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Nikolai Starikov: Why Russia Should Not Repent for Her Past - 2

Russian liberals aid the West in information warfare against the nation’s historical legacy. This fifth column hopes to share in the spoils of a defeated and humiliated Russia, but they can and must be overcome by an absolute refusal to apologize for the past and by putting a spotlight on the true intentions of these villains.

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This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Originally appeared at Nikolai Starikov blog. Translated by Andrey Medvedev and Joseph Waters

This is the second part and conclusion of the two-part article by the famous Russian writer and historian Nikolai Starikov. In the first part he demonstrated that, in Orwellian fashion, who controls the past controls the future. Russian liberals are allied with the West in a campaign to see their version of history win out. This information war on Russian history, if successful, will convince the Russian people that Stalin was a criminal and the Soviet superpower that he built up was a rogue state. Once the masses buy-in to this false narrative, reparations will undoubtedly be claimed by the “worthy victims.”

The media assault on Stalin's era is being carried out because today’s Russia is a direct successor to the USSR.

Everything that the Soviet Union managed to do, all that it managed to achieve one way or another takes root in Stalin's time. The moment we accept the fact that Stalin and the USSR he led were “a criminal regime”, we will open a floodgate and witness a long queue of those who want to take something from us. This is why the liberal fifth column and the Western media are trying so hard to pour scorn on our past in perfect unison. They are targeting the past when Stalin was at the helm. Nobody in the West ever mentions Lenin. Trotsky, whose oh-so-ever-convenient ideology the West is trying to resurrect, is even praised by the latter, even though it was practically debunked by Stalin’s victory over Hitler. Nobody from that time inspires such passionate rage as Stalin. Why is that? That’s because Stalin is not simply a politician from the past. He was the head of the USSR for nearly three decades. Stalin represents the foreign policy of our country, its victories and its acquisitions. Stalin represents the achievements that we all benefit from today.

USSR was led by a criminal? Russia must pay for his crimes

Once we agree that the Soviet Union was led by “a criminal,” their next move will be to take away everything that had been done, achieved, and built during those years.

Let me make it clear, especially for those who are very pragmatic and think in terms of money and material benefits: the West vilifies Stalin so that in the end, it can help itself to all the wealth created under Stalin’s leadership.

Today, Ukraine is often teased for its rampant “de-Sovietization” in the course of which they smash the statues of Lenin (who actually created Ukraine) and complain about Stalin, who gave Ukraine the Carpathian region and a number of other areas that had previously belonged to Poland and Romania. It seems like suicidal logic – if you dislike the Soviet Union and Stalin, and if you believe that the non-aggression pact between Germany and the USSR was “criminal” and “unlawful,” then why don’t you return Lviv back to Poland, Uzhhorod back to Hungary, and Chernivtsi back to Romania, etc.? Why do you need those “dictator’s gifts” if he was allegedly no better than Hitler, which is something that those very same Russian liberals, Western journalists, politicians, and Ukrainian nationalists are now actively trying to persuade us of?

The Lithuanians, too, ought to be more “principled” and return Vilnius (Wilno), integrated by Stalin in the autumn of 1939, back to the Poles. Likewise, Klaipeda (Memel) should be given back to the Germans, since it only became a Lithuanian city again after the “occupation” of Lithuania, which we rightfully believe to be the liberation from the Nazis.

Mudslinging at the past is a very dangerous thing. At the same time, while teasing the Ukrainians and Lithuanians, nobody in Russia, for some odd reason, seems to understand that the liberals offer us exactly the same dangerous policy, but in Russia.

We must accept Stalin’s “criminal nature,” they say; and only a short time ago, on August 15, 2015, the government led by Dmitry Medvedev signed a document entitled “The State Policy on Commemorating the Memory of Victims of Political Repression”.

Can there be innovation without de-Stalinization?

This is nothing more than a new wave of the notorious “de-Stalinization”, but only under a new guise and therefore even more dangerous. Look how “creatively” we are invited to spit in the face of our past, how elegantly and beautifully we are asked to agree that our grandfathers received our current house and the huge plot of land through illegal means. Here are some excerpts from that, I repeat, government document:

- “Russia cannot fully become a state governed by the rule of law and occupy a leading role in the world community without immortalizing the memory of many millions of its citizens who were the victims of mass repressions.”

Name at least one leading country, which has done so. The United States? The United Kingdom? China? None of these countries vilifies its past; none throws mud at its “founding fathers,” neither George Washington nor Mao Zedong, although both of these politicians plunged their countries into civil war, at the very least.

