Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Russia has no shame

Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has presented the certificates of Cities of Military Glory to five Russian cities, including Vyborg. (The short English version says "hero cities", but it's a somewhat different concept.)

Anyway, Medvedev said that during the WWII Vyborg has proved that it was worthy of its military history. The Itar-Tass article said that during WWII it was occupied by Germans and Finns, but was liberated by Russian troops in 1944.

I realize of course that any person with either any sense of shame or a shred of common decency is highly unlikely to work for Itar-Tass and is even more unlikely to become the president of Russia, but for fuck's sake! (For those who don't know: Vyborg was a Finnish city, occupied and annexed by Russians in 1940, retaken by Finland in 1941, and reoccupied by Russia in 1944.)

Yeah, I know that many national borders have changed in 1940s, and that nobody really expects to change them back now (except for the kind of folks who keep suggesting that Israel should disband and go Somewhere Else, usually without specifying where that Somewhere Else should be), and that during that time many countries have done things that they are not particularly proud of, but that is obviously not a good reason to be proud of those things.

I also checked out the local Russian forum, and what they had to say on the subject. My reaction to that is unprintable, and shall therefore remain unprinted.

5 comments:

Arawn said...

What did they have to say in that Russian forum?

Markku said...

How soon was Viipuri settled by Soviet civilians after annexation by the USSR in March 1940? It was retaken by Finland in July 1941.

Vera said...

Arawn: some people said whatever a normal Finnish person would say, but a lot of people were saying that it served Finns right(for being Russia's neighbors?), that Vyborg belonged to Russia until Finns stole it, and that Finland only started to develop after Russia annexed it, etc.

Markku: I am not quite sure how many they managed to bring in, but Russians at least started to settle the area immediately.

Karjala takaisin said...

Actually, there is some truth in the claim that Finland started to develop after annexation by Russia in the treaty of Fredrikshamn.

But the claim that Finns stole Vyborg is simply ludicrous. Vyborg was annexed by Russia for the first time in the treaty of Nystad 1721. The Russians themselves called the area 'Finland' and reunited it with the rest of Finland 1812.

Markku said...

But the claim that Finns stole Vyborg is simply ludicrous. Vyborg was annexed by Russia for the first time in the treaty of Nystad 1721. The Russians themselves called the area 'Finland' and reunited it with the rest of Finland 1812.

You're absolutely right. Vyborg has been a Russian city in any reasonable sense only since 1944.