The Victory Day – more rel­e­vant than ever

The Diplomatic Insight - - Contents - Mr. Alexey Yurievich De­dov Am­bas­sador of the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion in Pak­istan We highly ap­pre­ci­ate the con­tri­bu­tion to the Victory by

Mr. Alexey Yurievich De­dov

O n the 9th of May the world is cel­e­brat­ing the victory over fas­cist Ger­many. On this day 70 years ago the war in Europe was over. In ac­cor­dance with the tra­di­tion large-scale cel­e­bra­tions will be held is Moscow with more than twenty heads of state and dis­tin­guished guests from more than sixty coun­tries com­ing to Rus­sia. The Rus­sian cap­i­tal hosts th­ese events in recog­ni­tion of the fact that it was the Soviet Union that played a de­ci­sive role in se­cur­ing a victory over fas­cism. Up to 80% of the Ger­man Army was con­cen­trated on the of 1945 our troops took Ber­lin which Hitler, as it seemed to him, trans­formed into an im­preg­nable fortress. We paid a heavy price for the Victory. Dur­ing the war al­most 30 mil­lion of Soviet peo­ple per­ished. More than 30 per­cent of na­tional wealth – res­i­den­tial and public build­ings, fac­to­ries, in­fra­struc­ture etc. – was de­stroyed. In 1941 Ger­mans mounted deadly block­ade on Len­ingrad (to­day Saint-Peters­burg) and were watch­ing the Krem­lin through binoc­u­lars from the 30-kilo­me­ters dis­tance. But we drove the en­emy back from the cap­i­tal, de­fended Len­ingrad, crushed the fas­cists at Stal­in­grad and Kursk with this bat­tles a new chap­ter in the books of mil­i­tary science and his­tory. Fi­nally the Red Army lib­er­ated its own coun­try and Eastern Europe. What was the key fac­tor of our victory? Un­doubt­edly, it was val­our showed by mil­lions of multi­na­tional Soviet peo­ple on the front and in the rear. Un­like mod­ern war­fare when only a limited num­ber of peo­ple are en­gaged in life, dur­ing the Great Pa­tri­otic War the Soviet Union lit­er­ally trans­formed into a monolithic mil­i­tary camp. While sol­diers were stand­ing till the end to halt en­emy’s ad­vance deep into the coun­try in the rear peo­ple were lit­er­ally work­ing till the point of com­plete ex­haus­tion and stayed un­der­fed do­ing their ut­most to se­cure the Army has ev­ery­thing it needs. Like to­day’s Rus­sia, the Soviet Union was a multiethnic so­ci­ety. The fas­cists with their world view based on ideas of racial supremacy con­sid­ered it as our weak­ness. But it turned out to be their mis­cal­cu­la­tion and our multi-eth­nic­ity turned out to be our strength. When re­call­ing their years at war, vet­er­ans al­ways and unan­i­mously say that Soviet sol­diers never dis­crim­i­nated be­tween one an­other on eth­nic ba­sis and the brotherhood ties be­tween peo­ples of the coun­try be­came even stronger in the cru­cible of this war. We com­mem­o­rate this day to­gether with the vet­er­ans from the al­lied coun­tries. In Rus­sia we al­ways re­mem­ber those servicemen from armies of other na­tions who fought fas­cism on dif­fer­ent fronts. Brotherhood in arms of Soviet vet­er­ans and the vet­er­ans of the Al­lies and pro­found sym­pa­thy be­tween them can­not be af­fected by cur­rent po­lit­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment. To­gether they were mak­ing his­tory.

