World War II Continues to Have Demographic Impact on Russia, Vishnevsky Says

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 4, 2017) The periodic increases and current decrease in the number of births in Russia reflects the third echo of World War II, Anatoly Vishnevsky says, with the low number of births in 1943 leading to demographic declines approximately every 25 years thereafter. The current decline is almost precisely 75 years […]

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A Message to Putin From 42 Million Dead; The Soviet Union’s World War II losses may far exceed the official count.

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – May 10, 2017) Leonid Bershidsky is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru. According to official data, more than 800,000 people in Moscow alone, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, took part in Tuesday’s march to commemorate their ancestors’ participation […]

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NEWS RELEASE & TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Military parade on Red Square

File Photo of Russian Tanks in Military Parade

(Kremlin.ru – May 9, 2017) Vladimir Putin attended the military parade to mark the 72nd anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. The military parade marking the 72nd anniversary of Victory in the 1941-45 Great Patriotic War. Defence Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu inspected the troops during the military parade. Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Land Forces […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting of the Pobeda (Victory) Organising Committee

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Kremlin.ru – April 20, 2017) Vladimir Putin chaired the 39th meeting of the Russian Pobeda (Victory) Organising Committee in the Grand Kremlin Palace. The main item on the meeting’s agenda was developing humanitarian cooperation with other countries at government and public level in the aim of promoting objective information about Russia’s history and present, including its role in the victory […]

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Hitler’s Anschluss and Putin’s – Similarities and Differences

File Photo of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Riding in Convertible

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 13, 2017) Seventy-nine years ago today, Adolf Hitler issued the law on the unification of Austria and Germany, an event subsequently known as the Anschluss, and one that both resembles and differs from what Vladimir Putin did in the case of Ukraine’s Crimea, according to two Ukrainian experts. Yuri Shapovalov, a […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Obama Signs Law That Could Reopen Cultural Exchange with #Russia; Russia’s major museums have not lent artworks to the US since 2011.” – Artnet News/Alyssa Buffenstein

Hermitage Museum

A new law signed … grants foreign states immunity from US jurisdiction in cases related to the temporary exhibition of loaned artworks …. Despite current tensions between Obama and … Putin – and opposition to the bill from groups like the Holocaust Art Restitution Project – the Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act could mean the renewing of cultural […]

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VIDEO & TRANSCRIPT: The Baltics Remember, Russia Forgets

Map of Baltics and Environs, Including Kaliningrad

(RFE/RL – The Daily Vertical: Brian Whitmore – June 15, 2016) [Video further below] Seventy-five years ago this week, an ethnic cleansing campaign began. Seventy-five years ago this week, tens of thousands of people were uprooted from their homes, from their lives, and from their families. Seventy-five years ago this week — when the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were […]

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What to tell our children; The head of RBTH’s English desk tries to put into words what for her is important about the May 9 holiday, the legacy of World War II and what it means to future generations.

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – OLGA VLASOVA, RBTH – May 9, 2016) Ever since I became an adult I always spend the morning of May 9 according to the same routine. I wake up early while everyone is still in bed and watch a couple of old Soviet films about how boys and girls lived and died in […]

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NEWSLINK Russia Direct: “What does Victory Day mean for Russia after Ukraine and Syria? Today Russians look at Victory Day through the lens of the war in Ukraine and the Kremlin’s Syria military operation. However, it might bring about three negative implications both for Russia and the world.”

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NEWSWATCH: “One of Russia’s biggest holidays is a WWII anniversary Americans don’t think about” – Washington Post

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

Ask any Russian about their family’s World War II experiences and the answer, almost invariably, is one of suffering and battlefield service. * * * Russian President Vladimir Putin revived the Soviet-style tank parade in 2008, seeing the day as a way to rally citizens around the flag. But despite the hundreds of missile launchers, warplanes and antiaircraft guns that […]

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Battle in the Archives – Uncovering Russia’s Secret Past

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – March 24, 2016) The year is 1941, and hundreds of miles from Germany, Nazi armored divisions gather speed along newly-frosted soil. They are almost within striking distance of Moscow, the Soviet capital. Eventually, the charge is halted before the city by a series of bloody, desperate battles. Famously, 28 members of the […]

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Jerusalem Post: Ukraine backtracks on Babi Yar plans amid accusations of Holocaust revisionism. Ukrainian gov’t is facing allegations that it’s engaging in historical revisionism following announcement of plans to revamp massacre site to generic symbol rather than emblem of Holocaust.

