Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Kremlin’s Quasi-Religious Cult of Soviet Defeat of Nazism has Never Been about the Past, Shevchuk Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 10 – For many Soviet and Russian citizens, the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany not only legitimated their country’s leadership but served as a universal moral solvent that could be deployed against any criticism of the USSR or more recently the Russian Federation.

            Vladimir Putin’s “quasi-religious cult” of 1945 built on that tradition but was never limited it, Volodimir Shevchuk says. Instead, for the Kremlin leader, this cult was never primarily about the past but rather about the future (

            That was clearly the case in the May 9 commemorations this year, including Putin’s own speech. But there was another aspect of his remarks that may prove even more important. His words were so restrained that it now appears likely, the Ukrainian commentator says, that Moscow will soon propose to the West some peace settlement in Ukraine.

            But given all that he has said and done in the past, it should remain clear to all that Putin is simply and not terribly cleverly trying to extricate himself from his failures in Ukraine and to give himself more time to attack that country again or others in the future. Whether he will succeed in this latest ploy depends on how well the West understands what he is about.


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