Book review: The Long Hangover

Shaun Walker, the Moscow correspondent on The Guardian, has a new book out, entitled The Long Hangover: Putin’s New Russia and the Ghosts of the Past. It advances the thesis that … and this is where I run into a problem because he never explicitly says what his thesis is. But it’s sort of something like this: in an effort to unite the Russian people and raise the country’s patriotic spirit, Vladimir Putin has focused on a narrative of victory, above all victory in the Second World War. This focus has contributed to a situation in which Russians have failed to come to terms with the negative aspects of their Soviet past. This in turn helped to provoke and sustain the war in Ukraine.

I say ‘sort of something like this’ because it’s never fully developed. Instead, what Walker gives us is a series of stories of events he has witnessed and people he has interviewed. Weaving them together is the theme of historical memory. These stories are all rather negative in character, in the sense that they focus entirely on the bad aspects of Russia’s (or more often the Soviet Union’s) past. Walker, for instance, visits Kalmykia and discusses the deportation of the Kalmyks in the Second World War; goes to Chechnya and discusses the Chechen wars of the 1990s as well as the deportation of the Chechens in 1944; goes to Magadan and visits old Gulag sites; and goes to Crimea and talks about the deportation of the Crimean Tatars.

The patriotic mood associated with celebrations of victory in the Second World War have made Russians unwilling to confront these dirty secrets of their past, Walker claims. This, he suggests, goes a long way towards explaining Russia’s behaviour today. Walker rounds off his book with descriptions of his visits to war-torn Ukraine and of his interviews with rebel soldiers and leaders. Essentially, he says, Russians are suffering from a ‘long hangover’ from the collapse of the Soviet Union. Putin’s efforts to unite the nation by celebrating victory in 1945 is making it harder for the country to get back on its feet by perpetuating this hangover. Simply put, the idea is that if you celebrate 1945 then you start thinking that maybe Stalin wasn’t so bad after all, and next, before you know it, you’re starting a war in Ukraine.

long hangover2

As befits a journalist, Walker can write interesting stories. On occasion, he has a very nice turn of phrase. For instance, I rather liked his description of how post-Soviet Russia began the process of decommunization and then gave up, in which he writes: ‘Russia was like a party host who awoke the morning after, started making a cursory effort to clean up the mess all around, but after a while simply gave up and slunk back to bed to nurse its hangover.’ I’m not sure that I fully agree, but I found the simile rather neat. I’m sure most readers will find this book engaging.

This is, it must be said, a much, much better book than the one by Walker’s fellow Guardian journalist Luke Harding which I recently reviewed. Some of his stories – such as when he snuck a recording device into a meeting at which a Russian general tried to coerce a Ukrainian counterpart to surrender during the takeover of Crimea in 2014 – are quite fascinating. His account of the start of the war in Ukraine is balanced and fair. Although his sympathies for the Maidan revolution are clear, he doesn’t gloss over its more negative side, and demonstrates that the anti-Maidan risings in Donbass in spring 2014 were the product of local grievances, led and organized by locals. He is critical of the nationalist and triumphalist agenda of those who took power in Kiev post-Maidan, and of their refusal (as well as the refusal of Western politicians and diplomats) to recognize that the anti-Maidan movement was founded on legitimate concerns. Walker thinks that those who rose up against Maidan were wrong to do so, and that their fears became a self-fulfilling prophecy (which I think is fairly accurate). He also blames Russia for stoking up these fears. But if you read between the lines, his account of 2014 is quite subversive of the mainstream narrative that the war in Ukraine is purely a matter of ‘Russian aggression’ and not in any way a civil war. If I have a criticism, it is that he doesn’t draw this conclusion explicitly and also that his reporting in The Guardian has never really expressed this point of view.

Walker knows Russia well, and it’s obvious that he understands how ordinary Russians think about their past and their present. There’s a revealing moment in the book when he visits a privately-run museum in the Russian far east devoted to the Gulag. Walker expects the curator to be pleased to have a visitor to whom he can explain the abuses of Stalin’s prison system. Instead, he’s shocked when the curator denounces him, saying ‘You come here and you’re looking for negative things.’ Touché! Later, driving past a deserted Soviet town, the Russian tells Walker, ‘Everything’s gone to shit now. It’s all the fault of Gorbachev and Yeltsin. … Gorbachev is a bastard! … We would all have been better off if he hadn’t started his stupid perestroika. We had an incredible country and now it’s all gone. Bastard!’ Walker’s driver then also lays into him: ‘Why did you come here?’ he asks, ‘Your America is trying to destroy the world. Iraq! Syria! Libya! And now Ukraine. You fucking scumbags. Putin is the one man standing up to you all.’

