Totalitarian regimes come and go. Some last more than others. But one of these regimes managed to last almost a century. This regime was the Soviet Union, the world’s first communist state. Just like many other totalitarian regimes there are those who attempt to romanticize the Soviet Union by promoting Soviet propaganda and fiction as fact. These kinds of individuals usually have radical left wing ideologies who look at the Soviet Union as some kind of Utopia and whenever someone criticizes the Soviet Union, these individuals get upset. They like to make fun of “Wehraboos” for romanticizing the WWII German army but are hypocrites for romanticizing a totalitarian regime known as the Soviet Union. These people are what I call “Sovie-boos”
Disclaimer: I understand that if you’re Russian you may be very proud of the Soviet Union and that’s fine. But there’s a difference between an ethnic Russian feeling proud his or her nation at it’s peak power and a neo-commie who isn’t Russian yet glorifies a a country they know little to nothing about except for the fact that they are on the same side of the political spectrum. Which is why it’s important to separate facts from myths. Also, I’m not a Nazi apologist or a so called “wehraboo”.
“Muh Soviet Union did nothing wrong!” The Soviet Union was formed from a coup launched by a group of angry peasants(Bolsheviks) against a weakened government and in the process executed the Tsar and his entire family. But aside from that, numerous other atrocities were committed under their crimson banner.
1.) The red terror
2.) The persecution of the religious
3.) The holodomor
4.) The great purge
5.) The Katyn massacre
6.) The subjugation of various Eastern European countries
7.) The suppression of political opposition
9.) POW mistreatment
11.) Forced labor
12.) Stripping of human rights and liberties
13.) Ethnic cleansing
13.) Invasion of Afghanistan
14.) Supporting other totalitarian regimes
And the list goes on and on.
“Muh Soviet army was invincible!” The Sovie boos also like to claim that the Soviet military was an unstoppable war machine. But always fail to acknowledge that the Soviets actually lost their first war known as the Polish-Soviet war in 1920. The Poles even started to push Eastward into Soviet territory causing the Soviet Union to sue for peace.
The Winter war also pokes holes in Soviet military superiority. Even though Finland technically lost the war on paper, the Soviet Union failed to achieve it’s goal of completely conquering Finland. The Soviet Union only ended up acquiring 11% of Finnish Territory and in the process the red army suffered almost 400,000 casualties despite having technological and numerical superiority over the Finnish military.
“Muh Soviet Union could have won WWII on it’s own!” The Soviet Union between 1939-1941 was not exactly in good shape, it had outdated military equipment, Stalin had purged a large portion of his generals, the Soviets were outnumbered by the German military 2 to 1 and were lacking the necessary resources to fight the axis powers. Sovie-boos fail to acknowledge just how significant the lend lease program was for the Soviet Union. Under the lend lease the Soviet Union received armored vehicles, tanks, aircraft, naval craft, oil, food, infantry weapons, artillery and other materials from the US, UK and Canada. The Soviet Union received over 100 billion dollars worth of goods. Zhukov even credited the lend lease for providing the Soviet Union with the necessary materials to win the war specifically sheet metal to make tanks.
Note: The following is a tragic statistic, in no way am I relishing in the tremendous loss of life that the Russian people suffered during WWII.
The Soviets had the highest casualty rate of every country involved in WWII. Nobody knows for sure how many Soviets were killed but the numbers range between 8 million and 20 million(When including the civilians).
”Muh Soviet Union defeated 80% of the German army before the invasion of Normandy!” While that’s true, it still ignores the fact that the German military was still fighting a two front war and was investing most of it’s resources in fighting the Western allies. They also ignore that a large chunk of the German army was busy in Western Europe and in the North African campaign.
The other thing “Sovieboos” fail to realize is that the Soviet Union was on the brink of defeat before it successfully managed to push back the axis powers. The axis powers had reached the gates of Moscow and Zhukov himself admitted that around that point he believed the war was lost.
“Muh atheistic Soviet Union crushed the Bible thumping nazis!” Uh no. Contrary to popular belief, the Nazi regime were not firm believers of Christianity. While Hitler did endorse it, it’s been highly implied that is was specifically for political reasons since many Germans practiced Christian faiths(specifically Catholic and Lutheran) And because he came in conflict with the Catholic Church. Hitler never explicitly talked about his religious views. Some historians think he was pagan, others think he was atheist(unlikely since atheism wasn’t tolerated) But the most probable religious beliefs Hitler and most ardent nazis held were ”Gottgläubig” which simply translates to “Belief in God”. It wasn’t a Christian denomination or an official religion, it was more of a simple belief in a higher power without being part of a denomination. On a side note, as a result of new findings it has recently been accepted among historians that pope Pius actually opposed the Nazis by giving Jews refuge. Debunking the myth of the Catholic Church in cahoots with the Nazis.
