NEWSWATCH Wall Street Journal: In Russia, Exhibition Seeks to Show Ivan Wasn’t So Terrible

File Image of Ivan the Terrible Etching, adapted from image at loc.gov

[“In Russia, Exhibition Seeks to Show Ivan Wasn’t So Terrible; Medieval-history show raises question if Russia’s often-bloody history is being whitewashed to fuel nationalist campaign” – Wall Street Journal – JAMES MARSON – March 31, 2015]

The Wall Street Journal covers efforts to rehabilitate the image of Ivan the Terrible, and questions about whether revisions of historical accounts are aimed at remaking the context for current policies and stoking Russian nationalism.

‘We need to win minds,’ Mr. Putin told historians in November … ‘When we convince the vast majority of our people that our position is correct, objective and fair, and show that this position benefits our society, country and people, we will gain millions of supporters.’

… some historians in Russia and the West are alarmed because they fear that Russia’s often-bloody history is being whitewashed to fuel the Kremlin’s nationalist campaign. …

In addition to focusing on such subjects as World War II, Ivan the Terrible is being revisited.

Alexander Myasnikov says foreign enemies have unfairly tarred this Moscow leader as a murderous despot who bumped off his enemies and invaded his neighbor.
Ivan the Terrible needs better PR, Mr. Myasnikov says.

‘It was an anti-Russian campaign.

It’s a story of European PR about how there is a scary tyrant in Moscow,’ says the amateur historian.

 

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