Sunday, 27 March 2022

The World According to Tankies

Recently I spotted a Facebook post about the Russia-Ukraine War that seems to be floating around and it's such a perfect (if poorly written) example of the sort of revisonist propaganda put out by Russian reactionaries and their useful idiots here that I couldn't pass up the chance to respond. Also I had free time.
First here's the original post;
"A Finnish blogger surprised Facebook when she posted this article:
Half of Europe and part of Asia got their state condition in the hands of Russia.
Let's remember who exactly:
- *Finland* in 1802 and 1918.. (until 1802 it never had a state of its own).
- *Letonia* in 1918 (until 1918 it never had its own state).
- *Estonia* in 1918 (until 1918 it never had a state of its own).
- *Lithuania* restored the state in 1918 thanks to Russia.
- *Poland* restored the state with the help of Russia twice, in 1918 and 1944. *Poland division between USSR and Germany is just a short period! *
- *Romania* was born as a result of the Russian-Turkish wars and became sovereign by the will of *Russia* in 1877-1878.
- *Moldavia* as a state was born within the USSR.
- *Bulgaria* liberated itself from the oppression of the Ottoman Empire and restored its independence as a result of the victory of Russian weapons in the Russian-Turkish war of 1877-1878, which had this objective. As a thank you, the state of *Bulgaria* participated in two world wars as part of the anti-Russian coalitions. *Bulgaria* is now a member of NATO and has American bases on its territory. After 1945, there was not a single Russian soldier in their territory...
-As a result of this war, *Serbia* was born as a sovereign state.
- *Azerbaijan* as a state formed for the first time as part of the USSR.
- *Armenia* has been physically preserved and revitalized as a state only within the USSR.
- *Georgia* has been physically preserved and revitalized as a state thanks to the Russian Empire.
- *Turkmenistan* has never had a state and formed it only as part of the USSR.
- *Kyrguistan* never had the state condition and formed it only as part of the USSR.
- *Kazajstan* never had the state condition and formed it only as part of the USSR.
- *Mongolia* never had a state and formed it only with the help of the USSR.
- *Belarus and Ukraine* also got the state condition for the first time as a result of the Great October Revolution within the USSR republics. And it wasn't until 1991 (also from Russia) that they gained total independence.
The role of Russia-US in the birth and formation of states such as China, Vietnam, North Korea, India, Greece (in 1821, Russia recovered it from the Turks), Algeria, Cuba, Israel, Angola, Mozambique, etc. it's also worth considering.
* Such a strange "aggression" has historically been manifested by the Russians! * With the important contribution of this country, Switzerland has achieved even the independence of France. In better words, thanks to Suvorov (217 years ago), Switzerland never (! ) has fought since;
The following was also carried out:
- the liberation of Austria from the Third Reich in 1945;
- liberation of Czechoslovakia from the Third Reich in 1945;
- Catalina II's position in 1780 with the creation of the League of Armed Neutrality and the real support of the United States of America in the fight for its independence from Britain. Russia has granted independence to most European states twice in the last 2 centuries after destroying Hitler and Napoleon;
- Stalin's position in negotiations with the United States and England, which gave Germany a chance to maintain its state condition after the defeat in 1945;
- the position of Gorbachov, which made it possible to unite the two Germans in 1990 without too much difficulty;
- Soviet aid to Egypt, after which it was able to resist and consolidate its independence in the war with Israel, Britain and France in 1956-57.
- The USSR intervention in 1967, which stopped the war between Israel and Egypt (it actually saved the Arabs from defeat in two wars in 1967-74).
- The crucial role of the Union secured Angola's independence in 1975. And finally the main thing. It was the USSR that, after winning the Second World War, played a key role in ensuring the independence of most Western European colonies in the global decolonization process initiated by the Union. Russia's history suggests that within any power and system, it has been constant in defending the principles of independence and self-determination of nations and nations. She was the one who, in every possible way, helped create a multipolar world at any time and at all times.