sol­diers from colo­nial In­dia which two years later be­came in­de­pen­dent as Pak­istan and the Union of In­dia. Mus­lim sol­diers – they con­sti­tuted about one third of the Bri­tish North­ern Africa and Italy. Soon th­ese battle-hard­ened war­riors made up the back­bone of the armed forces of in­de­pen­dent Pak­istan. Two Pak­istani Pres­i­dents, Ayub Khan and Yahya Khan, also went through the war. Prob­a­bly, it was their com­bat ex­pe­ri­ence that prompted them to de­velop re­la­tions with our coun­try as one can rely re­al­ized that although we were wag­ing bat­tles at dif­fer­ent the­atres of war, we had the com­mon goal and com­mon en­emy. This en­emy showed no mercy to Rus­sians and all oth­ers be­cause it con­sid­ered them to be “in­fe­rior”.It seems that some peo­ple try to down­play or even for­get it. The ma­jor fea­ture of the World War II was that it was not a usual geopo­lit­i­cal clash for power, ter­ri­tory and re­courses, even though its scale was un­prece­dented. The war was sparked by the Ger­man fas­cism (a.k.a. na­tional so­cial­ism, Nazism) which was gain­ing mo­men­tum in 1920s and, af­ter seiz­ing power in 1933 started pur­su­ing bel­liger­ent pol­icy. Ger­man fas­cism or Nazism is an ide­ol­ogy based on the con­cept of in­nate, racial supremacy of one peo­ples over an­other. Ac­cord­ing to the no­tions prop­a­gated by Hitler and his sup­port­ers, the mankind con­sti­tutes a hi­er­ar­chy with Ger­mans and peo­ples of North Europe be­ing on the top. Other na­tions of West­ern and Cen­tral Europe which Ger­mans wanted to sub­due and make satel­lites of oc­cu­pied lower lev­els. But their po­si­tion in a fas­cist­shaped global or­der was far bet­ter than that re­served for Rus­sians, Ukraini­ans and other eth­nic groups of the Soviet Union as well as for Pol­ish and Jewish peo­ple. In the fu­ture Ger­man Em­pire they in­tended to partly ex­ter­mi­nate and partly en­slave them. As for Jews, they were sub­ject to to­tal liq­ui­da­tion only be­cause of their na­tion­al­ity (so planned to col­o­nize Euro­pean part of Rus­sia, give land to Ger­man sol­diers mak­ing them new land­lords. It is worth em­pha­siz­ing that fas­cists made no se­cret of this is­sue, pur­sued their pol­icy openly and con­sis­tently and minutely recorded their “achieve­ments”. Nazis were im­ple­ment­ing th­ese “norms” on the oc­cu­pied ter­ri­tory of the USSR where they killed 20 mil­lion civil­ians to make up two thirds of the death toll of our coun­try. Eastern Europe ex­pe­ri­enced mostly the same with an ex­ten­sive net­work of con­cen­tra­tion camps be­ing es­tab­lished all over it. In some of them –“la­bor camps” – peo­ple used to work in in­tol­er­a­ble con­di­tions dy­ing of hunger, dis­eases and in­juries. But some camps –“death camps” – like Auschwitz, Tre­blinka or Ma­j­danek had the only pur­pose of ex­ter­mi­na­tion peo­ple be­long­ing to “in­fe­rior races” and op­po­si­tion groups. In th­ese places hu­man killing was lit­er­ally put on the con­veyor. Dur­ing the Nazist rule from 1933 to 1945 18 mil­lion peo­ple had been into the camps with 11 mil­lion never com­ing back. to­day, in the 21st cen­tury. But facts are stub­born things. We are very much con­cerned about the de­vel­op­ments in Ukraine which made im­mense con­tri­bu­tion to the victory over Nazism when be­ing a part of the Soviet Union. Un­for­tu­nately, rad­i­cals who try to make he­roes of the col­lab­o­ra­tors of fas­cist oc­cu­pa­tion forces started ex­ert­ing fact, proved at the Nurem­berg trial, that th­ese Nazist as­so­ciates – so-called “ban­derovtsi” – com­mit­ted acts of geno­cide against Rus­sians, Poles and Jews. It is sad that marches of sur­vived Ger­man col­lab­o­ra­tors and their young ad­mir­ers had long be­come a no­to­ri­ous in Baltic states. In 1990s Lat­vian, Lithua­nian and Es­to­nian gov­ern­ments in­tro­duced laws and for­mally dis­crim­i­nated be­tween “cit­i­zens” and “non-cit­i­zens”. In spite of the fact that we are cel­e­brat­ing the 70th the mem­ory about the valiant strug­gle of our grand­par­ents Once again we rec­ol­lect dozens of coun­tries stand­ing to­gether against the com­mon foe and win­ning the victory. We hope that to­day the world will learn lessons of the past to pre­fer sta­ble world or­der and co­op­er­a­tion for the sake of hu­man­ity.

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