Celebration in Normandy as an opportunity for diplomacy

London – On June 6th, at least 17 state leaders, including the Queen of England, President of the United States and the Chancellor of Germany, are to meet in Normandy. They will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the deployment of the anti-Hitler coalition army and the opening of the western front in Europe. However, contemporary history will also be created in France. As the newly-elected Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who has been invited, might have the opportunity for the first meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

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Putinism as the last Phase of Sovietism

By Robert van Voren


Again the world is watching while heavily armed unidentified men in green camouflage suits suddenly appear in Eastern Ukrainian towns, occupy police stations, buildings of the Ukrainian secret agency SBU and other governmental agencies, and take the lead of the separatist movement that is now enveloping this part of the country. And again the world tries to come to terms with what is clear from the very start: we are watching phase two of the Russian invasion into Ukraine, Putin’s major plan to carve out the juicy bits of this country, which will allow him to continue his master plan for the region: the reestablishment of the imperium that was, and that most of us believed would never be again.

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Seven Decades Ago, the Soviet Union Entered the War as the Chief “Accomplice of Hitlerism”

Oleksandr Paliy for UP Tuesday, September 1, 2009, 12:01

When the current Russian government throws angry accusations of “accomplices to Nazism”, it should have first removed the plank from its own eye.

One could start with the fact that through the SS Division “Galicia”, which was indeed formed as a collaborating military force, came through barely 22 thousand Ukrainians. At the same time, the collaborationist formation of Russian “Vlasovs” alone numbered from 0.5 to 0.8 million Russians, and their membership at the end of the war exceeded 120,000 people. This occurred despite the fact that the entire territory of Ukraine was fully occupied by the Fascists, while only a small western part of Russia suffered occupation.

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“The Wolf who cried Fascist!” – Pathology of Russian Propaganda against Ukraine, pt. 2


How Russia ‘fought against fascism’ – from 1920 until 1941 


Soviet and Nazi officers

For more than twenty years, Moscow’s closest ties in Europe were with Germany – starting in 1920 when Berlin supplied intelligence about the Polish Army to the Soviets. (And twenty years later, Stalin returned the favor when he had his radio stations in Minsk broadcast signals to the Luftwaffe to guide them to their Polish targets.) Everyone now knows about the secret 1939 Nazi-USSR Molotov-Ribbentrop Treaty, but even as late as October, 1940, Stalin was still  negotiating terms to join the Tripartite Pact with Italy, Japan, and Germany.

Karl Radek, fervent Stalinist and one of the authors of the new Soviet Constitution, wrote

“… only fools could imagine we should ever break with Germany… No one can give us what Germany can.”

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“The Wolf who cried Fascist!” – Pathology of Russian Propaganda against Ukraine, pt. 1

wolf in Sheep's clothing_thumb[2]

The F-word is almost entirely meaningless today. “Fascism” has mostly become a perjorative word, used as an insult – and a scare tactic by Russia meant to paralyze opponents. In 1944, George Orwell wrote

“almost any English person would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for ‘fascist'”.

It is now probably the most misused and overused term of our time.

“Anti-fascists” = fascists

But even more, it is becoming clear how “the fascists of the future will be called anti-fascists” ( a quote attributed to Winston Churchill). A quick look at the ‘antifascist’ crusaders in Moscow will suffice: police state in Russia, murdered opposition journalists, information monopoly on its own citizens, brutall suppression of its own minorities, military invasions of neighboring countries in “its sphere of influence” etc….

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Comparing with Hitler

370283_originalBy Robert van Voren

For many years I wondered how my uncle must have felt in 1938-1939, when dark clouds were gathering over Europe. My namesake Robert van Voren was then 21 years old, out of secondary school and studying to be an engineer in Delft, The Netherlands. He was a bit of a loner, cycling across Europe on an old-fashioned black Dutch bike and observing how the continent was changing rapidly. One of his trips brought him to Finland, where he watched Soviet planes fly over Vyborg as an omen of the Finish-Soviet War that would soon break out and cost hundreds of thousands of lives. Europe was on the brink of war.

