Spoiler: Kremlin weaponizes history. The regime undertakes great efforts to erase it’s the Soviet pact with Nazi-Germany. Soviet participation in WWII did not begin 22 June 1941, it began 17 September 1939 when Soviet attacked Poland in the back. Then Soviet attacked Finland but failed to occupy her. Unfortunately, Stalin succeeded to occupy the Baltic countries. Imprisonments, deportations, torture, rapes and killings followed and were continued when the Soviet Union liberated the countries from the Nazis.
The Kremlin has made Russian history books a farce and introduced laws that criminalise the truth of Soviet-Nazi cooperation and Soviet war crimes during WWII. The methods to change history also includes inventions of other countries’ war crimes.
Spoiler: Today, 3rd of May, is World Press Freedom Day 2020. Press Freedom is a crucial civil liberty. It is part of the United Nation’s declaration of human rights. Press Freedom is also guaranteed in many countries’ constitutions. Nevertheless, press freedom is under duress in many countries and journalists are being harassed, jailed and killed by authoritarian regimes.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 10 journalists have been killed and 64 gone missing during the first four months of this year. If this development continues, around 3000 journalists will be killed or missing at the end of the year.
Press Freedom is one of the key liberties that characterise democracies. It is therefore not surprising that authoritarian leaders who aim to deconstruct democracy begin by abolishing Press Freedom.
Without any freedom of the press, authoritarian and corrupt regimes can undisturbedly abolish judiciary independence, attack the civil society, manipulate elections and attack opposition leaders.
While most authoritarian regimes and dictatorships restrict themselves to attack media in their own countries, the Chinese communist regime is attacking media abroad.
Spoiler: Recently released data from The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (www.sipri.org), shows that Russia continues to prioritise the military. Russian military expenditures as shares in GDP and total government expenditure exceed most countries’.
Spending so much of a country’s resources on the military would be justifiable if the country faces a threat from other countries. But there is no threat. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, military expenditures in Western Europe decreased significantly and USA withdrew many of its troops, weapons and military equipment from Europe.
But for a president who considers the collapse of the Soviet Union to be a larger geopolitical disaster than the WWII, which cost the lives of at least 20 million Soviet citizens, a strong military is useful for invading one’s neighbouring countries and restore the evil empire.
Spoiler: Hungary have benefitted enormously by joining the EU. Joining the EU meant that Hungarians were guaranteed civil rights that were unthinkable when Hungary was a communist country. The EU membership also meant that living standards increased to levels far higher than before. Hungary has also received more of EU funding than average of the ten countries that joined the EU in 2010. Despite this, Orbán has since he became prime minister, again 2010, set out on a path violating Hungarians’ civil rights, freedom of the press and rule of law. These are steps towards a more autocratic and corrupt society where elites are free to enrich themselves.