Russia rolls out new history book to 'convince' pupils on Ukraine ahead of next school year
As children prepare to return to classrooms in Russia, the Kremlin has swiftly moved to unveil a new history textbook praising Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine.
The book features Russia’s bridge connecting the mainland to Crimea on its main page, symbolising Russian President Vladimir Putin’s leadership.
The objective of the move is to convey the purpose of the Ukraine offensive to its young minds. The book covers the period from 1945 to the 21st century and links Russia’s actions in Ukraine to its past glory and historical destiny.
A school year in Russia generally extends from September 1 to the end of May.
Book written in record five months
Speaking at a press conference, Russian Education Minister Sergei Kravtsov told that the book material was written within record “five months”.
He added that the book conveys the aims of “the tasks of demilitarisation and de-nazification, so that schoolchildren are convinced that this is really the case.”
Kravtsov said that major changes will be made in this book once Moscow emerges victorious in the ongoing conflict.
“After the end of the special military operation (in Ukraine), after our victory, we will further supplement this book,” he was quoted as saying by AFP.
Presidential aide Vladimir Medinsky, renowned for his conservative perspective on history, and having faced criticism from certain historians, commended the swift creation of the textbook.
"This is the first time our nation has seen the development of a textbook in such a short span," he remarked.
"The authors diligently penned it, almost by their own hands."
He affirmed that the textbook presents "the viewpoint of the state."
Among its contents are segments about Russian soldiers involved in "preserving peace" in 2014, coinciding with the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
The text also condemns Western sanctions, likening them to the severity of Napoleon's actions during the 1812 invasion of Russia.
Shrinking space for dissent in Russia
As the conflict in Ukraine drags on, Russia has enacted an unparalleled crackdown on dissent, extending its reach to educational institutions.
In April, a young Russian student was separated from her father after she depicted support for Ukraine through a drawing at school.
Following the commencement of the Ukraine operation, a fresh subject – titled "Conversations on Matters of Importance" – was introduced in Russian schools, aimed at promoting patriotism among children.