Putin’s biggest failure (Re-blog with commentary)

I’ve written before that For Russia the 90’s Were Worse Than WWII, both when it came to loss of sovereignty, loss of human life and loss of industrial potential.

The Saker, an astute analyst, published not long ago an article Putin’s biggest failure, in which he describes the dynamics and the forces that were active in the 90s and, which are still partially present in the Russian political life. The Saker describes the continued presence of this 5th column as one of the Putin’s failures.

I do not entirely agree with the formulation. Rather, I view this as an event yet to happen. Observing Putins moves, one can come to a conclusion that he, like a doctor, is guided by the principal of “don’t do harm”. If an intervention into the political system brings more harm than good, then he’ll wait for a more favourable time. In this case, the threat is unsettling a delicate political balance in Russia, which it just re-acquired after the Wild 90s.

The beginning of the article below, highlighting is mine.


Whatever happens in the future, Putin has already secured his place in history as one of the greatest Russian leaders ever. Not only did he succeed in literally resurrecting Russia as a country, but in a little over a decade he brought her back as a world power capable of successfully challenging the AngloZionist Empire. The Russian people have clearly recognized this feat and, according to numerous polls, they are giving him an amazing 90% support rate. And yet, there is one crucial problem which Putin has failed to tackle: the real reason behind the apparent inability of the Kremlin to meaningfully reform the Russian economy.

As I have described it in the past many times, when Putin came to power in 1999-2000 he inherited a system completely designed and controlled by the USA. During the Eltsin years, Russian ministers had much less power than western ‘advisers’ who turned Russia into a US colony. In fact, during the 1990s, Russia was at least as controlled by the USA as Europe and the Ukraine are today. And the results were truly catastrophic: Russia was plundered from her natural wealth, billions of dollars were stolen and hidden in western offshore accounts, the Russian industry was destroyed, a unprecedented wave of violence, corruption and poverty drowned the entire country in misery and the Russian Federation almost broke up into many small statelets. It was, by any measure, an absolute nightmare, a horror comparable to a major war. Russia was about to explode and something had to be done.

Two remaining centers of power, the oligarchs and the ex-KGB, were forced to seek a solution to this crisis and they came up with the idea of sharing power: the former would be represented by Dmitrii Medvedev and the latter by Vladimir Putin. Both sides believed that they would keep the other side in check and that this combination of big money and big muscle would yield a sufficient degree of stability.

I call the group behind Medvedev the “Atlantic Integrationists” and the people behind Putin the “Eurasian Sovereignists”. The former wants Russia to be accepted by the West as an equal partner and fully integration Russia into the AngloZionist Empire, while the latter want to fully “sovereignize” Russia and then create a multi-polar international system with the help of China and the other BRICS countries.

What the Atlantic Integrationists did not expect is that Putin would slowly but surely begin to squeeze them out of power: first he cracked down on the most notorious oligarchs such as Berezovskii and Khodorkovskii, then he began cracking down on the local oligarchs, gubernatorial mafias, ethnic mobsters, corrupt industry officials, etc. Putin restored the “vertical [axis]of power” and crushed the Wahabi insurgents in Chechnia. Putin even carefully set up the circumstances needed to get rid of some of the worst ministers such as Serdiukov and Kudrin. But what Putin has so far failed to do is to

  • Reform the Russian political system
  • Replace the 5th columnists in and around the Kremlin
  • Reform the Russian economy

The current Russian Constitution and system of government is a pure product of the US ‘advisors’ which, after the bloody crackdown against the opposition in 1993, allowed Boris Eltsin to run the country until 1999. It is paradoxical that the West now speaks of a despotic presidency about Putin when all he did is inherit a western-designed political system. The problem for Putin today is that it makes no sense to replace some of the worst people in power as long as the system remains unchanged. But the main obstacle to a reform of the political system is the resistance of the pro-Western 5th columnists in and around the Kremlin. They also the ones who are still forcing a set of “Washington consensus” kind of policies upon Russia even though it is obvious that the consequences for Russia are extremely bad, even disastrous. There is no doubt that Putin understands that, but he has been unable, at least so far, to break out of this dynamic.

So who are these 5th columnists?

I have selected nine of the names most often mentioned by Russian analysts. These are (in no particular order):

Former First Deputy Prime Minister Anatolii Chubais, First Deputy Governor of the Russian Central Bank Ksenia Iudaeva, Deputy Prime Minister Arkadii Dvorkovich, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, Governor of the Russian Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina, former Minister of Finance Alexei Kudrin, Minister of Economic Development, Alexei Uliukaev, Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov and Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev.


Please read the complete article and comments to it at The Saker.

As a post-scriptum, a remark to the fragment from the above article that “Russian Federation almost broke up into many small statelets”. Nikolai Starikov in his videoblog #68 at 44:23 demonstrates a collection of “Ural Francs” – money that were printed in 1991 in anticipation of the break-up of the Russian Federation into such statelets:

Crimea Celebrates the 2nd Anniversary of Reunification

On the 18th of March 2016 Crimea and Sevastopol celebrated the second anniversary of the joyous event of their reunification with Russia, after a 60-year long separation.

Lada Ray published a very much needed recap of the events that lead to the reunification in:

#Sevastopol #Krim #Rossia: 2nd Anniversary of Crimea’s Reunification with Russia

Following the February Ukraine coup, on March 16th, 2014, Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and reunite with Russia. 95% to 97% voted for reunification, depending on the area. Simultaneously, a referendum whether to accept Crimea and Sevastopol as two new subjects of the Russian Federation took place in Russia. 95% of Russians said ‘yes.’

On March 18-19, Crimea and Sevastopol joined the Russian Federation as two newest subjects. The transition went smoothly and peacefully, not a single shot was fired and only two casualties were registered on both sides, shot by a provocateur Ukrainian sniper sent there to attempt inciting violence (by the old CIA playbook).

At the time, 16,000 Russian troops were stationed in Crimea, based on the Black Sea Fleet Sevastopol base lease agreement with Ukraine. Simultaneously, 20,000 Ukrainian troops were stationed on the peninsula as well. Out of these 20,000, about 18,000 Ukraine troops pledged allegiance to Russia, while only 2,000 chose to leave back to Ukraine. They were allowed to leave peacefully and with dignity.

The article also contains video from the celebrations in Crimea and from the Beautiful (Red) Square. Here I want to present one very significant song, the anthem of Sevastopol.

The Legendary Sevastopol

Music: Vano Muradeli
Text: Petr Gragov
Written: 1954
Ratified as the official anthem of Sevastopol on 29.07.1994

Russian text of the song and some history can be read in this Wikipedia article.

Fly winged wind.
Over seas, over land,
Tell the whole world,
About my beloved city.

Tell to the whole world,
How on the Crimean shores,
Our grandfathers fought,
And glorified in battle.

[Chorus:]
Legendary Sevastopol,
Impregnable to enemies.
Sevastopol, Sevastopol –
The pride of Russian sailors!

Here we went to the rightful and holy battles,
For our Motherland,
And your previous glory,
Have we multiplied.

Having shrugged of black sailor overcoats,
The Black Sea sailors, during the days of War,
Went against tanks with only handgrenades,
Your sons went to their deaths,

[Chorus]

If across the sea
enemies should come to us with swords,
We’ll meet the unwelcome guests
with annihilating fire

The whole of our dear country knows,
That the battleships do not sleep
And are guarding surely
The shores of the homeland

[Chorus]

Some trivia: During the most vicious period of Ukranisation of Crimea in 2006, Ukrainians tried to re-write the text, replacing “Russian sailors” with “Ukrainian sailors”, “Sevastopol” with “white-stone fortress”, and “Cossacks” were added. The reaction of the citizens was strongly negative, to say the least.

You can hear a rendition of it, where a girl spontaneously performed it at an election locale on the 16th of March 2014:

Boris Yeltsin: Demon or Hero?

On the 1st of February Boris Yeltsin, the first President of the Russian Federation, would have been 85. Commemorating the date, Argumenty i Fakty published a two-polar article about Yeltsin. Two views on what he did to Russia, one negative and one positive. The whole article Boris Yeltsin: Demon or Hero can be read in Russian at the site of AiF.

Here I am only going to translate one view, which reflects the real negative impact of Yeltsin on Russia. I cannot bring myself to translating the positive view by Vladimir Ryzhkov, who was the vice-speaker of the Parliament in 1997-1999 – in the years after the 1993 Yeltsin’s coup d’etat. Ryzhkov’s words are sugar-coated paintings of black as white. IF anyone wants to read them, go to the Russian article above and use Google translate…


Aleksander Prokhanov, writer:

– For me, Yeltsin is an absolute evil, while the recently opened “Yeltsin Center” in Ekaterinburg is a temple where all the haters of Russia can now congregate and worship their idol.

When Hitler was preparing his attack on the Soviet Union, he had “Plan Ost” – to dismember the USSR, to destroy its defence industry, the whole of the Soviet ideology and culture, to reduce the number of Russian and, finally, to introduce external management of all parts of the dismembered country. Hitler’s plan was not allowed to come to fruition because in 1945 Stalin’s T-34 danced a quadrille on the Reich Chancellery bunker.

But in 1991 Yeltsin carried this plan out almost to the point. He made 3 coup d’etats. The first one in August 1991, when he took away all the powers from Gorbachev while he sat in Foros. The second – in December of the same year, when Yeltsin dissolved the Soviet Union by signing the Belovezhsk agreement. And the third coup – in 1993, when Yeltsin, in violation of the Constitution, disbanded the parliament, and then shot at it from the tanks, torching a terrible fire in the centre of Moscow. (Translator note: for more details about the 1993 coup d’etat see my post The ”Wild 90s” in Russia, as reflected in people’s memory)

In 1994, Yeltsin launched a fratricidal war in Chechnya. He compromised the integrity of what was still remaining of Russia – back then Tatar, Bashkir, Ural republics almost became independent… (Translator note: Nikolaj Starikov in one of his video journals demonstrated samples of “Ural Roubles” – a currency that war already printed and was supposed to be introduced in that fragmented bit of Russia.) Yeltsin created the monstrous class of oligarchs who to this day view the country as their prey, and are transferring the loot abroad. At the same time he created in Russia is alien to her way of consumption, saturation, hedonism and egoism – despite the fact that our people had always been a part of a community, cooperative, society… Yeltsin sought to re-encode the Russian people and Russian psycho. Hollywood came here in full power and started imposing Western values.

Finally, as was intended in the “Plan Ost”, our country came under external management. The Yeltsin-Kozyrev Russia did not have its own foreign policy – it was built on the national interests of the US; CIA officers were sitting in our economic centres, managing privatization and allocation of resources.


End of the translation.

The Belovezhsk agreement, which dissolved the USSR was voluntaristic and unconstitutional. Article 3 of USSR’s Constitution was dedicated to the procedures, which needed to be observed if a republic wanted to exit the union. Referendums were supposed to be conducted.

This Yeltsin’s act alone had terrible, tragic consequences: Russian people became the most fragmented nationality in the world, still living as non-citizens in oppression in such “European value” countries as Estonia and Latvia. Millions of people ended up being “abroad” from one day to the other. Hundreds of thousands of families were split up. Millions died in the ensuing war, hunger and economic collapse, which was also in the Hitler’s “Plan Ost”, manifested by Yeltsin.

At best, Yeltsin was a naïve fool, used by Western powers in their Big Game of destroying Russia. At worst, he was a ruthless criminal.

Who and How Transferred Crimea into Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1952-1954

Below is my translation of a very informative article by Mikhail Smirnov, published in Svobodnaja Mysl’ (Free Thought).

1Nemo1KPB8UjQjrURqn6V7Mscungx44XS2Please note that translating a documentary film or an article takes a lot of time and emotional effort. I am doing it on a voluntary basis, but if someone feels like supporting my work, a Bitcoin donation to the following address is appreciated: 1Nemo1KPB8UjQjrURqn6V7Mscungx44XS2

It is worth noting, that when the author points out the Russian roots in Crimea, he is most probably referring to the Scythians, who are just the same people as Rus, but going under a different name. See my summery of the documentary Yes, Scythians Are Us.

