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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Current Events > Russia, Central Asia, and The Caucasus > South Ossetian Conflict

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South Ossetian Conflict Discuss the conflict between Georgia and Russia over South Ossetia.

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  #1  
Old 21 Dec 09, 14:36
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WWII memorial demolished in Georgia

2,000 protest demolition of war memorial in Georgia

Georgia smashes history for new parliament site
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  #2  
Old 22 Dec 09, 14:12
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Strikes me as rather petty.
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  #3  
Old 22 Dec 09, 17:06
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That is very, very sad indeed.


I found this quotation: "This is a memorial to those people who fought for freedom against Nazism. Georgians and non-Georgians, Europeans and Jews who were killed in World War II," Zurabishvili said.

"And if we want to forget all this, then we are a nation of barbarians, with a barbarian president who can just call up from somewhere and give an order to detonate the explosives, so that no protests can interrupt."

see: http://www.rferl.org/content/Georgia...n/1910056.html
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Old 23 Dec 09, 01:17
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Again, why is this issue Russia's business? Apart from exploiting this to heap some more flak against a regime it deeply dislikes?

BTW:

Protests Promised As Uzbeks Remove Soviet War Memorial, Demolish Church

http://www.rferl.org/content/Protest...h/1888685.html

Tajikistan: Soviet-Era Monuments Quietly Disappearing

http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1076513.html

Poland Will Also Remove Soviet Monuments

http://www.kommersant.com/p-10626/r_...iet_monuments/

Last edited by Imperial; 23 Dec 09 at 01:20..
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  #5  
Old 23 Dec 09, 06:03
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Again, why is this issue Russia's business? Apart from exploiting this to heap some more flak against a regime it deeply dislikes?
Exactly. It's Georgian choice and if they want to remove such monument, they have the right to do so.

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Poland Will Also Remove Soviet Monuments
Few weeks ago there was a fierce debate about banning communist symbols. According to polish law using nazi symbols is forbidden and the person who for example wear T-shirt with swastika can go to jail for two years. Some politicians proposed to do the same thing with communist symbols and I agree with them. I can't understand how a healthy and intelligent man can wear a T-shirt with "Che" Guevara or anything which glorify communist murderers...

I hope they pass this law one day and I wonder if Russians will try to use it also in their political attacks on us

Different thing is with cemeteries. While we have our own point of view about "liberation" in 1944/1945 and I agree with deconstructing soviet monuments, we care about tombs of those Russian soldiers who died here. They were an agressors and enemies, but they are dead and I think most of them were just poor men who had to fight far away from their homes and were not interested in politics - they wished only to survive and go back to their homeland.

There is a nice cemetery in Przemysl. I visit this city every year, but this summer I was first time on this cemetery. There is a part where rest German and Russian soldiers and it is clean and well preserved. I won't go there and light them a light but I will vote strongly against removing any Russian or German cemetery and greet warmly all Russians and Germans who go visit them. Fortunately I am not aware of any propositions of removing such cemeteries in Poland.
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Old 23 Dec 09, 07:40
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Originally Posted by Imperial View Post
Again, why is this issue Russia's business? Apart from exploiting this to heap some more flak against a regime it deeply dislikes?
The victory in this war is one of the few things that are placed in the foundation of the modern-day Russian identity. It is a part of the cement which joins the Russian nation together, a bit like "democratic values" for the US or "islamic values" for the Muslim world. Whether you like it or not, and this is the way it is. And just as these countries feel entitled to interfere when these values are trampled, Russia is no exception.
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Old 23 Dec 09, 09:17
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But you should all try to understand that for others those monuments may mean something totally different. Would you like to have in for example Smolensk a huge monument of German soldiers? A big SS soldier statue? Russians tend to look at WWII and Red Army in only one way and are generally unable to understand other people's point of view, which is totally different. You have rights to defend your point of view, they - theirs. And as long as Georgians or citizens of any other easten european country demolish such monuments in only their own countries they have full rights to do so.

Nothing can change the history - what you have done in past years cannot be undone. And all of this - destroying monuments, removing statues, renaming streets is just a result of your policy in past years and today's point of view of modern people about soviet presence in their countries. I believe that nothing can better describe the most unfortunate things that Russians did in WWII and during cold war than this. We don't hear about removing or demolishing monuments honoring American, British and others, including Poles, who died in Western Europe in 1944 and 1945. It's a major difference which Russians unfortunately fail to notice and do not want to understand.

