Thursday, May 10, 2007

Russian History

As Mr. Putin takes another swipe at Estonia for daring to stand up to Russian bullying, I notice that he argues against rewriting history.

Well History certainly is the problem.

After the October revolution, the Bolsheviks began a reign of terror- nobody knows how many people died, but it is in the millions.

An artificial famine was created by the Bolsheviks in Ukraine- no one knows how many died, but it is in the millions.

Stalin launched the Great Terror though the 1930s- no one knows how many died, but it is in the millions.

In 1937 Stalin purged the Red Army and the Party- no one knows how many died.

In 1939 Stalin invaded Poland and arrested anyone connected with the Polish State and Army. Tens of Thousands of Polish Army officers were taken to Katyn and shot.

In 1940 Stalin invaded the Baltic countries and Finland- about a million people were exiled or shot.

In 1941 Hitler attacked Stalin, and the war finally came to the Soviet Union. Tens of Millions were killed.

In 1944, Stalin deported several nations to the deserts of Central Asia. Millions of Chechens, Ingush, Mesekhtian Turks, and Crimean Tatars were dispossessed and killed.

In 1945 the USSR occupied the east of Europe: Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary Albania and Eastern Germany. millions were imprisoned, thousands were shot.

In Greece, The Soviets supported a vicious civil war, where thousands were killed. Stalin continued to bully Yugoslavia, even after it had rejected Soviet Style Communism.

In 1953 the Workers of Eastern Germany rose in Revolt. Thousands were killed as the Red Army "pacified" Germany.

In 1956 Polish workers rose in revolt- hundreds died. In October 1956 Hungary rose in revolt- thousands were killed and many fled into exile. Poland was to rebel again in 1970 and in 1978 the election of the Polish Pope led to Solidarity and organised resistance- thousands were imprisoned.

Even after the death of Stalin, millions remained imprisoned in death camps in the Soviet Union or were shot.

In the 1950s Malaysia and Indonesia Soviet inspired insurrections left thousands dead.

The USSR continued to wage proxy wars against the West- and where successful: in China, Cuba, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Angola, Mozambique, Benin, Ethiopia a similar pattern of brutality was repeated.

In 1979 the USSR invaded Afghanistan, occupying the country and sparking a vicious war in which millions were displaced and hundreds of thousands killed.

No one can take away the sacrifice of the Second World War that led to the defeat of the evils of Nazism- and the Estonians continue to treat the Soviet era monument with respect, even though, for many it remains the symbol not of liberation, but of occupation.

What, however, of the blood of the millions killed by the Soviets? The death toll of Soviet Socialism is almost certainly greater than the death toll of National Socialism.

The Soviet tyranny was as vile a regime as has ever existed- and apologists for this monstrous and bloody regime are the moral equals of Nazi apologists.

And, Mr. Putin, we do not forget that either.

UPDATE: The Daily Telegraph leader today is a full supporter of Estonia!


Tyson said...

No doubt, Stalin was a murderer, Baltic countries can be really exused for not liking Russia after what they have been through. But hey - does that give them a right to justify nazism and Hitler?

Cicero said...

No of course not- and they do not do any such thing! Please bear in mind that both sides- Nazi and Soviet- conscripted Baltic Soldiers into their armies. This led to the truly tragic battles of 1944 where brother literally fought brother. While it was acceptable to mourn those who fell on the Soviet side, it never was to mourn those on the German side. The marches of supposed SS legionaries were not celebrating anything. They were mourning those who fell, for the first time in public. However, if you go to any of the three Baltic capitals you will find excellent museums about both occupations. That they remember the longer Soviet occupation with more bitterness- and please remember that one third of the pre war populations was killed or exiled because of the Soviets- does not mean that they think that the Nazis were anything but savage murderers.