Walker, then, gives us a good picture of what people in Russia think. He just doesn’t like it very much. There’s another revealing moment when he describes how, after the Bolotnaia protests in 2011/12, Putin’s ‘solution was to pit the majority of Russians against this uppity minority [of protestors].’ How dreadful! Basing government on the views of the majority of vatniki and sovoks with their mistaken and disturbing opinions about Stalin, rather than on the views of the liberal elite, is obviously a bad thing – or at least that’s what Walker seems to be implying. There’s a lot in the book about Soviet nostalgia, Russians’ denial of the negative aspects of the Soviet Union, and the supposedly damaging effects of this worldview, and Walker feels that the prevailing ignorance, nationalism, and aggression is in part Putin’s fault. For, as he writes, ‘These feelings, while explicable, had been seeded and needled by the endless propaganda churned out by the television and government messaging.’ This is where Ukraine fits into his narrative. The people of Crimea didn’t really want to secede from Ukraine; the people of Donbass didn’t really want to rebel against Kiev. Or at least, they didn’t initially. If they eventually did, it’s because their brains were turned into mulch by Russian TV and by fantasies of the Great Patriotic War and of stories of evil Nazis coming to destroy them. Thus, he says, support for annexation in Crimea was ‘nothing like the unanimous desire Russia claimed,’ and in any case ‘without the intense propaganda it is unclear a majority would have been in favour of full accession to Russia.’

But here we confront a kind of chicken and egg problem. Is Soviet nostalgia, the valorization of 1945, and so on, really a product of Kremlin policy? Or is Kremlin policy a response to public sentiment? Walker quotes Alexander Dugin as telling him, ‘You can’t say that Putin forced the war cult on the people, but you also can’t say that the people independently demanded it. It was a natural process that flowed in both directions. It was organic.’ Dugin makes a good point here. Things are more complex than the ‘propaganda’ meme suggests. I think that Walker understands this. He acknowledges the deep roots of Soviet nostalgia, but in the end he feels a need to come back to viewing the process from a top-down position. The result is that the analysis lacks the depth I would need in order to properly understand what has been going on.

In any case, one can easily challenge the idea that the Russian state promotes Soviet nostalgia. Walker writes, ‘The impulse to take pride in the Second World War … meant not only skipping over the darker pages of the war effort, but also whitewashing the nature of the Soviet regime at the time. To celebrate the war victory was to celebrate the continuation of this system.’ – i.e. there’s a direct link between celebrating 1945 and continued authoritarian rule in Russia. But does Putin ‘whitewash the nature of the Soviet regime’? That’s highly debatable. If it’s true,  how can one explain his decision as Prime Minister to make Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago compulsory reading for high school pupils, or his attendance at the consecration of the Sretenskii Monastery (devoted to the victims of communism) and at the unveiling of the Wall of Grief in Moscow (devoted also to the victims of communism)?

This week, I read an article on the conservative Russian website Russian Idea about historical memory and the unveiling of a statue to Tsar Alexander III. The author argues that the Russian state’s attitude to the Soviet Union is anything but positive. Even when it comes to the Second World War, the Russian state takes pains to divorce the victory from Soviet power. The article notes that in an attempt to gain legitimacy the state is floundering around picking on all sorts of historical commemorations of a non-Soviet nature – a monument to Alexander III in Crimea, a statue to Pyotr Stolypin, the Yeltsin Centre in Ekaterinburg (which could hardly be said to be an effort to base legitimacy on Soviet nostalgia), and so on. In short, there’s a lot more going on than just celebrating World War Two. And even if one disagrees with what this article is saying, the very fact that the author is saying it indicates that many Russians certainly don’t feel that their government is trying to gain legitimacy by whitewashing the Soviet era. Quite the opposite, in fact – they feel their government is anti-Soviet. Which makes one wonder whether the refusal to accept the negative sides of Stalin’s rule which Walker describes really has that much to do with Putin at all.

