Will Russia have to fend off NATO invasion too..?

The image below speaks volumes, without words. It speaks of Russia’s history past, and of the precarious future. The Russian Bear sitting on his land of old, looking with suspicion at the ever growing tentacles of the US/NATO, already consuming neighbouring lands in blood – Yugoslavia, former Ukraine – Malorossia and Novorossia, Middle-East. And besides The Bear is a compost heap of history, where one can see the the tentacles of the past that dared to choke Russia and got pruned. Will Russia again be forced to end another war that someone starts in the hopes of eliminating Russia, freedom, history, from the face of the world?

For those, not so well-versed in history, here is what the dates in the compost heap of history signify. I added a few more – on average Russia got invaded once every 50 years, and this time is not different, though the method of warfare changed.

  • 1242 – The Germanic Teutonic invasion and the Ice Battle on the Ladoga lake.
  • 1612 – Polish invasion into Russia and occupation of Moscow. Beaten by the people’s militia of Minin and Pozharskij, the memorial to whom you will find on the Beautiful Square in Moscow.
  • 1709 – Karl XII of Sweden said that “Russia is a dwarf, whom I shall put on its knees” and attacked. After that Sweden lost its status of a superpower.
  • 1759 – (not on the image). Freidrich I moved against Russia with the words “I shall conquer the backward Russia” and in 1759 Russian army entered Berlin.
  • 1812 – Napoleon is famous for his saying that “Russia is a giant on clay feet”. This giant made the Napoleonic army turn in 1812 after the battle of Borodino and a tactical surrender of Moscow, and in 1814 Russian army was marching down the streets of Paris. By the way, Russian Don Cossacks also had to restore some of Europe, for which they were promptly forgotten.
  • 1854-1855 – (not on the image) French, Brits and Turks attacked Crimea, and Russia held the defence of Sevastopol. Russia won that war, which in reality lasted between 1853 and 1856, and was the first really world war. Brits presented the history otherwise, claiming victory in the “Crimean War”, which was really only one of many battles. But if they won, how come Crimea remained Russian?
  • 1914-1918 – First World War, or the “War of 4 Cousins”, Russia had nothing to win in that war and got mixed in it responding to a provocation (much the same as what the West hoped to achieve in Ukraine, yet it didn’t work this time). Though Russia was on the winning side, the country got destroyed in the process. Still Russia managed to hold its own against the subsequent foreign intervention and even chased the Poles (who tried to repeat their failure of 1612) from Moscow suburbs to Warsar.
  • 1941-1945 – Hitler proclaimed that he’d conquer USSR by the end of 1941. In 1945 Russian troops entered Berlin (again, as in 1759 – they never learn).
  • 2014 NATO – Obama famously said a few years back that “Russia is only a regional power, and US will destroy its economy”. When will the pruning begin, and have the streets of Washington been prepared for the welcoming of the liberating army..?

As I wrote earlier, Russia Means Peace, Russia loves peace, but knowing it’s own history of defence, it is always prepared to end wars.

For those suffering from historic amnesia, here is a song of revelations from Artjom Grishanov – Russian Soldier Saved the World (with English subtitles of the news items showcasing history rewriting, and of the lyrics):

In his article Washington’s Benevolent Mask Is Disintegrating Paul Craig Roberts writes:

By orchestrating Russophobia in the West, Washington has put all of humanity at risk. The Russians have watched Washington’s false accusations against Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Libya, Yeman, Pakistan, Iran and against Russia herself—“invasion of Ukraine.” False accusations have in the 21st century always been Washington’s set-up of the target country for invasion or bombing.

These provocations issued daily by the idiot Western press, the idiot Western governments, and the idiot commentators have prepared the groundwork for a misunderstanding that can result in thermo-nuclear war and the end of life on earth.

When you read the New York Times, the Washington Post, or listen to CNN, NPR, or MSNBC or the British, Canadian, German, French, and Australian media, you are being indoctrinated with war with Russia (and China) and, thus, you are being prepared for your funeral.

Hopefully it will not come to this, for Russia will do its utmost to preserve this good Earth.

And as an after word, the picture below is well-known by now (with the correction, that Kazahstan never had a NATO base, though some of the neighbouring republics did have advisors):

The Plan to Destroy Russia. Conceived and Started in 1948. Concluded in 1993? Or Not…

After the hot war phase on Russia(USSR) between 22nd of April 1941 and the 9th of May 1945, executed through Germans, but lavishly funded by US (for example grandfather of the Bush presidential clan), USA did not view 1945 as a year of defeat. Along with preparation for a carpet nuking of the key cities in USSR, USA also devised a plan to politically change and destroy USSR/Russia from within. In the document below, Russia and USSR are referred interchangeably.

The document, presented in full below my analysis, is copied from this resource, which also provides the raw scanned pages of the text.

It demonstrates well the strategy of “divide and conquer” that that US were going to employ, as well as their understanding that the only way to destroy Russia, is from within – something that the “liberal” 5th column is doing in Russia of today. Remember that USSR, is never the stated final objective in the document below – Russia is. On the other hand, they do not understand many aspects of the Russian World, illustrated well by this fallacious statement “Before the revolution of 1918, Russian nationalism was solely Russian.”, as Russian Empire of pre 1917 was also a multi-national and multi-confessional state.

Let me extract the key-points of the doctrine first, and then I’ll let you read through the whole text, leaving to you to decide if there is even a gram of good in the outlined intents…

Our basic objectives with respect to Russia are really only two:

a. To reduce The power and influence of Moscow to limits in which they will no longer constitute a threat to the peace and stability of international society; and

b. To bring about a basic change in the theory’ and practice of international relations observed by the government in power in Russia. If these two objectives could be achieved, the problem which this country faces in its relations with Russia would be reduced to what might be considered normal dimensions.

Our difficulty with the present Soviet Government lies basically in the fact that its leaders are animated by concepts of the theory and practice of international relations which are not only radically opposed to our own but are clearly inconsistent with any peaceful and mutually profitable development of relations between that government and other members of the international community, individually and collectively.

Prominent among these concepts are the following:

(a) That the peaceful coexistence and mutual collaboration of sovereign and independent governments, regarding and respecting each other as equals, is an illusion and an impossibility;

(h) That conflict is the basis of international life wherever, as is the case between the Soviet Union and capitalist countries, one country does not recognize the supremacy of the other;

(c) That regimes which do not acknowledge Moscow’s authority and ideological supremacy are wicked and harmful to human progress and that there is a duty on the part of right-thinking people everywhere to work for the overthrow or weakening of such regimes, by any and all methods which prove tactically desirable;

(d) That there can be, in the long run, no advancement of the interests of both the communist and non-communist world by mutual collaboration, these interests being basically conflicting and contradictory;

and

(e) That spontaneous association between individuals in the communist-dominated world and individuals outside that world is evil and cannot contribute to human progress.

Plainly, it is not enough that these concepts should cease to dominate Soviet, or Russian, theory and practice in international relations. It is also necessary that they should be replaced by something approximating their converses.

These would be:

(a) That it is possible for sovereign and equal countries to exist peaceably side by side and to collaborate with each other without any thought or attempt at domination of one by the other;

(b) That conflict is not necessarily the basis of international life and that it may be accepted that peoples can have common purposes without being in entire ideological agreement and without being subordinated to a single authority;

(c) That people in other countries do have a legitimate right to pursue national aims at variance with Communist ideology, and that it is the duty of right-thinking people to practice tolerance for the ideas of others, to observe scrupulous non-interference in the internal affairs of others on the basis of reciprocity, and to use only decent and honorable methods in international dealings;

(d) That international collaboration can, and should, advance the interests of both parties even though the ideological inspiration of thc two parties is not identical; and

(e) That the association of individuals across international borders is desirable and should be encouraged as a process contributing to general human progress.

Note: the above were not just concepts, they were practised by USSR, and are now professed and practised by the Russian Federation. So the Empire of Chaos, already in 1948 set about to exploit any rifts, widening them into chasms

It may he stated, accordingly, that our first aim with respect to Russia in time of peace is to encourage and promote by means short of war the gradual retraction of undue Russian power and influence from the present satellite area and the emergence of the respective eastern European countries as independent factors on the international scene,

We should encourage by every means at our disposal tile development in the Soviet Union of institutions of federalism which would permit a revival of the national life of the Baltic peoples.

We may say, therefore, that our second aim with respect to Russia in time of peace is, by informational activity and by every other means at our disposal, to explode the myth by which people remote from Russian military influence are held in a position of subservience to Moscow and to cause the world at large to see and understand the Soviet Union for what it is and to adopt a logical and realistic attitude toward it.

Then comes the undermining from within, in the chapter of “THE ALTERATION OF RUSSIAN CONCEPTS OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS” – in other words making a not-Russia out of Russia

We must say, therefore, that our third aim with respect to Russia in time of peace is to create situations which will compel the Soviet Governntent to recognise the practical undesirability of acting on the basis of its present concepts and the necessity of behaving, at least outwardly, as though it were the converse of those concepts that were true.

This is of course primarily a question of keeping the Soviet Union politically, militarily, psychologically weak in comparison with the international forces outside of its control and of maintaining a high degree of insistence among the non-communist countries on the observance by Russia of the ordinary international decencies.

That phase was started in 1980s with the coming of Gorbachev.

They had the plans for war, of course. And whereas Russian military doctrine is to defend its territory, the American one is written like this:

The first of our war aims must naturally be she destruction of Russian military influence and domination in areas contiguous to, but outside of, the borders of any Russian state.

However that may be, we must leave nothing to chance; and it should naturally be considered that one of our major war aims with respect to Russia would be to destroy thoroughly the structure of relationships by which the leaders of the All-Union Communist Party have been able to exert moral and disciplinary authority over individual citizens, or groups of citizens, in countries not under communist control.

In other words, being cowardly to go head on, attack the weaker parts, and then divide and conquer. It is interesting to observe that throughout the 90s, in the accursed Yeltsin era, USA were already implementing the war-time part of the 1948 plan towards Russia:

we may definitely conclude that we could not consider our military operations successful if they left a communist regime in control of enough of the present military-industrial potential of the Soviet Union to enable them to wage war on comparable terms with any neighboring state or with any rival authority which might be set up on traditional Russian territory.

It is impossible to forecast what the nature of such terms [of surrender of Russia] should be. The smaller the territory left at the disposal of such a regime, the easier the task of imposing terms satisfactory to our interests. Taking the worst case, which would be that of the retention of Soviet power over all, or nearly all, of present Soviet territory, we would have to demand:

(a) Direct military terms (surrender of equipment, evacuation of key areas, etc.) designed to assure military helplessness for a long time in advance;

(b) Terms designed to produce a considerable economic dependence on the outside world;

(c) Terms designed to give necessary freedom, or federal status, to national minorities (we would at least have to insist on the complete liberation of the Baltic States and on the granting of some type of federal status to the Ukraine which would make it possible for a Ukrainian local authority to have a large measure of autonomy); and

(d) Terms designed to disrupt the iron curtain and to assure a liberal flow of outside ideas and a considerable establishment of personal contact between persons within the zone of Soviet power and persons outside it.

Funny how Project Ukraine is playing out now. USA got more than what they bargained for in 1948.

Furthermore, here is what Yeltsin implemented in Russia after the November 1993 coup d’etat, almost to the letter of the 1948 document:

First of all, it should be said that regardless of the ideological basis of any such non-communist authority and regardless of the extent to which it might be prepared to do lip service to the ideals of democracy and liberalism, we would do well to see that in one way or another the basic purposes were assured which flow from the demands listed above. In other words, we should set up automatic safeguards to assure that even a regime which is non-communist and nominally friendly to us:

(a) Does not have strong military power;

(b) Is economically dependent to a considerable extent on the outside world;

(c) Does not exercise too much authority over the major national minorities; and

(d) Imposes nothing resembling the iron curtain over contacts with the outside world.

In the case of such a regime, professing hostility to the communists and friendship toward us, we should doubtless wish to take care i.o impose these conditions in a manner which would not be offensive or humiiiating. But we would have to see to it that in one way or another they were imposed, if our interests and the interests of world peace were to be protected.

In the 90’s and the beginning of 00’s (on inertia) military destroyed (check); economical dependence on pertodollar (check); provocation of conflicts and civil wars on ethnic grounds (check); total inability to withstand outside informational influence (check). Funnily, once Russia started to come back to it’s ow in 2007 (Putin’s München Speech), the West slammed an iron curtain on Russia from their own side, blocking almost all of information coming from Russia to the west.

We are therefore safe in saying that it should be our aim in the event of war with the Soviet Union, to see to it that when the war was over no regime on Russian territory is permitted:

(a) To retain military force on a scale which could be threatening to any neighboring stale;

(b) To enjoy a measure of economic autarchy which would permit the erection of the economic basis of such armed power without the assistance of the western world;

(c) To deny autonomy and self-government to the main national minorities; or

(d) To retain anything resembling the present iron curtain. If these conditions are assured, we can adjust ourselves to any political situation which may ensue from the war. We will then be safe, whether a Soviet government retains the bulk of Russian territory or whether it retains only a small part of such territory or whether it disappears altogether. And we will be safe even though the original democratic enthusiasm of a new regime is short-lived and tends to be replaced gradually by the a-social concepts of international affairs to which the present Soviet generation has been educated.

The above should be adequate as an expression of our war aims in the event that political processes in Russia take their own course under the stresses of war and that we are not obliged to assume major responsibility for the political future of the country. But there are further questions to be answered for the event that Soviet authority should disintegrate so rapidly and so radically as to leave the country in chaos, making it encumbent upon us as the victors to make political choices and to take decisions which would be apt to shape the political future of the country. For this eventuality there are three main questions which must be faced.

That disintegration cost more Russian lives in the Wild 90’s than what was lost during the whole of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945!

Also, note how the Ukrainian project is spun. In 1917 Lenin built Ukraine, at the expense of Russia, in 1945 Stalin added to it at the expense of Poland, Romania, Hungary, in 1954 Khrishev expanded it at the expense of Russia again, yet the US “masterminds” are persuing the aim that the “nationalistic organizations” [Read Galicina SS, Bandera follower] are most vocal abroad about. It was in 1948 that the disaster of today with Ukro-Nazis 3-year long shelling of Donbass and the total destruction of the USSR-inherited Ukrainian economy that we are observing now.

First of all, would it be our desire, in such a case, that the present territories of the Soviet Union remain united under a single regime or that they be partitioned? And if they are to remain united, at least to a large extent, then what degree of federalism should be observed in a future Russian government? What about the major minority groups, in particular the Ukraine?

