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Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия
May 11, 2008 7:50 AM   Subscribe

Comrades! Glory once again in the display of Soviet Russian military might at the revitalized May Day Victory Day Parade!
posted by fearfulsymmetry (52 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
the tank that's parked in front of my local american legion hall looks newer than those things
posted by pyramid termite at 8:03 AM on May 11, 2008


Your link to "military might" that s on "display" sends us to a Wikipedia page about the Red Army, which does not exist anymore. Here's the Wikipedia page for "Russian military"...

My Wikipedia link above has an interesting contradiction or inaccuracy. The Wikipedia article I linked to states:

Dale Herspring from Kansas State University said in 2008 that, "The Russian military will be back about 2010. In 2008, it will be in sort of a decent shape. But they say this openly, that before Russia will be in a position to be a military power, it will be 2010

However, in the actual citation (something from VOA linked to in the Wikipedia article!), Hersberg actually says this:

"The Russian military will be back about 2020. In 2015, it will be in sort of a decent shape. But they say this openly, that before Russia will be in a position to be a military power, it will be 2020."

So what are the Russians celebrating this May Day? Truthiness?
posted by KokuRyu at 8:07 AM on May 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


If recent history has taught us anything it is that penis length means nothing in a pissing match.
posted by srboisvert at 8:23 AM on May 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


That this was not intended to make us laugh makes me laugh. It is surreal. Absurd that monkeys have evolved to kill with such theatrical detachment from the act itself. I like how the planes make all the car alarms go off.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:26 AM on May 11, 2008


I like how the planes make all the car alarms go off.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium


Epony- well, you know.
posted by backseatpilot at 8:55 AM on May 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


All this fear-mongering about OMG THE RETURN OF THE USSR!!11! is stupid and misguided. Russia is, fundamentally, not an empire (in the sense of the British or American Empire). It's a regional great power--a lot more similar from a behavioral standpoint to China than, say, France. Like China, Russia focuses on either conquering or making satellite states on its geographic periphery, in order to become the most powerful player in its region. This is vital, because Russians need respect and recognition of their power and will support those politicians (like Putin) who play to that need. What they don't want (or, rather, don't really care about) is overseas conquests, colonies, new markets, substantive political influence outside of their region--in other words, all the imperialist things that America desperately wants. Russians want to be the elder in the corner, respected and deferred to, but they don't really have the intention of actually using that respect in their own economic or military interests.

From this point of view, American foreign policy since 1991 has been an unmitigated disaster and was most likely directly responsible for a) the second war in Chechnya; b) the election and unparalleled popularity of Putin; c) the return of Soviet-style militarism as seen in this post; d) the continued rise of violent nationalism both in its Nazi and pseudo-Bolshevik variations.

What was America doing wrong? a) actively promoting the expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe and the CIS; b) rerouting oil pipelines outside of the Russian sphere of influence; c) pushing missile shields and bases in Eastern Europe; d) using CIA funding and diplomatic pressure to interfere with the election of Russia-friendly pseudo-puppets in the CIS; e) invading Kosovo against strong Russian opposition. Probably the only bright spot was the (American-sponsored?) inclusion of Russia in the G-7/8 in the late nineties--not really "deserved" from an economic point of view, but absolutely important--and maybe also the sought-after involvement of Russia in post-9/11 "anti-terrorism." In short, America did all it could to interfere in what Russians consider their sphere of influence as a regional great power.

Note the absence in this list of a) the invasion of Iraq against strong Russian opposition; b) American opposition to the Palestinians, an old Soviet ally; c) any of the other fiascoes (and triumphs!) of American foreign policy in the last two decades. That's because Russians simply do not give a fuck about anything that lies outside of their region.

The profound sense of humiliation and irrelevance produced by American meddling in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus produced, and continues to produce, a predictable great-power nationalist reaction in Russia. (A poll taken in 2005 asked about possible ideals that Russians could rally around; "the resurgence of Russia as a strong and powerful nation" got 43%, and no other response--not capitalism (3%!), not religion, not communism--even came close.) If Russia gets involved in another arms race, another cold or hot war, other diplomatic crises, it will be to expiate and erase this feeling of humiliation. (Hence Russian policy towards Ukraine and Georgia in recent years).