When reading the text below, note one historic peculiarity of USSR of that time. While 14 republics were almost always denoted by their national name – e.g Ukrainian SSR (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) – there was one exception. In USSR no one spoke of Russia, to the extent that the existence of Russia as a republic was largely forgotten. Instead the acronym RSFSR was always in use (decoded as Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic).

At the end of this post, after the main article, I present my translation of the closing speech by K.E Voroshilov from the stenography of the session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR from the 19th of February 1954, which is an important historical evidence, setting the stage for the transfer and for the peninsular and the expectation connected to the act.


It was not Khrushchev, who made the decision on the transfer of Crimea, but his rabid anti-Stalinism and voluntarism became the propelling power behind this whole undertaking. There were no objective reasons for this decision.

In the history of the presence of the Crimea within modern Ukraine, which, as it is now widely known, began with the official transfer of the Crimean region of the RSFSR to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954 and is associated with the name N.S.Khrushchev, you can set apart the pre-history, that is the actually history of decision-making on behalf of the Crimea, from hatching of the idea to the party-bureaucratic mechanism for its implementation.

As it is well-known, at the time of its transfer into the Ukrainian SSR in 1954, Crimea had the status of the region within the RSFSR. From 1921 to 1945 it was a multi-national autonomy within the Russian Federation – the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (KrASSR) with the official languages ​​of Russian and Tatar, and in places of compact settlement – also German and Hebrew. After the well-known dramatic events during the War, the administrative status of Crimea was downgraded: Crimean Autonomy was eliminated by converting it into the Crimean region, officially – due to changes in the ethnic composition of the population of Crimea. Crimean Autonomy was restored in 1991 as part of the Ukrainian SSR, and in 1992 it was renamed into the Republic of Crimea.

In the public mind there is a long-established stereotype, which firmly connects the transfer of the Crimean region of the RSFSR into the Ukrainian SSR with the name of N.S. Khrushchev. By and large it is justified, but, after all, a few comments clarifying and enriching the picture of the event will be reasonably useful.

According to the memoirs of the contemporaries of the events, the idea of ​​the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine began to ripen in Khrushchev’s mind ever since the time, when he in 1944-1947 headed the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR, and at the same time was the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Ukrainian SSR. The year was 1944, the war was still going on. The boss off the USSR, I.V. Stalin, demanded that Khrushchev sent from the Ukrainian SSR to the neighbouring republic 100 thousand people – they were supposed to help with the rebuilding of the Russian Federation. But the position of Ukraine itself was not less, but even more severe, as during the Great Patriotic War almost the whole of its territory saw devastating military operations, and almost all of it has been exposed to enemy occupation. Nikita Khrushchev was furious. “Ukraine itself is destroyed, and more is taken from us” – he raged. (Head of the Soviet trade unions, Lavrentij Pogrebnoy, was a witness to Khrushchev’s indignation in 1944. A few years later, he told one of the Soviet writers about the events.)

Khrushchev could not directly oppose Stalin’s orders. So perhaps even then, or a little later, he hatched the idea that a decent compensation for this extra effort (and even, maybe for Starvation [translator’s note: Gologomor, for the real history surrounding it, I’d recommend reading the article The Real Truth About USSR: Golodomor and Collectivization in Ukraine]), could become a significant territorial gain of Ukraine within the USSR: of course, at the expense of the beneficiary of the “Ukrainian brotherly” assistance – the Russian Federation, which was to boot the most rich territory-wise. Even a cursory glance at the map of the Soviet Union was enough to see the most likely scenario for this: geographically isolated from the rest of the territory of the RSFSR, but located in the vicinity of the Ukrainian SSR and adjacent to it, is the Crimean peninsula. And being by nature a voluntarist, he vowed that he will get Crimea, whatever it takes.

But Khrushchev began the direct implementation of his idea later, in the first half of the 50s, or more precisely – starting from 1952, when the signs of limitations in functional capacity of Stalin became more and more obvious for the party leadership. (Stalin announced that he was going to retire at the October Central Committee plenum of 1952, which was held after the completion of the XIX Congress of the CPSU. But already starting from February 1951, three Politburo members (G.M. Malenkov, L.P. Beria, N.A. Bulganin) were given the right to sign various documents on behalf of Stalin, as, according to Molotov, due to the decrease in performance he did not sign many government documents for a prolonged period of time.) The real opportunity opened up only in connection with the death of Stalin. But it is possible that another significant cause for activation of Khrushchev on this subject at that time was also the activity of a supporter of Stalin’s policy in regard to the Crimea, which brought to the fore the ideas that went counter to Khrushchev’s.

According to unconfirmed records, in October 1952, the first secretary of the Crimean regional party (in 1949-1954) P.I. Titov, while being a delegate of the XIX Party Congress, addressed personally to Stalin with a written offer to rename the Crimean region into Tauridia. In his opinion, it would be entirely consistent with the history of the region, starting from the XVIII century. In particular, as one of the arguments, Titov appealed to the forgotten Soviet Republic of Tauridia. He believed that for the Crimean region of the RSFSR “it’s high time to restore its Russian, Rus name”.

Titov’s proposal was not priorly discussed in the Crimean Regional Party Committee and was not approved by them. But we know that the second person in the region – D.S. Polanski (in 1952-1954 the chairman of the executive committee of the Crimean Regional Council) – objected to this initiative. On the other hand he supported the transfer of Crimea to the Ukrainian SSR. Twenty years later, the nomenclature Party member G.V. Myasnikov, while at that time the second secretary of the Moscow city committee of the Komsomol remembered Polyansky thus: “I remember how he went up the hill. He met Khrushchev and Titov in the Crimea. An idea of ​​the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine was brought up. Titov rejected the idea right away, while Polyansky said it was “brilliant”. The next day they gathered the plenum of the Crimean Regional Committee, Titov was driven out, while Poljansky became the first secretary of the regional committee.”

But it is more likely that this “cleansing out” of Titov took place more gradually, after the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of USSR, N.S. Khrushchev visited the Crimea in October 1953. Khrushchev’s son-in-law, Adjoubei Alex, who accompanied him on his trip around the country, recalled that when Khrushchev came to the Crimea at that time, he was shocked by how disastrous was the situation in the region and how great was the discontent by this among the local residents. At the same time, however, Khrushchev remained true to himself, and when he saw at the local airport some aircraft, he immediately ordered to fly it over to Kiev. And then, a few hours later, he already talked, over a supper, with the local party leaders about the transfer of Crimea and resettlement of Ukrainians into Crimea. Most likely, it was at this moment that an open dispute ensued between him and Titov. According to Titov’s deputy, L.G. Mezentsev, the head of the Crimea was called in to Moscow in mid-January of 1954 to inform him of preparation of a decision on the transfer of the region. He protested, for which on the 16th of January he was replaced with a Ukrainian Dmitry Polyansky. Thus, based on the totality of the memories of witnesses, it can be argued that P.I. Titov strongly objected to Khrushchev regarding the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine, and he had constant clashes with the Secretary of the Central Committee on this issue, which resulted in this imperious and prudent owner of the Crimean region being finally deposed to the rank of Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the RSFSR. In general, according to the researchers, Khrushchev initiated a rather limited number of people into his intentions with respect to Crimea. Among them – the first secretary (since June 1953) of the Communist Party of Ukraine A.I. Kirichenko, who, at the time, was also a candidate member of the Praesidium of the Central Committee of CPSU and was in good standing with Khrushchev.

But Stalin, who was by that time ill, delayed an official response to Titov. According to the memoirs of some of Titov’s colleagues, in the spring of 1953 and later he, nevertheless, referred to a brief personal answer from Stalin, which was sent personally to him in late January 1953, saying that his proposal was “interesting and perhaps correct. This question can be discussed and resolved.” In the middle of November of 1953 Titov told about this opinion of Stalin to Khrushchev and Polyansky, when the principal decision on the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine had in fact already been made.

An indirect confirmation of the fact that Stalin was quite seriously considering Titov’s proposals, can be the process of renaming of the Crimean Tatar names into Russian ones, which began from the mid-1940s and which was initiated by Stalin himself after the deportation of the Tatar population from there. There are many sources describing this. For example, a comprehensive project on renaming in Crimea was dated with the 25th of September 1948, when the Crimean Regional Committee passed the decree “On renaming of settlements, streets, certain types of work, and other Tatar designations”. However, it was not planned to rename Crimea itself. But even before that, in the 1944-1946, 11 out of 26 Crimean regional centres were renamed (for example, the Ak-Mechetsky region into Chernomorskij, Larindorfsky into Pervomaisky) as well as 327 villages. In the period from 1948 to 1953, it was planned to rename some towns. The documents recorded in particular that Djankoi was going to become either Uzlovo, Severnyj or Verhnekrymsk, Saki turning into Ozernoje, and they wanted to call Bakhchisaray – “Pushkin”. Kerch was supposed to be given the name of “Korchev”, known from the old-Russian chronicles. In general, during 1947-1953 new – Russian – names were given to 1062 settlements and nearly 1300 natural object, mostly replacing Tatar ones. It is obvious that in the context of this process, also Titov’s proposal to change the name of the Crimea looked quite logical. However, the renaming slowed down when the turn of the cities came. And after Stalin’s death, the plan to rename the Crimean cities was abandoned altogether.

Thus, we can see that the project of the inclusion of Crimea into Ukraine was preceded by a project of strengthening of Russian presence in Crimea, and in 1952-1953, as a logical completion of the latter, there was also a project, which remained on the level of an idea, of re-renaming the Crimean region into Tauridian.

(An aside from the translator: Crimean Tatars are more likely Mongolians, the descendants of the Golden Horde of the Mongolian Khan Baty, who raided and occupied the peninsular in the 14th century. The name given to the peninsular by them was “Kyrim”, meaning “trench”. Before the Mongol occupation the peninsular had the Greek name of “Tauridia”. What the endemic population, Scythians, called their land back then is lost.)

As is known, the Russian presence in Crimea has been recorded since ancient chronicled times. Of particular interest to us – in the light of the events of the XX century that we discuss here – is “Tmutarakan” sub-plot of this presence. The original antique city of Panticapaeum, which in the era of the Khazarian Khaganate (translator note: For a well-researched foray into the history of Khazarian Kaganate, I would recommend reading Lada Ray’s Earth Shift Report 6: UKRAINE – NEW KHAZARIAN KHAGANATE?) of the VIII century got the name of Karsha or Charsha, which in Turkic means “market” or “bazaar”, is mentioned in the old-Russian historical records of the events of the X century under the Slavinised name of Krchev (Korchev) [Кърчевъ]. In the tenth century, Tmutarakan principality – part of the Ancient (Kievan) Rus – takes root on the Crimean and the Caucasian coasts of the Kerch Strait. Korchev was closely associated with the capital of the principality – Tmutarakan, while the Eastern geographers of that time called the Kerch Strait for the Russian River.

And so it was in Kerch that, after a long period of Ottoman history in Crimea, Russia once again establishes on the peninsula, several years before its full incorporation into the Russian Empire. In 1771 Russian troops took Kerch and neighbouring fortress Yeni-Kale. By the Kuchuk-Karnadzhiyskomu peace treaty between the Russian and Ottoman empires, which ended Russian-Turkish war of 1768-1774, this city with its fortress was the first of all the Crimea to become part of the Russian Empire, while, in accordance with that agreement, the Crimean Khanate as a whole then became independence from the Ottoman Empire, with the exception of the influence in the questions of religion. The manifesto of Catherine II was issued on the 8th of April 1783 and decreed the accession of Crimea, Taman and Kuban into the Russian Empire. By the decree of the 2nd of February 1784 Tauridian region (oblast) was established, covering some of the continental land. Later it was transformed into a province (county).

It is quite possible that the role of Kerch, and the Kerch Peninsula as a whole, in the Russian development on Crimea was the foundation for another P.I. Titov’s proposal in November 1953, which he already addressed to Polyansky and Khrushchev, and reiterated in January 1954. It pertained to the inclusion of this region (ie. Eastern Crimea) with the status of the “Kerch region” into the composition of RSFSR. Already then Titov had a well-founded belief that it was inadvisable for RSFSR “to vacate” Crimea, and, thanks to the newly formed region, the strategically important Kerch (Azov-Black Sea) Strait – “Russian River” – would still be a part of RSFSR. Titiov’s “Kerch” was outright rejected by Khrushchev followers, so much so, that the entire water area of ​​the Kerch Strait in the subsequent transfer of the Crimea ended up being assigned to the Ukrainian SSR.

