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Russia’s national past: unpicking history from propaganda

Orlando Figes discusses how Russia has viewed – and weaponised – its own past, from debates around the nation’s foundation to Putin’s historical justifications for invading Ukraine

Published: September 6, 2022 at 11:03 am
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In order to understand modern Russia, historian Orlando Figes argues, you need to understand the country’s view of its own past. From Putin’s historical justifications for invading Ukraine to debates about Russia’s foundation story, Figes tells Ellie Cawthorne how Russia has reflected on – and weaponised – its own history.



Ellie CawthornePodcast editor, HistoryExtra

Ellie Cawthorne is HistoryExtra’s podcast editor. She also contributes to BBC History Magazine, runs the podcast newsletter and hosts several live and virtual BBC History Magazine events.


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