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Vladimir Putin Reacts to the 1956 Revolution Textbook Scandal

MTI-Hungary Today 2023.10.06.

The 1956 Hungarian Revolution was not a “color revolution,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the plenary session of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi. The President was asked about the new Russian history textbook that portrays the 1956 Hungarian Revolution as a fascist uprising. Earlier, he said that it had been a “color revolution” inspired from outside and that it had been a mistake to withdraw Soviet military forces from Central and Eastern European countries.

Following his speech, the Russian President answered questions from the audience, including a question about the new Russian history textbook that had caused a major scandal in Hungary, mk.ru reports. The president admitted that he had not read the book, but that “it made no sense to keep Russian troops there (i.e. Hungary).” “Although they prepared fighters abroad and dumped them in Hungary, it would be difficult to call it a pure color revolution, because there was a strong base of protest in the country. I think this is obvious. But you can hardly apply today’s definitions to the middle of the last century,” Putin said.

On the question of whether the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Eastern Europe was a mistake, he said:

I am deeply convinced that there is no point in using troops to suppress any internal tendency in a country or a people to achieve the goals that they consider to be their priority. This also applies to the countries of Europe, including Eastern Europe.”

Putin recalled that Soviet troops had been ordered back to the open field from their stations, with their families. He added that, in addition, no legal obligations accompanied the troop withdrawals, either Soviet or Western, at least not that NATO would not expand eastwards. He stated that there had been verbal promises to this, but that these had not been put on paper.


Vladimir Putin has commissioned his adviser Vladimir Medinsky to write a new history textbook. The textbook has sparked controversy in Hungary, as it allegedly states that the Hungarian Revolution was triggered by the actions of the Western secret services and the internal opposition they supported. As the textbook reportedly says, Soviet troops helped the Hungarian authorities to suppress the protests. This news has caused a huge stir in Hungary, as these claims are vastly different from reality. In fact, the 1956 Hungarian Revolution was a revolution against Stalinist terror and a fight for freedom against Soviet occupation.

After the first news of the Russian textbook, several Hungarian politicians have spoken out against it, and Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó has been urged to summon Russia’s ambassador in Budapest. However, the Russian embassy denied that such statements were made in the book.

As Index reported, later, the foreign minister said that there were issues on which the government was not even willing to discuss.

The history of Hungary, the Hungarian people, the Hungarian people’s desire for freedom must be respected by everyone. The 1956 Revolution is one of the most glorious moments in Hungarian history, when the Hungarian people gave their lives for their freedom and the sovereignty of their country,”

he stressed.

“Therefore, we are not even willing to debate this issue. (…) All the Hungarian people who stood up for Hungary’s freedom at the time are heroes. We refuse to accept and reject any labeling to the contrary,” Szijjártó concluded.

President Putin Calls 1956 and 1968 Soviet Interventions a "Mistake"
President Putin Calls 1956 and 1968 Soviet Interventions a

The Russian leader spoke about past Soviet invasion during the Eastern Economic Forum.Continue reading

Via MTI, Index, Featured image: Fortepan/Nagy Gyula

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