22 June 1941 – Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union, Operation Barbarossa — Day of Remembrance and Sorrow [Video]

From Fort Russ

June 22, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
RT Russian – translated by Inessa Sinchougova

The 22nd June marks the beginning of Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union, Operation Barbarossa. In Russia, this day is known as The Day of Remembrance and Sorrow. Today, the Russian President took part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier near the Kremlin wall.

Despite the heavy rain, the head of state refused an umbrella and stood bareheaded. The event was also attended by Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, Federation Council Speaker, Valentina Matviyenko, government officials, parliamentarians and representatives of veterans’ organizations.

On June 22, 1941, Nazi Germany and its Axis allies began a massive invasion of the Soviet Union – some 4.5 million troops launched a surprise attack deployed from German-controlled Poland, Finland, and Romania. It was the largest military invasion in history.
German tank units as they prepare for an attack, on July 21, 1941, somewhere along the Russian warfront.
Machine gunners of the Red Army during the German invasion 1941.

German Stuka dive-bombers, in flight heading towards their target over coastal territory to the Gate of Crimea.

German soldiers, supported by armored personnel carriers, move into a burning Russian village at an unknown location during the German invasion, June 26, 1941.
Russian men and women rescue their humble belongings from burning homes, 1941.
German soldier looks on the recently-captured city of Kiev as it burns, 1941.

From Cold to “Hot War”? Operation Barbarossa II: U.S. military buildup in eastern Europe, the Yanks in their armoured parade

Global Research, January 18, 2017
New Eastern Outlook 18 January 2017
usa tank russia

I stated some months ago, while assembling a criminal dossier against the NATO powers for the ultimate war crime of aggression, that the build-up of NATO forces in Eastern Europe, particularly American, concentrated on the Baltic states and Ukraine, presaged hybrid war operations against Russia leading to a general war. This build up of forces and ancillary developments I termed Operation Barbarossa II in light of the remarkable similarities to the build up of forces by Nazi Germany for the invasion of the USSR in 1941 which the Germans code-named Operation Barbarossa. Events have only confirmed my views.

The degradation of American democracy continues before our eyes with the incessant hysterical allegations against Russia generally and the manipulation of Donald Trump as a device to put out even more sensational allegations, a campaign which serves two purposes; the first, to build up anti-Russian feeling in the west to war levels by accusing Russia of cyber attacks and attacks on “democracy,” the second to either justify the removal of Trump as a factor in the presidency or to force him to toe the line of the war faction and drop any conciliatory rhetoric towards Russia.

It appears that this strategy is working. At his recent press conference Trump not only adopted the “Russia did it” theme but went further and stated that if people thought Hilary Clinton was going to be tough on Russia, they would soon see that he will be tougher than she ever could be. The hopes by some in the United States that Trump was going to open a new policy of dialogue with Russia have been completely shattered. But this should have been no surprise with his immediate insult to China the day after his election and with his cabinet choices and their various testimonies before Congress the past days, as they are vetted for their posts, that show his administration will use war to dominate the world just as enthusiastically as the outgoing administration.

Trump has said that it is better to have good relations with Russia and that only fools would reject that idea. But this statement is part of the general line that if Russia does not do what the US dictates then, of course, force will be used instead. On the PBS Newshour on Thursday July 12 a “former” senior CIA officer, when asked whether Trump had a point in wanting good relations with Russia, laughed and said,

“The United States should not look for good relations with any country. We should strive for one thing only, the advancement of American national interests, and if diplomacy does not work then coercion must be used.”

This is the talk of gangsters.

The world is fatigued with the circus that is the struggle for power taking place between the ruling factions in the United States. There is clearly little to separate these factions ideologically regarding foreign policy and very little regarding domestic policy. It’s just a gang war.

The use of lurid allegations against Trump to portray him as not only a willing dupe of Russia but also a target of blackmail, which allegations appear to originate with a “former” senior MI6 agent named Christopher Steele, smacks of the MI5 and MI6 plot to bring down British Prime Minister Harold Wilson in the 1970s, as they had brought down the Labour government in 1924 with the production and distribution in the press of a forged letter from Zinoviev to the British Communist Party calling for a mass insurrection in Britain. In Wilson’s case too, forged documents were put out by MI5 and MI6 with the help of the CIA, through a compliant media, to smear him as a Russian agent and he later stated that he knew of two planned military coups against him. John Kennedy was assassinated in the coup d’état of 1963 in a poisonous atmosphere generated by allegations he was “soft on communism,” that is, once again, the Russians.

