Medvedev supports idea to create society of Russian historians

VLADIMIR, July 22 (Itar-Tass) — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev supported an idea to create a society of Russian historians.

Director of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology at the Russian Academy of Sciences Valery Tishkov has offered the foresaid initiative to the president at a meeting with Russian historians in Vladimir. “The community of professional historians numbers about 40,000 people. We believe that a society of Russian historians should be created desirably under your auspices,” he elaborated.

The president answered, “I am ready to support you,” because “I also found it correct and useful.” Meanwhile, he noted that despite frequent precedents “of a malign influence of the authorities on the science of history” such an alliance can be useful now. “We live in another epoch and today one can hardly imagine that the president or any other statesman can dictate historical theories for the textbooks,” Medvedev said.

The participants in the meeting raised repeatedly the issue of influence of politics on the history. For instance, Medvedev acknowledged that he was pondering for a long time before signing the decree (in March 2011) on the celebrations of the 1150th anniversary of Russian statehood in 2012. “It has been tabled at my office for several months, and I believed I should ponder whether we create a precedent for the state verification of the theory that is harmful for science for clear reasons. However, taking into account all pros and contras and recalling about the millennium celebrations of Russian state in 1862, I found more pluses in the issue, even if someone will reproach us some time in the future that we turned a theory in a regulatory act. This is mainly a correct interpretation of the events of that period of time,” the president said.

The meeting discussed the popularization of the science of history. Medvedev noted that most people learn history from the textbooks and scientific literature, as well as journalism papers, which can be quite different in quality. “It is very important so that people will also learn the research results and will be aware that the modern historical science mainly has a definite attitude to some concrete events. Meanwhile, they should not feel an iron-hand pressure from the state,” the president pointed out. Meanwhile, he emphasized that the political practice and the science of history, as well as the direct joggling with the historic events by the major political forces existed not only in the recent Soviet history. 

The 1150th anniversary of Russian statehood will be celebrated in 2012. In March 2011, the Russian president signed a decree to celebrate this remarkable date. The venue of an upcoming meeting is not accidental. In 1243-1349 Vladimir was the capital of Russian state.

The president is also expected to meet with Governor of the Vladimir Region Nikolai Vinogradov.

Medvedev is also expected to visit the Church of the Intercession on the Nerl River. This ancient church is considered one of the most beautiful churches in Russia.

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