From Russia with Lies

Georgiy Mirskiy, historian, Honored Scientist of Russia: “The history of mankind has not seen a more deceitful system than the Russian.” 


I was thirteen years old when Stalin had started the war with Finland. The Red Army had crossed the border, and the next day the Soviet people heard on the radio: “In Terijoki city the revolted workers and soldiers have formed the Provisional People’s Government of the Finnish Democratic Republic.” The father then said: “See, no country will be able to fight with us, there will be a revolution immediately.”

I took the trouble to take out a map, explored it and said, “Dad, Terijoki is just next to the border. It seems that our troops have invaded it on the first day. I do not get it – what kind of revolt and people’s government are these?” Soon it turned out that I was absolutely right: a boy from my class had an elder brother in the NKVD [People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs] troops and a few months later he secretly shared with his brother that he was among those, who have brought comrade Otto Kuusinen, head of the Finnish Communist Party there after the infantry forces of the Red Army entered Terijoki. Everything became widely known later. That is when I, still a child, but beginning to understand politics, thought to myself for the first time: “How can our government lie like that?”

Then a little over two years after Hitler’s attack, I had already been a fifteen-year-old teenager working as a medical aid in the evacuation hospital on Razguliay street, close to the Baumanskaya metro station, and I used to have long conversations with the wounded, who were brought from near Rzhev (not a single one lasted at the frontline for more than five days). What they told me about the progression of war was so different (especially in terms of losses) from the official propaganda, that I no longer had any trust in the government. Many decades later, I found out that only three out of every hundred people, young men born in 1921, 1922 and 1923, mobilized and sent to the front during the first year of war, returned alive and healthy (For the record, our historians and generals are still lying through their teeth, significantly understating our losses – for what and why?).

Twenty years later there was the Cuban crisis, and in the busiest days I had been working as an assistant to the institute’s director, Anushevan Agafonovich Arzumanyan, he was Mikoyan’s brother-in-law, and Mikoyan was instructed by Khrushchev to deal with Cuba. This is why I was in the heart of the events and, based on director’s various speeches, I have guessed that our rockets were indeed in Cuba. With what incredible outrage normally composed Minister Gromyko decried “hateful lies” of the Americans alleging that Soviet put missiles in Cuba!

How indignant Dobrynin, our Ambassador in Washington, was when asked about the missiles, how famous television commentators literally writhed in hysterics, yelling: “How can a single person in the world, knowing about the peaceful policy of the Soviet government, believe that we brought missiles to Cuba?” Only when President Kennedy has revealed to the whole world the evidence based on aerial survey, clearly showing our missiles, they had to back off. I remember the look on Arzumanyan’s face, when he told that his high-ranking brother-in-law flies to Cuba for the purpose of convincing Fidel Castro to not object to humiliating removal of our missiles. Has anyone apologized or admitted it later on? Not at all.

A few years later our tanks rolled into Prague, and I remember how lecturers, propagandists and agitators have been gathered in district party committees throughout Moscow to receive a formal keynote: our troops were two hours (!) ahead of the entry of NATO troops into Czechoslovakia. By the way, the same will then be said about Afghanistan: a few months ago, a taxi driver, an Afghan War veteran, told me: “There are good reasons why we went there, because only in few days the Americans would be in Afghanistan.”

I also remember the story of the shot down South Korean passenger aircraft, which brought the death of hundreds of people. The official version stated that the plane simply went into the sea; all those traveling abroad were strictly ordered to say nothing else. And now how about Chernobyl, when ordinary Soviet people, having believed the official statement (“just an accident”) wrote letters of protest in “Pravda.” Protest against what? Against nuclear power plant being mismanaged into a disaster? No, of course not! Against shameless slander of Western mass media, which is lying about some radioactivity, danger to people’s lives. I remember the photo in a newspaper: a dog, wagging its tail, and the text: “This is one of Chernobyl’s houses. The owners have left for some time, and the doggy is guarding the house.”

For exactly 65 years I had been living in the kingdom of lies. I had to lie myself too, naturally. I was lucky though – being an Orientalist, I could wherever possible avoid the subject-matters, requiring disclosures of the West. Now, when students ask me, “Was the Soviet system really the most ruthless and bloody one?,” I reply, ” No, there were Genghis Khan and Tamerlane, and Hitler. However, the history of mankind has not seen a more untruthful one than ours.”

Why did I recollect all this? I do not know. Perhaps because some information about some unidentified military men has flashed somewhere?

