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Russians struggle to understand Ukraine war: 'We didn't choose this'

Updated 6:47 AM EST, Thu March 3, 2022

[article begins with descriptions of young people protesting, but ensuring that they remain in crowds]

"Meanwhile, members of Russia’s “intelligentsia” – academics, writers, journalists and others – have issued public appeals decrying the war, including a rare “open letter” to Putin signed by 1,200 students, faculty and staff of MGIMO University, the prestigious Moscow State Institute of International Relations, affiliated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which produces most of Russia’s government and foreign service elite."


"But many Russians, in fact, do not fully know what is happening in Ukraine. State-controlled television shows almost no reports of Russian bombing and shelling in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities, instead it focuses on so-called Ukrainian “nationalists” and “neo-fascists.”

[article states news stations did not prepare Russians for going to war, many are surprised]

But Russian young people like 25-year-old Arina, who lives in Moscow, is not watching TV – she says she hasn’t watched it in seven years. She’s on the internet, reading blogs and listening to vloggers. She hasn’t taken part in protests yet, but she has seen young people on the street taking part in “silent protests,” sticking “No to War” signs on their backpacks or bags.

Arina says she and her mother “had a very fierce argument.”
“She just doesn’t accept my position and thinks I’m a pro-Westerner, that I don’t understand anything. She doesn’t believe what I say, I don’t believe what she says…We have very different sources of information: I learn everything from the independent media, which have mostly long been blocked in Russia, and she watches TV.” ...
Much more at the article. When people only believe TV for their worldview, especially TV focused on one perspective-- one that is controlled by one source, in this case the Russian state, then propaganda works. There are people in this country who live in such information bubbles voluntary-- like those who watch TV only and Fox News in particular (or one of their copycats). The danger is clear.

Putin probably thinks/thought Ukraine will be a replay of Hungarian Revolution in 1956

That lasted about 1 week after the Soviet army invaded. They eventually executed the Hungarian leader Nagy.
Radio Free Europe promised the Hungarians help, but no real help was forthcoming.

The Western allies have to do everything they can to make sure the outcome is different this time.
Here is a very informative article on what happened:


The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 (also known as the Hungarian Uprising, 23 October – 10 November 1956; Hungarian: 1956-os forradalom), was a countrywide revolution against the Stalinist government of the Hungarian People's Republic (1949–1989) and the Hungarian domestic policies imposed by the USSR. Initially anarchic, the Hungarian Uprising was the first major nationalist challenge to Soviet Union's control of Hungary since the Soviet Army ended the Nazi occupation of Hungary at the end of the Second World War in Europe, in May 1945.[nb 2]...

Although initially willing to negotiate the withdrawal of the Soviet Army from Hungary, the USSR repressed the Hungarian Revolution on 4 November 1956, and fought the Hungarian revolutionaries until 10 November; repression of the Hungarian Uprising killed 2,500 Hungarians and 700 Soviet Army soldiers, and compelled 200,000 Hungarians to seek political refuge abroad.[6]...

The background and revolution

[It started in Szeged with university students protesting the situation in Hungary]

On 5 March 1953, the death of Stalin allowed the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) to proceed with the de-Stalinization of the USSR, which was a relative liberalisation of politics that afterwards allowed most European Communist parties and the communist parties of the Warsaw Pact to develop a reformist wing – within the structures of the Philosophy of Marxism and orders from Moscow. Hence, the reformist Communist Imre Nagy became prime minister (1953–55) of the Hungarian People's Republic, in replacement of the Stalinist Mátyás Rákosi (1946–56), whose heavy-hand style of communist government had proved counter-productive to the interests of the USSR in Hungary.[31]

In the afternoon of 23 October 1956, approximately 20,000 protestors met beside the statue of General József Bem, a national hero of Poland and Hungary.[46] To the amassed crowd of protestors, the intellectual Péter Veres, the president of the Writers' Union (Írószövetség), read a manifesto demanding Hungarian independence from all foreign powers; a democratic socialist political system based upon land reform and (public) state ownership in the economy; Hungarian membership to the United Nations; and all Freedom and Rights for the citizens of Hungary.[47] After Veres proclaimed the manifesto demanding Hungarian sovereignty, the crowd chanted the Hungarian patriotic poem National Song (Nemzeti dal), which the Soviet-controlled Rákosi government of Hungary had banned from public performance; the crowd repeatedly chanted the refrain: "This we swear, this we swear, that we will no longer be slaves."[48][page range too broad]...

By 12.00 hrs of 24 October, Red Army tanks were stationed outside the parliament building, and Red Army soldiers held the bridges and crossroads that controlled access to Budapest, while Hungarian revolutionaries barricaded streets to defend their city from the Red Army.[48] Also on that day, Imre Nagy became prime minister in place of András Hegedüs.[55] In a national radio broadcast, PM Nagy asked a ceasefire between the Red Army and the Hungarian Revolutionaries, and agreed to initiate postponed political reforms decided in 1953. Despite the pleas of PM Nagy, the rural and urban populations of the Hungary armed themselves and continually fought the Red Army.[56]....

