The Great Patriotic War as the USSR’s participation in World War II is called and written with capital letters in Russia generates clichés for the current behavior of Putin’s Russia even if these overlook the August 1939 alliance of Stalin’s Bolsheviks and Hitler’s Nazis who together started the war by invading Poland, agreeing to conquer the Baltic States and Bessarabia and the Red Army’s attack on Finland, expert Igor Boțan stated in a public debate hosted by IPN.
The standing expert of IPN’s project said the Victory theme has always been the “sacred subject” of the propaganda in Moscow, whose goal was to imbed the idea that the whole world owes to Russia and is obliged to show gratitude for its victory over fascism. As if not Molotov on November 13, 1940 discussed the division of the world with Hitler after they divided Europe on August 23, 1939, while the Brits were bombarded by the German aviation in September 1940 and the Americans fought against Japan since December 1941. But things were twisted so that everyone knows that the West owes its life and even welfare to Russia. As repetition is the mother of learning, the clichés were promoted with and without occasions.
Igor Boțan noted that now, after Russia invaded Ukraine, Moldova’s European integration aspirations became clearer, primarily after the signing of the application for EU membership. But Russia pursues revanchist but badly-calculated goals in Ukraine. A way out of this situation is looked for but things are expected to change dramatically.
The expert considers the would order reached a deadlock while Russia’s revanchist plans in Ukraine show that the UN institutions, the Security Council cannot do anything and a nuclear country with the veto right can defy the common commitments and one realizes that international law is not based on objective things and principles and can satisfy the ambitions of a country that considers it was wronged and can take revenge.
Speaking about the path that should be followed by our country, about the competition between the liberal and totalitarian ideologies, Igor Boțan said that while being in the ‘gray area’, we can compare how Finland and the Baltic States developed. In the world war, Finland lost 11% of its territory but resisted and after the war developed absolutely impressively, while the Baltic States, which are the most developed ones among the ex-Soviet states, are yet at the recovery stage. In this connection, the expert gave as example Japan that was defeated by the U.S. “But the most illustrative is the comparison between North Korea and South Korea. The same nation, the same mentality but during several generations we have seen colossal discrepancy,” stated Igor Boțan.
The public debate entitled “Final stage of World War II: reality and myths about the USSR’s and Anti-Hitler Alliance’s contribution. Postwar fate of the USSR, Germany and nations freed from Nazi occupation” was the eighth installment of IPN’s project “100 years of USSR and 31 years without USSR: Nostalgia for Chimeras”, which is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.