We have already taken note of the problem of the Baltic states. The Baltic states should not be compelled to remain under any communist authority in the aftermath of another war. Should the territory adjacent To the Baltic slates be controlled by a Russian authority other than a communist authority, we should be guided by the wishes of the Baltic peoples and by the degree of moderation which that Russian authority is inclined to exhibit with respect to them.

In the case of the Ukraine, we have a different problem. The Ukrainians are the most advanced of the peoples who have been under Russian rule in modern times. They have generally resented Russian domination; and their nationalistic organizations have been active and vocal abroad. It would be easy to jump to the conclusion that they should be freed, at last, from Russian rule and permitted to set themselves up as an independent slate.

And when the collapse was the accomplished fact, first Yeltsin got installed as a president (cemented during the 1993 coup d’etat), and then they tried to install Khodorkovskij…

In the event of a disintegration of Soviet power, we are certain to be faced with demands for .support on the part of the various competing political elements among the present Russian opposition groups. It will be almost impossible for us to avoid doing things which would have the effect of favoring one or another of these groups over its rivals. But a great deal will depend on ourselves, and on our concept of what we are trying to accomplish.

We have already seen that among the existing and potential opposition groups there is none which we will wish to sponsor entirely and for whose actions, if it were to obtain power in Russia, we would wish to take responsibility.

On the other hand, we must expect that vigorous efforts will be made by various groups to induce us to take measures in Russian internal affairs which will constitute a genuine commitment on our part and make it possible for political groups in Russia to continue to demand our support. In the light of these facts, it is plain then we must make a determined effort to avoid taking responsibility for deciding who would rule Russia in the wake of a disintegration of the Soviet regime.

In 1948 they even planned for “decommunisation” – a term that was popular in Ukraine anno 2014, when physical violence, banning and disappearances became the norm. They did indeed give “plenty of arms and help” to the “non-communist authority” of Ukro-Nazis and Banderites. In the Baltic countries that manifested as apartheid…

We would be wiser, therefore, in the case of territories freed from communist control, to restrict ourselves to seeing to it that individual ex-communists do not have the opportunity to reorganize as armed groups with pretenses to political power and that the local non-communist authority is given plenty of arms and help in any measures which they may desire to take with respect to them.

We may say, therefore, that we would not make it our aim to carry out with our own forces, on territory liberated from the communist authorities, aпy large-scale program of de-communication, and that In general we would leave this problem to whatever local authority might supplant Soviet rule.

And now the whole documents, one of a planned infestation and murder of a country…


Thomas H. Etzold and John Lewis Gaddis, eds.,
Containment: Documents on American Policy and Strategy,
1945-1950


U.S. OBJECTIVES WITH RESPECT TO RUSSIA

TOPSECRET

August 18, 1948

[Source; Records of the National Security Council on deposit in the Modern Military Records Branch, National Archives, Washington. D.C.]

NSC 20/1 originated in response to a request from Secretary of Defense James V. Forrestal for a "comprehensive statement of national policy’" with regard to the Soviet Union, on the grounds that until such a statement was prepared, "no logical decisions can be reached as to the proportion of our resources which should be devoted to military purposes. . . ..” (*1) Drafted by the Policy Planning Staff, this document represented the most complete exposition up to that time of the objectives the policy of containment was supposed to accomplish.

(*1). Forrestal to Sidney W. Souers, July 10, 1948, quoted in NSC 20, “Appraisal of the
Degree and Character of Mllilary Preparedness Required by the World Situiilion,” July 12,
1948, Foreign Relations of the United Stales: 1948, I (part 2) 589-592.

The document established two basic goals for U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union: (1) reduction of the power and influence of the U.S.S.R. to the point that they would no longer threaten international stability; and (2) accomplishment of a fundamental change in the theory and practice of international relations as applied by the Soviet govemment. Unlike NSC 7 (Document 20), NSC 20/1 stressed the distinction between the Soviet Union and the international communist movement, and, in line with the reasoning in PPS 35 (Document 21), held out the possibility of driving a wedge between the two of them as a means of implementing U.S. policy objectives.

NSC 20/1 emphasized the desirability of achieving containment’s desired results by means short of war, although it recognized the possibility that war might come, whether by inadvertence or design. The final portion of the document dealt with the question of what U.S. policy should be in that eventuality. It is noteworthy for its stress on the neutralization, rather than the elimination, of Soviet power, and for its implied rejection of the World War II doctrine of unconditional surrender.

I. Introduction

It is plain that Russia, both as a force in its own right and as a center for the world communist movement, has become for the time being the outstanding problem of U.S. foreign policy, and that there is deep dissatisfaction and concern in this country over the aims and methods of the Soviet leaders. The policies of this Government are therefore determined in considerable measure by our desire to modify Soviet policies and to alter the international situation to which they have already led.

However, there has yet been no clear formulation of basic U.S. objectives with respect to Russia. And it is particularly important, in view of the preoccupation of this Government with Russian affairs, that .such objectives be formulated and accepted for working purposes by all branches of our Government dealing with the problems of Russia and communism. Otherwise, there is a possibility of serious dissipation of the national effort on a problem of outstanding international importance.

II. Background Considerations

There are two concepts of the relationship of national objectives to the factors of war and peace.

The first holds that national objectives be constant and should not be affected by changes in the country’s situation as between war and peace; that they should be pursued constantly by means short of war or by war-like means, as the case may be. This concept was best expressed by Clausewitz, who wrote that, "War is a continuation of policy, intermingled with other means."

The opposite concept is that which sees national objectives in peace and national objectives in war as essentially unrelated. According to this concept, the existence of a state of war creates its own specific political objectives, which generally supersede the normal peacetime objectives. This is the concept which has generally prevailed in this country. Basically, it was the concept which prevailed in the last war, where the winning of the war itself, as a military operation, was made the supreme objective of U.S. policy, other considerations being subordinated to it.

In the case of American objectives with respect to Russia, it is clear that neither of these concepts can prevall entirely.

In the first place, this Government has been forced, for purposes of the political war now in progress, to consider more definite and militant objectives toward Russia even now, in time of peace, than it ever was called upon to formulate with respect either to Germany or Japan in advance of the actual hostilities with those countries.

Secondly, the experience of the past war has taught us the desirability of gearing our war effort to a clear and realistic concept of the long-term political objectives which we wish to achieve. This would be particularly important in the event of a war with the Soviet Union. We could hardly expect to conclude such a war with the same military and political finality as was the case in the recent war against Germany and Japan, Unless, therefore, it were
clear to everyone that our objectives did not lie in military victory for its own sake, it might be hard for the U.S. public to recognize what would in reality be a favorable issue of the conflict. The public might expect much more in the way of military finality than would be necessary, or even desirable, from the standpoint of the actual achievement of our objectives. If people were to get the idea that our objectives were unconditional surrender, total occupation and military government, on the patterns of Germany and Japan, they would naturally feel that anything short of these achievements was no real victory at all, and might fail to appreciate a really genuine and constructive settlement,

Finally, we must recognize that Soviet objectives themselves are almost constant. They are very little affected by changes from war to peace. For example, Soviet territorial aims with respect to eastern Europe, as they became apparent during the war, bore a strong similarity to the program which the Soviet Government was endeavoring to realize by measures short of war in 1939 and 1940, and in fact to certain of the strategic-political concepts which underlay Czarist policy before World War I, To meet a policy of such constancy, so stubbornly pursued through both war and peace, it is necessary that we oppose it with purposes no less constant and enduring- Broadly speaking, this lies in the nature of the relationship between the Soviet Union and the outside world, which is one of permanent antagonism and conflict, taking place sometimes within a framework of formal peace and at other times within the legal framework of war. On the other hand, it is clear that a democracy cannot effect, as the totalitarian state sometimes does, a complete identification of its peacetime and wartime objectives. Its aversion to war as a method of foreign policy is so strong that it will inevitably be inclined to modify its objectives in peacetime, in the hope that they may be achieved without resort to arms. When this hope and this restraint are removed by the outbreak of war, as a result of the provocation of others, the irritation of democratic opinion generally demands either the formulation of further objectives, often of a punitive nature, which it would not have supported in time of peace, or the immediate realization of aims which it might otherwise have been prepared to pursue patiently, by gradual pressures, over the course of decades. It would therefore be unrealistic to suppose that the U.S. Government could hope to proceed in time of war on the basis of exactly the same set of objectives, or at least with the same time-table for realization of objectives, which it would have in time of peace.

At the same time, it must be recognized that the smaller the gap between
peacetime and wartime purposes, the greater the likelihood that a successful military effort will be politically successful as well. If objectives are really sound from the standpoint of national interest, they are worth consciously formulating and pursuing in war as in peace. Objectives which cumc into being as a consequence of wartime emotionalism are not apt to reflect a balanced concept of long-term national interest. For this reason, every effort should be made in government planning now, in advance of any outbreak of hostilities, to define our present peacetime objectives and our hypothetical wartime objectives with relation to Russia, and to reduce as far as possible the gap between them.

III. Basic Objectives

Our basic objectives with respect to Russia are really only two:

a. To reduce The power and influence of Moscow to limits in which they will no longer constitute a threat to the peace and stability of international society; and

b. To bring about a basic change in the theory’ and practice of international relations observed by the government in power in Russia. If these two objectives could be achieved, the problem which this country faces in its relations with Russia would be reduced to what might be considered normal dimensions.

Before discussing the manner in which these objectives could be pursued in peace and in war, respectively, let us first examine them in somewhat greater detail.

1 . THE GEOGRAPHIC REDUCTION OF RUSSIAN POWER AND INFLUENCE

There are two spheres in which the power and the influence of Moscow have been projected beyond the borders of the Soviet Union in ways detrimental to the peace and stability of international society.

The first of these spheres is what may be defined as the satellite area:
namely, the area in which decisive political influence is exercised by the Kremlin. It should be noted that in this area, which is, as a whole, geographically contiguous to the Soviet Union, the presence, or proximity, of Soviet armed power has been a decisive factor in the establishment and maintenance of Soviet hegemony.

The second of these spheres embraces the relation between, on the one hand, the power center which controls the Soviet Union and, on the other,
groups or parties in countries abroad, beyond the limits of the satellite area, which look to Russia for their political inspiration and give to it, consciously or otherwise, their basic loyalty.

In both of these spheres the projection of Russian power beyond its legitimate limits must be broken up if the achievement of the first of the objectives listed above is to be effectively served. The countries in the satellite area must be given the opportunity to free themselves fundamentally from Russia domination and from undue Russian ideological inspiration. And the myth which causes millions of people in countries far from the Soviet borders to look to Moscow as the outstanding source of hope for human betterment must be thoroughly exploded and its workings destroyed.

It should be noted that in both cases the objective can conceivably be achieved for Ihe most part without raising issues in which the prestige of the Soviet state, as such, need necessarily be decisively engaged.

In the second of the two spheres, a complete retraction of undue Russian power should be possible without necessarily engaging the more vital interests of the Russian state; for in this sphere Moscow’s power is exerted through carefully concealed channels, the existence of which Moscow itself denies. Therefore, a withering away of the structure of power which was formerly known as the Third International, and which has survived the disuse of that name, need involve no formal humiliation of the government in Moscow and no formal concessions on the part of the Soviet State.

The same is largely true of the first of these two spheres, but not entirely, In the satellite area, to be sure, Moscow likewise denies the formal fact of Soviet domination and attempts to conceal its mechanics. As has now been demonstrated in the Tito incidents, a breakdown of Moscow control is not necessarily regarded as an event affecting the respective states as such. In this instance, it is treated as a party affair by both sides; and particular care is taken everywhere to emphasize that no question of state prestige is involved. The same could presumably happen everywhere else throughout the satellite area without involving the formal dignity of the Soviet State.

We are confronted, however, with a more difficult problem in the actual extensions of the borders of the Soviet Union which have taken place since 1939. These extensions cannot in all cases be said to have been seriously detrimental to international peace and stability; and in certain instances it can probably be considered, from the standpoint of our objectives, that they can be entirely accepted for the sake of the maintenance of peace, In other cases, notably that of the Baltic countries, the question is more difficult. We cannot really profess indifference to the further fate of the Baltic, peoples.

This has been reflected in our recognition policy to date with respect to those countries. And we could hardly consider that international peace and stability will really have ceased to be threatened as long as Europe is faced with the fact that it has been possible for Moscow to crush these three small countries which have been guilty of no real provocation and which have given evidence of their ability to handle their own affairs in a progressive manner, without detriment to the interests of their neighbors. It should therefore logically be considered a part of U.S. objectives to see these countries restored to something at least approaching a decent state of freedom and independence.

It is clear, however, that their complete independence would involve an actual cession of territory by the Soviet Government. It would therefore raise an issue directly involving the dignity and the vital interests of the Soviet State as such. It is idle to imagine that this could be brought about by means short of war. If, therefore, we are to consider that the basic objective outlined above is one which would be valid for peace as well as for war, then we must logically state that under conditions of peace our objective would be merely to induce Moscow to permit the return to the respective Baltic countries of all of their nationals who have been forcibly removed therefrom and the establishment in those countries of autonomous regimes generally consistent with the cultural needs and national aspirations of the peoples in question. In the event of war, we might, if necessary, wish to go further. But the answer to this question would depend on the nature of the Russian regime which would be dominant in that area in the wake of another war; and we need not attempt to decide it in advance.

In saying, consequently, that we should reduce the power and influence of The Kremlin to limits in which they will no longer constitute a threat to the peace and stability of international society, we are entitled to consider that this is an objective which can be logically pursued not only in the event of a war but also in time of peace and by peaceful means, and that in the latter case it need not necessarily raise issues of prestige for the Soviet Government which would automatically make war inevitable.

2. THE CHANGE IN THEORY AND PRACTICE OF INTERNAT10NAI-RELATIONS AS OBSERVED IN MOSCOW

Our difficulty with the present Soviet Government lies basically in the fact that its leaders are animated by concepts of the theory and practice of international relations which are not only radically opposed to our own but are clearly inconsistent with any peaceful and mutually profitable development
of relations between that government and other members of the international community, individually and collectively.

