Did they say "punish" anyone who criticises the manner in which Stalin?
Russia to outlaw criticism of WWII tactics
The Russian government is to outlaw criticism of Soviet military tactics during the Second World War in the latest example of its heavy-handed approach to dissent.
Sergei Shoigu, the emergency situations minister, has called for a law that would make it a criminal offence to suggest that the Soviet Union did not win the War
Mr Shoigu indicated that the legislation would also seek to punish eastern European or former Soviet states which deny they were liberated by the Red Army. The leaders of those countries could be banned from Russian soil, he said.
Liberal Russians fear that the legislation will be used to punish anyone who criticises the manner in which Stalin conducted the war or addresses incidents such as the Soviet massacre of 22,000 Polish prisoners of war at Katyn Forest in 1940, which Moscow maintains was not a war crime.
The battles are little known in Russia, and even Marshall Georgy Zhukov, the Soviet war hero who led the Rzhev operations, barely mentioned them in his biography.
"It has become the fashion to smear the heroic deeds of the Soviet people and to defame the Soviet way of life," said Ivan Korbutov, a retired general who heads the Russian council of war veterans. "Such actions, orchestrated at the behest of the West to discredit our glorious past, must be brought to court and the journalists responsible punished."