The question of what was the nature of the whole of Crimean autonomy – national or territorial – is also of crucial importance. Lenin’s Sovnarkom initially created both types of autonomies, but over time only the national ones were left. The Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, in this regard, had become a unique autonomous construct, which retained its territorial nature. According to the All-Union census of 1939, Russians comprised 49.6% of the Crimean population, Crimean Tatars – 19.4%, Ukrainians – 13.7%, Jews – 5.8%, Germans – 4.6%. But as the total population during the war declined sharply, and its ethnic composition underwent fundamental changes, Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was transformed into the Crimean region (oblast) on the 30th of June 1945. Unlike most other autonomous regions, where there was the predominance of the indigenous population, the Crimean Autonomous Republic was not Tatar from the very beginning of its establishment. Moreover, 2/3 of the population of the Crimea at the time was Russian, and only one-third consisted of the peoples who had settled here before the Russians and made up the indigenous population of the peninsula. (Translator note: in the bird’s eye historic perspective, Russians are the indigenous population of the peninsula, who were driven from Crimea, but later returned.) At the same time, flirting with Kemalist Turkey, the Soviet leadership traditionally appointed mostly men of Tatar origin to the leading positions in the republic. This created a false impression that the Crimean autonomy was, like all the other, the national one – Crimean Tatar. But as it is known, in accordance with the provisions of the National Defence Commission of 11th of May and the 2nd of June 1944, of all Tatars of all ages (about 180 thousand people) were deported from Crimea to Kazakhstan. (Translator note: the exception was given to mixed-marriage families, where a Tatar woman was married to a Russian.)

All of the above sheds some light on the political context in which Khrushchev’s fateful for the history of the Crimea voluntarist decision was conceived and prepared. But it is equally important to take into account the details of the mechanism of this decision at the state level.

The fact is that N.S. Khrushchev became the first person in the USSR leadership only in 1955. While immediately after the death of Stalin (at the time of the death he held the post of the chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers), the head of government and a key figure in the leadership of the USSR was G.M. Malenkov. By the end of Stalin’s life, Malenkov was one of the main contenders for the post of supreme leader of the country, and immediately after his death, inherited the post of the chairman of the Council of Ministers. I.V. Stalin died on the 5th of March 1953, and at that time, in the beginning of the 1950s, this was the main post, while the position of the General Secretary of the CPSU was abolished, since, according to the late Stalinist concept of the governance structure, the Communist Party should no longer play a leading role in governing of the country.

M.S. Voslensky in his famous book “The Nomenclature” writes:

In the days after the death of Stalin in March 1953, it was customary to conclude speeches at the memorial meetings in the following typical ending: “Eternal glory to the Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers, Secretary of the CPSU I.V. Stalin! Long live Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers, Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee G.M. Malenkov!”

As it becomes clear from these titles, according to a new tradition established by Stalin, the post of the President of the Council of Ministers of USSR was the most important positions in contemporary system of power, and that it was inherited by Malenkov. And although the decision from March the 5th 1953 of the joint meeting of the Plenum of the Central Committee, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet and the USSR Council of Ministers abolished the Bureau of the Presidium of the Central Committee of CPSU, and on the the 14th of March 1953 the political opponents of Malenkov managed to deprive him of his post of a Secretary of the CPSU (ie, at the time, one of the many secretaries of the Central Committee), in 1953-55 he was still the Chairman of the USSR, and presiding over the meetings of the Presidium of the Central Committee of CPSU (as Politburo of the Central Committee of CPSU was called at the time). And thus, according to the then semi-official representations of the structure of power in the USSR, and, to an even greater extent, due to the political practice established under Stalin’s influence, he was the real leader of the country. It was during the period of his leadership of the country, that the transfer of the Crimean region into the Ukrainian SSR actually took place.

And if you take the viewpoint of those, who do not recognize that the decisions in the USSR were taken collectively, but absolutely want to assign personal responsibility for any decision to one of the “leaders”, then we must blame Malenkov, and not Khrushchev for the transfer of the Crimean region. By the beginning of 1954, when the Crimea was handed over, Khrushchev was not yet a sufficiently influential figure so as to define such major decisions. He was one of the secretaries of the Central Committee, responsible for the work of the entire Secretariat (on September the 7th 1953 he was elected 1st secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU), he was a member of the Presidium of the Central Committee, and was a member of a group, warring with the group of Malenkov. The very same Voslensky in his book indicates that Malenkov tried his best to belittle the role of the Central Committee Secretariat, and it was under him that they began to speak of the secretariat as of a purely technical body. Therefore, it is logical to assume that any significant initiatives emanating from Khrushchev, would not get the support of Malenkov.

If, however, we are be absolutely exact, then from a purely formal point of view, the transfer of Crimea was initiated by a collective body – the Presidium of the CPSU Central Committee, which meetings at that time were chaired by Malenkov. This can be seen from documents published in “Rossiyskaya Gazeta” (Federal Edition #3409 of the 19th of February 2004):

From the protocol N 49 of the Central Committee of the CPSU Presidium meeting on the transfer of the Crimean region from the composition of the RSFSR into the composition of the Ukrainian SSR
25th of January 1954
Presided by: G.M. Malenkov
Present:
Members of the Presidium of the Central Committee, comrades N.S. Khrushchev, K.E. Voroshilov, N.A. Bulganin, L.M. Kaganovich, A.L. Mikoyan, M.Z. Saburov, M.G. Pervukhin.
Candidates for members of the Presidium of the Central Committee, comrades N.M. Shvernik, P.K. Ponomarenko.
CPSU Central Committee secretaries, comrades M.A. Suslov, P.N. Pospelov, N.N. Shatalin.

XL About transfer of the Crimean region from the composition of the RSFSR into the composition of the Ukrainian SSR
1. To approve as amended at the meeting, the attached draft of the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on the transfer of the Crimean region from the composition of the RSFSR into the composition of the Ukrainian SSR.
2. To deem it appropriate to hold a special session of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of USSR, at which to consider a joint submission to the Bureau of the Supreme Soviets of the RSFSR and the Ukrainian SSR on the transfer of the Crimean region from the composition of the RSFSR into the composition of the Ukrainian SSR.

Secretary of the CPSU Khrushchev
АЛРФ.Ф.З.Оп.10.Д.65Л1,4-б Подлинник (original)

However, having the real distribution of power in the USSR leadership elite in favour of the government agencies – as a testament from Stalin, outwardly the power system in the country continued working in a mode, familiar to the people, that is, in such a way, that the decisions of the Central Committee of the CPSU were governing in relation the decisions of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, which was only a “law publishing” body, which gave the appearance of democracy to decisions, which had actually been taken in the Central Committee. Thus, the Council of Ministers, headed by Malenkov, was sidelined on the decision of the Crimea. This decision was taken by the Presidium of the CPSU Central Committee, a meeting presided by Malenkov.

Again, from a purely formal point of view, N.S. Khruschev’s responsibility for this decision consisted only in the fact that he, like everyone else, voted “for” and in addition to this, as the 1st Secretary of the Central Committee heading the work of the Secretariat of the Central Committee, put his signature, just formally certifying the protocol. In the same way as in the Brezhnev period Giorgadze put his signature after Brezhnev’s signature. But analysis of the alignment of the centres of power in the power system of that time shows that the decision of the Presidium chaired by the economic planner Malenkov could be a bargaining chip (albeit a pretty small one) in the nomenclature and political struggle of his supporters with the group of Khrushchev – the highest at that time party functionary. In any case, with that set up, Malenkov was a guarantor that, as a result of this decision, there would be no major changes in the Crimea’s situation and, above all, in the nature of economic relations of the Crimean region within the control system of the USSR.

From the extract from the protocol N49, cited above, it is clear at the same meeting the draft of the Decree of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on the transfer of Crimea was approved, which after a multi-stage procedure, would in the end be “rubber-stamped” by the Supreme Council. The Supreme Soviet of the USSR rubber-stamped the decree draft at its meeting of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of February the 19th 1954. Here is the text of the decree:

The stenography of meeting can be consulted here. (Translator note: I will translate the closing speech of Voroshilov, which gives additional context to the political and cultural background, as well as assumed conditions, of the transfer.)

DECREE
Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR
On the transfer of the Crimean region from the composition of the RSFSR into the composition the Ukrainian SSR

“Given the commonality of the economy, the proximity and close economic and cultural ties between the Crimean region and the Ukrainian SSR, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics RESOLVES:

Approve the joint submission of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR and the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR on the transfer of the Crimean region from the composition of Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic into the composition of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.”

Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR K.VOROSHILOV
Secretary of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR N.PEGOV
Moscow, The Kremlin, February 19, 1954.

And already on the 26th of April 1954 the Supreme Soviet of the USSR by the Law “On the transfer of the Crimean region from the composition of RSFSR in the composition of the Ukrainian SSR” approved the decree of its Presidium and made the appropriate changes to Articles 22 and 23 of the Constitution of the USSR.

Incidentally, we must note that the issue of transfer of the Crimea went in the agenda of the meeting of the Presidium of the CC CPSU as item XI or XL (it is not very clear from the publication of the document). In any case, this issue was not perceived as being particularly important. It is possible that this attitude has led to a certain constitutional legislative negligence in the design of the entire transfer procedure. The fact is, under Article 18 of the Constitution of USSR, which was in effect by 1954, the territory of a republic could not be altered without its consent. Such consent was given by both Republics in the form of a Ruling of the Presidium of the Supreme Councils of the two Republics. However, Article 33 of the Constitution of the RSFSR, which contained a list of the authorities given to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, there is no authority to change the boundaries of the RSFSR. Not to mention the fact that out of the 27 members of the meeting of the 5th of February 1954, during which the issue was addressed, only 15 were present.

Further considering the nature of the relationship of the then leadership of the USSR to the “Crimean issue”, one should also note the following. For example, in the relevant documents of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet it was claimed both wisely and pompously, “that the transfer of Crimea to the Ukrainian SSR, taking into account the commonality of their economies, the proximity and close economic and cultural ties, is fully appropriate and is a testament to the boundless trust of the Russian people in the Ukrainian people…” This is how the “Ukrainians” at the helm thought back then. At the same time, the event itself passed completely unnoticed. It was not widely presented by the official propaganda to the Soviet and foreign public as another triumph of the party reason and higher justice. Probably for this reason, the Western press said nothing about this. While in the Soviet publications one can only find a couple of paragraphs about the symbolic meaning of this act in the context of the 300th anniversary of the “reunification” of Ukraine and Russia. However, the celebrations that took place in late May 1954 were generally devoted only to the anniversary. And even in the festive speech of Khrushchev, not a word was said about the Crimea. The absence of any indication to the transfer of Crimea in the Soviet sources of the time leads to some extent to a probable assumption, that the leaders of the Soviet Union intended to create in the perception of the peoples of the Soviet Union the idea, that the presence of the Crimea as part of Ukraine was a self-evident fact, and the decision to transfer the peninsula was represented as something long-overdue and almost as correction of a certain historical misunderstanding. But it is also quite possible that there was a feeling of voluntary overeagerness, and that there was no complete confidence that the decision, taken completely privately and without extensive discussion between the peoples of the two largest of the Soviet republics, would not cause public rejection. (Translator’s note: It did, at the “kitchen talk” level, much of which I heard first-hand, while spending many a summer of my youth in Crimea.)

N.S. Khruschev made a considerable progress towards senior management position of the country only in 1955 as a result of the nomenclature struggle for the removal of Malenkov from power. In 1955, Malenkov was dismissed from the post of Chairman of the USSR, and on the 29th of June 1957 he was removed from the Presidium of the CC CPSU. It is not known when exactly he ceased to be “presiding” at the Presidium meeting, but most likely in the very same 1955.

