Ukraine: how we got to where we are today.
Since its foundation, the Republic of Ireland has been a neutral state. It is a sign of the success of Anglo-American propaganda against Russia that Ireland now wishes to enter the lists against the ‘unwarranted aggression’ of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. Most of the enthusiasts for war against Russia know nothing about the history of Ukraine. That includes the governing and opposition parties of both the UK and Ireland. So the Irish Foreign Minister wants to replace the Irish Defence Force with a war-making Army, and he wants to abolish the United Nations Security Council in order to facilitate war-making.
The Irish Examiner headline of 16th April sums up his position, Coveney Urges Changes To Triple Lock On Military Deployment. (The Triple Lock means that Irish Forces cannot be sent to war without: a Government decision; a Dail majority; and a UN Resolution.)
There is nothing in the rules of the United Nations, or any other international body, to prevent the Defence Force of a state from defending the state if it is attacked. Coveney concedes that—
“There hasn’t been a case where we have wanted to send troops where the triple lock has prevented it. But, having said that, there is, theoretically, a problem of a veto being used at the Security Council and stopping us from sending troops”.
The Security Council Veto does not apply to defence. It is unimaginable that an attempt should be made by any member of the Security Council to prevent an Irish Government from sending troops to the borders of the state in order to defend it. The UN recognises an absolute right of defence.
The Veto is the essential thing in the structure of the United Nations. Without the Veto there could have been no United Nations.
The United Nations was constructed across the most profound antagonism that has ever existed in the world. It was built across a fault line.
In 1939 Britain decided to start a second War in Europe over the trivial issue of Danzig. It declared war on Germany but did not wage war.
Germany responded to the Declaration of War by Britain and France, defeated the British and French Armies that were drawn up on its borders and became a Great Power.
Britain, safe behind its world-dominating Navy, refused to negotiate a settlement of the War it had declared.
The Veto: The Core Of The UN
Germany invaded Russia, expecting a quick victory—after which Britain would have to make a settlement. But the Russian Army did not buckle as the British and French Armies had done. Russia defeated Germany and became a World Power. But for the intervention of the USA, the Russian defeat of Germany would have led to the occupation of the whole of Germany and made France a Soviet sphere of influence. The American intervention met the Russian Armies in Berlin—and Western Europe became an American sphere of influence, while Eastern Europe fell to the Eastern victor.
Russia and America were accidental Allies for a moment, but were essential enemies. And in 1945 the world was divided between them.
They agreed to the establishment of the United Nations as a world structure, but on the condition that both of them should be excluded from its authority and that it could not be used by either of them as moral cover for making war on the other.
A General Assembly was set up alongside the Security Council. All states are formally equals in the Assembly but it does not command military power. It can adopt resolutions democratically but they are without effect. Only once has the Security Council conferred on it actual authority to decide affairs in the world. That was in 1948, when Britain wanted to wash its hands of the mess it had caused in the Middle East.
The issue was what to do with the Jews who had survived the 1939 German occupation of Poland and the Ukraine (thanks to Russia, which had transported hundreds of thousands of them Eastward before the German advance). The General Assembly decided to award the Jews a piece of Palestine in compensation for the atrocity committed against them in Europe. The Zionist Organisation accepted that award, ethnically-cleansed its bit of Palestinians, and seized a further tract of territory populated by Arabs beyond what was allocated to them by the UN. The General Assembly made no attempt to police the implementation of its award. It unleashed mayhem, and left it at that.
The Ukraine As A State
It seems to have been a visit to the Ukraine that inspired Foreign Minister Coveney with these ideas. His article about his visit has the title: “There is still beauty in Ukraine, including in the brave people there”.
It must be the “terrible beauty” that Yeats said he saw in 1916! The beauty of a group of idealists taking their ideals in earnest and putting them to the test of war.
But what exactly is the Ukrainian nationalist ideal?
