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Revisionism Under Fire After Controversial Poll

Published: January 29, 2014 (Issue # 1795)



  • A recent survey asked whether Leningrad should have surrendered.
    Photo: wikimedia commons

Russian legislators have threatened to criminalize World War II revisionism after being outraged by an online survey that asked if Leningrad should have surrendered to the Nazis.

The poll appeared on Sunday on the website of the liberal online television channel Dozhd (“Rain”).

It was taken down within minutes but still sparked a vehement backlash.

“Such actions should always be treated as a crime of restoring Nazism,” ultraconservative lawmaker Irina Yarovaya of the ruling United Russia party said Monday.

The populist Liberal Democratic Party will draft a bill to criminalize “insulting and desecrating the memory of the Great Patriotic War,” party member Igor Lebedev said Monday, using the Russian name for World War II.

Lebedev, a deputy speaker of parliament, did not give a time frame or say what the proposed punishment under the law would be.

The TV channel apologized for the poll on Twitter on Monday, calling it “a mistake by the producer...and the social network editor.”

A supposed screenshot of the poll available on Twitter showed that 54 percent supported the would-be surrender of Leningrad. The number of respondents was not specified.

Leningrad lost between 600,000 and 1.5 million of its 2.5 million prewar population, by various estimates, during the Nazi siege from 1941 to 1944.

The city, since renamed St. Petersburg, celebrated the 70th anniversary of the siege’s end on Monday.

Russia has attempted to regulate history before. A Kremlin commission against the “falsification of history” existed in 2009-2012 and unified guidelines for school history lessons were drafted last year on the direct order of President Vladimir Putin.

Three bills criminalizing “the restoration of Nazism” have been filed with parliament since 2010, the latest, from last year, drafted by Yarovaya. All remain in legislative limbo.





 


Times Talk

ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Apr. 23


Problems facing the elderly are in the spotlight at Senior Generation 2014, an international forum at LenExpo beginning today that focuses on drawing attention to and providing information about some of society’s most vulnerable members. An exhibition combined with a trade fair will help those interested be better equipped to help this demographic.



Thursday, Apr. 24


Learn more about Denmark during the Danish Business Delegation’s visit to SPIBA this evening starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Danish Culture Institute. Danish Consul general Klaus Sorensen will be in attendance and the buffet following a presentation on Danish companies in Russia will be the perfect opportunity to network with the assembled businessmen.


AmCham’s Human Resources Committee Meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. this morning in their St. Petersburg office. Check their website for more details.



Friday, Apr. 25


Light Music presents the main events for their Cultural Kitchen project at Loft-Project Etagi today. A B2B event that focuses on Finnish food, arts, travel, music and design, the evening will conclude with a dinner by chef Jyrki Tsutsunen and dancing to music by Aino Venna. The event, which began yesterday with presentations by tourism and cultural institutions, concludes today with a preview of Finland’s Flow festival and other musical events. Invitations are available from www.culturalkitchen.fi.



Saturday, Apr. 26


At 6 p.m. this evening, stylist Liliana Modigliani offers 50 simple ways to up your style quotient with beauty tips at the Galeria shopping center on Ligovsky Prospekt. The event is part of the final day of the shopping mall’s Fashion Saturday sales event, this week focusing on top brands located on the ground floor as well as presentation from fashion experts on sprucing up your spring look.



Sunday, Apr. 27


Families shouldn’t miss Childhood Planet 2014, the trade fair that started yesterday and concludes today at LenExpo. Not only will goods and services be provided for children and families but the event hopes to promote Russian brands and eco-friendly products using the latest technology available in the childcare industry.



Monday, Apr. 28


The Hotel Indigo will be the site of SPIBA’s Acting Skills for HR and Other Managers master class this morning starting at 9 a.m. The event will begin with coffee before moving on to the class itself and conclude with a tour of the recently opened hotel. Confirm attendance by Apr. 24.



Tuesday, Apr. 29


Improve your English at the British Book Center’s Interactive English Lesson tonight at 6 p.m. Students at pre-intermediate and intermediate levels are welcome discuss topics that are selected to help learners master the more difficult aspects of English grammar and vocabulary.