The Russian Embassy has prepared a summary of the article by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, where the Russian leader offers a comprehensive assessment of the legacy of World War II (WWII), with his key messages for your attention.
WWII did not happen overnight, nor did it start unexpectedly or all of a sudden. All pre-war events fell into place to form one fatal chain. But, undoubtedly, the main factors that predetermined the greatest tragedy in the history of mankind were State egoism, cowardice, appeasement of the aggressor who was gaining strength and unwillingness of the political elite to search for a compromise.
The Treaty of Versailles that marked the end of World War I (WWI) (1914-1918) became a symbol of grave injustice for Germany. It was the national humiliation that created a fertile ground for radical sentiments of revenge in the country, which was directly or indirectly contributed by Western States, particularly the UK and the US. The Nazis led by Adolf Hitler skilfully played on people’s emotions and built their propaganda promising to deliver Germany from the “legacy of Versailles” and restore the country to its former power while essentially pushing German people into war.
The League of Nations, established following WWI to ensure global lasting peace and collective security with the UK and France playing the leading roles, proved ineffective and failed to prevent conflicts in various parts of the world (such as the attack of Italy on Ethiopia in 1935, the civil war in Spain in 1936-1939, the Japanese aggression against China in 1937 and the Anschluss of Austria in 1938) as well as the horrors of a global war from happening again.
It was the Munich Betrayal in September 1938 that served as a “trigger” and made the big war in Europe inevitable. That year, the UK and France, which was at the time the main ally of Czechoslovakia, chose to break their international commitments and abandon this Eastern European country to its fate. In so doing, they sought to direct the attention of the Nazis eastward so that Germany and the Soviet Union would inevitably clash and bleed each other white.
The USSR, practically the last among the European countries, signed the Non-Aggression Pact with Germany in the face of a real threat of war on two fronts – with Germany in the west and with Japan in the east. Bearing this in mind, the Soviet leaders sought to buy precious time needed to strengthen the country’s defences.
The Soviet Union and the Red Army, no matter what anyone is trying to prove today, made the main and crucial contribution to the defeat of Nazism. On the whole, the USSR accounted for about 75 per cent of all military efforts undertaken by the anti-Hitler coalition. We contend for genuine, unvarnished, or whitewashed truth about war.
Honouring veterans who did everything they could for the victory and remembering those who died on the battlefield has become our moral duty. Historical revisionism, manifestations of which we now observe in the West, and primarily with regard to the subject of WWII and its outcome, is dangerous because it grossly and cynically distorts the understanding of the principles of peaceful development, laid down at the Yalta and San Francisco conferences in 1945, that created the modern system of international relations based on the United Nations.
We can see that the UN system currently experiences certain tension in its work and is not as effective as it could be. But the UN still performs its primary function. The principles of the UN Security Council are a unique mechanism for preventing a major war or global conflict. It is of utmost importance to hold a meeting of the leaders of the five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council , which will play an important role in finding common answers to modern challenges and threats, and demonstrate a common commitment to the spirit of alliance.
Mr Putin is the President President
of the Russian Federation .