Russia’s efforts to rewrite history remind Orwellian “memory holes”

April 20,2023 900
Russia’s efforts to rewrite history remind Orwellian “memory holes”

Russia’s education authorities have blacked out several references to Kyiv in the new edition of the textbook “The World Around Us” for fourth-grade students where it deals with the history of Kyivan Rus, Mediazona reported on Wednesday.

The idea behind the edits is to keep Rus but have as few references to its capital city Kyiv as possible.

“We mention once that Kyivan Rus was formed and then simply call it Rus, no more Kyivan Rus,” said a source in the publishing house a year ago, when the textbook’s new edition was being drafted. Just a 1984 Orwellian Winston Smith who used so-called “memory holes” – mechanisms for incinerating any documents from history that the “Ministry of Truth” wanted to alter!

Mediazona compared the textbook’s old edition with the new one, just sent to printers, and found the following changes:

According to the 2021 edition, “The Tale of Bygone Years” was written by monk Nestor of the Kyiv Monastery of the Caves. In the new edition, Nestor is just a monk – as if he was a freelance copywriter on a remote job.

The old textbook version said that Prince Volodymyr baptized all the people in Kyiv. The new one says he did it in the capital.

Finally, Russian kids had been taught that after the death of Prince Oleg, Prince Igor began to rule in Kyiv. Now, “in Kyiv” is replaced with “Over Rus.”

What next? Will the subsequent editions of textbooks in Russia say that there was no Prince Volodymyr the Handsome Sun but Prince Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, the founding father of Moscovite Rus?

“Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past,” wrote George Orwell in his dystopian novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” nearly 75 years ago. Still valid.

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