Putin gets his own chapter in new Russian history textbook: report

23rd September 2013, Comments 0 comments

A new official history of Russia to be used in schools will devote an entire chapter to Vladimir Putin's domination of politics since he came to power in 2000, a report said Monday.

The period from 2000, when Putin took over from Boris Yeltsin, until his election as president for a third-term in 2012, will form a separate section of the history textbook currently being prepared, the Izvestia daily said.

"After long consultation it was decided that the textbook should include the history of Russia up to the last presidential elections," an official from the ministry of education told the daily.

"There were many doubts and quarrels but in the end we decided not to diverge from the accepted global practice," the official said.

Earlier this year, Putin ordered historians at the Russian Academy of Sciences to prepare a standardised textbook which would provide students with a definitive history of their country.

In February, Putin called on historians to produce a single history free "from internal contradictions and ambiguities," suggesting that current textbooks offered too many opposing views.

The decision to include the Putin years has caused some nervousness among those charged with producing the book, the outline for which is due to be presented next week, Izvestia said.

So far there are no details as to which events from Putin's rule will feature, or how much space will be devoted to more controversial episodes, such as the jailing of oligarch Mikhail Khordokovsky or Putin's handling of the war in Chechnya.

Izvestia, which often serves as a mouthpiece for the Kremlin, reported that Putin himself is said to be against the plan to include him in the book, considering it premature to evaluate many of his initiatives.

Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov denied that the president was involved in the project.

"Vladimir Vladimirovich won't interfere in the actual work of the scholars and teachers. Let the professionals decide how this book should look, and whether it's necessary to include the rule of the current president."

This is not the Kremlin's first attempt to draft its own history. In 2007, controversy broke out after Putin endorsed a manual for history teachers justifying Stalin's dictatorship as necessary and promoting the concept of managed democracy.


© 2013 AFP

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