Unfortunately, he often sacrificed his own interests at the same time, and if Mother Russia’s politics, although a fraction, were similar to Britain, half of the world would now be part of the Russian imperial Commonwealth. and the Russian people would bathe in luxury, like the sheikhs of Saudi Arabia, at the expense of states, countries and their capitals freed from other colonialists. Now, more than ever, it is fundamental to do everything possible to make the world never forget this, always remember how the Soviet people contributed to the liberation of Europe from fascism.

And now my response;
This is the most frankly jawdropping revisionist propaganda I've seen since the days of Pravda that completely denies the histories of other countries and there is no way anyone from Eastern or Central Europe would not find this ahistorical whitewash of Russia's historical, well documented and often brutal imperialism deeply delusional and offensive.
Finland; As a province and Duchy of Sweden they were conquered by Peter The Great in the early 1700's. Although they were first promised their local autonomy as a Duchy would be preserved under Russian rule, under the policy of Russification the Finnish nobility and intellectuals were banished and the Finnish language was essentially banned while Russian practices of serfdom, censorship and conscription were imposed over Finnish resistance. During the Russian Revolution and Civil War Finland declared it's independence which Lenin had little choice but accept as he was busy fighting a civil war but soon thereafter sponsored a coup attempt to install a puppet government which failed. In 1940 Stalin invaded which resulted in the famous Winter War in which the Soviet Army were repeatedly humiliated by the much smaller Finnish Army which this blogger "forgets" to mention. I can understand why Russians would want to forget getting their asses handed to them by a much smaller neighbour in a war of aggression they started but everyone else remembers it.
The Baltic States; Saying they "never had their own state" is false as Lithuania and Latvia did exist as states into the late middle ages when Latvia and Estonia became Swedish provinces while Lithuania was part of a unified Polish-Lithuanian Kingdom all of which was conquered by Peter The Great (yes him again) when they were also subject to the same policy of repressive forced Russification. Saying they got their independence "Thanks to Russia" is only true if if you think Russia losing WW1 and being too preoccupied by their own Civil War to stop them from declaring independence until Stalin (yes him again) conquered them again in 1940 worthy of thanks but I doubt they would agree.
Poland; "Restored with the help of Russia"? Are you fucking kidding me? Poland was an independent state going back to Medieval times when Russia was Mongol tributary losing its independence after being invaded and partitioned in the 18th century between Russia, Prussia and Austria under Catherine The Great whereupon Poland was subject to the same Russification policies. If by saying Poland was "restored with the help of Russia in 1918" you mean Russia lost WW1 then failed in their 1920 invasion then sure. Nice job. But breezing past the 1939 Hitler-Stalin Pact and subsequent Soviet invasion and repartitioning of Poland with the well documented genocide of Polish leadership, educated and middle-classes as "Just a short period!" (with an added exclamation point to show he's serious) is nothing short of Holocaust denial. The fucking nerve. This is going to be quite a slog isn't it?
Romania; Saying they were "born as a result of the Russian-Turkish Wars" willfully ignores the existence of the Wallachian State which had existed since Medieval times and had been fighting the Turks since the days of Vlad The Impaler (he's kind of famous you know). Yes they were allied with Russia in the 1877 war which the Turks lost and had to recognize their already de-facto independence (they had their own army and ruling class but paying taxes to the Ottomans) but to say that they "became sovereign by the will of Russia" is exactly the kind of patronizing arrogance that make Russians so beloved in Central and Eastern Europe. As for Moldavia, saying it was "born within the USSR" is a funny way of saying "annexed by force from Romania in 1940 by Stalin" (yes him again).
