Documentary about 1968 events passes no judgments, features historians', witnesses' accounts - VGTRK

The all-Russia state television and radio broadcasting company VGTRK said the film, titled "Warsaw Treaty, the Declassified Pages" accumulates accounts by witnesses and participants in events dating back to 1968, without passing any judgments.

"Warsaw Treaty, the Declassified Pages" - trailer (Russian). Source: YouTube

The all-Russia state television and radio broadcasting company VGTRK said the film, titled "Warsaw Treaty, the Declassified Pages" accumulates accounts by witnesses and participants in events dating back to 1968, without passing any judgments.

"The film conveys opinions by historians, witnesses and participants in those events. Nothing is said in the voice-over narration that this was right, or correct. It is just an accumulation of witnesses' stories," Pyotr Fyodorov, the head of the VGTRK's international relations directorate, told Interfax.

The film was made compliant with all canons of journalism and with the observance of all ethical norms, he said.

"However, many facts depicted in the film, are not quite comfortable to watch for present-day Central Europe. But they are facts, and they may be uncomfortable. When we watch documentaries made by British journalists we, too, can feel uncomfortable at seeing some facts. But they are facts," Fyodorov said.

Unfortunately, Europeans are applying old Soviet-era yardsticks, "when each word spoken on television was taken for the word spoken by the Kremlin," he said.

"We are absolutely open to various opinions and judgments. The situation itself, in my view, is not so much a Russian problem, as a problem experienced by Europe, where a look back on the past is generalized and everything that does not fit into this formula is branded incorrect, or propaganda," he said.

In this particular case, journalists, not politicians should react to a piece of journalistic work, he remarked.

"I would advise European colleagues to move the focus from diplomats to professional journalists. One could start a discussion and exchange facts," Fyodorov said, adding that he sees no problem or tragedy in what happened.

The documentary "Warsaw Treaty, the Declassified Pages" was aired on May 23. On June 1 Slovak Foreign Ministry spokesman Peter Stano told the press in Bratislava that the film had raised many eyebrows in Slovakia.

Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek summoned Russian Ambassador to Prague Sergei Kiselyov to the Foreign Ministry to provide explanations about the film. Czech Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Michaela Lagronova said, citing the foreign minister, that the film "deludes the public."

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