I'm not saying that the morally right thing to do is to let the Russians do whatever the hell they want within 1000 miles of their border. (As far as I'm concerned, morality doesn't enter into geopolitics except as propaganda.) What I'm saying is that, if America continues to pursue this tack of showing the Russians who's boss, and doesn't start making deferential and respectful noises, then it ought not to be surprised when Putin is replaced by someone who makes him look like Gorbachev in comparison. If many more countries in the region join NATO or experience American-funded "color revolutions," don't be surprised if a Tsar is installed and proceeds to spread Orthodoxy with fire and sword through the whole Slavic chunk of Europe. Is it worth it? Beats me. But the important thing is, it doesn't take much to conciliate the Russians. a) Acknowledge their regional significance on the diplomatic level; b) give them purely symbolic authority roles, such as WTO presidency or something; c) ask for their advice and solicit their cooperation. Nothing else, really, is necessary. We just need to feel important, we don't actually need power.
posted by nasreddin at 9:23 AM on May 11, 2008 [14 favorites]


KokuRyu: Instead of moaning about it, you could have checked the edit history and seen that those edits were vandalism done by two anonymous users and are the most recent edits to the article.
posted by azazello at 9:49 AM on May 11, 2008


They can celebrate the defeat of Nazi Germany any way they want. They earned it.
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:19 AM on May 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hey, don't knock Victory Day. I got 2 Fridays off in a row (last week was May 1.)
posted by k8t at 10:41 AM on May 11, 2008


That this show of "strength" should concern people whilst the continual displays of American military power we are treated to is accepted says a lot, in my opinion. America remains the biggest threat to the world, and will for some time.
posted by Acey at 11:10 AM on May 11, 2008


interfere with the election of Russia-friendly pseudo-puppets

Is what Russia calls pseudomacracy, da?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:27 AM on May 11, 2008


They can celebrate the defeat of Nazi Germany any way they want. They earned it.

Is that the defeat where they signed a treaty with the Nazis to split up Europe?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:29 AM on May 11, 2008


Is what Russia calls pseudomacracy, da?

Any talk of "democracy" in the CIS of today, with or without the Russians, is either a) laughably naive or b) American propaganda.

Is that the defeat where they signed a treaty with the Nazis to split up Europe?

Is that the defeat where 23 million of us died? Where the United States waited to open up a second front until it was clear that Stalin was about to kick Hitler's ass all the way to Argentina? I mean, I'm the first person to admit that both Stalin and the communist system were evil and crazy, but you have to understand that without the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact there would have been essentially no Red Army to speak of, and Hitler would have won the war easily. Be careful with your sneering dismissal. I have a dozen family members who were murdered by the Nazis as they marched through Ukraine and Belarus.
posted by nasreddin at 11:43 AM on May 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


Any talk of "democracy" in the CIS of today, with or without the Russians, is either a) laughably naive or b) American propaganda.

Then I must be a non-pseudo-puppet of the American hegemony (a surprise to me!), because I'm not so fucking dumb as to invent a term like "pseudo-puppet" to excuse Russia's interference in the sovereignty and emerging democratization of other nations.

Be careful with your sneering dismissal. I have a dozen family members who were murdered by the Nazis as they marched through Ukraine and Belarus.

I'm sorry that happened your family members, but that doesn't excuse communist Russia from signing a treaty to basically do then what it is doing now through "pseudo"-puppets (ha!) or bullying countries into submission through energy policy or its acts of terrorism in other countries.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:00 PM on May 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


What, no "In Soviet Russia, you do not [verb] the [noun], the [noun] [verb]s you" joke yet? MetaFilter, you disappoint me.
posted by WalterMitty at 12:12 PM on May 11, 2008


Yeah, that's the defeat he's talking about. It was part of the same glorious battle led by Neville Chamberlain and Standard Oil.

It's fun to be smug in hindsight when you're not the one drawing back a bloody stump.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:14 PM on May 11, 2008


Blazecock your suffering from a bit too much scatter in your spray. You're missing France and hitting Russia.
posted by srboisvert at 12:16 PM on May 11, 2008


Is that the defeat where they signed a treaty with the Nazis to split up Europe?

Dude, you may want to look up Yalta Conference and who was in attendance before spouting stupid shit.
posted by c13 at 12:19 PM on May 11, 2008


What, no "In Soviet Russia, you do not [verb] the [noun], the [noun] [verb]s you" joke yet? MetaFilter, you disappoint me.

In Metafilter, you do not "In Soviet Russia, you do not [verb] the [noun], the [noun] [verb]s you" joke the thread, the thread "In Soviet Russia, you do not [verb] the [noun], the [noun] [verb]s you" jokes you"

Twofer.
posted by srboisvert at 12:20 PM on May 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Dude, you may want to look up Yalta Conference and who was in attendance before spouting stupid shit.

