Opinion- What Russians really think – FT.com – John Gelmini

English: Victory Day (Russia)

English: Victory Day (Russia) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

RED SQUARE, MOSCOW. At the military parade cel...

RED SQUARE, MOSCOW. At the military parade celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of victory in World War II. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like Dr Alf, I take a keen interest in the history of World War II, and in addition, military history at an official and unofficial level.

Often things we were told about events are only complete when we know and have access to additional facts.

Russia in World War II, lost about 25 million men, a figure which included 10 million or so murdered by Stalin’s secret police.

Even at this level of casualties, they lost far more men than the UK, France and America combined.
Their tradition first developed under Peter the Great, was to build an empire and then remain independent.

They even helped the Union under Abraham Lincoln, during the American Civil War, by dint of the Czar sending the Russian fleet to their aid at a time when the UK wanted to help the Confederacy but then thought better of it because of a lack of appetite for fighting Russia.

In World War II, the American General, Patton wanted to continue the war by attacking Russia and died in mysterious circumstances, some speculate that Patton was assassinated at Stalin’s orders.

What the Russian people think and what we think of them is probably different to what their leadership thinks of our political elite and vice versa.

One hopes that we can all live together on the same planet with a bit more harmony than we are in at present but until then we should remember the sacrifices they made when wider-Russia destroyed the flower of Hitler’s best army on the Eastern front.

John Gelmini