Russia suffered catastrophic losses in WW2, and yet once again it is surrounded by hostile powers.
These are some direct and indirect results of WW2 for Russia:
The country that won the war (USSR) doesn’t exist any more. Parts of it are under control of foreign powers.
25 million dead, mostly Russian people, because of the incompetence of the political elite of the time. Five million of them were taken prisoner in the first weeks of Operation Barbarossa.
Since 1945, Russia has lost huge swaths of territory. It has never been smaller, mostly because of the incompetence of the political elite of today. The new countries carved out of Russian territories will inevitably grow extremely anti-Russian in the future.
Tens of millions of forgotten Russians live outside Russia, most of them abused and discriminated against, while the “patriotic” Russian government does nothing.
Two decades ago, Russian people were looted by oligarchs who are using their stolen money to exploit the same people who were robbed, with the blessings of the government.
In the last 30 years, Russian governments have betrayed many true friends and allies (Cuba, Serbia and Montenegro, Libya, Ukraine etc.). According to a recent poll, even the Vietnamese people would rather entrust their defense to the US than to Russia. Consequently, Russia has continued to lose influence around the world.
Russia’s enemies are numerous, her friends are few. Her enemies have never been stronger and bigger and have encroached on the Russian heartlands. As we’ve seen in Ukraine, Russia is again being threatened by Germany, the country that supposedly lost the war.
The current political processes and military activities around Russia almost guarantee that one morning, as soon as all the gaps are plugged, we will wake up learning that Russia and the Russians have been erased off the face of the earth in a surprise nuclear attack — again, mostly because of the incompetence of the Russian political elite of today. The possibility of a “retaliatory attack” is a joke.
So, what is there to celebrate? Who really won the war? Why all the war toys on display if not to lull the Russian people into a false sense of security?
Peter B. is an economist and government worker who lives in a former Soviet republic