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Putin Urges Russian Historians To Combat 'Rewrite' Attempts

  • RFE/RL

President Vladimir Putin has urged Russian historians to combat what he called attempts to rewrite history based on geopolitical interests by providing their own interpretation of past events.

Speaking to scholars and history teachers on November 5, Putin said that "attempts to reprogram societies of many countries, including our own, are obvious. And this cannot be unrelated to attempts to rewrite history, to tune it to certain geopolitical interests."

"But to prevent this from happening there ought to be people like you -- experts -- who not only inform about the events of the past in an objective and full-fledged manner, but also provide an assessment of them," Putin said.

Russian officials often bristle at criticism of Moscow's actions in the recent and distant past.

Putin took issue with "the Soviet Union being blamed for the division of Poland" in a 1939 Nazi-Soviet pact.

"How about Poland itself? What did it do when the Germans invaded Czechoslovakia? Poland took a chunk of Czechoslovakia for itself," he said, laughing. "And then it got hit back in in return."

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