There’s also a disconnect in my mind between Soviet nostalgia and denial of Soviet crimes on the one hand, and celebration of victory in 1945 on the other. Walker treats them as if they are one and the same phenomenon. The idea is that the latter leads to the former. But while this might be the case, Walker fails to provide evidence to prove it. There’s a missing link in the chain of logic. Likewise, there’s something missing in the chain of logic which connects the ‘cult of victory’ with the war in Ukraine. A lot of Walker’s book is about historical memory. But once he starts discussing Donbass, the connection between celebrations of 1945 in Moscow and events in Donbass in 2014 is largely lost. For sure, fear of ‘fascists’ coming to terrorize Donbass played a role in persuading locals to join the rebel armies. But that wasn’t the only factor, and in any case these people had been living in Ukraine for over 20 years; their understanding of World War Two surely owed much to factors far outside Moscow’s influence. Walker describes interviews he carried out with rebel commander Alexander Khodakovsky (interviews which are very useful for anybody wishing to study the conflict, it must be said). Khodakovsky describes how the memory of the war was a central part of his childhood, and tells Walker just why Soviet nostalgia plays an important part in the identity of the people of Donbass. But none of this has anything to do with Putin and long predates him as well as recent ‘Russian propaganda’. That’s not to deny that the latter may not have had some influence but, again, there are some layers of complexity here which need much deeper exploration.

I realize that academics and journalists work in different ways, but as one of the former I have certain expectations about how an argument should be constructed. So let me imagine how one of my social science colleagues might react to this book if presented as student thesis. I suspect that the reaction would be something along these lines: a) there isn’t a clear thesis statement; b) the methodology – anecdotal descriptions of visits made and interviews conducted – doesn’t actually help develop a thesis in depth; c) there’s no effort to isolate the chosen variable – historical memory and Putin’s manipulation of it – to the phenomenon being observed (war in Ukraine etc), so as to be able to measure the impact of that single variable and determine the extent to which the phenomenon is the result of it, rather than something else; d) subsequent failure to test the hypothesis by relating the facts given back to the hypothesis on a regular basis; and e) lack of firm conclusions.

I have some sympathy with what Walker is saying. I’m not a fan of attempts to glorify war; I certainly don’t agree with those who try to deny the crimes of the Soviet era or to argue that the ‘ends justified the means’; and deep at heart, I tend to agree that it would be better if people were all good educated liberals not semi-ignorant, Stalin-excusing rednecks. Having said all that, I’m not convinced that state policy on historical commemoration can be viewed as such as powerful cause of behaviour, let alone as the cause of something like the war in Ukraine. It’s a factor, but just one among many, and as much, if not more, a product of events as a cause of them. Soviet nostalgia is part of a complicated system of interacting phenomena, not something the state can just turn on and off again.

I’m also not sure that what Walker describes is uniquely Russian. He himself addresses this issue, saying that parallels could be drawn with the way British people don’t care very much about the more negative aspects of British colonialism, and the way the Spanish have chosen by and large to ignore what happened during the Franco era and have decided instead to ‘move on.’ But he thinks that the Russian case is different because it does more than ignore the past: it seeks to actively glorify it. This is debatable (in part for the reasons above), and I think it quite reasonable to argue that the British and French post-colonial hangovers are just as significant in explaining the continued pretensions of grandeur and military activism of the United Kingdom and France. And if that is true (and like all cultural explanations it’s impossible to prove it), then we’re dealing with a widespread phenomenon which can’t be explained in Russia’s case by simple reference to recent government practices in historical commemoration.

So, overall, I would say that this is an intelligent, well-written book which contains a number of interesting, and often quite insightful stories. You can learn a lot from them. But in my mind, the effort to meld the stories together into a coherent narrative, and thereby to argue a specific thesis, does not succeed.


14 thoughts on “Book review: The Long Hangover”

  1. Bookstealing…again!
    (Though because of how wonderfully complex and thoughtful this review is, I ain’t complainin’. )
    Just so long as you don’t touch All the Kremlin’s Men or Dressed Up for a Riot

    My overall impression of Long Hangover (based on your review) is that Walker is trying to push a square peg into a round hole.
    Make that an elliptical peg, due to this book trying harder than most.


  2. and deep at heart, I tend to agree that it would be better if people were all good educated liberals not semi-ignorant, Stalin-excusing rednecks

    Unfortunately, brainwashing can only achieve so much. Shelf stockers, janitors, cashiers, miners, factory workers (not to mention the army of unemployed) – they are all destined to remain deplorables. They are the people, in the most profound sense. The nightmare of every good educated liberal.

