President Vladimir Putin has praised Russian journalists for their role in preserving the country's national historical memory, a news report said Wednesday, as the Kremlin increasingly looks to the past to whip up support for present-day policies.
Speaking at the ХVII World Congress of Russian Press, Putin told gathering journalists that he valued their “significant role in the honest, unbiased coverage of World War II events, in contrast to attempts to falsify historical facts,” TASS reported.
Putin added that victory in World War II came at a huge cost — the Soviet Union lost up to 25 million men, according to some estimates — and that no one has the right to revise its results and lessons, the report said.
The Kremlin has in recent years sought to monopolize discussions on Russia's past in a bid to whip up patriotic support for modern-day policies.
Reuters reported Tuesday that universal history textbooks will soon be rolled out in all schools describing how Putin's Soviet and tsarist predecessors repeatedly defended Russia against Western aggression.
The textbooks also describe the Warsaw Pact, which saw the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany carve up Poland into two, as a justified response to Western policies, the report said.
Russia also last year adopted a law in countering the rehabilitation of Nazism, making it an offense punishable by up to three years in prison. The law attracted recent attention when investigators opened a case against a 16-year-old for posting comments on social media that they said praised Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland in 1939.