Soviet symbols in propaganda
May 9, 1945 is forever inscribed in world history as the triumph of our united Soviet people.
Oh, Commander, take it easy! What do you mean by the united Soviet people? Well, I hope you have not forgotten how a few years ago in your speeches on May 9, the Russian soldier, the Russian people, were in the foreground, but there was nothing Soviet at all.
00:26 Putin, 2017:
The Russian soldier, even today, as at all times, showing courage and heroism, is ready for any feat, for any sacrifice for the sake of his homeland, for the sake of his people. Glory to the victorious people! Happy holiday to you!
The new political reality that emerged after February 24, 2022 showed us a lot of propagandistic, figurative, semantic wonders.
In war, all means are good. And therefore, in order to raise the morale of the military, gain the trust and support of civilians, the Russian authorities and, as we will see, even the Ukrainian authorities began to use Soviet symbols with such intensity that one feels one may go crazy. Although, it would seem, both those and others had consistently, for decades, blacked out the memory of almost everything Soviet. Moreover, each political force on both sides of the front played the Soviet card in the war in its own way and to the best of its intellectual abilities. Red flags, battles around the unfortunate granny with a red flag, accusations of Bolshevism, throwing poop at each other in the style of "you are Hitler - no, you are Hitler" and the list goes on. Reading and watching the materials for this issue, I seemed to be sorting through letters and video chronicles from a madhouse. That's how all this is grotesque, paralogical, stupid and, in fact, sad and tragic. In some places I interrupted work and had to do something like this:
Today we will talk about how Russian and Ukrainian propaganda use Soviet images to their advantage, what really is wild harm from all this, and why neither Russian nor Ukrainian communists really should rejoice at red flags on tanks. For this video, I, among other things, contacted comrades from the Workers' Front of Ukraine (RFU) in order to clarify a number of points on the other side of the front. In general, make yourself comfortable, there will be a lot of interesting trash today. I hope your mental health doesn't deteriorate. Though — come on — we have already experienced two issues about Ekaterina Shulman, so somehow we will get through. Let's go!
Friends, by tradition, I ask you to subscribe to the resources of our channel Vestnik Buri on social networks. All the links will be in the description. Also, my musical project Big Beria Tape released a mega topical song called Yudashkin. And suddenly, it is about sanctions and import substitution. You can listen to it on all music platforms. You can also find the link in the description.
Well, we are back to the main point. Is playing on the political images of the past, including for military purposes, something unusual and exclusive? Well, not really. The most notable example is all this dancing around the symbols and heritage of the Roman Empire. The theme with its revival was used by the Byzantine emperor Justinian (fortunately, he ruled in the eastern part of the once unified empire), and the French king Charlemagne, and King Otto the First, who created the Holy Roman Empire, and, oh my God, Benito Mussolini!
And these are only the most remarkable examples, and even then not all. A piece of hype from the Roman Empire was snatched even by the Muscovite state, which, after the fall of Byzantium, that is, the Eastern Roman Empire, developed the concept of the Third Rome, copying even Byzantine symbols. Yes, yes, if anyone did not know, then the double-headed eagle, which is the coat of arms of Russia to this day, was taken from Constantinople and the Palaiologos dynasty. But that is the legend of antiquity deep. And today we will talk about the use of symbols that are much more relevant and carry a completely different semantic charge. And I'll start with one interesting story that happened in Moscow in 2003. Armen Beniaminov, now vice-president of the Chistaya Liniya company, and then an assistant to a State Duma deputy from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, hung the Soviet flag over the building of this same State Duma on November 7. The whole story went like this.
He planned his action in advance. He ordered two red flags from the studio, as well as a hammer and sickle. The second flag would be necessary in case something went wrong with the first one. Since Armen was an assistant to deputy Vladimir Nikitin and worked in the State Duma on a full-time basis, he was familiar with all the inner workings. According to Armen, there was an exit to the attic on the 11th floor near the library. On November 6, it was opened, as there was a renovation going on. Unbeknownst to others, Armen made his way to the roof and hid. The workers locked the doors, so the communist had to spend the night on the roof. It was, of course, cold, but Armen wrapped himself in glass wool. By the way, as a safety net, he took with him a special belt and handcuffs to be chained to the flagpole for safety. Next is the matter of technology. On November 7, he lowered the Russian flag, after which he threw down a tricolor cloth and leaflets with the inscription "Long live the Great October Socialist Revolution!"