Whatever he felt, he was upset enough to join the Dutch resistance almost immediately after the German invasion in May 1940. For more than three years he would falsify documents for Jews and British pilots, help the first to hide from the Germans and the latter to escape back to Britain via Portugal. He did this under various pseudonyms, until he was arrested in October 1943, incarcerated in the prison in Scheveningen (now the “home” of the defendants of the International Criminal Court), and then sent to camps in Germany and Poland. He lived to see the Americans, but died two weeks later of starvation and a variety of illnesses. Continue reading

Putin’s point of no return

By Robert van Voren 

In the mid-1980s, one of my associates in Amsterdam wrote an article on the continued occupation of the Baltic countries and the Dutch refusal to acknowledge the annexation of the three countries by the USSR. He sent it to one of the main Dutch newspapers for publication, but saw it duly returned with a note saying: “the Baltic countries are part of the USSR and their independence is no longer an issue for discussion.” Five years later, the three republics reinstated their independence and now they are full-fledged parts of the European Union, without any hesitation.  Continue reading

Shall we wait for fatal shots?

Josef Hofman — 18 March 2014, 15:00

The last witness of the Nuremberg process, a 87-years-old Ukrainian citizen from Poltava, retired colonel Josef Davydovych Hofman, addressed the leaders of the states of the former anti-Hitler coalition with an appeal to stop Russian aggression against Ukraine which, in his opinion, might become a prelude to the World War III.

“The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated…”

The Chief United States prosecutor R.H. Jackson.


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Russia / Germany: Deja Vu?


 Russia  Germany
1991 – Loses the Cold War. Russia becomes the successor to the USSR. Loses significant territory. Partial demilitarization. 1918 – Loses World War One. Germany becomes the successor to the German Empire. Loses significant territory. Partial demilitarization. Forced to pay reparations.
1991-1997 – Gaidar’s “shock reforms”. Struggle with negative consequences of collapse of the USSR, hyperinflation, separatism (Chechen War), and attempts to overturn existing government (political crisis of 1993). 1919-1928 – Liberal reforms. Struggle with negative consequences of war, hyperinflation, separatism (Bavarian Soviet Republic, 1919), and attempts to overturn existing government (Communist protests).
1998 – Worldwide economic crisis. 1929 – Worldwide economic crisis.
1999 – Following a wave of revanchist sentiments, Yeltsin appoints a young KGB corporal, Vladimir Putin, as president. Putin wins the 2000 elections. 1933 – Following a wave of revanchist sentiments, young leader of (Nationalist Socialist German Worker’s Party (NSDAP), Adolf Hitler, comes to power.
2000s – United Russia, the ruling party, is strengthened across all branches of government. 1930s – the NSDAP, the ruling party, is strengthened across all branches of government
2001 – Signing of the Shanghai Organization of Cooperation (a Eurasian political, economic and military organisation founded by the leaders of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan). 1935 – Signing of the Anti-Comintern Pact (an anti-communist pact concluded between Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan).
2000s – Rapid economic growth. Increase in financing and modernization of defense branch. 1930s – Rapid economic growth. Increase in financing and modernization of defense branch.
2014 – Winter Olympics in Sochi:  Russia finishes in first place. 1936 – Summer Olympics in Berlin:  Germany finishes in first place.
2014 – Russian troops enter and establish control over Crimea under the pretense of protecting the Russian-speaking population. 1938 – Anschluss of Austria and annexing Sudetenland under the pretense of protecting the German-speaking population.

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Andrey Zubov, professor at philosophy department of Moscow State University of International Affairs, was fired after he published a critique of the looming Russian military intervention in Crimea.

His daughter, Iryna Bobrynskaya, reported this on her Facebook page.

Zubov’s article, titled “It Already Happened Before,” was published on Vedomosti.ru on March 1, according to Lenta.ru.

In his article, the historian compared the possible military occupation of Crimea to the Anschluss, Germany’s annexation of Austria to the Third Reich in 1938. “Actually, all this has happened before. Austria. Early March, 1938. The Nazis want to round off their Reich at the expense of another German state. The people do not really want this – nobody oppresses or discriminates against them. But the idea of a great Germany spins the heads of the radicals, the local Nazis,” Zubov wrote in his article. Continue reading