Prominent among these concepts are the following:

(a) That the peaceful coexistence and mutual collaboration of sovereign and independent governments, regarding and respecting each other as equals, is an illusion and an impossibility;

(h) That conflict is the basis of international life wherever, as is the case between the Soviet Union and capitalist countries, one country does not recognize the supremacy of the other;

(c) That regimes which do not acknowledge Moscow’s authority and ideological supremacy are wicked and harmful to human progress and that there is a duty on the part of right-thinking people everywhere to work for the overthrow or weakening of such regimes, by any and all methods which prove tactically desirable;

(d) That there can be, in the long run, no advancement of the interests of both the communist and non-communist world by mutual collaboration, these interests being basically conflicting and contradictory;

and

(e) That spontaneous association between individuals in the communist-dominated world and individuals outside that world is evil and cannot contribute to human progress.

Plainly, it is not enough that these concepts should cease to dominate Soviet, or Russian, theory and practice in international relations. It is also necessary that they should be replaced by something approximating their converses.

These would be:

(a) That it is possible for sovereign and equal countries to exist peaceably side by side and to collaborate with each other without any thought or attempt at domination of one by the other;

(b) That conflict is not necessarily the basis of international life and that it may be accepted that peoples can have common purposes without being in entire ideological agreement and without being subordinated to a single authority;

(c) That people in other countries do have a legitimate right to pursue national aims at variance with Communist ideology, and that it is the duty of right-thinking people to practice tolerance for the ideas of others, to observe scrupulous non-interference in the internal affairs of others on the basis of reciprocity, and to use only decent and honorable methods in international dealings;

(d) That international collaboration can, and should, advance the interests of both parties even though the ideological inspiration of thc two parties is not identical; and

(e) That the association of individuals across international borders is desirable and should be encouraged as a process contributing to general human progress.

Now the question at once arises as to whether the acceptance of such concepts in Moscow is an objective which we can seriously pursue and hope to achieve without resort to war and to the overthrow of the Soviet Government. We must face the fact that the Soviet Government, as we know it today, is, and will continue to be a constant threat to the peace of this nation and of the world.

It is quite clear that the present leaders of the Soviet Union can themselves never be brought to view concepts such as those indicated above as intrinsically sound and desirable. It is equally clear that for such concepts to become dominant throughout the Russian communist movement wou!d mean, in present circumstances, an intellectual revolution within that movement which would amount to a metamorphosis of its political personality and a denial of its basic claim to existence as a separate and vital force among the ideological currents of the world at large. Concepts such as these could become dominant in the Russian communist movement only if, through a long process of change and erosion, that movement had outlived in name the impulses which had originally given it birth and vitality and had acquired a completely different significance in the world than that which it possesses today.

It might be concluded, then (and the Moscow theologians would be quick to put this interpretation on it), that to say that we were seeking the adoption of these concepts in Moscow would be equivalent to saying that it was our objective to overthrow Soviet power. Proceeding from that point, it could be argued that this is in turn an objective unrealizable by means short of war, and that we are therefore admitting that our objective with respect to the Soviet Union is eventual war and the violent overthrow of Soviet power. ,

It would be a dangerous error to accept this line of thought.

In the first place, there is no time limit for the achievement of our objectives under conditions of peace. We are faced here with no rigid periodicity of war and peace which would enable us to conclude that we must achieve our peacetime objectives by a given date "or else". The objectives of national policy in times of peace should never be regarded in static terms. In so far as they arc basic objectives, and worthy ones, they are not apt to be ones capable of complete and finite achievement, like specific military objectives in war. The peacetime objectives of national policy should be thought of rather as lines of direction than as physical goals.

In the second place, we are entireiy within our own rights, and need feel no sense of guilt, in working for the destruction of concepts inconsistent with world peace and stability and for their replacement by ones of tolerance and international collaboration. It is not our business to calculate the internal developments to which the adoption of such concepts might lead in another country, nor need we feel that we have any responsibility for those developments. If the Soviet leaders find the growing prevalence of a more enlightened concept of international relations to be inconsistent with the maintenance of their internal power in Russia, that is their responsibility, not ours. That is a matter for their own consciences, and for the conscience of the peoples of the Soviet Union. We are not only within our moral rights but within our moral duty in working for the adoption everywhere of decent and hopeful concepts of international life. In doing so, we are entitled to let the chips tali where they may in terms of internal development.

We do not know for certain that the successful pursuit by us of the objectives in question would lead to the disintegration of Soviet power; for we do not know the time factor here involved. It is entirely possible that under the stress of lime and circumstance certain of the original concepts of the communist movement might be gradually modified in Russia as were certain of the original concepts of the American revolution in our own country.

We are entitled, therefore, to consider, and to state publicly, that it is our objective to bring to The Russian people and government, by every means at our disposal, a more enlightened concept of international relations, and that in so doing we are not taking any position, as a government, with respect to internal conditions in Russia.

In the case of war, there could clearly be no question of this nature. Once a state of war had arisen between this country and the Soviet Union, this Government would be at liberty to pursue the achievement of its basic objectives by whatever means it might choose and by whatever terms it might wish to impose upon a Russian authority or Russian authorities in the event of a successful issue of military operations. Whether these terms would embrace the overthrow of Soviet power would he only a question of expediency, which will be discussed below.

This second of the two basic objectives is therefore also one likewise susceptible of pursuit in lime of peace as in time of war. This objective, like the first, may accordingly be accepted as an underlying one, from which the formulation of our policy, in peace as in war, may proceed.

IV. The Pursuit of Our Basic. Objectives in Time of Peace

In discussing the interpretation which would be given to these basic objectives in time of peace or in time of war respectively, we arc confronted with a problem of terminology. If we continue to speak of the particular orientation lines of our policy in peace or in war as ”objectives", we may find ourselves falling into a semantic confusion. Solely for the purposes of clarity, therefore, we will make an arbitrary distinction. We will speak of objectives only in the sense of the basic objectives outlined above, which are common both to war and peace. When we refer to our guiding purposes as applied specifically in our wartime or peactime policy, respectively, we will speak of "aims" rather than of "objectives".

What then would be the aims of U.S. national policy with respect to Russia in time of peace?

These should flow logically from the two main objectives discussed above,

1. THE RETRACTION OF RUSS1AN POWER AND INFLUENCE

Let us first consider the retraction of undue Russian power and influence. We have .seen that. this divided into the problem of the satellite area and the problem of communist activities and Soviet propaganda activities in countries farther afield.

With respect to the satellite area, the aim of U.S. policy in time of" peace is to place the greatest possible strain on the structure of relationships by which Soviet domination of this area is maintained and gradually, with the aid of the natural and legitimate forces of Europe, to maneuver the Russians out of their position of primacy and to enable the respective governments to regain their independence of action. There are many ways in which this aim can be, and is being, pursued. The most striking step in this direction was the original proposal for the ERP, as stated in Secretary Marshall’s Harvard speech on June 5, S947. By forcing the Russians either to permit the satellite countries to enter into a relationship of economic collaboration with the west of Europe which would inevitably have strengthened east-west bonds and weakened The exclusive orientation of these countries toward Russia or to force them to remain outside this structure of collaboration at heavy economic sacrifice to themselves, we placed a severe strain on the relations between Moscow and the satellite countries and undoubtedly made more awkward and difficult maintenance by Moscow of its exclusive authority in the satellite capitals. Everything, in fad, which operates to tear off the veil with
which Moscow likes to screen its power, and which forces the Russians to reveal the crude and ugly outlines of their hold over the governments of the satellite countries, serves to discredit the satellite governments with their own peoples and to heighten the discontent of those peoples and their desire for free association with other nations.

The disaffection of Tito, to which the strain caused by the ERP problem undoubtedly contributed in some measure, has clearly demonstrated that it is possible for stresses in the Soviet-satellite relations to lead to a real weakening and disruption of the Russian domination,

It should therefore be our aim to continue to do all in our power to increase these stresses and at the same time to make it possible for the satel-lile governments gradually to extricate themselves from Russian control and to find, if they so wish, acceptable forms of collaboration with the governments of the west. This can be done by skillful use of our economic power, by direct or indirect informational activity, by placing the greatest possible strain on the maintenance of the iron curtain, and by building up the hope and vigor of western Europe to a point where it comes to exercise the maximum attraction to the peoples of the east, and by other means too numerous to mention.

We cannot say, of course, that the Russians will sit by and permit the satellites to extricate themselves from Russian control in this way. We cannot be sure that at some point in this process the Russians will not choose to resort to violence of some sort; i.e., to forms of military re-occupation or possibly even to a major war, to prevent such a process from being carried to completion.

It is not our desire that they should do this; and we, for our part, should do everything possible to keep the situation flexible and to make possible a liberation of the satellite countries in ways which do not create any unanswerable challenge to Soviet prestige. But even with the greatest of circumspection we cannot be sure that they will not choose to resort to arms. We cannot hope to influence their policy automatically or to produce any guaranteed results.

The fact that we embark on a policy which can lead to these results does not mean that we are setting our course toward war; and we should be extremely careful to make this plain on all occasions and to refute accusations of this character. The fact of the matter is that, granted the relationship of antagonism which is still basic to the entire relationships between the Soviet Government and non-communist countries at this time, war is an ever-present possibility and no course which this Government might adopt would appre-
ciably diminish this danger. The converse of the policy set forth above, namely to accept Soviet domination of the satellite countries and to do nothing to oppose it, would not diminish in any way the danger of war. On the contrary, it can be argued with considerable logic that the long-term danger of war will inevitably be greater if Europe remains split along the present lines than it will be if Russian power i.s peacefully withdrawn in good time and a normal balance restored to the European community.

It may he stated, accordingly, that our first aim with respect to Russia in time of peace is to encourage and promote by means short of war the gradual retraction of undue Russian power and influence from the present satellite area and the emergence of the respective eastern European countries as independent factors on the international scene,

However, as we have seen above, our examination of this problem is not complete unless we have taken into consideration the question of areas now behind the Soviet border. Do we wish, or do we not, to make it our objective to achieve by means short of war any modification of the borders of the Soviet Union? We have already seen in Chapter III the answer to this question.

We should encourage by every means at our disposal tile development in the Soviet Union of institutions of federalism which would permit a revival of the national life of the Baltic peoples.

It may be asked: Why do we restrict this aim to the Baltic peoples? Why do we not include the other national minority groups of the Soviet Union? The answer is that the Baltic peoples happen to be the only peoples whose traditional territory and population are now entirely included in the Soviet Union and who have shown themselves capable of coping successfully with the responsibilities of statehood. Moreover, we still formally deny the legitimacy of their violent inclusion in the Soviet Union, and they therefore have a special status in our eyes.

Next we have the problem of the disruption of the myth by which the people in Moscow maintain their undue influence and actual disciplinary authority over millions of people in countries beyond the satellite area. First a word about the nature of this problem.

Before the revolution of 1918, Russian nationalism was solely Russian. Except for a few eccentric European intellectuals of the 19th Century, who even then professed to a mystical faith in Russia’s power to solve the ills of civilization (*2) Russian nationalism had no appeal to people outside Russia. On the contrary, the relatively mild despotism of the 19th Century Russian
rulers was perhaps better known and more universally deplored in the western countries than has since been the case with the far greater cruelties of the Soviet regime.

(*2) Karl Marx was not one of these people. He was not, as he himself put it, “one of those
who believed that the old Europe could be revived by Russian blood,” [Note in source text]

After the revolution, the Bolshevik leaders succeeded, through clever and systematic propaganda, in establishing throughout large sections of the world public certain concepts highly favorable to their Own purposes, including the following: that the October Revolution was a popular revolution;
that the Soviet regime was the first real worker’s government; that Soviet power was in some way connected with ideals of liberalism, freedom and economic security; and that it offered a promising alternative to the national regimes under which other peoples lived. A connection was thus established in the minds of many people between Russian communism and the general uneasiness arising in the outside world from the effects of urbanization and industrialization, or from colonial unrest.

In this way Moscow’s doctrine became to some extent a domestic problem for every nation in the world. In Soviet power, western statesmen arc now facing something more than just another problem of foreign affairs. They are facing also an internal enemy in their own countries—an enemy committed to the undermining and eventual destruction of their respective national societies.

To destroy this myth of international communism is a dual task. It takes two parties to create an inter-action such as that which exists between the Kremlin, on the one hand, and the discontented intellectuals in other countries (for it is the intellectuals rather than the "workers" who make up the hard core of communism outside the USSR), on the other. It is not enough to tackle this problem by aiming to silence the propagator. It is even more important to arm the listener against this sort of attack. There is some reason why Moscow propaganda is listened to so avidly, and why this myth takes hold so readily, among many people far from the boundaries of Russia. If it were not Moscow these people listened to, it would be something else, equally extreme and equally erroneous, though possibly less dangerous. Thus the task of destroying the myth on which international communism rests is not just an undertaking relating to the leaders of the Soviet Union. It is also something relating to the non-Soviet world, and above all to the particular society of which each of us forms a part. To the extent to which we can dispel the confusion and misunderstandings on which these doctrines thrive—to the extent that we can remove the sources of bitterness which drive people to irrational and Utopian ideas of this sort—we will succeed in breaking down the ideological influence of Moscow in foreign countries. On the other hand- we must recognize that only a portion of international
communism outside Russia is the result of environmental influence and subject to correction accordingly. Another portion represents something in the nature of a natural mutation of species. It derives from a congenital fifth-columnism with which a certain small percentage of people in every community appear to be affected, and which distinguishes itself by a negative attitude toward the native society and a readiness to follow any outside force which opposes it. This element will always be present in any society for unscrupulous outsiders to work on; and the only protection against its dangerous misuse will be the absence of the will on the part of great-power regimes to exploit this unhappy margin of human nature.

Fortunately, the Kremlin has thus far done more than we ourselves could ever have done to dispel the very myth by which it operates. The Yugoslav incident is perhaps the most striking case in point; but the history of the Communist International is replete with other instances of the difficulty non-Russian individuals and groups have encountered in trying to be the followers of Moscow doctrines. The Kremlin leaders are so inconsiderate, so relentless, so over-bearing and so cynical in the discipline they impose on their followers that few can stand their authority for very long.

The Leninist-Stalinist system is founded, basically, on the power which a desperate, conspiratorial minority can always wield, at least temporarily, over a passive and unorganized majority of human beings- For this reason, the Kremlin leaders have had little concern, in the past, about the tendency of their movement to leave in its train a steady backwash of disillusioned former followers. Their aim was not to have communism become a mass movement but rather to work through a small group of faultlessly disciplined and entirely expendable followers. They were always content to let those peoples go who could not stomach Their particular brand of discipline.

