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What does Russia have to apologize for?

I mean, we can play at this game for a long time; would not then the US also have a whole hell of a lot to apologize for? Or the UK? Or any other number of countries?

The list will be long, and include many current offenders.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 09:36:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For having oppressed Eastern Europe after the Germans did. The most recent oppressor is the one that gets the most bad blood.

Plus, the Germans already apologised in the 1960's.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 09:38:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think people forget that not only did Russia really suffer from WWII; but also, WWI. The origins of the Revolution saw large swathes occupied by foreign armies, not just Poland but also Belarus, much of the Ukraine and a large and fertile portion of Russia proper. Upon acension to power, they proposed a peace treaty to all other belligerents, were strongly rebuffed by the Western allies and pretty much forced into signing Brest-Litovsk, which stripped away upward of three-quarters of Russia's industrial production, massive amounts of farmland, at the flash of a pen.

I don't think one could imagine such an experience would be forgotten by the early revolutionaries, certainly not Stalin, and what followed should be seen in this light, also, I think.    

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 10:13:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As long as you keep looking for the original Sin, the other side can always point to an earlier grievance.

The goal here would be for Germany and Russia to work with their "buffer states" to get to a point where they can all live side by side.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 10:19:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The role of the USSR in the defeat of Nazism has almost been written out of popular "Western" history, as has the very real and justifiable Russian fear of invasion by the West after WW2 - much more real than the threat of Soviet Nuclear attack subsequently.  But history is written by the victors, and aren't we all capitalists now - eh - well perhaps for a short time until recently.  Where did I hear the phrase to socialise the commanding heights of the economy first?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 10:27:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One can always educate oneself... Oh, wait!

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 10:52:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
role of the USSR in the defeat of Nazism has almost been written out of popular "Western" history
 

Of course.  It had to be.  Because the strategy on the Atlantic side of the Alliance was precisely to let the Soviet Union to do as much of the fighting as possible, and only come in swinging at the end.  

That is not the sort of thing you can include in patriotic history texts.  

very real and justifiable Russian fear of invasion by the West after WW2
 

Really?  The very real, but always-overruled proposal in policy circles was to fake a provocation and follow with nuclear attack, while the US enjoyed its nuclear monopoly.  This policy proposal lost ground as monopoly was reduced to mere superiority.  

Or is that what you were refering to?  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 05:35:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought about this:

George S. Patton - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

After the surrender of May 8, 1945 eliminated the threat of Nazi Germany, Patton was quick to assert the Soviet Union would cease to be an ally of the United States. He was concerned that some 25,000 American POWs had been liberated from POW camps by the Soviets, but were never returned to the US. In fact, he urged his superiors to evict the Soviets from central and eastern Europe. Patton thought that the Red Army was weak, under-supplied, and vulnerable, and the United States should act on these weaknesses before the Soviets could consolidate their position. In this regard, he told then-Undersecretary of War Robert P. Patterson that the "point system" being used to demobilize Third Army troops was destroying it and creating a vacuum that the Soviets would exploit. "Mr. Secretary, for God's sake, when you go home, stop this point system; stop breaking up these armies," pleaded the general. "Let's keep our boots polished, bayonets sharpened, and present a picture of force and strength to these people, the Soviets. This is the only language they understand." Asked by Patterson -- who would become Secretary of War a few months later -- what he would do, Patton replied: "I would have you tell the Red Army where their border is, and give them a limited time to get back across. Warn them that if they fail to do so, we will push them back across it."

Or as I heard it summarised elsewhere "Now, lets continue to Moscow!"

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by A swedish kind of death on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 06:39:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Molotov-Ribbentrop and the incredibly brutal occupation that followed. The Soviet occupation of 1939-41 was just as bad for ethnic Poles as the German one, adjusted for time and population. And then the the long postwar occupation. You also forgot reassurance; rather than mourning the loss of empire, you'd need them saying what a good thing it was - over, and over again.
by MarekNYC on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 12:16:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm no expert on this, as you are, and no doubt occupation of any sort is horrible, as it certainly must have been in Russia in the various occupations following the revolution, mostly (but not only) German.

But it seems to me that, when the civil war was raging, all the while the Germans had the Russians by the balls (and Lenin recognised this, see Luxemburg on the subject), a few of those Polish battalions who'd been fighting alongside the Tsar's Russian troops prior to the revolution, went over to the other side of the civil war.

Maybe this is just a legend, but I don't think it is. In any event, the people (well, person really) who ran the Soviet Union after things settled out of that civil war had a long memory in addition to being a homicidal paranoid maniac.

Long story short, unless the popular will of the people say otherwise, talking spit about history and assigning blame is the province of the various elite who have too much time on their hands, like me today...

 

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 12:28:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Long story short, unless the popular will of the people say otherwise, talking spit about history and assigning blame is the province of the various elite who have too much time on their hands, like me today...

But that's what we're talking about. What could be done to reassure Polish public opinion. Now, it is true that the elites are even more Atlanticist than the population, in the sense that among the former only the extreme right is opposed (and in recent years even they have been somewhat muzzled by their alliance with the twins), still, there is a deep paranoia about Russia, and a resulting support for alliance with the US among the population as well. This really isn't that hard to understand. Two centuries of colonial rule, occasionally a very brutal one, leave their mark.

by MarekNYC on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 12:40:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
redstar:

But it seems to me that, when the civil war was raging, all the while the Germans had the Russians by the balls (and Lenin recognised this, see Luxemburg on the subject), a few of those Polish battalions who'd been fighting alongside the Tsar's Russian troops prior to the revolution, went over to the other side of the civil war.

Maybe this is just a legend, but I don't think it is. In any event, the people (well, person really) who ran the Soviet Union after things settled out of that civil war had a long memory in addition to being a homicidal paranoid maniac.

Looks like it could be / should be at least truish. During world war one Germany set up a puppet state, Kingdom of Poland. When tsarist russia collapsed, the polish troops probably did not feel themselves obliged to serve a new russian government and might have either fought under a white general or joined (or attempted to join) the puppet state. It would at least fit the general pattern in that war zone at the time.

While checking around to see if there was a polish equivalent of the Czech Legion I found this sobering quote:

A total of 2 million Polish troops fought with the armies of the three occupying powers, and 450,000 died. Several hundred thousand Polish civilians were moved to labour camps in Germany. The scorched-earth retreat strategies of both sides left much of the war zone uninhabitable.


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by A swedish kind of death on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 04:34:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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