Perspective: A Very Important Lesson in Russian History

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As Ukraine Crisis lurches once again toward all-out, hot war, last evening Professor Cohen took the time to provide some background and history regarding WWII. Once you appreciate the depth of loss suffered by Russia in "The Great Patriotic War", you'll have a better understanding of why the current crisis is considered such an existential threat to Russia and its people.

The first half of last evening's program was the usual discussion of current events, bringing you up-to-speed on all that has happened in the past week. Events such as:

But it's the second half of the show (beginning at around the 18:00 mark) to which I beg you to give your full attention. Remember that Professor Cohen is a professor of Russian Studies and History so he knows the details of Russian losses in WWII better than almost anyone. For example, do you know that:

  • Russia lost nearly 27MM citizens in the war, roughly 14% of the population. This compares to 0.6% of the British population and 0.3% of the U.S. population.
  • At least 60% of every Russian nuclear family lost a family member in the war.
  • Of every 100 high school graduates of the Class of 1941 that was conscripted into the army, only 3 survived.
  • There are still 3MM soldiers still officially listed as Missing in Action from WWII, compared to 74,000 from the U.S.

Once you comprehend the historical impact of these losses, you begin to understand why Ukraine Crisis is so important to Russia, its leaders and its people. Again, I beg you, please take the time to listen to this extremely important podcast.



BIGNASTY's picture



Marchas45's picture

Wee Nasty IS


NW VIEW's picture


    I have three framing crews working on three different homes that we are constructing.  They just have a difficult time working if there is not a boom box playing their favorite music.  I stopped to listen to what these 30+ year old men were attracted to.    Black Rap, N word droppers and F bombers from the beginning to the end.  That is just the beginning of the degenerating effects within this nation and is part of our American history.  However, some are still holding on to:

CPE's picture

Is it just me?

Or did someone want to get out of the S&P very very badly?

I show a 14 point drop in 11 minutes...and there are no upticks yet.

Hammer's picture

Treasury to boost bill supply

Treasury to boost bill supply and hold more cash for emergencies

Published: May 6, 2015 8:30 a.m. ET




Senior economics reporter

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The Treasury Department announced Wednesday that it plans to issue more short-term Treasury bills given growing demand. The department also said it plans to boost the average level of its cash balance so the government can function if there was an unexpected disruption to the financial system. Treasury made the announcements when it disclosed the size of its quarterly refunding auctions. The department said it will sell $64 billion in notes and bonds next week. The agency will auction $24 billion in 3-year notes, $24 billion in 10-year notes and $16 billion in 30-year bonds. The size is unchanged from the prior auction in February.

realitybiter's picture

I had this exact conversation yesterday

I was speaking with someone about WW2 and Russian losses....I said, "all anyone remembers from their crappy hs history lesson is how the Japanese and the Jews got decimated".  I don't mean to be cold or to minimize anyone's loss, but if you look at the data, Poland got it the worst, and this dominated the jewish numbers and then came Russia.  We are talking magnitude differences of a comma.......OMG.  Russia went down on their feet, fighting, too....not whimping away on their way to some concentration camp.  Japanese citizens actually got off easy, albeit took two very large hits in the end....but in the big picture for being one of the most aggressive instigators, got off quite easily...who do you think killed the 8 million Chinese????  10 times more than Japanese......why do you think the Chinese want an apology??

When you look at WW2 from this light, it seems minimizing losses is actually the greatest of atrocities.  And yet, this is what has happened.  Where are the Russian civilian massacre museums?  They lost more people than the entire world combined....and guess who is number 2?  No wonder the Chinese and Russians are joining to revolutionize the economic structure of the world.  Payback, indeed, will be a beeatch.

Turd Ferguson's picture

Excellent points



If someone understands the horrific losses the Russians sustained, then they might begin to understand why Russia is so "sensitive" to NATO incursions etc.

And how about this...

14,000,000 people dead at the hands of the Germans YET the Russians are able to move on and are willing to work in cooperation with Germany in the 21st Century.

The US has lost approximately ZERO lives directly fighting Russia the past 70 years but we are COMPLETELY UNWILLING to let bygones be bygones and move forward. So, just whom is the instigator here? Which side is trying to perpetuate the old Cold War regimes?

tyberious's picture

The Pentagon’s ‘Long War’

The Pentagon’s ‘Long War’ Pits NATO Against China, Russia and Iran

Hammer's picture

London bankers plotting to

London bankers plotting to bring down the Eurozone, says Juncker

The president of the European Commission has issued a bleak warning: financial experts based in London are waiting to crush the Euro if Greece leaves the Eurozone.

Speaking to students at the University of Leuven in Belgium, Jean-Claude Juncker said the single currency used by 19 states in the European Union is under threat from the “Anglo-Saxon world” – a term used to describe bankers in London and Wall Street.

Chiron's picture

History is important!

History is so important.  That is why our public schools and universities have tried so hard to revise it.  As a major in history, I saw this first hand.  If you actually knew the depths to which "the smartest people in the world" (college professors) have stooped, you would be shocked.  Through 100 years of "progressive" education practices, we have lost the ability to think critically as a nation.  I am sad to say, but this trend is only something that only a very bad bottom will fix.  It will take a very bad fall and then a strong group of committed individuals to the truth to reverse.  

