Leonid Fedorov, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation in the Slovak Republic: it is Important to preserve the historical truth and pass it on to the younger generation. Only the memory of freedom fighters can guarantee to society that the Nazi crime will not be repeated.
Anti-Russian sentiment in the Western part of the world are on the rise. After the story with Kripalani and exclude Russia from the Olympic games in recent years have begun to encroach on what has for decades remained sacred to the undeniable contribution of the red army and the former Soviet Union in the liberation of Europe during world war II. But in 1944 — 1945, the Red army gave the world not only Czechoslovakia but also Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Yugoslavia. Also, the Red army played an important role in the liberation of Norway and Denmark and the fall of Nazism in Germany.
But all that went to the Soviet Union dearly. Even too expensive. During the Second world war he lost of 26.5 million citizens, and only 8.8 million of them were soldiers and prisoners of war. Nearly 60 percent of the victims were civilians. Thus, of all the countries of anti-Hitler coalition of the Soviet Union suffered the most casualties. But the West seemed to forget the role the Soviet Union played in world war II and what price he paid. Now, increasingly, in connection with the events say that the war was won by the United States and its Western allies. The contribution of the Soviet Union, if we recognize that, as a rule, add that the Soviet Union liberated Europe, seeking to profit. That is why the USSR took part of it under control, as destructive as Nazi occupation.
The enemy of the democratic world
In the views of the majority of Americans the Second world war was fought on the coast of Normandy, at Iwo Jima and the ruins of a destroyed French cities. The winner and at the same time the liberator, in their opinion, was only the United States. As stated in one of the articles is very influential newspaper “Washington post” from the eighth of may, 2015, victory USA supposedly brought the “iron will of General Dwight Eisenhower, the moral power of the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the destructive power of the atomic bomb”. However, historical facts tell a different story. On the Western front was concentrated to a smaller part of Hitler’s troops, than on the East, and none of the battles on the Western front could not be compared with ruthless battles for Stalingrad. The battle for this city at the confluence of the Volga and Tsaritsa, one of the bloodiest in all military history, was one of the decisive moments of world war II. Then another devastating blow to the Axis forces had suffered at Kursk in the greatest tank battle in history. The Wehrmacht was not able to recover from defeat where, by contrast, expect great victories, and began to give positions in Eastern Europe.
According to Alexey Leonidovich Fedotov, Ambassador of the Russian Federation in the Slovak Republic, a celebration of the Victory Day reminds us how expensive “all peoples have cost the attempt of Nazi Germany to become the world’s hegemon”. It is therefore important to preserve the historical truth and pass it on to the younger generation. “Only memory of freedom fighters can guarantee to society that the Nazi crime will not be repeated. Forget the shared sacrifice of the people — to commit the greatest betrayal of the fallen heroes,” — said Fedotov.
The victory in the great Patriotic war, as Russia calls the Eastern front, that is, the German-Soviet war, celebrated the annual large-scale military parade. But it is not complete without the sign of a very pronounced anti-Russian sentiment. So, on the 70th anniversary of the end of world war II in 2015 to go to Moscow not only refused U.S. President Barack Obama, but the rest of the leaders of the former anti-Hitler coalition: Britain and France. This is not to say that the world did not know or did not remember about the role of the USSR. Apparently, the world just doesn’t want to know and remember. Today the celebration of victory in Pro-Western media eloquently presented primarily as a demonstration of strength and proof of Russian aggression. Look at Russia not as a liberator or a guarantor of peace, but as dangerous aggressors, and it fits perfectly into the overall concept, in which Moscow is presented as an enemy of the democratic world.
The destruction of monuments
However, historical facts are undeniable, despite the massive propaganda. According to the Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation, the remains of Soviet soldiers buried in 53 countries. Basically it is the coming European countries: Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland (by the way, it killed most of the Soviet soldiers), as well as Serbia, Slovenia, UK, Netherlands, Norway and Italy. Today mention them, first of all, the monuments, plaques and memorial cemetery. But these places touched anti-Russian sentiment. Only in 2017 vandals desecrated the 23 sites, with 17 of them in Poland, and one in košice.
The fact that Poland does not feel particularly warm feelings to the most numerous Slavic nation, not a secret. But during the liberation of the Polish territory lost nearly 600 thousand Soviet soldiers. In concentration camps died from 700 thousand to one million Soviet prisoners. In 657 fraternal and single graves in Poland are buried, according to the Russian defense Ministry, the remains of 1 769 283 Soviet soldiers.