Since that time, that is, from the time when N.S. Khruschev, as the 1st Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee and member of the Presidium of the Central Committee, began to gradually strengthen his position as the sole leader of the Communist Party, we can say that the party organs as a whole began to regain the lead in the country’s leadership. However, until 1958 the high status and independence of the state and economic apparatus inherited from the Stalinist era remained. Chairman of the USSR from 1955 to 1958 was N.A. Bulganin, who previously, just like Malenkov, was one of the Vice-Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers of Stalin. It was only in 1958 that Bulganin was dismissed, and his position was also taken by N.S. Khruschev while still holding the post of the First Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee. The defeat of the group of Bulganin, Malenkov, Kaganovich, Molotov and Shepilov occurred in June 1957 when at first during the meeting of the Presidium (Politburo) of the Central Committee of the CPSU by a majority vote, it was decided to abolish the post of the 1st Secretary of the CPSU and to appoint Khrushchev Minister of Agriculture, and then during an urgently convened plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, as a result of the dramatically unfolding events and with Zhukov’s help, Khrushchev managed to turn the situation to his advantage, and called Bulganin/Malenkov’s group for “anti-party”. Only after 1958 can N.S. Khurshev be held solely responsible for the supreme power decisions in the country. The Crimean region was transferred to Ukraine at the beginning of 1954, while the opinion about the deciding role that Khrushchev played in it, was formed only later with the help of the official propaganda.

Soviet newspapers, like mirrors, reflected the change in the ratio of different branches of power in the USSR. The newspaper “Pravda” of the 21st of December 1955 in its report on the national meeting of the top performers of agriculture in Tashkent, said: “spacious auditorium of the theatre named after Alisher Navoi was filled to capacity. 11 am. Loud and prolonged applause greeted the appearance at the meeting the Chairman of the presidium of the USSR Council of Ministers N. Bulganin and First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, N.S. Khrushchev. Places on the podium are occupied by the first secretary of Central Committee of the Communist Party: Uzbekistan – A.I. Niyazov, Kazakhstan – LI Brezhnev, Tajikistan – BG Gafurov, Chairman of the Council of Ministers: Uzbek SSR – N.A. Mukhitdinov, Tajik SSR – T. Uldzhabaev, Turkmen SSR – B. Ovezov, Kirghiz SSR – A. Suerkulov, Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Uzbek SSR Sh.R. Rashidov.” Here, the Chairman of the USSR Council is still mentioned in the first place, while the first secretary of the Communist Party – in the second, as a figure of lesser importance.

But already in 1960, at the height of Khrushchev’s personality cult, there is a dominating and familiar us from the days of Stagnation formula, where the Central Committee of the Communist Party is mentioned in the first place: “The workers of agriculture of the Penza region report to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Soviet Government and personally to Comrade N.S. Khrushchev that, realizing the historical decision of the XXI Congress of the CPSU, collective and state farms, overcoming the difficulties created in the current year due to adverse weather conditions, have grown a good harvest, and completed the plan to sell grain to the state ahead of schedule – on August the 9th – using 20 working days.” (“Pravda” of the 12th of August 1960).

There are some important considerations at the end of this brief historical sketch of this dramatic episode in the history of Russia. In that harsh time P.I. Titov became the forerunner of the modern Communist Party of the Russian Federation in that part of its activity, which is directed today to protect the all-Russian interests. It is a pity that his name have not become a symbol of the 23-year-long modern struggle for liberation of the Russian-speaking people of the Crimea against the Ukrinising occupants. In light of the events of the modern Russian history, that person is worthy of his memory being perpetuated at least by a commemorative plaque in Simferopol, and at least a mention of him in the future textbooks of the history of the Fatherland as a Russian citizen, who was not afraid to go against the voluntarist projects of omnipotent Russian Ukrainophile Khrushchev. The country and the people need to know their heroes, and not only the negative ones.


Below is a translation of the closing speech by K.E Voroshilov from the stenography of the session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR from the 19th of February 1954. As the commentary note at the top of that site says, “The Communist regime held no referendum or any opinion poll among the Crimeans regarding their transfer into the Ukrainian SSR”. All highlighting in the translation is mine.

Comrades, the decision of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on the joint proposal of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet and the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR regarding the transfer of the Crimean region from the composition of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic into the composition of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic is a testament to further strengthening of the unity and indestructible friendship of the Russian and Ukrainian peoples within the great powerful fraternal family of the peoples of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. This significant act of great national importance once again confirms that the relationship between sovereign allied socialist republics in the USSR is based on genuine equality and a real understanding and respect for mutual interests, aimed at the prosperity of all of the Union republics.

In history, there is no – and can not be – other such relation between States. In the past, especially under capitalism, at the very root of relations between states there was an aspiration for territorial conquest, the pursuit of strong states profiteering at the expense of territories of weaker countries. Only within the conditions, created by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics may there be such a fair resolution of all issues between Union Republics, decisions based on economic feasibility and sensibility, full of mutual friendship and fraternal co-operation of their peoples. The transfer of the Crimean region of the RSFSR into the Ukrainian SSR is in the interest of the Russian and Ukrainian peoples, and meets the national interests of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

The Crimean region, due to its historical development, due to its territorial and economic status, is important for the whole of the Soviet state. And in the distant and recent past enemies have repeatedly tried to take away the Crimean peninsula from Russia, use it to plunder and ruin Russian and Ukrainian lands, establish a base there for attacks on Russia and Ukraine. However the Russian and Ukrainian peoples had more than once, in their common struggle, severely beaten the arrogant invaders and thrown them out of the borders of Ukraine and Crimea. Ukraine and Crimea are closely linked by common economic interests – this has already been eloquently stated both by the presenters and by comrade speakers. Cultural relations between Crimea and Ukraine in particular have increased and deepened. The transfer of the Crimean region into the Ukrainian SSR will undoubtedly further strengthen the traditional ties.

Comrades, this friendly act takes place in the days when the Soviet people solemnly celebrate the remarkable historical date of the 300th anniversary of the reunification of Russia and Ukraine. This is a great traditional celebration not only of the Ukrainian people, but also for all the peoples of the USSR. Friendship of peoples – one of the foundations of our great multinational Soviet state, the source of its invincible might, of its prosperity and power. We know and rejoice that the Russian, Ukrainian and other peoples of our vast country, will also in the future continue to develop and strengthen their brotherly friendship. Let our great Motherland – the fraternal Union of Soviet Socialist Republics – develop and grow stronger!

Yes, Scythians Are Us

RTR Planet has recently aired a very thorough documentary, titled “Yes, Scythians Are Us”.

The documentary looks back through time, investigating who where Scythians, why they abruptly disappeared and Sarmatians turned in their stead, followed by Slavs. They come to the conclusion that both Scythians, Sarmatians (Samaritans?) and Slavs are one and the same people, called by different names at different periods in history.

I will at a later point write a complete translation of this documentary, but for now, here are some of the highlights of the arguments for this theory:

  • Greek and Western European chronicles list people from the same period interchangeably referring to the people living between Dnieper and Urals as both Scythians and Rus.
  • There are linguistic connection between the surviving Scythian names (in geographic name) and Old Russian.
  • Scythian burial customs are exactly the same as Slavic/Russian pre-Christian burial customs.
  • Scythians lead a semi-settle way of life, which allowed then to develop crafts like gold forging and iron forging of high quality. Scythians used the same types of weapons and armour as Rus vitjas (warrior).
  • “Scythians” seems to refer to a collection of tribes living between Dnieper and Urals, where each tribe was specialised in a certain craft and added to the value of the whole nation. This collection of tribes in their organisation seems to resemble a modern federation.
  • Depictions of Scythians on their own items of art, as well as the Greek artefacts, shows people with distinct Slavic facial features and body complexion, and nothing of the Asian look.
  • And the most significant argument comes from genetics. Scythians share the same Y-chromosome marker as majority of people living now on the territory of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine – the marker, which classifies them in the Slavic Rus group.

And just as an off-topic reminder: Holland is still holding Scythian – Russian – gold from the Crimean museums hostage.

The ”Wild 90s” in Russia, as reflected in people’s memory

I previously published a translation of an article For Russia 90’s Were Worse Than WWII, which tells the extent of the destruction caused to Russian industry and science in the course of the 90’s.

That was the time, when the West’s darling Yeltsin was in power, and when every parliamentary, every minister had an American “advisor” attached to him or her.

Let us remember that in October-November 1993, the Russian Parliament tried to pass an impeachment of Yeltsin, trying to save the country in a democratic way. The response back then, authorised by Clinton, was to bring tanks into the streets of Moscow, open fire at the Parliament building and kill almost 2000 people, who came to defend the young democracy from APC machine guns. That was effectively a coup d’etat, which kept Yeltsin in power and descended Russia into a dark stretch of destruction of the country and its people, which lasted until 2000, when Yeltsin released his American-backed grip, and Putin started slowly, but surely, save the county.

In this post I want to translate an echo from that time. There is a Russian site, which publishes jokes, real life stories (both fun and sad) and aphorisms, and people get to vote on them. One story collected a large number of votes, for it resonates strongly with the Russian population which survived through the war-like conditions of the 1993-1999.

The original can be found here.

Duck under the New Year Tree or Grandfather Frost exists!

Our family has a tradition – on New Year’s table there must necessarily be a duck with apples, even if nothing else is there, the duck must be present, period! This tradition began in 1991, and we keep it still!

In ’94 (I was 10 years old) there came monetary black stretch – mom could barely find work, there was either no money at all or very little of it; there was no permanent employment, and odd jobs, such as compilation of the financial statements were not regular, and paid very little. I remember as a nightmare our diet – only soup bouillon cube and green onions grown on a windowsill, with a piece of home-made bread – more than 20 years passed, but I still cannot eat bread, baked by that recipe. But this is just a background to the story!

The evening of Friday, December 30, 1994, my mother had only 20 rouble in in her pocket, it is clear that this year there will be not duck, but there will be mashed potatoes and herring. On her way home she goes to the farmer market to buy something for the festive table, and some mandarins). Almost all traders had already closed, and there was only one grandma standing and selling a single duckling, not duck, but a duckling, weighing below a kilogram! Price – 20 roubles! As they say – take it without bargaining! And the wonders did not stop there – walking through the market with this wonderful duck, there in the snow, mother finds a hundred-rouble note!!! There were tears of happiness, and tree, and mandarins, and duck with apples, candy and even a small gift!

Over the years there were different New Year ducks – “in oranges” and “with nuts” and “with figs”, and “in the dough” and weighing 6 kg, etc., etc. But we always remember “that duck”!

An basically this is it, this story, and especially the background to it, is but a sample of what 99% of the Russian population were suffering through during the Wild 90s.


More on the Yeltsin’s coup d’etat of 1993

It happened between the 21st of September and the 5th of October 1993. Back then, the Western MSM praised this event as the ultimate defence of the young Russian democracy, while in reality, it was the exact opposite.

At that time Russian Parliament, seeing where Yeltsin was steering the country, was preparing to pass impeachment of the President. It is a completely democratic process, designed to balance the presidential power and to trigger a preliminary election. Yeltsin’s reaction was all but democratic.

He passed directive #1400, disbanding the Parliament. When the Parliament refused to comply, he (with the backing of the “well-wishers” from across the pond) ordered army into the streets of Moscow. The Parliament building and the TV tower Ostankino were surrounded. People went out to the streets to defend the Parliament. Then there came the terrible order to open fire. People were shot down by concentrated machine gun fire from armoured vehicles, the Parliament was shelled from tanks.

Here is a footage of the shelling of the Parliament:

The exact number of victims of the 1993 massacre is unknown – most documents from that time were destroyed – but is officially estimated to be approximately 200. According to the analysis in the following article (in Russian), the numbers may have been a magnitude higher.

http://www.km.ru/v-rossii/2012/10/04/istoriya-rossiiskoi-federatsii/693919-4-oktyabrya-1993-goda-vlast-ustroila-boiny

The massacre also marked the descent of Russia into a period of near-destruction, a period of lawlessness and dismemberment of the industry and defence. A period, known in Russia as “The Wild 90s”.

Russia became totally incapacitated, which, in turn allowed USNATO in 1999 to start an unpunished invasion of Yugoslavia, not fearing any opposition. And even then, some politicians in Russia tried to show protest. When USA started the bombings, Russian Foreign Minister Prjamakov was en route to USA on a diplomatic mission. Upon hearing of the news, he ordered that the plane be turned back right over the Atlantic Ocean in protest.

