Stalins Victory of the II World War, Putin’s Empire and the Ukrainiens

Minister Lavrov says he does not intend to give up the victory in World War II. It is a reaction to the words of Gregory Schetyna, that   Ukrainians – Red Army soldiers of the First Ukrainian Front – participated in the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau. This caused an immediate reaction of Moscow  it in  which it talked about „taking away Russia’s victory” and about the need for an apology from Warsaw. However, there is no reasan for offering such an apology  and  Moscow’s hysterical reaction can be explained by the fact that seemingly casual remarque by Polish politician touches the key issues of Russia’s historical policy and propaganda.
Moscow gas been staking out an exlusive claim to the  the glory of war due to the Soviet Union as main victorious power od the Second World War onopoly, because its  manipulated version of the history of the Great Patriotic War  is  the fundamental myths of imperial Russia. „Patriotic War 1941-1945” is long treated as the main title to national pride and  the glory of contemporary Russia  as  was the in the Soviet Union. According to this myth Russia is allegedly  the main winner of World War II and the liberator of half of Europe. Huge sacrifices and losses of the Soviet population are invoked by contemprary Russian propaganda to justify political demands and to subject political opponents to moral blackmail.  Therefore, the word „victory”, „liberation”, „20 million victims” are repeated again and again, in order to block out all other interpretations of the history of World War II.
Mister Lavrov is today forgeting that the emergence of independent states such as Ukraine no longer allows one to talk about 20 million victims of World War II the Soviet Union as they had  been all Russians and to claim for Russia an exlusive  right to speak in their name. Among these 20 million, 8 million were at least Ukrainians and 3 million Belarusians.
Moreover, one cannot talk about the Red Army liberating anyone outside Russia. Liberation is supposed to bring freedom, while the Red Army brought the communist power and a new occupation. So instead of talking about liberation one should talk rather about the delivery from the hands of the Third Reich. Unfortunately, it sometime happens that one is rescued from the hands of murderers by other oppressors. And that’s how it was, if we take into account the terror, which was introduced by the Soviet security apparatus (NKVD, NKGB, SMERSH) on conquered territories.
Another important question concerns the nature of the Red Army. When Lavrov complains about being deprived of the victory in the Second World War, he implicitly admits that it was an army of a colonial empire, with its center in Russian Moscow. According to the Kremlin’s minister the victory should belong to Russians even though all the peoples of the empire, including, among others, Kazakhs, Tajiks, Buriats as well as Ukrainians and Belarusians were serving in the Red Army. Although detailed statistics and research is lacking, one may assume that Russians constituted about 50-60% of the Red Army personnel. On the other hand, if one is to believe available memoirs, Russians were an absolute majority among political officers as well as among the staff of instutitions charged with supervision and repression of potential and actual political opponents.
Another important question is whether Soviet Russia was “one of the Allies?”. It may be said that the Western Allies were forced to recognize Russia as an ally, trying to pull it over to their side. However, the objectives of the Western Allies, that is those who started the war with Hitler in 1939, and the objectives of the Soviet Union were completely different. In 1939-41 Stalin was an ally not of the West but of Hitler and of the Third Reich. In 1939-1940 the Hitler-Stalin pact allowed the Germans to conquer Poland and Western Europe. Stalin was also preparing for war with Hitler, but not in order to restore the freedom of France, Belgium and the Netherlands, but to conquer and dominate the entire continent. In 1940 the Kremlin Dictator watched the War in the West with satisfaction because it was a war between two of his enemies – the „capitalist” West was treated by him as the enemy on par with the Third Reich.
It must also be remembered how Stalin treated his Red Army. In his eyes it was „cannon fodder”. His cynical adage referring to the losses in his own ranks „u nas ludey mnogo” (there is plenty of people in our lands) is well known. He waged a war in a bandit-like manner, with absolute disregard for the lives and sacrifices of the soldiers of his own army. He did not care for the lives of Russians, and even less for the lives of the non-Russian soldiers drafted into the imperial army on the colonized territories.

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