Russia Rewrites History Textbooks—Preparing Next Generation for War

Russian Education Minister Sergei Kravtsov attends a press conference to present a new schoolbook for high school students on general world history and Russian history on August 7, 2023.
YURI KADOBNOV/AFP via Getty Images

Russia Rewrites History Textbooks—Preparing Next Generation for War

Vladimir Putin’s regime is filling young minds with victimhood, lies and malice so that upon graduation, they will eagerly take their turn on the battlefield.

Russia’s Ministry of Education unveiled a new high school history textbook on August 7 that distorts facts, omits truths, and twists logic. It is part of a campaign to make students see Russia’s war on Ukraine, and the world in general, through a warped pro-Kremlin lens.

The new book, titled Russian History, 1945 to Early 21st Century, is intended for 11th graders. The chapters covering history from the 1970s to the 2000s portray Russia as a perpetual victim of Western aggression. “The West is fixated on destabilizing the situation within Russia,” the text states, and to accomplish this, Western authorities devote considerable resources to spreading “undisguised Russophobia.”

The truth is that after the Soviet Union’s collapse, Russia was given every opportunity to integrate into the United States-funded global order and to be stabilized and enriched within it the way numerous nations such as South Korea and Japan have been. Russian President Vladimir Putin understood this when he first rose to power in 2000, and even discussed his aim to bring Russia into the U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization. But as the years went by, Putin’s Russia instead chose a path of systemic corruption, unyielding victimhood and violent expansionism.

The textbook also devotes considerable space to describing Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine and the events that led up to it. These chapters repeat Kremlin propaganda, saying Putin was forced into the war because of nato and Ukrainian aggression, that Russian soldiers are valiantly risking their lives to stop a Ukrainian “genocide” of ethnic Russians, and that any civilian casualties are the result of Ukrainian “Nazis” shelling their own people.

The textbook also states that in 2022, Ukraine was on the cusp of acquiring nuclear weapons for use against Russia, which would have engulfed the world in nuclear war. It claims Putin actually saved mankind by waging this war. “This would have possibly been the end of civilization” and “could not be allowed to happen,” the text says.

The book goes on to describe Ukraine as an “ultranationalist state” that was artificially created by Western powers only to be used as a “battering ram” against Russia.

In truth, the people of Ukraine voted overwhelmingly in 1991 to leave the Soviet Union and become an independent state.

As the years went by, Ukraine maintained independence but remained intimately connected to the Russian system, which mired every level of Ukrainian society and government in Russia’s brand of debilitating corruption. It was no secret that most Ukrainians wished to pull away from Moscow and integrate with Europe, and in 2002 Putin said he would support such a move. “I am absolutely convinced that Ukraine will not shy away from the processes of expanding interaction with nato and the Western allies as a whole,” he said during a press conference. “At the end of the day the decision [on Ukraine joining nato] is to be made by nato and Ukraine. It is a matter for those two partners.” Putin reiterated his support for Ukraine joining nato several times over the following years.

But in 2013, Ukrainians began taking concrete steps to economically integrate with Europe, and Putin apparently had a change of heart. Ukraine’s desire to move toward Europe was what actually prompted Russia’s war of aggression from 2014 to the present. Putin’s overarching foreign-policy goal is to return former Soviet nations to Moscow’s control, and Ukraine is the linchpin in that strategy. Russia’s explanations for the war are circuitous and complicated, pointing the finger in a dozen directions. But the truth is simple: Putin waged war on the nation to assert his control over it.

After Russian forces invaded and annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote: “Putin applied all that pressure on Ukraine because that nation is the linchpin of his goal of a renewed imperial Russia! A linchpin is the pin in an axle that keeps the wheel from coming off. Mr. Putin was doing everything in his power to keep the wheels from falling off his dream of a new Soviet empire.”

The version of events taught in Russia’s new textbook adds up to a classic darvo spin: “deny, attack, and reverse victim and offender.” Layer after layer is demonstrably false. But it is what teachers across the vast Russian Federation are required to methodically teach to impressionable young minds starting September 1 when the academic year begins. And this volume is only the start. Education Minister Sergey Kravtsov said new history textbooks will be published next year for fifth through ninth grades, covering the same falsehoods.

With this method, Putin’s regime is radicalizing the nation’s youth, filling their minds with lies, victimhood and malice so that upon graduation they will eagerly take their turn on the battlefield.

The ‘Prince’ of Russia

Vladimir Putin’s evil is nauseating. And it takes on great significance when viewed in light of Bible prophecy. In his booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia,’ Mr. Flurry calls particular attention to Ezekiel 38 and 39, which prophesy of a multinational Asian power that will emerge in the near future and will be led by the “prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal” (Ezekiel 38:2; Young’s Literal Translation).

He writes that Meshech and Tubal are ancient names representing the modern Russian cities of Moscow and Tobolsk, and Rosh is a variation of Rus, an ancient name for Russia. Placing this passage alongside Putin’s history of aggression, Mr. Flurry writes:

His track record, his nationality and his ideology show that he is fulfilling a linchpin Bible prophecy. The time frame of his rule also shows that nobody else could be fulfilling the Ezekiel 38 and 39 prophecy. …

We need to watch Vladimir Putin closely. He is the “prince of Rosh” whom God inspired Ezekiel to write about 2,500 years ago!

It is clear that the future for Russia, Ukraine and all nations is growing bleaker. But Mr. Flurry says the fact that the “prince of Russia” is now on the scene shows that the most hope-filled event in mankind’s history is close. “Vladimir Putin is a sign, literally a SIGN, that Jesus Christ is about to return!” he writes. “This is one of the most inspiring messages in the Bible. What we are seeing in Russia ultimately leads to the transition from man ruling man to God ruling man!”

To understand more, order your free copy of The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia.’