Likewise.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:23 PM on May 11, 2008


Then I must be a non-pseudo-puppet of the American hegemony (a surprise to me!), because I'm not so fucking dumb as to invent a term like "pseudo-puppet" to excuse Russia's interference in the sovereignty and emerging democratization of other nations.

I was using "pseudo-puppet" ironically, as is obvious--I'm not under the illusion that anyone's sovereignty is being respected here.

I'm sorry that happened your family members, but that doesn't excuse communist Russia from signing a treaty to basically do then what it is doing now through "pseudo"-puppets (ha!) or bullying countries into submission through energy policy or its acts of terrorism in other countries.


First of all, the United States spent World War II in complete safety and isolation, and it is highly disingenuous of you to try to claim the moral high ground--especially since it didn't enter the war until most of Europe had been conquered already.

Second, you Clintonistas can weep and cry as much as you want about Big Bad Russia's Dread Hand in Eastern Europe--in fact, that old story is precisely the reason and justification for all the failings of America's Russia policy. I'm not concerned with whether it was morally right for Russia to do this or that, or whether it continues to be morally right. (I'm an anarchist, all states are more or less equally bad as far as I'm concerned--not a point I will derail this thread to discuss). But if you think that it's only the Russian secret services who have their fingers in the Eastern European pie, fixing elections and such, you're a dupe and you've been sold a load of crap. "Emerging democratization" is a buzzword that means "support for joining NATO." You seriously think Yuschenko is any less of a stooge than Yanukovich? Every government in the CIS is for sale to the highest bidder. (The Russian one too, but it's gotten too expensive for anyone to use "Buy It Now," as they did in the '90s.)

My argument is purely pragmatic Realpolitik. Do you feel scared that Russia is nationalist and flexing its muscles in uncomfortable ways? Then don't irritate it with dumb policy like NATO expansion. If you do, you don't get to complain. Many people in the West seem to think that Russia and the whole post-communist world is just chock-full of people who, absent the eeevil eeevil totalitarian Putinite apparatus, would joyously sprint towards the nearest Amnesty International office to rejoin the happy fun land of democratic civil society. People who think this is true are idiots. Lift up the protective shell of the Russian state, look at the real beliefs of the people--you will be horrified. There's a reason Russia has more Neo-Nazis than any other country on the planet.
posted by nasreddin at 12:23 PM on May 11, 2008


First of all, the United States spent World War II in complete safety and isolation, and it is highly disingenuous of you to try to claim the moral high ground--especially since it didn't enter the war until most of Europe had been conquered already.

First of all, dimwit, I'm not from the United States. I was born in the UK and for the most part grew up there and in Canada.

Second, I'm not claiming any moral high ground, just pointing out that you've chosen not to stand on any moral ground at all, high or low. Apologia like your comments above make me cringe whether it is "Realpolitik" apologia about Bush or Putin: "We had to go into Iraq, Saddam was a terrarist!" "We have to kill Litvinenko with polonium, he's making us look like gangsters!"

My argument is purely pragmatic Realpolitik.

Translation: Some of my remote family members died because of Nazis, so Russia should be allowed to do whatever it wants so that it feels good about itself.

There's a reason Russia has more Neo-Nazis than any other country on the planet.

No, no, those are pseudo-Nazis. Calling them neo-Nazis would hurt Russia's feelings.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:33 PM on May 11, 2008


your comments above make me cringe

I cringed once. It was weird.
posted by nasreddin at 12:41 PM on May 11, 2008


Do you feel scared that Russia is nationalist and flexing its muscles in uncomfortable ways?

no - the only real power they have is nuclear - we know it and they know it

their logistical and command/control capabilities suck and their abilities are defensive, not offensive - and the chinese and the muslim countries are the powers they need to worry about, not the u s
posted by pyramid termite at 12:41 PM on May 11, 2008


the tank that's parked in front of my local american legion hall looks newer than those things

I think you may be confusing those things as the ones I saw were mobile artillery units, not combat tanks. The former tend to look more un-svelte than the latter.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:49 PM on May 11, 2008


Likewise

Ok, let's go over this again. Some people just think differently, so don't be discouraged.
Here's what you said: Is that the defeat where they signed a treaty with the Nazis to split up Europe?

