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22 Jun, 2007 08:44

The Media Mirror - 22.06.07

Today the Russian press highlights the 66th anniversary of the beginning of the Great Patriotic war, Vladimir Putin's meeting with teachers and professors of history and a new uniform for Russian police.

KOMMERSANT reports on President Putin's meeting with teachers and professors of history from the nation's universities and high schools, in Moscow for their national convention. Unlike other papers reporting on the meeting, KOMMERSANT's text is just another one of those extremely thorough and detailed Kremlin reports written with a mild solution of venom and a generous portion of sarcasm mixed into it.

The topic, however, was dead serious: teaching the modern history of Russia. The interpretation of recent history has been changing like the weather during the past 15 years. First, from Soviet history that had Communist Party congresses as milestones, it changed into a massive beating of our own breasts, while re-thinking the previous 70 years. Later we found out that there still had been something to be proud of, but ended up with more diversity in our views than we had asked for: now we are proud, and ashamed of very different things.

Besides, foreign-funded NGOs and private firms have published lots of textbooks on Russian history, mostly written in English and translated into Russian, written with an evident bias, cultivating the sense of guilt for the past in the current generation of Russians.

The President recommended that the established facts and figures of history shall be taught, with little interpretation.

“We don't need to impress on the student the point of view that currently seems correct to the government. We shall help the student form his own point of view,” promised Vladimir Putin.

“We never used nuclear weapons against civilians. We never used chemical weapons. Let those who write these books think of their own history, and their own guilt,” added the President concerning the guilt-manipulating foreign-sponsored textbooks.

June 22 is the day when the Great Patriotic war began 66 years ago. A survey quoted by VREMYA NOVOSTEI says that 10% of the participants could not remember the significance of this day, however 53% of the younger participants named the correct date.

To law enforcement now, and KOMMERSANT writes under the headline Cops on the Catwalk, about the new uniform that Russian police will get very soon. On Thursday the new item will be shown off at the Ministry of Interior.

ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA writes about the same event under the headline “Moscow's Finest dress up”. The new uniform, twice as expensive as the old one, looks familiar to uniforms of some other countries.  It seems that it is another sign of globalisation.