It is not national independence of Russia. It became independent of Russia without having to fight for it. It was Russia that created it as a state, and thirty years ago Russia conferred independence on the Ukrainian state that it had created.
Russia’s only demand on it was that it should not make itself the base for United States operations against it. But Ukraine rejected that demand, asserting that it was a sovereign state with the right to make whatever military alliances it pleased, and to bring American military power right up against the borders of Russia if it pleased. Russia begged to differ.
One can see that the independent Ukrainian state constructed by Russian statecraft might not have known quite what to do with itself when Russia cut it adrift thirty years ago.
It existed but it did not know why. The Irish state today is, in its official existence, very much like that. It had brought itself into existence by a combination of ballot and bullet in conflict with the greatest Empire in the world, but had somehow lost all sense of the purpose that had driven it in that conflict. Only a year ago the Foreign Minister was engaged in an attempt to lose the distinction between oppressor and oppressed in the Irish War of Independence by commemorating the Irish and British forces together as if they had been allied against some common enemy. And the force which it was less eager to commemorate was not the Black and Tans.
That attempt has been given up, but only for the moment I assume.
The Ukraine, however, had nothing at all to commemorate. It had no war of independence. It existed without a history, and therefore without much sense of a present. Its political life consisted of apparently meaningless “colour revolutions” centred on personalities. It drifted, and its inherited economy declined.
But a state—certainly a big state like the Ukraine—must find something to do with itself, and have some sense of itself as a historical existence.
The Deferred World War
What it decided to do was make itself available to the United States for a proxy conflict with Russia which would end the 1945 compromise on which the United Nations was founded.
General Patton had been eager to have a go in 1945. But it would have been ideologically problematic to go straight ahead and make war on Russia just after Russia was seen as having savedcivilisation from being destroyed by German barbarism—and would also have been risky. But now an essentially purposeless Ukraine has provided the United States with the opportunity of fighting the deferred war of 1945 against Russia for unchallenged dominance of the world, but fighting it as a proxy war.
The Source Of Ukrainian Nationalism
A nation-state must find some national purpose. When Russia dismantled the Soviet Union, it was itself going through a phase of post-nationalism—it was living in wonderland. It seems to have regarded the Ukraine as a second Russia against which no precautions need to be taken. It took no account of either strategic or ethnic factors—and there was at the time little appearance of ethnic or linguistic difference between Ukraine and Russia.
The Ukraine was bland. The Ukrainian nationalism, which had twice in the first half of the 20th century tried and failed to establish a Ukrainian State, seemed to have died away.
But nationalisms do not die easily. And it is not surprising that the Ukraine, in search of meaning for itself, remembered Petliura and Bandera.
Simon Petliura, around 1919, had a powerful vision of the Ukraine as a socialist nation-state and attempted to put it into effect. Bandera revived that vision around 1941.
Both of them were assassinated in exile after their nationalist efforts had failed. And both were assassinated on the ground that they were exterminators of Jews.
There is no doubt that Ukrainian nationalism was actively anti-Semitic on both occasions. All that is questionable is how much Petliura and Bandera personally encouraged it.
It seems that Petliura at least discouraged it, but had no effective control over the populace of the Ukrainian Peoples’ Republic which he set up.
He seems to have been an intellectual caught by a vision, rather like Patrick Pearse, with the difference that he had to govern the Republic he proclaimed, and that the nation on whose behalf he purported to act had a very doubtful existence.
Here is the opening paragraph of a booklet about him by V. Koroliv, issued in English translation, by the Ukrainian Editorial Company, based in Kiev and Prague in June 1919: Simon Petliura: Ukrainian Chief and Popular Hero:
“There are moments in the life of every nation when the collective will of the entire human mass seems to be turned towards some great aspiration: when the whole body of the people becomes saturated with one idea, when all his spiritual power is strained to the utmost, his soul being full of ecstasy bordering on fanaticism. These glorious epoch[s] of national regeneration are at the same time the birth ages of great heroes. Unfortunate would be the nation unable to give life to such a high guide whose heart is beating in harmony with her own. Such a nation is like a herd without shepherd, like a chaotic element uncontrolled by reason. And since nothing but cool reason works the destroying forces of element into something of positive value, the nation in such conditions would not be able to achieve her enfranchisement.