I feel sorry for almost all those Russians who died during WWII - they lived in terible times and made the ultimate sacrifice. You may, and should, honor them and call them heroes. But we don't have to share your point of view.
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Old 23 Dec 09, 14:41
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....T-shirt with "Che" Guevara or anything which glorify communist murderers...
I am not entirely sure he is to be labeled a communist in the first place, the same goes for a whole bunch of people who are more or less labeled communists today, besides modern day communists has rejected Che for being exploited by the capitalists.

Besides if a person kills in a democracy is he a "democratic" murderer then?


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I hope they pass this law one day and I wonder if Russians will try to use it also in their political attacks on us
Sorry to burst your bubble but I doubt you (Poland) is important enough for that.

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- they wished only to survive and go back to their homeland.
They also wished to finish Nazi Germany off and then go back to their homeland... If they didn´t the Germans would come back and annihilate them all. Well almost, some would be slaves and serve the third Reich.
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Old 23 Dec 09, 15:28
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Besides if a person kills in a democracy is he a "democratic" murderer then?
In real democracy there is no need to do such things like Guevara did. There's not even need to kill journalists.

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Sorry to burst your bubble but I doubt you (Poland) is important enough for that.
Oh, come on It wouldn't be the first time when Russians felt ofended by our actions and reacted in a totally overreacted manner (just to mention embargo on our meat not so long ago or our support of the Orange Revolution), so I believe that yes - it is important enough for that

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They also wished to finish Nazi Germany off and then go back to their homeland... If they didn´t the Germans would come back and annihilate them all. Well almost, some would be slaves and serve the third Reich.
I believe they wanted to reach Ural and settle a border there, so you wouldn't be anihilated. But maybe that would gave Americans more time and occasion to liberate more countries in the east
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Old 23 Dec 09, 15:31
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Originally Posted by Aquila View Post
But you should all try to understand that for others those monuments may mean something totally different. Would you like to have in for example Smolensk a huge monument of German soldiers? A big SS soldier statue? Russians tend to look at WWII and Red Army in only one way and are generally unable to understand other people's point of view, which is totally different. You have rights to defend your point of view, they - theirs. And as long as Georgians or citizens of any other easten european country demolish such monuments in only their own countries they have full rights to do so.
Yes, and it will forever remain a point of contention. Like when the Saudis stone a girl for wearing a miniskirt, it may look horrible for the Americans. And conversely, when the Americans have gay pride parades marching on their streets, it looks like a horrendous depravity for the Saudis while stoning a girl may look perfectly normal for them. And this will go on forever, as long as the Americans believe in their values and the Saudis believe in theirs. And, by the way, both of these nations have been good bedfellows for quite a while. In the end of the day it's the political and financial interests which define whether the whole issue would be overinflated or not.

I have to repeat that the image of a Soviet soldier in absolutely sacred in Russia. He saved the Russian people from complete and inevitable extermination and the "collateral damage" he inflicted on the other minor nations after the war is comparable to trampling some ants while killing a mad bull. If there'd been a "good magician" who could have appeared in 1941 and said "Okay, your country has the choice choice between a democratic goodie-boy or a Communist tyrant Stalin. Both are available to lead the country through the war - get your pick", then there could have been some room for discussion. But so far

Quote:
Nothing can change the history - what you have done in past years cannot be undone. And all of this - destroying monuments, removing statues, renaming streets is just a result of your policy in past years and today's point of view of modern people about soviet presence in their countries. I believe that nothing can better describe the most unfortunate things that Russians did in WWII and during cold war than this.