The Nonaggression Pact was signed in 1939. That's before Germany attacked Russia, would you agree? So then they did and there was this whole hubabb that we russians call The Great Patriotic War. That's when we lost 20-some million people, the ones that we know of. To make a long story short, after about 4 years we got all the way to Berlin and stuck our flag into what used to be called Reichstag -- a place where that evil Hitler dude used to hang out. That happened sometimes on May 8-9th of 1945, hart to pinpoint the exact time, 'cause lots of shit was going down back then. So that's the "defeat" we're talking about. The Nonaggression Pact did not really split up Europe because hey, the Germans were greedy and tried to take over the whole damn continent. So the time when Europe was actually "split up" was at the Yalta conference, where Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt decided what territories should go to whom. But that was in February of '45, pretty much after Germany was defeated.
Try to figure it out, you'll get it eventually.

no - the only real power they have is nuclear - we know it and they know it
And don't forget chemical weapons. And biological. And Yahonts. And Sunburns. And oil. And gas. And metal ores...
posted by c13 at 12:52 PM on May 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


their logistical and command/control capabilities suck and their abilities are defensive, not offensive

Well, judging by Vietnam and Iraq, all one really needs to successfully fight the world's most advanced military is a rusty old AK, a sports suit and a pair of sneakers. No?
posted by c13 at 12:56 PM on May 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


nasreddin: I think your insight into the situation is spot on. Speaking as an American, the behavior of both the Clinton and Bush administrations with regard to Russia has been like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

There was an amazing opportunity in the 90s, after the dissolution of the Communist government, to treat Russia like a major regional player (which it was and continues to be) and solidify it as an strong ally in a multi-polar world. The decision of consecutive administrations to spit in the collective face of Russia is a mistake that I think will be with us for far longer, and have more sweeping consequences on the future geopolitical landscape, than the fallout from Iraq.

I am heartened, somewhat, by your assertion that the rift isn't irreparable; although I have little faith in the government in general, I don't think it's totally beyond hope that some candidate in the near future might take a more pragmatic and respectful stance.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:03 PM on May 11, 2008


Ok, let's go over this again ... Is that the defeat where they signed a treaty with the Nazis to split up Europe?

Let's NOT go over this again; instead, how about we stop feeding trolls who would run crying to mommy if they were subjected to but a small fraction of the hardships endured by ordinary former citizens of the USSR, who managed to defeat Hitler and outlast Stalin. No amount of pathetic, frothing keyboard warriors is going to diminish that honour.
posted by Krrrlson at 1:10 PM on May 11, 2008


An entire generation of my ancestors died so you could live.

While azazello clumsily botched his argument with a crude, playground-style ad hominem attack, it *is* worth pointing out that the Russians almost single-handedly won the war in Europe.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:32 PM on May 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Nonaggression Pact was signed in 1939. That's before Germany attacked Russia, would you agree?

You're pointing out they planned to divide up Europe before their relationship turned sour, during a time of peace between the two nations. Then communist Russia plans to divide up Europe with the Allies at the conclusion the war. So they pretty much wanted a hegemony whether it was during peacetime or during a war.

Doesn't really help your point much. Try to figure it out, you'll get it eventually.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:47 PM on May 11, 2008


While azazello clumsily botched his argument with a crude, playground-style ad hominem attack, it *is* worth pointing out that the Russians almost single-handedly won the war in Europe.

My point, in case it wasn't clear enough, was that there was absolutely nothing single-handed about it. My home country came to the brink of destruction and back, and endured unspeakable hardships to defeat an enemy bent on exterminating them. I honor their sacrifice, and have contempt for those who deny it.
posted by azazello at 1:57 PM on May 11, 2008


Russians almost single-handedly won the war in Europe.

And that didn't scare the people on the left side of the iron curtain? I've been to the Fulda area and even after more than 15 years after reunification you could still see how much society was prepared to get their collective asses kicked by the Russians.