“The history of the Ukraine contains not a few brilliant pages devoted to national heroes, presenting, each of hem, the very essence of the national ideal of a certain epoch. The Hitman Bugdan Chmelnytzky, Ivan Syrko, Petra Doroshenko and others have been true popular heroes, created by national vital forces and born to be leaders. Indeed, they led the whole nation, they drew her towards a high goal.
“Yet these are all names of a better age when the earth swarmed with fairy knights and paladins sans peur et sans reproche. Could we possibly equal it, we feeble heirs of past fame? Could we have been chosen by fate for seeing eye to eye such regenerated legend. Did we ever dream of witnessing such giant deeds? Our life has been so quiet, so well regulated in the monotony of everyday work that we should but marvel and respectfully bend our heads at the sight of great men, creators of things.
“Life, however, chose to give us, children of the XXth century, a reproduction of the past. The great war, the prodigious proceedings we did experience brought about real heroes—men of titanic moral power…
“The most powerful individuality between such guides is our actual chief Simon Petliura, known among country folk and soldiers as their “Batka” (that means “father”)…”
Russia And Nationalism
But Petliura did not at first support separation from Russia. At a Congress of the newly organised Army he adopted a cautious, long-term approach comparable with Kerensky’s and advocated a federal relationship with Russia.
“the Russian intellectuals having lost the organic tie with the people-mass—got out of balance and in their panical fear of the anarchical mob they let fall the reins from their hands. And as they were standing on the cross-road the flood of human masses which had been let loose came swelling over them…
“Why is it so? We never doubted that the essential reason lies in the lack of nationally minded Russian leaders on the whole surface of Russia… The Russian leading men have been, so to speak, parvenus. They felt equally at home in every town in their immense fatherland: would it be Moscow or Petrograd, Kiev or Tiflis, Riga or Tashkent. They were the same everywhere. As to the natives they did not know them, having no immediate contact whatever with the folk. Under the name of ‘natives’ Russian politicians understood the entire population of the Russian state while they treated every single individuals out of the people as “mujiks” that, naturally, had to be taken care of and educated “to grow up to the level” by means of evolutionary progress.”
The absence of nationalist feeling in Russian society was something I had come across before. In the era of the French Revolution when nationalism was the order of the day, a Moscow intellectual, whose name I have forgotten, published a book suggesting that Russia was not a nation. There was an outcry against him. There was talk of treason. Fortunately the writer was a friend of the Tsar and the Tsar said his friend must have been momentarily out of his mind when he wrote that book and advised him to take a rest in the country.
But Moscow understood itself to be a civilisation rather than a nation. It was the third Rome, and Rome certainly had not been a nation. Rome was perhaps a source of nations in its engagement with the barbarians who destroyed it and then ruled in its name, preserving it as a ghostly name: the Holy Roman Empire.
“Now the other nations living on the territory of ex-Russia had each of them a class of educated men, an intellectual set, issued from the very source of the nation. Therefore with the outbreak of the revolution the national intellectual classes of the nations forming Russia sought the head of their respective people which did understand to respect their natural leaders. This was not the case with the Russian leaders. For the great Russian people did not acknowledge his leaders to be his very blood and bone and definitively gave them up. So it came to pass that at the head of the Russian people we beheld either men foreign by birth as Trotzky—Bronstein or Russian only by name, internationalists as Lenin. They led its unhappy people on the terrible road that accomplished the disaster of Russia and is menacing all Europe and, possibly, all the world with unexperienced terrors.