After 20 minutes, guards ran up to the roof, handcuffed him and, according to Armen's story, beat him, punching him in the face and twice in the stomach, after which they dragged him up the stairs like a sack.
Then the story takes a more serious turn. A criminal case is opened against Armen under article 329 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation "Desecration of the Russian flag"
Beniaminov then received a year of probation in Putin's Russia for the red flag over the State Duma, which seemed to imply that when red flags are placed in a neighboring country with the approval of the presidential administration, that is good. But when in your own country and without a sanction, that’s not good, not good at all! Remember this case for now, and we'll move on. In one of the recent videos about Putin's patriotism, I noted that the current Russian patriotic propaganda is highly postmodern. Both the features and contradictions of the domestic economic and political system and the personality of the central creator of the ideology of Putin's Russia, writer, poet, political strategist, hoaxer Vladislav Surkov, played a role here. The bottom line is that Russian patriotism is eclectic, abstract. It is not tied to specific tangible material benefits for the people. It simply uses a hodgepodge of images from the past, stuffing them with arbitrary and meanings consistent with the current situation.
The purpose of such a concept and such propaganda is not to create a whole picture, but to most effectively influence the clip thinking of the layman. Because why? Yes, because the main object of propaganda is not an advanced person with critical thinking, but a housewife and a householder who are fuzzy on the topic of politics.
This, in general, is what the foreign adversary Arestovych talked about before he himself became the main Ukrainian propagandist:
The main target of the manipulations, of all these informational, psychological media wars, no matter who conducts them, is the consciousness of housewives, mere laymen. Because it is just you and I who are so smart, we know everything about manipulations and we can expose them. And there are people who say: "This is a primitive manipulation." So it's not designed for them! There has always been just a handful of wise guys: you take it, and the sand spills out. And there is a huge sea of people. If we talk about Ukraine and Russia, then it is important to manipulate housewives.
And, truly, see how at first sight, the picture is paradoxical. The same Russian authorities, for decades, watered the Soviet past with a well-known substance. The channel "Vykhod yest'" ('There is a way out') even has a whole video with the top of Putin's anti-Soviet statements. Numerous films were shot with state money "to strengthen our spiritual ties", one worse than the other. In textbooks, children were told how one half of the country was locked up, the other half guarded.
Etc etc. That sort of thing. However, over time, the economic and political situation changed.
Petrodollars saturated the pockets of the oligarchs with officials, and the budget. Domestic commodity corporations crawled around the world, accompanied by private military companies, and even by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. And here, as an ideological help, comes the idea of the Russian world formulated by the same Surkov, but not only this single idea.
It was also necessary to give it something to help, seriously touching the strings of the soul of a Russian citizen. In the best postmodern traditions, Russian propaganda begins to heavily use Soviet symbols taken out of context or filled with other meanings.
Indeed, in the mind of the layman, the USSR is primarily not a revolution, but a strong statehood, social security, respect in the world, and an independent foreign policy. The Great Patriotic War, of course, became the first victim of the Kremlin's political strategists, and its memory is hypocritically defended by law with one hand, and turned into a farce with the other.