For a long time, this worked reasonably well. New recruits were easy to obtain; and the Party lived by a steady process of natural selection-out, which left within its ranks only the most fanatically devoted, the most unimaginative, and the most obtusely unscrupulous natures.

The Yugoslav case has now raised a great question mark as to how well this system will work in the future, Heretofore, heresy could safely be handled by police repression within The limits of Soviet power or by a tested process of excommunication and character-assassination outside those limits. Tito has demonstrated that in the case of the satellite leaders, neither of these methods is necessarily effective. Excommunication of communist leaders who are beyond the effective range of Soviet power and who themselves have territory, police power, military power, and disciplined fol-
lowers, can split the whole communist movement, as nothing else was ever able to do, and cause the most grievous damage to the myth of Stalin’s omniscience and omnipotence.

Conditions are therefore favorable to a concentrated effort on our part designed to take advantage of Soviet mistakes and of the rifts that have appeared, and to promote the steady deterioration of the structure of moral influence by which the authority of the Kremlin has been carried to peoples far beyond the reach of Soviet police power.

We may say, therefore, that our second aim with respect to Russia in time of peace is, by informational activity and by every other means at our disposal, to explode the myth by which people remote from Russian military influence are held in a position of subservience to Moscow and to cause the world at large to see and understand the Soviet Union for what it is and to adopt a logical and realistic attitude toward it.

2. THE ALTERATION OF RUSSIAN CONCEPTS OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

We come now to the interpretation, in terms of peacetime policy, of our second major objective: namely, to bring about an alteration of the concepts of international relations prevalent in Moscow governing circles.

As has been seen above, There is no reasonable prospect that we will ever be able to alter the basic political psychology of the men now in power in the Soviet Union. The malevolent character of their outlook on the outside world, their repudiation of the possibility of permanent peaceful collaboration, their belief in the inevitability of the eventual destruction of the one world by the other: these things must remain, if only tor the simple reason that the Soviet leaders are convinced that their own system will not stand comparison with the civilization of the west and that it will never be secure until the example of a prosperous and powerful western civilization has been physically obliterated and its memory discredited. This is not to mention the fact that these men are committed to the theory of inevitable conflict between the two worlds by the strongest of all commitments: namely, the fact that they have inflicted the punishment of death or of great suffering and hardship on millions of people in the name of this theory.

On the other hand, the Soviet leaders are prepared to recognize situations, if not arguments. If, therefore, situations can be created in which it is clearly noi. to the advantage of their power to emphasize the elements of conflict in their relations with the outside world, then their actions, and even the tenor of their propaganda to their own people, can be modified. This was made
evident in the recent war when the circumstances of their military association with the western powers had the effect just described. In this instance, the modification of their policies was of relatively short duration; for with the end of hostilities they thought they saw an opportunity for gaining important objectives of their own regardless of the feelings and views of the western powers. This meant that the situation which had caused them to modify their policies no longer appeared to them to exist.

If, however, analogous situations could again be created in the future and the Soviet leaders compelled to recognize their reality, and if these situations could be maintained for a longer time, i.e., for a period long enough to encompass a respectable portion of the organic process of growth and change in Soviet political life, then they might have a permanent modifying effect on the outlook and habits of Soviet power. Even the relatively brief and perfunctory lip service done during the recent war to the possibility of collaboration among the major allies left a deep mark on the consciousness of the Russian public, and one which has undoubtedly caused serious difficulties to the regime, since the end of the war, in its attempt to revert to the old policies of hostility and subversion toward the western world. Yet all this occurred in a period in which there was absolutely no turnover of any importance in the Soviet leadership and no normal evolution of internal political life in the Soviet Union- Had it been necessary for the Soviet Government to observe these policies of circumspection and moderation toward the west for so long a period that the present leaders would have had to yield to other ones and that there would have been some normal evolution of Soviet political life in the face of these necessities, then it is possible that some real modification in Soviet outlook and behavior might eventually have been achieved.

It flows from this discussion that whereas we will not be able to alter the basic political psychology of the present Soviet leaders, there is a possibility that if we can create situations which, if long enough maintained, may cause them to soft-pedal their dangerous and improper attitude toward the west and to observe a relative degree of moderation and caution in their dealings with western countries. In this case, we could really say that we had begun to make progress toward a gradual alteration of the dangerous concepts which now underlie Soviet behavior.

Again, as in the case of the retraction of Soviet power, and, in fact, as in the case of any sound program of resistance to Soviet attempts at the destruction of western civilization, we must recognize that the Soviet leaders may see the writing on the wall and may prefer to resort to violence rather
than to permit these things to occur. It must be reiterated: that is the risk which we run not just in this, but in any sound policy toward the Soviet Union. It is inherent in the present nature of the Soviet Government; and nothing we may do can alter or remove it, This is not a problem new to the foreign relations of the United Stales. In the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton stated:

"Let us recollect that peace or war will not always be left to our option;
that however moderate or unambitious we may be, we cannot count upon the moderation, or hope to extinguish the ambition, of others."

In setting out, therefore, to alter the concepts by which the Soviet Government now operates in world affairs, we must again concede that the question of whether this aim can be achieved by peaceful means cannot he answered entirely by ourselves. But this does not excuse us from making the attempt.

We must say, therefore, that our third aim with respect to Russia in time of peace is to create situations which will compel the Soviet Governntent to recognise the practical undesirability of acting on the basis of its present concepts and the necessity of behaving, at least outwardly, as though it were the converse of those concepts that were true.

This is of course primarily a question of keeping the Soviet Union politically, militarily, psychologically weak in comparison with the international forces outside of its control and of maintaining a high degree of insistence among the non-communist countries on the observance by Russia of the ordinary international decencies.

3. SPECIFIC AIMS

The aims listed above are all general in nature. To attempt to make them specific would lead us into an endless maze of attempts at verbal classification and would probably be more confusing than clarifying. For this reason, no attempt will be made here to spell out the possible forms of specific application of these aims. Many of these forms will easily suggest themselves to any who give thought to the interpretation of these, general aims in terms of practical policy and action. It will be seen for example, that a major factor in the achievement of all of these aims without exception, would be the degree to which we might succeed in penetrating or disrupting the iron curtain.

However, the question of specific interpretation may be considerably clarified by a brief indication of the negative side of the picture: in other words, by pointing out what our aims are not.

First of all, it is not our primary aim in time of peace to set the stage for a war regarded as inevitable. We do not regard war as inevitable. We do not repudiate the possibility that our overall objectives with respect to Russia may be successfully pursued without resort to war, We have to recognize the possibility of war, as something flowing logically and at all times from the present attitude of The Soviet leaders; and we have to prepare realistically for that eventuality.

But it would be wrong to consider that our policy rested on an assumption of an inevitability of war and was confined to preparations for an armed conflict. Thal is not the case. Our task at present, in the absence of a state of war automatically brought about by the actions of others, is to find means of pursuing our objectives successfully without resort to war ourselves. It includes preparations for a possible war, but we regard these as only subsidiary and precautionary rather than as the primary element of policy. We are still hoping and striving to achieve our objectives within the framework of peace. Should we at any time come to the conclusion (which is not excluded) that this is really impossible and that the relations between communist and non-communist worlds cannot proceed without eventual armed conflict, then The whole basis of this paper would be changed and our peacetime aims. as set forth herein, would have to be basically altered.

Secondly, it is not our peacetime aim to overthrow the Soviet Government. Admittedly, we are aiming at the creation of circumstances and situations which would be difficult for the present Soviet leaders to stomach, and which they would not like. It is possible that they might not be able, in the face of these circumstances and situations, to retain their power in Russia. But it must be reiterated: that is their business, not ours. This paper implies no judgment as to whether it is possible for the Soviet Government to behave with relative decency and moderation in external affairs and yet to retain its internal power in Russia. Should the situations to which our peacetime aims are directed actually come into being and should they prove intolerable to the maintenance, of internal Soviet power and cause the Soviet Government to leave the scene, we would view this development without regret; but we would not assume responsibility for having sought it or brought it about.

V. The Pursuit of our Basic Objectives in Time of War

This chapter treats of our aims with respect to Russia in the event that a state of war should arise between the United States and the USSR. It pro-
poses to set forth what we would seek as a favorable issue of our military operations.

1. THE IMPOSSIBILITIES

Before entering into a discussion of what we should aim to achieve in a war with Russia, let us first be clear in our own minds about those things which we could not hope to achieve.

In the first place we must assume that it will not be profitable or practically feasible for us To occupy and take under our military administration the entire territory of the Soviet Union. This course is inhibited by the size of that territory, by the number of its inhabitants, by the differences of language and custom which separate its inhabitants from ourselves, and by the improbability that we would find any adequate apparatus of local authority through which we could work.

Secondly, and in consequence of this first admission, we must recognize that it is not likely that the Soviet leaders would surrender unconditionally to us. It is possible that Soviet power might disintegrate during the stress of an unsuccessful war, as did that of the tsar’s regime during World War I. But even this is not likely. And if it did not so disintegrate, we could not be sure that we could eliminate it by any means short of an extravagant military effort designed to bring all of Russia under our control. We have before us in our experience with the Nazis an example of the stubbornness and tenacity with which a thoroughly ruthless and dictatorial regime can maintain its internal power even over a territory constantly shrinking as a consequence of military operations. The Soviet leaders would be capable of concluding a compromise peace, if pressed, and even one highly unfavorable to their own interests. But it is not likely that they would do anything, such as to surrender unconditionally, which would place themselves under The complete power of a hostile authority. Rather than do that, they would probably retire to the most remote village of Siberia and eventually perish, as Hitler did, under the guns of the enemy.

There is a strong possibility that if we were to take the utmost care, within limits of military feasibility, not to antagonize the Soviet people by military policies which would inflict inordinate hardship and cruelties upon them, there would be an extensive disintegration of Soviet power during the course of a war which progressed favorably from our standpoint, We would certainly he entirely Justified in promoting such a disintegration with every means at our disposal. This does not mean, however, that we could be sure of achieving the complete overthrow of the Soviet regime, in the sense of
the removal of its power overall the present territory of the Soviet Union.

Regardless of whether or not Soviet power endures on any of the present Soviet territory we cannot be sure of finding among the Russian people any other group of political leaders who would he entirely "democratic" as we understand that term.

While Russia has had her moments of liberalism, the concepts of democracy arc not familiar to the great mass of the Russian people, and particularly not to those who are temperamentally inclined to the profession of government. At the present rime, there are a number of interesting and powerful Russian political groupings, among the Russian exiles, all of which do lip service to principles of liberalism, to one degree or another, and any of which would probably he preferable to the Soviet Government, from our standpoint, as the rulers of Russia. But just how liberal these groupings would be, if they once had power, or what would be their ability to maintain their authority among the Russian people without resort to methods of police terror and repression, no one knows. The actions of people in power are often controlled far more by the circumstances in which they arc obliged to exercise that power than by the ideas and principles which animated them when they were in the opposition. In turning over the powers of government to any Russian group, it would never be possible for us to be certain that those powers would be exercised in a manner which our own people would approve. We would therefore always be taking a chance, in making such a choice, and incurring a responsibility which we could not be sure of meeting creditably.

Finally, we cannot hope really to impose our concepts of democracy within a short space of time upon any group of Russian leaders. In the long run, the political psychology of any regime which is even reasonably responsive to the will of the people must be that of the people themselves- But it has been vividly demonstrated through our experience in Germany and Japan that the psychology and outlook of a great people cannot be altered in a short space of time at the mere dictate or precept of a foreign power, even in the wake of total defeat and submission. Such alteration can flow only from the organic political experience of the people in question. The best that can be done by one country to bring about this sort of alteration in another is to change the environmental influences to which the people in question are subjected, leaving it to them to react to those influences in their own way.

All of the above indicates that we could not expect, in the aftermath of successful military operations in Russia, to create there an authority entirely submissive to our will or entirely expressive of our political ideals. We must
reckon with the strong probability that we would have to continue to deal, in one degree or another, with Russian authorities of whom we will not entirely approve, who will have purposes different from ours, and whose views and desiderata we wiil be obliged to take into consideration whether we like them or not. In other words, we could not hope to achieve any total assertion of our will on Russian territory, as we have endeavored to do in Germany and in Japan. We must recognize that whatever settlement we finally achieve must be a political settlement, politically negotiated.

So much for the impossibilities. Now what would be our possible and desirable aims in the event of a war with Russia? These, like the aims of peace, should flow logically from the basic objectives set forth in Chapter III.

2. THE RETRACTION OF SOCIET POWER

The first of our war aims must naturally be she destruction of Russian military influence and domination in areas contiguous to, but outside of, the borders of any Russian state.

Plainly, a successful prosecution of the war on our part would automatically achieve this effect throughout most, if not all, of the satellitc area. A succession of military defeats to the Soviet forces would probably so undermine the authority of the communist regimes in the eastern European countries that most of them would be overthrown. Pockets might remain, in the form of political Tito-ism, i.e., residual communist regimes of a purely national and local character. These we could probably afford to by-pass. Without the might and authority of Russia behind them, they would be sure either to disappear with lime or to evolve into normal national regimes with no more and no less of chauvinism and extremism than is customary to strong national governments in that area. We would of course insist on the cancellation of any formal traces of abnormal Russian power in that area, such as treaties of alliance, etc.

Beyond this. however, we have again the problem of the extent lo which we. would wish Soviet borders modified as a result of a successful military action in our part. We must face frankly the fact that we cannot answer this question at this time. The answer depends almost everywhere on the type of regime which would be left, in the wake of military operations, in the particular area in question. Should this regime be one which held out at least reasonably favorable prospects of observing the principles of liberalism in internal affairs and moderation in foreign policy, it might be possible to leave under its authority most, if not all, of the Territories gained by the So-
viet Union in the recent war. If, as is more probable, little dependence could be placed on the liberalism and moderation of a post-hostilities Russian authority, it might be necessary to alter these borders quite extensively. This must simply be chalked up as one of the questions which will have to be left open until the development of military and political events in Russia reveals to us the full nature of the post-war framework in which we will have to act.

We then have the question of the Soviet myth and of the ideological authority which the Soviet Government now exerts over people beyond The present satellite area. In the first instance, this will of course depend on the question of whether or not the present All-Union Communist Party continues to exert authority over any portion of the present Soviet territory, in the aftermath of another war. We have already seen that we cannot rule out this possibility. Should communist authority disappear, this question is automatically solved. It must be assumed, however, that in any event an unsuccessful issue of the war itself, from the Soviet standpoint, would probably deal a decisive blow to this form of the projection of Soviet power and influence.

