On Wednesday, Deputy Defence Minister Nikolai Pankov told reporters that the Defence Ministry (Minobrony) plans to create a special military unit to work with archives and monitor “revisionist history”. In addition to a pilot project to draft research units of science students, the ministry plans to create other units to work in fields such as “sociology, psychology, and history”. Pankov said that one of the units would be at the Minobrony Central Archive, studying “aspects of the falsification of history that’s more widespread in Russia and abroad”. He added that the unit’s research would focus on World War II, and that the soldiers would have access to classified data needed for their projects.
Back in 2009, the Kremlin created a commission against “revisionist history”, which broke up last year with no visible results. Recently, the authorities renewed their enthusiasm for history by ordering the creation of a unified series of school history textbooks that some experts fear that the state might use to promote patriotic sentiment. Last month, a Russian lawmaker submitted a bill to the RF Gosduma that’d outlaw criticism of the Red Army’s actions during World War II. Pankov said that Minobrony plans at least four military research units of draft-age students by the year-end, two of which, made up of science students, took up their posts this week. Earlier, officials said that the time spent by students on the military research projects would count toward their mandatory one-year military service.
10 July 2013