Tuesday 21 November 2017

Agonised history won't allow Mother Russia to look the other way

A column of Russian T-90 tanks rolls through the Red Square in Moscow during the Victory Day parade in May 2013
A column of Russian T-90 tanks rolls through the Red Square in Moscow during the Victory Day parade in May 2013

Gerard O’Regan

Mother Russia must always ensure she is able to look after herself. That is the supreme lesson her people have learned from her all too sad history. When the chips are down, they will always be on their own.

Perhaps this is the case with all countries. But few have suffered as much as Russia – and in relatively recent times. There has been all that heartbreak, provoked by its own internal agonies, during the madness of the Stalin years. But the most searing wound of all was the sheer scale of death and destruction wrought by World War II.

It's usually put down as a neat round figure of 20 million dead – but there is evidence it could be well in excess of that. In any case, this is more than the total of those who died from all other countries embroiled in that great conflagration.

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