MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russia –
Source: President of Russia – Kremlin
75 years have passed since the Great Patriotic War ended. Over the years, several generations have grown. The political map of the planet has changed. No Soviet Union, which won a grandiose, crushing victory over Nazism, saved the whole world. And the events of that war themselves, even for its participants, are a distant past. But why in Russia on May 9 is celebrated as the most important holiday, and on June 22 life seems to freeze and a lump rolls to the throat? It is customary to say: the war left a deep mark in the history of every family. Behind these words are the fates of millions of people, their suffering and the pain of loss. Pride, truth and memory. For my parents, war is the terrible torment of the besieged Leningrad, where my two-year-old brother Vitya died, where my mother miraculously survived. Having a reservation, his father volunteered to defend his hometown – he did the same as millions of Soviet citizens. He fought on the bridgehead “Nevsky Piglet”, was seriously injured. And the farther these years, the greater the need to talk with parents, to learn more about the military period of their lives. But it’s already impossible to ask anything, therefore I sacredly keep in my heart conversations with my father and mother on this subject, their mean emotions. For me and my peers it is important that our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren understand what trials and torments their ancestors went through. How, why could they survive and win? Where did their truly iron fortitude come from, which surprised and delighted the whole world? Yes, they protected their home, children, relatives, family. But all were united by love for the Motherland, for the Fatherland. This deep, personal feeling in its entirety is reflected in the very essence of our people and has become one of the determining factors in its heroic, sacrificial struggle against the Nazis. Often they ask: how will the present generation behave, what will happen in a critical situation? Before my eyes, young doctors, nurses, sometimes yesterday’s students, who today go to the “red zone” to save people. Our soldiers, in the fight against international terrorism in the North Caucasus, in Syria, who stood to death, are very young guys! Many fighters of the legendary, immortal sixth airborne company were 19–20 years old. But they all showed that they were worthy of the feat of the soldiers of our country, who defended it during the Great Patriotic War. Therefore, I am sure that it is in the character of the peoples of Russia to fulfill their duty, not to spare themselves if circumstances so require. Selflessness, patriotism, love for one’s home, for one’s family, for the Fatherland — these values are today fundamental, pivotal for Russian society. They, by and large, largely rest on the sovereignty of our country. Now we have new traditions born of the people, such as the Immortal Regiment. This is a march of our grateful memory, vital, lively communication between generations. Millions of people go to processions with photographs of their relatives, who have defended the Fatherland and defeated Nazism. This means that their life, trials and sacrifices, the Victory that they gave us will never be forgotten. Our responsibility to the past and the future is to do everything to prevent the recurrence of terrible tragedies. Therefore, he considered it his duty to make an article on the Second World War and the Great Patriotic War. I discussed this idea more than once in conversations with world leaders, I met their understanding. At the end of last year, at the summit of the leaders of the CIS countries, we were all united: it is important to convey to the descendants the memory that the victory over Nazism was won primarily by the Soviet people, that in this heroic struggle – at the front and in the rear, shoulder to shoulder – there were representatives of all the republics of the Soviet Union. At the same time, he spoke with colleagues about a difficult pre-war period. This conversation caused a great resonance in Europe and the world. So, turning to the lessons of the past is really necessary and topical. At the same time, there were many emotions, poorly concealed complexes, and noisy accusations. A number of politicians out of habit hastened to declare that Russia is trying to rewrite history. However, they could not refute a single fact, not a single argument cited. Of course, it’s difficult and impossible to argue with genuine documents, which, by the way, are stored not only in Russian but also in foreign archives. Therefore, there is a need to continue analyzing the reasons that led to the World War, thinking about its complex events, tragedies and victories , about her lessons – for our country and the whole world. And here, I repeat, it is fundamentally important to rely only on archival materials, the testimonies of contemporaries, to exclude any ideological and politicized speculations. Once again I will remind you of the obvious thing: the underlying causes of the Second World War largely stem from the decisions made following the First World War. The Treaty of Versailles has become a symbol of profound injustice for Germany. In fact, it was a robbery of a country that was obliged to pay huge reparations to the Western Allies, which depleted its economy. Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Forces, French Marshal F. Fochs prophetically described Versailles: “This is not peace, this is a truce for twenty years.” It was national humiliation that formed a breeding ground for radical and revanchist sentiments in Germany. The Nazis skillfully played on these feelings, built their propaganda, promising to rid Germany of the “legacy of Versailles”, restore its former power, and, in fact, pushed the German people to a new war. Paradoxically, this was directly or indirectly facilitated by Western states, primarily the United Kingdom and the United States. Their financial and industrial circles were very active in investing in German factories and factories producing military products. And among the aristocracy and the political establishment there were many supporters of radical, far-right, nationalist movements that were gaining strength both in Germany and in Europe. The Versailles “world order” generated numerous hidden contradictions and overt conflicts. They are based on the borders of the new European states arbitrarily drawn by the winners of the First World War. Almost immediately after their appearance on the map, territorial disputes and mutual claims began, which turned into timed land mines. One of the most important results of the First World War was the creation of the League of Nations. This international organization had high hopes for ensuring long-term peace and collective security. It was a progressive idea, the consistent implementation of which, without exaggeration, could prevent a recurrence of the horrors of the global war. However, the League of Nations, which was dominated by the victorious powers of Great Britain and France, showed its inefficiency and simply drowned in empty conversations. In the League of Nations and indeed on the European continent, repeated calls by the Soviet Union to form an equal system of collective security were not heard. In particular, to conclude East European and Pacific pacts, which could put a barrier to aggression. These proposals were ignored. The League of Nations could not prevent conflicts in various parts of the world, such as the Italian attack on Ethiopia, the Spanish Civil War, the Japanese aggression against China, and the Anschluss of Austria. And in the case of the Munich agreement, in which, in addition to Hitler and Mussolini, the leaders of Great Britain and France participated, with the full approval of the Council of the League of Nations, Czechoslovakia was dismembered. I note in this connection that, unlike many of the then leaders of Europe, Stalin did not tarnish himself with a personal meeting with Hitler, who at that time was known as a respectable politician in Western circles and was a welcome guest in European capitals. Poland also acted in the Czechoslovak section. They decided in advance and together who would get which Czechoslovak lands. On September 20, 1938, the Polish ambassador to Germany, J. Lipsky, informed the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Poland, J. Beck, of Hitler’s assurances: “… In the event that between Poland and Czechoslovakia it comes to a conflict on the basis of Polish interests in Tieszyn, the Reich will be ours [ Polish] side. ” The leader of the Nazis even gave hints, advised that the beginning of Polish actions “follow … only after the Germans occupied the Sudeten Mountains.” In Poland, they realized that without Hitler’s support her conquest plans would be doomed to failure. Here I will quote a recording of the conversation of the German ambassador in Warsaw, G.A. Moltke, with J. Beck, dated October 1, 1938, on Polish-Czech relations and the position of the USSR on this issue. Here is what is written there: “… Mr. Beck … expressed great gratitude for the loyal interpretation of Polish interests at the Munich Conference, as well as for the sincerity of relations during the Czech conflict. The government and the public [of Poland] fully pay tribute to the position of the Führer and the Reich Chancellor. “The Czechoslovak section was cruel and cynical. Munich brought down even those formal fragile guarantees that remained on the continent, showed that mutual agreements are worthless. It was the Munich conspiracy that served as the trigger after which a large war in Europe became inevitable. Today, European politicians, primarily Polish leaders, would like to “shut up” Munich. Why? Not only because their countries then betrayed their obligations, supported the Munich agreement, and some even took part in sharing the booty, but also because it was somehow inconvenient to recall that in those dramatic days of 1938 only the Soviet Union stood up for Czechoslovakia. The Union, based on its international obligations, including agreements with France and Czechoslovakia, tried to prevent the tragedy. Poland, pursuing its interests, did its best to prevent the creation of a collective security system in Europe. On September 19, 1938, the Polish Foreign Minister, J. Beck, directly wrote about this to the already mentioned Ambassador J. Lipsky before his meeting with Hitler: “… During the past year, the Polish government rejected the proposal four times to join the international intervention in defense of Czechoslovakia.” as well as France, which was then the main ally of the Czechs and Slovaks, they preferred to renounce their guarantees and throw this Eastern European country to pieces. Not just to quit, but to direct the aspirations of the Nazis to the east with the aim that Germany and the Soviet Union would inevitably clash and bleed each other. This was the Western policy of “appeasement”. And not only in relation to the Third Reich, but also to other members of the so-called Anti-Comintern Pact – fascist Italy and militaristic Japan. Its culmination in the Far East was the Anglo-Japanese agreement of the summer of 1939, which granted Tokyo free hand in China. The leading European powers did not want to acknowledge the mortal danger for the whole world emanating from Germany and its allies, hoping that the war themselves would bypass them. The Munich agreement showed the Soviet Union that Western countries would solve security issues without taking into account its interests, but