“Meanwhile the Ukrainian leaders (as likewise other national groups) being the creation of general national milieu, and having preserved a deep bond with the masses was executing the collective will of the nation. The deepest impulse out of the national soul served to the Ukrainian upper class as a leading principle. That is the reason why in Ukraine the leading men do not lose their posts, do not leave the nation err dangerously about as a lost sheep. The Ukrainian intellectual class itself is in the process of evolution in connection with the general national movement…”
Kerenskyian socialism tried to continue the Tsarist war on Germany as a national war, without disrupting the Russian social structure. It was swept aside by Lenin’s movement—which ended Russia’s participation in the War, destroyed what there was of a ruling class, and established a regime of state whose sphere of action was the world. Petliura became a national separatist, committing himself to “the folk”. But he was not in fact a representative figure of the folk. Whatever his origins, he had become a member of the Russian intelligentsia. When he committed himself to separatist Ukrainian nationalism, he took an even greater leap in the dark than Lenin did. It does not seem that there was any groundwork of Ukrainian nationalist development for Petliura to act on. Lenin had levers by means of which he could act. Petliura depended on spontaneous action by “the folk”, and what “the folk” did could not meet with his approval.
Pearse, at the founding of the Volunteers, described the Irish people throughout the 19th century as having been a mob desperately trying to realise itself as a nation. The Irish had certainly been reduced to something like a mob by the century of Penal Laws but, when the Ascendancy Parliament was abolished, they were easily assembled into a purposeful mass for a realisable political purpose by O’Connell, and were a coherent national force by Pearse’s time.
In the Ukraine in 1919, however, the herd and the shepherd just did not belong together. The herd that seemed to follow Petliura took little heed of him—And it was in any case just one amongst many herds. There were three local armies in conflict with each other, and then a fourth Army appeared, an Army sent by Britain and France to restore the Tsarist State.
The Proskurov Pogrom
A couple of months before this booklet about Petliura was published, the great Proskurov Pogrom happened. It was one of many pogroms that happened after the fall of the Tsarist State and the establishment of the Ukrainian People’s Republic, but it has been the most noticed of them.
Proskurov was a village—a town by Irish standards—in the Jewish Pale of Settlement, a huge area where Jews lived almost a normal social life.
A book by Abraham Rechtman of Proskurov has been published recently: The Lost World Of Russia’s Jews: Ethnography And Folklore Of The Pale Of Settlement. (For “Russia’s Jews” read“Ukraine’s Jews”.)
In 1914 Rechtman was engaged in a survey of Jewish life in the Pale, on behalf of the Jewish Ethnographic Expedition from St. Petersburg, when he was arrested on suspicion of being a German spy. Who else but a German spy would be going around a frontier area in wartime taking photos and acquiring information? He was released but the Expedition was cut short. His Report of the Expedition received little notice, possibly because it was written in Yiddish, the actual language of Jewish life in the main region of Jewish society—which Zionism suppressed and replaced with Hebrew.
Rechtman got the Yiddish version published in Argentina in the 1950s. An English version was published by Indiana University last year, with an Introduction by Nathaniel Deutsch in which the 1919 Pogrom is described.
Proskurov, in Podolia, “the cradle of the Hasidic movement”, had a population in 1900 of just under 14,000, of which 11,000 were Jews:
“On February 15, 1919, soldiers in Simon Petlyura’s army under the command of the Hetman Ivan Samosenko entered Praskurov. While a military band played, the soldiers cried out ‘Kill the Jews and Save the Ukraine’ and began to slaughter, maim and rape the town’s Jewish residents, employing bayonets and lances in order to conserve ammunition. More than fifteen hundred Jews (some estimates exceeded four thousand) were murdered and many others were injured in a pogrom that became emblematic of the tidal wave of violence that swamped Jewish communities in the borderland regions of the former Russian Empire…”
In the notorious Kishinev Pogrom of 1903, 49 Jews had been killed.
Petliura, in exile in France, was assassinated in 1927 by a Jew, Symon Schwartzbard. Schwartzbard’s defence was an indictment of Petliura as a killer of Jews. Petliura was found guilty.