Bulgaria; "Liberated itself from the oppression of the Ottoman Empire''. Hey look at you actually giving credit to a smaller nation for its own independence. That's nice. Wonder how long that will last. This is basically the same story as Romania, a small de-facto independent state allied to Russia in the 1877 war after which Russia expected to impose a king of their choosing and make it a client state only to be kicked out by the Bulgarians who among other things resented Russian favoritism towards their other client state Serbia who they were at war with in 1885. However to say that Bulgaria "As a thank you" participated in "two world wars against Russia" is misleading to the point of falsehood. It's true that Bulgaria allied with Germany in WW1 but they spent the war attacking their old rivals Serbia and Greece, they did not declare war on Russia. In WW2 Bulgaria was bullied by Hitler into allowing German troops to pass through the country but refused to send any troops to fight Russia or help deport Jews. Once again no Bulgarian troops saw action in Russia. In 1944 they kicked out the retreating Germans and declared neutrality but Stalin (yes him again) invaded anyway and imposed a communist dictatorship.
Georgia; An independent state with its own king since ancient times, Georgia is actually older than Russia and was an ally against Turkey and Persia until the Russians simply annexed it during the reign of Alexander 1 in the 1800's after which it underwent the same policy of Russification as Finland and the Baltics. Like them Georgia declared their independence in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution but unlike them they were unable to resist being reconquered soon thereafter by the Soviets. I don't know how you can call this being "preserved and revitalized as a state thanks to the Russian Empire" but thanks I guess? But at least you are now admitting it was indeed an "Empire". Baby steps.
Armenia; Another ancient kingdom much older than Russia that also declared independence in 1918 only to be reconquered by the Soviets. So thanks again.
Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan; I don't know what you think "never had the state condition" means but they had existed as Islamic Khanates as long as Russia had before being conquered by Catherine The Great in the 1700's. Russians may not recognize that as being a "State Condition" but I imagine that they have other thoughts on the matter. BTW you spelled all these countries wrong and you forgot Uzbekistan and Tadjikistan.
Mongolia; "Never had a state". Wow. Just wow. I could almost forgive a westerner for not knowing shit about Uzbekistan but have you seriously never heard of Genghis Khan? I mean really. Russia was actually a Mongol client tributary state for a few centuries. The Mongols literally had the world's largest empire. It's pretty well documented. What books have you been reading anyway?
Ukraine; Another weird "Got the state condition" reference again. Russians hate to admit this but Ukraine is actually older than Russia. In fact Kiev was the capital of the Eastern Orthodox Slavs in the Medieval period and was one of the richest cities in Europe while Moscow was a muddy Viking trading post paying tribute to Kiev and St Petersburg was a tiny fishing village in a swamp. Kiev was destroyed by the Mongols (remember them?) which is the only reason Russia was able to rise in it's place as the Eastern Slavic capital and that's only after they bought the Mongols off by paying tribute and acting as mercenaries for a couple hundred years. Saying they "got the state condition as a result of the Great October Revolution '' is a funny way of saying that like Georgia and Armenia they declared independence during the 1918 Russian Revolution only to be reconquered. Under the Soviets literally millions of people died in forced famines and mass deportations in what was one of the worst genocides of modern times which this blogger once again "forgets" about. In Ukraine they even have a name for this. It's called the Holodomor. You should google it. In Russia they apparently call this "Getting The State Condition".
Belarus; OK unlike the others Belarus was never previously independent, I mean except for a brief independent republic after WW1 until it was crushed by Lenin (yes him again) if that counts which you probably think it doesn't. So I guess I'll sorta give you that one but so what? Other colonized nations never had a "State Condition" either until they did. Ireland comes to mind. Or Bosnia. Or Slovakia. Or Namibia. Don't they have that right? Why is that your call to make?
