Originally appeared at Vzglyad.ru. Translated by Julia Rakhmetova and Rhod Mackenzie.
The slogan “We Can Do it Again!”, the recent Victory Day apocryphal motto, is becoming more and more popular. It was invented in 2012, then people began to stick it to their cars in 2014 and now it is experiencing another wave of popularity.
We hear the same wave of indignation and the same attack not so much in relation to what is depicted on the sticker, which is disputable, as to the meaning of the words ‘do it again’. Some consider that they insult the memory of those who died in the Great Patriotic War, asking ‘What are you going to repeat? 25 million causalities and tortured Soviet citizens? Hundreds of burned-out villages and thousands of ruined houses? Who needs such repeating?’
These claims seem reasonable and patriotic but they are off target and misinterpret the meaning of the slogan that reflects the pulse of the time. Over the last one or two years we have been experiencing catastrophic changes on the global stage that transformed not only modern times but also perceptions of the past. As if the world were transported back to the 1930’s.
The Great Patriotic War was not just a mournful memory of those who died, it has returned as a real threat to modern times in a slightly different form. Again, as 80 years ago, clouds are forming around Russia from the West and we can hear the sounds of aggression being prepared.
Victory Day has been a ‘holiday with tears in the eyes’ for decades, with people repeating the words ‘mourn and remember’, praying to ‘live in peace forever’. The war happened in a relatively recent past and the world remembers the faces of its heroes, although they did not always know their names. The Russian Ivan with his rifle was for some a liberator, for others a threat.
Western countries had monuments to the Soviet soldier, but his memory has been studiously wiped out. Lately it has been spit on – and not only in Poland, the Baltic states and Ukraine.
By 2014, textbooks in dozens of countries, were being rewritten, their people taught that Stalin was equal to Hitler, and the USSR was worse than Nazi Germany. Modern Western and pro-Western propaganda depicts Russia as an aggressor and even as a fascist empire, preparing us for the role of victim by the ‘Empire of Good’.
This was impossible even ten years ago: the country that defeated Nazism in World War II is now stigmatized as a hotbed of fascism. And not by freaks or fringe groups, but the Western elite: Prince Charles, the President of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaite, members of the Council of Europe. The reunification with the Crimea is called an annexation, comparable to the Anschluss of the Third Reich.
At the same time, real neo-Nazis in the Ukraine are being supported by Washington and Brussels. Western analysts call some terrorist-cutthroats in Syria ‘moderates’, denouncing the Russian Air Force for destroying them. The world is topsy-turvy and everything that seemed impossible yesterday has become a reality.
Thus Sergei Lavrov in 2011 and Vladimir Putin in 2014 were forced to declare that Nazism and militarism have again raised their head in Europe.
NATO troops are conducting training exercises in the Baltic States, marching in Kishinev, supplying and instructing Ukrainian hit squads. Thousands of US soldiers are at Russia’s frontiers under the pretense of holding back Russian aggression.
There are Bundeswehr soldiers taking part in NATO training exercises within 30 km of the Russian border, and Berlin even promises to send new forces to the Baltic States on a regular basis. Seventy-five years after the beginning of the war, German military men are again at our borders. How is a grandson of a Soviet soldier supposed to react, even if some citizens of Germany are indignant over the decision?
The slogan “We Can Do It Again!” sounds like a response to this question and a reminder for all people that Russians are ready if need be. It’s a reminder for those who want to destroy us, that previous hunters got scared to death.
There is no call to repeat the atrocities and devastation of World War II, on the contrary, we want to stop the force that is leading to it, bringing hostility ever nearer to Russia. Russian citizens are fed up with having to express their concern, call upon NATO to desist. They are ready to threaten if this will stop a massacre.
Yes, we can do it again, and if need be there will be hundreds of thousands of ‘civilizers’ dead bodies, if they again attempt to wipe ‘Russian barbarians’ from the face of the Earth.
Yes, we can punish and will punish any degenerate who pictures himself as the Master of the Universe and an exceptional nation.
Yes, we can ruin a Reichstag in Washington if the residents of the local White House want to play war games with Russia.
Yes, we can and have repeated the anthem of humanity over inhumanity in Palmyra, as was done by the survivors of the 871 day Siege of Leningrad. Self-disclosure was the fact that British Foreign Secretary Hammond called bad taste the concert by Valery Gergiev at ancient monuments that had recently been destroyed by terrorists.
The most important thing is that we can do it again and are sure to again defend our planet from another global threat to its survival, the terrorism which, like Hitlerism 80 years ago, is supported by Western money even as it claims to be fighting it.
I’m sure the words “We Can Do it Again!” in relation to our Western ‘partners’ will be on the rise among Russian people, even though the sticker is hard to explain to a child.
Yes, Soviet soldiers left vulgar inscriptions on the Reichstag walls – let’s not gloss over that. And it would be better if we came up with a more decorous image for countrywide posters ‘We can do it again!’. For instance, we could show the flag of victory being planted on a White House in ruins.
Don’t accuse Russians of lusting for blood. We have a certain braggadocio and, maybe even frivolity about messing with the West. But it’s a response to the constant pressure on us, and its clearest expression – NATO advancing to our frontiers.
Leave us alone, and we will live peacefully on 1/7 of the earth’s land, not disturbing anyone. But if NATO soldiers get the idea of repeating the mistakes of the past and, on the pretense of promoting civilization, seek to deprive Russia of its sovereignty, we will also be able to repeat the year 1945.