And, of course, it would be foolish not to use Soviet memes in the "non-war" that had begun on the territory of Ukraine. Moreover, for this, a grassroots request is quite ripe. Opinion polls inside Russia show a predominantly positive attitude towards the Soviet past, even among young people. Moreover, I don't know whether intentionally or not, but in the external arena, Soviet symbols have become quite strongly associated with modern Russia. I personally know a number of people who came to Putin's Russia from different countries, from Lithuania to Brazil, and who were firmly convinced that we have something like the USSR here. And Putin is either Stalin, or Brezhnev, or something like that. A severe disappointment awaited them on the spot, but the fact remains that such an opinion of Russia really exists. "Anti-Soviet means a Russophobe." Plus, "the USSR" sounds powerful and proud. Even the belligerents want to join something bigger and more glorious than the dubious special operation of some kind of Russian Federation, in some sort of Ukraine. Everyone would like to stand under the great red banner as a symbol of the fight against the absolute fascist evil. And, by the way, there are all sorts of red Putinists who volunteer to fight on the side of Russia and also carry their own symbols. 8 years ago, in the Donbass, at first, this theme with red flags and just socialist sentiments was also very, very strong. By the way, that is why my comrades and I fully supported this left wing of the militias and even helped them, cherishing, perhaps in vain, hopes that this trend would prevail. But already a couple of years later, the LPR and DPR fell tightly under the heel of the Kremlin, they cleansed the unwanted, disgruntled representatives of the labor movement, and organized for them excursions to cozy basements. So, the Russian world according to Surkov was established in all its grandeur. By the way, it is noteworthy that many nationalists who participated in the Russian Spring were also purged, using them in their own interests. Okay, back to the events of recent months. Already on the 24th, Vladimir Putin experienced Soviet flashbacks and made the references that now it’s almost like it was back in the Great Patriotic War. Moreover, "we took into account the experience of that war, and this time launched a preemptive strike".
"An attempt to please the aggressor on the eve of the Great Patriotic War turned out to be a mistake that cost our people a lot. In the first months of hostilities, we lost huge strategically important territories and millions of people. We will not allow such a mistake a second time. We have no right."
"And now I'll show you where the offensive was being prepared for Russia. 4 positions!" By the way, in more than 4 months, they did not explain to us where, all right, never mind, it doesn't matter anyway. The main thing is that we are like Stalin, they are like Hitler, and this time, damn it, we outplayed him. Actually, of course not. But the most important thing went further. Red flags on tanks: one, two, three… How many of them are there, damn it?
"One thousand five hundred four hundred and seventy eight"
— "... And another million on the way..."
Moreover, it was a well-thought-out strategy, supported, among other things, in the official offices of Moscow. Although the red flags began to flicker as early as February 25-28, one of the first high-profile videos with them, which gained more than a million views, and now for some reason is only available via a link, was posted on the official YouTube channel of the Russian Ministry of Defense on March 9. The red flags are shot in every possible close-up from different angles. Here, look, rejoice, the enemy will be defeated, victory will be ours! And yes, of course, the entire top of the comments under the video is admiration for red flags. As the saying goes,
13:35 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban scene:
By the way, it's interesting, but this card was thrown immediately in the first hours after the Russian side was forced to admit that there are Russian conscripts in Ukraine, and some of them were even captured.
13:49 Igor Konashenkov, representative of the Ministry of Defense:
Unfortunately, several facts of the presence of conscripts in the units of the Russian armed forces involved in the conduct of a special military operation on the territory of Ukraine were discovered. Almost all such servicemen have already been withdrawn to the territory of Russia. At the same time, a raiding group of the national battalion attacked one of the units performing the tasks of logistical support. A number of servicemen, including conscripts, were captured. At present, comprehensive measures are being taken to prevent the deployment of conscripts to combat areas and the release of captured servicemen.
Earlier, the Russian president denied the presence of conscripts in Ukraine.
And so I believe, in order to close this shameful newsbreak, apparently, they decided to curtain it with red flags. On March 9, the Ministry of Defense makes a statement, and on March 9, after that, the force of red flags begins. Just…
...exactly to the day, exactly to the hour!
In parallel, victory flags are beginning to be hung out in many places in the territories occupied by Russian troops. This is done both by the troops themselves and by enthusiasts cooperating with them. Here, for example, the notorious singer Yulia Chicherina is putting up such a banner on some seedy office building of the SBU. As for this military correspondent of RIA Novosti, he put on both Russian and Soviet flags. Oh, those RIA Novosti military correspondents, they always have wrong symbols! Here, for some reason, the participants in volunteer formations are fighting for the glory of Lenin, although Ilyich would obviously have been freaked out by such a turn of events. And here is a completely amusing case: the man is speaking on behalf of the Kharkov partisans against the backdrop of the Soviet Banner, and you just look at how this speech ends: "The enemy will be defeated, victory will be ours!" Oh man, what's on your mind? The Soviet flag, then the flag of the Russian Empire along with the song "Arise, Great Country! " Well, Comrade Stalin would have simply shot you for life for such shit!