Jabotinski & Petliura
I know of only one modern—post-Soviet—Ukrainian publication about Petliura in English translation, Symon Petliura And The Jewry by Professor Volodymar Serhiychuk, of the Kyiv National Taron Shevchenko University, published in Kiev in 2000.
The Professor does not deny that the establishment of the Ukrainian nationalist People’s Republic was accompanied by widespread killing of Jews. Indeed he explains why that should have been the case. But he claims that Petliura had no personal responsibility for it. And he quotes an article in defence of Petliura, which appeared when he was assassinated and the French Court justified the assassination, written by Zhabotinsky—whom I take to be the revisionist Zionist Jabotinsky, who insisted in the 1920s that a Jewish State could be established in Palestine only through colonial conquest and the subjugation of the native population.
Jabotinsky said he had known Petliura well and had campaigned with him for progressive causes and therefore he knew that he was not an anti-Semite. A year later, however, Jabotinsky, under Jewish pressure, agreed that Petliura had to be found guilty of the purges of the Jewish population by the forces of the People’s Republic, as he was Head of its Government.
There was an abstract, theoretical affinity between the socialist pioneers of nationalism. As socialists they stood for nationalism against the over-riding of nationalist development by trans-national socialism. They approved of each other in principle against the internationalism of the Bolsheviks, even though in practice they were bound to come into conflict with each other, as nationalism is not internationalistic.
Petliura, the Ukrainian national-socialist, went into alliance with Pilsudski, the Polish national-socialist, in his war against Lenin—the international socialist. Pilsudski won, but the effect of his victory was to extend the Polish State into Western Ukraine—where Polish influence had been locally dominant in the Tsarist Empire.
National-socialism was far from being peculiar to Germany. It was common to most of Europe—as remade by the Versailles Conference—and it had a strong presence even in Jewish politics. The Empires in which the Jews had a specialised place were broken up. If they could not hold that place in the multitude of nation-states created by Versailles, then they would have to make other arrangements.
The difference with German national socialism was that Germany was a powerful nation-state when the British, French and Tsarist Empires, along with the American Republic, made war on it; plundered it after the War; and deliberately humiliated it and subjected it to disabling restrictions. Having been treated like that, it needed to be kept down. France, which had borne the main cost of defeating it, wanted to break it up into three or four states. Britain would not allow that. It insisted on maintaining the unity of the German state as a counter-weight to France, and then it enabled Hitler to break all the Versailles restrictions and directed him eastwards towards the Bolshevik enemy. It made him the hegemonic power in Eastern Europe in 1938. Its sudden decision in March 1939 to make war on him has never been explained—except in kindergarten terms.
What Germany did in the Ukraine, when it returned in 1941, was not different in kind from what had been done by Ukrainian national-socialism in 1919-20. Jews and Bolsheviks—which were taken to be two names for the same thing—were dealt with. The Ukrainian nationalists co-operated. But the Germans would not agree to a restoration of the Ukrainian nationalist State which had been destroyed by the Bolsheviks. Petliura’s successor, Stepan Bandera, was therefore detained.
But the Germans in Kiev in 1941 did not find themselves in a socially-hostile environment. A Ukrainian military force fought with the Germans against Russia, even though the formation of a Ukrainian Government was not allowed.
Jews, Bolsheviks and some others were rounded up, killed and thrown into a ravine called Babi Yarin the neighbourhood of Kiev. One of the books written about this is by a Patrick Dempsey, who includes some Einsatz-gruppe Reports on how the work was going.
Report of October 7th, 1941. (The number of Jews in Kiev said to be about 300,000).
“The population cooperate very readily by furnishing information on explosives or secret membership in the NKVD, the Party and the Red Army. Unlike the first days, one could note that information was 90% correct. The reason for this is that the city inhabitants are less frightened than is the rural population, since they do not fear the possibility of the return of the Bolsheviks” (Dempsey, Babi Yar, p165).
