By Vitaly Portnikov, May 17, 2014
Is it any wonder that the head of the “government” of the Donetsk separatists is a political strategist with Russian citizenship? After all, the annexation of the Donbas is following old Bolshevik templates. These are exactly the types of “governments” that were designed in Moscow when it was preparing the occupation of any country or territory.
For example, let us examine the puppet government in the “Democratic Republic of Finland,” which arrived in the Finnish city of Terijoki together with the Soviet occupiers. The head — Comintern activist Otto Kuusinen, who after the failure of the occupation plan remained in the USSR and was promoted to membership in the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The defense minister — Red Army soldier Akseli Anttila, who was promoted from a junior commander of the Red Army to lieutenant general of the “Finnish People’s Army.” The Minister of Karelia — Pavel Prokkonen– in actuality Pavel Prokofiev, deputy chairman of the People’s Commissars of Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. This is the company in question!
Now let’s try to find 10 differences between the “Democratic Republic of Finland” and the “Donetsk People’s Republic,” between the “Finnish People’s Army” and the “Army of the Southeast,” between the Kremlin of Joseph Stalin and the Kremlin of Vladimir Putin. Incidentally, the Kremlin signed a treaty of friendship with the “Finnish government” that was created in Moscow. Stalin himself attended the ceremony. Western diplomats were told that Moscow no longer recognized the legal government of Finland, as it no longer controlled the situation in the country. However, two other countries, in addition to the Soviet Union, had recognized the new “Democratic Republic of Finland” — the People’s Republic of Mongolia and the People’s Republic of Tuvan, which 4 years later was incorporated into the Russian Soviet Socialist Republic as an autonomous region. No other willing country could be found.
Few now remember the collaborators from Terijoki simply because the Finns succeeded in defending their sovereignty with weapons — and the aggressor realized the futility of a “winter war.” However, had the Soviet Union occupied Finland, the activists of the “Democratic Republic of Finland ” would have become real ministers and would have ensured the transformation of the country into a colony of Moscow. However, despite the failure of the Finnish scenario, it has been used many times in similar circumstances. Donbas has become another testing ground for the old techniques that demonstrate utter contempt for the democratic will of the people. In Russia, where elections of any kind have for many decades in a row been transformed into a common profanity, they simply do not believe that in other countries people really do want to choose their own government and will not accept an imposed thug with party tickets or a flag of the “Dnipropetrovsk People’s Republic” instead of a leader they vote for themselves. And that people can resist such blatant disrespect. However, in this case, the most promising argument of the Russian political culture enters the picture — the Kalashnikov automatic rifle.
By Vitaly Portnikov, Kyiv journalist and political commentator, columnist for Radio Svoboda
Translated by Anna Mostovych