However that may be, we must leave nothing to chance; and it should naturally be considered that one of our major war aims with respect to Russia would be to destroy thoroughly the structure of relationships by which the leaders of the All-Union Communist Party have been able to exert moral and disciplinary authority over individual citizens, or groups of citizens, in countries not under communist control.

3. THE ALTERATION OF THE RUSSIAN CONCEPTS OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Our next problem is again that of the concepts by which Russian policy would be governed in the aftermath of a war. How would we assure ourselves that Russian policy would henceforth be conducted along lines as close as possible to those which we have recognized above as desirable? This is the heart of the problem of our war aims with respect to Russia; and it cannot be given too serious attention.

In the first instance this is a problem of the future of Soviet power; that is, of the power of the communist party in the Soviet Union. This is an extremely intricate question. There is no simple answer to it. We have seen that while we would welcome, and even strive for, the complete disintegration and disappearance of Soviet power, we could not be sure of achieving this entirely. We could therefore view this as a maximum, but not a minimum, aim.

Assuming, then, that there might be a portion of Soviet territory on which we would find it expedient to tolerate the continued existence of Soviet power, upon the conclusion of military operations, what should be our relationship to it? Would we consent to deal with it at all? If so, what sort of terms would we be willing to make?

First of all, we may accept it as a foregone conclusion that we would not be prepared to conclude a full-fledged peace settlement and/or resume regular diplomatic relations with any regime in Russia dominated by any of the present Soviet leaders or persons sharing their cast of Thought. We have had too bitter an experience, during the past fifteen years, with the effort to act as though normal relations were possible with such a regime; and if we should now be forced to resort to war to protect ourselves from the consequences of their policies and actions, our public would hardly be in a mood to forgive the Soviet leaders for having brought things to this pass, or to resume the attempt at normal collaboration.

On the other hand, if a communist regime were to remain on any portion of Soviet territory, upon the conclusion of military operations, we could not afford to ignore it entirely. It could not fail to be, within the limits of its own possibilities, a potential menace to the peace and stability of Russia itself and of the world. The least we could do would be to see to it that its possibilities for mischief were so limited that it could not do serious dam’ age, and that we ourselves, or forces friendly to us, would retain all the necessary controls.

For this, two things would probably be necessary. The first would be the actual physical limitation of the power of such a residual Soviet regime to make war or to threaten and intimidate other nations or other Russian regimes. Should military operations lead to any drastic curtailment of the territory over which the communists held sway, particularly such a curtailment as would deprive them of key factors in the present military-industrial structure of the Soviet Union, this physical limitation would automatically flow from that. Should the territory under their control not be substantially diminished, the same result could be obtained by extensive destruction of important industrial and economic targets from the air. Possibly, both of these means might be required. However that may be, we may definitely conclude that we could not consider our military operations successful if they left a communist regime in control of enough of the present military-industrial potential of the Soviet Union to enable them to wage war on comparable terms with any neighboring state or with any rival authority which might be set up on traditional Russian territory.

The second thing required, if Soviet authority is to endure at all in the traditional Russian territories, will probably be some sort of terms defining at least its military relationship to ourselves and to the authorities surrounding it. In other words, it may be necessary for us to make some sort of deal with a regime of this sort. This may sound distasteful to us now, but it is quite possible that we would find our interests better protected by such a deal than by the all-out military effort which would be necessary to stamp out Soviet power entirely.

It is safe to say that such terms would have to be harsh ones and distinctly humiliating to the communist regime in question. They might well be something along the lines of the Bresl-Litovsk settlement of 1918(*3) which deserves careful study in this connection. The fact that the Germans made this settlement did not mean that they had really accepted the permanency of the Soviet regime. They regarded the settlement as one which rendered the Soviet regime momentarily harmless to them and in a poor position to face the problems of survival. The Russians realized that this was the German purpose. They agreed to the settlement only with the greatest of reluctance, and with every intention of violating it at every opportunity. But the German superiority of force was real; and the German calculations realistic. Had Germany not suffered defeat in the west soon after the conclusion of the Brest-Litovsk agreement, it is not likely that the Soviet Government would have been able to put up any serious opposition to the accomplishment of German purposes with respect to Russia. It is in this sense that it might be necessary for this Government to deal with the Soviet regime in the latter phases of an armed conflict.

(*3). Treaty of Brest-Lilovsk, signed March 3, 1918, ended hostilities between Soviet Russia and the Central Powers on the basis of provisions that included the independence of the Ukraine, Georgia. Finland, the transfer to the Central Powers of Poland, the Baltic States, and portions of Byelorussia, and the cession of Kars, Ardahan. and Batum to Turkey. As part of the armistice agreement between Germany and the Western Powers on November II. 1918, Germany was forced to repudiate this treaty. [Ed. note]

It is impossible to forecast what the nature of such terms should be. The smaller the territory left at the disposal of such a regime, the easier ihe task of imposing terms satisfactory to our interests. Taking the worst case, which would be that of the retention of Soviet power over all, or nearly all, of present Soviet territory, we would have to demand:

(a) Direct military terms (surrender of equipment, evacuation of key areas, etc.) designed to assure military helplessness for a long time in advance;

(b) Terms designed to produce a considerable economic dependence on the outside world;

(c) Terms designed to give necessary freedom, or federal status, to national minorities (we would at least have to insist on the complete liberation of the Baltic States and on the granting of some type of federal status to the Ukraine which would make it possible for a Ukrainian local authority to have a large measure of autonomy); and

(d) Terms designed to disrupt the iron curtain and to assure a liberal flow of outside ideas and a considerable establishment of personal contact between persons within the zone of Soviet power and persons outside it.

So much for our aims with respect to any residual Soviet authority. There remains the question of what our aims would be with respect to any non-communist authority which might be set up on a portion or all of Russian territory as a consequence of the events of war.

First of all, it should be said that regardless of the ideological basis of any such non-communist authority and regardless of the extent to which it might be prepared to do lip service to the ideals of democracy and liberalism, we would do well to see that in one way or another the basic purposes were assured which flow from the demands listed above. In other words, we should set up automatic safeguards to assure that even a regime which is non-communist and nominally friendly to us:

(a) Does not have strong military power;

(b) Is economically dependent to a considerable extent on the outside world;

(c) Does not exercise too much authority over the major national minorities; and

(d) Imposes nothing resembling the iron curtain over contacts with the outside world.

In the case of such a regime, professing hostility to the communists and friendship toward us, we should doubtless wish to take care i.o impose these conditions in a manner which would not be offensive or humiiiating. But we would have to see to it that in one way or another they were imposed, if our interests and the interests of world peace were to be protected.

We are therefore safe in saying that it should be our aim in the event of war with the Soviet Union, to see to it that when the war was over no regime on Russian territory is permitted:

(a) To retain military force on a scale which could be threatening to any neighboring stale;

(b) To enjoy a measure of economic autarchy which would permit the erection of the economic basis of such armed power without the assistance of the western world;

(c) To deny autonomy and self-government to the main national minorities; or

(d) To retain anything resembling the present iron curtain. If these conditions are assured, we can adjust ourselves to any political situation which may ensue from the war. We will then be safe, whether a Soviet government retains the bulk of Russian territory or whether it retains only a small part of such territory or whether it disappears altogether. And we will be safe even though the original democratic enthusiasm of a new regime is short-lived and tends to be replaced gradually by the a-social concepts of international affairs to which the present Soviet generation has been educated.

The above should be adequate as an expression of our war aims in the event that political processes in Russia take their own course under the stresses of war and that we are not obliged to assume major responsibility for the political future of the country. But there are further questions to be answered for the event that Soviet authority should disintegrate so rapidly and so radically as to leave the country in chaos, making it encumbent upon us as the victors to make political choices and to take decisions which would be apt to shape the political future of the country. For this eventuality there are three main questions which must be faced.

4. PARTITION VS. NATIONAL UNITY

First of all, would it be our desire, in such a case, that the present territories of the Soviet Union remain united under a single regime or that they be partitioned? And if they are to remain united, at least to a large extent, then what degree of federalism should be observed in a future Russian government? What about the major minority groups, in particular the Ukraine?

We have already taken note of the problem of the Baltic states. The Baltic states should not be compelled to remain under any communist authority in the aftermath of another war. Should the territory adjacent To the Baltic slates be controlled by a Russian authority other than a communist authority, we should be guided by the wishes of the Baltic peoples and by the degree of moderation which that Russian authority is inclined to exhibit with respect to them.

In the case of the Ukraine, we have a different problem. The Ukrainians are the most advanced of the peoples who have been under Russian rule in modern times. They have generally resented Russian domination; and their nationalistic organizations have been active and vocal abroad. It would be easy to jump to the conclusion that they should be freed, at last, from Russian rule and permitted to set themselves up as an independent slate.

We would do well to beware of this conclusion. Us very simplicity condemns it in terms of eastern European realities.

It is True that the Ukrainians have been unhappy under Russian rule and that something should be done to protect their position in future. But there are certain basic fads which must not be lost sight of. While the Ukrainians have been an important and specific element in the Russian empire, they have shown no signs of being a ‘"nation" capable of bearing successfully the responsibilities of independence in the face of great Russian opposition. The Ukraine is not a clearly defined ethnical or geographic concept. In general, the Ukrainian population made up of originally in large measure out of refugees from Russian or Polish despotism shades off imperceptibly into the Russian or Polish nationalities. There is no clear dividing line between Russia and the Ukraine, and it would be impossible to establish one. The cities in Ukrainian territory have been predominantly Russian and Jewish. The real basis of "Ukrainianism" is the feeling of "difference" produced by a specific peasant dialect and by minor differences of custom and folklore throughout the country districts. The political agitation on the surface is largely the work of a few romantic intellectuals, who have little concept of the responsibilities of government.

The economy of the Ukraine is inextricably intertwined with that of Russia as a whole. There has never been any economic separation since the territory was conquered from the nomadic Tatars and developed for purposes of a sedentary population. To attempt to carve it out of the Russian economy and to set it up as something separate would be as artificial and as destructive as an attempt to separate the Corn Belt, including the Great Lakes industrial area, from the economy of the United States.

Furthermore, the people who speak the Ukrainian dialect have been split, like those who speak the White Russian dialect, by a division which in eastern Europe has always been the real mark of nationality: namely, religion- If any real border can be drawn in the Ulcraine, it should logically be the border between the areas which traditionally give religious allegiance to the Eastern Church and those which give it to the Church of Rome.

Finally, we cannot he indifferent to the feelings of the Great Russians themselves. They were the strongest national element in the Russian Empire, as they now are in the Soviet Union. They will continue to be the strongest national element in that general area, under any status. Any long-term U.S. policy must be based on their acceptance and their cooperation. The Ukrainian territory is as much a part of their national heritage as the Middle West is of ours, and they are conscious of that fact. A solution which attempts to separate the Ukraine entirely from the rest of Russia is
bound TO incur their resentment and opposition, and can be maintained, in the last analysis, only by force- There is a reasonable chance that the Great Russians could be induced to tolerate the renewed independence of the Baltic states. They tolerated the freedom of those territories from Russian rule for long periods in the past; and they recognize, subconsciously if not other’ wise, that the respective peoples are capable of independence. With respect to the Ukrainians, things arc different. They are loo close to the Russians to be able to set themselves up successfully as something wholly different, For better or for worse, they will have to work out their destiny in some sort of special relationship to the Great Russian people.

It seems clear that this relationship can be at best a federal one, under which the Ukraine would enjoy a considerable measure of political and cultural autonomy but would not be economically or militarily independent. Such a relationship would be entirely just to the requirements of the Great Russians themselves, it would seem, therefore, to be along these lines that U.S. objectives with respect to the Ukraine should be framed.

It should be noted that this question has far more than just a distant future significance. Ukrainian and Great Russian elements among the Russian emigre-opposition groups are already competing vigorously for U.S. support. The manner in which we receive their competing claims may have an important influence on the development and success of the movement for political freedom among the Russians, It is essential, therefore, that we make our decision now and adhere to it consistently. And that decision should be neither a pro-Russian one nor a pro-Ukrainian one, but one which recognizes the historical geographic and economic realities involved and seeks for the Ukrainians a decent and acceptable place in the family of the traditional Russian Empire, of which they form an inextricable part.

It should be added that while, as stated above, we would not deliberately encourage Ukrainian separatism, nevertheless if an independent regime were to come into being on the territory of the Ukraine through no doing of ours, we should not oppose it outright. To do so would be to undertake an undesirable responsibility for internal Russian developments. Such a regime would be bound to be challenged eventually from the Russian side. If it were to maintain itself successfully, mat would be proof that the above analysis was wrong and that the Ukraine docs have the capacity for, and the moral right to, independent status. Our policy in the first instance should be to maintain an outward neutrality, as long as our own interests—military or otherwise—were not immediateiy affected. And only if it became clear that an undesirable deadlock was developing, we would encourage a composing
of the differences along the lines of a reasonable federalism. The same would apply to any other efforts at the achievement of an independent status on the part of other Russian minorities. It is not likely that any of the other minorities could successfully maintain real independence for any length of time. However, should they attempt it (and it is quite possible that the Caucasian minorities would do this), our attitude should be the same as in the case of the Ukraine. We should be careful not to place ourselves in a position of open opposition to such attempts, which would cause us to lose permanently the sympathy of the minority in question. On the other hand, we should not commit ourselves to their support to a line of action which in the long run could probably be maintained only with our military assistance.

5. THE CHOICE OF A NEW RULING GROUP

In the event of a disintegration of Soviet power, we are certain to be faced with demands for .support on the part of the various competing political elements among the present Russian opposition groups. It will be almost impossible for us to avoid doing things which would have the effect of favoring one or another of these groups over its rivals. But a great deal will depend on ourselves, and on our concept of what we are trying to accomplish.

We have already seen that among the existing and potential opposition groups there is none which we will wish to sponsor entirely and for whose actions, if it were to obtain power in Russia, we would wish to take responsibility.