Keep in mind, Hitler rose to power due to the absolute horrible conditions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles.  When a population is truly on its back, it will listen to any powerful speaker and will actively ignore warning signs.  Propaganda then has a powerful affect.  

Kind of makes sense when you consider how a community organizer can rise to the level of the President of the United States.  What worries me is that Obama was able to rise to power with only a "bad economy", which he has only made worse.  What will happen when we lose reserve currency status and the market tanks again?  Very very scary. 

Strong leaders need to stand up soon.  But that will not be enough.  A Constitutional reset via Article V of the Constitution will be the only way to possibly reverse the trend.

unclepete's picture

Just the facts, ma'am

Both my grandfathers died not long after WW1 from the effects of mustard gas. One uncle died

when the Hood was torpedoed, Dad was a POW after being torpedoed on the Malta Convoy 

trying to take food to the starving people of Malta. So, I've always had a keen interest in WW2

and, until recently, thought I had a thorough knowledge. Prof. Cohen opened my eyes to a different

perspective and led me to read:

Written by The Times ( UK  ) correspondent, who was born in Russia and lived there for most

of the war, it's a heavy tome ( 1100 pages ) but has many on the ground reports from the fighting

fronts and what the people of Leningrad , Moscow and Stalingrad experienced. I'm on my second

read ( winters here in the mountains of N. Cal are very quiet ! ) and even more impressed by the

quality of research and the writing this time through. Highly recommended ( 10 bucks on Ebay ).

Happy to no longer live in this ignorance:

SS121's picture


Mass killings under Communist regimes

The highest death tolls that have been documented in communist states occurred in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin, in the People's Republic of China under Mao Zedong, and in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. The estimates of the number of non-combatants killed by these three regimes alone range from a low of 21 million to a high of 70 million

- - -

SS121's picture

Idealogical Subversion efforts coming to fruition...

arch stanton's picture

not to split hairs

uncle pete but since we're talking about history here the Hood wasn't torpedoed.  It took a 15" round from the Bismark through its thin deck into a magazine and three men out of about 1500 lived.  Brit battle cruisers fared horribly in combat and the Hood was the last of them.  ("Something seems to be wrong with our bloody ships today".  Adm Beatty at Jutland)

SS121's picture

Idealogical Subversion of U.S. minds

unclepete's picture

Thanks Arch

......for not letting me torpedo the facts !


Bohemian's picture

The Soviet WW II casualties...

"When you look at WW2 from this light, it seems minimizing losses is actually the greatest of atrocities."

We shouldn't minimize ANY losses. You're right. But we should analyze this conflict, like anything else, to understand why it happened, what happened, to understand history. It means, we should analyze as well, why there were such casualties. For example, in 60's, the Soviet textbooks were using 19,5 mil casualties. When I studied in the Soviet union in 70's, in Moscow, they were talking about -- maybe 21,5-22,5 mil casualties, max. So I asked them what was the population of the Soviet Union in 1933 (Ukraine holodomor, 8 mil deaths, and famine in other Soviet states, then purges, GULAG), and then in 1938-40...? They didn't know. They don't have any exact number, because there was no official census... So now, they say that their WW II casualties were 27 mil, nearly 10 mil more than in 60's...?  I don't know what methodology was used, to tell you the truth.

So, we have to go back and study their history and policies, starting with the Marshall of the Soviet Union, Tuchatsevsky, who warned Stalin that the Soviet Union wasn't ready for the war with Germany, because -- there would be the war with Germany, no question about it. Stalin executed him, along with many high rank officers of the Red Army. You have to start there. Molotov cocktail, for example, that's because those soldiers had nothing else to fight with, no ammo, just a bottle of vodka and matches, against tanks... I spoke to many veterans of WW II, even to those who went through the Bolshevik revolution and the Civil war. My professors were WW II veterans too, BTW. Most of them. And it was my job, as well, and I had an access to archives. Here, we would say the clearance.

Just my opinion.

PS: We know that Germany was fighting and occupying the Europe, on many fronts, and attacked the Soviet Union. Germany had 5 mil casualties, soldiers, and 3,5-4 mil civilians, mostly from the end of the war: bombing of their cities, the attack on Berlin from all directions. We should study the history, to understand these numbers and why. As a matter of fact, during WW I, more people died from the Spanish flu than in the front lines. Malnutrition, not enough food and medication, and so on...

Bohemian's picture

RE: The Soviet WW II casualties...

SilveryBlue's picture

@ss121 again please

Can you expand what you are trying to convey?

Communism = evil?

Or is it that the communist ideal from well intentioned people actually opens the doors for psychopaths to enter and destroy everything? It is true that the noted communist countries have had psychopathic leadership that battened onto their own people and massacred them. However it is not still true. People learn. Especially when the lessons are HARD.

The Cambodians bought the pitch. The Russians bought the pitch. The Germans bought the pitch.

They learned.

USA has not learned. Not the hard way.

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