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EDITORIAL | Putin Regime Adopts New Textbooks to Brainwash Young Russians

Filled with lies, Vladimir Putin uses this "patriotic education" to justify the invasion of Ukraine and the illegal occupation of Japan's Northern Territories.



Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on construction industry development at Kremlin in Moscow, Russia August 8, 2023. (©Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS)

The Vladimir Putin regime has adopted new textbooks for use in Russian schools starting in the new school year in September. Their new content "justifies" the invasion of Ukraine

Furthermore, the textbooks are to be used in secondary school classes throughout Russia. That is the equivalent of first- and second-year high school students in Japan. They are part of a "patriotic education" push by the power holders also designed to increase allegiance to the authorities. 

However, there does not exist even a single basis for "justifying" the invasion launched in February 2022 by a tyrant obsessed with his ingrained imperialist delusions. 

With his self-chosen war faring poorly, Russian President Vladimir Putin has sought to fuel patriotism among the Russian public. Moreover, he seeks to shift the rationale for the ongoing invasion. Now, he proclaims, it is a struggle for the "defense of the motherland" from a West that is out to destroy Russia. 

Founder of Wagner private mercenary group Yevgeny Prigozhin speaks inside the headquarters of the Russian southern army military command center in a still image is taken from a video released June 24, 2023. (© Concord"/Handout via REUTERS)

Refuting the 'Cause' of the Invasion

The adoption of the new textbooks is nothing but a despicable brainwashing approach to education. Above all, it infects children with a distorted view of history under the name of "patriotic education." These toxic textbooks should be immediately withdrawn.

We are reminded of the mutiny this June by the mercenary group Wagner. Its chief Yevgeny Prigozhin also directly refuted the "cause" Putin had cited for undertaking the invasion. Among other things, he revealed that there was no need for a war to "demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine."

There is a section in the new textbooks on the "correct history" of the "special military operation against Ukraine." It states that Ukraine was seeking to join NATO. Then it adds that the West had imposed illegal sanctions on Russia in an attempt to destroy its economy.

Thus, Moscow shamelessly seeks to turn historical truth upside-down.

Northern Territories
Etorofu (Iturup) Island in Japan's Northern Territories.

Turning Russia's World War II History Upside-Down

Putin is attempting to use the Soviet Union's victory in the Great Patriotic War under the dictator Joseph Stalin. That was the struggle against Nazi Germany in World War II. Using that war, he seeks to increase solidarity and raise patriotic fervor in today's Russia. 

Nevertheless, the Russian government continues to hide the historical facts. For example, in accordance with their non-aggression pact of 1939, the Soviet Union joined hands with Hitler's Germany. That was to divide Poland at the start of World War II.

Furthermore, just as World War II was coming to a close, Stalin unilaterally violated the Japan-Soviet neutrality agreement. On August 9, 1945, he attacked Japan. Here too the history books compiled by the Putin regime do not contain a single line telling the truth of how Russia came to illegally occupy Japan's Northern Territories.

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a ceremony to declare the annexation of the Russian-controlled territories of Ukraine's Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions on September 30, 2022. Sputnik/Gavriil

False Justifications on the Road to Ruin

The current attempts to "justify" the Ukraine invasion are viewed as a stratagem for nipping in the bud anti-war and anti-regime sentiments among the Russian public.

One male Russian teacher offered this criticism: "The state is trying to mold our children. I am against ideological education of any kind."

That reaction is only natural. 

After Putin's war of aggression began, talented young people with promising futures deserted Russia in droves. If the children who remained are inculcated with "patriotic education" filled with lies, Russia's international isolation will only be perpetuated.

The Russian people should wake up to the fact that Vladimir Putin has set them on the "road to ruin." That road will inevitably result in self-destruction. 


(Read the editorial in Japanese.)

Author: Editorial Board, The Sankei Shimbun

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