According to opponents of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Putin is seeking to rewrite history textbooks to paint himself in a more positive light. In February, he sought new guidelines for the next round of Russian and Soviet history books for schoolchildren – and the guidelines chosen exonerate Putin from any protests or opposition. “It was a simple political order,” said Vladimir Ryzhkov, a Putin opponent, “to justify the ruling authorities, to explain they are doing everything right.”
Putin has been in power continuously for 13 years, and is slated to come up for re-election only in 2018. The guidelines suggest that the history textbooks be “free of internal contradictions and double interpretation.” The guidelines state, “During his first and second presidential terms, Vladimir Putin managed to stabilize the situation in the country and strengthen the ‘vertical of power.'”
The guidelines, naturally, do not mention Putin taking over large swaths of the media in order to stop opposition, nor do they mention the enormous anti-Putin rallies of 2011 and 2012. The guidelines are unclear about how to portray Stalin, World War II, and the fall of the USSR. The Historical Society that created the guidelines is led by a member of Putin’s party.