Stalin Political Successor Gave Exclusive Interview on the Eve of VE Day
Although its role in the Russian parliament continues to decline, the Russian Communist Party is nevertheless the largest and most well organized political force in Russia and plays a significant role in Russian political and social life. VE Day is an especially favorite holiday of communists. Usually they hold manifestations remembering and exaggerating Stalin’s role in defeating the Nazis. This year was not an exception. WSN Russian editor – Dmitry Udalov – conducted an exclusive interview with Gennady Zuganov, leader of the Russian communists, during Moscow festivities to commemorate the 60th anniversary of VE Day. Stalin's political successor gave his traditional communist approach to the results of WWII and the contemporary political situation.
WSN: Mr. Zuganov, what meaning does VE Day hold for you?
Gennady Zuganov: For me as well as for many other Russians, this holiday is the most important day of the year. If we didn’t celebrate VE Day today, we would never celebrate any other holiday. Even New Year's would be counted from 1933. That’s why I want to bow down and thank all veterans for their feat of arms. But mainly I want to thank the Soviet regime of those times that managed to build up the victory, to organize the economy, to unite all peoples of our country. I want to express gratitude to the Soviet military leaders. Military victories are impossible without bright commanders. It was Stalin's genius and brilliant strategic view that led us to victory. I want to ask everyone to stop the lying and slandering.
WSN: You’ve mentioned the unity of all peoples of the Soviet Union during the war. Why is this unity no longer possible or what is to be done to achieve it again?
Gennady Zuganov As you know, all the CIS leaders are coming to Moscow these days. I know this question will be discussed during the CIS summit. In my opinion, our future development is impossible without a strong union of Russia, Ukraine and Byelorussia. Look, Europe is uniting and increasing its political and economic strength, China has assembled all its regions and is trying to get Taiwan. The United States has its satellites all over the world. Only the Soviet Union is a number of separate states. From an historical viewpoint, we were always a single nation. So we must unite our potentials, as this is the only way that other nations will take us and our power into consideration.
WSN: On the eve of VE Day, Baltic leaders and parliaments asked Russia to give public excuses for the occupation of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania. What do you think of this?
Gennady Zuganov I consider such petitions blasphemy. They must stop expatiating on this matter. Baltic States were part of the Russian Empire for more than 250 years. So they must stop their attempts to rewrite history. The Molotov - Ribbentrop Pact was vital for the Soviet Union to defend itself and to defend the Baltic States from the Nazis. If it had not been for that treaty, the Nazis would have come to Leningrad several weeks after their invasion, as it is only 140km from Estonia to Leningrad. It would have meant a total collapse. So stop rewriting history!
No one give any excuses to me! In the village where I was born, 100 men went to the front and only 10 returned, badly wounded at that. No one gave any excuses to the 19 million Soviet children who lost both parents during the war. I could name many more facts. So these talks about excuses sound very blasphemous coming from Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania.
WSN: My next question concerns US-Russian relations, as President Bush is going to attend the celebration ceremonies in Moscow as well. During the war, communists managed to cooperate with the Americans and this cooperation was quite effective. Today we also have mutual threats and challenges. Do you think we can become true partners again?
Gennady Zuganov I’m not sure the new era of real cooperation is possible. The US aim is to control the whole planet. I think they have chosen a very dangerous political course. I consider Bush’s visit to Latvia and Georgia a kind of provocation, as the leaders of these countries are known for their disrespectful attitude toward Russia.