Frankly, whether Trump is ousted in a coup, or by impeachment later, as the Washington Post suggested could happen, or is allowed to stay in office as a compliant front man as the other presidents have been since Kennedy was murdered, matters not; the result is the same, the continuation of a permanent war regime in the United States, that lives for, by and through a permanent state of war. The American people were brainwashed into tolerating and accepting the coup of 1963 and it would hardly be surprising if another one is carried out and tolerated when intelligence agencies, political enemies, the media and Hollywood celebrities are openly calling for a coup to be staged. Democracy? The vote? Who cares? Civil unrest? A price to pay. The result is that the preparations for war continue, and are amplified by the Trump election, which the intelligence services are using to intensify the propaganda attack on Russia and President Putin.

Meanwhile, as the media and Obama regime keep the people off-balance with the Trump scandal US military forces continue their deployments against Russia and China. The machine is in motion. In Europe the Americans have just added to the pressure on Russia with the placement of the 3rd Armoured Brigade in Poland, right on Russia’s doorstep, which Russia rightly considers a threat to its security. This is a unit that was involved as an assault force in the Normandy landings in 1944 and was used to invade Iraq in 2003. The unit is noted for its speed of attack. These forces will fan out from Poland to cover a wide front from Estonia and Latvia to Romania with tank, artillery and armoured mobile infantry units. These are not garrison or occupation troops, these are assault troops.

US Army General Scaparrotti, commander of US forces in Europe and NATO supreme allied commander in Europe, stated that the movement of this force to Poland “marks a significant moment in European deterrence and defence.” He stated,

“The European infrastructure and integrated support has enabled our forces to rapidly be ready and postured should they need to deter Russian aggression.”

Since there is no Russian “aggression” and since the Americans are continually stating that they expect Russia to engage in hybrid, that is unconventional warfare against Eastern Europe, we can be sure that these forces themselves and their specialised units will engage in false flag attacks and provocations to make it look like Russia is taking hostile action to justify the use against Russia of these and allied European forces. It is just a matter of time unless a diplomatic breakthrough occurs which appears highly unlikely, despite Russia’s diligent efforts.

At the same time it was reported on Friday the 13th that Trump’s appointed foreign minister. Mr. Tillerson stated to Congress on the 11th of January, that the US should deny Beijing access to its islands in the South China Sea. China state media responded that any such attempt would lead to large-scale war. Yet, on January 5th, just a few days before Tillerson’s statement the Pentagon announced that “ships and units from the USS Carrier Carl Vinson strike group will soon depart San Diego for the western Pacific” where US strategic B1 and B2 bombers have already been deployed on Guam, capable of carrying nuclear armed cruise missiles.

And lastly, on the propaganda front, the recent illegal seizure of investigatory material by Dutch police from Dutch journalists returning from Donetsk once again adds to the evidence that the shoot down of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 with 298 people on board in July 2014 was an action of the Kiev regime with US knowledge. I recently stated in an essay on that subject that it was a Kiev military jet that shot down the airliner, and referred to a Sukhoi 25 being used but I since been shown evidence that it was in fact a Kiev Mig-29 that was used. In any event, the NATO powers have colluded in covering up this fact in order to keep up their propaganda the Russia was behind it.

The situation is grave and the doomsday clock must be knocking on the door of midnight. Many of us have called for the anti-war and peace movements to mobilise but they are nowhere to be seen. Many of them, especially in the United States have been co-opted into supporting these wars, and the left, that is supposed to be against imperialist wars, whether the hard or the soft left, appears to be too weak to make itself felt. It seems there are too few of us in the west any more who give a damn.

But we better act now and make people give a damn or else it will be too late because as my friend, Harold Pinter, so well put it to me once at dinner in London, the world is faced with a people in love with themselves who don’t seem to care about anything or anybody except themselves and think they can commit any crime and get away with it. I can’t express the disgust so well as Harold did in a poem he once sent me that he found difficult to get published, one of several, but which is now in a short collection of his poems called War. Perhaps if there were more like him, more poems like this, read widely enough, more voices speaking out, people would react, wake up, stiffen up, get back their sense of decency and backbone. I don’t know. But I offer it to you here in the hope, perhaps naïve, that it has an effect.