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: Waging Peace. Churchill requested plans for a British-American attack on Russia code-named “Operation Unthinkable.”

Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin and Crowd of Military Officers

The leaders of the Allied powers met three times during World War II, at Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam. The last conference stretched over 17 days in July and August 1945, longer than the first two put together. Harry Truman had replaced Franklin Roosevelt, and Winston Chur  

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Victory Day in Kyiv

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

Ukraine has a new holiday – 8 May, Day of Remembrance – and a new symbol, the poppy. But 9 May remains, as a reminder of the fact that war is ‘never a pretty story.’ (opendemocracy.net – Natalia Antonova – May 11, 2015) Natalia Antonova was born in Kyiv and grew up in North Carolina. She works as a journalist […]

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Gorbachev: Some Western leaders’ refusal to attend WWII commemorations in Moscow signals disrespect toward those who defeated fascism

File Photo of Parade in Red Square from 2005

(Interfax – May 7, 2015) Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev believes that the refusal of the leaders of some European countries and the United States to come to Moscow to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II on May 9 comes as a sign of disrespect toward the people of the former Soviet […]

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The Indelible Mark of World War II on Modern Russia

Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin and Crowd of Military Officers

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – May 7, 2015) Victory Day hits a raw nerve among Russians, likely owing to the fact that the vast majority of Russian families have been acutely impacted by World War II. President Vladimir Putin recently tapped into this widespread sentimentality with a rare act: he penned a family history, published in this […]

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A Guide to Celebrating Victory Day in Moscow

File Photo of Parade in Red Square from 2005

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Gladkova – May 6, 2015) Victory Day is coming and the capital is scrambling to prepare for Saturday’s celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Allied defeat of Nazi Germany. The day will be bursting with activity, from a massive military parade replete with shiny new tanks and military vehicles of yore in the […]

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NEWSWATCH New York Times: A Parade Hailing Russia’s WWII Dead and Marching Further From the West

File Photo of Parade in Red Square from 2005

The New York Times covers Russia’s celebration of Victory Day amidst current international tensions. … Putin has recast what he calls the country’s most important holiday to celebrate the might of the Russian state, the days are over when … Western leaders joined Mr. Putin on the bleachers …. The nationalistic fervor surrounding the parade and the tensions over Ukraine mean that the […]

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Putin Opens Up About Parents’ World War II Experience

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 1, 2015) [Putin’s article with illustrations here http://ruspioner.ru/cool/m/single/4655] Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has written a magazine column about his parents’ struggles and hardships during World War II, but said they did not hate Nazi Germans – unlike his own generation that did. “There wasn’t a family who didn’t lose someone [during the war]. But they […]

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The New Face of Appeasement

File Photo of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Riding in Convertible

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 10, 2015) It is time to give Nevil Chamberlain a rest as the sole poster child for appeasement. Yes, he appeased Hitler in a hopeless quest to avoid war. He even was honest enough to say that was what he was doing. But when Hitler violated Munich and seized all of Czechoslovakia, […]

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Russian Defense Ministry Releases Trove of Secret Auschwitz Documents

Auschwitz Concentration Entrance with Sign Arbeit Macht Frei

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – January 28, 2015) As the world reflected on the horrors of the Nazi regime on Tuesday – International Holocaust Remembrance Day – Russia seized the opportunity to emphasize the Red Army’s role in liberating the death camps. Following a recent high-profile spat over differing interpretations of World War II history, the Defense […]

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Moscow Times: How Poland Kept Putin Away From the Auschwitz Memorial

Auschwitz Concentration Entrance with Sign Arbeit Macht Frei

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – January 23, 2015) Leading up to the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the Nazis’ largest concentration camp, organizers vowed that this year’s event would focus on the survivors, not the politicians. But as controversy runs rampant over President Vladimir Putin’s anticipated absence from the ceremony, it’s shaping up to be […]

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Interfax: Putin to not attend Auschwitz liberation anniversary events in Poland

Auschwitz Concentration Entrance with Sign Arbeit Macht Frei

(Interfax – January 13, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland on January 27, although the Russian leader attaches great importance to all commemorative events, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov told Interfax on Tuesday. “The president’s schedule does not include such a trip,” he […]

