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Putin’s Two Big Lies

Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2022
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by Ben Solis
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27 Comments
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AMAC Exclusive – By Ben Solis

As the invasion of Ukraine continues, Russian President Vladimir Putin took to the podium in Red Square in Moscow on Monday to celebrate Victory Day, the annual commemoration of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. In his speech, Putin drew numerous links between the war in Ukraine and the fight against the Nazis, underscoring just how much the Russian leader is relying on false narratives about both conflicts to maintain his control over Russia, a country rapidly descending into economic and cultural ruin.

In the speech on Monday, Putin told Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine that they are “fighting for the same thing their fathers and grandfathers did,” alluding to his use of “de-Nazification” as a pretext for invading the country. Putin further claimed that Russia was “forced” to invade Ukraine by NATO, drawing on another familiar trope in Russian history of the Soviet Union being the victim of Western aggression.

Though some leaders feared that Putin may use the speech as an occasion to declare an escalation of hostilities, no such announcement was made. However, neither was there any indication that Putin intends to call off the assault anytime soon. The fact that Putin was so adamant about drawing parallels between this conflict and the Second World War suggests that he views the war in Ukraine as an equally existential crisis.

Putin’s gross rewriting of history this week was not altogether surprising, given his past statements. At a meeting with young historians two years ago, Putin claimed that there was nothing wrong with the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact, which allowed the two countries to carve up Poland and commit mass atrocities against its population. He also blamed Britain and France for Hitler’s assault on Europe, claiming that the ill-fated Munich Agreement destroyed any chance for a united anti-fascist front.

For Putin, it is essential to pass on to future generations a memory of World War II that has Soviet Russia as the central hero, overcoming the shortcomings of the Western powers to defeat Hitler essentially alone.

This narrative ignores the truth of the matter, which is that Soviet Russia was kept alive in the months following Hitler’s invasion, thanks in large part to massive quantities of supplies shipped from the United States through the Lend-Lease Act. Moreover, the Soviet liberation of Berlin, a central tenet of Putin’s assertions about Russian predominance in World War II, was only accomplished as a result of a plan agreed upon by Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin at the Yalta Conference in February of 1945. While it is feasible that the Western Allies could have reached Berlin first, Churchill and Roosevelt agreed to slow their advance, thus delivering Stalin his much-coveted propaganda victory of raising the Soviet flag over the Reichstag.

According to Dr. Earl Ziemke, a historian with the United States Army, the Soviet contribution to the victory in Europe was important but not overwhelming. Far from “liberating” countries from Nazi rule, the Red Army’s march through Eastern Europe in 1944 and 1945 only traded one tyrant for another, as the countries within the Soviet sphere were forced to endure another five decades of persecution. In Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia, the Red Army staged sham battles to justify their invasion and occupation, meeting no actual German resistance.

But despite a long list of verifiable inaccuracies, the myth of Soviet predominance in World War II has been upheld by successive generations of Russian leaders and scholars and is now being used to sell another lie – the Kremlin’s stated rationale for the invasion of Ukraine. Having found no other way to mask his territorial ambitions, Putin has turned to stoking fears about fascism.

But whether or not Putin’s gamble will pay off remains to be seen. In a world of instant communication and 24/7 news coverage, videos and images undercutting Putin’s narrative and showing the wanton destruction wrought on the Ukrainian people by the Russian Army are widespread.

Worse for Putin, the false narrative about the Soviet Union in World War II and the lie underpinning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may now be codependent on one another. Should either come crashing down, the other may soon follow. For a people who have been raised to believe the official government narrative on every aspect of Russian history, facing this reality would be absolutely devastating – and may leave Putin with an even more tenuous grip on power.

Ben Solis is the pen name of an international affairs journalist, historian and researcher.

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JR Fox
JR Fox
1 year ago

What Putin forgot about was Russia’s non-aggression pact with Germany so Hitler could invade Poland in 1939 and Russia got a slice of Polish territory in return. Stalin was complicit with Hitler in launching WWII and when Russia was invaded by Germany in 1941 it was the West (USA) that provided Russia with Lend-Lease military supplies and equipment assisting Stalin to conduct the defense of Russia and rebuild the Russian armed forces that were destroyed in Operation Barbarossa.

Casey C Matt
Casey C Matt
1 year ago

Nope…….the Russians, while losing some 50 times as many to casualties in WW2 than did the United States and re-taking a LOT more territory than did the entirety of the other allies (oh yeah, we were allies, recall), did nothing but pretty much get in the way during that war. Yep, uh huh.
Oh, and as for the “economic and moral” ruination of Russia it appears as if their economy has improved since the wise people in the west harshly sanctioned them. Their moral situation? The people are happy, turned out in huge numbers across Russia on the 9th and Putin enjoys some 80+percent support among the people with an even larger portion now deeply hating the west for creating a boogyman for the deep state……out of them.
So, we dont believe our government when it comes to past “creating democracy” conflicts, or the veracity of the reported benefits of the MANDATED vaccines, or on just about any other rash of bullsh*t our government foists upon its public, magically we follow zombie like in the long held belief that “Russia Bad”. Shortened to two simple words for the too simple populace.