“The main strategic objectives of this policy are:

- Developing and implementing an effective public policy of immortalizing the memory of the victims of political repressions, as well as of active patriotism;

- Building the necessary social environment for innovation-driven development of the country, implemented on the basis of active cooperation with civil society.”

It turns out that an “active” patriot is one who sees only the dark sides of history, and “innovation-driven development” of the country is impossible without spitting at your own past daily and with a passion.

I will no longer bore you with further citations from this truly malicious document. I will just turn to its outcomes right away. As soon as we, in Russia, agree that “criminal authorities” carried out criminal policies, the next step is for us to give up all the outcomes of those alleged “criminal policies.” And that’s where it stops being a laughing matter.

1. Today, the West is trying to change the rules at the United Nations; there is talk about the need to abandon the idea of veto power in the Security Council. Let me remind you that the United Nations was created in its current form with the direct participation of the Soviet Union and Stalin himself, and all its rules are the outcome of a difficult diplomatic battle at the Yalta Conference and beyond. So, shall we give up our veto power then? After all, it was that so-and-so Stalin who gave it to us.

2. How about the Arctic shelf with its untold riches? Stalin gave that to us as well. Do we give it up? Should we give it to the “democrats?” They are waiting for it, all right – they’ve already tried sending Greenpeace to our “fault-angle” drilling platform.

3. The Kuril Islands would, naturally, need to be given to Japan, if we recognized that Stalin had been a criminal who carried out criminal policies. After all, Japan is a democracy, and hence will be able to manage them better. Isn’t this what the members of the fifth column have been telling us since 1991?

4. Kaliningrad must surely be given to the Germans. They, of all people, have suffered from the “bloody Stalinist regime” more than anyone else.

5. Parts of the Leningrad Region – from Vyborg to Sestroretsk – would have to be returned to Finland because Stalin forced the Finns to give up those territories through direct military force. And of course, no one would need to remember that all that land was purchased from Sweden under the Treaty of Nystad way back when Peter the Great was still around!

6. It would also be urgently required to “chop” Sergey Shoigu’s birthplace off the map of the Russian Federation, because Tuva only returned to Russia under Stalin in 1944.

7. Estonians and Latvians would surely ask us for “their” lands back – territorial claims would spring up like mushrooms overnight. At the same time, no one would recall that such countries had never existed before 1917. The Estonians and Latvians, for example, only took shape as nations inside the Russian Empire, which had purchased those territories perfectly legally and in several stages from Sweden and the Duke of Courland; or, also legally, had obtained them through the partition of Poland.

Common sense in history

But the problems would not end there. That would just be the beginning. Russia would have to pay compensation. To whom? Why, the victims, dear reader, the victims, of course. If there was a “criminal” and a “criminal regime,” then there had to be victims; and they would have to get paid. We would have to pay and repent. It is time to understand that issues of history are not merely questions of taste. They are not a matter of “like” or “dislike.” They are not about the past, they are really about the future. Should we accept the fact that we had a criminal past, our children’s future would not be so bright and cloudless.

Reimbursements, loss of territories, moral compensation, guilt trips – that’s what awaits our people if we accept for just one moment what the fifth column and the West are trying to impose on us. They want our wealth and so they came for our history. Just remember this fact: each of us must understand that “repentance” would bring nothing but problems. The moment we accepted the lie that the Polish officers at Katyn were executed by us rather than the Nazis, our relations with Poland sank like a ton of bricks instead of improving.

Politics, especially international politics, is always a complicated matter. There is no objective morality here, just ourselves and our allies set against foreign and domestic enemies who wish to dominate and rob us. As proud Russians, we enjoy a common culture, language, traditions and history, but our geopolitical opponents who attack us wish to impose their foreign heroes, their foreign traditions, and their foreign language.

A more sensible position, when it comes to judging history, is as follows:

1. Every leader of our country defended its national interests (or tried to, as they understood them).

2. There should be no apologies for the actions of our leaders; their actions were triggered by the situation at the time, and by the realities of the period they lived in. We always listen willingly to apologies of other countries to us. We listen carefully and write everything down.

3. The Russian empire – the USSR – the Russian Federation. This is what the continuity of our government and our country looks like. It is a single line. All the tragedies on this line, all of its twists and problems – the entirety of it – are our history. We will not apologize or repent to anyone; we will simply consider what has happened, draw our own conclusions, and strive to never repeat the same mistakes.

If you want your children to stay within the same cultural paradigm as your grandparents and yourself, then do not throw mud at our past and do not allow anyone else to do so.

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