A link to the excerpt from the book “The Forgotten Victims of 1993”:

http://oct1993.narod.ru/doc/zabyitie_zhertvi.htm

It contains many witness descriptions of the executions of the defenders (even those, who were unarmed, already wounded or surrendered), and later falsification of the numbers of the murdered people.

From the site above, there is an interesting document by parliamentary Andronov, who from the besieged Parliament, on the day before the massacre conducted negotiation with representatives of the AMERICAN embassy, trying to prevent the bloodshed. Americans anyway gave the order to open fire, he says, adding that the bloodshed in Moscow in 1993 was directly authorised by Clinton.
http://oct1993.narod.ru/doc/14.doc

Just like 70 years ago, it’s again up to Russia to clean up the mess that the West created – now in Syria and Ukraine

After the 70th UNGA meeting, Russia finally says “enough is enough” and starts dealing with the terrorist infestation in Syria, to the outcry of the Western MSM, which were conspicuously silent during the preceding year of USA’s bombing of who knows what in the very same Syria, US bombings which only lead to proliferation of ISIS.

In this light, the following articles from Lada Ray are a must-read to get the proper perspective on the current affairs in the Russian corner of the world:

Putin’s Full Speech at 2015 UNGA: Do You Realize What Kind of Monster You’ve Created? With Xi Jinping and Lukashenko

Russia Strikes ISIL (ISIS) Positions in Syria. What does it mean?

Make sure to watch the speeches and interviews in the above-mentioned articles. A special accent can be put on the interview President Putin gave to Charlie Rose, with the full transcript found here:

Interview to American TV channel CBS and PBS

And two analysis of the said interview:

President Putin Exposes MSM Propaganda And Embarrasses Their Amateur Shills

Kunstler Rages “Perhaps America Has Gotten What It Deserves”

Bird’s Eye Perspective on the Russian Federation

I get a feeling that many people, with whom I talk about Russia, have a perception about it as a large monolithic blob of unknown somewhere in the East. And as we know, everything that is unknown, becomes feared and distrusted. This perception is formed by the Western MSM, which seldom mentions Russia, and when it does, only the negative angle is allowed to reach the audience. This is very well put in Lada Ray’s article Desperate for Up-To-Date Truth About Ukraine and Novorossia?.
In this regard, it is an interesting exercise just to fire up Google Earth and take a bird’s eye view of the Russian Federation:

Russian Federation

And the first thing one notices is that, yes, it is a Federation. Notice all the territories, the Federal Subjects, that comprise the Russian Federation. They all have a large degree of autonomy, with their own regional laws, that take into account the specifics of the nationalities that populate them, most of them have one or more national languages, besides Russian – like Crimean Republic, which has Ukrainian and Tatar as official languages. And they all have a common desire for peaceful existence and prosperity. And Russia, just like about any other country, only as strong as it stands united

On the map above the reader can see Western Europe. I cannot say just “Europe”, because Russia is also Europe – a fact that is largely forgotten. And moreover, Western Europe is just a small fraction of one large common continent – Eurasia that got politically divided so as to split and rule us, the people.

Please read Lada’s Guide to the 85 Subjects of the Russian Federation for a lot more information and details on what is Russian Federation.

In the middle, a quite large chunk of the map is occupied by Ukraine – a hot topic of the last 2 years, what with the West-fuelled and MSM-ignored civil war raging there. That civil war was made possible for many reasons, one of which is: just like Russia (or, rather, because Ukraine is a historical fragment of Russia) Ukraine is not homogeneous, and for it to survive, it should have adopted a federative structure. This was vehemently denied to it by US/EU instigators, contrary to all common sense. So first Crimea, then Donbass/Novorossia took matters into their own hands, as then other regions will do too. It saddens me to see this large 40+ million country being so totally dominated by the Western mob.

But there is hope. Ironically, it comes from the biggest bully – the USA. Unwittingly, USA has acknowledged Novorossia’s claim to independence with a law, dating back to 1959!

US Congress and President Obama “Officially” Recognize Donbass’: Public Law 86-90 (1959)

The article above is a must-read. Not only does it describe the law in question:

The Captive Nations Week Resolution passed by both the Senate and House of Representatives in 1959 and reissued as a Presidential Proclamation every year for the last 56 years (also known as Public Law 86-90) affirms the RECOGNITION of the “Don” (Donetsk and Lugansk Peoples Republics are core countries of a Cossackia) as well as a future Zaporozhyian Republic (currently Zaporozhye Oblast).

It also gives an important view on the disparate constitution of what the West tries to pass as a monolithic “Ukrainian” nation:

According to Wasyl Veryha former Ukrainian World Congress president– read how he describes the populations of émigrés from “Ukraine

“In fact, the diverse nomenclature for the Ukrainian ethnic group caused a great deal of confusion not only at the turn of the century but also at a later period (through the 1930′s). The people of the province of Galicia and Bukovina, generally called themselves “Rusyny” (Ruthenians), Galicians, Bukovinians and Austrians… the Greek Catholic Church, to which at that time the overwhelming majority of Ukrainian immigrants adhered, preferred the term “Ruthenian”…both within the Austrian and the Russian Empires where the term “Ruthenian” and “Little Russian” respectively had begun to give way to the new, but at the same time old term, “Ukrainian”(person on the borderlands), as a national designation…The paper (Ukrainian Voice) was really a pioneer in transforming the “Austrians”, Ruthenians”, “Galicians” and “Bukovinians” into Ukrainians.. It popularized the term “Ukrainian” as a replacement for “Ruthenian.”

Wasyl Veryhas Masters of History Thesis

“Life is such a simple, yet cruel thing”

This recollection of the war was written by the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and published in Russian Pioneer on the 30th of April 2015. Soviet Union lost 27 million people in that War, and almost every single family has a recollection of losses and hardships connected with it. And the family of the President of RF is no exception. Read on my unofficial translation from Russian below…


Frankly, father did not like even to touch the subject. Rather, it was like this: when adults were talking to each other and remembering something, I was just around. All the information about the war, about what happened with my family, came to me from those conversations between the adults. But sometimes they addressed me directly.

Father served in Sevastopol, in the detachment of submarines – he was a sailor. He was drafted in 1939. And then, after returning from service, he just worked at a factory, and they lived with my mother in Peterhof. I think they even built some house there.

He was working at a military enterprise when the war started, giving the so-called “reservation” that exempts one from conscription. But he wrote an application to join the party, and then another application – that he wants to go to the front. He was dispatched to the subversive detachment of the NKVD. It was a small detachment. He said that there were 28 people in it, and they were deployed into the near rear for carrying out acts of sabotage. The undermining of bridges, railway tracks… But they were almost immediately ambushed. Someone betrayed them. They came to a village, and then went out, and when after a while they returned, the Nazis were already waiting for them there. They were chased through the woods, and he survived, because he climbed into a swamp, and spent a few hours in that swamp, breathing through a reed. This I remember already from his own story. And he said that, while sitting in the swamp and breathing through the reed, he heard how the German soldiers were passing nearby, just a few steps away from him, how the dogs were yapping…

In addition, it was probably the beginning of autumn, in other words – already cold… I also remember well how he told me that the head of their group was a German. A Soviet citizen. But a German.

And here’s what’s curious: a couple of years ago, the archives of the Defence Ministry handed me the case of this group. There is a copy of the case in my home, in Novo-Ogaryovo. A list of the group, names, patronymics and brief descriptions. Yes, 28 people. And at the head – a German. Everything as it was told by my father.

Of the 28 people, only 4 crossed the front line back to ours. 24 were killed.

And then they were re-assigned into the active army, and sent on to the Nevsky Pyatachok. It was probably the hottest place during the whole of the Leningrad Blockade. Our troops held a small bridgehead. Four kilometres in width and some two kilometres in depth. It was supposed to be a springboard for the future breaking of the blockade. But it never got used for this purpose. They broke through the blockade elsewhere. Still the spot (Nevsky Pyatachok) was held, held for a long time, there was heavy fighting there. Very heavy. There are commanding heights above and all around it, it’s shot at throughout. The Germans were, of course, also aware that it’s there that a breakthrough may be attempted, and tried to simply erase the Nevsky Pyatachokto from the face of the earth. There is data about how much metal there is in each square meter of the land. There’s still metal all over the place there.

And the father told how he was wounded there. The wound was heavy. All his life he lived with shrapnel in his leg: not all fragments could be taken out. The leg ached. Foot didn’t bend since then. The medics preferred not to touch the small fragments so as not to shatter the bone. And, thank God, the leg was saved. They could, after all, amputate it. He got a good doctor. He had the second group disablement. As a disabled veteran, he was eventually given an apartment. It was our first separate apartment. A small two-room apartment. (Translators remark: Before that the Putins lived in a communal apartment, where several families share the facilities, corridor and kitchen, and sleep in separate rooms.) However, before that we lived in the centre and now we had to move. True, not quite to the outskirts, but to a new-built area. And it happened, of course, not immediately after the war, but when I already worked in the KGB. I was not given an apartment then, but my father finally got his. It was a great happiness. And here’s how he was wounded. He, together with a comrade, did a little sortie into the rear of the Germans, crawling, crawling… And then it becomes both funny and sad at the same time: they got to a German bunker, and, father said, out of it comes a man, a huge guy, and looks at them… and they could not get up because they were under the machine gun sight. “The man – he says – looked at us very carefully, then he took out a grenade, then another, and threw those grenades at us. Well… ” Life is such a simple, yet cruel thing.

What was the biggest problem when he woke up? The fact that it was already winter, Neva was icebound, and he had to somehow get to the other shore, to the skilled medical care. But he, of course, could not walk.

True, he still managed to get to ours on this side of the river. But there were few wanting to drag him to the other side, because Neva was in full view there and exposed to fire both from artillery and machine guns. Chances to reach the opposite bank were almost non-existent. But, by chance, his neighbour from Peterhof was nearby. And that neighbour pulled him over without hesitation. And managed to drag him to the hospital. Both crawled there alive. The neighbour waited for him at the hospital, made sure that he was operated, and said, “All right, now you’re going to live, and I am off to die.”

And he went back. I later asked my father: “Well, did he die?” And he returned several times to this story. It tormented him too very much. They lost contact, and father believed that his neighbour was killed. And somewhere in the 60s, I don’t remember the exact year, I was still very young then, but somewhere in the early 60’s, he suddenly came home, sat down and wept. He met his saviour. In a shop. In Leningrad. Accidentally. He went to the store for food and saw him. It is some coincidence that the two went at the same moment to the same store. One chance in a million… They later came to our home, met each other… And my mother told me how she visited father at the hospital where he lay after he was wounded. They had a small child, he was three years old. At this time there was blockade, hunger… My father gave her his hospital ration. Secretly from doctors and nurses. And she hid it, took it home and fed the child. And then he began to faint from hunger in the hospital, so doctors and nurses understood what was happening, and didn’t allow her to visit any more.

And then the child was taken away from her. It was done, as she later repeated, in a compulsory fashion in order to save small children from starvation. They were collected to the orphanages for further evacuation. Parents were not even asked.

He fell ill there – my mother said that it was with diphtheria – and didn’t survive. And they were not even told where he was buried. They have never learnt where. And then, last year, completely unfamiliar to me people worked on their own initiative through the archives and found documents about my brother. And that’s really my brother. Because I knew that they lived then, after fleeing from Peterhof from the advancing German troops, at their friends’ place – and I even knew the address. They lived, as we call it, on the Water Channel (Vodnyj Kanal). It would be better to call it a “Bypass channel” (Obvodnyj Kanal), but in Leningrad it’s called “Water Channel”. I know for sure that they had lived there. And not only the address, where he was taken from, coincided. Name, surname, patronymic, date of birth coincided as well. It was, of course, my brother. And there was stated the place of burial: Piskaryovskoye Cemetery. And even the specific area was given.

Parents were told nothing of this. Well, apparently, other things had higher priority back then.

So, everything that my parents told about the war, was true. Not a single word was invented. Not a single day was moved. And about my brother. And about the neighbour. And about the German, the commander of the group. Everything matches. And all this got later confirmed in an incredible way. And after the child was taken away, and mother was left alone, and my father was allowed to walk, he stood up on crutches and went home. And when he came to the house, he saw that the medics were carrying corpses out of the entrance. And he saw my mother. He came up, and it seemed to him that she was breathing. He told the medics: “She’s still alive!” – “She’ll pass away along the way – said the nurses. – She’ll not survive now.” He told that he pounced on them with crutches and forced them to lift her back into the apartment. They told him: “Well, we’ll do as you say, but know that we will not come here for another two or three or four weeks. You’ll have to sort it out yourself then.” And he nursed her back to life. She survived. And lived until 1999. While he died in late 1998.