    Eventually, of course, liberals will evolve into beautiful Eloi, and the rest of us into monstrous cannibalistic Morlocks. Pretty soon, it seems.


  3. Nazis came to annihilate us. Go ahead and scoff at that, but that’s true. Not only the Jews get all the bennies out of WW2. You, Westerners, could feel quite comfortable under occupation (surely – many did) – you, in your mass, were Aryan enough to be spared by Hitler. Not us. So, Mr. Walker thinks we should not celebrate the fact that we not only survived – but that we won the War. That’s the perennial Western complaint about Russia – that it survived and dared to enter the Great Power’s club. For them it would be better if we would spent all our time wallowing in past “crimes”, paying and repenting – repenting and paying. And no Great Power aspiration, oh, no-no-no. Only Grown Ups – handshakable Grown Ups – are allowed.

    You know, who re-started the triumphant celebration of the Victory day, with parades and military, and movies, both old and new? Great democrat and friend of the West Yeltsin. In 1995, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Victory. Walker claims there were no “soul searching” and “balanced view” – but up till know we allowed all kind of slanderous crap to go on TV and screens, like “Штрафбат”, “Сволочи” or Nikita “Barin” Mikhalkov’s insane “Burnt by the Sun 2”. Beevor and Suvorov and their epigones had the most prominent place in Russia’s bookstores – all under the “totalitarian” Putin.

    Walker and his liberast ilk lament the fact, that Russians, themselves, even without “help” from the “Regime”, refuse to become a nation of losers. They are like a bunch of eunuch, envying just about anyone with the balls. Hell, even Germany might look better compared to Walkers old Blighty in a few years, a proverbial Narsez/Varis among the fat indulgent human-shaped blobs – turning European eunuchs envy on each other!

    “Basing government on the views of the majority of vatniki and sovoks with their mistaken and disturbing opinions about Stalin, rather than on the views of the liberal elite, is obviously a bad thing – or at least that’s what Walker seems to be implying”

    Because you need to Live Not By A Lie. For Yours And Ours Freedom. Grants don’t smell. Also – see Latynina’s opinion, on depriving the poor of the right to vote. Handshakable over 9000.

    ‘These feelings, while explicable, had been seeded and needled by the endless propaganda churned out by the television and government messaging.’

    There was anything but endless anti-Soviet propaganda in the Blessed Democratic 90s ™, under the benevolent gaze of Boris Nikolaich and Semibankirschina. It had been cranked up 11 in order to eliminate KPRF as a viable political alternative. They failed. So… turns out, “state propaganda” can’t really zombify Russians?

    “Likewise, there’s something missing in the chain of logic which connects the ‘cult of victory’ with the war in Ukraine.”

    Easy-peasy! Ukraine – like it is now – needed a Cult of Defeat. And lots of museums of Holodomor (with the obligatory зал УПА). And even more Shukhevitch and Bandera streets. Only thus it would avoid the war. SUGS!

    “I tend to agree that it would be better if people were all good educated liberals not semi-ignorant, Stalin-excusing rednecks”

    And whom would be “good educated liberals” exploit then? Each other?


  4. Let me tweak the quote below and see if I can make it fit elsewhere:

    “I tend to agree that it would be better if people were all good educated liberals not semi-ignorant, Trump/Obama/Bush/Clinton/Bush/Reagan/Nixon/Johnson-excusing rednecks.”

    Except that in the U.S., even the liberals are ignorant “rednecks” cheering on American war and empire. And if ANY nation would be better off if it stopped celebrating its victory in WW2 it is the good ol’ USA.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Except that in the U.S., even the liberals are ignorant “rednecks” cheering on American war and empire. And if ANY nation would be better off if it stopped celebrating its victory in WW2 it is the good ol’ USA.”

      I present you with The Good War.

      “The late ’90s was a strange time in American history. With the Cold War over, the country faced no overarching enemy for the first time in decades. The United States seemed possessed of no greater national purpose than making money through IPOs and an ever-expanding Dow. Our politics were dominated by the petty and trivial: from school uniforms to the president’s sex life.

      Memories of former glory rushed in to fill this vacuum. In 1994, the 50th anniversary of D-Day prompted both an NBC special commemoration hosted by Tom Brokaw and the publication of historian Stephen Ambrose’s D-Day June 6, 1994: The Climactic Battle of World War II, which would go on to sell 800,000 copies. The book attracted the attention of Steven Spielberg — a man with a preternatural sense of the zeitgeist — who would launch the pop cultural phenomenon in all its excess in 1998 with Saving Private Ryan, which opened to rave reviews and grossed $433 million.

