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June 22, 1941 – Date To Remember (Opinion)

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June 22, 1941 – Date To Remember (Opinion)

Soviet soldiers at Stalingrad during a short rest after fighting

Written by Viktor Stoilov exclusively for SouthFront

June 22, a date that marked the beginning of the German offensive against the Soviet Union and the Great Patriotic War for the Soviet peoples. At 4 am in the morning, with 134 frontline divisions and 73 more supporting them, totaling a number of 3 800 000 soldiers, Operation Barbarossa began. The most important and bloody stage of WWII began.

We won’t go into the details about the number of casualties, destruction, military tactics, diplomatic battles and people’s tragedies. Enough historians have already done this. Rather than that, we’ll focus on the symbolism of this day, the power which it still holds and the lessons we should learn from it.

June 22 is not your typical day in Russia. Millions of people across the country gather, talk but never celebrate. There is something special about this date. A date which yet again showed to the world that nothing can destroy the Russian spirit when enemies are at their borders.

For years, what kept the world in relative peace was the memory of the most devastating war. For years, people’s fear kept their countries from going into large military conflicts just so that they never witness anything similar to the destruction of a world war.

Yet, time has passed. Operation Barbarossa started 78 years ago and since then the witnesses of these immense horror remained way too little. The new generation politicians and the people who elect them have never been to war. The generals in charge of commanding most of the countries’ forces have also fought in a large-scale war.

And this is very dangerous.

When you forget what the true face of war is and what it could bring to the world, it becomes easier to provoke conflicts. 30 years since the fall of the Eastern bloc, the voices for war have been raising their tone year after year. Today’s politicians and generals don’t have the fear of their fathers and grandfathers had knew very well the horror of WWII.

For this reason, it’s more than important to remember dates like June 22. The Russian society, in spite of time, still remembers very well what June 22 brings. The Immortal regiment that takes place all across Russia and even beyond, with millions of people holding the portraits of their relatives who’ve fought in the war, is the strongest proof that this society has not forgotten.

The Russians call June 22 a day for remembrance and sorrow. People gather to talk about the heroism of their relatives. Concerts take place where nobody is having fun, everyone is there to pay tribute to those who’ve sacrificed themselves for the existence of their Motherland.

I feel like every single year, the Russian society is actually paying way more tribute to their heroes. It seems like their society is becoming way more united when it comes to date like these. And unfortunately it seems like the Russian society is preparing itself for Operation Barbarossa II.

If history has taught is something, it is that the Russian society, in spite of all of its troubles, has a great sense of self-preservation. It’s always uniting when danger is upon them, even if nobody else is sensing it.

In 1931, Stalin delivered a speech which perfectly showcased that. He said that they (the Soviet Union) are 100 years behind the West, and that if they don’t catch up for 10 years, they’ll be destroyed. 10 years later June 22 happened.

In today’s time, Putin had a very strong case in 2007 at the Munich Security Conference. Since then, Russia is again openly seen as “the enemy” by the West. The Arab Spring and the Ukrainian crisis were moments when the WWIII almost happened. What preserved the world from a major war, including the possibility of a nuclear war, was the sober thinking of the Russian administration and military elite. They very well know the consequences of such actions exactly because of dates like June 22.

Today, the whole world has to remember this date and what it led to. We also have to remember that today’s weapons have nothing to with the ones in 1941 and Einstein’s words that “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

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  • frankly

    This article is very enlightening for me. It’s not a good sign that the US celebrates the glory of war on July 4th. I did not realize that June 22 is a somber event in Russia, remembering past horrors through the immortal regiment. We are not taught any Russian history. If we knew just the battles that were fought over Crimea, we would not pay the least attention to stories of Russian aggression in Ukraine. They have every reason to defend those places.

    The main thing that seems to unite those in the US is contempt for each other. Witness our civil war. Another is contempt for those who deceive us. When that magic number, the tipping point, is reached, of those who know we have been lied to, there is going to be an awakening. Your personal body guards may suddenly become a liability, liable to kill, rather than protect you. I suggest you hi tail it for Israel, before it’s too late and hang out near the bunkers waiting for the inevitable. Incoming.

    ‘Today, the whole world has to remember this date and what it led to. We also have to remember that today’s weapons have nothing to with the ones in 1941 and Einstein’s words that “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” ‘

    Goddamn those old timers, it’s like George Orwell’s 1984. We ignore them at our peril! They didn’t need a computer to be smart.

    • occupybacon

      “If we knew just the battles that were fought over Crimea, we would not pay the least attention to stories of Russian aggression in Ukraine.”

      Those were Ukrainian soldiers fighting for the Reds, idiot. You should learn about Ribbentrop-Molotov Pakt that actually started the WWII and kept USSR and Nazis official allies til 1990.

      • frankly

        I am more concerned with what I shouldn’t do. Wasting time with people who think the Ukraine/US marriage was made in heaven, is not on my priority list. See ya fatso!