We don't hear about removing or demolishing monuments honoring American, British and others, including Poles, who died in Western Europe in 1944 and 1945. It's a major difference which Russians unfortunately fail to notice and do not want to understand.
Well, the victors write history and destroy monuments. My city changed its name 4 times. Had the SU won in the Cold War, something similar may have happened to the memorials in France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Quote:
I feel sorry for almost all those Russians who died during WWII - they lived in terible times and made the ultimate sacrifice. You may, and should, honor them and call them heroes. But we don't have to share your point of view.
This problem is quite old - a symbol has several meanings, but sometimes these meanings can be totally opposed to each other. And absolutely nothing can be done about it.
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Old 23 Dec 09, 15:43
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Originally Posted by Aquila View Post
In real democracy there is no need to do such things like Guevara did. There's not even need to kill journalists.
It's a matter of perception some people completely fail to understand. One thing is when a middle-class Western kid wears a Guevara T-shirt and says "Yeah, let's kill 100000 people to make our life better" and another thing is when a starving kid, living under a US-backed dictatorship somewhere in Latin America, says the same.

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Oh, come on It wouldn't be the first time when you felt ofended by our actions and reacted in a totally overreacted manner (just to mention embargo on our meat not so long ago or our support of the Orange Revolution), so I believe that yes - it is important enough for that
Wow, I've heard the Poles had some beef with the Swedes, but I had no idea they went so far

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I believe they wanted to reach Ural and settle a border there, so you wouldn't be anihilated.
Yes, and on the occupied territories they would keep themselves busy handing sweets and building schools. Your self-declared Russophobia makes you really blind.

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But maybe that would give Americans more time and occasion to liberate more countries in the east
Had the USSR lost in 1941, Germany would've won the war or concluded a favourable peace. Still, the SU won, and now you're using your wonderful chance to blame Russia for keeping you in Asiatic slavery instead of allowing you to become a true part of the Western civilisation in the form of a orderly, law-abiding, capitalist piece of German soap
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Old 23 Dec 09, 15:59
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Originally Posted by Aquila View Post
In real democracy there is no need to do such things like Guevara did. There's not even need to kill journalists.
Well true, but was Che in a "real" democracy? And does murder not take place in democracies?


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Oh, come on It wouldn't be the first time when you felt ofended by our actions and reacted in a totally overreacted manner (just to mention embargo on our meat not so long ago or our support of the Orange Revolution), so I believe that yes - it is important enough for that
The orange revolution, another story of success

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I believe they wanted to reach Ural and settle a border there, so you wouldn't be anihilated. But maybe that would gave Americans more time and occasion to liberate more countries in the east
I would have been thrown into a gas chamber like you, or shot. or worked to death. Neither one of is part of the master race.

But I believe the Majority of them lived on this side off the Urals?
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Old 23 Dec 09, 16:42
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Yes, and it will forever remain a point of contention.
I don't think so. Maybe after 50 - 100 years you'll be (and we'll be) less concerned of what happened during WWII and after it and be able to reach better level of mutual understanding.

Quote:
Like when the Saudis stone a girl for wearing a miniskirt, it may look horrible for the Americans. And conversely, when the Americans have gay pride parades marching on their streets, it looks like a horrendous depravity for the Saudis while stoning a girl may look perfectly normal for them. And this will go on forever, as long as the Americans believe in their values and the Saudis believe in theirs.
In this case we talk about cultural differences between totally different cultures. Right now I think that you are trying to equalize Saudi and American points of view. They are different, but there's always an objective point of view. In some culture beating to death or stealing may be considered "good", but it doesn't make beating to death or stealing actually "good".
But to realise this we have to learn their and our point of view, pros and cons, and decide which is objective or closer to being objective.

In this case:

Quote:
He saved the Russian people from complete and inevitable extermination and the "collateral damage" he inflicted on the other minor nations after the war is comparable to trampling some ants while killing a mad bull.
this point of view is invalid. It's something like "I was trying to save the bus full of kids, so I ran towards him as fast as I can, but when I was running an old lady was feeding pidgeons directly on my way, so I had to shoot her". Very brave and noble indeed. We should call this man a Hero, make him President, sing a songs about him and consider him a Living Saint. All who says otherwise - INFIDELS!

In WWII Russians wanted to avenge German attrocities but it's not an excuse. We also wanted, but none our unit fighting in WWII in Western Europe, Africa or Italy did such things to Italians or Germans - and they were our formal enemies, not "friends and allies". Points of view can be totally subjective - so if someone believe that 2+2=53 then he will never listen to any rational arguments and keep believing in his theory (something like religion). But fortunately besides points of view there are also very interesting things called "facts".

