Denial of Soviet victory in WWII fraught with criminal charges

Russia's chief prosecutor is not ruling out that denying the Soviet Union’s victory in the Great Patriotic War – USSR’s portion of WWII from June 22, 1941, to May 9, 1945 – could result in criminal charges.

The initiative is being put forward by the country's Emergency Minister Sergey Shoigu.

“The presidents of certain countries denying the fact that the USSR was victorious in the Great Patriotic war in 1945 should not be able to visit our country and stay unpunished. And mayors of certain cities would think carefully before pulling down monuments to Soviet soldiers,” Shoigu said.

The Emergency Minister was referring to an incident when the Estonian government moved a Soviet Soldier memorial in Tallinn. This caused outrage among Russians.

Sergey Shoigu parallels his proposal with the Holocaust denial legislation in some European countries.

Some think the proposal is a waste of time and the Russian Government would be better off concentrating on helping veterans.

“Victory of USSR in the Second World War is absolutely unquestionable. It is an internationally accepted statutory fact. There's no need to introduce a criminal penalty, I think efforts should be made to preserve the memory of that victory and its veterans,” parliamentarian Mikhail Kapura explained.

Some veterans believe a law is overdue:

“The law is needed to exclude any false speculations about the role of the USSR in WWII. They even appear in media sometimes. The youth is being disorientated. How can they be patriots in that case?” said veteran Evgeny Anufriev.

If Sergey Shoigu is successful in his proposal there will be a bill drafted within the year and presented to the parliament for consideration.