Putin's spin on history

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Russian history now glosses over persecution and hails Soviet-era triumphs
The foreign ministries of Russia and Ukraine are not the only soldiers in the ongoing war of words over the countries’ shared Soviet history.

The battle over the past is also being waged in the classrooms of both countries. The stakes are high, as the victor may be able to win over the hearts and minds of future generations.

The Stalin-ordered Great Famine of 1932-1933, which claimed millions of lives, is a stark example of the conflicting historical views.

A current Russian version: “It should be stressed that there was no organized famine in the U.S.S.R.’s countryside. It was not instigated by authorities against one or another people or social group.”

A current Ukrainian view of the same event: “The Holodomor of 1932-33 was for Ukrainians what the Holocaust was for Jews and the slaughter of 1915 for Armenians.”

The statement exposes the increasingly widening gap between the two nations’ understanding of history.

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