In 2005, Russian President Vladimir Putin described the dissolution of the Soviet Union as "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the [20th] century." Putin takes pride in his sixteen years of service in the KGB, and often talks nostalgically about the Soviet Unions role as a global superpower. During his 21 years as the leading political figure in the Russian Federation, Putin has used Soviet history to confer legitimacy on his own rule, and he has used Russia's schools to inculcate a particular version of Soviet history. The speakers will explore how Soviet history has been used and abused by the Russian authorities to benefit their own interests and promote Putin's vision of Russia as a great power on the world stage.
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