The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Russia's new history textbooks teach Putin's alternate reality

By Mary Ilyushina

13 Aug 2023 · 6 min read

informed Summary

  1. The Russian government has rewritten high school history textbooks to include Kremlin-approved narratives about the conflict in Ukraine and Russia's relationship with the West. The new textbooks blame the United States for the ongoing war in Ukraine and include quotes from President Vladimir Putin asserting that Russia did not start any military actions.

RIGA, Latvia - When classes begin next month, Russian high-schoolers will get fresh history textbooks rewritten to carry Kremlin-approved narratives about the "special military operation" in Ukraine and rivalry with the West - part of a wider government effort to shape how young generations of Russians think about the war and Russia's place in the world.

The new manuscript - aimed at graduating 17-year-olds and covering the time-period from 1945 until now - blames the United States for the ongoing war in Ukraine and includes a quote from President Vladimir Putin in which he falsely asserts that: "Russia did not start any military actions but is trying to end them."

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