but otherwise did not represent Spain. I don’t think they were NAZI as you put it, most likely they were Spanish fascists, not Nazis. I also don’t know anything about their cruelty, most likely you just made that up.

  20. RV

    “I looked at the map in the link you provided and it is clear that Finnish forces were in Karelia, quite far from the city”.

    Look at the map again! May be you wasn`t careful enough. Finnish forces were not only in Karelia, they stood also in Karelian neck of land so their toops were located near the Leningrad (in the 10-20 kilometres to the north). They seize Zelenogosk (Terioky) or Priozersk. Look again!
    Yes Spain officials did not announce War against USSR. But Russian officials also did not announced war against Finland or Poland or Japan or someone else. It were USSR bolshevik officials. They came from Europa (Lenin lived in Europa the most part of his life) they get support from Europa. They launch a Civil war they overthrow a official Russian government. They took power and created dictatorship. THEY WERE NO RUSSIAN OFFICIALS! So according to you we may say that we have not any responsibility from the pat because the Russian officials did not approve anything!

  21. RV

    “I looked at the map in the link you provided and it is clear that Finnish forces were in Karelia, quite far from the city”.

    Look at the map again! May be you wasn`t careful enough. Finnish forces were not only in Karelia, they stood also in Karelian neck of land so their toops were located near the Leningrad (in the 10-20 kilometres to the north). They seize Zelenogosk (Terioky) or Priozersk. Look again!
    Yes Spain officials did not announce War against USSR. But Russian officials also did not announced war against Finland or Poland or Japan or someone else. It were USSR bolshevik officials. They came from Europa (Lenin lived in Europa the most part of his life) they get support from Europa. They launch a Civil war they overthrow a official Russian government. They took power and created dictatorship. THEY WERE NO RUSSIAN OFFICIALS! So according to you we may say that we have not any responsibility from the pat because the Russian officials did not approve anything.

  22. AAH! now!…. we have finally learned the full truth:
    no Russian in all of Russian history, ever did anything wrong or ignoble!!! It was, and still is, those Jew-Masons!….and sundry unnamed anti-Russian foreigners, paid for by Wall Street, aided by personnel (no doubt, Poles!) from Christian Science Reading Rooms, Inc., and the Girl Scouts. Thank God (?) we have finally figured it all out, with the astute input (historically-revised) from these Putler internet goon-scholars. My! what true scholars they obviously all are! Isn’t it a wonderment? And we can sure trust them to be truthful, can’t we? … just as we could trust Uncle Joe.
    What would we or the world, do without them all!?
    Somewhat tired of all the bull-crap from them……
    Am I cynical?……….
    R.D.

  23. psalomschik
    Russia as political reality did not exist since 1917 to 1991. Instead Russia was USSR wich may be defined as a territory of former Russian Empire under bolshevik control.
    No they were not Jew-Masons they were bolsheviky who were supported by the West as well as the West supports Limonov nazional-bolshevic party or NDS of Kassianov. The West hoped that bolsheviky could destroy Russia as well as the West hopes that Limonov nazional-bolshevic party or NDS of Kassianov would destroy Russia. The national districts hoped that bolsheviky could gift them idependence with many Russian historical areas. So they supported bolshevik party.
    E.g. the single military-unit which supported communists was Latvians shooters` unit.
    And bolshevik party gave a rich promises to all Russian`s enemies. However when bolsheviky took control over the Russia they did not need more to keep their promises. It was contract with Red Frankenshtein.
    I do not say that we are absolutely innocent victim but other coutries which had been suffered under communism were also guilty.

  24. I’m Russian

    Look, mr Patriot. I believe mr Dudaev (excuse me, mr Surkov) knows how to change the vector of official ideology, inspired by society’s preferences, he’s a good specialist, he has imagination, he’s creative. It’s not a problem for him. By the way, it’s his work. He makes money by it. As well as mr Leontiev (“Our tanks must be in Riga”, ‘”Orange children of the Third Reich”), mr Pavlovsky and other noble ones do.
    They have good houses, good cars.
    They are successful. And what about YOU?

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