The Victory of the Second World War / Rafael León Rodríguez


The Russians commemorated May 9th of this year, the 67th anniversary of victory over Hitler’s Germany, with a military parade in Red Square in Moscow, as usual. In this traditional parade the the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation marched, as they have since 1991. A new flag, a new anthem and a new political system presided over the former Soviet Union, a nation that paid the highest cost in lives during World War II.

The surprise attack in June 1941 by Nazi fascism took the Soviet armed forces unawares; their top officials had signed a nonaggression treaty with Germany in 1939 that allowed Hitler to take over most of Europe, without having to concern himself about the eastern front. The Red Army, dismantled in the Stalinist purges of the thirties recovered and, with material aid from the countries led by U.S. allies, managed to defeat the Nazi armies which had occupied much of the territory of the now defunct Soviet Union.

This is contemporary history now, but there are still those in our country who seek to forget the imperial role played by Russia in Europe and worldwide, both that of Czarism as well as the Stalinist Communism, the latter concealed under the so-called proletarian internationalism. They seem unaware that the new Russia is a result of perestroika and the Soviet Union has ceased to exist. All they have left is the nostalgic daydreams to revive the martial military parades and the pretentious speeches, trying to recover the historical memory of an almost forgotten empire.

16 May 2012