      An explosion of associated products came on the heels of Saving Private Ryan’s commercial success: Brokaw’s three “Greatest Generation” books (which sold 5 million copies), a book about veterans of the Pacific Theater called Flags of Our Fathers (a film adaptation produced by Spielberg and directed by Clint Eastwood will be released this fall), and a clunking Bruce Willis vehicle called Hart’s War. With such an irresistible financial incentive, Ambrose would generate 10 more books between 1994 and 2001, including a distilled history of the war for “young readers” called The Good Fight. Tom Hanks, who starred in Saving Private Ryan, became a kind of WWII commemoration crusader, cutting a series of radio ads that advocated for a World War II memorial to be built on the Mall. After a seven-year-campaign, it was dedicated in 2004.

      Nostalgia quickly descended into kitsch: In 1999, People named “The World War II Soldier” one of its “25 Most Intriguing People,” right next to Ricky Martin and Ashley Judd. But unlike so many pop culture phenomena, this one had legs, extending into the new millennium when Hollywood released the summer blockbuster Pearl Harbor in May 2001. Months later, HBO broadcast with great fanfare “Band of Brothers,” a miniseries based on Ambrose’s eponymous book about the exploits of the famed “E Company” as it fought its way across Europe. Produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, the series debuted on Sept. 9, 2001.

      Explaining why he made Saving Private Ryan, Steven Spielberg told an interviewer, “The most important thing about this picture is that I got to make a movie about a time that my dad flourished in.” During the Vietnam War, Spielberg explained, he resented people like his father who were proud to be American and displayed the flag. “Only when I became older did I begin to understand my dad’s generation,” Spielberg said. “I went from resenting the American flag to thanking it.”


      …In the film’s climatic battle, as the Americans try to hold a bridge under a heavy German attack, this same former prisoner returns to shoot and kill Captain Miller. Meanwhile, during the battle, Upham is paralyzed by a fear so total that, as his Jewish comrade wrestles hand-to-hand with a menacing Nazi, he can only cower in the stairwell below, crying as the Nazi plunges a knife in the Jewish soldier’s chest.

      The message is clear. In the great struggle for the future of the free world, the intellectual cannot be trusted. His concern for the laws of war means he is weak and cowardly, and will contribute to defeat. Only the true soldier can win the war. This is the ethos of the Cult of the Soldier, which would come to entirely dominate our politics in the years to follow.

      “For it has been said so truthfully that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press,” Zell Miller boomed during his keynote speech at the 2004 Republican National Convention. “It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag who gives that protester the freedom he abuses to burn that flag.””


  5. Now, here’s a good opportunity for the UK to squeeze a despicable “победобесие” out of them, and show those Russki’s how a nation can admit its past mistakes – and repent for them!

    The postwar photographs that British authorities tried to keep hidden

    • Treatment of suspected communists revealed
    • Four court martialled after police inspector’s inquiry

    “For almost 60 years, the evidence of Britain’s clandestine torture programme in postwar Germany has lain hidden in the government’s files. Harrowing photographs of young men who had survived being systematically starved, as well as beaten, deprived of sleep and exposed to extreme cold, were considered too shocking to be seen.

    As one minister of the day wrote, as few people as possible should be aware that British authorities had treated prisoners “in a manner reminiscent of the German concentration camps“.


    The pictures show suspected communists who were tortured in an attempt to gather information about Soviet military intentions and intelligence methods at a time when some British officials were convinced that a third world war was only months away.


    At least two men suspected of being communists were starved to death, at least one was beaten to death, others suffered serious illness or injuries, and many lost toes to frostbite.


    One of the men photographed, Gerhard Menzel, 23, a student, was arrested by British intelligence officers in Hamburg in June 1946. He had fallen under suspicion because he was believed to have travelled to the British-controlled zone of Germany from Omsk in Siberia, where he had been a prisoner of war. His weight, measured several weeks after his arrest at 10st 3lb, had fallen to 7st 10lb by the time he was transferred from Bad Nenndorf to a British-run internment camp eight months later.

    In the meantime, he told Hayward, his hands had been chained behind his back for up to 16 days at a time, periods during which he was repeatedly punched in the face. He had also been held in a bare, freezing cell for up to two weeks at a time and doused in cold water every 30 minutes from 4.30am until midnight, a practice the detective discovered to have been common.

