sábado, 11 de abril de 2015

"Direct attempts to silence history, to distort and rewrite history are inadmissible and immoral"

Putin blasts WWII history rewriting as lies aimed at weakening Russia

The Russian president has again denounced attempts to rewrite WWII history, noting that the authors seek to sow strife between peoples and nations for their own geopolitical purposes.

Putin said the cynical lies about the Great Patriotic War and the attempts to blacken the reputation of the Soviet people and the Red Army have nothing to do with the truth. The president’s comments came at the Tuesday session of the committee preparing the May 9 celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War. The Great Patriotic war is the traditional Russian title for the 1941-45 campaign against Germany and its allies.

“I reject these shameless conclusions and so called observations that have nothing to do with the truth. Their objective is clear – they want to undermine the power and moral authority of modern Russia and deprive it of the winner nation status with all consequences that would follow in international law,” Putin told the committee members. “They want to divide peoples and instigate conflicts among them, to use historical lies in geopolitical games.”

The president urged all committee members to maintain their efforts in upholding the truth about the war and the Soviet Union’s input in repelling the Nazi threat.

“Unfortunately, they keep testing our society for maturity and unity and for the strength of our historical traditions and the connection between generations. The task of the committee is to calmly reply to these challenges on the basis of citizens’ support and active cooperation,” Putin said.

The president also noted that the most important part of the Victory Day celebration was the extensive and continuous support given to the veterans. He gave a riminder that Russia still has 2.5 million veterans, each of whom made a personal input in the victory over Nazism.

In late February this year, Putin pledged more support to the veterans as he spoke at a major Gala dedicated to the “Defender of the Fatherland Day” holiday. “This is our victory, our history, which we’ll vigorously defend from lies and oblivion,” he said, referring to what Moscow has viewed as attempts by officials in Ukraine and Poland to rewrite history and undermine Russia’s role and sacrifices during the war.

In January, the Russian president blasted any attempts to rewrite the history of WWII and hide the crimes of Nazism as inadmissible and immoral, saying that people who do this often try to distract attention from their nations’ collaboration with Hitler.


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Russia lashes out at law to erase Ukraine's Soviet past

Kiev (AFP) - Controversial laws designed to leave Ukraine's Soviet past behind stoked tension in the war-divided country Friday and prompted an angry reaction from Russia which called the ban on communist-era symbols "totalitarian".

"Kiev used truly totalitarian methods, attacking freedom of the press, opinion or conscience," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement, also accusing Ukraine of "rewriting history".

Ukraine's parliament voted on Thursday to ban communist-era and Nazi symbols in what supporters said was a bid to break with the country's tragic World War II past and Moscow's domination through most of the 20th century.

The measure, which was enacted quickly and with little debate, exacerbating tensions with pro-Moscow rebel forces who have seized control of a swathe of territory in Ukraine's east.

The insurgents, who are alleged to operate with Russian military assistance, make a point of their attachment to the Russian-dominated Soviet era.

Russia said the law would "create divisions" and promote a "nationalist ideology".

Moscow also honed in on the law's controversial reference to nationalist Ukrainian guerrillas in World War II as "patriots".

The Ukrainian Insurgent Army temporarily supported the invading Nazis before turning both on them and the Soviet army and ultimately being crushed by communist forces.

The Russian foreign ministry said Ukraine was "betraying millions of veterans" and trying "to extinguish the collective memory of millions of Ukrainians."

The package of laws bans Soviet flags and means Soviet-era Lenin statues will have to be knocked down and town squares renamed across the country of some 45 million.

Historian David Marples at Canada's Alberta University was critical.

"In the West, friends of Ukraine will have a difficult time accepting both the wisdom and timing of such a facile and asinine decree," he said.

"The all-encompassing rejection of any facets of the Soviet legacy is troublesome," Marples wrote. "The Red Army after all removed the Nazi occupation regime from Ukraine in alliance with the Western Powers."

Soviet WWII veterans will be entitled to continue to wear their medals however, and graves will be left in peace, even if they are inscribed with the hammer-and-sickle or other Soviet insignia.


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