Prague, June 27 (CTK) – The Russian history professor, Andrej Zubov, who was dismissed from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations over his criticism of Russia’s Crimea policy last year, has told CTK that he considers teaching history to the Russian youth to be his major task.
“If youth turns to the value of human freedom and dignity, this will bring a free future to Russia. But if the youth opts for what Putin’s propaganda offers, this will entail terrible territorial problems that will be dangerous to the whole world,” Zubov said.
“The struggle for youth is the struggle for our future,” said Zubov who arrived in Prague on the occasion of the publication of the second volume of “History of Russia. XX Century.”
He led the team of the book’s 45 authors, who are not mentioned by name out of fear of the current regime in Russia.
Zubov now works for the Novaya gazeta Internet paper and gives lectures across Russia and Europe.
Zubov told CTK that Russia has got rid of communism in its worst form. “But it is not full liberation because the legacy of the Soviet Union is returning in a way. ‘History of Russia. XX Century’ should remind the Russians of what they were liberated so that they never want to return to it,” Zubov said.
He said if he wrote a similar book during the period of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin, he would definitely be executed. During the term of Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev, he would be sent to prison and banished to Siberia.
“True, everything is progressing, but our task is to make the better even better,” Zubov said.
Some supporters of President Vladimir Putin warn of that chaos and lawlessness could follow his possible fall.
“When Stalin died, people were weeping and they could not imagine the world without him. But what happened? The Korean war ended, people started to be released from gulags, but the world did not collapse. When the Soviet Union disintegrated, it was not easy, particularly economically, but life became freer. It is a nonsense to believe that all others will die with the departure of the leader,” Zubov said.
“History of Russia. XX Century” maps the development of society from 1894 until 2007, including the tsarist period, the revolutions of 1905 and 1917, the Cold War, the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the return to the authoritarian state in the present.
“Putin has done so many silly things over the 15 years of his rule like few before him. Due to him, international sanctions have been imposed against the country, he has been driven out of G8 and the world views us as robbers. He is selling one of the potentially richest countries of the world for a pittance to China,” Zubov said.