Russia wants to teach distorted modern history, according to a new high school textbook. It says that the West has always wanted to destabilize Russia, and Russia is trying to end the war in Ukraine. There are other lies too. “600,000 Soviet soldiers gave their lives for the freedom of Poland” – you can read.
“Putin decided on a special military operation to prevent Ukraine from attacking Russia.” “Russia did not start the war in Ukraine, but is only trying to end it.” These are just two of the many false propaganda theses contained in this book, the latest history of which will be learned by 10th and 11th grade students in Russian schools from September. More precisely, they will learn from it what they should think.
– This is a propaganda text. This is not a school textbook. I am thinking above all of the passages devoted to the so-called “special military operation”. This is not material for shaping skills and knowledge. It is blatantly aimed at shaping a certain predetermined point of view and interpretation of events, assesses Mikhail Kopica, a history teacher and emigrant from Russia. Mikhail Kopica is a history teacher from Arkhangelsk. He fled Russia, now lives in Montenegro, where he works in a Russian-language school attended by children from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. This “handbook” is not intended to be used. – Education in this case is turned upside down. Instead of creating a person who can think and formulate their own views, they create a loyal majority that can only duplicate the opinions prepared by the authorities – adds Kopica.
Lies about Poland
The author of the book is Putin’s adviser Vladimir Medinsky. He is rewriting history in accordance with the Kremlin’s most up-to-date interpretation. He himself accuses those who hold the Soviet Union co-responsible for the outbreak of World War II for falsifying history. In the fragment about Poland, he stigmatizes the removal of Red Army monuments in our country. He writes that “this is how the West fights those who are no longer able to defend themselves. The dead.” It is also worth quoting his other sentence: “600,000 Soviet soldiers gave their lives for the freedom of Poland.”
Putinian history is full of anti-Western, mostly anti-American obsessions. The book is direct to the reader. For example: “Our cause is just! The enemy will be defeated! Victory will be ours!”. – Russian society is permeated with revanchism. Seeking revenge for defeat in the Cold War. Revanchism is a powerful mobilizing force for this society, and the sense of failure creates a sense of moral rightness, says Kopica.
The World Congress of Ukrainians calls the book a narrative reminiscent of George Orwell’s anti-utopian stories. Independent Russian editorial offices operating abroad write that teachers who do not want to use the propaganda handbook will be punished – including losing their jobs. – I feel sorry for my fellow teachers in Russia. Good and decent people who do not support the regime, but will be forced to work between a rock and a hard place, fearing denunciations, fearing prosecution and living in constant conflict with their own conscience. It’s just awful, Mikhail Kopica admits. The teaching of modern history is complemented by a subject introduced a year ago in Russian schools called “Conversations about what is important”. As part of the classes, students learn, among other things, how to recognize “anti-Russian Western propaganda” or write letters to Russian soldiers fighting on the front.
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Main photo source: Reuters