    A doctor at the internment camp reported that Mr Menzel was one of a group of 12 inmates transferred from Bad Nenndorf, all emaciated and dressed in rags. Previous arrivals had also been half-starved. Some had facial scars, apparently the result of beatings. A few had scars on their shins, said to be the result of torture with shin screws which had been retrieved from a Gestapo prison at Hamburg.

    Mr Menzel “was only skin and bones,” the doctor wrote. “He could neither walk nor stand up without assistance, and could only speak with difficulty because his tongue and lips were swollen and broken open.

    “It was impossible to take his body temperature because it was not higher than 35 degrees Celsius and the thermometer only starts at 35.”

    The prisoner was also confused, anxious and suffering memory loss, his lungs were badly infected and his blood pressure was dangerously low. Only after being washed, fed and heated with lamps could his body temperature be raised to 36.3C, but the doctor feared his chances of survival were slim.


    The records show that Bad Nenndorf was run by a War Office department called the Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre (CSDIC).

    By late 1946, CSDIC appears to have lost interest in Nazis, and was targeting communists. It appears the prisoners were questioned about Soviet methods and intentions, rather than about the Communist party itself.

    Some of Bad Nenndorf’s inmates were indeed spying for the Soviets: one prisoner, who was half-Norwegian and half-Russian, told Hayward he was an officer in the NKVD, the predecessor of the KGB, and had been operating continuously in Germany since 1938. Another, a German journalist who had been freed by the Soviets from a Gestapo prison, was caught flying into Croydon aerodrome with false British papers. Both men were starved and badly tortured.

    Others clearly were not spies, however. One man who was starved to death was a gay ex-soldier caught with forged papers while crossing into the British zone in search of his lover, while the other was a young German who was being interrogated because he had volunteered to spy for the British in the Russian zone, and was wrongly suspected of lying because of an official error over his medical records.

    Four British officers were court martialled after Hayward’s investigation. Declassified documents show that the hearings were held largely behind closed doors to prevent the Soviets from discovering that Russians were being detained.”

    Go ahead, professor. It’s time for payment and repentance – repentance and payment – of the British nation. Show us a good example how to do that – as a nation!

    Oh, wait… The article linked above is from 2006! In the here and now we had such… thing… as Nolan’s “Dunkirk” – a movie whose message and moral, should Russians film it, would be panned by the tight ranks of the creative class across the globe. Repentance? Regret? PAYMENT? Naaaah! Remember, kids – team West was the Good Guys! And Good Guys can’t do wrong. Even if they do – it is all justified. For Democracy. For Freedom. For an Apple Pie.


  6. Thanks for another interesting article. As far as explaining the mess in Ukraine is concerned I am surprised that any serious person would offer an explanation without giving due weight to the geopolitics of the situation. In 1998 George Kennan stated very clearly that there would be a bad reaction from Russia if NATO expanded up to Russia’s borders. The pushback is now underway. The Russians would have to be unusually thick not to realize what they up against. Equally, the West, especially Europe, would have to be silly not to understand the dangers of the current situation.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I didn’t realize that Russia “celebrates” WWII. I thought it was an annual memorial honouring the fallen — a truly horrendous price in Russian blood.


    1. “I didn’t realize that Russia “celebrates” WWII. I thought it was an annual memorial honouring the fallen — a truly horrendous price in Russian blood.”

      On 9th of May we celebrate the Victory – when the War ended. On 22nd of June we mourn the fallen – when the War began. The West would like for us only to mourn, because for them we have nothing to celebrate – it was Allies (i.e. only them) who won, after all!


  8. Professor, this is fearfully silly, and I am being kind when I write that.

    “Walker thinks that those who rose up against Maidan were wrong to do so, and that their fears became a self-fulfilling prophecy (which I think is fairly accurate)”

    Complete and utter drivel – I am surprised you are not embarrassed at having written it. Nobody ‘rose against Maidan’ – Maidan attacked them and they defended themselves from it. No doubt the cowards, Nazis, sex offenders, congenital idiots and drug addicts who supported Maidan would have preferred that their intended victims had not fought back, but there is no reason for any sentient life form to share their feelings.

    Walker is a Streicher-level criminal and his arguments are entirely devoid of merit. His written works belong on the ash heap, and himself on the gallows.

    Liked by 1 person

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