Denigration of Russia Not Just Strategic Need, Springs From Depths of Western Soul, Envoy Says
© Sputnik / Photo host agency brics-russia2020.ruRussian Ambassador to Canada Oleg Stepanov
© Sputnik / Photo host agency brics-russia2020.ru/
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The defamation of Russia is not just a strategic need but it is deeply grounded in the farthest corner of the Western soul, Moscow's Ambassador to Canada Oleg Stepanov said on Friday.
"We understand that on a philosophical level the denigration of Russia emanates not simply from the strategic need of propaganda and information warfare," Stepanov said. "It is deeply rooted in the farthest corner of the Western soul. Every time it alleges Russia is committing atrocities, the West attempts to conceal in a secret room its own sins and liberate itself from guilt for its dark past. By demonizing us the West is trying to escape the shame it feels looking at its own reflection in the mirror."
Stepanov’s comments come in response to the recent article "Ukraine: the impact of the atrocities" published by The Hill Times. The article by Gwynne Dyer refers to alleged atrocities by the Soviets during WWII, including within Ukraine.
"The story served by Mr. Dyer in his op-ed denigrating the Red Army is based on the false narrative invented on the terminal stage of the War in Europe by the Nazi Goebbels propaganda machine," Stepanov said. "And after the fall of Nazi Germany, the story was re-launched with a doubled effort by the US military intelligence and the CIA in coordination with the notorious Gehlen Organization - comprised of ‘rehabilitated’ Nazis, RSHA, Abwehr and SS officers - to confront Russia/Soviet Union."
Stepanov stressed that such fictitious stories became a part of the psychological information operations and propaganda policy aimed at dehumanizing and demonizing Russia and Russians in the unfolding Cold War.
The ambassador noted that Russia lost 27 million people, including about 15 million non-military personnel, in the war.
"No other country in the world, with the exception of China, suffered on such a large scale during the war," he said. "Not even did the Russian soldier manage to defeat Nazism. But having achieved the victory he stayed human and humane. He found inner strength to forgive the unforgivable crimes committed by Germany and other nations that had sided with it, to reconcile in a noble pursuit that no global wars were fought ever again."
After the Victory, Stepanov went on to say, the same Russian soldier - sometimes at the expense of the interests of his own people - helped care for the former enemy and rebuild the country.
"The Russian soldier is kind and will always lend a hand to the sincerely penitent foe. So is the story behind the memorial in Treptower Park in Berlin," he said. "The Soldier Liberator holding in his arm a little girl has real prototypes - sergeants Nikolay Masalov and Trifon Lukyanovich who both saved German kids during the Berlin operation in April 1945. There are veterans of that war in my country and in the former allied nations, Canada among them, who are still alive and know this unvarnished truth. Ask them. But this article is also about the broader picture."
Stepanov underscored that Russia and the Russian people will not be hurt by the allegations of fake atrocities.
"We know those are lies," the envoy stated. "We also know that this article won’t change the views of those who on purpose or unwillingly in ignorance against the backdrop of the current historic moment are pouring on the Ukrainian propagandist mill to retrospectively reproduce the historical fakes."
However, Stepanov pointed out, Russia’s chief concern is that such narrative warfare is targeting a Canadian audience in an attempt to distort the real picture by intentionally falsifying history.
"On the other hand, we also know that people of Canada whose grandfathers fought alongside my compatriots to liberate the world from Nazism are thoughtful and in terms of critical analysis can tell the truth from the lie," he said. "That is of high value especially on the eve of commemorating the upcoming anniversary of the Victory in the war in Europe celebrated on May 8th in Canada and on May 9th in Russia."