On the other hand, we must expect that vigorous efforts will be made by various groups to induce us to take measures in Russian internal affairs which will constitute a genuine commitment on our part and make it possible for political groups in Russia to continue to demand our support. In the light of these facts, it is plain then we must make a. determined effort to avoid taking responsibility for deciding who would rule Russia in the wake of a disintegration of the Soviet regime. Our best course would be to permit all the exiled elements to return to Russia as rapidly as possible and to see to it, in so far as this depends on us, that they are all given roughly equal opportunity to establish their bids for power. Our basic position must be that in the final analysis the Russian people will have to make their own choices, and that we do not intend to influence those choices. We should therefore avoid having proteges, and should try to see to it that all of the competing groups receive facilities for putting their case to the Russian people through the media of public information. It is probable that there will be violence between these groups. Even in this instance, we should not interfere unless our military interests are affected or unless there should be an attempt on the part of one group to establish its authority by large-scale and savage repression along totalitarian lines, affecting not just the opposing political leaders but the mass of the population itself.

6. THE PROBLEM OF "DE-COMMUNIZATION"

In any territory which is freed of Soviet rule, we will be faced with the problem of the human remnants of the Soviet apparatus of power.

It is probable that in the event of an orderly withdrawal of Soviet forces from present Soviet territory, the local communist party apparatus would go underground, as it did in the areas taken by the Germans during the recent war. It would then probably reemerge in part in the form of partisan bands and guerrilla forces. To this extent, the problem of dealing with it would be a relatively simple one; for we would need only to give the necessary arms and military support to whatever non-communist Russian authority might control the area and permit that authority to deal with the communist bands through the traditionally thorough procedures of Russian civil war.

A more difficult problem would be presented by minor communist party members or officials who might be uncovered and apprehended, or who might throw themselves on the mercy of our forces or of whatever Russian authority existed in the territory.

Here, again, we should refrain from taking upon ourselves the responsibility of disposing of these people or of giving direct orders to the local authorities as to how to do so. We would have a right to insist that they be disarmed and that they not come into leading positions in government unless they had given clear evidence of a genuine change of heart. Bul basically this must remain a problem for whatever Russian authority may take the place of the communist regime. We may be sure that such an authority will be more capable than we ourselves would be to judge the danger which ex-communists would present to the security of the new regime, and to dispose of them in such ways as to prevent their being harmful in the future. Our main concern should be to see that no communist regime, as such, is re-established in areas which we have once liberated and which we have decided should remain liberated from communist control. Beyond that, we should be careful not to become entangled in the problem of "de-communization."

The basic reason for this is that the political processes of Russia are strange and inscrutable. They contain nothing that is simple, and nothing that can be taken for granted. Rarely, if ever, are the colors straight black or
white. The present communist apparatus of power probably embraces a large proportion of those persons who are fitted by training and inclination to take part in the processes of government, Any new regime will probably have to utilize the services of many of these people in order to be able to govern at all. Furthermore, we are incapable of assessing in each individual case the motives which have brought individuals in Russia into association with the communist movement. We are also incapable of assessing the degree to which such association will appear discreditable or criminal to other Russians, in retrospect. It would be dangerous for us to proceed on the basis of any fixed assumptions in such matters. We must always remember that to be the subject of persecution at the hands of a foreign government inevitably makes local martyrs out of persons who might otherwise only have been the objects of ridicule.

We would be wiser, therefore, in the case of territories freed from communist control, to restrict ourselves to seeing to it that individual ex-communists do not have the opportunity to reorganize as armed groups with pretenses to political power and that the local non-communist authority is given plenty of arms and help in any measures which they may desire to take with respect to them.

We may say, therefore, that we would not make it our aim to carry out with our own forces, on territory liberated from the communist authorities, aпy large-scale program of de-communication, and that In general we would leave this problem to whatever local authority might supplant Soviet rule.

The Upside-down World of the Western Main Stream Media (MSM)


MSM – only the truthful information

I’ve been meaning to post the above caricature for quite some time, but as it is usual with many of my posts, it’s been sitting in draft until I felt it “matured” enough. Now, I saw a convergence of two seemingly insignificant events, that made it feel like a good time to post this image.

It is not a secret that anything published in the Western main-stream media about Russia (as well as China, or Syria, or any other state that the Western elites feel is in need of some “democratic bombings”), is presented through a certain prism, where either partial truths or outright lies are given to the audience to form an image of an enemy.

This can be seen in the materials, published both…

… in Peace …

Seemingly such an innocent thing, a report by one of the many Russian TV channels on a vegetable shortage in Europe… But look how it got blown out of proportions both by the 5th column inside and the agents of influence outside of Russia.

Here I am going to demonstrate how the above caricature applies to the everyday reporting. Take a look at the following article in one of the main Norwegian newspapers, Aftenposten: Russlands største TV-kanal hevder det er rasjonering på grønnsaker i butikkene i Norge (Russia’s biggest TV channel claims that there is rationing on the vegetables in Norway). Remember this headline. Interestingly, it is perceived by the population as “Russia is claiming…” – that’s how some people I know recited the story to me.

The article above cites a Russian TV channel – TV1. It translates some snippets of the material, but not all of them, making it sound as if the Russian channel is postulating that it is explicitly in Norway that we ration broccoli and experience vegetable shortage. To Aftenposten’s credit, they provide the link to the channel’s news-item, but who is going to go there and verify it anyway, it being in Russian?

Aftenposten provides the following picture:

With the sub-text of that’s how Russian TV channel presents the state of affairs in Norway, Denmark and Britain. Looks dramatic, right? Russians must be out of their minds, right?

That’s what they want you to think. And they don’t even stop there. In the second half of the article, Aftenposten presents it as “Kremlin’s propaganda” for “Putin’s Russia”, etc, etc.

Let’s go to the source…

http://www.1tv.ru/news/2017/02/04/319211-evropeyskie_pokupateli_stolknulis_s_defitsitom_ovoschey_v_supermarketah

It’s a 35-second long filler news snippet, and I’ll give the full translation here:

“Three salads into one hands. European buyers have come to face a shortage of vegetable in the supermarkets. It is unusually empty in the shops of Britain, Norway, Denmark. What’s left in stores is being rationed, for example, selling a few salads and broccolis per person. And the prices are very high – squashes and aubergines saw a price hike of almost 4 times over the last month. The reason for this is a harvest failure due to very cold winter in Italy and Spain – the main suppliers of vegetables during this time of the year. First the agricultural areas where flooded by rain, and then came frost. Experts say, that if the weather does not become better, Europe can also experience shortage of the citrus fruits.”

That’s it. But wait…

This is a still frame from the report, and what does it say? “Photo from the site of www.dailymail.co.uk”. That attribution was “conveniently” omitted in the image, published in the Norwegian Aftenposten.

A quick search leads us to this article:

Supermarkets RATION salads and veg after storms in Spain devastate crops with shortages due to last until APRIL (and a box of 12 iceberg lettuces is even being offered on Gumtree for £50)

So! It wasn’t the “crazy Russians spinning a lie”, but rather a short translation of an article from the British Daily Mail. But that won’t sound as sensationalist, would it?

And going back to the outrage, demonstrated by Aftenposten, I did a quick search in the Norwegian news items, and here is what came up:

Grønnsaksmangel etter uvær i Sør-Europa: – Situasjonen er svært krevende (Vegetable shortage after bad weather in Southern Europe – The situation is very demanding). And in it they say that the supply of vegetables to Northern Europe is halved, compared to the same time last year. They even quote PR chief of one of the largest Norwegian supermarket chains COOP, Harald Kristiansen, as saying that it concerns mostly broccoli and iceberg salad, but also, to a lesser degree paprika, tomatoes, cauliflower… I personally noticed a shortage of eco-salads and eco-tomatos, which I usually buy, and which I have not seen in the shops for about a month, without giving it a second thought – there were enough of the local greenhouse non-eco alternatives on the shelves.

So, the news item on TV1 was also truthful, when they included Norway! I’ll leave it to the reader to research the Danish newsfront.

Towards the end of the article, Aftenposten actually refers to the British tabloids, but presents it as if Russian media “twists the British publication”. From my translation above, where does it twist anything?

And finally they say that they took contact with TV1 fro comment about the “source foundation for the material”, but got no answer. But the source was specified in the material all along!

Funnily, not only The Daily Mail published these news:
BBC: European vegetables: ‘Perfect storm’ raises prices
The Telegraph: What is causing the 2017 vegetable shortage and what does it mean for consumers?
The Sun: IT’S THE A-BROC-ALYPSE! ‘Perfect storm’ of bad weather wipes out vegetables in Europe – and it’s set to send the price of lettuce, broccoli and peppers soaring in UK supermarkets

What I find interesting in all of this, is how it got quickly tied to “Russia”, “Russia’s biggest TV channel”, and the subsequent demonstration and ridicule on the net, tie in to “Kremlin propaganda”, and the usual ad hominem attack – “Putin’s Russia”. In other words, Western MSM business as usual.

First of all, TV1 is a fully-private channel, with some of its owners spending more time in London, than in Moscow. As there is no censorship on the Russian mediascape, each channel, or media outlet publishes whatever they want – isn’t it what the West wanted all along?

Secondly, how this got twisted in the Russian “5th column environment”:
“Radio Svoboda” – the very same that has a stated goal of government change in Russia (and played the same role against USSR), published a stream of Tweet ridicules under the title “Hungry Europe”, without bothering to say where the news come from and blaming it all on Russia. A series of other “liberal resources” wailed about Russia spreading fakes, for example here, here and here (the last one is an example of how it gets spread on the social media by people who don’t care about doing a source research). And only one outlet, Meduza.io, tried to come to the bottom of it.

Mission accomplished.

As the Russian saying goes, they “made an elephant out of a fly”. And drew Russia’s name through mud in the process. All, over a 35-second long filler newsreel, which was a re-telling of a British news item. All the while leaving the original source, the complete picture, out of the view. Take a look at the caricature at the beginning of my post once again. Telling isn’t it?

… and in War

Presenting half-truths or big lies is typical of any war-mogering propaganda. I could exemplify with Ukraine and its populace at large, that have become ensnared in this kind of the nets of deception, but we can go even bit further back in history, to the Goebbels/Hitler propaganda in the Nazi Germany, and how the people of Germany were made to believe that they were liberating the Eastern lands…

Fast forward to 2008…

In the sitrep article at The Saker, Sandwiching NATO in Ukraine Scott Humor writes:

As we all know the plans to instigate war between Russia and Ukraine go way back. It’s kinetic stage, however, started in 2008. Immediately after the skirmishes in South Ossetia with Georgian and NATO troops in August 2008, in October the Washington Times publishes an article of Jeffrey Kuhner: “Will Russia-Ukraine be Europe’s next war?”

“Europe faces the risk of another major war. In 1939, Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland triggered the Second World War. Today the possible trip wire is not Poland, but Ukraine. And the aggressor will not be Adolf Hitler, but Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.”

That’s a statement; it’s not an analyses, or expert opinion, its a statement of intent. This statement was made not by anyone in the government of Russia. This statement was made by the “deep state” globalist government. It says that they are about to stage a major war in Europe. Like the previous big war in Europe, this new war will be fought under the fascists and Nazi flags. They also say that they will start this war on the territory of Ukraine, the war will be against Russia, and Russians will become the appointed aggressors and even “the invaders“ of their own homeland.

This is a typical for globalists switch, when the victims are named aggressors, and that the Western powers act in order to “stop an aggression” and even better “to prevent an aggression.”

Just let me reiterate: The West calls Russians, who for centuries (if not millennia) living in the Don river basin (Donbas), the descendants of those Russians, who in 1813 liberated Europe from Napoelonic forces, and restored the kingdom of the Netherlands, the Russians who fended off the German invasion of the Don river basin in 1941-43, they call these Russians for “invaders” on their own land! The same justification, that also Hitler used to start his war!

The West went even further to reinforce the parallel.

In 1941 German soldiers were photographing against the backdrop of the Russian fortress of Ivangorod in Narva:

And on February 10th 2017, the Americans decided to repeat the feat. Wonder if the consequences will be the same…

So, with the help of MSM, a Westerner is prepped with a picture of an enemy: a crazy Russian, who must be “liberated” from his own values, political structure, country, life. That’s how wars were usually started by the West, and it always historically fell on Russia’s peoples shoulders to end those wars and bring back balance and peace to our one common continent: Eurasia.

To wrap it up…

Always check the source, even in the face of a simple newsitem, and especially if it want to play on your emotions. Earlier I translated a fragment of a Russian documentary, The Nets of Deception – False Reality, and it would be a good moment to revisit it again.

Seek alternative sources of information. There are a few English-language sources, which will give you either a second opinion, or a direct and unadulterated version directly from the source, here to name a few:

Croudfunded media outlet Russia Insider
Lada Ray’s Futurist Trendcast
The Saker
RT
Global Research
Paul Craig Roberts
TASS
Sputnik News

The Road to Victory – My Grand-Uncle’s Path from Moscow to Berlin

Exactly 74 years ago, on the 22nd of June 1941 at 4:00 in the morning, Nazi Germany attacked Soviet Union.

This article is a living tribute to my grand-uncle, who fought that war from the very first days and until the victorious end. Moreover, it’s a tribute to all 21 million Soviet citizens, who perished in that war, and tens of millions more, who suffered hardships and losses to bring the Victory. It is therefore, when the Western “leaders” refused to attend the Victory parade in Moscow on the 9th of May 2015, they effectively did a dance of glee on the bones of those 21 million perished people, and were perceived by all Russians (and here I use “Russian” in a broad sense, encompassing all 200+ nationalities that live in the Russian Federation, all the normal people of the former USSR, and all the foreigners, who sympathise with Russia) as modern-time Western heirs to Nazism. I previously translated an article, written by the President of the RF, V.V.Putin, describing his family’s struggle in the blockaded Leningrad. In this article here, I will touch upon my own family’s history.

This year the Russian Ministry of Defence launched a new web-site, consolidating, digitalising and geo-tagging all the newly-declassified information about those Soviet citizens, who fought (and died) in WWII, in the Great Patriotic War. The site is aptly called People’s Memory. A good English language article about it can be found at Russia Beyond the Headlines:

The new People’s Memory website, launched by the Russian Defence Ministry, is the largest of its kind in the world. The site, dedicated to those who served on the Eastern Front in World War II, allows users to locate the resting places of soldiers whose burial sites have remained unknown to their relatives until now, as well as acquire knowledge about their military careers.

Knowing my grand-uncle’s name, family name and patronymic, as well as his year of birth, I managed to locate him, and what I learnt, confirmed those disjointed memories I had of him from my childhood. I vaguely remember his face, and more his blazer, covered in orders and medals. He used to visit us in Moscow between 23rd of February and the 10th of May, celebrating Victory Day and meeting with the ever-thinning numbers of his brothers-in-arms. From the stories, re-told by my mother, I knew that he fought in the War as part of a tank division. That he was at one point surrounded, cut off from the main force for several months. That for some time he was presumed dead, until their company managed to reunite with the main force. That at another point he received a heavy concussion, but returned into the ranks. And that he finished the War in Berlin. But not much more. People’s Memory allowed me to go deeper and see his path and the deeds that lead to the awards.