God Bless America

Here they go again,

The Yanks in their armoured parade…

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

The role of Soviet soldiers is something we tend to forget – interview with Dutch researcher

From Sputnik News, May 8, 2015
by Svetlana Ekimenko

Remco Reiding is a Dutch writer and a researcher who has covered the topic of Soviet graves abroad during his decades-long career. He’s the author of the book “Child in the Field of Honor”, which refers to a World War II-era Dutch concentration camp where 101 Soviet prisoners of war were sent to die.

The world is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the victory of the allied forces in World War II. And this means a lot especially for Russian people. This is a very special day…

Remco Reiding: Absolutely, and I has everything to do with more than 26 million of war victims in the former Soviet Union, something we tend to forget in the West, because we were liberated by Americans, Canadians, British, so the role of the Soviet Union is sometimes forgotten. But that is one of the reasons I think it’s very important that there is a book now about Soviet soldiers in this case Soviet soldiers buried in the Netherlands.

Why “Field of Honor”? Of course people don’t know what this refers to.

Remco Reiding: It’s a cemetery, where 865 Soviet war victims have been buried in the center of the Netherlands. And it was created because during the war in this town, my home town of Amersfoort there was a concentration camp where 101 soviet soldiers were sent to. These were mostly soldiers from Uzbekistan, so they had Asiatic look, they were very poorly dressed, they didn’t get any food during transport to this camp in the Netherlands and their fate in the camp was also terrible – all 101 died in Amersfoort. And the idea then was that we as Dutch people, as you could say brotherly, friendly people to the Germans, from the same branch of peoples. And they had that crazy idea that the Dutch would choose the German side, if we would see what kind of ‘Unter-menschen’ a kind of lower kind of people Soviet soldiers were. And this propaganda was actually meant to make us change sides and fight against Bolshevism.

Do we know at what stage of the war, what year concentration camp was set up there?

Remco Reiding: Yes, this story starts in 1941. Those soldiers arrived only a couple of month after the camp opens. And by then the population was only Dutch or mostly Dutch and most of the prisoners were actually Dutch communists, because they have been resisting the German occupation from the beginning, and they were arrested after the start of operation Barbarossa – the attack on the Soviet Union. And the idea is probably that the communists were meant to be shown what kind of bad people they were supporting. That was an unrepeatable propaganda campaign, because they brought prisoners all the way from Smolensk to a country in the West. So they were in cargo trains for two weeks before they arrived in Amersfoort.

It’s interesting that you mention this, because so many people I’ve been talking to here in Russia don’t understand how is it that there were concentration camps in such odd places? Now we understands why.

Remco Reiding: That is one of the reasons. Actually after the war Amersfoort was chosen as a meeting point a collection point for other Soviet soldiers buried in the Netherlands. And most of those soldiers actually also ended up in the West, in Germany, but still the west of Germany, where many Prisoner-Of-War camps were and a lot of forced labors were, because there were mines, there were factories – that is why they sent those Soviet soldiers, prisoners of war to the west of Germany, so they could work there. And unfortunately they died of illnesses and ended up in the Netherlands as well.

In that particular camp they all died towards the end of the war or else?

Remco Reiding: No, the first group, 24 of them died within half a year, because they were treated very badly and the other 77 they were hardly alive – but they decided to tell them that the climate was not right for them and they would be transported to France, but in fact they were transported 500 meters further – where they were executed in groups of four, which is a huge war crime, by the way, you cannot just shoot POW without any court decision. And it’s also the second biggest massacre in the Netherlands, and therefore it’s a group that should not be forgotten.

Was that something that became known immediately after the war or a whole period of time had to pass before it actually surfaced?

Remco Reiding: Yes, it was known right after the war. It was not covered up at all – they tried to prosecute everyone who was involved and they managed to for a big deal of them. Some were not alive or not caught right away. But the later commander, at that moment he was actually lowest in rank, and he did many things wrong during the next years – he was executed after the War, and mainly because of the execution of these 77 Soviet soldiers.

How did your interest and your involvement actually start, I believe you were journalist at that time?

Remco Reiding: You could say I was a student of Journalism; I was already working for a local newspaper, the one in my home town, and I got the opportunity in an exchange program with the possibility to go to New York. But I thought that New York is the place I will visit one day – so let’s go to Moscow. I had no connection to Moscow at that time, and as a student of Journalism I was very curious. And I can tell you now that it’s been 17 years, and I’ve never ever been in New York. I’ve lived in Moscow for 8 year.

What was your first impression of Moscow?

