Staunton, May 12 – Many Russian commentators have pointed out that Vladimir Putin celebrates the Soviet contribution to victory over Nazi Germany but that his government doesn’t pay much attention to the rapidly thinning ranks of Red Army veterans who actually fought in that conflict but remain in Russia (e.g., kasparov.ru/material.ph p?id=5AF08382EE232
Now that the parades and salutes “in honor of Victory Day” are over, Novyye izvestiya says, “it is the proper time to settle accounts. But they are disappointing. The veterans of World War II in Russia are becoming ever fewer, and they are living ever worse, even though the size of military parades is becoming greater.”
Germany, which lost the war, currently pays its World War II veterans as much as 600,000 rubles (10,000 US dollars) a month. It even pays the widows of those combatants up to 60,000 rubles (1,000 US dollars) every 30 days. And Red Army veterans who are fortune enough to live in Germany get social compensation of 37,500 rubles (650 US dollars) monthly..
World War II veterans in Great Britain receive approximately the same amount as do German ones. In the United States, World War II veterans are paid 162,000 rubles (2700 US dollars) each month. They are looked after by a special ministry which maintains hospitals and homes for them at government expense.
In France, veterans of World War II get a special supplement to their ordinary pensions amounting to 45,000 rubles (750 US dollars) monthly. They also are allowed to retire five years earlier – at 60 – than are all other French nationals.
And in Israel, veterans of World War II, “including those born in the USSR,” receive pensions of 90,000 rubles (1500 US dollars) each month, something they can add to their other pensions including the 1,000 rubles (16 US dollars) that Moscow sends to Red Army veterans now living in the Jewish State.
Russia trails far behind, Novyye izvestiya continues. Its World War II veterans despite government hype get only 30,000 rubles (500 US dollars) a month and those who served in the rear during that conflict receive only 16,500 rubles (275 US dollars) monthly, figures that hardly allow them to live out their time in worthy conditions.
The paper adds as an addendum the following damning fact: Germany has taken on itself responsibility to pay pensions to all those who suffered in Nazi concentration camps and their relatives as well. Almost needless to say, no former prisoner of the Stalinist camps who now lives in Russia gets anything at all.