Putin Does A Disservice To The Russian People

In the beautiful Mediterranean city of Netanya, thirty minutes north of Tel Aviv, the State of Israel built a monument in honor of the Red Army’s Victory over the Nazis during the Second World War.  It is the first monument of its kind to be built outside of Russia.   Russian President Vladimir Putin even came to Israel for the opening ceremony of this monument in 2012.

At the time, the State of Israel decided to build this monument because Russia, as the successor state of the Soviet Union, suffered greatly during the Second World War and put up a heroic fight against Adolph Hitler’s Germany, and this sacrifice deserves to be recognized.   Twenty-seven million Soviet citizens perished in the Second World War and their memory is forever internalized in this monument.  

However, the second that Putin decided to link his war in the Ukraine with the Soviet struggle against Nazism and to claim that the government in Kiev, which has a Jewish Prime Minister, is run by Nazis was the second that Putin did a great disservice to the legacy of the Russian people during the Second World War.   For this reason, most of the world, with the exception of six countries which included Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, decided to boycott this year the Victory Parade in Moscow, which under normal circumstances most countries would have wanted to attend.

To add insult to injury, Putin’s speech this year at the Victory Parade did anything but honor the legacy of the Soviet soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the struggle against Hitler’s Germany.   In his speech, he proclaimed that the West’s “untamed ambitions, arrogance and impunity” are driving “a real war against Russia.  Today’s civilization is once again at a decisive turning point.  A real war has been unleashed against our motherland.”   Interestingly, as Putin portrayed the West as the aggressors, it was his forces who fired a barrage of cruise missiles at Ukraine, not even taking a break from his war of aggression to honor the legacy of Soviet soldiers who fought against Hitler.  

None of this should come as a surprise.  Just a few months ago, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his children’s rights commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova, after it was discovered that they stood behind the deportation and transfer of Ukrainian children from the occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia.  Thousands of Ukrainian children are believed to be in Russian custody and they told these children: “Your parents have abandoned you.”  This is a grave crime against humanity, which needs to be condemned across the globe.

Following this grave crime accompanied by his insult to the memory of the Soviet soldiers who fought Hitler by comparing their struggle to his war in the Ukraine, the entire free world needs to boycott Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is presently using Iranian weapons in order to attack Ukraine in the heart of Europe.  These sanctions are very important for stopping Putin’s war of aggression in the Ukraine.  

If some countries stop boycotting Putin, then they will take it as a green light to wage war and occupy other former Soviet states, thus rebuilding the empire that they once controlled prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union.   This would pose a grave threat to the West if it materialized, as Putin’s Russia, unlike Stalin’s Russia which was allied with America and England, is allied with Iran, a terrorist regime in the Middle East, who is presently developing nuclear weapons to threaten the entire free world.   Therefore, Putin’s imperialist ambitions need to be nipped in the bud, so that Putin will no longer have the impunity to attack Ukraine, disrespect the memory of Soviet soldiers who fought against Hitler, and thus do a grave disservice to the Russian people, who have a vibrant culture and civilization which contributed much to the development of the State of Israel.

Ayoob Kara
Ayoob Kara
Ayoob Kara served as Israel’s Minister of Communications.