Culture Minister: Those who question heroism of our ancestors will burn in hell
Russia's Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky stated that the biographies of Soviet heroes of the Second World War, in particular, those of Zoya Kosmodemyanskya and Panfilov's 28 men, should be honored as the lives of the saints. Those who question their accomplishments will burn in hell, the Minister said.
Medinsky gave a speech in the village of Petrishcheva in the Moscow Region during a memorial dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the execution of Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya.
"Putting their accomplishments in doubt, looking for something under a magnifying glass, [questioning whether there were] 28 or 38 [men] is to act in the same way as you did the policemen who handed [Kosmedemyanskaya] over to the Nazis," the Minister said. "The Germans saved 30 pieces of silver, as we know. They rewarded him with a bottle of vodka. Let him burn in hell! As will those who question, dig, or try to cast doubt on the accomplishments of our ancestors."
"She is holy, as holy as Panfilov's 28 men, [as holy as as hundreds of thousands of our ancestors who gave their lives and [fell victim to] a terrible death for our [sake]. Treat their lives as you would the lives of saints," Medinsky said.
In 2015, Vladimir Medinsky criticized the leadership of the State Archive of the Russian Federation for a publication that stated that the story of Panfilov's 28 men was made up and and an example of a propaganda myth.
In 2016, a group of researchers had petitioned that the Ministry of Education deprive Medinsky of his PhD. Their statement read that the Minister's dissertation was "full of blunders."
In late November 2016, it was announced that Medinsky's dissertation would be reassessed by the Dissertation Council of Moscow State University. One of the council's members is Sergey Mironenko, the former director of the State Archives who resigned after criticizing Medinsky.