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Re: Churchill and War with USSR

Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin and Crowd of Military Officers

Subject: Churchill and War with USSR Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2014 From: Jake Kipp <jacobkipp@cs.com> In May 1945 before he knew about the atomic bomb, Churchill asked the British General Staff under Field Marshal Alan Brooke to do a study of a possible war between attacking British, US, German, and Polish forces against the USSR with a start date of […]

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Russia Reenacts WWII March After Putin Defends Nazi Pact

File Photo of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Riding in Convertible

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer – November 7, 2014) Russian troops marched in Red Square to commemorate a World War II parade held under the noses of German invaders in 1941 two days after President Vladimir Putin defended a 1939 non-aggression pact with Hitler. Six thousand soldiers and cadets accompanied by World War II-era warplanes and other weaponry today […]

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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 […]

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D-Day at 70: Russia’s role in opening up the Western front

D-Day Cemetery file photos

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – John Naughton, special to RBTH – June 5, 2014) By weakening the German army and keeping it occupied on the Eastern Front, Soviet Russia prepared for the way for the Allied success of D-Day in the West. The retired Royal Navy cruiser the HMS Belfast fired its six-round salute at midday on June […]

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Russian Patriotism Runs High Ahead of Victory Day

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – May 8, 2014) Fighter jets screamed across a snowy Moscow sky on Monday morning, in the last rehearsal ahead of Friday’s Victory Day parade on Red Square. But this year the annual occurrence evoked more than just the usual awe residents feel when glancing overhead, and some Muscovites noted on Twitter that […]

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Interfax: Russians get ready to celebrate Victory Day – poll

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

MOSCOW. May 7 (Interfax) – Victory Day is one of the most significant holidays for Russian citizens, which is widely supported by people, Levada Center sociologists said citing the results of many years of polls provided to Interfax. According to the information of sociologists, in the past years the majority of Russian citizens, 70-72%, celebrate Victory Day in one way […]

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The abuse of history in the Ukrainian crisis

File Photo of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Riding in Convertible

(opendemocracy.net – Marco Siddi – May 5, 2014) Marco Siddi is a DAAD fellow and research associate at the Institute for European Politics in Berlin. Previously, he held a Marie Curie Fellowship at the universities of Edinburgh and Cologne, where he is completing his doctoral dissertation. His research focuses on relations between Russia, the European Union and its member states. […]

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Creative Unions Seen to Back Kremlin Views

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov – April 28, 2014) Last week, the State Duma gave its final approval to a bill introducing criminal penalties for “spreading lies” about the Soviet Union’s role in World War II. The legislation, under which offenders face up to five years in prison, has prompted renewed allegations that the Kremlin is imposing a […]

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NEWSLINK: Is Vladimir Putin Another Adolf Hitler?

File Photo of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Riding in Convertible

[“Is Vladimir Putin Another Adolf Hitler?” – Forbes – Paul Johnson – May 5, 2014] Forbes recalls the aggressive expansion of the Third Reich and draws parallels with the ideology and policies of today’s Putin-led Kremlin. … Had the Allies stopped Hitler at the beginning, when he was remilitarizing the Rhineland, he’d have been overthrown and World War II avoided. But the only one […]

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Has Putin Decided on a New Period of ‘Phony War’?

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, March 29, 2014) Many have drawn parallels between what Vladimir Putin is doing and how the West is reacting with the Cold War or with the appeasement policies of  Munich. But now that Putin has carried out the Crimean Anschluss, a far better analogy for today may be to “the phony war” […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian Prosecutors Check TV Channel Over WWII Poll

St. Petersburg

MOSCOW, January 30 (RIA Novosti) – Staff of an online TV station in Russia face a threat of up to two years in prison after prosecutors announced an “extremism” investigation Thursday into an opinion poll concerning World War II. The liberal Dozhd (“Rain”) channel triggered the ire of conservatives by asking on its website whether the Soviet Union should have […]

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Interfax: German president recalls war, Leningrad siege with shame, sorrow

St. Petersburg Landmark

MOSCOW. Jan 27 (Interfax) – German President Joachim Gauck has expressed his sorrow in recalling the atrocities of the war Germany was waging against the Soviet Union and extended sympathy to the survivors of the siege of Leningrad in a letter sent to the Russian president on the occasion of the 70th anniversary since the breaking of the siege of […]

