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Putin calls for clear and definite assessment of repressions to avoid them in future

October 30, 18:37 UTC+3

The Russian president is certain that political repression that occurred in the country in the past cannot be either excused or forgotten

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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, October 30. /TASS/. Clear and definite assessment of repressions will help prevent them in the future, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at an opening ceremony for the Memorial to Victims of Political Repressions.

"The memory itself, the clearness and coherence of positions on these dark events serve as a powerful warning against their repetition," Putin said.

He reiterated that the idea to create a monument to victims of political repressions emerged back in the Khrushchev Thaw years, but such memorials have been built only in the recent decades. "We are opening the Wall of Sorrow - a grand and thrilling monument, both in its essence and embodiment - in the capital today. It calls on our conscience, our feelings, understanding of the repression period and compassion towards its victims," the president said.

He expressed gratitude to the authors of the monument, the Moscow authorities that undertook major costs for the monument and all citizens who made financial contributions for the monument construction. "It is important to us, to the whole country today and is even more important to young people, to Russia’s future," the president affirmed.

Putin quoted Natalya Solzhenitsyna’s words on the repression period, "To know, remember, condemn and then forgive." "I completely agree with these words. We and our successors should remember the tragedy of repressions and the reasons that caused them. But this does not mean calling for settling of scores. The society should not be pushed again towards the dangerous confrontation line," the state leader highlighted.

The Russian leader stressed that today "it is important to be supported by trust and stability values." "Only this basis will enable us address issues faced by the society and the country, by Russia, that is our common country," he concluded.

Political repression cannot be either excused or forgotten

Putin is certain that political repression that occurred in the country in the past cannot be either excused or forgotten.

Speaking at the opening of a memorial commemorating the victims of political repression Putin recalled certain historical facts about the period "when everybody risked of facing far-fetched and absolutely absurd charges, when millions were labeled as enemies of the people, shot or crippled and went through the torment of prison terms or labor camps and exiles."

"This terrible past cannot be erased from the national memory, let alone excused by any so-called supreme interests of the people," Putin said.

"In the history of our country, just as any other one, there were many complex and controversial periods. They are being discussed and argued about and different approaches proposed to explaining certain events. This is a natural process of studying and understanding history and looking for the truth, but whenever the issue of repression, death and suffering of millions of people is raised, it is enough to visit the Butovo field or the sites of other mass graves of victims of political repression, which are many in Russia, to understand that there can be no forgiveness for those crimes," Putin said.

He believes that "political repression became a tragedy for all of our people, for society and a heavy blow on our people, its roots, culture and self-identity."

"We still feel the consequences. Our duty is to prevent oblivion," Putin said.

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