As Hungarian revolutionaries fought the soldiers and tanks of the Red Army with small arms and Molotov cocktails in the streets of Budapest, throughout Hungary, revolutionary workers' councils assumed government power and called general strikes to halt the economy and the functioning of civil society. In ridding Hungary of the influence of and control from the USSR, the revolutionaries destroyed the symbols of Communism, such as the red star and Red Army monuments, and burned communist literature. Moreover, Revolutionary militias, such as the 400-man militia led by József Dudás attacked and murdered pro-Soviet Hungarians and ÁVH policemen.[62] The Hungarian Army armoured division stationed in Budapest, commanded by Pál Maléter led the Hungarian Revolution against the USSR's control of Hungary, and negotiated ceasefire agreements with the revolutionaries;[63] nonetheless, the Hungarian Revolution took many Communist prisoners who were registered to lists that identified the prisoner either for summary execution or as an enemy of the people.[64]...

The Nagy government freed the political prisoner General Béla Király to restore order to Hungary with a National Guard force composed of policemen, soldiers, and Revolutionaries loyal to Hungary.[68] On 30 October 1956, Gen. Király's National Guard attacked the building of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Communist Party and killed every pro-Soviet officer of the Hungarian Communist Party, ÁVH policeman, and pro-Soviet Hungarian soldier they encountered;[69] and most Red Army troops withdrew from Budapest to garrisons in the Hungarian countryside.[70]
Poland citizenry supports Hungary

The events in Hungary met with a very spontaneous reaction in Poland. Hungarian flags were displayed in many Polish towns and villages. After the Soviet invasion, the help given by the ordinary Poles to Hungarians took on a considerable scale. Citizen organizations and self-acting aid committees were established throughout Poland to distribute aid to the Hungarian population, e.g. the Social Civic Committee of Creative Associations (Bydgoszcz), the Student Committee for Aid to Hungarians (Kraków), the Society of Friends of Hungarians (Tarnów), the Committee to Aid the Hungarians (Lublin), and the Committee for Aid to Hungarians (Człuchów). In addition to the official support coordinated by the Polish Red Cross, one convoy was dispatched – one organized by the Student Aid Committee for Hungarians from Kraków. Other such initiatives were prevented.[121]...
United States under Eisenhower does nothing, but encourages uprising through Radio Free Europe
France and Britain do nothing as well..

In the U.S., two facts determined the inaction of the Eisenhower government: (i) the U.S. Army study, Hungary, Resistance Activities and Potentials (January 1956), which recommended against U.S. military intervention to Hungary on the side of the Hungarian revolutionists;[128] and (ii) the secret warfare of the National Security Council that encouraged anti-communist political discontent in the Eastern Bloc only through psychological warfare, sabotage, and economic warfare.[41][129]

Throughout the counter-revolutionary events, Radio Free Europe (RFE) continually encouraged the Hungarian revolutionaries, nationalist and anti-communist, to battle the Red Army and the Hungarian communists until outside help, from NATO, arrived at the borders of Hungary. After the USSR defeated the anti-communist Hungarian Revolution, the revolutionists criticised the CIA and their RFE network for having deceived the Hungarians into believing that the West – the NATO and the US – would expel the USSR from the Hungarian People's Republic.[130] In the event, Dulles of the CIA deceived Pres. Eisenhower about the broadcasting of mendacious promises of external military support for the anti-communist Hungarians. Eisenhower believed Dulles, because CIA had classified and hidden the transcriptions of the mendacious CIA broadcasts that falsely promised military aid the Hungarian revolutionaries to overthrow the Communist government of Hungary.[126]
The fighting and outcome

Between 4 and 9 November, the Hungarian Army put up sporadic and disorganised resistance, with Zhukov reporting the disarming of twelve divisions, two armoured regiments and the entire Hungarian Air Force. Hungarian fighters continued their most formidable resistance in various districts of Budapest (most famously the Battle of the Corvin Passage), in and around the city of Pécs in the Mecsek Mountains, and in the industrial centre of Dunaújváros (then called Stalintown). There were ten to fifteen thousand resistance fighters fighting in Budapest, with the heaviest fighting occurring in the working-class stronghold of Csepel on the Danube River.[146][page needed] Although some very senior officers were openly pro-Soviet, rank-and-file soldiers were overwhelmingly loyal to the revolution and either fought the invasion or deserted. The UN reported that there were no recorded incidents of Hungarian Army units fighting for the Soviets.[147]

In the immediate aftermath, many thousands of Hungarians were arrested. Eventually, 26,000 of these were brought before the Hungarian courts, 22,000 were sentenced and imprisoned, 13,000 interned, and 229 executed. Approximately 200,000[165] fled Hungary as refugees.[166][167][168] Former Hungarian Foreign Minister Géza Jeszenszky estimated 350 were executed.[131] Sporadic resistance and strikes by workers' councils continued until mid-1957, causing economic disruption.[169] By 1963, most political prisoners from the 1956 Hungarian revolution had been released.[170]

Putin well knows this history and the Western powers reluctance even under the former Allied commander to confront Russia/Soviets directly.
Everything must be done to prevent an historical replay that Putin obviously believes is the likely outcome-- defeat of Ukraine and installation of a puppet government.

The best outcome from the Ukraine would be disgusted Russians overthrowing Putin

for suppressing their rights and most directly, his unjustified aggression against Ukraine. Perhaps Putin would end up similarly to Ceausescu in Romania-- another autocratic and immoral leader who met an end worthy of his "career". The longer Ukraine holds out, the more chance for disgust for Putin to build worldwide, but most importantly in Russia itself.
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