After the lifting of the blockade, they moved to the homeland of their parents, in the Tver province, and lived there until the end of the war. Father’s family was quite large. He had, after all, six brothers, and five of them were killed in the war. This is a disaster for the family. And my mother’s relatives also died. And I was a late child. She gave birth to me when she was 41 years old.

And there was, after all, not a family where someone didn’t die. And, of course, grief, misfortune, a tragedy. But they had no hatred for the enemy, that’s what’s amazing. To be honest, I still can not fully understand this. My mother was a very gentle, kind person… And she said, “Well, what kind of hatred can one have toward these soldiers? They are simple people and also died in the war.” It’s amazing. We were brought up on Soviet books, movies… and hated. But she somehow did not have it in her. And I remember very well her words: “Well, what can you have against them? They are also hard workers, just like us. They were simply force-driven to the front.”

These are the words that I remember from the childhood.


Translator’s afterword

What I personally find sad in this story, is that Putin’s parents didn’t live long enough to know that their son became the President of the Russian Federation, and a worthy president at that. Just like his father nursed his mother back to life, so did Putin nurse Russia back to life after the Wild 90s, at a time, when most world leaders treated it like a still breathing corpse, ready to be carried out of the world arena. More about it can be gleaned from the newly-released documentary, “The President”. Lada Ray wrote a good summary and is posting links to the ongoing English translation of the documentary in her blog.

Repentance of Berlin.
After 70 years, the Germans have an unambiguous attitude towards the Soviet victory

Below is my translation of an article by Georgij Zotov, published in “Argumenty i Fakty” on the 6th of March 2015.


– Excuse me, but where is the monument to Soviet soldiers?

– Stay on the road. Walk a little further and you’ll immediately see the gates.

The memorial in Berlin’s Treptow Park is the largest outside the former Soviet Union, and one is immediately struck by its size. Police strolls by, watching order, cleaners gather fallen branches. People come here all the time – and, surprisingly, not only the residents of the former East Germany (GDR), but also quite the Westen Germans. I met a businessman from Hamburg, a 34-year-old Herbert Müller, who made a special trip to the monument – to lay flowers and pay tribute to the Soviet soldiers. A situation that is quite difficult to imagine in today’s Poland, Hungary or the Czech Republic.


Traffic controller Katya Spivak at the crossroads of Berlin. May 1945. Photo: RIA Novosti / Jacob Ryumkin

“The monstrous meat grinder”

– On the 9th of May I always think about the suffering of the German and Soviet soldiers, who were involved in a terrible slaughter, the bloodiest in human history – Herbert tells me. – Do you know what angers me the most right now? Politicians in Western Europe forgot about the Second World War and are aggressively pushing us for a showdown with Russia. They learned nothing from 50 million victims. How would supplies of modern weapons to Ukraine help to maintain truce in this country? We can not change anything in the last war, but we can prevent the next: that’s what we have to think about!

Herbert Mueller never saw his grandfather – he was killed near Moscow in December 1941. The same story, with a few exceptions, will be told by almost every German – grandfathers in the service in the army, the SS, the Gestapo, fighting in the Volkssturm. Some died at the front, some were captured, and some even hanged as war criminals: I got to talk to a woman, whose grandfather served in the Majdanek concentration camp. However, I heard nothing negative with regard to the Victory Day, in contrast to our former friends from Eastern Europe. Of course, for the Germans, the 8-9 May is not a national holiday, but rather an occasion for mourning for the dead relatives. Something that no one has forgotten, is the bombing of Berlin and other cities by the Anglo-American aviation. “40,000 civilians were killed in Hamburg in 1943, two years later in Dresden – 25,000. We can’t even put a memorial to them – the “allies” of Germany will misunderstand – says businessman Volker Heinecke, who in 1942, as a two-year child, was kidnapped by the Nazis from the USSR and placed in an SS child centre “Lebensborn”. – I was five years old, but I remember very well how residential neighbourhoods of Hamburg burned: the bombs fell nearby”.

“How many Russians died?”

At the same time, after having communicated with pupils and students in Berlin, I realized with sadness – the victims from the Soviet Union in World War II have become half-forgotten over the past 25 years. “How many Soviet citizens died? – A group of students at the Brandenburg Gate repeats the question. – Uh-uh … a million? No? Five million? I’m sorry, we have to look it up on the Internet”. Nowadays German schools teach the exact number of Jews and Gypsies put to death by the Nazis, but it is not known to the Germans about the three million Soviet POWs who died in captivity (falling under the definition of the Holocaust in a broad sense) – as well as about a million victims of the siege of Leningrad, and about thousands of burnt villages in USSR.

On the other hand, the guides in Berlin tell school groups about how many people were shot dead by GDR border guards while trying to scale the Berlin Wall, and, pointing at the Soviet flag (next to the checkpoint “Charlie” – the former checkpoint at the entrance to the American sector), explains: “Here began the territory of the Kremlin and ended with the territory of freedom.” Who said that the Cold War is over?

– I want to emphasize – the vast majority of Berliners do not question that the Soviet Union played a significant role in the collapse of National Socialism, – said in an interview to “AIF” Florian Schmidt, press officer of the Mayor of Berlin. – Although occasionally neo-Nazis try to desecrate the monument to the Soviet soldiers in Treptow Park, we are determined to prevent such actions. For us, this monument is the evidence of the end of a terrible war, a sign of liberation from Nazi dictatorship, and the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazism is an important anniversary for the people of the united Germany. On the 8-9 May they plan in Berlin, at the state level, to hold a series of celebrations, organize exhibitions and public readings of novels about the war.


In the GDR at the monument to Soviet soldiers there were crowds of people. Today – much less. But still they come and bring fresh flowers. Photo: RIA Novosti (left), AIF / Georgy Zotov (right)

“We’re not stupid”

Only once (in 1992) the Senate of Berlin raised the question whether to remove the quotes of Stalin from the monument in Treptow Park. But it was immediately hushed: in Germany they behave differently than our neighbours in Eastern Europe, and understand that such things CAN NOT be touched. In Berlin I talked both with Western and Eastern Germans: so different in character, they often agree on one opinion – the Soviet Union had the right after the defeat of the Third Reich to remain on German soil. “And what were the options then? – A journalist of one of the leading newspapers in Germany asks me in surprise. – The Americans put their bases in the German west, Russians – in the east. Now in Eastern Europe they are trying to remove monuments to Soviet soldiers, but we do not imitate fools. We must keep in mind that for the Russians, the theme of the war is painful still – the Germans killed in the USSR more people than in any other country. Unfortunately, people start to forget about it…”

According to polls, 72% of young people from Eastern Germany were able to name the date of the end of World War II, on the other hand 68% of young from the Western part of the country failed to do so. Only 18% of the population of Germany know how huge were the human losses suffered by Soviet Union. “It is bad that modern Germans are not aware of the terrible fate of 15 million Soviet civilians killed by the Wehrmacht, Luftwaffe and the SS – sighs the businessman from Hamburg Volker Heinecke. – In my opinion, these people deserve a separate memorial complex in the heart of the German capital, in memory of their suffering. But neither the former Soviet government nor the current German thought of it…” However, at least one thing in Berlin remains unchanged. “We believe that Russians did not conquer, but liberate us – said to AiF the guitarist of the popular band “Rammstein”, Paul Landers. – And there is no other opinion about this among my friends.”

Prague Winter.
What is the Czechs’ attitude towards the coming 70th anniversary of the Victory?

Below is my translation of an article by Georgij Zotov, published in “Argumenty i Fakty” on the 27th of February 2015. The title is a play on concepts. “Prague Spring” was a period of political and cultural liberalisation of Czechoslovakia in 1968.


Over the last 25 years they repeatedly tried to rewrite history in the Czech Republic so as to show – Prague was liberated by whoever, but not by the Soviet troops. However, this period is now referred to by some citizens of the country as “madness”.

– When was Prague liberated? We celebrate the Victory Day on 8th of May. I do not know what happened there. It seems that the Americans wanted to help the Czechs, who revolted against the SS. But they were prevented by the Russians. Anyway, that’s what we were taught.

“They kissed hands of the Russians”

18-year-old student Vaclav does not know Russian, and standing on the Old Town Square in Prague, the guy is talking to me in English. He’d be happy to answer the question, but he’s not sure about the correct answer. Over 25 years too much has changed in the views of the end of World War II in the Czech Republic – and not for the better for our side. Although Soviet troops entered Prague on the morning of May 9, 1945, Liberation Day is celebrated here on May 8 – with the motivation: “If the whole of Western Europe celebrates on the eighth, so will we.” And the very fact of the liberation is questioned by the Czech press and politicians.

– Since 1990 we learned a lot of “new” from the articles of Czech newspapers and statements of historians, – says ex-employee of the TV Czechoslovakia Tatiana Ditrihova. – Especially about the uprising in Prague that erupted on May 5, 1945. For example, it was reported that the Russians did not allow the US Army to rescue the residents of Prague. Although it was the Americans themselves, who ignored calls for help, not wanting to get involved in heavy fighting. Other “experts” claimed – Vlasov’s fighters helped rebels more than the Soviet soldiers. Yes, hoping for amnesty, Russian units of the Wehrmacht joined the revolt, but already two days later they left Prague residents to fend for themselves by fleeing to the Americans. There were printed even such views as saying that on May 9 Russians entered the empty city, that armed Czechs liberated the capital on their own. This is nonsense. Prague Radio begged Marshal Konev: “An SS division moved out against Prague, we are being bombarded from the air, they press us out with tanks, we run out of ammo.” On the 8th of May, Nazi commandant of Prague, General Rudolf Toussaint, accepted the surrender of the guerrillas – the Germans crushed the uprising. When the Red Army entered Prague on the next morning, many Czechs were crying from happiness on the streets and kissed the hands of Soviet soldiers.


The joy of the people of Prague. Photo: RIA Novosti

How to uproot memory

The first to burst into Prague was the tank of 25-year-old Lieutenant Ivan Goncharenko. A fight broke out. On Manesov bridge T-34 was hit and Goncharenko died, becoming the first of the Soviet soldiers who died for the liberation of the capital of Czechoslovakia. On July 29, 1945, on ​​Stefanik square there was unveiled a monument to Goncharenko: tank “IS-2” raised on a pedestal. He has long been a symbol of the liberation of Prague, but now the tank is no longer there – coming to Stefanik (now called Kinsky Square), on the site of the monument I see a crudely made fountain. On April 28, 1991 an avant-garde artist David Black mockingly repainted the tank in pink. And so it began … the combat vehicle was deprived of the status of “cultural monument”, dismantled and its pedestal destroyed – they even destroyed the flower bed in the form of a five-pointed star. When I ask the Prague residents about the tank, they feel uncomfortable. “We have nothing to do with it – sighs an elderly passerby on the Kinsky square. – We were not asked, and I am ashamed of hysteria in relation to Russian. Why the monuments in Berlin and Vienna do not trouble anybody? The new authorities explained their actions as follows: like this tank now only represents the Soviet intervention during the Prague Spring.

Of course, the decision by Brezhnev in 1968 to suppress the rally of the Czech people is a “black page” in the history of the USSR; back then 108 citizens of Czechoslovakia were killed. However, in the six years of the Nazi occupation, there were killed 325,000 Czechs, Slovaks, Jews, Roma (90% of them – civilians). Only in 1943, 350,000 people were driven to work in Germany. Only in one day of the American bombing of Prague on the 14th of February 1945, 700 residents were burned alive. I want to ask Czechs what is more important to them – the memory of an idiotic act of Brezhnev, or respect for the people who, by giving their lives, saved millions of others? However, since 2011 they already hold discussions in the Czech press: Should the tank be returned to its place for the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Prague? Alas, it doesn’t go further than mere talk.

