Russia opens major gulag museum as Vladimir Putin blanks victims’ commemorations

Russia on Friday opened a major new museum on the horrors of the Soviet gulag labour camp system but President Vladimir Putin blanked the day commemorating victims of state terror. The hi-tech state-run museum tracing the history of the brutal camp system will be a rare memorial to some of the millions who suffered under Communist rule. The authorities under Putin have often sought to play down the crimes of the Soviet regime, focusing on Communist supremo Joseph Stalin's role in defeating Nazism and industrialising the country rather than the estimated 20 million victims of his rule. The four-storey exhibition in central Moscow -- the largest ever museum on the gulag in Russia -- includes documents signed by Stalin sending thousands to camps. It allows visitors to watch nearly 100 newly recorded interviews

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