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Putin Pays Respects to Brother, Victims of Leningrad Siege

St. Petersburg Landmark

MOSCOW, January 27 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin honored the victims of the Siege of Leningrad, including his brother, at a ceremony in St. Petersburg on Monday. Putin walked with several dozen siege survivors in a procession through the Piskaryovskoye cemetery as part of a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the lifting of the Siege of Leningrad, […]

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‘Stalingrad’ Blockbuster Revives Russia’s Trauma, Glory

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

(Voice of America – James Brooke – November 19, 2013) A foreign correspondent who has reported from five continents, Brooke, known universally as Jim, is the Voice of America bureau chief for Russia and former Soviet Union countries. From his base in Moscow, Jim roams Russia and Russia’s southern neighbors. Seventy years have passed since the Battle of Stalingrad, the […]

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RIA Novosti: Yeltsin’s Grandson Developing Hollywood WWII Film

Movie Theater file photo

WASHINGTON, November 5 (RIA Novosti) ­ Boris Yeltsin, the grandson and namesake of Russia’s first president, is producing a movie titled “Night Witches” about female Soviet pilots during World War II and has recruited an award-winning Hollywood screenwriter to pen the screenplay, the US entertainment website Variety.com reported. The project is based on the true story of Soviet female air […]

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Total of 4.6 mln Soviet soldiers, killed in World War II, still not identified

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

(Interfax – PROKHOROVKA, July 12, 2013) The Russian Defense Ministry has not yet identified 4.6 million Soviet soldiers, whose remains are buried in Russia and abroad, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said. “A total of over 32,000 burial sites of over 7 million people are registered by the ministry. A total of 2.6 million are known by surname. Unfortunately, the […]

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Half of Russians ready to fight for homeland – poll

File Photo of Russian Military Conscripts Boarding Train with Gear

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 21, 2013) Russians are paying tribute to their compatriots who saved the country in World War Two. They are also ready to fight for their homeland if a new war starts, Levada Center told Interfax in comment on a poll held before the Day of Remembrance and Grief. Some 52% of the respondents said the Soviet […]

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Long-Lost Soviet Holocaust Films Under New Spotlight

File Photo of Nazi Concentration Camp - adapted from image at army.mil

(RIA Novosti – Maria Young – WASHINGTON, June 19, 2013) ­ Nearly a dozen long-lost, rarely seen Soviet films and scores of screenplays that were never produced about the persecution of Jews during World War II have been revived to offer decades-old evidence of a side of the Holocaust few people recognize today. From the dusty archives of Moscow and […]

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Presidential Library opens access to declassified materials on World War II

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

ST. PETERSBURG. June 13 (Interfax) – The Presidential Library named after Yeltsin has opened access to declassified and little known documents coming to its fund. “We began digitizing declassified materials almost three years ago. We work with the archive of the defense ministry and other official archives. Documents are declassified, we digitize them, put them in our funds and wide […]

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Sacred beliefs: The painful legacy of WWII is made up of questions that cannot be answered

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – May 13, 2013) Anna Arutunyan is a correspondent and editor at themoscownews.com The tanks and the Topol-M missile had all passed, the booming, Soviet-era voice of the announcer was quiet, the 11,000 uniformed servicemen were at ease, and the little boy standing on the curb of the Red Square suddenly spoke up. […]

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Bestselling writers bear witness to the devastation, and glory, of WW II

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alena Tveritina, RBTH – May 10, 2013) Many Soviet writers experienced the brutal front as Red Army soldiers and as war correspondents; others collected the accounts of everyday citizens. World War II is among the most tragic chapters in the hard book of the 20th century. Many Soviet writers fought with the Red […]

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On Victory Day, Putin Says Russian Soldiers Freed Europe

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 10, 2013) President Vladimir Putin has praised Russian soldiers as “the liberators of Europe” at a Victory Day parade with more than 11,000 soldiers and 100 military vehicles on Red Square. “We will always remember that it was the Red Army that didn’t allow the fascists to occupy the world,” Putin said a speech […]

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Russians readying to celebrate Victory Day – poll

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, May 7, 2013) Victory Day is one of the most significant holidays in Russia that enjoys mass support, Levada Center sociologists told Interfax quoting surveys of many years. The overwhelming majority of Russians, 70-75%, celebrated the Victory Day one way or another in the past three years, which was more than the number of Russians celebrating the […]

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