The valiant Defenders of Ukraine

My name is Elliot Hammon and I am writing to want to express on this forum a parity that I have noticed between the recent episodes on Stalingrad and its defenders, and the current defenders of Ukraine. I am not Russian or Ukrainian, I am from Houston Texas and come from a largely Anglo-Saxon and Celtic genetic background, but while watching the videos on Stalingrad I felt a sense of pride for the brave men and women who defended the city. They fought fervently, energetically, valiantly, and nobly to prevent an invading army from not only annihilating them and their families but also their way of life. In the weekly episodes it became apparent to me that the defenders of the city were willing to fight tooth and nail, street by street, block by block, brick by brick, and inch by inch. It seems impossible to me to not think of the men and women who are currently defending Ukraine in exactly the same manner. As well, it also seems impossible to me to not think of those who are defending Ukraine as the legitimate heirs, both in terms of being the actual descendants of many of the defenders of Stalingrad, and in spirit to those who defended Stalingrad roughly 79 years prior. It also seems impossible to me to not think of the Russian Army and, more notably, its leaders within the Russian Federation as the legitimate heirs in spirit to the Nazi controlled German State, the Wehrmacht, the SS, and the leaders within its state who caused so much death, destruction, and suffering in spite of being the actual descendants of many of the defenders of the city of Stalingrad. I hope for a peaceful resolution and an end to the unnecessary loss of life but, as it seems, the fighting will not stop until the complete destruction of the Ukrainian armed forces. If that is the case I hope that those who are fighting to defend Ukraine continue to fight in the same manner as their predecessors before them in Stalingrad, tooth and nail, street by street, block by block, brick by brick, and inch by inch and I hope that Russia will inevitably suffer in the same manner as the predecessors in spirit before them… in their eventual destruction.

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Hallo Elliiot,
I am neither Ukrainian nor Russian. Putin is not close to Hitler. He does not have a agenda to extinct human races or enslave them. To my knolege he seems to be just like the average Texan who has fantasy about BTM and CRT are hostile to him, and he took care about that. And he got away with to much without restistance to long. The Russian people don`t deserve more punishment they have received by his rule. Russia is not a Nazi state, but the agressors the Ukrainian have to defend against. l hope not in anithing that is close to the massakers in Stalingrad will happen.
Lesser heroes means lesser orphans.
gerhard

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Fantastic point, thanks!

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@gerhard-w-koester,
Putin isn’t Hitler, but he is certainly the bad guy in this conflict, and it isn’t because of the underlying causes of conflict, but rather because of the manner in which Putin has conducted his war. Let’s look at the facts:

  1. Putin has brutally bombed orphanages, hospitals, playgrounds, and schools because he has wanted to demoralize the Ukrainians

  2. Putin launched a full-scale invasion after the Ukrainians repeatedly said they were willing to discuss issues such as Donbas, Crimea, and the status of those connected to the ousted Yanukovych government.

  3. Putin has plainly lied about his military’s activities because he knows that his orders to them are grossly immoral.

  4. Supposedly, at the end of the Cold War, American diplomats did say to the Soviets that NATO would not move further East than Poland, and it definitely has moved East. However, Russia’s egregious threats to nations such as Ukraine vindicates such an alliance.

  5. Putin’s demands of Ukraine are draconian. In fact, they resemble the Habsburgs’ demands of Serbia following the assassination of Franz Joseph Ferdinand.

  6. The biggest difference between Hitler and Putin is that Hitler and the Nazis were able to win several times at Kharkiv(Kharkov).

Had Putin simply ordered his soldiers to hold the breakaway border regions, the world would not have paid attention. However, Putin has invaded Ukraine with the most malicious of intentions.

Putin isn’t Hitler, but he is moving in that direction. Putin’s all-out war on Ukraine is a major change in political strategy for him. Putin has generally, for the past 20 years, stressed small political victories and cultural dominance over neighboring countries. Putin’s war is a major change in an extremely short period of time. I think most of us following the situation merely expected Putin to go into Donetsk and the Donbas officially, areas that he had been unofficially controlling for a long time.

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Hi Elliot,

I think the comparisons are fascinating. One thing we can see is that many of the tactics used at Stalingrad are heavily influencing the fighting in Ukraine, although modern technological advancements appear to be making the same tactics far less effective. Notice how the Russians keep encircling cities today, but the encirclements don’t seem to hold. The biggest differences today include satellite reconnaissance, drones, and dramatically improved anti-aircraft weaponry.