at a convenient case, they can form an anti-Soviet front. At the same time, the Soviet Union tried to the last possible opportunity to use any chance to create an anti-Hitler coalition, I repeat, despite the two-faced position of Western countries. So, through the intelligence services, the Soviet leadership received detailed information about backstage Anglo-German contacts in the summer of 1939. I draw your attention to the fact that they were conducted very intensively, and almost simultaneously with the trilateral talks of the representatives of France, Great Britain and the USSR, which, on the contrary, were deliberately delayed by the Western partners. I will cite a document from the British archives in this connection – this is an instruction from the British military mission, which arrived in Moscow in August 1939. It explicitly states that the delegation should “negotiate very slowly”; that “the UK government is not prepared to make detailed commitments that could limit our freedom of action in any circumstances.” I also note: unlike the British and French, the Soviet delegation was headed by senior leaders of the Red Army, who had all the necessary powers to “sign a military convention on the organization of military defense of England, France and the USSR against aggression in Europe.” Poland played its role in the failure of the negotiations. which did not want any obligations to the Soviet side. Even under pressure from the Western allies, the Polish leadership refused to cooperate with the Red Army in confronting the Wehrmacht. And only when it became known about Ribbentrop’s arrival in Moscow, Y. Beck reluctantly, not directly, but through French diplomats, informed the Soviet side: “… In the case of joint action against German aggression, cooperation between Poland and the USSR, under the technical conditions to be determined, not excluded. ” At the same time, he explained to his colleagues: “… I am not against this wording only in order to facilitate tactics, and our principled point of view regarding the USSR is final and remains unchanged.” In this situation, the Soviet Union signed the Non-aggression Treaty with Germany, in fact, made This is the last of Europe. Moreover, against the background of real danger, facing a war on two fronts – with Germany in the west and with Japan in the east, where intense battles were already taking place on the Khalkhin-Gol River. Stalin and his entourage deserve many fair accusations. We remember both the crimes of the regime against our own people and the horrors of mass repression. I repeat, Soviet leaders can be reproached in many ways, but not in the absence of an understanding of the nature of external threats. They saw that the Soviet Union was trying to leave alone with Germany and its allies, and acted in recognition of this real danger in order to gain valuable time to strengthen the country’s defense. With regard to the non-aggression treaty concluded then, there is a lot of talk and claims about modern Of Russia. Yes, Russia is the successor of the USSR, and the Soviet period, with all its triumphs and tragedies, is an integral part of our thousand-year history. But I also remind you that the Soviet Union gave a legal and moral assessment to the so-called Molotov – Ribbentrop Pact. The Decree of the Supreme Council of December 24, 1989 officially condemned the secret protocols as “an act of personal power”, which did not reflect “the will of the Soviet people, who are not responsible for this conspiracy.” At the same time, other states prefer not to recall the agreements where they stand signatures of the Nazis and Western politicians. Not to mention the legal or political assessment of such cooperation, including the tacit agreement of some European leaders with the barbaric plans of the Nazis, right up to their direct encouragement. What is the cynical phrase of the Polish ambassador to Germany, J. Lipsky, uttered in an interview with Hitler on September 20, 1938: “… For the solution of the Jewish question, we [Poles] will put him … a beautiful monument in Warsaw.” We also don’t know if there were any or “secret protocols” and annexes to agreements of a number of countries with the Nazis. It remains only to “believe in the word.” In particular, materials on secret Anglo-German negotiations have not yet been declassified. Therefore, we urge all states to intensify the process of opening their archives, the publication of previously unknown documents of the prewar and military periods – as Russia has done in recent years. We are ready here for wide cooperation, for joint research projects of historians, but let us return to the events immediately preceding the Second World War. It was naive to believe that, after cracking down on Czechoslovakia, Hitler would not make another territorial claim. This time to his recent accomplice in the section of Czechoslovakia – Poland. Incidentally, the occasion here was also the legacy of Versailles – the fate of the so-called Danzig corridor. The subsequent tragedy of Poland – entirely on the conscience of the then Polish leadership, which prevented the conclusion of the Anglo-Franco-Soviet military alliance and relied on the help of Western partners, set its people under the skating rink of the Hitlerite destruction machine. The German offensive developed in full accordance with the Blitzkrieg doctrine. Despite the fierce, heroic resistance of the Polish army, a week after the start of the war, on September 8, 1939, German troops were on the outskirts of Warsaw. And the military-political elite of Poland fled to the territory of Romania by September 17, betraying their people, who continued to fight the invaders. The Western allies did not live up to Polish hopes.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation from Russian Language to English.