The Russian regime is endorsing the criminalization of speech that criticizes Josef Stalin's military strategy and tactics during World War II. It's part of an official campaign to glorify the totalitarian Soviet past in order to legitimize the chekist mafiocracy's grip on economic and political power.
The repression is aimed not only at Russian citizens, but at foreign dignitaries, including presidents of other countries who criticize Stalinism and the Soviet invasions and occupations of countries across Central and Eastern Europe.
The proposed legislation, called "Against the Rehabilitation of Nazism," is modeled after anti-holocaust-denier laws in democratic European countries, Russian regime officials say.
John Wendle, Time magazine's Moscow correspondent, writes, "Liberals in fear the law may punish and silence new - and possibly more accurate - interpretations of the country's history and solidify the government's control of the past. But the real aim of the law may be to provide the Kremlin with another rhetorical tool with which to attack governments of and that have increasingly moved towards the West."
Russia's history of World War II remains steeped in Stalinist propaganda, with the very name - Great Patriotic War - a holdover of what Stalin called the war after Hitler betrayed him and invaded the USSR in June, 1941. Stalin and Hitler started World War II together, with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of August 23, 1939, but this does not appear in the official Russian history.
Since 2009 marks the 70th anniversary of the Hitler-Stalin pact to invade and occupy Central and Eastern Europe, it would be a good time to remember the real history of the war - and encourage the Russian government to do the same.