Putin Wants To Make Equating Stalin To Hitler Illegal
Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to make it illegal to equate former Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin to Adolf Hitler.
Putin instructed that this divisive bill be introduced back in October, following a meeting of the Presidential Council for Culture and Arts.
Those backing the bill claim it’s about recognising the significant part Russia played in bringing about the downfall of Nazi Germany. However, critics have expressed concerns that this new legislation could infringe upon free speech.
As per Newsweek, this bill was published in the State Duma’s records on Wednesday, May 5.
It blamed the media, including Russian publications, for containing ‘derogatory’ statements about the role of the Soviet Union in World War II, and would forbid people from publicly comparing the behaviour of USSR leaders to members of the Nazi party.
This ban would extend to comments made online as well as in the media, with the purported goal of placing a legislative barrier against ‘obvious insults to our grandfathers and great-grandfathers’, all while ‘preserving space for historical research’ and scientific discussion.
In a statement, chair of the Committee on Culture, Elena Yampolskaya, said:
The Soviet army is a liberator, and therefore a benefactor of Europe. It is possible and necessary to discuss any specific situations, facts, documents. Just not forgetting that the Soviet Union, the Russian people fought the main struggle against the universal evil of Nazism.
The family has its black sheep. Can particulars discredit the whole? Never. Good remains good, evil remains evil.
Russia did indeed have an important role in defeating Hitler, with the Battle of Stalingrad widely considered as a major turning point in favour of the Allied forces. The Russian military also helped to release those imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camps of Warsaw, Krakow and Auschwitz.
However, Stalin is still regarded to be among the most ruthless political figures in history, having been responsible for the Gulag, a forced labour camp system where approximately 18 million people were kept in terrible conditions.
In the aftermath of World War II, Stalin also went on to claim parts of Europe for his own before lowering the ‘Iron Curtain’. These actions blocked off East Berlin from the world and ultimately led to the Cold War.
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