The Kremlin in the Putin era has often sought to maintain as much
sway over the portrayal of history as over the governance of the
country. In seeking to restore Russia's standing, Putin and other
officials have stoked a nationalism that glorifies Soviet triumphs
while playing down or even whitewashing the system's horrors.
As a result, throughout Russia, many archives detailing killings,
persecution and other such acts committed by the Soviet authorities
have become increasingly off-limits. The role of the security services
seems especially delicate, perhaps because Putin is a former KGB agent
who headed the agency's successor, the FSB, in the late 1990s.
A real historical examination of what went on is no longer politically convenient, it seems.