in defence of russia

in russia they refer to their country as both ‘the fatherland’ and ‘the motherland’- fatherland in relation to anything military, motherland in relaition to agriculture and education.

in english we refer to patriotism when we refer to justification of military action, and in russia they do the same, except we’ve forgotten that ‘pater’ and ‘father’ mean the same thing in our language.

in russian, not having the whole latin thing going on quite as strong, they just have отец (ahhh-tyets)

the 2nd world war in russia just doesn’t exist. it’s called ‘the great patriotic war’, or ‘the great war of the fatherland’, depending which way you want to read it. means the same thing anyhow.

when considering russian attitude towards war one must remember their history is a little bit harsher than the average empire- statistically they’ve had more home matches than away fixtures, which is ironic considering their ‘threatening’ reputation. vikings first cut their way from the north west, then mongols sort of got all the way to the swedish border (and i think we all know what sort of behaviour they were famous for. (i’ve seen the bones of 12th century monks in piles in catacombs in the ukraine. they spared the women. 3 in a hundred russians are related to genghis khan himself.)

then 1812 and napoleon marched all the fucking way to moscow, and torched it.

and then there was the biggy. the ‘great patriotic war’- i was taken a back too when i learned it wasn’t called ww2 there. i was incensed. where was the repspect to the spitfire and barnes wallace and everythnig. but it was sort of different in russia. those sort of nice little details get lost in all the blood.

a couple of highlights for you.

in the three year leningrad siege, the 3 million population of st. petersburg was reduced to 1.3million. (that’s three long winters at upto -25 degrees without power or food.). 2.7 million dead.

battle of stalingrad, 1.5 million killed in a couple of weeks (okay, including 750,000 germans but you wouldn’t want to clean up, would you)

battle of moscow- 1million soviets died, half a million germans. nazi’s got about 15 km from the city centre and then the weather beat them.

battle of kursk- 2 million men and 6,000 tanks go head to head in the biggest motorized battle that there will probably ever be.

now imagine ‘stalingrad’ was ‘adelaide’ or, or ‘moscow’ was ‘sydney’ etc. they were just normal cities with normal people living normal, happy lives. kindergartens, old people. pretty young girls who’d never been kissed.

and brits go dewy eyed over the blitz (10,000 or so killed), and the fucking americans get hard ons about pearl harbour (about 2,500, and it’s nowhere fucking near america) and their twin fucking towers (3000)?. not a single enemy soldier has ever landed on their shores.

they don’t know what it is like and they have no right to take it to the shores of others.

with this sort of ‘imminent threat’ nailed into the national psyche of russia (victory day is still celebrated proudly, whilst the rest of the world ‘remembers’), is it any wonder the soviets took over the whole of eastern europe (they regard rather that they ‘won’ eastern europe, which is what war is all about i guess) and built up such an enormous arsenal, and continue to do so, so that nobody will ever, ever, ever dare step on their soil again. that is why they have a nuclear deterrant.

and with china on one border. india on another and pretty much the whole of eurasia’s metals and hydrocarbons under their control, they have to. the chinese are already sneaking their border westwards.

why america still pointing missiles at them god only knows, old ways die hard i guess, but then again in god they trust so they must be right.

i think in this context the father of all bombs is there to protect his children. i don’t think it was ever designed with the purpose of actually ever being used. and that’s where russian and american histories are assymetrical. america has shown the world it is willing to use atomic mass-destructive weapons in hostile acts against civilian targets on the other side of the planet. twice.

(footnote- i was really surprised when i learnt all this stuff cos i thought the second world war was all about people with nice moustaches shooting at each other in really far off places for some abstract reason. my grandad was posted to bombay for fucks sake, where he learnt how to do wheelies and mix the perfect gin and tonic. my ex-wife’s dad remembers watching german troops burn all the houses in his village, whilst hiding up a tree. he was five.)

in defence of russia

mister  khan

Best in the World, Russian Federation

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prompted by scott robinson’s excellent ‘father and son’

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