16:03 Stalin from the English-language film:
You hit a man on the head and knock out his teeth.
But the Ukrainian communists, who in fact were already in a semi-legal position, could rejoice at this turn of events, but for some reason they are not happy at all.
16:23 Rudoy, via video call:
I wanted to ask why you, comrades, are not happy that Ukraine is going to be liberated from Nazi occupation by an army in which, well, red banners actually flash, which restores Soviet monuments? Here, the Russian state-allied leftists would say that, on the contrary, it's good for you because Russian troops are taking control over territories where the Ukrainian communists can now conduct agitation and propaganda.
Because first of all, we, as communists, need to look at the root causes of the conflict. On the one hand, we have, in most territories of Ukraine, a regime that is controlled by, let us say, Western imperialism. On the other hand, in the territories that after 2014 are under pro-Russian rule and under direct Russian rule, like Crimea, and those territories that have been occupied since February 24, there is a regime that is subordinate to Russian imperialism. It's like a fight between a toad and a viper. They are two different animals, but both are loathsome. In some ways, the situation in Ukraine is a little freer than in Russia (e. g., when it comes to the possibility of holding rallies). In some aspects, the situation is freer in Russia (e. g., when it comes to the ability to propagate communist ideas under the red flag). We may argue endlessly about where it is freer, and compare where there is more democracy, where there is less. But it is obvious to everyone that there is no full-fledged freedom of speech, freedom of agitation and propaganda both in Russia and in Ukraine, even within the framework of bourgeois democracy. The main thing is to have a desire and a smart head on your shoulders. We will be able to agitate and propagandize under any regime, using the approaches that we have now. If we talk about the possibilities of agitation and propaganda in the territories that, as Russian imperialism says, are being liberated from the "bloody regime of Bandera's followers", it is worth mentioning our position. We, communists, are not just agitating for Soviet symbols, but we are in favor of destroying the loathsome essence of the toad and the viper. We are in favor of eliminating both the imperialist conflicts themselves and their cause - capitalism. The goal of our propaganda and agitation is to fight against any bourgeois regime that exists at the moment. Therefore, even in the territories that come under Russian jurisdiction, we do not have complete freedom of agitation, and opportunities for propaganda. We have disagreements with the power that is being established. Even leaving aside the fundamental issues of social organization, we can mention the cultural, linguistic, and national issues. The current Ukrainian regime, of course, oppresses the Russian-speaking population of the country. The current Ukrainian regime, of course, oppresses the Russian-speaking population of our country. We come out in defense of national minorities, for their equality with Ukrainians, against Ukrainian chauvinism. If the pro-Russian government oppresses Ukrainian speakers on a national basis, then we will defend their rights in the name of equality of nations and internationalism. Thus, we are radically at odds with the authorities. And therefore, for the Ukrainian authorities, we are agents of the Kremlin and pro-Russian, and for the Russian authorities, we will be "agents of Kyiv", "Bandera's followers". All this because we stand for complete liberation from capitalism, for the liberation of the working class. We are not for this or that bourgeois power, but for the overthrow of bourgeois power.
Of course, the main heroine of Putin's propaganda in a Soviet wrapper was granny Anna Ivanovna. Everyone, probably, saw this sentimental video, where she goes out to the soldiers with the Soviet flag? The soldiers turn out to be not Russian, but Ukrainian and trample on the red cloth. Oh my God, how Russian state-allied propagandists of all stripes jumped on Anna Ivanovna! Murals, sculptures, a huge amount of heroic pictures in social networks. At the highest level, there was even a plan to give her asylum. But something just went wrong. Anna Ivanovna later gave comments that were not at all flattering to the Putin elite, after which she went off the grid of the official media.