There is memorial public initiative in Russia, The Immortal Legion, where people add photos and what information they remember of their grandfathers and great-grandfathers, lest it is forgotten. I have enlisted Grand-Uncle Georji into the legion, publishing what I found here at the authentic Immortal Legion’s official site.

Moiseev Georgij Mihajlovich, born in 1920 in Altai Krai in Siberia. At the age of 18, he was conscripted to the regular service as a tank mechanic. The regular service lasted at that time for 2 years, and in 1941 he would have been demobilised. But so came the War.

My grand-uncle’s given name – Georgij – is in itself fateful. It is connotative of Victory and courage. It is found in Saint George the Victorious (rus.: Georgji Pobedonosec), and in the St.George Ribbon (rus: Georgievskaja lentochka). The latter is the symbol of courage and self-sacrifice, established by Catherine the Great, and carrying the colours of the Russian coat of arms.

georg

According to the People’s Memory, his first battle happened on the 8th of November 1941 in the Orlov-Brjansk operation as part of the 1st Guard’s Tank Brigade. After that he participated in the Battle of Moscow, Battle of Kursk, Proskurovsk-Chernovick operation and liberation of Ukraine, Lvov–Sandomierz Offensive, Vistula–Oder Offensive, and the Battle of Berlin. Judging from the early history, leading to the formation of the 1st Guard’s Tank Brigade, my grand-uncle may have been one of the survivors of either the 15th or the 20th tank divisions, which largely perished during the first months of war and operated as infantry divisions.

The map can be seen below, as geo-tagged by People’s Memory project. The map is showing the path and the points where medals were awarded.
map_updated
Grand-uncle Georgij was awarded 3 Orders of the Red Star and 2 Orders of the Great Patriotic War II Class. People’s Memory allows one to view scans of the documents pertaining the awards, and the section detailing the act of heroism especially bring that time back to life. Read on for details about each award.

Орден Красной ЗвездыThe first Order of Red Star was awarded on the 1st of May 1943. The details about this order are not present in the People’s Memory database (yet?), but the information about it can be gleaned from the subsequent orders, as all preceding awards are always listed.

Орден Красной ЗвездыThe second Order of Red Star was awarded on the 22nd of July 1943. Here are the award list carrying grand-uncle Georgij’s name and the personal award sheet, pertaining to it:

Строка в наградном списке

Наградной лист

The section detailing personal battle merit, says:

Comrade Moiseev is a devoted son of the Party of Lenin-Stalin and of the Socialist Motherland. While participating in battles against the German usurpers he displayed bravery and courage. From the 6th until the 10th of July 1943, in the area of villages Jakovlevo and Dubrova, the brigade, where comrade Moiseev is a technical assistant, was conducting an unequal battle with quantitatively superior numbers of the enemy’s tanks. Despite the difficult conditions of the battle, comrade Moiseev took all possible measures to evacuate disabled tanks from the battlefield on to perform timely repairs. During the course of the battle, comrade Moiseev, disregarding any danger, evacuated 7 disabled tanks that were located at the front edge of the defence.
For the dispayed courage, bravery and self-sacrificing work, he is worthy of the Government award of the “Red Star” order.

Commander of the 2nd tank battalion,
Guard Major Vovchenko

Орден Отечественной войны II степениNext he was awarded the Order of the Great Patriotic War II Class. It happened on the 4th of October 1944, and was awarded for the battles near Poryck (today: Pavlovka in Western Ukraine). Here are the first page of the order, the award list carrying grand-uncle Georgij’s name, and the personal award sheet, pertaining to it:

Первая страница приказа или указа

Строка в наградном списке

Наградной лист

The section detailing personal battle merit, says:

Guard Petty Officer Moiseev, during the battalion’s battles in the period from the 14th until the 30th of July 1944 provided the battalion with spare parts for reconstruction and repairs of the damaged tanks, by dismantling them from disabled or burnt tanks on the battlefield. Timely delivery of spare parts ensured quick repair of the tanks and their return into service.

On the 17th of July 1944 in the northern part of town Poryck, 2 of our tanks were stuck in a marsh. One of the tank’s tracks were damaged by enemy fire. Comrade Moiseev, executing the order to retrieve those tanks and to repair the damaged one, crept to the tanks under enemy fire. After 2 hours, Moiseev – while using a manual winch – pulled those tanks out and repaired them. The tanks took part in the capture of the German stronghold, the town of Poryck.

On the 22nd of July 1944, during the crossing of river San, the enemy fire destroyed side blinders and a starter of one of our tanks, and the mechanic was wounded. Comrade Moiseev, taking a starter with him, managed to reach the machine and installed the starter under enemy fire. Then taking controls of the tank, he steered it from under enemy fire for further repairs.

For the excellent execution of the commander’s orders at the front of the fight against the German usurpers, and for display of courage and bravery, Guard Petty Officer Moiseev is worthy of the Government award – Order of the Great Patriotic War II degree.

Commander of the 2nd tank battalion,
Guards Captain Bochkovskij.

Орден Красной ЗвездыThe third Order of Red Star was awarded on the 15th of May 1945 for the Battle of Berlin. Here are the first page of the order, the award list carrying grand-uncle Georgij’s name, and the personal award sheet, pertaining to it:

Первая страница приказа или указа

Строка в наградном списке

Наградной лист

The section detailing personal battle merit, says:

Guard Lieutenant Engineer Moiseev has during a number of battles of 1945 provided the battalion with armour inventory, thus facilitating timely repairs of the disabled tanks and wheel-going vehicles.

Only during the latest assault battles from the 16th of April 1945, Guard Lieutenant Engineer Moiseev, provided repairs to 12 tanks of the battalion, ensuring their participation in the battles leading to the break-though of the fortifications and the approaches to Berlin and in the battles for the city.

Guard Lieutenant Engineer Moiseev, displaying initiative and personal courage and bravery, dismounted spare parts from the tanks on the battlefield, ensuring early rapiers the tanks.

On the 28th of April 1945, Guard Lieutenant Engineer Moiseev evacuated from the battlefield 2 disabled tanks and conducted early repairs.

For the timely provisioning of the battalion with spare parts during battles and for successful execution of the battle objectives encompassing evacuation of the tanks from the battlefield, Guard Lieutenant Engineer Moiseev is worthy of the Government award Order of the Red Star

Commander of the 2nd tank battalion,
Guard Captain Nechtajlo

Орден Отечественной войны II степениFrom the decorations on his photo, taken in 1999, I can see that he was awarded with another Order of the Great Patriotic War II Class. This event must have taken place on the final days of the War, after the Order of Red Star award above. The documents pertaining this last award are not (yet?) published…

Grand-uncle Georgij not only returned from the War, but lived a long and worthy life. But the shadow of War was always over him – my mother told me about him saying how he often had nightmares from those gruesome 4 years… He died in 2000.

And as post-scriptum, his sister – my grandmother, Elizaveta – also lived all her life, touched by the War. She was a civilian, working long 16 hour shifts, having little to eat. And ironically, the worst curse came from what was supposed to be help. The American Lend-Lease – a “help” that USSR paid through its nose for – brought a lot of dated food rations, which US Army could no longer use. These rations were distributed among civilians, and one such box of Spam ended up with my grandmother, giving her a severe poisoning. Her liver was damaged for life, and she lived since then on strict diets, being limited to what she could and could not eat…

Victory Day – 70 Years’ Anniversary of the defeat of Nazism in Germany


No one’s Forgotten
Nothing’s Forgotten

Today marks the 70th Anniversary of the Victory in WWII and Great Patriotic War.
Much can be said commemorating the sacrifice of the 27 million Soviet citizens, who lost their lives on the way to victory. But the best tribute to it is in the words and the imagery of the following immortal song of Lev Leshenko – Victory Day – performed by Iosif Kobzon (who is, incidentally, under the EU and US sanctions for his courageous and outspoken defence democracy, human rights and the right of peoples for self-determination).


Victory Day!

Victory Day how far away it was from us,
As a smouldering piece of coal in an extinguished fire.
There were miles, burnt and dusty, –
We hastened this day however we could.

This Victory Day
Has become permeated with the smell of gunpowder,
It is a celebration
With greying hair on one’s temples.
It is a joy
With the tears in one’s eyes.
Victory Day!
Victory Day!
Victory Day!

Days and nights in front of the hearth furnaces
Our Motherland didn’t shut her eyes.
Days and nights conducting a difficult battle –
We hastened this day however we could.

This Victory Day
Has become permeated with the smell of gunpowder,
It is a celebration
With greying hair on one’s temples.
It is a joy
With the tears in one’s eyes.
Victory Day!
Victory Day!
Victory Day!

Hello, mama, not all of us returned…
Would be nice to run barefoot on dew!
Half of Europe have we walked, half the Earth –
We hastened this day however we could.

This Victory Day
Has become permeated with the smell of gunpowder,
It is a celebration
With greying hair on one’s temples.
It is a joy
With the tears in one’s eyes.
Victory Day!
Victory Day!
Victory Day!


It is a slap in the face of those 27 million perished Soviet citizens, that some of the Western “leaders” decided to boycott the memorial parade in Moscow on May the 9th 2015. This especially shames Angela Merkel of Germany. This denial to commemorate the defeat of Nazism unpleasantly signals that the ugly head of Nazism is again rearing over Europe and USA. I just hope that this attitude is not representative for the people that those “leaders” are representing.

“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.

Ungrateful Europe.
What would have happened should we push Hitler back just to our borders

This is a translation from Russian of two historical articles, published in Argumenty i Fakty on the 3rd of April 2015.
The main article was written by Georgij Zotov. A subsequent expert opinion is presented by historian Rudolph Pihoj.


On the eve of the 70th anniversary of Victory “AiF” tried to imagine: what would the map of Europe look like, had USSR not given thousands of kilometres of territories as present to those countries that now call us occupiers. And if they would give up these lands now.

Wroclaw – one of the most touristic cities of Poland. Crowds with cameras are everywhere, there’s not a spare spot in the expensive restaurants, taxi drivers ask for ungodly prices. At the entrance to the marketplace there waves a banner saying “Wroclaw – a real Polish charm!”. All seems fine, but as early as in May 1945 Wroclaw was called Breslau and had not belonged to Poland for 600 consecutive(!) years before that. The Victory Day, now referred by Warsaw as “the beginning of the communist tyranny,” added to Poland the German Silesia, Pomerania, as well as 80% of East Prussia. No one mentions this now: in other words that was a tyranny, but we’d still grab that land. “AiF” observer decided to understand, what would the map of Europe look like now, if our former brothers in the East were left without the help of the “occupiers”?

Whole cities as gifts

– In 1945 Poland received the cities of Breslau, Gdansk, Zielona Gora, Legnica, Szczecin, – says Maciej Wisniewski, a Polish freelance journalist. – USSR also gave the territory of Bialystok; with the mediation of Stalin, we acquired a disputed with Czechoslovakia city Kłodzko. Nevertheless, they believe here: the partitioning of Poland by the Molotov – Ribbentrop Pact, when the Soviet Union took the Western Belarus and Western Ukraine, was unfair, but the transfer by Stalin to Poland of Silesia and Pomerania is absolutely fair, you can not dispute this. It is fashionable to say now that Russians did not liberate, but conquered. However, it turns into an interesting kind of occupation, when Poland got for free a quarter of Germany: and on top of it, hundreds of thousands of Soviet soldiers shed their blood for this land. Even the GDR resisted, not wanting to give Szczecin to the Poles – the dispute over the city was finally solved only in 1956, under pressure from the USSR.

Apart from the Poles, the Baltic States express a strong indignation by the “occupation”. Well, it’s worth remembering: the current capital – Vilnius – was also presented to Lithuania by the USSR; by the way, the Lithuanian population of Vilnius was then… barely 1%, with Polish being the majority. USSR returned to the Republic the city of Klaipeda – Prussian Memel, owned by Lithuanians in the 1923-1939, and annexed by the Third Reich. Already back in 1991 the Lithuanian leadership condemned the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, but no one returned neither Vilnius to Poland, nor Klaipeda to Germany.

Ukraine, which by the Prime Minister Yatsenyuk’s words, declared itself “a victim of Soviet aggression on a par with German,” is unlikely to give to the Poles its western part with Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil (these cities were included by the “aggressor” into the UkSSR in 1939), Chernivtsi region to Romania (ceded to the UkSSR on August 2, 1940), and Transcarpathia to Hungary or Slovakia – received on June 29, 1945. Romanian politicians do not stop discussions about the validity of the “annexation” of Moldova by the Soviet Union in 1940. Of course, it’s long forgotten that after the war, it was thanks to Soviets that Romanians got back the province of Transylvania, which Hitler took in favour of Hungary. Bulgaria, by the mediation of Stalin himself, kept South Dobrudja (formerly the possession of that very same Romania), something that was confirmed by the treaty of 1947. But now Romanian and Bulgarian newspapers do not say a single word about it.

They don’t say ‘Thank you’

– After 1991, Czech Republic removed the monuments to the Soviet soldiers, and announced that Victory Day marks the replacement of one dictatorship with another, – says Alexander Zeman, a Czech historian. – However, it was thanks to the insistence of the Soviet Union, that Sudetenland was returned to Czechoslovakia, with the cities of Karlovy Vary and Liberec, where 92% of the population were Germans. Recall that at the Munich Conference of 1938 the Western powers supported the annexation of the Sudetenland by Germany – only the Soviet Union protested. At the same time the Poles grabbed from Czechoslovakia the Cieszyn region and did not want to give it back after the war, insisting on a referendum. Under the pressure of the USSR on Poland, supporting the the Czechoslovak position, a treaty was signed – Tesín returned to the Czechs, secured by the agreement of 1958. No one says ‘Thank you’ to the Soviet Union for this help – apparently the Russians are in debt to us with the very fact of their existence.

