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Russia accuses West in making Ivan the Terrible bloody tyrant

National campaign pursued by the Kremlin, aimed at transforming of the bloody history of Russia, writes Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

Russia accuses West in making Ivan the Terrible bloody tyrant

According to the news agencies, an exhibition opened in Moscow and devoted to Ivan the Terrible, aims to "whitewash" the bloody tyrant and present him as a benefactor, not a cold-blooded and cynical killer, as numerous documents of the era describe him, Joinfo.ua reports with reference to WSJ and NYT.

"Ivan the Terrible, the Russian czar, should really be considered Ivan the Not So Bad, according to a wildly popular historical exhibition held recently near the Kremlin," writes the NYT article.

In the comments for WSJ, Alexander Myasnikov, one of the curators of the exhibition, said the West and Russia's enemies vilified the image of "the leader of Moscow" on purpose, making him a bloodthirsty despot, who bumped off his enemies and invaded his neighbor.

According to Myasnikov, Ivan the Terrible just needs a good PR-campaign.

"It was an anti-Russian campaign. It's a story of European PR about how there is a scary tyrant in Moscow," said Myasnikov.

According to WSJ, the Kremlin is whitewashing Russian history deliberately, conducting national policy.

"Long before seizing Crimea, President Vladimir Putin fueled patriotism, digging deep into Russia's history to highlight heroic deeds and play down darker moments. Official guidelines for new history textbooks that Mr. Putin ordered drafted present Stalin's repressions mostly as a side-effect of speedy economic," the WSJ article reads.

But Russian and Western clearheaded historians are concerned about the attempts to whitewash the "Russia's often-bloody history."

"A museum at a former Soviet gulag in Perm has been taken over by the state and sanitized. Commemorations of World War II have shifted focus from the Soviet Union's huge sacrifice to a cult of victory," WSJ writes.