Vladimir Putin believes that the greatest tragedy in the post-World War II era was the collapse of the former Soviet Union 30 years ago. Putin blames the collapse of the Soviet Union on the United States and its western alliance, but he’s wrong.
In the end, the communist government, after 75 years of existence, collapsed as a result of its failed socialistic economic system and Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev’s unwillingness to murder and purge hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of its citizens, in the same way Joseph Stalin did to consolidate and hold power before and after the Second World War.
Those of us that recognize the brutality of the Soviet Union and the danger of communism understand that over 60 million victims were murdered as Vladimir Lenin and later Stalin crushed dissent to build what they described as a bright, beautiful socialist future. The brutal road to the eventual economic collapse of the Soviet Union was built on working and starving millions to death. It buried millions it tortured to death or summarily executed untold numbers of innocent and unarmed men, women, and children, persons that Lenin and Stalin declared to be “enemies of the people.” The Russian public was brainwashed into believing that the purge victims were standing in the way of achieving a collectivist utopia.
Perhaps one reason for Putin’s nostalgia for the Soviet Union is his closed-minded attitude toward reading the works of articulate critics of life in the not-so-great, late Soviet Union. Putin has proclaimed in the past that he could not read a book written by Soviet critics and defectors because, as he said, “I don’t read books by people who have betrayed the Motherland.”
One book he should have read was written by a well-known Russian sociologist, Pitirim Sorokin, who lived through the early years of the Soviet Union in Leningrad, now named St. Petersburg, before moving to the United States. Sorokin published his diary as a book that revealed what it was like to live in this nightmare that Vladimir Putin looks back on with such reverence and longing.
“The machine of the Red Terror works incessantly. Every day and every night, in Petrograd, Moscow, and all over the country, the mountain of the dead grows higher. … Everywhere, people are shot, mutilated, wiped out of existence. … Every night we hear the rattle of trucks bearing new victims. Every night we hear the rifle fire of executions, and often some of us hear from the ditches, where the bodies are flung, faint groans and cries of those who did not die at once under the guns. People living near these places begin to move away. They cannot sleep. … Getting up in the morning, no man or woman knows whether he will be free that night. Leaving one’s home, one never knows whether he will return. Sometimes a neighborhood is surrounded, and everyone caught out of his house without a certificate is arrested. … Life these last days depends entirely on luck.”
Putin has been doing his best to restore the horror of the former Soviet Union by murdering and jailing his political opponents, outlawing the existence of any competing political parties, and annihilating the free press. His invasion of Georgia to install an authoritarian dictatorship and constant promotion and assistance to establish and maintain authoritarianism in other former Soviet Republics continues today with his intervention in Kazakhstan to prop up its dictatorship. This is leading toward the establishment of the same repressive, murderous Soviet regimes in the Russian sphere of influence that have absolutely no respect for human rights.
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev gave a televised speech this past week that is evidence of Putin’s authoritarian goals. In his speech, Tokayev proudly announced that he had ordered the police and army to shoot protesters without warning and intended to ruthlessly crush any of his political opponents to restore order after days of unrest triggered by a fuel-price increase and growing discontentment with him and his government.
In resorting to such brutality, Tokayev claims his government has restored order against a counterterrorism operation and will continue to do so “until the full liquidation of armed militants.” The fact that many of those who will be shot and killed are not armed doesn’t matter to him or Putin.
Tokayev went on to say in his televised speech, without blinking an eye, “Law enforcement agencies and the army were given an order by me to shoot at terrorists to kill without warning.”
The Kazakh did all this after the arrival of Russian troops to support his unpopular government.
Mr. Tokayev is taking the same approach encouraged by Russia’s Putin that both Lenin and Stalin used in dealing with resistance to their brutal authoritarianism. Lenin and Stalin routinely blamed peaceful protests on violent domestic and foreign “bandits and terrorists, activists and mass media” for inciting protests.
Calls for talks made by the international community of nations to prevent the unfolding violence and needless bloodshed have been labeled by Tokayev as nonsense.
“What talks can there be with criminals, killers?”
While providing no evidence, Tokayev claims that foreign involvement in the unrest sounds as homicidal as Lenin and Stalin were saying: “That is why they need to be liquidated. And that will be done in the nearest time.”
Keep in mind the protests that set all this in motion are tied to the county’s socialistic economic system and the fuel-price increases that took effect on Jan. 1, 2022.
Russians and other troops from its regional security alliance had begun arriving to help strategic guard buildings, according to Tokayev, “for a limited period of time.”
According to a Russian military spokesperson, Russian and Kazakh forces had taken control of the major Kazakh Almaty airport.
All of this must be striking a tremendous amount of fear in the Ukrainian people and their government leadership. Putin has amassed an estimated 100,000 troops on the border with Ukraine. While Putin is demanding that the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies forswear any expansion east toward Russia’s borders, reconstituting the Soviet Union is Putin’s ultimate goal. Asked this past Sunday if this was Putin’s goal by Jake Tapper of CNN, Secretary of State Antony Blinken didn’t hesitate to say yes. Given Putin’s personal history and rise to power, there should be no doubt that murdering hundreds of thousands of people might be acceptable to him to seize and maintain control of Ukraine and other former Soviet Republics.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.