21:20 Anna Ivanovna:
This is the flag of peace and love. And let no one think that this is a flag of bloodshed. If I could speak to him I would say, Vladimir Vladimirovich, you've made a mistake. Have you asked Ukrainian people if they want war? Have you asked if they did anything evil against you? Us Ukrainian workers, what have we ever done to deserve this? We are the ones who are suffering the most. I was just happy that the Russians would come and not fight with us. I was happy that we would unite again, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, like a loving family. And when they came with such a war and glorified me, I'm not happy they've made me famous. Because in Ukraine, now they consider me a traitor. But I think Russia will not like what I said: they are doing it wrong. They may think that it is right that they went to fight against us. It can't be done. You can't shoot at children, old people. Shoot at the country where your brothers and sisters are. It was not for the sake of war that I brandished the flag, but for the sake of peace.
In your conversation with Alexander Batov, you said that the emphasis on Soviet symbols on the Russian side is very harmful to the Ukrainian communists. Can you clarify this idea now?
23:59 RFU :
The idea is very simple. Using Soviet symbols, referring to the Great Patriotic War, the Russian regime makes the Ukrainian population absolutely certain 0that the communists are Putin's supporters, lackeys of the Russian bourgeoisie. An equal sign is put between everything Soviet in general, communist, socialist, and the Putin regime, because the red flag is used, including by the Russian army in all occupied territories, along with the Russian state flag. This harms the Ukrainian communists, who conduct propaganda work among the Ukrainian population and must raise its class consciousness to the point of being able to carry out a socialist revolution. It is obvious. Accordingly, on the one hand, this stereotype will have to be attacked head on, we have to explain that communism is not equal to Putin's regime. On the other hand, we have to circumvent this stereotype. We must explain that communism is not limited to the red flag and the glorification of the heroes of the Great Patriotic War and that everything is simple. Communism is something more substantial, more fundamental. You can talk about this using other symbols. We've still got a lot of hard work in this direction.
That is, in fact, Putin is forcing you to change the symbols?
Actually, yes. Of course, he is not the only reason, but he played a certain role in this.
Those Ukrainian Reds who started cooperating with the new government look like collaborators and outcasts. Look, for example, at the rally in liberated Kherson. A few people on the stage with red flags and a few dozen standing around them. Although, it would seem, the liberators came. Well, where are your traditional Slavic greeting ceremonies with bread and salt, and the joy of the whole people? Despite the fact that on the same day in the same city there was a really mass rally against the occupation of the city by Russian troops. By the way, even the ex-mayor of the city Vladimir Saldo came to the micro-event under red banners, whom half of Kherson simply hates as a corrupt official, but who was appointed by the Russian side to the post of governor of the Kherson region. In summary, the Russian world came under red banners, however, without Soviet power. And oh, how life has changed — basically, in no way. The hypocrisy of the situation is all the more monstrous, given that in Russia at the same time we can be convicted for the red flag, and, what's more, at the actions of the Immortal Regiment, not somewhere else.
The police drew up a protocol against the Karelian branch of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation for demonstrating red banners at the Immortal Regiment action, which took place on May 9 in Petrozavodsk. Local communists wrote about this on VKontakte.
July 14, the regional branch of the Communist Party will be tried. The fine that threatens the Karelian organization is from 500 thousand to one million rubles. Just think about why: because representatives of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation on May 9 took part in the procession of the Immortal Regiment in Petrozavodsk with red flags - copies of the Banner of Victory. The Karelian communists are shocked.
The head of the Karelian branch of the Communist Party, Yevgeny Ulyanov, told the media outlet 7 * 7 that representatives of the United Russia party were also walking with members of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation in the column of the Immortal Regiment. He believes that the regional authorities are afraid of competition and plan to "crack down on the regional branch of the Communist Party."
However, the Soviet line in propaganda works in both directions. If for some this is a positive characteristic, then for others it is quite the opposite. Here are libertarians publishing a translation of an article by Lee Edwards with the simply perfect title "Putin the Marxist-Leninist".
Putin laments the passing of the Soviet Union and its empire. As prime minister and president, Putin has moved again and again to build a new Russian empire, most recently in his invasion of Ukraine. We can deal effectively with Putin only if we accept how much he is enthralled to Marxism-Leninism and its core idea that political power grows only out of the barrel of a gun.
28:50 The Sopranos — Uncle Junior:
Oh, what is all this garbage, what's the point?