Before
After
Stefanik Square in Prague before and after.
Photo: Commons.wikimedia.org / ŠJů; AIF / Georgy Zotov

End of insanity

– For me, the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Prague, is of course a celebration – said to “AiF” Maria Dolezhalova-Shupikova, one of the few surviving residents of the village of Lidice that in 1942 was obliterated from the face of the earth by SS punishers. – I was sent to be raised in a German family, forbidden to speak Czech, I had almost forgotten my mother tongue. If the Soviet army didn’t come, I would not have returned home and would not have found my mother. Of course there are problems between the Russians and the Czechs, there are differences of opinion. But this is not a reason to forget about the events that took place in Prague seventy years ago.

On May 11, 1945 a war correspondent Boris Polevoy conveyed report from Prague to “Moskovskaya Pravda”: “Near an overturned truck there lay a body of a girl with such a beautiful face, which it seemed that even death could not change. Next to her, with arms spread, a mighty Red Army tanker lay on the ground on his back, killed by a stray bullet that hit him in the forehead just at the moment when he probably wanted to rush to the aid of the girl. They lay here, head to head, surrounded by a silent crowd, as a symbol of the brotherhood of Czechoslovak and Soviet people. Brotherhood designated by a bloody seal.” There is, perhaps, no more brotherhood – it disappeared with the collapse of the USSR and Czechoslovakia. But the memory remains the same: after the “short madness,” as the situation was aptly described by one of Prague citizens, respect for Soviet soldiers is returning. The graves of our soldiers on Olshansky cemetery in Prague are restored at the expense of the authorities, flowers are brought to the gravestones.

On the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the capital of the Czech Republic they plan celebrations, during which they promised to reflect the role of the Red Army in the rescue of the city. Is Prague winter finally over? I hope so. Oh yeah, I forgot. Avant-garde artist David Black, who in 1991 defaced the Soviet tank, did not respond to my request for an interview to the “AiF”. Perhaps he simply had nothing to say…

Crimea.
The Path to the Homeland.

A definitive documentary on the reunification of Crimea with Russia is aired today. Here is a quick translation of the blurb as presented on Rossia TV site.

This full-length documentary was conceived to preserve the history of every major episode of events that took place in the Crimea in the spring of 2014. Filming lasted for 8 months and covered Foros, Sevastopol and Simferopol, and Kerch, Yalta and Bakhchisaray; Feodosia, Djankov, Alushta and a dozen settlements of the Crimea. A long conversation with Vladimir Putin was recorded while the events were fresh, and later, more than fifty interviews with participants and witnesses of the Crimean spring. How it all began? How Russia received an official request from the legitimate president of Ukraine to save his life?

It was an operation, the likes of which has not been seen in recent world history. Vladimir Putin himself reveals a year later all the details of how a few kilometers before the ambush with machine guns, Viktor Yanukovych had been secretly evacuated, and a detailed reconstruction is dedicated to it in this film.

“It was the night of 22 to 23 February, finished at about 7 am, and I let everyone go and went to sleep at 7 am. And, in parting, I will not deny, when parting, before everyone left, I told all my colleagues, there were four of them, I said that the situation in Ukraine turned out so that we have to start working on the return of the Crimea to Russia. Because we can not leave the area and the people who live there to fend for themselves, under the roller of the nationalists. And I put forth some tasks, said what and how we should do, but immediately said that we will do so only if we are absolutely convinced that this is what the people themselves who live in the Crimea want”, – said in an interview Vladimir Putin.

So the first order, which was given by the president, concerned not the security services and the Ministry of Defence, but his administration, which experts and sociologists conducted a closed survey in the Crimea. What questions answered Crimeans, when even the word “referendum” was not yet spoken?

“It turned out that of those wishing to join Russia, there 75% of the total population. You know, a closed survey was conducted, outside the context of a possible merger. For me, it became obvious that if we come to this, the level or the number of those who would like to this historic event to occur, would be much higher, “- said the Russian president.

Korsun pogrom. How many people were killed or missing after Ukrainian nationalists attacked the convoy of the Crimean people and burned their buses? How a militia of the Crimea was formed? Who was its leader?

How “polite people” first appeared in Crimea? Who were they, by whose orders were they sent to the peninsula? And how long did the special operation take the resulted of which on the night of February 27 was to take under control of all key government buildings?

“The ultimate goal was not to capture the Crimea and do some annexation. The ultimate goal was to give people the opportunity to express their opinion on how they want to live. I tell you quite frankly, honestly tell you. I thought for myself, if people want, then so be it. So if they will be there with greater autonomy, with some rights, but as a part of the Ukrainian state. So be it. But if they want a different way, we we can not leave them! We know the results of the referendum. And we did what was required to do!” – said the Russian leader.

How did they managed without bloodshed to disarm 193 military bases of Ukraine in the Crimea? What was the secret of the Black Sea Fleet, which invited Ukrainian colleagues to negotiate exclusively to Hersonissos? How did they manage to close in the bays Ukrainian Navy ships? But why did it not go without assault and shooting in Feodosia?

How Russia came into contact with NATO units in the Crimea, and at sea, with the naval forces of the Navy? About what did Vladimir Putin talk in those days with Barack Obama? And how did our coastal missile complexes “Bastion” come to the Crimea, suddenly changing the whole course of events? Two outspoken interviews with Vladimir Putin, and all the episodes of the Crimean spring, which determined the course of Russia’s recent history – see nin the film “Crimea. The Path to the Homeland.”


In the meantime, Yatsnejuk, in his typical evil clown amplua, threatens to create a film, titled “Crimea. Crime and Punishment.” Sure. He should know how to commit crime against humanity and to create punisher Nazi battalions that slaughter the population of Donbass (a fate, that was also slated to Crimeans by the West-Ukrainian coup-makers).

If ever a film under his proposed title is created, its full title will be “Crimea. Khrushov’s Crime and the Punishment of Ukro-Nazis”.

Blood and Vienna.
Even After 70 Years the Soviet Soldiers Are Respected in Austria

Below is my translation of an article by Georgij Zotov, published in “Argumenty i Fakty” on the 20th of February 2015. The title is a play on words. “Vienna” is written the same as the word “vein” in Russian.

In contrast to our former allies in Eastern Europe, it is well understood in Austria: in 1945 Soviet troops freed their country from the regime of Adolf Hitler.

A very old, completely grey-haired man tells me how to get to the ​​Schwarzenberg square. “You have an interesting accent. Are you Russian?” – “Yes.” He immediately switches over to my mother tongue, pronouncing some words with difficulty. “My name is Helmut Hurst, for two years I was with you as a … war-time-prisoner. Got mobilised to the Volkssturm straight from school in April forty-five, when your troops entered Vienna. No training, got handed a rifle with no bullets – and forward into the fray for the great Fuhrer. I’m not dead only thanks to the Russians, although I was captured with weapons in my hands. Thank you.”

USSR saved us

After the statements of the Republic of Poland and the Baltic states that the anniversary of Victory is not a liberation, but the beginning of a “new occupation”, you come to Austria as if to another planet. A completely different attitude. The press service of the capital gladly told me: for the 70th anniversary of the entry of the Red Army into Vienna, they plan to lay flowers at the monument to Soviet soldiers, conduct a memorial service at the site of the Mauthausen concentration camp, open the Museum of the liberation of Vienna, and even stage theatrical performances.

The Red Army entered the city on April 5th 1945, and already on April 13th the remnants of the Nazi army in the capital of Austria (then part of the Third Reich) surrendered. Soviet troops remained in Vienna for a little more than a decade – they left after the restoration of the sovereignty of Austria as an independent state.

– Austrians seriously differ from Eastern Europe in terms of the perception of the Second World War – explains historian and researcher Gerhard Zauner. – In 1945, Poland and Czechoslovakia met Russians with flowers, rejoicing and shouting “Hurrah!”, the girls hung on their necks of your soldiers. 70 years later the Poles and Czechs pretend that there was no liberation at all, that only “new occupants” came to them. It’s completely different in Austria. Brainwashed by Goebbels’ propaganda, people were waiting: that any moment bearded Cossacks will appear on the streets of Vienna and will devour the Austrian babies. Back then we did not consider ourselves to be victims of Nazism, because Austria welcomed Hitler and fought together with the Germans. However, after 70 years, many of our citizens are grateful to your people.

First, the USSR rescued a small nation from further destruction – hundreds of thousands of Austrians have already been killed and the Western and on the Eastern Fronts. Secondly, Vienna was not subjected to massive air strikes, and this is preserved the historical neighbourhoods. Third, at the demand of the USSR, Austria became a neutral state, and later our guys did not die in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Flowers on the graves

Austrian press has organized an opinion poll: “Do you want to dismantle the monument to Soviet soldiers?”. 91%(!) of Austrian voted against. And while our former friends in Eastern Europe are now publicly announcing May 9, 1945 as the beginning of the “Soviet tyranny”, for millions of people in Austria, this date is the liberation, and not a conquest. Austria finances maintenance of military cemeteries, where Soviet soldiers are buried (in the storming of Vienna 40,000 people were killed), and restoring monuments at their own expense. Driving through the eastern part of the country, I saw with my own eyes how the villagers (and not only the elderly ones) bring flowers to the graves of our soldiers. When I asked them why they do this, they were amazed by the question: “These are our liberators!”

But there is a fly in the ointment. For six consecutive years, on the eve of May 9th, hooligans poured paint on monument to Soviet soldiers on Schwarzenberg square: either black, or (on the last occasion) yellow-blue. The fence behind the monument, as well as containers for projectors are covered by graffiti. Attackers have not been found, although in Vienna City Hall assured me that now the perimeter is covered by video cameras: the crime is unlikely to happen again.


Foto: Aif, Georgij Zotov.

“Enough Christmas trees for all”

– First of all the suspicion falls on neo-Nazis – we have more and more problems with the radicals of the right-wing movements, – thinks the ex-worker of the Communist Party of Austria, Alexander Neumann. – There is a version that vandals are visitors from Poland or Ukraine. Although, of course, Austria is responsible for such incidents. But, you must agree, it’s a couple of cases – not a mass phenomenon. When the memorial on the square Schwarzenberg was spilled with paint last year, dozens of volunteers organized a vigil at the monument, and one of them vowed to “punch the face the Nazis are not respecting Russians.”

Austrian politicians are delicate in their comments on the topic og 70th anniversary of the appearance in Vienna of the Soviet troops. According to the press service of the Parliament, “different views are expressed: most people would say that this was a liberation, a minority – that a military defeat, but no one would call the entry of the Red Army in Vienna for and illegal occupation. In Austrian history school books, the point of view is clear: 1945 is a year of the liberation of Austria, and nothing else.”

“We must admit, all kinds of things happened, – says the former soldier of Volkssturm Helmut Hurst. – Soviet troops stayed with us for 10 years, there were love affairs, Austrians gave birth to children, and then classmates teased the poor kids as “ferfluhter russen” – “cursed Russians”. My neighbour did not like the Russians – a Soviet truck damaged his lawn. Another neighbour scolded bureaucracy: to move from one area of Vienna to another, you had to obtain five commandant seals of the USSR. However, after seventy years, we are grateful to the Russians for getting rid of Hitler. In captivity, I worked in a sawmill. Since then, if someone is talking about a possible war with Russia, I say, “No problem. Russians taught us to fell trees in the POW camps … there are a lot more Christmas trees there – enough for everyone!”

The Hungarian Amnesia

Below is my translation of an article by Georgij Zotov, published in “Argumenty i Fakty” on the 13th of February 2015:

Despite the fact that Hungary joined Hitler and attacked the USSR, the position of the local historians is often the same: in 1945 the country became a “victim of Soviet tyranny.” Is this true? An “AiF” observer is trying to make sense of the situation.

In number 3 of “AiF” we published a report from Poland “The Sorrow of a Warsaw Woman” (English translation here): why Polish politicians and the media ignored the memory of Soviet soldiers who liberated Warsaw. The article caused an unprecedented surge of responses and questions from readers: how do things stand with memory in other European countries? In this regard, commemorating the 70th anniversary of Victory, “AIF” begins a series of reports from European capitals that the Red Army occupied after Warsaw: on February 13, 1945 it liberated Budapest.

