All posts tagged: USSR

NATO Expansion: What Gorbachev Heard

by the George Washington University’s National Security Archive, December 12, 2017 Declassified documents show security assurances against NATO expansion to Soviet leaders from Baker, Bush, Genscher, Kohl, Gates, Mitterrand, Thatcher, Hurd, Major, and Woerner U.S. Secretary of State James Baker’s famous “not one inch eastward” assurance about NATO expansion in his meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on February 9, 1990, was part of a cascade of assurances about Soviet security given by Western leaders to Gorbachev and other Soviet officials throughout the process of German unification in 1990 and on into 1991, according to declassified U.S., Soviet, German, British and French documents posted today [December 12, 2017] by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (http://nsarchive.gwu.edu). The documents show that multiple national leaders were considering and rejecting Central and Eastern European membership in NATO as of early 1990 and through 1991, that discussions of NATO in the context of German unification negotiations in 1990 were not at all narrowly limited to the status of East German territory, and that subsequent Soviet and Russian …

War Criminals at Large

It is a common misconception that democracies do not start wars of aggression or carry out terrorist attacks. The historical facts for the period from 1945 to today show a completely different reality: time and again, democratic states in Europe and North America have participated in wars of aggression and terrorist attacks in the past 70 years.

The Emerging World Order

Eric Zuesse The Post-World-War-II world order was dominated by the one WWII major combatant that had only 0.32% of its population (the lowest percentage) killed by the war: the United States. The Soviet Union’s comparable number killed by the war was the highest — it was 13.7% — 42.8 times higher than America’s. The US was the main force that defeated Japan and so won WWII in Asia. The USSR, however, was the main force that defeated Germany and so won WWII in Europe. The USSR suffered vastly more than did the US to achieve its victory. In addition to suffering 42.8 times the number of war-deaths than did US, the USSR’s financial expenditures invested in the conflict, as calculated by Jan Ludvik, were 4.8 times higher than were America’s financial expenditures on the war. Thus, at the war’s end, the Soviet Union was exhausted and in a much weaker condition than it had been before the war. By contrast, the US, having had none of the war’s battles occurring on its territory, was (by …

The Russian minority in the Baltics live under ‘apartheid’ states

Max Parry It has been nearly three decades since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Despite Russia’s reemergence on the world stage as a respected power after market-oriented ‘reforms’ destroyed its economy for the duration of the nineties, the breakup of the USSR is an event regarded by an increasing amount of Russians as a catastrophic tragedy rather than a triumph of ‘freedom and democracy.’ In recent years, there have been numerous polls showing that more than half of Russians not only regret the collapse of the Soviet Union but would even prefer for its return. However, the nostalgia only comes as a surprise to those who have forgotten that not long before the failed August Coup that led to its demise, the first and only referendum in its history was held in March of 1991 which polled citizens if they wished to preserve the Soviet system. The results were more than three quarters of the population in the entire socialist federation (including Russia) voting a resounding yes with a turnout of 80% in the …

The Russian V-Day Story (Or the History of World War II Not Often Heard in the West)

by Michael Jabara Carley, via Strategic Culture Every May 9th the Russian Federation celebrates its most important national holiday, Victory Day, den’ pobedy. During the early hours of that day in 1945 Marshal Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov, commander of the 1st Belorussian Front, which had stormed Berlin, received the German unconditional surrender. The Great Patriotic War had gone on for 1418 days of unimaginable violence, brutality and destruction. From Stalingrad and the northern Caucasus and from the northwestern outskirts of Moscow to the western frontiers of the Soviet Union to Sevastopol in the south and Leningrad and the borders with Finland, in the north, the country had been laid waste. An estimated 17 million civilians, men, women and children, had perished, although no one will ever know the exact figure. Villages and towns were destroyed; families were wiped out without anyone to remember them or mourn their deaths. Most Soviet citizens lost family members during the war. No one was left unaffected. Ten million or more Soviet soldiers died in the struggle to expel the monstrous Nazi invader and …

The Centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution: a Legacy to Celebrate

This month, commemorations will be held in towns and cities across Russia to mark the centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution. Whilst the state and system that the revolution gave birth to – the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and Soviet communism – is no longer in existence today, the positive legacy of this pivotal event in history has endured in modern-day Russia. Indeed, as a result of the political, economic and social carnage of the 1990s in Russia, stemming directly from the collapse of the Soviet system, and which Russians continue to be haunted by to this very day, the legacy of what was officially known in the USSR as the Great October Socialist Revolution continues to receive more and more prominence within all age groups in Russia today, including the young.

We Lived Better Then

by Stephen Gowans Over two decades ago Vaclav Havel, the pampered scion of a wealthy Prague family, helped usher in a period of reaction, in which the holdings and estates of former landowners and captains of industry were restored to their previous owners, while unemployment, homelessness, and insecurity—abolished by the Reds– were put back on the agenda. Havel is eulogized by the usual suspects, but not by his numberless victims, who were pushed back into an abyss of exploitation by the Velvet revolution and other retrograde eruptions. With the fall of Communism allowing Havel and his brother to recover their family’s vast holdings, Havel’s life—he worked in a brewery under Communism—became much richer. The same can’t be said for countless others, whose better lives under Communism were swept away by a swindle that will, in the coming days, be lionized in the mass media on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s demolition. The anniversary is no time for celebration, except for the minority that has profited from it. For the bulk …

Why Gorbachev Will Never Be Forgiven

Translated by Julia Rakhmetova and Rhod Mackenzie, via Russia Insider Nikolai Starikov, a famous Russian historian, writer and politician, was interviewed by the popular AiF weekly on the occasion of the last Soviet President’s 85th Birthday. At the start of perestroika, I was fifteen. In 1987 I entered an engineering and economic college. By the time I graduated, there was neither an economy, nor a chemical industry – the fields I studied in. Many people like me were forced to sell newspapers in suburban electric trains. I hardly can forgive Gorbachev for that.  Nor can I forgive him for the fact that several students among my classmates and from other classes died from drug overdoses; that some of my acquaintances were killed in ethnic conflicts that spread throughout the country; that others went on the bottle because they couldn’t find a job due to the ‘reforms’. I also can’t forgive Gorbachev for withdrawing our officers from Germany to the middle of nowhere and leaving them homeless, nor for betraying our allies, beginning with those from Afghanistan …