And I'm from Sweden. We got mauled by the Russkies 200 years ago but many people still seem to take it personal. Russophobia is alive and well and will probably thrive in the coming years.
posted by uandt at 2:04 PM on May 11, 2008


it *is* worth pointing out that the Russians almost single-handedly won the war in Europe.

they bore the brunt of it, sure, but allied supplies, control of sea lanes, bombing campaigns, the campaign in africa and eventually, when we could, opening up a second front had much to do with the victory

if the germans couldn't hold all of western europe, why would the russians be able to?

and i really don't want to hear that russia was somehow "left" in that position by the allies - what left russia in that position was a combination of geography and ill-preparedness due to wishful thinking
posted by pyramid termite at 2:20 PM on May 11, 2008


Let's NOT go over this again; instead, how about we stop feeding trolls..;

Well, you've got a point there.. If for no other reason than the fact that Russia wanted to divide Eastern Europe with Germans has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Russia played a major role in the defeat of Germany in WW2.
It's just that I was not aware of the metamorphosis ..
posted by c13 at 2:26 PM on May 11, 2008



they bore the brunt of it, sure, but allied supplies, control of sea lanes, bombing campaigns, the campaign in africa and eventually, when we could, opening up a second front had much to do with the victory


This is an important point. Lend-Lease was the only thing keeping Russia in existence until Stalingrad, probably.
posted by nasreddin at 2:30 PM on May 11, 2008


I must say I'm pretty surprised at the level of animosity here. So the russians want to throw a parade like they've been doing for years. They are proud of what they did in the War, they are proud that they are recovering from the 90's. What's the fucking problem with that? I don't see anyone complaining when rednecks do reenactments of the war they lost, the war they fought because they wanted to keep slaves. No one laughs when a whole bunch of old dudes put skirts on and go marching down the street while making terrible ear-splitting whining noises. Why the hell do you care what people on the other side of the earth do to honor their dead? Are you guys jealous? Afraid? What is it?
posted by c13 at 2:42 PM on May 11, 2008


Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos?
posted by blue_beetle at 2:48 PM on May 11, 2008


What's the fucking problem with that?

i don't have a problem with it at all - russia is a regional power with a regional power's capabilities, somewhat, and if the u s a would wake up and smell the coffee and realize that they are going to have to recognize and empower regional powers in the 21st century, then we will get along fine

our current president is incapable of understanding that - i think our next one will be
posted by pyramid termite at 2:54 PM on May 11, 2008


the fact that Russia wanted to divide Eastern Europe with Germans has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Russia played a major role in the defeat of Germany in WW2

It does raise questions about what "Realpolitik" means, when Russia, historically speaking, is not really honoring its dead, after all, but displaying its military hardware for all its neighbors and energy customers to see.

I guess it's only hegemony when the US does it. Don't step out of line, pseudocomrades!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:57 PM on May 11, 2008 [1 favorite]



It does raise questions about what "Realpolitik" means, when Russia, historically speaking, is not really honoring its dead, after all, but displaying its military hardware for all its neighbors and energy customers to see.

I guess it's only hegemony when the US does it. Don't step out of line, pseudocomrades!


You're either an idiot or a troll. Do you actually have any idea what the word "Realpolitik" means? What does that have to do with this parade? Obviously, they're honoring the dead; obviously, they're showing off militarily. Neither is inconsistent with Realpolitik.

I guess it's only hegemony when the US does it. Don't step out of line, pseudocomrades!


You keep arguing as if there were anyone in this thread who believed Russia wasn't seeking regional hegemony. I claimed that in my very first comment in this thread. Now stop blathering and say something coherent.
posted by nasreddin at 3:08 PM on May 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


the fact that Russia wanted to divide Eastern Europe with Germans has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Russia played a major role in the defeat of Germany in WW2

It does raise questions about what "Realpolitik" means, when Russia, historically speaking, is not really honoring its dead, after all, but displaying its military hardware for all its neighbors and energy customers to see.


What the fuck are you rambling on about? What raises the question? Which question? The defeat of Germany? The division of Europe? What does this have to do with honoring the dead? Or with the parade? Where the hell did US hegemony came from? With all the practice trolling, is this the best you're capable of?
posted by c13 at 3:15 PM on May 11, 2008


You keep arguing as if there were anyone in this thread who believed Russia wasn't seeking regional hegemony. I claimed that in my very first comment in this thread. Now stop blathering and say something coherent.

I just find it unbelievable that someone would claim that these military parades are anything but what they were back in the days of the USSR. These parades have nothing to do with "honoring war dead" — if anything, these parades make a mockery of the dead when the country picks fights with neighbors. Looking the other way or blaming the US is the new Realpolitik, I guess.

