History keeps repeating itself. Eight decades ago, i.e. in May 1938, when Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia, modern day Hitler aka Vladimir Putin will take a part of Ukraine to Russia on 30th September. Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson regions of Ukraine have been annexed to Russia through fraudulent and fake “referendums” held in September from the 23rd to 27th to annex the regions of eastern Ukraine to Russia. It is fifteen percent of the total land area of Ukraine.
Putin implementing Hitler’s formula
Hitler used a small ethnic group of German descent living near its border to invade Czechoslovakia. That group, the Sudeten Germans, made up a quarter of the total population of pre-war Czechoslovakia. Hitler used their leader Konrad Heinlein as his puppet. Through Heinlein, Hitler was able to raise a demand for autonomy for the Sudeten Germans. Heinlein also requested Hitler to annex the areas where the Sudeten Germans lived because their ethnic group was being persecuted. Hitler also continued to accuse the Czechs of persecuting the Sudeten Germans. Finally, Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia to fulfill the demand of the Sudeten Germans..! Putin is invading Ukraine using Hitler’s old tactics.
Putin used the pro-Russian Luhansk and Donetsk “People’s Republics” in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region for the operation. These regions have a majority population of Russian origin seceded from Ukraine in 2014 and emerged as “People’s Republics. There are separatist terrorist groups fighting with the Ukrainian government forces. Russia provides them with weapons and resources. Russia managed to create a massive media myth that Ukrainian forces were shelling pro-Russian people living in these self-proclaimed “republics”. This myth was socialized in the Russian people through electronic, print and social media in Russia. Since there is no independent media or official opposition in Russia, it is very easy to launch this kind of media operation. Following that, Putin invaded Ukraine six months ago, claiming to protect pro-Russian people living in this self-proclaimed “republic”. As the second phase of that invasion, the said part of Ukraine has now been forcibly annexed to Russia through these fraudulent referendums.
The media that brainwashes the Russian people
For years, the pro-Putin media has fed the Russian public the myth that the Ukrainian government is pursuing a genocidal policy against people of Russian descent living in Ukraine. Since the majority of the Ukrainian people do not like the “pro-Western” government of Ukraine, the myth that Russia should intervene for the “liberation” of the people was also installed in the Russian people. When Putin invaded Ukraine six months ago, the Russian people, imbued with Russian nationalism, applauded the decision. Not only in Russia, but all over the world, ultra-nationalist, fascist and authoritarian groups cheered and whistled at Putin. The followers of the pro Rajapaksa Party in our country also joined this.
Shattered dreams of war victory
Putin planned to seize a significant amount of Ukrainian territory within two months and celebrate the military victory. The young Russian soldiers thought that the Ukrainian people would welcome them with garlands as liberators. To that extent, the pro-Putin Russian media had brainwashed them. But none of these dreams came true. The Ukrainian people saw the Russian army as aggressors and spat on them. Despite the goal of the two-month war, Russia’s military is facing unexpected destruction.
Russian forces accused of illegal killings and rape
Frustrated by these troop retreats and the protests of the Ukrainian people, the Russian army is involved in human rights violations, including the illegal killing of civilians in Ukraine and rape. Many mass graves have been found in the areas under the control of the Russian military in Ukraine. In the same way that the Russian authorities control the media in their country and manipulate public opinion, they rejected all these incidents by branding them as “fake news”. But other countries of the world rejected Russian responses.
UN Independent Investigations
Accordingly, the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations and the International Criminal Court examined these cases. Prosecutor Karim Khan of the International Criminal Court, who investigated the mass graves and illegal killings in Ukraine, said in a UN Security Council meeting held on September 22 that the killings that have taken place in the areas of Ukraine under Russian military control are a fact and that he has seen the corpses firsthand. In addition to that, an investigation commission chaired by Erik Mose appointed by the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations has also confirmed these killings and rape allegations and they have been defined as war crimes.
Thousands of Ukrainian civilians were killed
According to the latest report released by the United Nations Human Rights Commission on Ukraine, 5996 civilians were killed and 8848 injured in the war in Ukraine from February 24 to September 25 this year (the actual numbers are much higher). The assessments amongst the dead were 382 children. 90% of civilian casualties occurred in areas controlled by the Ukrainian government.
In February and March 2022, the Russian army, which controlled Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy and Kharkiv, killed hundreds of Ukrainian civilians, according to the report. The report can be accessed here.
Putin Bows to Nationalist militants
Embarrassed by the setbacks the Russian military has faced in Ukraine, Russian nationalist militants have continued to urge President Putin to immediately declare conscription and send more troops to Ukraine. Initially reluctant to issue conscription orders, President Putin had no choice. Six months after the invasion of Ukraine accordingly, on September 21, Putin issued mandatory military service call-up orders for one year for youths between the ages of 18 and 27.
Protests across Russia against compulsory military service
However unexpected protest arose throughout Russia to this compulsory military service. Young people are now queuing up to trying to leave the country. Putin threatened to give a ten-year prison sentence to young people who do not comply with the relevant mandatory military service order.
Having annexed Ukraine’s regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson to Russia, Putin is trying to conquer all of Ukraine through conscription. It is Putin’s usual practice to take over the territory of his neighbors by force. Putin invaded the independent state of Georgia in 2008 and annexed a fifth of its territory to Russia. After that he sent Russian troops to Chechnya. In 2014, he annexed Crimea from Ukraine to Russia. So his course, like Hitler’s, is clear.
Who saved the Soviet Union from Hitler?
It was through a united front that it was possible to defeat Hitler, who had conquered Europe and was marching to Africa and the Soviet Union. Joseph Stalin made a non-aggression pact with Hitler. But waiting for the right opportunity, without any notice, Hitler invaded the territory of the then Soviet Union, including the Ukraine. German forces moved into the Soviet Union at a speed that even Hitler did not expect. At this time, Britain and the United States of America, who were the arch enemies of communism, came to the aid of the Soviet Union. At Stalin’s insistence, American President Roosevelt provided massive military aid to the Soviet Union to defeat the German forces. By the end of 1944, America had provided 11000 airplanes, 6,000 tanks, 30,000 military trucks, military equipment and food to the Soviet Union. It is to defeat the common enemy.
But like an irony of history, America, which helped to protect the Soviet Union from Hitler, today has to provide military assistance to protect Ukraine from Putin, who is the modern day Hitler. Today, defeating this power frenzy of Putin has become a necessary condition for the progress of human civilization. A strong UN front like the one built to defeat Hitler’s fascist frenzy is needed today.
Ali asgar (Ali asgar is a freelance journalist and a Sufi author)