Communists demand 10-year prison terms for equating Soviet and Nazi regimes

Participants in the Victory Parade throwing German colors at the Lenin Mausoleum. (RIA Novosti/Loskutov)
Two senior Communist Party lawmakers are working on a bill that would make equating political systems in the USSR and Nazi Germany a criminal offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

MPs Valery Rashkin and Sergey Obukhov want to amend the existing law that forbids the rehabilitation of Nazism with an article that would ban equating the political regimes of USSR and Nazi Germany in public speech or media articles. The same article would ban promoting any superiority of Nazism.

In comments to RIA Novosti, the authors of the draft said that it was prompted by the “clear international tendencies for changing the post-war world order and rewriting the results of the WWII on the basis of the thesis of totalitarian nature of political systems in USSR and Nazi Germany, promoted by the United States and its satellites.” The Russian lawmakers added that the 2006 PACE resolution on the necessity of international denouncing of crimes of totalitarian regimes was a typical example of these new tendencies.

In mid-May, a similar bill was drafted by the populist nationalist party LDPR. This document, however, suggested including the equating of Soviet and Nazi regimes in the existing criminal code, leaving the maximum punishment at its current level – up to three years behind bars.

READ MORE: Russian MPs seek 3 yr jail terms for those comparing USSR to Nazi Germany

Senior Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have said that the attempts to rewrite history of WWII and rehabilitate Nazism are one of the major threats facing Russia, Europe and the world as a whole.

In mid-March, Putin said that the objective of politicians who make such attempts to rewrite history was “to undermine the power and moral authority of modern Russia and deprive it of the victor nation status, with all the consequences that would follow in international law.”