Realpolitik dictates Russia-West feud over WWII memories – Global Times

Russian national honour guard soldiers march during the military parade marking the 75th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War on Red Square in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday. Photo: Xinhua

On June 24, 1945, former Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin stood on top of Vladimir Lenin’s tomb and watched Marshal Georgy Zhukov review the ground armored force that defeated Nazi Germany. That was the most glorious moment in the Soviet history. On the same day 75 years later, Russia held a military parade to commemorate the victory in the Great Patriotic War. 

Right before the parade, President Vladimir Putin discussed in an article in US Magazine National Interest the shady deals between the great powers of Europe before the outbreak of World War II. 

In recent years, Russia has received great pressure from the West regarding the historical assessment of WWII. The hardcore performance of the military parade added with Putin’s opinion charm offensive deals a heavy blow to the West.

Indeed, the assessment of the memory of WWII has become the focus of disputes between Russia and the West, and also a staple game among great powers. 

The West collectively portrayed the Soviet Union as an “evil empire” during the Cold War. After the war, the West did not accept Russia’s integration into its sphere. Nevertheless, Russia and Western countries have not had serious conflicts over the historical memory of WWII for a long time. Although Poland and the Baltic countries often accused the Soviet Union of invasion in the early