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Russian presidential envoy slams toppling of US statues as nonsense

He said that what is "happening now in America, this is nonsense and a road to nowhere"

MOSCOW, June 29. /TASS/. The toppling of monuments and other US attempts to rewrite history are absurd, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoy told Govorit Moskva radio station on Monday.

"The world is changing, life is changing, but you have to understand that, yes, [first US President George] Washington had slaves, but this does not repeal the United States Constitution. This is an attempt to give a simple answer to a very challenging question. What is happening now in America, this is nonsense and a road to nowhere," said Shvydkoy, who is a former culture minister.

According to Shvydkoy, "nationalist challenges" are emerging around the world. "We will now enter a crisis of national conflicts, nationalisms that do not lead anywhere. We must be very careful with this," he stressed.

Mass protests and riots sparked in many US states following the death of African American George Floyd. He died in hospital after a police officer used a choke hold during his arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25. All four involved police officers were fired and charged. The US National Guard was deployed to ensure order. A curfew was imposed in nearly 40 cities, including Washington D.C. and New York.

Later protesters in some US cities started taking down monuments to historic personalities, including to the leaders of Confederate States of America that united southern slave-owning states during the US Civil War (1861-1865). Moreover, a few statues of Christopher Columbus, an Italian navigator who is known for discovering America, were pulled down as well.

On June 9, HBO Max removed Gone with the Wind from its library, motivating this by the struggle against racism. Later, the Oscar-winning film based on the famous novel by Margaret Mitchell was returned to the streaming service with a new introduction addressing the movie’s racism.