Soldier with PCA was removed

– Of course, we are absolutely not like Poles – a freelance journalist Laszlo Kovacs, who in 1981-1986 studied in the USSR, politely starts the conversation. – In Hungary, there is no general negative attitude towards Russia, our Prime Minister is in favour of the construction of the “South Stream” and the cessation of the EU’s anti-Russian sanctions. However, as in the rest of Eastern Europe, our media since 1989, hammered into people’s minds the same thing, that in 1945 the evil Russians came here and brought on tips of their bayonets the communist regime. We tend to forget that in fact it was Hungary that joined Hitler and declared war on the Soviet Union and sent to the Eastern Front hundreds of thousands of soldiers – during the Battle of Stalingrad a whole Hungarian army perished there. We took the land of the neighbours in Romania, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia. In just one year the Hungarian police and SS together with the Germans destroyed 450,000 local Jews and 28,000 Gypsies. It’s just awful. The Red Army saved Hungarians from becoming a Nazi monsters.


Before and after: a monument to our soldiers completely anonymised. Photo: RIA Novosti, AIF / Georgy Zotov

And what is the gratitude for the salvation? Stepping carefully on the steep stairs, I climb Mount Gellert: in 1947 there was a monument to 80,000 Soviet soldiers killed in the battle for the capital of Hungary. You can see in my photos what’s left of it – a bronze figure of a soldier with the PCA has been removed, five-pointed star is removed, the names of all 146 who died in the battle for Gellert carefully erased from the marble stella – a monument was simply made impersonal. And not far from another obelisk to the soldiers of the USSR in the center of Budapest (at Freedom Square), there is even a monument to… an ally of Hitler – dictator Miklos Horthy. And even though this initiative is not coming from the government, but from the far-right party “Jobbik”, the closeness is quite disgusting.

– I want to emphasize – the installation of a bronze likeness of Horthy has caused a storm of protest in Budapest!, explains historian Istvan Hegedyush. – Yes, it should be recognized: Hungary acted badly when it comes to the monument on Gellert Hill – in the nineties the politicians were vying to portray themselves as fighters against “communist tyranny.” Hungarians then tempered… signed an agreement with the Government of the Russian Federation on the status of military graves: the graves of the soldiers are looked after, kept clean, fresh flowers are put there. Recently, we have restored the Soviet military cemetery Kerepesi Cemetery and invited relatives of soldiers buried there to visit Hungary without a visa. Hundreds of young people are involved in scouting forces, searching for the remains of the Red Army, so as to bury them with honour. But, of course, the attitude of the Hungarians to the Victory has strongly been influenced by the sense of offence, as a popular uprising in 1956 was drowned in the blood by your army. Then many viewed Russians not as liberators Russian from Nazism, but as occupiers.


Hungary’s capital in ruins. Restoration will be done at the expense of the USSR. Photo: RIA Novosti / I. Ozersky

The revolution, suppressed on Khrushchev’s orders, cost the Hungarian people 2652 killed citizens. The war on Hitler’s side claimed the lives of 300,000 Hungarian soldiers and 600,000 civilians – 10 percent (!) Of the total population. This is not to mention the following: the Soviet Union “shelved” the facts of Hungary’s participation in punitive operations in 1941-1944 in our country. Executions of women, burnt villages, the executions of the partisans, torture of prisoners of war – tens of thousands of victims. Documents are still kept in Russian archives: take only one case among many. On May 28, 1942 Hungarian soldiers shot 350 people in the village of Svetlov in Bryansk region “for helping the partisans”. Peasant woman gave E. Vedeshina gave testimony about it, the punishers killed her four children – 11, 8, 5 and 1 year(!) old. She miraculously survived, lying in a hole under the children’s corpses. Why am I saying this? Seems like we must forgive these kinds of atrocities, but our mistakes in Eastern Europe, no one at all forgets and is still reminding us about at every step.

“There’s nothing to thank for”

It can hardly be disputed, that after the Victory, Stalin established a regime, unpleasant for most Hungarians. However, in 1945 the Soviet Union didn’t treat Hungary as a country-aggressor (which it had the rights to do): reparations were symbolic, unlike Germany, the state was not dismembered, the government of the USSR financed the rise of the capital of Hungary from the ruins in 1950-1960s, rebuilt five bridges across the Danube. Maybe these facts should be remember too along with the “tyranny”? But no. Supporters of the label of “Soviet occupation” are ill with an interesting kind of amnesia: everything that the Soviet Union did wrong, they remember very well, but what was good, is forgotten.

After 70 years, Hungary views its liberation differently than Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic States: the war with the monuments has seized, and the former SS men have no respect. Although the theme of Victory remains difficult for the local community. Hungarian Embassy in Russia, once promising to help with the interview on the topic of February 13, 1945, didn’t find a single person(!) who wanted to comment on this event, and I had to look to the interlocutors. Often we hear such opinions: “It’s enough to reproach Russian for past, but also there’s nothing to thank Russia for”. Fortunately, there are enough people with a sense of gratitude living in Hungary – the descendants of the Jews saved from the concentration camps, veterans from among thousands of Hungarian military who switched to the side of the Red Army in 1945, the participants of the anti-fascist organizations. IT will be them, who will put flowers on the graves of Soviet soldiers on the anniversary of the liberation of Budapest. Only those who wish so themselves are ill with amnesia in Eastern Europe…

The Sorrow of a Warsaw Woman.
Why Poland is not happy to be liberated from fascism?

In a very strong post by Lada Ray, Wake Up, the Soldier of Ukraine!, a reader Paul commented the following:

You know, seeing how the Poles and Galicians view Russia, I would say that Russia’s attempts to sweep things under the rug with ideas of Slavic brotherhood and such were not wise. Even within the Ukraine, Eastern Ukrainians saying “We are brothers” while Western Ukrainians said “We are not brothers” didn’t work out so well. It might have been better to say “We are cousins; we don’t always agree, but let’s work together when we can.” A bit of an overgeneralization, but you get the idea. The point is that you have to stand up for yourself in this world, and get your position across, particularly when it seems like you are facing a bully.

One can make the case that the Soviet and Russian leadership wanted a huge Ukraine that contains too many groups and cultures as a way to prevent NATO or nationalism from gaining territory. The drawback is it really isn’t a normal country, and this made it easy for the West to take over with Bandera types.

I think that the reason Russia was not overly-concerned with brotherly nations forgetting the positive aspects of Russia, was because Russians themselves would not forget or deny the help that they receive and would not think it necessary to remind of such acts in return. In a way, reminding someone of the acts of kindness from you can be viewed as an insult. Turns out it was not so self-evident that reminders were not in order…

It looks like the common Poles still remember, though, as illustrated by the following article by Georgij Zotov, published in Argumenty i Fakty on the 15th of January. Translated to English below, by yours truly.

G. Zotov is a travelling journalists, living in various, often dangerous, parts of the world and getting to know the local people. His articles are always a revelation about the moods of the people “lower down”, often contrasting with what we hear from MSM from the “higher ups”.

The title is a refrain on the wartime march Farewell of a Slavic Woman.


The Sorrow of a Warsaw Woman. Why Poland is not happy to be liberated from fascism?

January 17, 1945, the Red Army entered Warsaw, throwing the Nazi troops further West. 70 years have passed since then – a round number, but today Polish authorities do not plan to conduct any celebrations. Maximum – formally lay wreaths at the cemetery mausoleum where Soviet soldiers are buried. Over the past few years both in the school textbooks, and at the level of parliament and the government of Poland it was repeatedly stated: nothing good came from liberation of Polish people from fascism, “just one tyranny was replaced by another.”

“The Poles would have disappeared completely”

– Such statements are an elementary nonsense, – says columnist for the weekly Nie! Maciej Wisniewski. – If it were not for Russians, the Polish people would have disappeared as a nation. Just over 6 years of occupation, the Nazis killed 6 million Poles. I do not argue, the Soviet army brought with it a system which some people did not want to take. But for me, something else is important: thanks to this event ovens and gas chambers of Auschwitz stopped working. Alas, it is now fashionable instead of gratitude, to reminded of the faults of the Soviet Union in the partition of Poland in 1939, the shooting of officers at Katyn and the establishment in our country of the communist regime. I would not be surprised if the politicians of Poland will soon assert that the Second World War was started by the USSR, and the Germans – cultural people, built schools and kindergartens, that they had a real order.

Indeed, with every passing every year, fewer and fewer people in Poland know about what happened on January the 17th, 1945. This is the result of a new historical policy of the Polish state – the liberation from the Nazis was called the “occupation.” Poland has a new “big brother” – the United States – and a new enemy – Russia. And you should speak badly about the enemies. Not September 1, 1939, the day of the German invasion of Poland, and the brutal bombing of Warsaw “gets” more attention on TV, but the 17th of September, when the Red Army took control of Western Belarus and Western Ukraine.

“Always blame the USSR”

The Soviet army is also blamed in the failure of the Warsaw Uprising in August – October 1944. “Bad Russians did not come to our aid, so 70% of the city was destroyed, killing 200 thousand of civilians.” The revolt was raised without warning and the urgent goal was to proclaim in Warsaw the power of the Government in Exile before the arrival of the Red Army – but who is interesting in knowing the truth? All that was bad in Poland, is from now on blamed on the USSR. Fortunately, not all Poles believe the propaganda. “You see these houses, decorated like in antiquity? – a 52-year-old teacher Kazimierz Marek asks me while walking with me in the centre of the Polish capital. – Warsaw lay in ruins, but the engineers, building materials, machinery, construction workers were sent here by the Soviet Union, and the whole city was erected anew with Russian hands. It’s a sin to forget such a thing.” In 2011, under the pretext of building a metro area, the monument to Soviet Army soldiers, known as the “Four sleeping ones”, was dismantled from the Vilnius square of Warsaw. On the eve of the 70th anniversary of the liberation the nationalists started to protest against the return of the monument – they dropped leaflets, held rallies. However, it should be noted, all’s right in the heads of the Warsaw citizens – according to opinion polls, the majority of residents were in favour of the return of the monument.

– 650 thousand Soviet soldiers laid their lives on the Polish soil, – says Cyprian Darchevsky, known journalist and political commentator. – We should look at them as ordinary people, young men who went to death not with a dream to install a tyranny, but with a sincere desire to free Poland from the Nazi invaders. Personally, I support the fact that the Poles should honour their memory, treat them with gratitude and respect. We now hear voices: we would have been able to throw Germans out of Warsaw ourselves, without the help of the Russians! … Well, well. Polish cinema is worth taking a look at to see what a “formidable” force we were: we had a spy Hans Kloss, and four tankers and a dog … Is it so difficult to simply say “thank you” to Russians?

Trams without “Untermensch”

During the Nazi occupation of Poland, it lost 21.4% of its population. During the period of 1939-1945, the country was dismembered: Western region attached to the Third Reich (by sending in two million German immigrants), and in the east there was established General Government of Reichsleiter Hans Frank. Colonists were given the best land and homes, confiscating them from the local residents, with hundreds of thousands being driven out. Poles were considered “Untermensch” second-class nation – they could not even go to the same tram with Aryans. The worst SS concentration camp in human history worked on Polish territory – Auschwitz, Treblinka, Majdanek. The Germans destroyed nearly 40% of the buildings, a third of the population was homeless. Is it better than what happened later? Of course, the execution by the NKVD of thousands of Polish officers in Katyn is a heinous crime (and the Soviet Union and later Russia extended to the Polish people its formal apology). Yes, a regime was established for 45 years in Poland, which was not a sweet for us. But nobody destroyed Poles as a nation, their country was an independent state, even under the influence of “big brother” in Moscow. Republic has risen from the ruins in the shortest timespan possible with the Soviet money. But they prefer to simply turn a blind eye on this fact in modern Poland.

“Many aged people remember the stories of their parents about the 17th of January 1945, welcoming the Russian tanks with flowers – said Maciej Wisniewski. – Do not judge all Poles by our politicians and the press.” Arriving at the cemetery, mausoleum of Soviet soldiers, I met a old Warsaw woman. A sad woman of about 80 years old, leaning on her stick, went to the obelisk, and put cloves.

– Thank you, Mrs. – I said in Polish.

– No, it’s thanks to the Russians – she said, guessing at my accent.

Rolling up the sleeve of her coat, the woman showed me a flat scar above the wrist. I understood it all without words. This trail usually remained when, immediately after the war, people liberated from Auschwitz “erased” the tattooed camp number…