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Experts discuss creating uniform history book for Russia

February 28, 2013, 11:17 UTC+3

This idea has already caused discontent in Russia’s ethnic republics, in Tatarstan, in particular

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The Russian Historical Society under the leadership of speaker of the State Duma lower house of parliament Sergei Naryshkin discussed and approved the development of a uniform history textbook for the whole country at the suggestion of President Vladimir Putin. This idea has already caused discontent in Russia’s ethnic republics, in Tatarstan, in particular. And experts believe that it is impossible to write a history book that wound satisfy all.

At a meeting in the Kremlin on Wednesday, Naryshkin suggested discussing a uniform history textbook for secondary schools, which will show “a single logic of the country’s development,” the Kommersant daily writes. Vladimir Putin gave instructions to prepare the book at a meeting of the Council for Interethnic Relations. Head of the RF presidential administration Sergei Ivanov is also concerned over the lack of “clear-cut positions on a number of historical events.” Head of Russian Railways (RZD) Vladimir Yakunin on Wednesday illustrated the consequences of different interpretations. Seven years ago, he brought to Vladimir Putin a booklet on history from Kazan in which the description of “the horrors of taking the city by Ivan the Terrible” ends with the phrase: “The struggle of the Tatar people for independence continues!” If the state does not deal with the problem, “the children will learn from textbooks written with Soros’ funds,” which will distort the truth about World War II, warned the head of Russian Railways.

“We cannot allow different interpretations of events in our country in different regions,” vice speaker of the Parliament of Ingushetia Magomed Tatriyev told the publication, adding, however, that it is impossible to fit into one book the history of all regions of the country, therefore, regional textbooks are also needed.

“It is hardly possible to create a universal textbook on Russian history that would satisfy all,” Professor and former Dean of the History Department of Bashkir State University Marat Kulsharipov told the newspaper. Therefore, federal standards should regulate only the “key issues,” and the subjects of the federal state “can write different books meeting these standards,” Vice President of the Academy of Sciences of Tatarstan, Director of the Institute of History of the Academy Rafail Khakimov stated. “There should be a variety,” said the expert, citing the example of Germany, where most educational issues are within the competence of the federal lands.




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