Supreme Court decision on reposting of article about Soviet actions in 1939 to be appealed

posted 12 Sept 2016, 07:59 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 12 Sept 2016, 08:00 ]
2 September 2016


Russia's Supreme Court upheld the conviction of the Perm blogger Vladimir Luzgin for reposting an article on historical facts which are 77 years old. This is reported by Novaya Gazeta. "This collegium of the Supreme Court has discredited itself," said Luzgin's lawyer Genri Reznik.

In July, the Perm regional court sentenced the blogger Vladimir Luzgin to pay a 200,000 rouble fine, finding him guilty of ‘public denial of the Nuremberg trials' decisions and spreading false information about the Soviet Union's actions during World War II.’

The pretext for the criminal case was a reposted article on Luzgin's VKontakte page, "15 Facts about the Banderovtsy, or what the Kremlin doesn't talk about," in which there is mention of the joint invasion of Poland by the USSR and Germany in 1939 and the outbreak of World War II.

The accusation was supported by the expert testimony of the Dean of the History Department at Perm Humanitarian and Pedagogical University, Mr. Vertinsky.

Vladimir Luzgin himself explained in court that he heard about the 1939 joint invasion of Poland by the USSR and Germany in his school history lessons. It is a point of common knowledge. However, the court fined him, finding that Luzgin's level of historical knowledge should have sufficed to show him the 'falsehoods' contained in the article: this is shown by his school report, according to which he was given a grade of "Good" in History.

The charges brought against Vladimir Luzgin have had a resonance beyond the borders of Russia. Polish historians have expressed their concern at attempts to suppress historical facts about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and the secret protocols added to it on the division of Europe, as well as the occupation of Polish territory by the Soviets and the Germans in 1939.

See: Memorial Society statement on the anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

Translated by Alissa Leigh-Valles