"As for new-fangled historians or, rather, the people out to revise history, I should advise them to learn reading books before they write books of their own, and before they re-write history from scratch," the President caustically remarked in an interview with the Radio Slovensko and the Slovak-based STV television.
World War II came as the biggest disaster throughout world history. It taught the current generation and those to come their biggest lesson, said Mr. Putin. "We must remember that lesson, and make necessary conclusions out of it so as to build a safe up-to-date world, and arrange relations between countries on certain patterns."
As the President turned to the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact, he made an emphatic remark:
"We ought to view all things in their historical context. References are often made to, say, the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, which is alleged to result in a plot between Soviet Russia-that is, the Soviet Union-and Hitler's Germany, and eventually bring the Baltic countries' annexation.
"What can I say on that score? We ought to regard it all in its historical context. I dare ask you to get back to the developments of September 1938, when notorious agreements were signed in Munich between nazi Germany and West European countries. They came down into history, later on, and are often referred to as 'the Munich plot'."
The agreements exposed Czechoslovakia to nazi Germany to be devoured. Western partners, in a way, showed Hitler where he ought to turn to satisfy his skyrocketing ambitions. That was the eastward direction, stressed the President.
"To protect its interests and security along its west frontiers, the Soviet Union ventured out to sign the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact with Germany. We see the problem harped on nowadays. If we regard it in that particular context, we shall take quite a different view of it."