Speech at Moscow Region International Youth Forum “Inheritors of Victory” on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Great Patriotic War
May 2, 2015
Ladies and Gentlemen, respected guests
Governor Andrey Vorobiev
Veterans of the Great Patriotic War,
People who remember the war.
We are marking today 70 years for the victory of the Russian and Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War. We are here to remember the immense heroic actions and the immense sacrifice. I stand before you honored and humbled that I was given the opportunity to speak.
70 years is not such a long time, it falls within the lifespan of a single individual, if he merits to live that long.
Yet how quickly have some people forgotten.
The West, led by the United States and the United Kingdom, claim today the central responsibility for winning the war without even a small sense of shame. Barack Obama and David Cameron wrote explicitly in an article they published that “together we defeated Hitler” while not mentioning Russia. They were born after the war. Long after.
Popular perceptions in the West have changed. In a poll in France on the question on which country was most responsible for the victory of the war there have been changes. In May 1945, 57% of the people attributed the victory of the war to the Soviet Union and 20% to the United States. In June 2004, 58% attributed the victory to the United States 20% attributed the victory to the Soviet Union.
The Western discourse regarding the war in recent decades has negated to mention the central role played by the Soviet Union in defeating Nazism. They choose instead to present Stalin and Hitler as allies.
Western academics claim that Communism and Nazism were equally cruel. They do that to points to the West’s supremacy. Yet they downplay the fact that without the Red Army, the war would have never been won.
They conveniently ignore the fact that Stalin offered the English and the French to form a common alliance against Germany in August 15, 1939. France and the UK refused. All following actions ensued from this basic fact.
Perhaps we should ask Jews if Communism and Nazism were equally bad. It would be interesting to hear what they say.
3 million Jews found a refuge in the USSR during the war. Western critics take issue with the fact that the USSR invaded Poland. What would have been the fate of the Jews in half of Poland had the USSR not invaded? We all know the answer.
Calls for equating Communism and Nazism come from those countries which collaborated with the Nazis. In the Baltic today there is an ongoing effort to equate Communism with Nazism. In Hungary, a museum is dedicated to the issue.
The West likes to take credit for itself while minimizing the contribution of others.
Some Western states have decided to boycott the 70th year of celebrations of the Great Victory. As if their opinion matters. Winston Churchill famously said that the Soviet Union could have defeated Hitler on its own, without Western help. Let us not forget that between 1933 and 1941, the West tried to appease Hitler. Ingratitude is not a good virtue.
Memory is sacred. Those who bother to study history – know by whose efforts the war was won. Those who were during the war- know. I know because my great grandparents were killed by the Einsatzgruppen and Ukrainian Nazis in Babi Yar and my grandfather fought in the Red Army. Without the victory of the Soviet people, I would of course not be here today.
The West can make such absurd claims today, only because many Nazis have already died. While these Nazis were alive, they would have not dared to make such claims.
Yet as if denying history is not bad enough, the West is now supporting a fascist junta in Kiev that is engaging in the bombardment of the people of Donbass that it considers subhuman.
The president of the Junta claims that the UPA and OUN are heroes of Ukraine.
It is now illegal to criticize the actions they took.
Communist symbols are illegal.
Monuments of Lenin have been destroyed by vandalists.
Neo-Nazi gangs are being trained by NATO.
In a sense, we cannot blame Kiev. They are Banderites. But how can the West support them and forget so quickly? That is the question.
It should not come as a surprise. Once history is rewritten, wrong actions are taken.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I just returned from a visit to Donetsk, just last week.
I went there with a mission of journalists, since the Western media has been misrepresenting the situation there.
In Donetsk I saw elderly women and men, some of who survived the war, living in buildings that bear scars of shooting
Every day they are being shelled by Ukrainian forces. They have nowhere to go and no one to take care of them. A woman I talked to told me that her husband died and she has no kids. She lives alone, facing daily bombardment.
I saw it with my own eyes. While I was there, we were shelled.
What can I tell people who survived the Great Patriotic War and now face bombardment by Kiev?
I visited Stepanovka. near Donetsk. Entire rows of homes in the village were destroyed. After the brother of a neo-Nazi leader Dmytro Yarosh was killed, Ukrainian forces went on to shell as many homes as possible and kill as much as possible. The Germans used this same tactic.
I visited a memorial for World War II. It is located on top of a tall mountain, overlooking the region. The Ukrainian Army took over it and shelled villages below. After DNR forces blockaded the area from supplies, the Ukrainian army went on to delivery by helicopters. Two helicopters were shot down by DPR forces.
The hill was eventually liberated. But the Nazi gangs placed explosives which demolished the monument in various locations.
They were trying to erase the history of the Great Patriotic War and the heroism of the Red Army. In this way, they are no different from leaders of the West who deny the sacrifice of the people of the Soviet Union in the war and seek to rewrite history.
I was very upset but what I saw in Donetsk. But I was also inspired.
I met many people, young and old, who are determined to resist the Kiev junta and protect their homes and territory.
The streets of Donetsk were clean. Even cleaner than in Moscow. Cafes were open.
The National Theater has plays which show every day at 2 in the afternoon.
I saw a band playing for May Day in Lenin Square on the main stage. The area was filled with young people.
The people of Donetsk gave me hope. They are strong and they will resist pressures from Kiev to force them into submission.
Nazism was arrogant, it viewed Russians, Slavs, Jews, Gypsies as less than humans.
Today we have a regime in Kiev that views the people in Donbass as subhumans. But not only in Kiev.
The United States views the rest of the world as its playground, as it frequently invades countries. It believes in military aggression in order to secure its goals. It views Russians as undesirables and subhuman, but not only Russians. Also, Syrians, Libyans, Venezuelans, Iraqis. The death of people in Donbass means nothing to the United States. Even in its own country, the United States has its undesirables. Its police shoots black youth with impunity. We see what is happening in Baltimore now. What was Nazism if not arrogance and faith that some people are more worthy than others? What was Nazism if not military aggression?
The US is acting as an empire and destroying countries, their cultures and their lands. It is responsible for invasions and bloodshed throughout the world.
It believes in its inherent supremacy above others.
Such actions can be taken only by those who have no historical memory.
Had World War II been taught correctly in the US, the government would have not been able to go on to sponsor Banderites in Kiev.
Had the history of Vietnam been studied thoroughly, perhaps more people would have opposed the invasion of Iraq.
Such actions can only be carried out by people who have no historical memory.
Such actions can only be carried out by people who have no respect for the sacrifices others made.
And with arrogance and belief in one’s supremacy also comes impatience.
Nazi Germany could not wait patiently. It prematurely attacked Moscow, Kursk and Stalingrad, resulting in its eventual loss.
The United States is very impatient in its invasions and coups around the world.
We are entering difficult times.
It seems that the US will stop at nothing to pursue its goals. The West is arrogant and rewriting the past. It takes credit where credit is not due. It openly supports a fascist junta in Kiev which is committing atrocities against people who are considered undesirable.
At these difficult times, memory is sacred.
Without memory life has no meaning.
Without memory, crimes are enabled.
Without memory, there is no humanity.
Today we cherish and remember the great sacrifice made by millions of Russian and Soviet people and their victory in defeating Nazism.