Russia Revisits Its History to Nail Down Its Future

tags: Russia, Putin, Ukraine



As many Russians spent a holiday weekend reveling in the annual display of military might that marks their victory over Nazi Germany, the tension in Ukraine has fueled a passionate debate over how to exalt the country’s history without distorting it.

The issue took on greater urgency with a new law, signed last week by President Vladimir V. Putin, that mandates up to five years in jail and heavy fines for anyone who tries to rehabilitate Nazism or denigrate Russia’sWorld War II record.

The Kremlin has long enshrined the history of the war against Hitler as a heroic, collective victory. But skeptics argue that the victory itself is too often used to promote what they consider an excessive obsession with fascism abroad — vividly played out over the past two months in lurid coverage on Russian state television of the Ukraine crisis.




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