Last week a long-awaited event took place in Armavir: after seven years of violation of Russian law, a memorial plaque to Nazi accomplice Garegin Nzhdeh was dismantled. This happened after deputy of the Armavir City Duma Alexei Vinogradov, responding to a request from the public, painted this plate with black paint. Following this event, Vestnik Kavkaza spoke to First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Vladimir Jabarov about the fight against falsification of history of World War II.
- It's almost the end of 2019. What is the current situation in terms of preservation of historical memory of the Great Victory? What trends are we fighting against?
- The main trend we fight against is attempts to falsify history. Many countries want to blame the Soviet Union for unleashing the Second World War. Many people think that we forgot how it all began, how many European countries surrendered to Germany, and many of them were involved in the extermination of Jews living in their territory. In other words, they participated in the Holocaust. Now they are trying to present history in such a way that responsibility for all of this lies not only on Germany, but also on the USSR.
We're extremely against such attempts, and we will never agree with this, we will not allow to rewrite history. In order to prevent this, we preserve documents, newsreels. There are also people's memories and many other documented materials. History can't be rewriten.
- What is the impact of policy of revaluation of the Nazis and their accomplices, which is carried out both in the West and in the post-Soviet space?
- We're against any statements of people who are trying to justify fascist collaborators. You know that recently with great regret we observed an attempt to rehabilitate the traitor Andrei Vlasov in the Czech Republic. In this regard, we still have support of many countries, especially our allies in the Commonwealth of Independent States, which, being part of the Soviet Union, truly fought against fascism. We welcome position of Israel, which honors the memory of the Red Army and supports our fight against falsification of outcome of the war. We believe that we're not alone in this struggle.
Right now people are trying to see whether it's possible to change the world's perception of those events. It's impossible! There are things that can't be changed, and everything related to the horrors of the Great Patriotic War and the entire World War II are among those things.
- In this connection, what do you think about installation of monuments to Nazis and their accomplices in the post-Soviet space? For example, there are monuments to war criminals in Ukraine or Garegin Nzhdeh in Armenia.
- What is happening in Ukraine right now is the result of a coup when nationalists and Bandera units came to power - that's why there are attempts to rewrite history through demolition of monuments to the great commanders-liberators of Ukraine. Sooner or later, these forces will be doomed to failure, because while part of the Ukrainian population can be intimidated, historical memory can't be erased.
As for Garegin Nzhdeh, I have stated my position on this long time ago: he wore the uniform of SS General, was one of the creators of the Armenian SS Legion, so I have no illusions about his role in history. I would not want Garegin Nzhdeh to become stumbling block in our relations with Armenia, but it must be highlighted that during the Second World War he collaborated with Nazi Germany. For me personally, his role is completely obvious.
I will give an example: there's General Denikin, whom Nazis approached with a proposal to lead the movement against the Bolsheviks, but he said: "I don't like Bolsheviks, but I love my homeland even more." So he refused to cooperate. And General Krasnov, unfortunately, collaborated with the Nazis. That's why when it comes to historical memory Krasnov remained a traitor, Judas, while Denikin remained Russian general and patriot.