Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the presentation of the multi-volume work “World History”, Moscow, October 10, 2018
Colleagues and friends,
We have gathered today on a wonderful occasion – a ceremony to mark the publication of a fundamental academic work “World History in Six Volumes” edited by Russian Academy of Sciences member Alexander Chubaryan.
First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the authors that put their hard work and creativity into its preparation. It is especially important for us that researchers from educational institutions subordinate to the Foreign Ministry – MGIMO and the Diplomatic Academy – took part in this large-scale project.
This project is one of the biggest publishing initiatives in the humanities undertaken in this country in the past few decades. We consider this a testament to the high level of Russian scholarship that drew on domestic and foreign historiography to comprehend the road traversed by humankind from the vantage point of the present.
The volumes of the work are devoted to key historical eras: the Ancient World, medieval civilisations of the East and the West, the Common Era and the world in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.
I would like to note that the team of authors gave prominence to Russia’s role and place in the world historical process.
Naturally, to create such an integral picture of the world the authors took an interdisciplinary approach and drew on advances in fields beyond history, such as economics, sociology, demography, anthropology and philosophy.
The work’s practical significance is apparent. As outstanding Russian historian Vasily Klyuchevsky once remarked, history “punishes ignorance of its lessons.” Bad-faith distortions of historical truth, including facts of World War II, the outcome of which formed the basis of the international security architecture of the modern world, attempts to whitewash the Nazis and their accomplices are fraught with extremely serious risks, especially considering the current difficult international realities.
Russia is a consistent opponent of politicising historical research and using it in unseemly geopolitical games. We believe that the release of “World History” today by this team of authors will make a tangible contribution to promoting a strictly scholarly assessment of past events that will be unbiased and free of ideological platitudes.
There is no doubt that this work will be much in demand among specialists and a wide circle of readers both in this country and abroad. I would like to thank once again all those who put their hearts into this genuinely unprecedented project.