CAMPAIGNERS condemned “Russophobic” representations of the Ukrainian civil war in school textbooks yesterday, as Kiev launched a campaign of “decommunisation.”
In images reminiscent of fascist and cold war anti-communist propaganda, Dutch textbooks for 15 and 16-year-olds show a map of Russia as a red monster with claws and fangs devouring a helpless Ukraine which reaches out to a concerned-looking Europe for help.
Ironically, the snout of the Russian “monster” is neighbouring Belarus, which has hosted peace talks between the Western-backed government in Kiev and separatist forces in eastern Ukraine.
Dutch citizen Michel Philipsen, who publicised the images, said that all Dutch media shared the same “anti-Putin, anti-Russia, anti-communist bias, as if Russia was still a communist country today.”
Broadcaster and campaigner Ancilla Tilia added: “It is absolutely anti-Russian propaganda, which is ironic, because Russia is often accused of inspiring propaganda.”
In Ukraine, First Deputy Minister of Justice Natalia Sevastyanova chaired the first meeting of the Commission for Decommunisation on Tuesday.
Convened at the request of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the commission is investigating three parties, including the Communist Party of Ukraine (KPU), for failure to comply with laws banning communist symbols.
The KPU argued that the true purpose of commission was to stamp out left-wing opposition to last year’s fascist-backed coup, pointing out that it had no plans to ban neonazi organisations.
The party urged the European left to lobby the Council of Europe to oppose Ukraine’s anti-communist campaign.