By the way, if you want to know why Putin is in fact neither a Marxist, nor a Leninist, nor a restorer of the Soviet Union, watch the video, the links are on the screen and in the description. But the Ukrainian detractors of the Soviet took the bull by the horns. In Ukraine, nationalists have been developing the idea of the USSR as a hostile empire for several decades. Since 2014, this has become part of the state ideology, and the use of Soviet symbols by the Russian Army only actualized this idea. The authorities seized on the news opportunity and have already organized an exhibition comparing Soviet and Russian crimes against Ukrainians.
On June 15, an exhibition "Communism = Ruscism" will open on Mikhailovskaya Square in Kyiv, which will demonstrate the similarity of the crimes of modern Russia and the USSR. According to the organizers of the event, one of the reasons for the repetition of crimes is their oblivion and lack of discussion at the proper level. All the terrible events that happened after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24 are a continuation of the genocide against Ukrainians that was committed by the Soviet Union. Mass executions, torture, looting, persecution for the Ukrainian language and culture took place both in the 20th and 21st centuries, the description of the exhibition says.
The Ukrainian nationalists also echo them. If anything, especially for plainclothesmen watching this video, I inform you that I sincerely condemn the following quote.
30:24 Text on the screen (in Ukrainian):
A big request to all:
Do not call Russkies FASCISTS/NAZISTS.
1. Such a comparison offends the defenders of Ukraine, many of whom are nationalists;
2. "Essentially, the Russkies are a Bolshevik horde. The same Muravyov's army that attacked Kyiv 100 years ago. It's cruel, stupid, destructive. Putin is not Hitler, he did not build a great country, industry, autobahns, and so on. He created the country of shit and terror. The closest historical parallel is Lenin. Therefore, the Ruskies are the Bolsheviks;"
3. Ideologically, Russkies have nothing to do with nationalism: they cultivate the day of victory, and 40% of their army are f*cking monkeys from the Caucasus and Buryatias. Multiculturalism is another sign of the Bolsheviks
This time we will definitely defeat this red infection. We will finish off and avenge the Red Terror, the Holodomor, the repressions of 2014 and 2022.
31:01 Gangs of New York - "Poor Rabbit" scene:
What the hell are you talking about?
But, if you think that this is the height of nonsense and stupidity, then wait to draw conclusions. I have something else for you! As you know, radical nationalist formations are fighting both on the side of Ukraine and on the side of Russia. And when you read some of the Russian ultra-right from the front, it turns out that they came to fight in Ukraine with the Marxist Bolsheviks. No, I didn't misspeak, and you heard that right. In their opinion, the Zelensky regime, the Azov battalion are new communists.
31:36 Russian youtuber Puchkov "Goblin" :
That is, these are primitive horrors, when it is quiet, quiet, quiet and suddenly: "Aaah!"
As you can see, Goblin himself even reposted to his telegrams, then, however, he deleted it.
/Text on screen:/
Goblin's Tuny40k (oper.ru)
Forwarded from Govorit TopaZ 'TopaZ speaking'
"While you are sitting here, minding your own business, somewhere now the Marxist fags from the Azov Battalion are being smashed to hell with heavy air bombs ... take a deep breath, feel this moment ... This is one of those moments you live life for, it is even worth paying taxes"
Here, the same guys are talking about the struggle against the Ukro-Bolshevik scum for the glory of Great Russia. And that, my friends, is not all miracles for today. After all, the official Ukrainian propaganda, on the one hand, compares Russia with the "bloody repressive Soviet system", on the other hand, it itself parasitizes on Soviet nostalgia in the name of military purposes.
32:09 Rudoy, via video call:
But look, oddly enough, Ukrainian propaganda also uses Soviet images in current events, how is this done?
The main emphasis in Russian propaganda is on equating Ukraine with the Third Reich, fascism. Parallels are being drawn: "Our grandfathers fought against fascism. Look, fascism, the Third Reich is established in Ukraine and we all must unite therefore to fight fascism, like our grandfathers."
