In the four earlier articles in this series on Russia, I have described the history of their current national character and strategic vision. It is clear that their institutions and values trace back to the Roman Empire as it continued in Russia and lands of the Russian Orthodox Church. In Part V I am trying to bring that history up to date with implications for the future.

In the four earlier articles in this series on Russia, I have described the history of their current national character and strategic vision. It is clear that their institutions and values trace back to the Roman Empire as it continued in Russia and lands of the Russian Orthodox Church. In Part V I am trying to bring that history up to date with implications for the future.

When visiting Leningrad [now St. Petersburg] in 1975 I noticed a few old men proudly wearing their WWII medals and a lot of old women [babushkas]- presumably war widows. The war was still a major influence on them because they lost 10 million soldiers and 14 million civilians of all ages and gender—far more than the U.S. which lost over 400,000 soldiers and hardly any civilians. By allowing Russia to capture, Eisenhower saved an estimated 100,000 Allied casualties.[Russia lost 80,000 soldiers taking Berlin.]

Following are accounts of the three conferences where decisions were made about treatment of post-war Germany that affect our present and future.

Tehran, Nov.28-Dec.1,1943

The first of the three meetings of the “Big Three” leaders of WWII was held in Tehran, Iran to be closer to Stalin who refused to travel farther for the conference. It followed Russian victory in July-August 1943 over Germany in the Battle of Kursk 280 miles southwest of Moscow. It ended Germany’s push East into Russia permitting Russia to push west into Eastern Europe. It t was the beginning of Germany’s defeat as the Allies geared up the West for D-Day and their push East in what for Germany became a two-front war ending with Germany’s defeat. With Eastern Europe open to Russian conquest and occupation, Stalin had the upper-hand in the negotiations in Tehran. The Allies asked for and received Russia’s agreement to enter war against Japan within three months of the end of war in Europe.

Yalta, Feb. 4-11, 1945

D-Day, June 6, 1944, was the beginning of the end for Germany, and by February 1945 Allied troops were racing east across France. Anticipating victory against Europe, Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin met Feb.4-11, 1945 in Yalta [southeastern Crimean coast] to essentially make decisions on post-war Europe. Russia already occupied Poland and was two months from entering Berlin as the leaders met.

The proposed UN charter was then almost completed and participants negotiated a seat on the Security Council for Russia. This also gave Russia one of five vetoes on the Council. They agreed on partitioning Eastern Europe which essentially recognized the facts on the ground e.g., that it was then occupied by Russia. They agreed to hold post-war free and fair elections in the occupied eastern European nations which Russia subsequently never allowed—casting the die for what Churchill would later call the Iron Curtain.

Western leaders agreed to such terms because they had little choice other than attempt to dislodge Russian occupation forces from Berlin east through WWIII. As then Secretary of State James Burn quipped, “It was not a question of what we would LET the Russians do, but what we could get the Russians to do.”

Potsdam July 17-Aug.17, 1945

This conference in a suburb of Berlin was held between new American President Harry Truman, Stalin, and both Churchill and Clement Atlee who was elected Prime Minister mid-way through the conference.

Then as now, Russia wanted empire. Roosevelt and Churchill trusted Stalin and believed that he would keep his word to hold democratic elections. FDR brushed off warnings of a potential domination by Stalin dictatorship in part of Europe saying,“ I just have a hunch that Stalin is not that kind of man. I think that if I give him everything I possibly can and ask for nothing from him in return, ‘noblesse oblige,’ he won’t try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of democracy and peace.” [1] Effectively, this created communist Eastern Europe, partitioning of Berlin, the Berlin Wall and the Berlin Air Lift airlift [1948-1949.]

Soviet –Japanese War

Russia was humiliated by their defeat in the Russo-Japanese War of 1905 which was ended by the Peace of Portsmouth arranged by Theodore Roosevelt for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. At the time he also confidentially agreed with Japan creating Monroe Doctrine by which they would maintain oversight over nations in Southeast Asia including Korea. Hence, when Russian went to war with Japan August 9-15, 1945, Korea was Japanese occupied and a target of Russian troops.[2]

In the peace treaty ending WWII, Russia received territory lost in the Russo-Japanese War. In 1948, North Korea was created under communist dictator Kim Ilsung. For their six-day contribution to war in the Pacific, Russia received the Kuril and Sakhalin islands which they still occupy and claim.

Conclusion

Putinocracy is imperialism under a tsar [Caesar] attempting to restore the Soviet Union empire through continuation of the Cold War. History isn’t destiny, but current events involving Russia reflect tendencies dating back to Constantine. They still cannot be trusted as exemplified their interference in our 2016 presidential election.

Russia’s repeated failures and weaknesses in the face of wealth and success by the West has given them paranoia and a persecution complex leading them to seek to undermine democracy and the West by breaking up our mutual defense and trade treaties e.g., NAFTA, NATO, the EU, SEATO, and the TPP. This they can be trusted to do.

[1] Wickipedia [2] Bradley, James, The Imperial Cruise, NY: Little Brown & Co., 2009, 5. 241-3.