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04:56 GMT +3 hours21 December 2014
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Moscow annoyed by attempts to rewrite WWII history

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Russia rejects all attempts to hold it responsible for the tragedies of World War II.

MOSCOW, August 28 (RIA Novosti) - Russia rejects all attempts to hold it responsible for the tragedies of World War II, the head of a presidential commission said on Friday.

In mid-May, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered the establishment of a special commission to counter attempts to falsify history to the detriment of Russia's interests.

The commission is comprised of 28 officials from the presidential administration, the Federal Security Service (FSB), the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), the State Duma, the Public Chamber, the state archives and science agencies, as well as the foreign, regional development, justice, and culture ministries.

Presidential chief of staff Sergei Naryshkin, who is also commission chairman, told a meeting that there were increasing instances of "biased and even cynical treatment of our country's history, as well as of European and world history."

He said attempts to rewrite WWII history were aimed at "reviewing the geopolitical results of the war."

He said Russia as the historical successor to the Soviet Union was being "blamed for the events and tragedies of those years" and that these attempts were aimed at "laying the groundwork for making claims on our country - political, financial, and territorial."

Naryshkin urged support for additional measures to prevent the rewriting of history, including in the educational and regulatory sphere, as well as through promoting historical science.

President Medvedev has repeatedly criticized attempts by foreign states to rewrite or falsify history, in particular post-Soviet countries' positions on World War II and the Stalinist repression.

The most prominent cases have been Ukraine's attempts to have the Stalin-era Holodomor famine internationally recognized as an act of genocide by the Soviet Union, and Baltic countries' demands for compensation for the Soviet "occupation."

The war continues to be a contentious issue in Russia's relations with both Estonia and Latvia, over the Baltic States' perceived glorification of Nazi collaborators.

Parades in honor of Waffen-SS veterans, involving veterans from the Latvian Legion and the 20th Estonian SS Division and their supporters, are held annually in the two Baltic States.

In April 2007, Tallinn was hit by mass protests after the Estonian authorities ordered the removal of a Soviet WWII monument, along with the graves of Soviet soldiers who fought against Hitler's forces.