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World needs to know the truth about the history of WWII, Putin emphasizes

Crimes of Nazi collaborators cannot be justified, and there is no statute of limitations for them, the Russian president said

MOSCOW, June 19. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin says he has no intention to become an arbiter on the history of the World War II, but he believes that the truth about the war is needed to everyone. Putin said so in his article on the history of the War, published in The National Interest journal.

"I by no means intend to take on the role of a judge, to accuse or acquit anyone, let alone initiate a new round of international information confrontation in the historical field that could set countries and peoples at loggerheads. I believe that it is academics with a wide representation of respected scientists from different countries of the world who should search for a balanced assessment of what happened. We all need the truth and objectivity," Putin wrote. "On my part, I have always encouraged my colleagues to build a calm, open and trust-based dialogue, to look at the common past in a self-critical and unbiased manner."

Crimes of Nazi collaborators cannot be justified, and there is no statute of limitations for them, Putin said.

"Today as well, our position remains unchanged. There can be no excuse for the criminal acts of Nazi collaborators, and there is no statute of limitations for them. It is therefore bewildering that in certain countries those who are disgraced by collaborating with the Nazis are suddenly equated with World War II veterans. I believe that it is unacceptable to equate liberators with occupying invaders," Putin wrote.

Names of all citizens of the Soviet Union who perished during World War II must be identified, Putin said in his article. "This painstaking work must be continued to restore the names and fates of all who have perished - Red Army soldiers, partisans, underground fighters, prisoners of war, internees of concentration camps, and civilians killed by death squads. It is our duty," the president said, adding that the USSR’s casualties during the Great Patriotic War were practically 27 million people.

Displays of historic revisionism of the outcomes of the World War II in the West are dangerous because they blatantly and cynically distort the understanding of principles of peaceful development, laid down during the Yalta and San Francisco conferences, Putin said.

"Historical revisionism, the manifestations of which we now observe in the West, and primarily with regard to the subject of the Second World War and its outcome, is dangerous because it grossly and cynically distorts the understanding of the principles of peaceful development, laid down at the Yalta and San Francisco conferences in 1945," Putin noted.

The USSR and the Red Army made a decisive contribution to destruction of the Nazi Germany during the World War II, despite anyone’s attempts to prove otherwise, Putin said.

"The Soviet Union and the Red Army, no matter what anyone is trying to prove today, made the main and crucial contribution to the defeat of Nazism," Putin said. He underscored that Russia contends "for genuine, unvarnished, or whitewashed truth about war."