        • occupybacon

          Frankly, playing the role of an American that just woke up and realized Russia has imperial rights over Eastern Europe doesn’t sound plausible

          • frankly

            There is a great deal of history that I either don’t know or have the wrong story. It seems that a large number of Russians died fighting Germans during the war. That they were officially allies seems utterly irrelevant.

            The US has a constitution that they abuse every minute of every day, you would argue it’s importance how?

            Russia did have a lease on it’s port in Sevastopol, in spite of the US putting out a tender to build a new NATO headquarters there, before the US sponsored coup even happened. The coup installed Zio-Neo dual citizens to permanently remove the assets of the Ukraine from Ukrainians. They just elected a comedian with a Zio-oligarch for a boss. Can you say failed state?

            I have read that there is no difference between Russians and Ukrainians. They are brothers. The most vocal detractors of Russia all wear Nazi symbols on their uniforms when they go off to die for nothing.

            So I am open to arguments, especially when logic is involved. I was moved by the information that Russia takes it’s war memorials as a somber, dignified event. The contrast to the US could not be more stark. You have done nothing to dissuade me.

  • vaderfater

    Hail Red Army!

  • Ishyrion Av

    Soviet Union complains about June 22, 1941. Sad day for them, of course, the war for survival began under the attack of the former partner and ally (Germany). But the time didn’t start that day.
    Let us remember another day, August 23, 1939 when a secret infamous pact was signed between Germany and Soviets – now we called it Ribbentrop-Molotov pact, which drew the lines and future borders of smaller countries without these countries even being asked.
    One year later Stalin issued an ultimatum to Romania and in June 26, 1940 took by force Basarabia and North of Bucovina. Germany and Italy asked Romania to give up, also England – that time Romania’s ally. France, another “ally” was falling those days too (June 22, 1940).
    Austria and Czechoslovakia were ripped by Germany.
    As a matter of consequence, Romania’s government fell, the new government enter in alliance with Germany with the purpose of recovering the lost territories.
    And in June 22, 1941, one year later, Romanian army invaded Basarabia and North of Bucovina, alongside with German army and took back what was hers.
    My point here is Soviet Union was not an innocent victim here, but a big bully who had to fight the other big bully, Germany, when their partnership ended.
    I’m sure their survival war was heroic, but the reasons which started it were meschine.

    • Astrid Watanabe

      True what you say. But every event has other things happening first that lead up to it.
      “The Russians call June 22 a day for remembrance and sorrow” It is very appropriate to remember that day. Every war should be remembered in that way.
      I was 10 years old when the war ended in 1945, how can i forget it! I remember even 1939. As a 4year old I thought all grown-ups were insane. [of course i did not have the words, and if i had them i would have known not to say them]
      We have Einstein’s warning, yet we prepare for war. Is that not insane?

      • Ishyrion Av

        It is insane. All who start a war are insane.

    • Z1

      The non-aggression treaty between Germany and the Soviet Union was the answer of Stalin to the Munich aggreement in which GB and France accepted the aggressive behaviour of Hitler towards Czechoslovakia. Then the SU knew it stood alone and had to prepare for a major confrontation with Germany (incl. territorial positioning) . Now we know: The West accepted all this a to prepare their lackey Germany to attack th SU. Btw. : In those days there were dozens of treaties between European states, see e. g. Franco-Soviet Treaty of Mutual Assistance (1935).

      • occupybacon

        Only that was not a real “Non Aggression” pact, it was actually an invasion plan to take over all the Eastern Europe. Now we know, Russians are as as guilty as Germans and they should pay for WWII by splitting between Finland, Poland, China and Japan. You know, just to answer your gibberish Russian fiction they call real history.

        • Z1

          That’s the western reading. Selective reading. No problem: if you want to keep your brain in a comatose state, it’s your business.

          • occupybacon

            Unlike Westerners, Russians brains are in a pure wellness state, that’s whthey have the highest suicide rate from all the 195 countries.

          • Z1

            ? Is that your best argument?

          • occupybacon

            That’s not an argument, that’s a fact.

          • Z1

            And so is your delusion.

          • occupybacon

            Better delusional than suicidal emo

          • Z1

            Are you sure? Then you must be a professional!

          • occupybacon

            Yeah, I’m a professional troll trying to usurp the holy mission of the Russian nation.

          • Z1

            Ok, good luck

  • Tudor Miron

    Eternal glory to those that saved our Motherland and the world.

    • occupybacon

      Eternal glory to Ivan the Rapist mongoloid.

  • RichardD

    Russia has said that it will never fight another war on it’s own territory. The efforts to take it over are internal subversion and external isolation.

    The anti Russia campaign is a Ziocon fabrication. Most people aren’t looking at what’s wrong with Russia. They’re looking at what’s wrong with the people peddling an obviously ludicrous anti Russia vitriol.

    When Americans want a rational perspective on international politics. They listen to people like Putin and Lavrov.