Further, I find complete and utter non-sequiturs about "Clintonistas" and "Realpolitik" apologia to be sad attempts to distract from Russia's history and the unrest it is presently responsible for. Still, I can believe that, for people of Russian descent, this must be a return to the glorious, proud old days, so if a military parade helps you hold your head up high while the homeland is a de facto and de jure embodiment of corporatist fascism and terrorism abroad, more power to you.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:22 PM on May 11, 2008


[a few comments removed - stop this "no YOU" crap and take it to metatalk or email, now please. thanks.]
posted by jessamyn at 4:32 PM on May 11, 2008


Personally, as a long-time Russia watcher, I'll just continue to enjoy the military hardware on parade. Brings back memories.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 8:15 PM on May 11, 2008




A coupla points.

1) Stalin killed more Europeans than Hitler, and more Asians than Tojo as the head of the Soviet Union. As this all happened in "Puppet States" it tends to be swept under the carpet.

2) The Red Army was built with American tooling and manufacturing tech - there would have been no Eastern Front without the US bankrolling and equipping the USSR.

3) Without the war in the Pacific, the Japanese would have beat the hell out of the Red Army in the Far East, and kept marching west until they shook hands with the Germans somewhere in Khazakstan.

4) Sunburns and Yakhonts are old, old tech, and very vulnerable to modern anti-missile systems. Including the ones that crash the software of the launchers before they're even fired. The Russians are way far behind, and cannot play catch-up with the US, and are even hopelessly behind Europe, who doesn't even try very hard at military R&D.

5) They can play "Keep ahead of China" and put on a grand parade to let Beijing know what's what in case they decide to press the issue of North Manchuria, which is at least as much of an irritant to Chinese pride as Taiwan. Not everything Russia rattles its sabre at has to do with the US and Europe.

6) Modernizing the military is a nice way to kick-start high tech industries with government capital. Getting the Russian economy into high-tech is something Putin has been trying to do for a while - he knows the commodities market isn't always going to be the money-factory it is now for Russia. Invest now, while there's money to invest.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:19 PM on May 11, 2008


Actually Slap*Happy the Soviets crushed the Japanese at Khalkin Gol in 1939. They didn't try to attack the Soviet Union again.
posted by Grimgrin at 12:40 AM on May 12, 2008



1) Stalin killed more Europeans than Hitler, and more Asians than Tojo as the head of the Soviet Union. As this all happened in "Puppet States" it tends to be swept under the carpet.


Unless you're counting deaths in the Soviet Union itself, this is false. I've never heard of anyone, even Robert Conquest, saying Stalin killed enough Poles to make up the difference. The best estimates today for Stalin's murders (aside from the war dead) are about 12 million or so, including the GULAGs and the Ukrainian famine (which, incidentally, was not really "engineered" the way people usually describe it, which of course doesn't absolve Stalin from guilt).

2) The Red Army was built with American tooling and manufacturing tech - there would have been no Eastern Front without the US bankrolling and equipping the USSR.


The supplies and Studebakers were important, but they weren't the be-all and end-all. The Soviet Union had a pretty strong industrial base itself, and by the end of the war Soviet tanks were better than American ones.

3) Without the war in the Pacific, the Japanese would have beat the hell out of the Red Army in the Far East, and kept marching west until they shook hands with the Germans somewhere in Khazakstan.

No, this is false. The Soviets crushed them at Khalkin-Gol, at which point they sued for peace. The attack on Russia was never more than a distraction in the first place; Japanese tanks were completely useless, and the entire Japanese army relied on its navy and sea-based aviation for constant support. There's no way in hell they could have sustained a trans-continental land campaign in Siberia.
posted by nasreddin at 2:18 AM on May 12, 2008


Or should the Evil American Overlords and their Euro-Lackeys start whimpering in terror whenever Putin trots out a mobile ICBM launcher that was shiny and new when Kruschev was pounding tables with his shoe?

Oh please! Evil American Overlords and their Euro-Lackeys are whimpering in terror of anyone from brown-skinned guys with box cutters to mothers carrying bottled breast milk on airplanes. So much so that they take away their own freedoms, monitor and police themselves and break the laws they themselves have established. They don't really need the ICBM launcher for that. The launcher is more of an excuse to squirrel away a few extra cans of Spam into a hole in the back yard and practice duck and cover skillz.
posted by c13 at 5:05 AM on May 12, 2008


Hey, the T-34 is the tank that won the war, so I wouldn't be knocking soviet tank expertise. Not that tanks really actually win wars anymore.
posted by Artw at 8:57 AM on May 12, 2008


Sunburns and Yakhonts are old, old tech, and very vulnerable to modern anti-missile systems.

But, interestingly enough, this outdated Soviet technology caused the F-117 to be scrapped far, far sooner than originally intended. Heh.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:04 PM on May 12, 2008


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