And the red army was not an “atheistic” army. Almost all red army soldiers were of Russian orthodox faith, in fact many carried small crosses with them into battle. General Zhukov himself was of Eastern Orthodox faith albeit privately. Stalin had to suspend his anti theistic oppression in order to get able members of the Soviet populace to fight. Had he continued to oppress the religious, he wouldn’t have had enough soldiers to fight the axis invaders. Hence rumors that he started to rethink his hostile stance on religion.
“Muh Soviet Union could have swept through Europe in 1945!” A common misconception is that the Soviet Union suddenly became a superpower immediately after the defeat of the axis powers just because it had the largest land army(approx 12 million). But in reality it was just as exhausted as the Western allies and roughly had around the same number of soldiers as the Western allies combined. What the Soviets lacked was nuclear weaponry, which they wouldn’t acquire till 1949 with the help of spies who had access to the Manhattan project, Captured German scientists and American communist sympathizers. By then both the Western Allies And the Soviet Union had reduced their troop size, while the US had started hastily investing research into the hydrogen bomb. Had “operation unthinkable” gotten the green light immediately after wwii, there’s no doubt that nuclear weapons would have been used against the Soviet Union if the Western allies deemed it necessary.
“Muh Soviet Union could have conquered the world if it weren’t for mutually assured destruction(MAD)!” And “Muh Soviet Union could have conquered the world with their nukes!” The idea that the Soviet Union could have effortlessly imposed their will upon the world during the Cold War is a myth based on both Soviet propaganda and NATO fear mongering of the Cold War. While there’s no doubt that the Cold War era Soviet Union was a force to be reckoned with, the Soviet Union was roughly on par with the US in regards to military might. As for the “strength in numbers” myth, the Soviet Union’s peak man power during the Cold War was approximately 5 million troops, roughly around the same size as the US military and it’s allies.
The myth of Soviet superiority was once again challenged in during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, when the Soviet military failed to subjugate the US backed Afghani resistance who were poorly trained, outnumbered and poorly equipped.
“Muh Soviet Union was very progressive when it came to social issues!” One of the main reasons why many sovieboos are fond of the Soviet Union was because of the supposed “progressive” attitudes of the government. While it’s true that Lenin himself supported Gay rights, homosexuals were still persecuted in the Soviet Union under lenin’s influence. Not to mention that many of Lenin's successors didn’t share his sentiment. Stalin himself made homosexuality punishable by 5 years of hard labor and some historians say that Stalin associated homosexuality with fascism. Khrushchev despite being anti Stalin still prohibited homosexuality because he believed it would spread like a disease. Brezhnev also persecuted homosexuals. Many attempts were made to decriminalize homosexuality in the Soviet Union but they were always denied. And overall, attitudes towards homosexuality varied from hostile to somewhat tolerant. But to assume the Soviet Union was “pro homosexuality” is highly inaccurate. Even the Russian Federation which is often labeled as a “homophobic” is actually more tolerant towards the gay community than the Soviet Union ever was.
“Muh Soviet Union was tolerant towards ethnic diversity!” Highly inaccurate, while the Soviet Union promoted “internationalism” they were nonetheless highly nationalistic themselves. They were fond of deporting ethnic minorities such as the Kalmyks, Tatars, Koreans, Turks, Germans, Poles and many other ethnic minorities. In many cases the ethnic minorities experienced violence from the Soviet government. While most of this discrimination occurred under Stalin’s rule, the ethnic minorities affected did not receive an official apology until 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed.
“Muh Soviet Union was very feminist!” I always laugh whenever 4th wave feminists use Soviet and communist insignia. If only they knew that the Soviets banned many feminist movements. The Soviets did indeed promote gender equality such as allowing women to work and enlist in the military. Hence the Soviets being intolerant towards feminism because they understood that feminism was not about equality. While I don’t agree with political suppression and oppression of any kind, I commend the Soviets for at least being wise enough to know that feminism is divisive.
Reasons for the glorification of the Soviet Union: There are many reasons why the Soviet Union is frequently romanticized.
1.) The Soviet Union was an ally that helped defeat the Nazi regime, many view the Soviet Union was the “lesser evil” when in reality the Soviet Union was just as bad, if not worse than the Nazis.
2.) radical left wingers distorting facts about the Soviet Union.
3.) Cold War nato propaganda that portrays the Soviet Union as being a monstrous regime that had the capabilities to conquer the world.
4.)The Soviet Union collapsed on it’s own rather than being overthrown.
5.) Fictional works portraying the Soviet Union in a aesthetically appealing manner.
Summary: While the Sovieboos get a few facts about the Soviet Union correct, most of their impressions are based on myths that are frequently promoted as fact. There’s no doubt the Soviet Union accomplished several scientific breakthroughs and played a big role in WWII but people need to understand the difference between fact and fiction instead of letting their biases get in the way not just to get the truth but also to acknowledge that the Soviet Union was not a utopia but rather a dystopia.