Another big difference is that Putin is failing miserably politically whereas Hitler had ample opportunity for a political solution but repeatedly refused any because he insisted on total victory. Here, Putin was expecting the Ukrainians to offer favorable terms immediately after he attacked Kyiv, but the opposite has happened. After the absolute rout at Kharkiv yesterday, Putin appears to be in serious strategic trouble. When was the last time a general was killed in combat?

The two big things I’m paying extremely close attention to are the roles of drone and cyber warfare though. We saw the role of drones in modern warfare in the recent fighting at Ladakh and Karabakh, and we saw the effects of tank-hacking in 2014. It appears that the Ukrainians have learned from 2014 about the importance of securing embedded hardware. I am utterly amazed at the improvement of the Ukrainian soldiers and partisans since 2014. I’m also hopeful that Putin will sue for peace if the Ukrainians can mount an effective counteroffensive.

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Hallo Gerhard,
Da Sie wahrscheinlich entweder aus Deutschland oder Österreich stammen, würde ich Sie gerne in Ihrer Muttersprache kontaktieren, wenn dies akzeptabel ist. Ich spreche nicht fließend Deutsch, aber ich habe Deutsch auf Universitätsniveau belegt und kann mit etwas Unterstützung etwas Deutsch lesen und schreiben, also verzeihen Sie mir, wenn meine Rechtschreibung und Grammatik etwas falsch sind. Offensichtlich ist es wahr, dass Waldimir Putin noch keinen Massenmord auf dem Niveau von Adolf Hitler begangen hat. Allerdings scheint das alte Sprichwort, das zuerst von dem Amerikaner Mark Twain zitiert wurde, dass „Geschichte sich nicht wiederholt, aber sie oft reimt“, in dieser Situation unglaublich anwendbar zu sein. Wladimir Putin hat staatliche Medien benutzt, um zu versuchen, die Vorstellung zu fabrizieren, dass in der Großregion Donbass in der Ukraine ein Völkermord stattgefunden habe, um die Invasion und Besetzung eines Landes zu rechtfertigen, um eine demokratisch gewählte Regierung zu entfernen und durch eine zu ersetzen, die dies tun würde unter der direkten Kontrolle seines Staates stehen. Dabei hat er seinen Landstreitkräften bisher wahllos erlaubt, nicht nur bewaffnete ukrainische Truppen und Zivilisten zu töten, die sich zu Kämpfern gemacht haben, indem sie zu den Waffen gegriffen und ihr Land heldenhaft verteidigt haben, sondern auch ältere Menschen, Frauen und Kinder. Verzeihen Sie mir, wenn Sie das nicht an die deutsche Invasion in Polen 1939 oder die Operation Barbarossa 1941 erinnert, aber ich denke, es gibt eine sehr große Menge an … „Reimen“ … wie Mark Twain sagen würde. In Bezug auf Ihren Kommentar, dass Valdimir Putin wie Texaner sei, möchte ich Sie respektvoll bitten, einen solchen Kommentar nicht abzugeben. Ich weiß nicht, wofür BTM oder CRT steht, und ich habe versucht, etwas zu diesem Thema zu recherchieren, konnte aber nicht herausfinden, worauf Sie sich beziehen. Alles, was ich in Bezug auf Ihren Kommentar dazu sagen möchte, ist, dass ich keine Parallelen in den Handlungen von Valdimir Putin und dem, was Sie fälschlicherweise glauben, dass Texaner sind oder nicht sind, erkennen kann. In Bezug auf Ihren letzten Satz über “Kleinere Helden bedeuten geringere Waisenkinder” haben Sie wahrscheinlich einen Punkt. Ein wichtigerer Punkt ist jedoch, dass mehr Helden in der Ukraine heute eine bessere Zukunft für die Kinder der Ukraine von morgen schaffen. Ich danke Ihnen für die Zeit beim Lesen meiner Antwort.