Next we have a mixed bag of states that Russia's "role in the birth and formation of" which "must be considered". Must it really though? Some of these are just countries the USSR sent weapons to during the Cold War sometimes getting bases in return. It's true that Russia did play a role in Greek liberation from Turkey in 1821 but so did Britain which also guaranteed Greek independence along with other European powers. Adding China in is funny since Russia was one of the major Imperial powers grabbing huge swathes of territory in Manchuria in the 1890's until getting their asses kicked by Japan in the 1904-05 War. The USSR played no role at all in India's independence while Tsarist Russia had actually made abortive attempts to seize Indian territory via Afghanistan, a nation which this blogger "forgets" to mention at all. That's odd. I mean it was in the news recently. The USSR also played no role in Israeli independence either except for recognizing it, thereafter they were firm allies of enemies like Syria. On the other hand Tsarist Russia was known for it's violent Anti-Semitic pogroms which created thousands of Jewish refugees that would settle there so perhaps that's what you mean. Saying Russia's role in Angola's independence was "crucial" denies the real credit where it's due. The USSR sent weapons but it was the Cubans who did the actual fighting along with the Angolans themselves. They're quite proud of it too. As for North Korea, you can have that one. Congrats.
The "Liberation of Czechoslovakia"; Well yes I'm sure we all agree defeating the Nazis was good thing but leaving Soviet troops there to create a puppet state dictatorship can hardly be called "liberation". That's certainly what the Czechs thought which led to a Soviet invasion in 1968 you again "forget" to mention.
We're getting wildly off topic now as you switch to talking about Catherine The Great backing American independence from Britain which has a grain of truth but is wildly exaggerated. Yes she did recognize American independence but did not send any "real support" as you claim, unlike France which did send troops, money and ships. Also Swiss independence as a result of the defeat of Napoleon which a few other countries also played a role in. You may have heard of Lords Nelson and Wellington and the Battles of Trafalgar and Waterloo. Really, you can google this stuff you know.
And we're back to WW2 again and Germany. Did you proofread this? I mean just for narrative structure if nothing else. Yes, Stalin agreed to have Germany "maintain its state condition" after WW2 but given that Western and Southern Germany and Austria were also then occupied by Allied troops he had little choice. And that's only assuming you would call the puppet state of East Germany truly independent. The Germans didn't and you know who else didn't? The Soviets who sent in tanks to crush a revolt in 1953 which you again "forget" about.
Now we're back to the Middle East so you can brag about Soviet support for Egypt and Syria which is kind of strange as it directly contradicts your claims about the USSR supporting Israel but whatever. BTW Sadat later kicked the Soviets out of Egypt so he could make peace with Israel which leaves you with Assad in Syria as your only friend and I wouldn't brag about that if I were you. And lastly we have some over-the-top boilerplate praise for the endless benevolence of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union which I don't need to belabour but I did enjoy your claim that if Russia were a real empire they would "Bathe in luxury like the sheikhs of Saudi Arabia". That anybody could say that with a presumably straight face after seeing the "yachts" the size of aircraft carriers owned by Russian oligarchs and multiple sprawling dacha estates where they keep their mistresses shows a level of willful delusion that is downright surreal. It may be true that the "Russian People" may not have benefitted very much from all this stolen wealth but that's not how imperialism works whether you choose to call it that or not. Note to Tankies; It's not only Imperialism if it's done by countries you don't like.
Note; I don't know who the original blogger was. It popped up in my feed as reposted by a Russian dude who in turn reposted from some guy with a Spanish name. It's worth noting the blogger is named as being not Russian but Finnish, a nation that was a victim of Russian imperialism and had to fight a bloody war after being invaded in 1940, something every Finn would know by heart. Just shows how much this blatantly self-serving nonsense has been absorbed by some in the west either by the cynical Fascist right like Steve Bannon, Steven Miller, Tucker Carlson and Ron Paul or by far left Tankies like Jimmy Dore, Jill Stein the Greyzone and whatever the Hell Tulsi Gabbard and Glenn Greenwald are supposed to be. Judging by the writing and some of the countries mentioned I suspect this writer is the latter.


BTW; That's awfully big talk for a guy who looks like he regularly gets beaten up for his lunch moneyand stuffed in a locker.

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