Interfax: Most Russians don’t hate WWII foes of Soviet Union – poll

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

MOSCOW. June 20 (Interfax) – Most Russians know WWII foes of the former Soviet Union but do not hate them. Yet a half blames the enemies for the deaths of millions of people, Levada Center told Interfax.

The top five WWII allies of the Soviet Union mentioned by respondents in 130 populated localities in 45 regions in late May include the United Kingdom (55%), the United States (51%), France (24%), Poland (15%) and Czechoslovakia (8%). A quarter (24%) failed to answer the question.

As to the foes other than Germany, respondents recalled Japan (45%), Italy (29%), Romania (20%) and Finland (15%). Twenty-eight percent of Russians did not remember any other enemy than Germany.

Opinions about Spain differed: 7% of 1,600 respondents said it was a Soviet ally, and 8% branded it as a foe.

Most Russians (85%) admitted they did not hate the WWII enemies of the Soviet Union. Only 8% said they wished to avenge the war enemies.

More than a half of the respondents (53%) said the Soviet people won the WWII. Seven percent said the victory was won by Joseph Stalin, and 3% said the Communist Party and the Soviet administration were the victors. A third of the respondents (37%) said all the above contributed to the victory. Only one percent argued the war was won by miracle.

Practically a half of respondents (51%) blamed the enemies for the multimillion casualties suffered by the Soviet Union in that war. Seventeen percent accused Stalin, 12% put the blame on the Communist Party and the Soviet administration, and 11% said all of the above were responsible for the losses.

Levada Center said that 30% of the respondents blamed Stalin for the WWII casualties and 20% accused the Communist Party four years ago.

June 22, the day when the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 began, is observed in Russia as the Day of Remembrance and Grief. Russia’s first President Boris Yeltsin established the day on June 8, 1996.