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Putin's view of history

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In Asia recently, there has been a lot of monologues concerning Japan's view of history, mainly regarding its invasion and occupation of other Asian countries. Likewise, the areas of the former U.S.S.R. and Eastern Europe and the US are having a similar, simmering row with Russia.

In the Russian version of the 'State of the Union", Putin said,

"First and foremost it is worth acknowledging that the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century," Putin said. "As for the Russian people, it became a genuine tragedy. Tens of millions of our fellow citizens and countrymen found themselves beyond the fringes of Russian territory. The epidemic of collapse has spilled over to Russia itself."


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From the Washington Post:

Mr. Putin recently defended the notorious bargain with Nazi Germany as a step by the Soviet Union to "ensure its interest and its security on its western borders." His foreign ministry has hotly objected to the planned visits by President Bush to Latvia and the former Soviet republic of Georgia before and after the anniversary celebration, and to Mr. Bush's reference to the Soviet "occupation" of the Baltics in a letter to the Latvian president. "One cannot use 'occupation' to describe those historical events," the Russian ambassador to the European Union said Thursday, repeating the Stalinist propaganda.


Clearly, it is important never to forget the sacrifice the people of the Soviet Union made towards defeating Nazism, especially the sacrifice of Soviet soliders. Nonetheless, what is important now is to understand how each country remembers its history, both good and bad. Also, understanding how a country views its popularized version of histroy can help to understand a country's future foreign policy and how it will react to events.

So, any thoughts on this? Also, any insight towards how China is viewing this dispute?

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