Luke
Luke
1 year ago

‘Civilization’ has been bloody since Cain and Abel. Anyone expecting that to change is a fool.

Mike Walker
Mike Walker
1 year ago

Rand Paul: The ‘Government Is Largely Disseminating Disinformation’
Paul continued to slam Mayorkas, telling the secretary, “I think you’ve got no idea what disinformation is.”

“And I don’t think the government’s capable of it. Do you know who the greatest propagator of disinformation in the history of the world is? The U.S. government,” Paul said, asking the secretary if he was familiar with McNamara, the Pentagon Papers, George W. Bush and the weapons of mass destruction, and Iran-Contra.

Eli 7777
Eli 7777
1 year ago

It’s difficult to understand why Putin & Russia aren’t being held accountable for war crimes. There’s no justification for the barbaric attacks & the unmerciful slaughter of helpless people. What is even worse is that the world looks on but does very little to help or intervene. Russia needs to get some consequences for this action. Biden funded the first 2 months by continuing to purchase 500,000 barrels of oil daily giving them millions. Trump had sanctioned both Russia & Iran. Now it appears that Russia, China & Iran may unite becoming a bigger concern.

Tom
Tom
1 year ago

Our own leaders halted the advance to allow Soviets to advance as far as they did and it wasn’t 5 years , but way more then that . Remember the first casualty of war is the truth!

Mic J Palazzolo
Mic J Palazzolo
1 year ago

“…a country rapidly descending into economic and cultural ruin.”

You mean like the United States?

Darius Medina
Darius Medina
1 year ago

Worst news for Putin is that he is nothing more than a liar, doing anything that would raise his stance in Russia

Hal
Hal
1 year ago

Yep, I can understand the similarities between the Nazi/Russian War and the Russian/Ukraine War. The point about it is really that the Russian are acting like the Nazis and the Ukrainians are acting like the Russians. It is fair to presume that Putin is a worshiper of Hitler, as he is following his craving to be God of Civilization, and in Ukraine he has fallen flat! And you can be sure that the Chinese Commies are scanning the Russian/Ukraine conflict and drooling at the opportunities to get some of their Russian border problems resolved with a little aggression.

Kathleen Brown
Kathleen Brown
1 year ago

Disinformation? sounds a little like our current administration.

Deke
Deke
1 year ago

… dead horse, all this finger-pointing at the Russians, that narrative’s collapsed. Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, congressman Adam Schiff, their last 10 years crying wolf, defecating over and over upon America their Russian conspiracy theories, it no longer comes out in the wash.

kontrary1
kontrary1
1 year ago

The key military event of WWII was the development of the atomic bomb by the United States. Once the US had the atom bomb; they knocked Japan out of the war in two weeks without the need for an invasion of the Japanese mainland. Soviet involvement against Japan was ultimately irrelevant. Stalin knew far more about America’s atomic bomb project than all but a handful of Americans. If he had been prepared to wait in Europe; then the Americans could have turned the Fuhrerbunker in Berlin into a crater instead of Hiroshima and spared the USSR a lot of unnecessary casualties. Of course, that would have meant that the USA would have been running eastern Europe after the war instead of the USSR; so the extra Soviet casualties were a sacrifice that Stalin was prepared to accept.

kontrary1
kontrary1
1 year ago

“Putin claimed that there was nothing wrong with the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact, which allowed the two countries to carve up Poland and commit mass atrocities against its population. He also blamed Britain and France for Hitler’s assault on Europe, claiming that the ill-fated Munich Agreement destroyed any chance for a united anti-fascist front.”

WWII in Europe started when Nazi Germany and the USSR signed the Hitler-Stalin Pact on Aug 23, 1939 and then jointly invaded Poland in Sep 1939. Germany occupied the west half of Poland and the USSR occupied the eastern half of Poland. Without the collaboration of the USSR, Germany would never have dared to start another two front war in Europe like the one that Germany lost in 1918. Instead of waiting until 1944, the German military would have acted against Hitler in 1939 if he had attempted to repeat WWI by starting a two front war at that time.

james carlyle
james carlyle
1 year ago

Total Fantasy

richard
richard
1 year ago

This story is now confirmed by more facts. Ukraine reconquered at least 6.000 sq km of its land.

Russia did not play major role in defeating Hitler, we conceded to Stalin’s demand to portrayed that way.That was historic lie we participated. Now our historian clarified it.

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