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MOSCOW – Russia is locked in a battle between official history (the story of the state) and counterhistory (the story of civil society and the memories of the people).At the same time, the revolution was an important moment in Russia's history, and thus a source of national identity.In this interpretation, ice ages in Russia's history – periods when cold-blooded leaders ruled with an iron fist – were good for the country.All allusions by the Putin regime to the Stalinist era must reinforce Putin's own image as a modern benevolent dictator, capable of restoring Russia's global influence and bringing it prosperity.Propaganda focuses on the military victories of Russia's "1,000-year history" (copyright: Vladimir Putin), in order to reinforce the image of Russia as a fortress besieged by the hostile West.Beyond the biography of a state – the stories of wars, cannonades, military commanders, statesmen, administrative hierarchy, and empire building that comprise Russia's official history – there is another history.In its struggle with this counterhistory, the regime is trying to nationalize personal stories and biographies.
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