Whatever You Think of Putin, You Should Understand How Russia Thinks
Even if you think Putin is a tyrant with ambitions to build an imperial Russia, you can’t understand the war in Ukraine unless you understand how Russians think.
20 million Russians died fighting the Nazis in World War II.
Neo Nazis just killed at least 42 Russians when they firebombed a building in Odessa, Ukraine that the Russians had taken shelter in.
Agence France-Presse reports:
Russian official rhetoric has increasingly compared events in Ukraine to the darkest crimes of Nazi Germany, ahead of next week’s anniversary of Soviet victory in World War II.
The fire in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa that claimed at least 42 lives on Friday has been swiftly dubbed a new “reprisal raid” and even the “new Khatyn,” a reference to the Belarussian village where 149 residents were burned alive by the Nazis in 1943.
The Khatyn massacre went down in Russian history books as one of the Nazis’ most brutal “reprisal raids,” a term the Kremlin has now adopted to describe the offensive Kiev authorities have launched against pro-Moscow rebels in the flashpoint town of Slavyansk.
“What has happened, especially in the Trade Unions House, brings to mind the crimes of the Nazis during World War II,” pro-Kremlin lawmaker Leonid Slutsky told reporters in Moscow, referring to the Odessa fire.
“These are the new Khatyn and Auschwitz.”
A senior official in the pro-Kremlin government of Crimea, Ukraine’s peninsula taken over by Russia in March, chimed in.
“The last time people were burned alive in Ukraine was by the Nazis during the Great Patriotic War,” Rustam Temirgaliyev said on Facebook, referring to the Russian name for World War II.
Russia’s losses and sacrifice during World War II remain a hugely sensitive subject in the country ….
To the extent that the U.S. and Nato are backing the right-wing Ukrainians, we are creating conditions that the Russian leadership – rightly or wrongly – considers an existential threat.