I just watched Politika (Политика) from 30 April 2015, a popular weekly show on Pervyii Kanal Russia (that’s the main Russian TV channel). The show’s topic of discussion was the history of the Great Patriotic War. As the two main hosts admitted during the show, it was perhaps the hottest debate they had ever witnessed in the studio. And that already says a lot about the topic, and is an interesting fact by itself.
But let me brake down the discussion stripping it from the “propagandist” nuances that each, (or some of the guest participants) presented its point of view. The discussion, although “hot” was trying to justify today’s official Russian take on the history of that period, which (regrettably) is the good old Soviet take, continued.
The basic elements of it are:
The USSR was the largest contributor to the defeat of the NAZI regime/Germany.
2. The USSR liberated Eastern Europe from the NAZIs/Germany.
3. The “evil” side of WW2 was NAZI Germany, as decided at the Nuremberg trial.
4. The modern Ukrainian take on history or any other revision are nothing but the creation of a myth. This point being a recent one, unlike the previous three.
Let us examine each element closely, starting with the Soviet contribution in defeating NAZI Germany. Here only an ignorant fool, could claim otherwise! The Soviet Union was the main contributor, especially when it comes to manpower, in defeating the Third Reich. Period! This fact alone, however, is being manipulated by Russia today (and the USSR in the past) by being used as a cover for its other contributions, when it comes to NAZI Germany, or namely the Soviet Union was the largest contributor as well to:
1. The creation of the German and later NAZI war machine, against the ban of the Versailles treaty.
2. The most significant ally to NAZI Germany from August 1939 to 22 June 1941, without which Germany was never going to be able to succeed in its military endeavors in that time frame.
3. The designer and host of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, the pact which became the spark that ignited WW2, and was also the premeditated arrangement of the invasion by NAZI Germany and the USSR, and division, of Poland.
These facts are obviously not a shining example of the true and just participation of the USSR in WW2, and that is why the term Great Patriotic War was created and put in circulation only hours after the Germans began their invasion of the Soviet Union. It was the perfect opportunity for Stalin to write off, to conceal, the Soviet Union’s responsibility of the same crimes of which NAZI Germany is held responsible for today. The Nuremberg trail was in fact initiated by Stalin’s request, not so much because he was concerned with bringing justice, but to make sure that the Soviet Union’s responsibility for this tragic and bloodiest war in human history, remained concealed and replaced by the Soviet’s heroic struggle against the NAZI evil.
This MYTH began expanding into the territories of the “liberated” countries of Eastern Europe. And was cemented by numerous memorials of the Soviet soldiers, the “liberators” together with decades of propaganda starting as early as kindergarten! Today’s Russia does not even want to admit, that the Soviet Union invaded the countries of Eastern Europe, and the only reason they invaded them and did not liberate them, was the fact that the Soviet Union forgot to leave these countries (with the obvious exception of Austria), and instead set up Soviet puppet regimes and began dictating its own sociopolitical system to them as well. As a result in many of those countries people revolted, but were literary slaughtered by the then Soviet army, occupying them! Or, by the “national” coercive structures under the orders of the puppet government. As a result, even today these countries are still far behind the rest of Europe in development and living standards. This is a direct result from the Soviet occupation officially lasting until end of 1989, and unofficially even until today, through the same puppet political and military elites, still in power and holding key position in many of these countries! And Russia, today expects these countries to be grateful and thankful for this occupation, and to actually refer to it as liberation!
And you still wonder, why many of these Soviet war memorials are being painted or removed? Well, because they are a symbol of the Soviet INVASION of these countries. And simply because the US, UK and France, decided to keep a blind eye to this Soviet invasion (because of its contribution in defeating Germany), this does not mean that it did not happen! It did, and people were unhappy about it, so they revolted, the Soviet forces with or through the Soviet puppet regimes killed them, put them into concentration camps, harassed them, threatened them, and tortured them. And this process is not, and never was a liberation! It was a Soviet invasion, which meant Sovietization!