And the facts are that Russian soldiers (in general) were not noble and do not deserve to be called "hero". I can call American, British, Polish soldiers (and many others from countries like Australia, Belgium, Holland, Canada etc) heroes, because they presented morally much higher standards and acted really like heroes (heroism is not only bravery, but also following a noble path). Outcome of WWII clearly showed who was a Hero and who was a villain.

So at the end - a little test. Let's imagine a man. He sees a thug who is attacking an old, wealthy woman. He acts quickly and disarms the thug, but after that he takes thug's weapon and robs the old lady himself. Is he a hero or not? And if someone thinks that he is a hero, then what can we think about that person?

Quote:
Had the SU won in the Cold War, something similar may have happened to the memorials in France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
And, from neutral and objective point of view - do you think it would be a good and noble thing which you could be proud of?

Quote:
This problem is quite old - a symbol has several meanings, but sometimes these meanings can be totally opposed to each other. And absolutely nothing can be done about it.
We can do the best thing about it - understand each other. Right now I fully understand Russian point of view. I do not approve it, but understand and accept. Common Russians (as far as I know) do not understand our point of view (and when I say "our" I mean "eastern european") and will never accept it - I believe mostly because of this pathetic propaganda lies during Cold War. That's a difference. When a Russian says that Red Army soldiers were heroes it is not that shocking in Poland. But imagine what would happen if a Pole said in Moscow that Red Army soldiers were criminals, agressors and barbarians

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In the end of the day it's the political and financial interests which define whether the whole issue would be overinflated or not.
I would say that it's rather people's will to achieve mutual understanding. But I'm an idealist

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Wow, I've heard the Poles had some beef with the Swedes, but I had no idea they went so far
Russian embargo was a completely political action. Fortunately this farse ended two years ago.

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Yes, and on the occupied territories they would keep themselves busy handing sweets and building schools. Your self-declared Russophobia makes you really blind.
Occupying half of the territory or even killing 80% of the citizens do not mean "total annihilation". It was just a comment on "total annihilation", nothing else. Totally irrevelant here.

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The orange revolution, another story of success
Of course it was and it was a great success of Ukrainian people. But in post-communist countries such changes are very hard. Some countries went through them and now may consider themselves victorious and be happy of all positive, truly democratic changes (like Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland etc.) and some failed to pass this great test - test of citizens maturity and responsibility. Right now the Ukraine is on the verge of catastrophe. Young democratic politicians are not responsible enough to rule a country in good manner and the people may start to think that democracy is bad, is evil and there is a better choice while in reality there is no better choice. And once a nation loose its faith in democracy it chooses a tyrant, love him and live happy even in a cage. Ukrainians have their chance. Only they can win true democracy or loose it for a long time.

Besides, can you tell me why Russia always chooses "bad people" as allies? In Ukraine - guy who cheated in elections, in Belarus - a tyrant who made lives of Belarussians so miserable? Do you really see nothing morally wrong in supporting him?
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Old 23 Dec 09, 17:20
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I don't think so. Maybe after 50 - 100 years you'll be (and we'll be) less concerned of what happened during WWII and after it and be able to reach better level of mutual understanding.
I'm not so sure. National and ethnic hatreds run long and deep, and many of them were caused by much less serious reasons.

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In this case we talk about cultural differences between totally different cultures. Right now I think that you are trying to equalize Saudi and American points of view. They are different, but there's always an objective point of view. In some culture beating to death or stealing may be considered "good", but it doesn't make beating to death or stealing actually "good".
But to realise this we have to learn their and our point of view, pros and cons, and decide which is objective or closer to being objective.
What is now considered objective comes from the European post-Renaissance and Enlightenment humanist paradigm. Nowadays it seems so natural that people forget it is just one of the possible worldviews.

