Putin’s Big Intervention Is More than a History of World War II
We are deep in a multiplying crisis which is threatening the existence of modern nations, and therefore should pay close attention to the lengthy article “75th Anniversary of the Great Victory: Shared Responsibility to History and our Future” published on June 19 by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Russian President reminds us from his own family’s recollections, of what it must have been like to find a force of millions of highly armed, mechanized, and highly trained German soldiers storming across every border in June of 1941 and rapidly starting to overrun Russia—and then, through years of unbelievable deprivation and death and determination, to find a way out of that crisis of national existence, eventually to meet American troops at the Elbe River and end the war.
Putin is writing first as a leader whose country has been “treated meanly” by recent outrageous attempts, even from the European Union officially, to blame the Soviet Union equally with Hitler’s Nazis and their backers in Europe for causing World War II. He sets that record straight. Coverage of Putin’s work in American, European, and Australian media has begun to appear, which reports what he shows from the voluminous archives Russia has, on the diplomatic events which led to the war and cost the U.S.S.R. more than 25 million dead.
In Forbes, senior contributor James Rodgers wrote on June 21: “Why, 75 years after the end of the conflict, and in a very different world, does this matter so much?”
The first answer is the scale of Russia’s sacrifice. The number of Soviet military and civilian dead is generally estimated to be in excess of 20 million. In his article, Putin writes, ‘Almost 27 million,’ adding, for comparison, that in World War II, ‘The U.S.S.R. lost one in seven of its citizens, the U.K. lost one in 127, and the U.S.A. lost one in 320.’ ” On the “Moon of Alabama” website, largely on military/intelligence subjects, one author wrote: “As a German and former officer who has read quite a bit about the war I agree with the Russian view. It was the little acknowledged industrial power of the Soviet Union and the remarkable dedication of the Red Army soldiers that defeated the German Wehrmacht.... I have found no major flaw with the historic facts in the essay and recommend to read it in full.”
The Associated Press report of Putin’s article quoted his key conclusion: “He expressed hope that a Russia-proposed summit of the leaders of the UN Security Council’s veto-holding countries would take place soon to discuss global security, the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and other issues. ‘There can be no doubt that the summit of Russia, China, France, the United States and the U.K. can play an important role in finding common answers to modern challenges.’ ” Putin’s other, underlying theme: Russia is a nation incredibly difficult to defeat when defending itself; but does not want to wage aggressive war, still less a war against Europe or superpower America.
President Putin’s article directly addresses this crisis of financial crisis and economic decay, pandemic, famine, social chaos and Jacobinism, and the very clearly increasing threat of war among nuclear superpowers. He proposes the leaders of those superpowers meet now, with an agenda of global economic recovery and a global, coordinated offensive against the pandemic, especially now in the developing countries. And, with a sense of what real human history—not political parties—calls on them to do.
We add: Leave out London’s imperialists if you are to discuss either economic development of underdeveloped nations, saving lives from disease, or avoiding war—they’re the worst at all of them. Better, the Four-Power summit Helga Zepp-LaRouche is urging—with leaders of at least America, China, Russia, and India—to launch a New Bretton Woods credit system.