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Medvedev Imposes Control Over Russian History

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He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past. 1984

Russia now has its own little Ministry of Truth. Dmitry Medvedev issued the decree to create a new body with a long but meaningful name: the Presidential Commission for Prevention of Falsification of History to the Prejudice of Russia's Interest. This Commission will monitor "attempts to falsify historical facts and events" that may undermine "the international prestige of the Russian Federation" and coordinate efforts of government institutions of "adequate response to... and neutralization" of such attempts.

26 of 29 members of the Commission are either public servants or represent state bodies (or both), including FSB and SVR (External Intelligence Service). Head of Medvedev's Administration will be the Chairman of the Commission. Only two professional historians are going to participate, both representing the semi-governmental Russian Academy of Science.

Although the Commission has no legal authority, there is no doubt that it may be very powerful thanks to its high status. Powerful -- and useful for dealing with unwanted ideas. Since "falsification of history" is a very vague definition, their field of work is only limited by their own fantasy. Two topics are almost sure to be the first on the Commission's agenda: Holodomor (famine in Ukraine and some other parts of the USSR, reportedly planned and organized by Stalin) and the occupation of Baltic states by the USSR. But soon, more subjects are probably to come. Russia's newest history textbooks call Stalin an "efficient manager" and his mass political repressions "side effects of modernization". KGB is rehabilitated and its proud successor FSB is the most powerful state agency. Any attempt to argue against these axioms will undoubtedly be considered a "falsification of history" and equated with a thought-crime.