BELGOROD REGION, July 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that a history textbook to serve as a standard for lessons in Russia would be ready soon.
At a meeting with World War II veterans in Prokhorovka, a settlement in western Russia’s Belgorod Region, which saw a major armored confrontation during the war, Putin lamented the huge number of history textbooks currently used in Russian schools. He said their number, which had risen from 41 to 65 since the start of last year, was “absolutely inadmissible” and created difficulties for both students and teachers.
“Undoubtedly, there should be a canonic version of a [history] textbook,” Putin said. “Of course, it doesn’t mean that different opinions on [historic] events are impossible. But a canonic version should exist, and a teacher should have an opportunity to inform a student of various opinions about this or that fact.”
Putin said a council of experts, in charge of preparing the textbook, was continuing its work, and the book would appear “in the near future.”
The idea of launching a unified series of textbooks on Russian history came from Putin himself, who ordered their creation back in February.
The textbooks should be devoid of “inner contradictions and confusing interpretations” and “instill respect for all periods of our history,” the president said at the time.
Putin’s concern over perceptions of Russia’s history dates back to at least 2007, when he first blasted unspecified “hair-raising” history textbooks, though he gave no orders to rectify the situation at that time.