Friday, March 22, 2024

Russian Government Wants to Take Full Control of History Writing in Non-Russian Republics, Sidorov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Mar. 18 – Vladimir Putin has already taken steps to establish a common history for Russia as a whole, imposing an ideological straightjacket on school texts and historical works. Now, his regime is seeking to take full control of the histories written in the non-Russian republics, Kharun (Vadim) Sidorov says.

            The Prague-based specialist on ethnic relations in the Russian Federation draws that conclusion on the basis of the content of three speeches delivered earlier this month by Moscow loyalists in Bashkortostan (

            Marat Mardanov, the director of the Center for Research in the Humanities of Ufa’s ministry of culture, called for the use of Rusian specialists from the Russian Historical Society, the Russian Military-Historical Society and the Znaniye propaganda institution, to oversee the writing of history in Bashkortostan to prevent nationalist mistakes some are making.

            Tatyana Ovchinnikova, a senior prosecutor in the republic responsible for countering extremism, agreed because she said in the last year alone more and more works have appeared in Bashkortostan which “falsify the history of Russia,” uncritically praise “nationalist leaders” and minimize the role of the USSR during World War II.

            And Natalya Tanshina, a professor at Moscow’s Russian Academy of Economics and State Service, said that greater Russian supervision of non-Russian histories and historians was needed because of the dangers of Russophobia, “a social disease that can be spread with the speed of a virus.”

            Because Moscow is currently carrying out massive repressions in Bashkortostan, that republic is an obvious and easy target for such Russian efforts. But there is little reason to believe that the central government’s actions there will be extended to other republics as well in the near future. 

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