In 1994, Moscow and Warsaw signed an intergovernmental agreement on burial sites and monuments to the victims of war. They pledged to care for such objects in the territory of each other. In 1997 in the list of memorials in Poland was listed 561 object, and in October 2014 has just 290. In the spring of this year, the Polish government said that the agreement on the protection of monuments does not apply to Soviet war memorials, with the exception of graves, the local government began gradually eliminating.
Its role here has played and amendments to the Polish law on the so-called decommunisation. According to the law, the destruction to October 2017 subject to all the monuments to Soviet soldiers-liberators, as supposedly promoted communism. The law provided for the removal of all symbols of totalitarian regimes with the exception of cemeteries and museums. Therefore, the demolition went a monument to the red army in Warsaw, which, according to experts from the Polish Institute of national memory, “perpetuated totalitarianism”. The law is formulated so that all that the Institute will describe, therefore, must be destroyed. In addition to the monuments, is true of street names. Only in Warsaw had planned to rename 50 roads which, however, caused an outcry from local residents, who did not see such changes make sense.
But it’s better to talk numbers. In 2014 in Poland destroyed two monuments to soldiers-liberators. In 2015 — 2016, six in 2017 and five in 2018 (according to August 2018) 26 monuments. However, it was more vandalism. And in Poland accounts for up to 60 percent of all such shameful acts against Soviet memorabilia objects all over the world.
State-supported destruction of the monuments of the Second world war happening against the background of a massive campaign of falsification of history and attempts to legitimize the absurd assertions that Germany and the Soviet Union equally responsible for the outbreak of the Second world war. So, for example, argued that the Red army liberated Poland, and only replaced the German occupation in the Soviet and the poles are supposed to get rid of the “false sense of gratitude” to Soviet soldiers.
In this sense, the situation in Slovakia compared to Poland, of course, more calm. I will remind that on the territory of our country, according to official data of the Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation, during the fighting in 1941 — 1945 killed 98 895 red army soldiers, and their remains are buried in 186 mass and single graves. One of the places their last refuge are Slavin and eight great memorial cemeteries in Zvolen, Michalovce, Svidník, Štúrovo, komárno, žilina, Trebisov and Humanname. Most of the monuments in our country are in relatively good condition.
Vandalism has been only one monument of the red army: this is referred to a monument in košice. In August 2017, four attackers (Peter Kalmus, Lubos Lorenz, Stefan Sefcik and Peter Olejnik) broke off from him the hammer and sickle. The vandals have not spared the surrounding military burials rent off their decorative symbolism. All this had not been the innocent antics of the tipsy company, which is confirmed by the legal consequences of their actions. So, Peter Calamus sentenced for desecration of a cultural monument of probation. According to the mayor of košice Richard Rashi, this case of desecration of the monument was not the first. The Russian Ministry of foreign Affairs considered this incident is immoral and provocative act, because the monument was the burial place of the soldiers who fell during the liberation of Slovakia.
A true oasis of peace (and one could also say common sense in a sea of anti-Russian hysteria) is Slovenia. There is not the tendency to the desecration or demolition of monuments to Soviet soldiers, and, moreover, there are new monuments in gratitude to the liberators. 30 July 2016, one of them was opened in Ljubljana. The monument to the sons of Russia and the Soviet Union, who were killed on Slovenian soil during the First and Second world war (as is the official name) was erected solely on donations. Each of the eight white pillars, each of which rests a crane as a symbol of immortality, means one year out of two world wars that had befallen Russia.
Slovenian-Russian relations are traditionally good, despite the difficult historical periods. Already during the First world war in Slovenia, killing about 40 thousand Russian prisoners of war, who under Austrian supervision worked in hard conditions on the construction of strategic facilities, especially roads, Railways, bridges and tunnels. A reminder of their suffering is the Russian chapel in a mountain gorge vršič in the Slovenian Alps, built in 1916. It stands on the site of a mass grave. In it lie the remains of the victims of a huge avalanche in March of 1916 covered a Russian labor camp. The exact number of victims was never established. However, according to estimates, an avalanche claimed the lives of 170 — 300 Russian prisoners of war.
Reconstructed there was another object, reminiscent of the sad pages of history. We are talking about the former concentration camp in Maribor in the North-East of the country, which during the Second world war was occupied by the Third Reich. Today the camp Stalag XVIII, where he died more than five thousand of the red army, is the headquarters of the International centre for the study of world war II.
For Slovenes Russia was never the enemy, rather the opposite. They are very well aware of what the sacrifices made by the Soviet Union in the two world wars, the most bloody conflicts in modern history. With the Slovenes should take an example and other countries of Europe, which should keep a sober view of history. Removing the monuments to the soldiers of the red army, nobody can erase the historical fact of the liberation and the contribution of the USSR in world history. On the contrary, such actions only testify to the cowardice of falsifiers of history.