Friday, July 14, 2017

Baltic Forest Brothers Did in 1940s What Russians Did in 1991 -- They Fought Soviet Power, Ross Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 14 – The Kremlin-orchestrated attack on the Forest Brothers in the Baltic countries in the 1940s and on a NATO film clip about them calls attention to a fundamental contradiction in Russian thinking that the powers that be are exacerbating rather than addressing by their criticisms, according to Tatyana Ross.

            Today, the Moscow commentator writes, officials “do not want to rewrite what was written in Soviet textbooks” where it was said that “in Ukraine and in the Baltic countries, Soviet power (which was considered correct) was established and its enemies (local Ukrainian nationalist-Banderites and ‘forest brothers’ in the Baltic fought against it.”

            That means, according to this verison of events, Ross says, that members of these groups by definition are “criminals” (  “But,” she continues, there is a problem. “Russia ‘overthrew’ Soviet power” in 1991 when thousands came to the defense of the Russian White House during the coup attempt and several of them died.

            “If Russia overthrew Soviet power (did it?) … then it must (?) condemn (among its other crimes0 the occupation by Soviet military forces of the territories of neighboring states and recognize that those who fought with Soviet power (the nationalists of Ukraine and the Baltics) were not criminals but fighters FOR THE FREEDOM of their countries.”

            But if one accepts the Kremlin’s logic, Ross continues, then “why not condemn those in Russia who were at the White House in 1991? [For the present] they are even considered heroes. But those who struggled against Soviet power in Ukraine and in the Baltics are considered criminals. Where is the logic in that?”

            According to Ross, officials and regime journalists in Moscow “do not want to rewrite the history … which was written in Soviet textbooks. They do not want to REWRITE THE LIE and write instead the REAL history, that is the TRUTH.”  And thus they signal that they “do not consider that power in Russia has changed.” It is the same old Soviet version.

            Many people had hoped, she says, that “a new generation which had not lived in the USSR would grow up and everything ‘would be put in its place.’ But how can one count on that if the new generation is studying the same Soviet textbooks? And it is being taught by the very same Soviet teachers.”

            The final word of official Moscow on all this was delivered by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mariya Zakharova who said that no one can remain “indifferent” to the NATO clip about the forest brothers that has as “its goal undermining the results of Nuremburg. That must be blocked.”

            Given such attitudes, Ross says, the question arises:  “What will truth be TOMORROW?” Given that the current regime maintains itself with stories about its own “doubtful victories” and by whitewashing “the Soviet-Chekist past,” there is very little that can be excluded as far as what the past will be tomorrow.

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