Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said there can be no justification for the Soviet-era oppression that left millions of people dead at the hands of their own state.
Mr Medvedev said in a blog posting today that Russians must not forget the crimes of the Soviet era.
He suggested young people are learning too much about the country’s victories and not enough about the bloodbath that reached its peak under Josef Stalin in the late 1930s.
The remarks were perhaps the Kremlin’s strongest condemnation of Soviet repression since Mr Medvedev’s predecessor, Vladimir Putin, became president a decade ago.
They came amid critics’ claims that the Kremlin has whitewashed history and encouraged a more positive view of Stalin to justify its own growing power and retreat from democracy.