An article by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the Second World War will help expand historical debate and encourage people to start discovering facts about the contribution of the USSR to the victory over Nazism, the honorary secretary of the British Society for Assistance in Russian and Soviet Studies (SCRSS) and the Soviet Memorial Foundation told RIA Novosti “Ralph Gibson.
Putin wrote an article about World War II in which he called on states to step up the process of publishing their archives and publishing previously unknown documents about the war and the pre-war period. He noted that Russia is ready for broad cooperation and joint research projects with the participation of historians.
“A significant number of people in many countries do not even know which states were allies. This proves that the struggle to inform and educate present and future generations remains a vital task, including for our foundation (“ Soviet Memorial ”- ed. ). I hope President Putin’s article will help to draw attention and broaden historical debates, and will encourage more people to start discovering facts. If more people learn about the Soviet Union’s contribution to the Victory, this will be a very important step in the right direction, ” said Gibson, with whose participation in London ceremonies are organized every year in memory of Soviet soldiers who died in World War II.
According to him, in the days when the 79th anniversary of the invasion of Nazi Germany in the USSR is celebrated, a discussion of Putin’s article is timely.
“For our foundation, which is responsible for supporting the Soviet war memorial in London, it is extremely important to widely inform and give people an idea of the global conflict that led to the deaths of 27 million military personnel and civilians from all regions of the USSR,” said the honorary secretary.
Gibson noted that the leaders of the allied countries – Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt – were aware of the scale of hostilities between Germany and the USSR and recognized “the absolutely central role of the Soviet (Red) army in defeating the fascist aggressor.”
“Nevertheless, 75 years after the Victory in Europe, attempts continue to recognize the country that made the greatest sacrifice for the defeat of fascism, equally guilty of unleashing the conflict, as the aggressor – Nazi Germany. In my opinion, this is partly due to the intention to start the countdown chronologies of World War II with the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in August 1939, instead of recognizing the fact that the actions – or inaction – of many countries during the period since the end of World War I played a role in the formation of a collective inability to stop the fascist threat and the start of another global conflict “said Gibson.
He acknowledged that the world may never find out if there were any secret protocols of negotiations between European leaders and Hitler. According to the interlocutor of the agency, transparency of the archives of all key countries at that time is necessary.
“In fact, Western European countries were ready to negotiate with Hitler. Whether these negotiations or agreements included secret protocols – I don’t know, and perhaps we will never have clear answers. But I would like to say that we need more transparency in the archives of all the key countries period because what happened afterwards continues to be used to influence the political climate today, “Gibson said.
He emphasized that one cannot rewrite history and forget that humanity is in great debt to those who fought against the fascist threat.
“We owe it to everyone who fought against the fascist threat to all of humanity so that such a conflict never happens again. Attempts to ignore or reduce the role of the USSR in defeating Hitler Germany must be resisted. And the existence of the Soviet War Memorial in London is a constant reminder of the huge role of the peoples of the USSR in a joint victory with the Allies. This should never be forgotten, “said the agency’s interlocutor.