Georgiy Mirskiy, historian, Honored Scientist of Russia

Translated by Katherina Smirnova, edited by Mariana Budjeryn


5 thoughts on “From Russia with Lies

  1. I appreciate the comments of the distinguished Russian scientist, Georgiy Mirskiy. As Churchill once commented: “Russia is an enigma wrapped inside an enigma!”, so I see that there is a world of a difference between the people of Russia (who are hard-working and who simply want a better lifestyle–just as the people of the Ukraine) and the Ruling class in ‘Russia Today’, the propagandists (as is the TV media network of the same name–RT) and the billionaire Oligarchs, as Vladimir Putin who apparently do not know how to properly rule the Russian people but make the name and reputation of the world’s largest country to become mud and shame and disgrace and dishonesty–all in the name of their own twisted sense of recapturing world domination?! I think Albert Einstein said it best when asked of his nationality, he replied simply: “I am a citizen of the world!”. That is what we need if we are ever to enjoy peace, real lasting peace in our time: we need to abolish nationalities, have one world government and try to live perhaps in the vision of John Lennon’s “Imagine”?! But then, that was only a dream, wasn’t it?! The reality today is that this pouting Putin who pretends to be friends to the West, to Ukraine, to freedom-loving peoples everywhere (even singing: “On Blueberry Hill” in English a few years ago?!), is in stark naked truth–a fraud, a charlatan, an ego-maniac who cares nothing for the rule of law, nor bothers to respect the treaties Russia made with Independent Sovereign nations, such as the Ukraine, nor is moved when the Free-World is forced to resort to the only real option that is left which is to boycott Russian products and to impose increasingly harsh levels of economic sanctions against both the repressive regime of Russia and the peoples of Russia. That is the sad truth: that to rid Ukraine of its wholly corrupt leader, Viktor Yanukovych, 100 young and beautiful Ukrainian lives had to be lost. Now to rid the world of the corrupt Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, who knows how many more young innocent lives now must be lost (many times over!)?! For Ukraine now has tasted FREEDOM, however brief, however fleeting, but it can now no longer lay down and play possum to the Russian Bear! Now–like an angry wolverine forced into a corner–it will give the fight of its life to show to Putin that taking Ukraine will no longer be a picnic! Or (to mix metaphors here), if Putin thinks Ukraine will embrace his armies as liberators, he might as well embrace a porcupine: it would be a lot less troublesome than that of a People who yearn to be FREE, and who have already demonstrated that they will march forward to their death if they cannot have their FREEDOM! What a contrast between the Russian Rulers who wish to impose a restrictive regime on a freedom-loving people (from Russia with lies!) and the Interim Government in Kiev today who (as a direct reflection of the peoples of Ukraine) strive to please both the West and the East, both the European Union expectations, and those of step-Mother Russia! Ukrainians both as a people and as a Government (even a Provisional one at that!) seek to please, to avoid offence, to respect the differences presented before them, and to seek for the most peaceful resolution to their problems that face them. But the questions remains: Can a country as the Ukraine with such a high level of culture, of education, and of a civil society (now driven to the brink of revolution)– truly fend for itself alone against the Russian Goliath who now challenges everything they claim to believe in?!

  2. This “scientis” is stupid. He fails to understand that every goverment lies. For example America lied about Hussain weapons. EU know whoose snipers kill people in Ukraine but lied. How many such lies are just hidden?

    If you wish true comparison of countries, put them into similar situation an see how they behave:

    And now how about Chernobyl, when ordinary Soviet people, having believed the official statement (“just an accident”) wrote letters of protest in “Pravda.”

    Than I read about Fukushima incident, I understand that Chernobyl incident were super public and lies in Soviet Union were 1% of Japan lies. People were at least evacuated in time. If you want a truth read about both.

    • This scientist is not stupid. He tells the truth. Yet, you are indeed an idiot, because you can’t even spell scientist.

  3. So in your opinion three days later is evacuation in time?
    The accident was kept secret for as long as possible, for the leadership the Central Committee wasn’t sure what are they supposed to do, because they didn’t want to admit to the whole world they have any flaws. They did not care for their own people as much as for their international reputation. Try to read something about it.
    Still, although it is known that every government lies, it is good to point out and try to change things in your own country. What is this Russian excuses-looking feature? “You say how horrible government we have, look how USA invades other countries, that is wrong!” Do USA’s invasions allow you to stay oblivious to the fact you country does the same? So when other do evil, your evil is good?

    And this sickness of defending SSSR’s deeds? Do you realize that professor cannot admit that it INDEED WAS the worst world’s regime only because he would be destroyed if he said that on the Russian territory? But still it doesn’t change the fact that Stalin was worse than Hitler – if famine victims are included, a minimum of around 10 million deaths—6 million from famine and 4 million from other causes—are attributable to the regime, with a number of recent historians suggesting a likely total of around 20 million, citing much higher victim totals from executions, Gulag camps, deportations and other causes.

    Hitler with his 6 millions is a loser!

    “The nearby city of Pripyat was not immediately evacuated after the incident. The townspeople went about their usual business, completely oblivious to what had just happened. However, within a few hours of the explosion, dozens of people fell ill. Later, they reported severe headaches and metallic tastes in their mouths, along with uncontrollable fits of coughing and vomiting.
    The general population of the Soviet Union was first informed of the disaster on 28 April, two days after the explosion, with a 20 second announcement in the TV news program Vremya. At that time ABC released its report about the disaster. During that time, all radio broadcasts run by the state were replaced with classical music, which was a common method of preparing the public for an announcement of a tragedy that had taken place. Scientist teams were armed and placed on alert as instructions were awaited.
    Only after radiation levels set off alarms at the Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant in Sweden, over one thousand kilometers from the Chernobyl Plant, did the Soviet Union admit that an accident had occurred. Nevertheless, authorities attempted to conceal the scale of the disaster. For example, after evacuating the city of Pripyat, the following warning message was read on the state TV:
    There has been an accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. One of the nuclear reactors was damaged. The effects of the accident are being remedied. Assistance has been provided for any affected people. An investigative commission has been set up.
    —Vremya, 28 April 1986 (21:00)”

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