“The population was extremely infuriated against the Jews because of their preferential economical status under Soviet rule. It could also be proved that the Jews had participated in arson. The population expected adequate reprisals from the Germans. For this purpose, in agreement with the city military command, all the Jews of Kiev were ordered to appear at a certain place on Monday September 29, by 6 o’clock. The order was publicised by posters all over the town by members of the newly organised Ukrainian militia. At the same time, information was passed that all the Jews in Kiev would be moved to another place…
“The population agreed with the plan to move the Jews to another place. That they were actually liquidated has hardly been made known. However, according to the experience gained so far, this would not meet with any opposition…” (p166).
According to Dempsey:
“On Friday July 25th  the aptly called Petliura Days commenced a pogrom in Lvov, which saw a murderous reign of terror waged against Lvov’s Jews… At Lvov, at Vilna, at Vinnitsa, and then at Kiev a line has been drawn by which humankind now knows the degeneracy of man…” (p67).
I assume that the “arson” mentioned above was the destruction of a complex of buildings that was the heart of Kiev—its Piccadilly, Leicester Square and Shaftesbury Avenue. Anatoli Kuznetsov in hisBabi Yar (published in censored form in the Soviet Union and later—as written—in the West) says, disapprovingly, that the Red Army networked the complex with explosives as they were about to leave, and later set off the explosives as the city was settling down under German rule, provoking reprisals, and spoiling the harmony of the scene.
Kuznetsov describes how German re-occupation had been expected and how his parents had different opinions about it, one of them looking forward to it and the other being apprehensive about it, while he himself, experiencing the event, concluded that “…in this world there is neither brains, nor goodness, nor good sense, but only brute force… The world was just one big Babi Yar. And there two great forces had come up against each other and were striking against each other like hammer and anvil, and the wretched people were in between, with no way out” (Babi Yar, 1972 edition, p204).
How did these two fundamentalist forces erupt out of 19th century European civilisation, and come to dominate world affairs by their conflict in the mid-20th century?
The only explanation I can find is that Britain, by entering the European War without sufficient reason in August 1914, and fighting it as a Total War, a war against Evil, a People’s War (so it was described at the time), a war of extinction, destroyed European civilisation and set its elements loose, and then manipulated them ham-fistedly. And Europe has never been itself since.
The outstanding fact about the Ukraine in that period is that its large Jewish population disappeared, that Ukrainian nationalists cooperated actively with the Germans though denied statehood, and that the Bolsheviks broke German power and restored the Ukraine as a stable Republic within the Soviet system—bearing out Edmund Burke’s opinion that the basic right—in the sense of the basic need—of a people is to be governed with a reliable degree of regularity.
The present trouble began when the Ukraine—through no effort of its own—was made an independent state by Russian decision, and did not quite know what to do with itself until the United States took it in hand as a means of concluding the conflict with Russia which it drew back from in 1945.
When independent Ukraine looked for something in its own history to mould itself on, what was there but Petliura and Bandera.
Bandera was assassinated in West Germany by a Jew in 1959. The defence was the same as in the Petliura case, but the country was different and so was the Spirit of the Age. A Cold War verdict was brought in: the assassination of Bandera as a Pogromist was denounced as a murder committed by Moscow.
Ukrainian nationalism seemed to appear from nowhere when the Russian State crumbled in 1917. It was a national-socialist development of Russian Social-Democracy and was anti-Semitic in fact, though not by declaration. It was an incongruous ideal, which failed utterly to dominate the Ukrainian situation by governing it.
It revived in 1941 in alliance with Germany, and was suppressed again by Bolshevism. And, fourteen years after Ukraine was made an independent state by Moscow, its slogans and symbols appeared again in the anti-Government demonstrations in Kiev.
In 2014 an elected Government negotiated trade deals with the EU for its agricultural goods, and with Russia for its industrial goods. The EU objected. It wanted the Ukraine within its sphere and cut off from Russia.
