By now many of you have heard about the Bucha Massacre. If you haven’t, it has been confirmed by satellite imagery that Russian troops murdered hundreds of innocent civilians in the village of Bucha in Ukraine. When Ukrainian forces retook the town the bodies were lying in the street. Like a deadly Brigadoon, this kind of murder once more emerges out of the pages of history.
But, there are those who are saying the entire thing is a Ukrainian setup and that those bodies in the street were killed by Ukrainian Nazis because they were rebelling against the Ukrainian Nazi government. Amongst those who peddle this twaddle are Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. No doubt populist lunatics like Marjorie Taylor Greene, Madison Cawthorn, and Paul Gosar follow the Russian line.
However, as in most things the greatest determinant of what is happening in the present is what has happened in the past. Let’s look at people and events in this regard. First, the current Russian leadership.
All of these men, from Putin on down, grew up and were trained as Soviet communists. Putin, one doubts he is in the minority amongst his ilk, thinks the fall of the Soviet Union was a geopolitical tragedy. He has publicly said it was the worst thing that has ever happened to him. And what was that dearly lamented regime capable of? Katyn Forest.
Between April and May of 1940, after the Soviets had invaded Poland from the East and divided it up with the Nazis, the Russians rounded up 22,000 Polish military officers and members of the intellectual class and murdered them in cold blood. They buried them in a mass grave in the Katyn Forest region of Poland. Continued massacres occurred in POW camps and in prisons set up by the Soviets.
In April of 1943 the Germans found the graves and knew they had not done it. For one, they had not occupied Katyn during the time of the murders. The Soviets had. The Germans told the world about Katyn and the Soviet responsibility for it. But, being Nazis, they were not believed. The Soviets denied the story and pinned it on the Germans. Reports got out that confirmed the German story.
Fast forward to the 1990s and the Yeltsin government finally admitted the Soviet NKVD committed the Katyn Forest Massacre. And recall, as we pointed out above, the same Soviet Union, the same system that carried out Katyn, is the same entity that Putin and his cronies grew up in, started their professional lives in, and remember with fondness. The numbers killed by the Soviets inflate to tens of millions when we count those who died in the Soviet gulags.
Part of the irony here is that the Russians claim they are liberating Ukraine from Nazis. In then Czechoslovakia and France during WWII the Nazis carried out massacres of hundreds of civilians at Lidice and Oradour-sur-Glane respectively. So Russians who claim to be fighting Nazis are not, but are merely mimicking their brutal and murderous behavior towards civilians.
Thus, the men who gave the orders from on high and who countenance the killing at Bucha are products of a system and professional history where such mass murders were an accepted practice. That’s why the Russians certainly carried out the massacre at Bucha. That’s why those who doubt their culpability are condoning mass murder.