Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday, Dec. 4, that Russia should never repeat Soviet-era mass repressions, as Moscow carries out an unprecedented crackdown on opponents of its Ukraine campaign.

Under Putin's leadership, Moscow has brushed over Stalin-era repressions in history textbooks and focused on the Soviet Union's role in defeating Nazism.

"It is important for us that nothing like this repeats itself in the history of our country," Putin told his human rights council, according to Russian news agencies, referring to the mass repression seen under the Soviet Union.

Putin said the Soviet-era repressions caused "enormous, difficult to repair damage to our people and our state."

The Soviet Union had a notorious Gulag prison system, where it also sent the Kremlin's political opponents.


The comments came as Moscow has punished thousands of Russians -- either with a fine or prison sentence -- for denouncing the Kremlin’s Ukraine campaign.

The vast majority of Putin's opponents are in exile or in jail.

Putin spoke several months before Russia's 2024 presidential campaign, in which he is believed to face no real political competition.

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