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Russia's invasion of Ukraine, some thoughts

With its criminal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 Russia has been rightly condemned by the decent people of the world.

While I am among those who condemn Russia and its tyrant Vladimir Putin, it seems to me that there are some historical events that could help us to understand Russia's stance. None of the earlier events justify Russia's action but it is worth considering them and their effects. I suspect that few people in the West have given them much thought, certainly they receive little attention from the popular media.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine was even less justifiable than the illegal, unethical and counterproductive invasion of Iraq in March 2003 by the "coalition of the willing": USA, UK and Australia.

This page was started 2023/04/09
Contact: David K. Clarke – ©

Some background

In World War Two something over 20 million Russians were killed, directly or indirectly, by the German invaders. The fact that six million Jews were killed by the Germans is far better known; we hear it over and over again. Why do we hear so much of the lesser (but still horrendous) crime, and practically nothing of the greater crime?

The Cold War came immediately following WW2 and governments of capitalist Western nations were terrified of the expansion of communism. I suspect that this is why we have heard so little of the twenty million Russians killed in WW2; our governments didn't want us to feel any sympathy for the Russian communists.

I have often wondered why Russia has continued to be antagonistic to the West long after communism has collapsed in Russia and it has become capitalist and in the control of the wealthy elite. Why can't Russia become like any Western European nation and have friendly relations to the political West? I simply do not know, but perhaps I can think of some possibilities.

Could it be, at least in part, because the older Russians (particularly those older Russians who have political and economic power) remember that the West was just as antagonistic to Russia as Russia was to the West? Perhaps antagonism has become a habit to them?

Or could it be that those who control Russia, Putin and the Russian elite, see expansion into at least the nations of the old USSR as desirable? They know that the West would oppose any such moves so see no reason to end their antagonistic stance toward the West.

Did the West have good cause to be terrified of communism?

I am Australian. My ancestors came to Australia at least partly to escape from a Britain that was dominated by an unfairly privileged hereditary elite. At that time the French Revolution was still very much in the memory of the British upper classes.

At the time of WW2 Western nations were still dominated by an elite, but by this time it was more a wealthy capitalist elite. Of course the wealthy capitalists were deeply concerned about the possibility of loosing their wealth and power in a communist revolution, and well they should have been.

In the end, of course, communism seems to have failed everywhere it has been tried, Russia, China, Vietnam, North Korea...

Related pages

Related pages on external sites...

Wikipedia, World War II casualties. Civilian deaths due to military activity and crimes against humanity (approximate):
Soviet Union
4,500,000 to 10,000,000 (in addition there were about 8,000,000 deaths due to war-related famine and disease and 10,000,000 military deaths)
1,500,000 to 3,000,000
580,000 to 1,400,000
550,000 to 800,000
480,000 to 530,000

Related pages on this site...

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, February 2022

A word on China (The government of China was not chosen by the people of China, it was forced on the people of China. Xi Jinping is just as much a power-hungry tyrant as is Putin - he wants to force his control onto the people of Taiwan, who would far prefer to remain independent.)

The illegal, unethical and counterproductive invasion of Iraq by the "coalition of the willing": USA, UK and Australia