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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 sieges 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.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Oct. 22


English teachers can expect to receive a few useful pointers today from Evgeny Kalashnikov, the British Council regional teacher, during the EFL Seminar this afternoon hosted by the British Book Center. The topic of todays seminar is Grammar Practice.


Young Petersburgers will get the chance to jumpstart their careers at Professional Growth, a job fair and forum featuring more than 40 major Russian and international companies vying for potential candidates for future positions. The forum not only is a chance to network but also to learn more about the modern business world and to understand what it takes to get the job you want.



Thursday, Oct. 23


AmChams Public Relations Committee meeting is scheduled to meet this morning at 9 a.m. in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center.


Sportsmen get their chance to stock up on all kinds of gear at the Hunting and Fishing 2014 exhibition starting today at Lenexpo. Everything from rods and reels to boats, motorcycles and equipment for underwater hunting will be on sale so that any avid outdoorsman can always be prepared.



Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBAs ongoing Breakfast with the Director series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at Sounds of the Universe, a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the clubs website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit Neophobia at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees round table discussion on Government Relations Practices in Russia this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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