In light of Monday’s Victory Day celebrations, opposition leader Garry Kasparov has penned a piece for the Other Russia describing the strategic, cynical employment of the anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany to cement the political ends of the ruling elite over the last forty years. According to Kasparov, Putin’s regime, under which the annual parade has become increasingly bellicose in tone, has brought home the very tokens of totalitarianism against which the Soviet veterans fought:
In Brezhnev’s time, Victory Day began to be actively used to strengthen the ideological basis of the Soviet system. Victory in the Great Patriotic War became not just a symbol to bring society together, but a central element of Soviet propaganda, justifying growing socio-economic problems and all the crimes of the Stalin era. Naturally, the real history of the Great War was sacrificed for a semi-official myth that worked to their advantage.
But for all the satirical attempts to present Brezhnev as a significantparticipant in military actions, that generation of ruling Sovietleaders had a direct link to the war all the same – they experienced theordeal in one way or another. The Putin regime’s exploitation of themilitary theme cannot be called anything other than a tragic farce. TheSoviet regime concealed its anti-Western essence with peace-lovingrhetoric, and today aggressive rhetoric serves as a cover for theintegration of the corrupt Russian elite into the Western financial andeconomic establishment.
The promises repeated year after year tofix veterans’ problems sound of mockery. There are fewer and fewerpeople left who took part in the Great Patriotic War, but even with thetreasury overflowing with petrodollars, the government does not feel itnecessary to give them the opportunity to live out their days in goodconditions and give them the benefits that these people have earned bytheir feats. The constant assurances that apartments and cars will beprovided for them conclude with the provision of pitiful rations. Thosewho held out under the hail of bullets from the Wehrmacht’s elitedivisions are mockingly used by a government rolling in gold as adecoration for ritual presentations.
The Kremlin leaders sprawled out on their armchairs watching the Victory Day parade perhaps only symbolize the victory of a thieving regime over an entire country. Under the leadership of Putin, a former Dresden resident spy, the basic tenets of the Third Reich in regards to Russia have been carried out. The country has turned into a raw materials appendage for the civilized world, the population is defenseless before bureaucratic and police lawlessness, social infrastructure is in a pitiful state, the most talented and capable young people are breaking away to the West in search of a better life, and funds made from selling natural resources are kept in Western banks and used to develop other countries, most of all European ones.
Read the whole article here.