Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Window on Eurasia: Putin’s Russia Prime Example of Where ‘Vaccination against Nazism’ has Worn Off, Vishnevsky Says

Paul Goble


            Staunton, October 15 – Speaking in Serbia, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that “the vaccination against the Nazi virus developed at the Nuremberg tribunal is losing its effectiveness in certain countries in Europe.”  He is right, Boris Vishnevsky says, but the prime example of that tragic trend is the Russian Federation.


            Kremlin-controlled media outlets are filled with suggestions that fascism and Nazism are on the rise in Ukraine and the Baltic countries, the Yabloko deputy to the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly says, but they fail to note that there is far more evidence of Nazism in Russia itself (


            The Ukrainian government, Vishnevsky says in a Ekho Moskvy blog post today, has behaved in a far more constitutional way after the flight of former President Viktor Yanukovich than did the Russian government in October 1993, and extreme nationalists are a far more marginal group in Ukraine than in Russia.


            And “the open manifestations of neo-Nazism” about which Putin and his regime like to talk about in the Baltic countries are far more in evidence in the Russian Federation than in any of them, the deputy writes:


  • “In Russia but not in the Baltics, attacks of neo-Nazis on those who have differently shaped eyes or a different color of skin have become ‘an everyday affair,’” and the situation with regard to pogroms is the same: they are occurring in Russia but not in Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania.
  • “In Russia but not in the Baltics, ‘Russian marches’ whose participants carry black hundred slogans and call for the persecution of ‘non-natives.’”
  • “In Russia but not in the Baltics, the opposition is called ‘a fifth column’ (in the terminology of Spanish fascists) and ‘national traitors’ (in the language of [Hitler’s] ‘Mein Kampf.’”
  • “In Russia but not in the Baltics, political analysts tied to the regime call Hitler ‘a politician of the highest class’ and do not bear the slightest responsibility for this.”
  • “In Russia but not in the Baltics, columnists of pro-government media outlets publicly
  • “In Russia but not in the Baltics, the leading government television channels declare that the Jews themselves brought on the Holocaust.”
  • “And in Russia but not in the Baltics, xenophobia, aggressive nationalism and chauvinism ever more acquire the status of state policy.”
          Vladimir Putin is “right on only one point: the vaccination from the virus of Nazism really is losing its forces in certain countries of Europe,” Vishnevsky says, but the Kremlin leader has utterly failed to recognize that “one of the clearest examples of this is Russia which earlier suffered innumerable victims in the struggle with fascism.”


Vishnevsky concludes that Putin would do well to follow the Biblical injunction to examine the log in his own eye before looking for the dust in the eyes of others and “began the struggle with nationalism, racism, xenophobia, and chauvinism” at home instead of allowing it to grow there while denouncing it elsewhere.

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