By Kazimierz Kryzhich, from Moscow
On May 9th, the celebrations for the Victory Day over Nazi Germany took place in Russia. This 77th anniversary coincided with the 75th day of the large scale military invasion of Russia to Ukraine. The blitzkrieg failed. The Russian army received a decisive rebuff and, suffering heavy losses in equipment and soldiers, was forced to flee the Kiev region. The entire Ukrainian people united in the fight against Russian aggression, showing incredible heroism, mutual aid and solidarity.
Russian troops were unable to take Kharkiv and Chernobyl, cities they bombed mercilessly, leaving ruins of residential buildings, schools and hospitals, destroying urban infrastructure. They maimed and killed civilians, including children, the elderly and women. They also failed to succeed on the eastern borders of Ukraine. And only in the south of the country, with a clear military superiority, the Russian army occupied Melitopol, Kherson and blockaded Mariupol.
What the Russian troops did in the occupied territories is real fascism! It is difficult to understand how all these atrocities became possible in the 21st century, on the territory of the former USSR, on the land most affected during World War II by fascist occupation. Having failed to achieve the desired results on the Ukrainian front, Putin’s generals have chosen the tactic of missile terrorism. Every day, Russian missiles fly over the heads of civilians in Ukrainian villages and cities, bringing death and destruction with them. Every day someone dies in this absolutely savage war unleashed by the master of the Kremlin.
The fact that Russia has transformed into an openly fascist dictatorship in the course of two decades is quite natural. The Kremlin clique headed by Vladimir Putin, having destroyed all political competitors, became the only real owner of Russia. All the wealth of the country, privatized through the restoration of capitalism, belongs today to Putin and his entourage. And the task of the Russian authorities is to maintain the current state of affairs for as long as possible. Therefore, it is not at all surprising that the pro-government rhetoric is confidently slipping into glorification of the Russian Empire and absolute monarchy.
An atmosphere of great power chauvinism, Orthodox fundamentalism and xenophobia is brewing in the country. Russia’s president already sees himself as a monarch whose historic mission is to restore the Russian Empire to its highest point. And if not long ago Vladimir Putin declared that “the collapse of the USSR was the greatest catastrophe of the 20th century,” today he claims that the very creation of the USSR was a catastrophe.
After the occupation of Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk, the Kremlin’s imperial appetites developed seriously. And now the Kremlin intends to occupy all of Ukraine, which Putin practically called a “non-state”, and Ukrainians a “non-people”, publicly accusing Lenin and the Bolsheviks of creating a Ukraine that never existed before. It is hard to imagine a more idiotic argument justifying the seizure of foreign territory.
Today’s Russia is a symbiosis of the most repugnant features of tsarism and Stalinism, in the context of an active process of total fascistization of Russian society. The socialist idea has been perverted to the point of insanity, and the celebration of the Victory Day of the Soviet people over Nazi Germany has become a severe form of “victory rage.” The banners of the Soviet republics and the ribbons of the guards are practically forgotten. The Russian tricolor and the St. George ribbon were replaced by the symbols of the Russian Empire and Russian collaborators who fought on the side of the enemy during World War II.
The stylized swastika “Z”, as a symbol of the war with Ukraine, is gaining unprecedented popularity among the population loyal to Putin. The very victory over fascist Germany was completely privatized by the so-called “Russian world”. The former Soviet army is called “Russian” (other nations and peoples of the former USSR are practically not mentioned), and the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition (“collective West”) are presented by the Kremlin propaganda as accomplices of Nazi Germany, which today allegedly decided to take revenge for the defeat in that war. Russia has hardly known so many outright lies and insane distortions of historical truth in its entire century-long history.
The Kremlin authorities have imperial ambitions. They try to tame their own population with savage methods of total propaganda. And, they threaten the whole world with nuclear weapons. They must be defeated, as well as the criminal warmongering of NATO, the U.S. and Western imperialism who threaten a general escalation of the war. Those who remember and honor the victory over fascist Germany, who defend the ideas of the left movement and anti-fascism, must unite and firmly reject fascism in all its expressions. Happy Victory Day!