Being a historian is an increasingly dangerous profession in Russia, rights group saysHistorians in the News
tags: Russia, Stalin
For more than a century, Russia has been described as a country with an unpredictable past. The authorities Soviet and now post-Soviet keep changing the national narrative, and those who study the past and fail to keep up with the twists and turns in the Kremlin line risk repressive actions of various kinds.
Yesterday, the Agorarights organization published a report on the dangers Russian historians increasingly face. The group’s leader, Pavel Chikov, saidthat the most dangerous subject for historical research is World War II and the role of the USSR in it, given how central that is to Kremlin officials.
Over the last decade, the report said, criminal charges have been brought against 17 historians for their discussion of the war. One of these cases was dismissed because of the statute of limitations, but the other 16 scholars were found guilty.
And that is just one of the ways, the report, Russia Against History, says, historians were punished.
The government also engaged in 41 acts of censorship on historical issues, seven efforts to revise the work of scholars, numerous acts of obstruction of access to archives, and routine prohibition of the use of materials the scholars found in government repositories.
The situation has gotten worse over the last six years, the Agoraexperts say.
In a separate report, they note that the number of people charged with wearing prohibited symbols has increased by nine times and that over this period 6622 people have been punished, an average of “more than 100 each month.”
The authors of the main Agorareport say that in recent years, the Russian authorities have increased their efforts to impose a single conception of Russian history in almost all its periods but especially during World War IIand that their main weapon in that regard has been the use of the provisions of the anti-extremist legislation. ...
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