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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 siege’s 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

Tuesday, Oct. 21


The Environment, Health and Safety Committee of AmCham convenes this morning at 9 a.m. in the organization’s office.


Take the opportunity to pick the brains of Dmitry V. Krivenok, the deputy director of the Economic Development Agency of the Leningrad region, and Mikhail D. Sergeev, the head of the Investment Projects Department, during the meeting with them this morning hosted by SPIBA. RSVP for the event by emailing office@spiba.ru before Oct. 17 if you wish to attend.


Improve your English at Interactive English, the British Book Center’s series of lessons on vocabulary and grammar in an informal atmosphere. Starting at 6 p.m., each month draws attention to different topics in English, with the topic for this month’s lessons being “visual arts.”



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