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this point of view is invalid. It's something like "I was trying to save the bus full of kids, so I ran towards him as fast as I can, but when I was running an old lady was feeding pidgeons directly on my way, so I had to shoot her". Very brave and noble indeed. We should call this man a Hero, make him President, sing a songs about him and consider him a Living Saint. All who says otherwise - INFIDELS!
First and foremost they were OUR kids. As for the "old lady" your comparison isn't exactly true. I'd rather say "evil old woman feeding a pack of rabid dogs, she hated this man to the marrow bone and fought with him during her whole life". And not "shot" but "kicked her in the butt really hard so that she was knocked out"

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In WWII Russians wanted to avenge German attrocities but it's not an excuse. We also wanted, but none our unit fighting in WWII in Western Europe, Africa or Italy did such things to Italians or Germans - and they were our formal enemies, not "friends and allies". Points of view can be totally subjective - so if someone believe that 2+2=53 then he will never listen to any rational arguments and keep believing in his theory (something like religion). But fortunately besides points of view there are also very interesting things called "facts".
Yeah, because the Germans fought a war of extermination with the Russians on the Russian territory for 3 years, while the Poles were conquered in 3 weeks. The Germans were busy killing Russians and Jews, the Poles were left for a dessert after things would've settled down.

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And the facts are that Russian soldiers (in general) were not noble and do not deserve to be called "hero". I can call American, British, Polish soldiers (and many others from countries like Australia, Belgium, Holland, Canada etc) heroes, because they presented morally much higher standards and acted really like heroes (heroism is not only bravery, but also following a noble path). Outcome of WWII clearly showed who was a Hero and who was a villain.
Okay, it was my fault I decided to start a conversation with you despite your clearly declared hatred of the Russians. Can you realise for a second that statements like this preclude any reasonable discussion of this or any other related issues? I'm not going to bring up excuses. Our cause was just and whatever some Poles think of it in their rabid hatred they can write in a letter to the Queen or Santa Claus.
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Old 23 Dec 09, 18:28
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Aquila Aquila is offline
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Okay, it was my fault I decided to start a conversation with you despite your clearly declared hatred of the Russians. Can you realise for a second that statements like this preclude any reasonable discussion of this or any other related issues? I'm not going to bring up excuses. Our cause was just and whatever some Poles think of it in their rabid hatred they can write in a letter to the Queen or Santa Claus.
You see? That's the exactly thing I wrote before:

"Right now I fully understand Russian point of view. I do not approve it, but understand and accept. Common Russians (as far as I know) do not understand our point of view (and when I say "our" I mean "eastern european") and will never accept it"

You just can't accept my point of view, which is totally different, you can't accept that someone may thinkabout your sacred things wrong and this is the result - anger and withdrawal.

I do not hate Russians. I may disagree with your policy, view of history etc, but hatred? Hatred is not an option. You are exactly the same humans as I am.

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I'm not so sure. National and ethnic hatreds run long and deep, and many of them were caused by much less serious reasons.
Again - it's not hatred. Dislike - okay. But certainly not hatred, at least I do not feel it, because I don't know what you feel about it.

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First and foremost they were OUR kids. As for the "old lady" your comparison isn't exactly true. I'd rather say "evil old woman feeding a pack of rabid dogs, she hated this man to the marrow bone and fought with him during her whole life". And not "shot" but "kicked her in the butt really hard so that she was knocked out"
Again - this is your point of view which don't have to be 100% true. Just as mine. But when you put away your subjective point of view - it became clear that Russia for eastern europe and later whole free world was a "bad guy". And this were your kids, but when you started to "kicking butts of other nations" (a bit naive statement) they were already safe because I don't think there were "your kids" in Poland or Lithuania etc.).

And to be correct - in our case certainly not "kicked her in the butt really hard so that she was knocked out". Rather "tried to force her to wear red rags but ultimately failed miserably to do so and totally collapsed soon after while she's in very good condition and still improving"

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Yeah, because the Germans fought a war of extermination with the Russians on the Russian territory for 3 years, while the Poles were conquered in 3 weeks. The Germans were busy killing Russians and Jews, the Poles were left for a dessert after things would've settled down.
Sorry friend, but if Poland had so many people and so many soldiers as you had we would won this war in 2 weeks And there is a major error in your statement - 16% Poles died during this war - 5 500 000 and you say that"we were left for a dessert"? It's not 23 000 000, but we also didn't have 168 000 000 citizens before war but only 35 000 000. We fought in this war much longer than you - at least 17 days longer (not counting your alliance with Nazis 1939-1941)

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Our cause was just
Cause was just. But the way you did it was a catastrophe. And that's why people of western Europe care for Allied soldiers' monuments and people of eastern Europe demolish soviet monuments.
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Last edited by Aquila; 23 Dec 09 at 19:41..
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