The EU Parliament, of which our own Pat Cox was a prominent member, made noises. Anti-Russian street politics erupted (or should we say were stoked up?) in Kiev. The EU got worried about breaking Parliamentary forms. It tried to calm the situation and get the elected President, Yanukovic, ousted at the next election. Washington, which understood the dynamics of such things, said: “Fuck the EU”, and drove on the street-politics to the point of a coup d’état and the assault on the Russian minority.
Europe Rejects Compromise: Maidan Square
Europe, having been fascist and anti-Semitic, and having been put on a different footing (with the same population) by outside forces in 1945, was working hard at being good, and was uneasy about phenomena which reminded it of what it had been so recently, and which it had not rejected by its own efforts. But Washington had no such concerns. The state it governed had its origins in a form of British religious fanaticism. It was constructed by means of multiple genocides—real genocides, not mere massacres. President Wilson, at the end of the Great War for Democracy and Civilisation, praised the Ku Klux Klan for saving the Union in the South at the end of the Civil War and many US citizens remain of that opinion. And an effective Anti-Semitism was maintained in many areas without the need for legislation.
These things may now be seen as deplorable but they were the case, and if they had not been the case the USA would not be anything like it is.
Many states had miscegenation laws until recently: I don’t know if any still have them. But I know that, when the Nazi movement was being forged, mainstream US publications were asserting that, if race-mixing with the natives had not been prevented, the USA would be a mess like Latin America was.
The USA lives out of its own experience. It is in that respect the only independent country in its Free World. And, out of its own experience, it could have seen nothing problematic in the features of actual Ukrainian nationalism that make most Europeans feel queasy.
Europe, to use Koroliv’s description of the Russian intelligentsia, is a parvenu phenomenon. It is in basic matters a kind of Toy-Town, set up by the US after 1945—the first instalment of a universal Disneyland.
And now Ireland wants to be part of it. It owes no historical debt to either Europe or the USA. It brought itself into existence, against Imperial opposition, through its own efforts, entirely without American or European support. It was nobody’s catspaw or proxy. It had its Fascist movement in the 1930s, led by eminent Treatyite academics and politicians, but the system of Parliamentary party-politics was upheld by the Anti-Treaty party, relying in the main on the small farmers. And then it refused to take part in Britain’s 2nd World War—the only English-speaking democracy to do so.
But now it is behaving just like a European country that had been Fascist and had been defeated in the War, and must make amends forever after.
That World War, entirely of England’s making, was unnecessary, purposeless, and counter-productive from England’s viewpoint. But England has a hankering for war which must be indulged. It has now declared war aims for the Ukrainian State which require the destruction of the Russian State.
In 1939 it provoked a German/Polish War, and expanded it into a World War,—in which the Russian State, in the course of defending itself, had to fight its way into Central Europe—a fact that was noticed in Ireland at the time, and was not considered a good thing. And the Ukraine is clearly not of the opinion that the defeat of Germany by Russia was a good thing.
Russia was attacked by Fascist Europe in 1941: Finland, Germany, Hungary, Rumania, Italy.
The Baltic countries were occupied by Russia as a defensive action against Germany in 1940 when Britain—having taken its army off the French battlefield—was intent on “spreading the war”, so that others would fight it. The only substantial ‘Other’ in prospect being Russia.
In 1941 the Baltic countries were liberated by Germany and were content to settle down in the New Order. But they were subjugated again when Germany was defeated.
It is reported that the Lithuanian Government has made it a crime to celebrate the anniversary of the World War—the defeat of Germany and its allies by Russia. Could it be that this signifies the end of simulated experience in Europe, an end of humbug, and an admission that the overthrow of the Fascist order by Russia was experienced as a defeat, rather than a liberation?
The Germans were not the only people who fought against liberation by Russia to the bitter end: so did the Ukrainian nationalists.
The EU may share Henry Ford’s opinion that history is bunk, and that the best thing to do with it is to make up fairy stories about it. But in the long run facts matter: and facts are beginning to matter very much for Europe just now.