“There is hardly any country history has been as utterly rewritten as Russia’s, from the tsars to communism…Indeed, like in the times of Russian tsars, emperors and general secretaries, the current Russian leadership’s real concern is great power status, which in the case of Russia, has always been achieved at the expense of its citizens’ prosperity.”
Source: As Putin Zaps Lenin, Lavrov Hurriedly Rewrites History
If you want to understand Putin and his motives this piece is very helpful and interesting: History News Network | The Surprising Consensus on What Experts Say about Putin
The answer might surprise you. Walter G. Moss argues that Putin is more of an opportunist, but that he also “hold[s] some basic conservative beliefs and is willing to use various means to trumpet them.” Read his entire article here:
History News Network | Is Vladimir Putin an Ideologue, Idealist, or Opportunist?
“Putin laying wreaths at a monument to the defenders of Sevastopol in World War II, 9 May 2014 (www.kremlin.ru)”
In his review of Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin, Walter G. Moss examines how Putin uses and abuses history for his own purposes. Fittingly, he concludes:
“Putin is far from unique among politicians, or even among professional historians, in attempting to manipulate history. But a true “history man” (or woman) is primarily a truth-seeker, one who puts discovering the truth before any political or personal causes, whether they are of an ideological, national, patriotic, class, ethnic, or gender nature. Philosopher and novelist Iris Murdoch in her The Sovereignty of Good
writes of the “honesty and humility of the scholar who does not even feel tempted to suppress the fact which damns his theory.” Without denying that Putin believes much of what he says, he possesses neither the honesty nor humility of Murdoch’s hypothetical scholar. Politicians who do possess such virtues are rare—in any country. And even we professional historians must fight a constant battle to prevent our biases and causes from trumping truth-seeking.” Read the entire article here:
History News Network | Vladimir Putin: History Man?
Nationalists of all stripes have been particularly adept at distorting history to serve their own purposes. Once again, nationalism and its sidekick “selective history” have been on the rise, most notably in Russia. Vladimir Putin is a master of exploiting nationalism in the pursuit of power. Recently, as noted by Maxim Trudolyubov, Putin declared: “‘It’s time to stop taking note only of the bad things in our history and berating ourselves more than even our opponents would do,’ he declared at the annual gathering of international Russia experts known as the Valdai Discussion Club in 2013. ‘We must be proud of our history.’” Sound familiar?
Read Trudolyubov’s entire article here:
Moscow’s Twisted History Lessons – NYTimes.com.
Peter Pomerantsev wrote in The New York Times: “’Everything is P.R.,’ my Moscow peers would tell me. This cynicism is useful to the state: When people stopped trusting any institutions or having any values, they could easily be spun into a conspiratorial vision of the world. Thus the paradox: the gullible cynic.” This is a problem everywhere, but Putin has taken it to a new level.
Russia’s Ideology: There Is No Truth – NYTimes.com.