Russia is running out of stories.
On May 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law an addition to Russia’s criminal code that establishes severe penalties for “rehabilitation of Nazism.” As the law states, this could include denying the findings of the International Criminal Court at Nuremburg or spreading false information about the activities of the USSR during World War II. Those found guilty may be fined up to 300,000 rubles (about $10,000) or subject to up to three years imprisonment, or even more if they use mass media.
Many countries, of course, have similar laws. But Russia’s new law has little to do with concerns about Holocaust deniers and everything to do with the current political need for an unambiguously pro-Russian official history of World War II.