In general, we gave away all the lands, not forgetting anyone – and for this they now spit in our faces. In addition, few people know about the pogroms, committed by the new government on “the returned areas” – 14 million Germans were expelled from Pomerania and the Sudetenland. While the residents of Königsberg (which became Soviet Kaliningrad) moved to the GDR over the period of 6 years (until 1951), Poland and Czechoslovakia giving 2-3 months, while many Germans were given only 24 hours to get ready, being allowed to take only a suitcase of things, and forced to walk on foot for hundreds of kilometres. “You know, it’s not worth mentioning it, – they timidly point out to me at City Hall of Szczecin. – Such things spoil our good relations with Germany.” Well, yes, we get poked in the face for every little thing, while it’s a sin to offend the Germans.

What interests me personally in this matter is the question of justice. Things have already reached schizophrenia: when a person in Eastern Europe says that the Soviet victory over the Nazis is the liberation, he is regarded as either a fool or a traitor. Guys, let’s be honest. If the consequences of May 9, 1945 are so bad, illegal and terrible, all the other actions of the USSR are similarly no better. How could the solution by those who brought tyranny into your land be good? Therefore Poland should give Silesia, Pomerania and Prussia back to the Germans, Ukraine should return their western part to the Poles, Chernovtsy to Romanians, Transcarpathia to Hungary, Lithuania should abandon Vilnius and Klaipeda, Romania should give up Transylvania, the Czech Republic – the Sudetenland and Tesin, Bulgaria – Dobrogea. And then everything will be completely honest. But what do we have? They slander us for all it’s worth, accuse us of all mortal sins, but at the same time clutch with a stranglehold onto the Stalin’s “gifts”. Sometimes I feel like imagining: I’m curious what would have happen should USSR push Hitler back exactly to its borders and not look further into Europe after that? What would have now been left of the territories of those countries, that today, before the 70th anniversary of the Victory, are calling their liberation by Soviet troops for “occupation”? The answer is, however, extremely simple – bits and pieces.


Europe after 1945
(The map of Europe, showing territories changing hands after 1945. Only the insets are translated, leaving to the reader the country and city names as an easy exercise in political geography. The original image can be found in the AiF article.)

How Europe was partitioned after 1945

Expert opinion by historian Rudolph Pihoj

– There is a half-legendary story that during Churchill’s visit to Moscow in 1944, he and Stalin drew the map of postwar partitioning of Europe during a dinner on plain napkin. Eyewitnesses claimed that the “document” contained a series of numbers, which (in percent) reflected the degree of the future influence of the Soviet Union and the West in different regions: Bulgaria and Romania – 90 to 10, Greece – 10 to 90, Yugoslavia – equally …

That napkin was not preserved, but in principle the issue of changing of the borders in Europe was settled by the “big three” – Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill – during the Tehran and Yalta conferences. USSR adhered to the concept that was developed already back in 1944 by the Deputy People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs, Ivan Maisky. It implied that the Soviet Union should establish such a configuration of borders, which would ensure the safety of the country for at least 25, and preferably 50 years.

In accordance with the concept developed by Maisky, USSR annexed the former German Memel, which became Lithuanian Klaipeda. The following cities became Soviet: Königsberg (Kaliningrad), Pillai (Baltijsk) and Tilsit (Soviet), which now constitute the Kaliningrad region of Russia. Also, the USSR secured the part of the territory of Finland, that was attached as a result of the “Winter War”. In general, the Soviet policy of those years was characterised by a surprising consistency in addressing regional issues. The only thing that could not be done – seizing the Black Sea straits, although this issue was discussed in Tehran and Yalta. While Port Arthur again, as in the early twentieth century, became an outpost of the country in the Far East, not to mention the southern part of Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands, which Russia lost as a result of the Russian-Japanese war.

“Sophie” against Canaris.
She fought for USSR, but became Hero of Russia

This is my translation of WWII documentary article, published in “Argumenty i Fakty” on the 27th of March 2014.


Last year, 70 years later, the title of Hero of Russia (posthumously) was awarded to a resident of Soviet intelligence in Crimea, Alime Abdenanova.


Alime Abdenanova was a simple Crimean girl.

I leaf through a copy of the personal dossier of the Soviet intelligence resident in the Crimea, “Sofie”. These 15 sheets of Soviet military intelligence were long guarded, and got declassifying only in January 2008. The chiefs did not make a mistake in selecting her call sign, “Sofie”, which, in translation from the Tatar, means “pure, faithful”… And so was a Crimean Tatar Alime.

The individual case contains dry, standard words: was born in a suburb of Kerch on January 4, 1924, Tatar, finished seven years. Here is her receipt of observance of military secrecy, Komsomol card, presentation to the Order of the Red Banner, it even mentions her civilian salary – 375 roubles.

It would seem that’s a common characteristic of one of the thousands of Soviet military intelligence agents, who became a cog in a vast mechanism of Victory. Only one detail: thousands of Red Army soldiers who fought for the liberation of Crimea owe their lives to her. In her radiograms the girl passed on information about the transfer of German and Romanian troops through the station Sem’ Kolodezjej (Seven Wells). It is by her intelligence that our pilots bombed in Kerch fascist trains with soldiers and equipment. She held out in the German rear for six months. All in all, the fate measured out to Alime 20 years and 3 months of life.

So whose was Crimea?

On the eve of the war, Nazi historians gave Hitler some food for thought, saying that in ancient times Crimea was first settled by Goth tribes. And the Führer decided to ascend the peninsula to Germany, turning it into the country of the Goths – Gotenland, and making Crimea, after the war’s end, a resort area for the tops of the Third Reich.

Our troops – the 4th Ukrainian Front and the Special Coastal Army – reached the peninsular on autumn of 1943. But they could not overcome the German defence. They went almost blindly: there was no intelligence about the number and disposition of the German troops, and only the single line of defence of Kerch stretches for 70 km.

The groups of Soviet intelligence sent to the Crimea disappeared one after another. They were opposed by powerful groups of Abwehr (military intelligence and counterintelligence. – Ed.) – more than 30 groups whose activities were supervised personally by the head of the Abwehr, Wilhelm Canaris.

The decision of the Soviet intelligence was unexpected – they decided to send to Crimea a female spy group from among the Crimean Tatar. But such candidates were not in reserves of the intelligence. Searches were conducted across the country. In the Krasnodar hospital there worked a nurse Alime – Crimean Tatar, Komsomol member, athlete, blue-eyed girl with brown hair, who came from those parts.

They told at the hospital that before she went to the front, the beauty went to a dance at the local club – to dance, as it turned out, the last waltz in her life…

For two weeks Alime participated in the special training program for intelligence: skydiving, studied ciphers, methods of agent recruitment. Natural courage and quick-wittedness helped Alima to become a commander of a scout group, consisting of two people – the second was a radio operator, a merry Larissa Gulyachenko with the call sign “Proud”. Command intelligence gave Larissa the following description: “Truthfully, not afraid of difficulties, resourceful, dreamy.” Who could have known that everything in fact would turn out to be the opposite.

In early October, a small “plywood” plane, punching Crimean rainy night, dropped the group in the steppe. On landing Alime injured her leg and, leaning on the radio operator, reached with difficulty her birth-village of Germai-Kachik.

Seeing her granddaughter, grandmother Revide just threw up her hands, while a younger sister Azife was happy. Grandmother, of course, guessed that Alime’s girlfriend Taisia ​​(the name that was given to the radio operator) appeared in the village not only in order to visit relatives. Later it will be recorded in the personal file of the resident, that she was able to organize an extensive intelligence network from her relatives and co-villagers, which promptly supplied the front with information on the nature and system of fortifications, deployment of troops, headquarters, clustering of manpower and equipment of the enemy. When the radio sessions were held, her little sister went out into the yard and upon noticing strangers, she would laugh loudly and sweep the streets so that the dust was raising as a pillar – a danger sign for the radio operators.

Radiograms to the Center went almost every day. Using data from only one such transmission, our bombers punched into the dust 42 cars with enemy manpower. Alime and her radio operator were awarded the Order of the Red Banner.

Betrayed by her own

They weren’t sitting idly in the Abwehr either. The Germans began to realize that Soviet intelligence is working under their noses. Team “Hercules” distinguished itself, the head of which soon proved to Canaris that a Russian “radio-mole” works in Kerch. A radio finder was summoned from Simferopol, and spotted a station near the village of Germai-Kachik. There were only a dozen of houses there, and it was easy to deduce in which one the radio operator was working. Together with the Germans, there came to grandmother Revide’s house… the radio operator “Proud.” That very same “Proud” Larissa Gulyachenko, who having seen how the partisans were tortured, betrayed the whole group.

Gulyachenko attacked the younger girl, demanding to be shown where she re-hid the station. Azife, protecting her sister, tried to keep quiet, but when the Germans threatened to shoot her grandmother and burn the house, she showed the hiding place in the barn.

Alime was taken to the town of Stary Krym, and thrown into solitary confinement. She was not allowed to sleep, starved, the nails were pulled from her fingers, her arms were broken. An underground fighter, Tamara Stroganova, inmate of the same prison, recalls: “I knew Alime well. My brother loved to dance with the lithe mobile girl. Large blue eyes. And then I hardly recognized her: in the bloody dress, with broken arms, bruised, once splendid hair were almost completely torn out. Seeing me, Alime put a finger to her lips as if to say: You do not know me… I’ve never seen her after that.”

According to some sources, spies were shot on the outskirts of Simferopol, in the vicinity of the farm “Krasnaja”. There the fascists threw about 300 Crimeans, including those still alive, into a concrete pit.

Alime’s niece Dzhevar Assanova tells:

– One of our elders told me that the soul Alime is flying over the village and can not find the rest. At first we did not believe, and then began to collect money for the monument to Alime. And we set it – near the road Kerch-Simferopol. Praised be Allah, the soul of Alime is in peace.


Money for the monument to Alime were collected by family and friends. Photo: From the family archive

WWII Veteran Stanislav Lapin: “I had my own score with Hitler”

The article below is my translation from Russian of an account of one of the participants of the Victory Parade of 1945, as published in “Argumenty i Fakty” on the 6th of March 2015.


As we locate the still-living participants of the Parade, “AIF” will print their memories. The first word to Stanislav Vasilyevich Lapin – a simple but heroic soldier of the 3rd Belorussian Front.

If not for the war

– I am a kid from Moscow. Year of birth: 1923. At 16 I went to the factory. Got the fourth grade (proficiency). Everything would have been fine if it were not for the war… The factory produced military products. Therefore, for my grade I was given a reservation and was to be to sent, along with the machine, to the Urals. When the equipment was loaded onto the platform, I said, I’ll go for a walk. I left and never returned. Simply put, ran to the front. I could not be worse than all the rest! The very next day I got myself right to fight! Took the oath on November 4, 1941 – and strait to the battle of Volokolamsk. I also took part in the Battle of Moscow. I needed it, because in addition to the general, I had a personal score with Hitler. Before the war I had a girl. I called her “my Sonia”. Her and I loved to go for a walk around Moscow on warm evenings. But we were young and… never kissed. Just sat there and sometimes gently pressed against each other. And then came the war.

I went to the front, and my Sonia went to nursing courses. Then, to the front as well. And once, after a battle I was sitting on a halt. I see a supply cart, and on it – my Sonia. As she saw me, she ran up to me and started kissing me as never before. Our soldiers were looking at us in both envy and joy. And suddenly… a shot – my Sonia shuddered and began to sag in my arms. I cried in fright, and the boys rushed into the forest, where the shot came from. And there they saw a German in Russian boots and fur coat. He tried to escape. One of ours caught up with him and stabbed him with a bayonet. Other Germans who were there, did not have time to react – they too were finished off. Such was the hatred of our guys. Only I just sat there and held my Sonia. And still felt the ghost of her kisses.

After the war I met her mother, who ran up to me and started kissing me as my Sonia back then… But I could not find the strength to tell her how it all happened. And she did not know – she kissed and cried that Sonia was killed. So during the Battler for Moscow I had a personal score with Hitler!

And one more thing… looking for water in a deserted village, we found… a well, jammed with children. Around them lay dead mothers. A child was nailed to the house door with a bayonet… How could have we treated Germans after all that we’ve seen?!

The main medal

I was first wounded near Rzhev in February 42nd. There were heavy battles, neither we could take the Germans, nor they us. It lasted for a long time, until ours prevailed.

In 1943 I was in the Orel-Kursk battle. Here again I was wounded, but lightly, so I quickly returned to the front. That’s infantry for you: to fight, heal the wounds and fight again. My first medal is for the Battle of Kursk. I fought in the infantry from 41st until to 43rd and know first-hand what it means to raise into the attack. When the command is issued, you have to get up and go forward under machine-gun fire, explosions and mortar shells. Next to you your comrades fall, but all the same you go ahead. Forward! It’s simple when told, but it is impossible to get used to. Each attack is a shock and an effort. Artillery helped, the Germans fled. And only then, when catching up with them, you feel you have won this battle, and there is an unexplainable feeling of victory!

Advancements usually occurred during the nights, while the Germans were asleep. We came out of the blue. We were killed, we killed, but we won! That’s the infantry for you. In the 43rd I was retrained and for the battles at Orel I became a mortar oprative. Although I was only a sergeant, I was entrusted to command the mortar platoon. We chose a place near some village, and took up a position, adjusted the mortars in advance, placed guards, and went to sleep. Well… By nature I used to get up early. And here I woke up even earlier, at about five o’clock – wanted to wash my head. Nearby there was a crane-well. It was summer. I pulled out some water, poured it into the helmet and only started to wash, when I heard the hum. Looked at the road, and there down the hill… a whole column of German cars! I threw down my helmet and to the mortars. Fired… And hit from the first shot! Straight into the hood of the front car.

It was correct that we adjusted the aim the previous evening, and did not put off until morning. The Germans did not expect us here. Panic. My guys woke up from my shot. And started firing from all mortars – no one was left! Many did not even have time get out of their cars. That’s where I got the first medal “For Courage”.

The third time I was wounded near Vitebsk in 1944 and until autumn… suffered in the hospital, because whatever you say, but it’s easier to wait for the end of the war at the front! There, at least ,something depends on you. Near Vitebsk the soldiers of the 3rd Belorussian Front did not spare themselves. Despite all German shooting, they still went forward, because as sometimes it happens, that there is no other way! Germans did not take it into account, so we drove them out of Vitebsk. That’s the second medal. I also have an Order, but I would not exchange the medal “For Courage” for any Order.

For my two medals “For Courage” I was awarded the right to participate in the first Victory Parade. My place in the parade is different from most other places. My companions and I were sitting in the back of the car ZIS-5. We were warned that, passing Mausoleum, we should not turn our heads. But how could we not turn them when there were Stalin and Zhukov?!

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…

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…