Remco Reiding: That first impression changed my life, I was very much impressed by Moscow and it seemed to be completely different world with positive and negative sides, but still I was impressed. That was 1998. It was a difficult time, but also a bit crazy time, wild time… I was a 21 year old student. And I fell in love with the city, but not only the city – that’s how it goes. And I came back in the Netherlands – and that’s how it started. They told me you are crazy about Moscow, about Russia, you have an interest, you’re curious, you’re young, you have all the time in the worlds, because you are a student, we don’t have to pay you – so maybe then go and investigate those Russian graves that we have. So the idea to investigate those graves came from the local newspaper. It was an old idea. The idea was also very vague, because they did not tell me it was a complete cemetery, they didn’t tell me how they ended up there, they didn’t tell me who they were. The only thing they told me – was: “We have Russian graves and they are kind of forgotten”.

What was the cemetery like at the time? Were there gravestones?

Remco Reiding: Yes. It’s absolutely amazing that those graves were forgotten, because it’s a complete cemetery, it’s next to the entrance of the general cemetery, there are individual graves and they are very well taken care of by the Dutch government. However none of the relatives of those 865 soldiers have ever been traced. So you can imagine the cemetery is already a place of death, and if no relatives come to put flowers, it’s even more and easier to become a place of death and of forgotten soldiers. My task was to give this forgotten cemetery a face, to trace relatives of those soldiers – that was the idea.

Did your heart ‘warmed’ to the project immediately?

Remco Reiding: Yes, but there was certain development and motivation, because my first motivation was curiosity, which is normal for anyone and certainly for a 21 year old student of journalism. And the second thing – it was a challenge, ambition. I had difficult years, my mother have died and I felt kind of lost in the world and here I saw a project that could help me also do something special, and mean something in life. Then of course I realized I was not looking at stones but I was looking at people, people of my age that fought in the war that they hoped never to fight, people who were buried thousands of kilometers from home. And their families didn’t know. I felt it was a moral obligation for all of us, and for me to investigate and try to inform the relatives.

How did you start, what was the first thing you were able to do?

Remco Reiding: It started with that first group and those Uzbek soldiers, but already pretty soon I found out that they have all been buried as unknown soldiers, because the Germans had destroyed the administration. I understood that this group is not the group with the biggest chance of success. So I started to find out where did the others come from, how did they ended up in Amersfoort and after about one and a half years of searching the archives finally I found out additional information that helped me to identify soldiers, because the name is not enough. With this information I was able to start tracing relatives.

What kind of response you got when you made the enquiries?

Remco Reiding: It’s hard to give an answer, because in the end archives are not archives, its human beings working there and most of them understand. And they find a way if it’s not within the rules directly to help. And sometimes there are human beings that don not understand, do not care and they don’t help, and you find those human beings in Germany. And then I try to explain that it’s not about me or about them – it’s about helping people who have been without news about their relatives for 50, 60 now already 70 years. This emotional appeal often helps, maybe it’s needed a bit more in the Netherlands and Germany than here, because here every family understands what the war has done to a regular family.

Did you ever think your project was an example for someone else to follow in other countries?

Remco Reiding: It’s a bit difficult to find similar situations; it’s a bit unusual that there are Soviet graves in the West, because the Soviet army was fighting in the east. However, Germany is full of such graves, and it would be great if the German society also takes part in tracing relatives. In Belgium there are certain people having similar situations. In Russia there are many people the so-called ‘searchers’, who are searching in the woods and fields for remains of soldiers.

Any particular story, any emotional part of it?

Remco Reiding: All 865 for me they all are evenly important, but the story I tell in my book is very important for me – it’s the first family I traced and it’s also the son of the soldier Vladimir Botenko – his son Dmitry, he was the first ever to visit the cemetery. I was lucky also to receive his photograph, so we now know how the family looks like. And I managed to get a lot of information about his life; I visited his place of birth, the house he was living in, the house he built himself just a year before he had to go to the front. It was very emotional for me. Now we have our own child of the ‘Field of Honor’ and we named him Dima, after Dmitry the first traced relative. My life will always be connected to this story.

Do you something to sum up for the people around the globe marking this great anniversary? What should they not forget?

Remco Reiding: Let me answer it for us… We have started a program called ‘Grave adoption’, we ask people to adopt a grave to adopt a soldier, and by doing this we try to find 865 people who want to do this. By doing this we want to preserve the memory of each soldier. I think such initiatives can take place everywhere. And if one person takes care of a soldier, then all of them will not be forgotten.