Ukraine pays Russia back in absolutely the same coin. Unlike Russia, in Ukraine, references to the Great Patriotic War are not the primary line of propaganda, but at least in the background it is present for sure. Analogies are drawn between modern Russia and the Third Reich, Russia and Nazi Germany are identified, the actions of the Russian troops are portrayed as genocide, etc. This message is similar to the Russian one: "we must fight fascism". Besides, Ukraine needs to hide its ultra-rightists, the Azov battalion and others from public attention. Therefore, it is necessary to say: “No, guys, we don’t have fascism. The Russians have it. On the contrary, we are saving Europe from fascism.” This is the state line of propaganda. As for Ukrainian society as a whole, the vast majority of modern Ukrainians have grandfathers and great-grandfathers who served in the Red Army, were red partisans. Therefore, the memory of those events is alive among the Ukrainian people. Among the population of the East, the center and the South of Ukraine, this idea is especially popular. People very often say, "Our grandfathers fought German fascism, we will fight Russian fascism", that is, in fact, this is a mirror image of Russian propaganda.
Yes, indeed, you can scroll through at least Zelensky’s channel and see that the President of Ukraine also sometimes experiences Soviet flashbacks, compares the current fate of Ukrainians with the fate of Jews in World War II, and in general, constantly draws historical parallels.
“They tell you that we are Nazis. But how can a people who gave more than 8 million lives for the victory over Nazism support Nazism? How can I be a Nazi? Tell my grandfather about this, who went through the entire war in the infantry of the Soviet army, and died being a colonel in independent Ukraine."
35:37 Rudoy, via video call:
Why do you think both sides of the conflict use these Soviet symbols?
They do it to achieve the same goal that propaganda generally pursues: to tell a pack of lies, to promise everything to everybody, only so that the population believes in the correctness of a certain side, supports it and fights for it. Actually, anything is used for this purpose. Therefore, in Russia, a glorification of the White Guard, criticism of the USSR, and at the same time appeals to honor the memory of the Great Patriotic War coexist. Putin, in his well-known speech before the start of the war, stated that it was Lenin who created Ukraine and Russia would carry out decommunization. And this is combined with the fact that in Ukraine, in the territories occupied by Russian troops, monuments to Lenin are being restored. The Ukrainian side is also inconsistent. It is clear that the general tone of propaganda both in Ukraine and in Russia is nationalist. But everything that the population might like is used, including Soviet symbols. Here, as we see, the bourgeoisie does not disdain to resort to borrowing its symbols from the socialist system, to appeal to its heritage, using it in its own interests. We cannot deceive ourselves. We know the true content of all these symbols, and therefore we must fight to bring this content to the population.
Basically, yes, that's right. When Soviet symbols become symbols of the fight against the Putin regime, when, God forbid, they are installed on the building of the Russian parliament, you will be tried, even if you are an assistant to a deputy. But if you use red flags in a context that is convenient for the Russian authorities, everything will be fine. They readily remember our grandfathers, the victory, and the united Soviet people.
We find similar, albeit somewhat different, twists and turns on the Ukrainian side. And if you look at the mob of other political forces swarming on both sides, then you can hear such drivel that you may go crazy. Everyone fills red flags, terms like Bolshevism, Marxism, Communism, with just arbitrary meanings. You know, I immediately recall the words of the exiled oligarch Chichvarkin, who said that parties with the words "people's" and "labor" in its name and, with the support of the "plebs", conduct the most hardcore market reforms for the benefit of fat cats.
We need some very cunning leader, like Douglas from New Zealand, who would say that "we stand for the workers, essentially, we are almost socialists" and, step by step, smash everything to hell: deregulate everything that can be deregulated. We need someone to come, call himself the Party of Labor or something like that, and, explaining this "solely by concern for workers and ordinary people," dismantle this state, leaving a small harmless part of it.
And it's really sad. It is sad that in this postmodern mishmash of meanings, the real essence of communist ideas is lost: the struggle against capitalism, against the oppression of people by other people, the struggle for progress, freedom, internationalism, solidarity, a world without wars. Symbols are good, but it is important to understand who uses them and why, to look at the essence, and not at the "flashy stuff". If you are hoping to get behind one of the sides, clutching at the symbols, then do not be surprised that you are being used and thrown out, because the authorities of Russia and Ukraine just perfectly capture the essence of things and the meaning of the ongoing masquerade.