During the show, video clips with the coloring of the Soviet war memorial in Sofia, Bulgaria were shown. One of the participants, tried (in vain) to explain why these memorials have different meaning to Bulgarians, as compared to other countries, but as usual, reason was suppressed by loud objections, because today’s Russian “intellectuals” (as was referred in the show) cannot hear anything, which may differ than the official ex-Soviet, and now Russian line of propaganda! Let me clear it once again here: Bulgarian and Bulgarians have and still are grateful to the Russian empire, for giving them the opportunity to re create their sovereign statehood again, after five centuries of Ottoman yoke, as it was referred to years ago. They were so grateful, that they did not send forces to the eastern front to fight along with German, Italian, Romanian etc. forces, when the Soviet Union launched war against Bulgaria, and invaded her, the Bulgarian government ordered its force not to resist, so the Red Army did not fight and loose soldiers entering on Bulgaria, on the contrary, quite numerous acts of looting by the Red Army were fixed, but nothing was done about it, especially because the official Bulgarian government, was removed, and a band of criminals and terrorists were put in power in Sofia! This, was no liberation, this was an invasion! As soon as this band of criminals took power, they ordered the Bulgarian army to pursue the retreating German army, as a result in a matter of few months, 20000 Bulgarians died. Perhaps, in your world, it is OK, to waste human life in the name of… whatever it may be, but most people want to LIVE in peace, which they were before the USSR invaded them.
That is why the RUSSIAN memorials in Bulgaria depicting the struggle of the Russian army against the Turks in 1878-9, are standing untouched and unharmed by anyone, but the SOVIET memorials of occupation, are constantly being mocked, usually painted by some street graffiti artist, and no, this is not a "governmental policy," as one of the discussants, obviously heavily brainwashed by Soviet propaganda methodology, suggested in the show. On the contrary, it is the government that cleans them up, instead of removing them and perhaps returning them to Russia, since in Bulgaria, the Red Army did not liberate anyone, did not have to fight anyone, again due to that respect Bulgarians had (and still do) to the Russian people for liberating them from the Turks. The Red Army occupied Bulgaria, these memorials are a symbol of exactly that, and that is why, they are being constantly mocked!
This, by the way, should be used by Russians today as a means of corrective, for them to try and understand, that mixing the history of the Russian Empire and later the Soviet Union is a grave mistake, which brings nothing positive. To simply accept the Soviet part of the history of the people of the Russian Empire, and justify it, as it is being done today, is simply justifying the biggest human meat grinder in history hitherto! And this dear modern propagandists, will never happen, as too many innocent souls were brutally eliminated to simply write them off! And it does not matter if the Soviet meat grinder labeled them as socioeconomic rather than ethnic groups, they still eliminated them by the millions. And so, to claim that the Gladomora in Ukraine is simply modern propaganda, because it also happened in other parts of the Soviet Union is NOT an argument!
As long as those who keep on forcing this Soviet myth of history, which has been today re-chosen to be Russia's future national bond, more of the ex-Soviet people will move away from it, even if they need to create a counter myth of their own, to identify with. And one of the main culprits in what’s happening in Ukraine today is nothing else, but that old Soviet myth about its history that, sadly, modern Russia has chosen to continue to follow, and force upon others! The problem with that is, that the bond is a myth, and as such will crack, no matter how much resources Russia puts into it, and so it turns out today’s modern Russia is being held by a fake glue, that would mean is not being held by anything at all.
To summarize, most of the questions during the show, were why are these ungrateful people disrespecting our just history? Because the history you uphold to today, was not just, it was in fact unjust and terrifying to the rest of the world and to your own families. The difference is that Germany has admitted to its crimes, while the Soviet Union, and today Russia, keeps on denying them! And Russia had such an opportunity to cut once and for all from its awful Soviet past during the past 25 years! Instead, they could not come with something new, and decided to use even more resources to continue to uphold the old Soviet myth! As Victor Suvorov rightfully asks, “Where is the country Soviet Union that won the victory, today?”