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Hallo Elliot,
gut ich lasse mal mein Halbwissen über die US weg. Ich meinte: Weniger Helden bedeutet weniger Waisen.
Die derzeitige Situation reimt sich eher mit der Besetzung der “Rest” Tschechei 1938. Ausser dass die Tschechen damals wehrlos wahren. Zum vergleich mit Polen ist natürlich richtig das die angeblichen Kriegsgründe (polnische Agrressivität gegen Deutschland, Verbrechen gegen die deutsche Minderheit) sich sehr gut im heutigen Krieg wiedererkennen lassen. Aber Putins Russland hat keine rassistisch begründete Völkerrmordsagenda. Putin ist für mich ein Verbrecher (in Russland) und auch Kriegsverbrecher, aber die Verbrechen der Nazis waren viel mehr. Für mich sind all die vielen Hitlervergleiche immer etwas eine Unkenntnis dieser Hitergründe. Und natürlich meinte ich nicht das die Ukrainer sich nicht wehren sollten. Die Hoffnung, dass dieser Krieg nicht mit den Verlustzahlen Stalingrads oder Leningrads enden wird, stirbt zuletzt.
Ein Angriff auf einen Baltischen Staat wäre analog zum Nazi-Angiff auf Polen. Dann brennt Europa.

Denn diese sind in einer Nato die in Europa gerade begonnen hat sich darauf vorzubereiten.

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Hello,
Amercans living in Germany:

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“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes”

Saying Putin is the Hitler of our times is merely a sentimental saying that tends to trigger strong emotions. Personally though, I think there is much more resemblence to the other moustache man of the time. Still though, such remarks are not very useful in talking about the conflict, so I would refrain from using them too much unless you are prepared to look at the differences as well. History can teach us about the present, but it does not predict it.

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I think so too, both sides equal the other to Hitler and both sides are not racism and extreme right free. Putin is definitely the worst of the but the Azov batallion is despicable too with their ss like symbols and even Himmlers black sun. Yes I am definitely on the side of the Ukraine and even understand some Nazi comparisons but objectively this is a sort of Holocaust denial in my view.

Finally in view of the massive escalation risk it is not useful. There has to be a political solution for which might become a second Afghanistan for Russia. ( to use a shaky comparison). Also hitting Putins friends financially seems a viable step, just comparing them to Mr. H will only strengthen them.

Russia is not like the West where arguments often lead to Godwin’s.

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I completely agree with your initial quote “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” In fact in my response in German with Mr. Gerhard Koester I mention this quote. I am (and I feel like I’m a correctly doing so) guessing that you see more of a comparison or a “rhyme” between the current Russian government and its leader (Putin) and the former Soviet government under Stalin than you do with the current Russian government and with the Nazi controlled German state and its dictator (Adolf Hitler). To an extent I understand this comparison. In short, both are Russian/Soviet (obviously the Soviet Union was far larger than just Russia and included Ukraine) dictators and both looked to expand their “sphere of influence” in order to counter that of the “west” and their opposing ideologies. Obviously however since “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes” the situation in the aftermath of WWII is significantly different for the Soviet Union, and the countries that became a part of the eastern block essentially by force of the Soviet Union, than the current situation is for Ukraine and for Russia. In fact I would draw substantially more comparisons between the Soviet annexation of Estonia Latvia and Lithuania in 1940 with the current situation except that it appears that Russia does not want to make Ukraine entirely a part of Russia and rather simply wants to set up a pro Russian state and Estonia Latvia and Lithuania had little to no international help. The comparisons that I attempted to bring to light and make “rhyme” between 1939-1941 German state and the Russian government of today is that Russia (like Germany) falsely manufactured aggression from a bordering country in order to justify launching a large scale invasion of the country and then in turn attacked not only combatants but also indiscriminately killed civilians, including the elderly, woman, and children. However, once again because “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes” you could say that the German invasion of Poland in 1939 is slightly different because Britain and France each had separate (and notably very different) military alliances with Poland. You could also say that operation Barbarossa is different due to Stalin’s refusal to accept intelligence and the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact between Germany and the Soviet Union as well as the fact that Ukraine has technically been at war with Russia since 2014. My point in typing all of this is to say that of course you can draw different historical comparisons between different historical events and no one historical event is going to align perfectly with another. However where drawing comparisons between certain specific historical events that hold a much greater space in the public conscious (like the German invasion of Poland in 1939 or operation Barbarossa) allows for the common person who does not have such a well versed understanding of history as lets say you or me, to understand the gravity of the current situation and the potential historical magnitude of it. Thank you for your response and your time in reading my initial post and my response to your response.

