When it is opportune (e.g. at a commemoration in Auschwitz), Ukraine tries to claim victory in World War II by falsifying history. In fact, since 2014 she has placed herself in the tradition of Hitler collaborators. She tramples on the memory of anti-fascists – regularly and again on Friday.
By Marina Akhmedova
In 2020, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskiy visited Poland to mark the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. The President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, was the first to speak and babbled around without saying a word about the Red Army. But it was precisely this that had liberated the camp. Duda had claimed: “Soldiers of the Ukrainian Front have freed 7,000 prisoners…” The obedient Zelenskij had followed and had not mentioned the Red Army, he too had only spoken of the 1st Ukrainian Front in a deliberate attempt to deceive. Zelensky had declared that the Ukrainians and Poles would never forget the soldiers of the shock squad of the 100th Lvov Division who stormed into the camp and liberated it together with other soldiers of the 1st Ukrainian Front.
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However, the 100th Lvov Division did not get its name because it was formed from the residents of Lvov (it wasn’t), but because it distinguished itself in the battles for the liberation of that city. The 1st Ukrainian Front does not bear the name either, because it would have consisted of Ukrainians (in fact, in 1945 around a quarter of the soldiers and officers of this tactical association were of Ukrainian descent – ed.). It had been formed in the Voronezh region long before the liberation of Ukraine, so it was initially called the “Voronezh Front” after the place of its activities. In 1943, when hostilities shifted to Ukraine, it had been renamed to reflect the site of hostilities and nothing else. In it, Russians, Belarusians, Ukrainians, Georgians, Armenians and representatives of other nationalities of the Soviet Union fought together against the fascists.
Both Zelensky and Duda know that. But they count on the poorly educated average European. What should one think when hearing from Zelensky about the “1st Ukrainian Front” and the “Lvov Division”? That only Ukrainians had served in both of them. That they were the ones who won the war. And that Russians had nothing to do with any of this.
Here and there Ukrainians pull the flag of the 1st Ukrainian Front out of their pockets and wave it in the hope that Europeans, blinded by the flag-waving, will forget who carried out the bloody pogrom of the Jews in Lvov. And that Poland is no longer concerned with the activities of the UPA, whose crimes in the Volyn massacre mark their 80th anniversary this year. And that we all forget that post-Maidan Ukraine has long since thrown the memory of the soldiers of the anti-Hitler coalition overboard and consciously placed itself in the tradition of those who shot the anti-fascists in the back while they were only on their way to liberate Auschwitz.
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The reader doesn’t believe it? Well, today (the article originally appeared on Friday – ed.) the monument to General Nikolai Fyodorovich Vatutin was demolished in Kiev and his grave desecrated. Vatutin (December 16, 1901 – April 15, 1944) had been the commander of the same Voronezh Front, even after it was renamed the “1st Ukrainian Front” until his death at the hands of Ukrainian nationalists. In between he had managed to liberate Kiev from the German occupation.
The logic of Ukraine is incomprehensible. Maybe it’s not worth looking for. They reckon that as soon as Zelenskyy somewhere in Europe again waves the flag of the 1st Ukrainian Front, a simple European will not be able to connect these two facts: the 1st Ukrainian Front, which, according to the lies of modern Ukrainian propaganda, is exclusively from brave Ukrainians is said to have existed, and the destroyed monument to Vatutin, the commander of precisely this front, his desecrated grave. Murdered by those whom Maidan Ukraine raised to the status of national heroes.
Unfortunately, it is quite possible that Zelensky’s calculus works: even now, the average European makes no intellectual effort whatsoever when drawing conclusions about the events in Russia and Ukraine.
Vatutin succumbed to gunshot wounds inflicted on him by Ukrainian nationalists in a Kiev hospital. The demolished monument had risen over his grave. Today Ukraine tore down not just a monument, but a tombstone. This raises another question:
Monument to Soviet General Vatutin dismantled in Kyiv
Zelensky’s grandfather, Semyon Ivanovich Zelensky, had fought in World War II as commander of a mortar platoon and later as commander of a rifle company in the Red Army. Like Vatutin, he had been an officer in the Red Army. He is buried in Krivoy Rog. So why doesn’t Zelensky go to his grandfather’s grave today and tear down the tombstone there?
Editor’s note: Zelensky can only wave the flag of the 1st Ukrainian Front abroad. In Ukraine, all symbols of the Red Army and the Soviet Union have been criminalized since 2015, and people are beaten by nationalists for wearing even a Soviet medal on May 9th.
Translated from the Russian.
Marina Akhmedova is a writer, journalist and a member of the Human Rights Council of the Russian Federation. She writes for the magazine “Der Experte” and more recently for RT. You can also follow her on her Telegram channel.
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