A worker cleans a statue of Vladimir Lenin in St. Petersburg. But how much Russian history gets whitewashed today?
Dmitri Lovetsky/AP Photo
Because the Kremlin hopes to project strength and unity, history isn't used as much to inform as it is to inspire, with events cherry-picked to fit within a fuzzy framework of 'Russian greatness.'
Russian defense minister during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow.
In the 19th century, Russian intellectuals launched a search for historical evidence of their moral and military superiority. What they found drives what today some call "Russian aggression."
The 1976 memorial at the Babi Yar massacre site only recognised Soviet victims, despite the killing of more than 30,000 Jewish people. In 1991 a Jewish memorial was installed nearby.
On September 29 1941, Nazis murdered more than 30,000 Jews in a ravine outside Kiev. Dmitri Shostakovich's 13th Symphony, Babi Yar, is a damning critique of the Soviet Union's lack of recognition of the massacre, and a condemnation of Stalinism.
Over a period of 30 years, millions of criminals and political prisoners were sent to Soviet labor camps.
The recently translated letters of Latvian poet and journalist Arsenii Formakov depict everyday life – and suffering – in the Gulag.
Russian army officers take the oath of allegiance to the Revolution, 1917.
How is Vladimir Putin - for whom uprisings are anathema - treating this year's centenary of the Russian revolution?