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Chewbacca,
I apologize for not being able to create a full response to this as I entirely do not understand some of your points and if you sprechen sie Deutsch by chance I would be more than happy to give a response in Deutsch. Let me start off with the last point you make in the first paragraph. In no way was my comparison of the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine and the valiant manner in which not only the Ukrainian military, but also the people of Ukraine, are defending their country and the defense of Stalingrad against the German 6th Army (and other groups such as Romanian forces) a denial of the holocaust and I fail to see how it could possibly be. At no point in my original post or in any one of my other posts do I make comment regarding the atrocities of the holocaust besides the fact that Putin and his Russian government have not participated in a mass, racially motivated, genocide. The comparisons I was intending to make stem from such events as the German invasion of Poland in 1939 or operation Barbarossa in 1941 which stem from the idea that Russia (like Germany) manufactured a false report of aggression from a bordering state in order to justify a brutal invasion that not only saw the death of combatants but also the completely unjustifiable deaths of regular civilians. I also wanted to draw a comparison between the valor of those who defended the city of Stalingrad and with those who are defending Ukraine.
Second in regards to your comment that Ukraine might become a second Afghanistan for Russia (Soviet Union in Afghanistan) I actually (to an extent) agree with this. If Russia is to militarily succeed and replace the current Ukrainian government with a Pro Russian one all signs point to the people of Ukraine running a fervent and likely well funded insurgency campaign that will undoubtedly become extremely onerous on a Russian government who’s economy is in free fall. This is similar in ways to the insurgency largely run by the Mujahideen in Afghanistan that drained so many resources and significantly damaged an economically fledgling Soviet Union.
I also agree with your point that putting economic sanctions on Vladimir Putin and his friends is a viable step but is of course not the only viable economic step that has been taken and the economic sanctions that have been put on Russia have done a lot to put pressure on Vladimir Putin and his government not only economically speaking but also perhaps in turning the people of Russia away from Putin and his government.
Finally I disagree with your point that comparing Putin’s actions to some of the actions of Adolf Hitler somehow serves to strengthen him. In bringing to light the gravity of this situation by using such historical events, that hold a great presence in the public consciousness, as the German invasion of Poland in 1939 or Operation Barbarossa in 1941 people have been able to establish the gravity of the given situation to the general public that might not be as knowledgeable in history as you are or I am. These comparisons, along with others (such as with former Soviet dictators or Russian T’sars) have contributed to unite NATO countries, and their citizens, against this criminal aggression by Vladimir Putin and has strengthened the resolve of democratic countries across the world to condemn this unprovoked and totally criminal invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
I thank you for your time in reading my original post and your response in furthering this important discussion.

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Thanks for your reply. I know a reasonable amount of Germany to watch sending mit der Maus from the Netherlands. So you can try German as I guess you are a native speaker.

As for the Gravity I will put this blunt questions out their:
1 do you or anyone needs a comparison to the 1939 or 1941 invasion linked to see the gravity of the situation ? Or is the bombing of civilian targets and a war, mass refugees, and a sudden arms race not enough. Or is it quite clear

2 as to the point of strengthening Putin. The German/ National Socialist invasion of Poland and Russia/SU is inextricably linked to the Holocaust and mass murdering, mass rape and starving out Anyone who is seen as “the Untermenschen”. The Nazi/Holocaust ideology is the reason they invaded. A good way to rightfully enrage Russians is to equal them with Nazi’s. This will strengthen Putin internally as he and his clique isn’t and it will not bring a political solution any closer. Or do you think that comparing their actions to Nazi Germany will convince them?

As for the comparisons to the 1939/1941 Invasion comparison the newer German legal term Holocaustverharmlosung covers it better and actually is a form of denying parts of it. The Simon Wiesenthal Center regulary speaks out against the false Nazi-equations which are often inadvertently used as I am sure in your case. Out of ALL the military conflicts in history the Holocaust invasion is again the one used :shushing_face:. By the way I am also sickened by Putin calling the Ukrainians Nazi’s in spite of eg the Ukrainian Azov battalion using SS -like symbols and the Wevelsburg black sun. The Wiesenthal Centre condemned them as well.

My German is not good enough to translate this effectively. I can’t even get the male/ female words right :upside_down_face:

Thanks again for your reply and my main worry now is that this won’t escalate out of control (read nukes). The last time I was this worried was during the 1991coup in Moscow as it was highly uncertain what Russia/SU would do at the time.

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Interesting response and yes, I was hinting at Stalin, but probaly more so the pre-war Soviet Union of the 1930s than the post-war eastern bloc. The recent TG video on the Holodomor speaks for itself in the animosity that has been present between Russians and Ukranians for a long time. The annexation and need to expand their sphere of influence in specifically the Baltics as was stipulated in the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and what was then eastern Poland is reminiscent of the thinking now. On top of that, there are also uncanning parallels between this war and the 1939 winter war where a resilient and outnumbered army managed to hold of a much larger, but ill-prepared foe, or at least for a long time. Doesn’t mean I think it’s going there, but the parallels are obvious.

