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Revisionism Under Fire After Controversial Poll

Published: January 29, 2014 (Issue # 1795)



  • A recent survey asked whether Leningrad should have surrendered.
    Photo: wikimedia commons

Russian legislators have threatened to criminalize World War II revisionism after being outraged by an online survey that asked if Leningrad should have surrendered to the Nazis.

The poll appeared on Sunday on the website of the liberal online television channel Dozhd (Rain).

It was taken down within minutes but still sparked a vehement backlash.

Such actions should always be treated as a crime of restoring Nazism, ultraconservative lawmaker Irina Yarovaya of the ruling United Russia party said Monday.

The populist Liberal Democratic Party will draft a bill to criminalize insulting and desecrating the memory of the Great Patriotic War, party member Igor Lebedev said Monday, using the Russian name for World War II.

Lebedev, a deputy speaker of parliament, did not give a time frame or say what the proposed punishment under the law would be.

The TV channel apologized for the poll on Twitter on Monday, calling it a mistake by the producer...and the social network editor.

A supposed screenshot of the poll available on Twitter showed that 54 percent supported the would-be surrender of Leningrad. The number of respondents was not specified.

Leningrad lost between 600,000 and 1.5 million of its 2.5 million prewar population, by various estimates, during the Nazi siege from 1941 to 1944.

The city, since renamed St. Petersburg, celebrated the 70th anniversary of the sieges end on Monday.

Russia has attempted to regulate history before. A Kremlin commission against the falsification of history existed in 2009-2012 and unified guidelines for school history lessons were drafted last year on the direct order of President Vladimir Putin.

Three bills criminalizing the restoration of Nazism have been filed with parliament since 2010, the latest, from last year, drafted by Yarovaya. All remain in legislative limbo.





 

ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Sept. 3


Although the Peter and Paul Fortress sand sculptures are more central and therefore more visible to the throngs of tourists, the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburgs own collection closes today. The World Collection of Sand Sculptures that have been on display at the park reaches its final day, so fans of the classic beach activity should get there while they can.



Thursday, Sept. 4


Vladimir I. Danchenkov, Head of Baltic Customs, will be in attendance during AmChams Customs and Transportation Committee Meeting convening this afternoon at the organizations office near St. Isaacs Square at 3 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 5


Scrabble lovers and chess masters get their chance to assert their intellectual dominance at the return of the British Book Centers Board Game Evenings tonight. Held weekly on Friday nights, the event gives both board game lovers and those hoping to improve their English the chance to meet, greet and compete. Check out the centers VK page for more details.



Saturday, Sept. 6


Athletes will relish the chance to get the latest gear and try out something new at I Choose Sport, an annual event at Lenexpo forum that plans to welcome more than 30,000 people this week to the international exhibition center. Not only will visitors get to try their hand at various athletic endeavors but they will also be able to peruse equipment that can fulfill their dreams of becoming a champion.


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg open their season this evening at home against Lokomotiv Yarovslavl at the Ice Palace arena next to the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. See their website for a full schedule and available tickets.



Sunday, Sept. 7


Check out retro and antique cars at Fort Konstantin on Kronstadt Island in the Gulf of Finland at FORTuna, a yearly car festival that highlights the eccentricities of the Soviet automobile industry. A car race, contests and a stunt show will give visitors a chance to rev their engines.



Monday, Sept. 8


This evening marks the opening of the two-week ballet festival High Season at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Check the theaters website for more details about performances and featured dancers.



Tuesday, Sept. 9


Discuss the latest news and issues at the AmCham Hazardous Waste Management Roundtable this morning in the Tango Conference Hall of the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge on Birzhevoy Pereulok. Starting at 9 a.m., planned topics include the Krasny Bor landfill and waste transportation between Russia and Finland.


Learn more about the citys modern architectural trends at the SPIBA Real Estate and Construction Committees meeting on the topic Contemporary Petersburg Style: What is It? Participants will get the chance to discuss whats in-demand with RBI Holdings Irina Petrova and Lubava Pryanikova, and the current state of the local real estate market. Please confirm your attendance by Sept. 5 through SPIBAs website if you wish to attend.



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