Posted by: russkieland | May 8, 2009

Crash test dummies

“For most countries burned by World War II, its final days of May 8 and 9 are marked as a moment of time of remembrance and reconciliation, as proclaimed by the U.N. General Assembly in November 2004. For Russia, May 9 remains the Victory Day — this country’s only meaningful national holiday, its most sacred and bitter anniversary and the one most cynically abused by the authorities in pursuit of their own aims.” [The TIME magazine, May 08, 2007]

The so called “George’s ribbon” campaign is promoted by Government of Russian Federation and Russian speaking media worldwide and is often organized and coordinated by Soviet sympathizers and Russian Nationalist organizations locally in other countries.

The campaign massively and hysterically praises victory of Stalin’s Soviet Union in WWII, while ignoring most of the events before, during and after the war, turning blind eye to any of the Soviet crimes and to the criminal essence of the totalitarian Communist regime itself.

One of the main attributes of the campaign is wearing orange-black striped ribbon on all occasions in public around the 9th of May (which is considered the day of victory in WWII by Russian Federation, just like it was by USSR) to demonstrate that you are supporter of the particular interpretation of the 20th century history – the one which actually is the Stalinist interpretation. Striped ribbons often are accompanied by flags of Russia with the imperial eagle (increasingly popular after 2008 war in Georgia) and at times even by red flags of Soviet Union.

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  • “George’s ribbon” in a rather typical combination with a T-shirt sporting abbreviation “U.S.S.R.” and Soviet coat of arms. Such T-shirts are increasingly popular amongst Russian speaking youths in Latvia. (Photo taken in Riga on May 9, 2009. Found at tribine.lv)

Many Russians themselves have criticized “George’s ribbon” campaign as a “hijacking” by state propaganda for needs of the Putin’s regime of the honors for the victory from those who actually fought the war to defend their homeland.

The campaign is regarded by many of it’s opponents abroad as a public stunt of Putinist propaganda, climax of Soviet revanchism mixed with Greater Russian Chauvinism with a true purpose of boosting pride, self-confidence and Nationalist feelings of those with mixed Soviet/Russian-imperialist identity. Behind the formal lines about “Great Victory over Fascism” there seems to be lurking a mixture of pride of past conquests, prising of Soviet militarism, xenophobic enjoyment from once “giving hell” to the West in general and to the local nations in particular, uncritical and passionate adoration of anything Soviet, bitterness about the lost Soviet Empire, dreams of consolidation and re-uniting with the “Great Russia”.

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  • Children are an important target group receiving special care and indoctrination of Soviet apologist groups. (Photo taken in Riga during Soviet/Russia sympathizers’ celebration of “The Great Victory”on May 9, 2009. Found at tribine.lv)

“George’s ribbon” campaign feels especially painful to many people in countries once occupied and annexed by USSR at the beginning of the WWII, which led to great loss of human life and suffering. It is made even harder to bear by the fact that amongst the local organizers of the campaign there are individuals who actively fought against restoration of independence of the respective countries in beginning of nineties, as it is, for example, in Latvia.

The fact, that the Soviet victory over Nazis did not bring freedom to these countries but was just a totalitarian regime change with many repressions against the local population to follow, is utterly ignored by those who organize the campaign.

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  • The photo shows “George’s ribbon” fastened to a car aerial. Ribbons like this one are distributed for free by Soviet apologist organizations to their supporters in Latvia. The humorous caption in Latvian says “I am participating in a windshield crash resistance test“. (Found at Million Reasons Why Latvia Is The Best Country In The World.com)
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