On the comparisons to Nazi Germany though, I feel like we need to be cautious with those comparisons. Sure, they may hold a much greater space in the public mind, but that is in part due to the murder of 6 million jews and that by definition makes any real comparison poisoned, especially if people are not that familiar with the exact history. People recall this much clearer than the 39 invasion of Poland. As a person from the Netherlands, I am confident that when you ask people on the street when the second world war started, most will say 1940, because that is when we were invaded. When you would ask them what started it, I doubt more than half recalls it started with the invasion of Poland, even if it is teached in schools. To that end, statements like: “this is how Hitler started” have a strong suggestion that it will end in genocide and while nothing is certain, I don’t think we should be speculating about such things.

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@tijmenwillard
Yes, how the war is remberd is very different:

The translation of The Unkown war to western (federal German) was The Unforgotten War
and to eastern (“democratic”) German The Deciding Front.

And to Russians it is 13,9 Million killed Russians, .

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Thanks for sharing, Russia has an enormous number of monuments(WW2 is everywhere there). When I was there in 2015 I visited Monino Airbase and saw some awesome place and got a tour from an 83 year old veteran who started as a tailgunner on a Tu-4. And flew tons of planes. I hardly spoke Russian but we actually bypassed the translator who didn’t know any aviation terms but somehow we managed to communicated as we both knew aviation :wink:

Even more impressive was the Gulag museum which painted a nasty picture of the Gulags as well and while I am not claiming to be an expert I found it quite good. There also was a tour around the KGB building with some monuments of nasty stuff. And one of the tourguides was really scared that the Russian secret service was listening in on her phone. Anyway this is the Gulag museum site, not sure if they had to change some expositions in the view of the changing climate on history. Exhibition (gmig.ru)

Just sharing my experiences here. Putin is still the bad guy but I don’t hold grudges against a 83 year old guy who did his job and was earning some extra money by giving me a 3 hour tour basically fast pacing through the snow!
Monino 5
Monino tup2o
moscow 2015 34

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Great thread guys. I don’t want to disagree with anything being said but I think comparing Putin to the average Texan is a bit tongue in cheek. The average Texan wouldn’t drop bombs on cities nor would they run out of gasoline. Ok maybe not humorous but you gotta try. I would say he is closer to the Mexican cartel leadership in that he has his goals and doesn’t care who gets hurt.

We are a long way from a Stalingrad situation. Not sure how we would get there as it basically says both sides have agreed to fight over a select area to have it no matter the human cost. The Russians are surrounding cities but mostly they are using the road network for movement so this kinda makes sense.

Things may escalate further but NATO has kinda drawn a red line. I doubt Russia has any intention of attacking NATO countries and NATO will not enter Ukraine. Those calling for a no fly zone are idiots. We will send weapons and let the blood bath happen. If the war spreads to Moldava, I don’t see that as a change just uglier.

I believe cutting off Russians from information is a mistake. We need them to form the opinion this war is not a good thing. Unfortunately I also believe many more lies and half truths are being told and believing any of them is risky.

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Hello,
I am sorry to have talked about Texans in this thread. I have only heard about one (not average or representative) idiot, claiming to be Texan and helping the Russian armed to fight Nazism. And to another point, it is Putin who is very successful to cut Russians from information.

If somebody missed id, Ukrainian News:
https://kyivindependent.com/

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Oh no, I thought it was funny. No need to apologize. If we can’t laugh at our own stereotypes we can’t look honestly at ourselves.

I can think of lots of Americans who wouldn’t mind their oww missiles….least till they had to pay. For them.

The amount of money America spends on defense is staggering. I have a hard time thinking we don’t have a lot of corruption

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Not sure :thinking: if people mean the Texans from Spaghetti Westerns or Smokey and the bandit with Buford T. Justice and my favorite Convoy with the rubber duck and 8 other trucks flattening A Texas “speed trap city with an excellent performance by Borgnine. And then the European comics like Lucky Luke which everyone mispronounces in NL​:joy::joy::rofl:

The real Texas is a massive state with mire diversity.

E.g. The music city Austin versus the border city El Paso or the Space city Houston with the tech, South Padre party island, Dino fossils and much more. And it is a great state to wear my “Size does matter” T-shirt with map of Alaska :1st_place_medal::boxing_glove:next to tiny Texas​:medal_sports::smiling_imp::rofl:.(might get me banned )

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