Russian Prosecutor General wants criminal liability for denying Soviet victory in WWII
On 25 February Russias Prosecutor General stated that denying the role of the Soviet people in winning the Great Patriotic War could become a criminal offence. The agency RBK reports his statement:
“I consider that denial of the victory of the Soviet people is at very least a violation of moral norms. In certain circumstances criminal liability could be introduced.”
The day before a similar initiative was put forward by the Minister for Emergencies and Co-Chair of the High Council of “United Russia”, Sergei Shoigu. He said:
“I believe that our parliament must pass a law which would envisage criminal liability for denying the victory of the USSR in the Great Patriotic War and then presidents of some countries, denying this, would not be able to come to our country with impunity. And the mayors of some cities would think before they dismantled monuments”. He was speaking before war veterans in the Museum Panorama “Battle of Stalingrad” in Volgograd (which was called Stalingrad in 1942 – translator).
He noted that some countries had introduced laws making denial of the Holocaust a criminal offence. “The time has come on a legal basis to defend our history, our country”, he added.
Echo Moskvy reports that the Ministers proposal has already been approved by the Russian Public Chamber (Obsestvennaya palata). The Chair of the Commission on Control over the Law Enforcement Agencies Anatoly Kucherena stated that the Chamber was ready to take part in preparing a draft law.
Infox.Ru reports that in the last days, President Medvedev has twice spoken on the subject of World War II – of the need to “maintain and defend the memory of the Great Patriotic War, to counter any attempts to distort it, to uphold the truth about the decisive contribution of our country in defeating fascism and the triumphant end of the Second World War.”
On 24 March replying to a letter from the mother of a person who died during the unrest in Tallinn in spring 2008, he wrote: “I am convinced that any efforts to justify Nazism and slander the heroic victors leads to an unacceptably hypocritical review of history and forgetting of its lessons. Russia will decisively and consistently counter this.”