Vlasovites: Russian collaborationists against Stalin, Churchill, Roosevelt and Jews

9:41 03.05.2020 • Vladimir Kruzhkov , Candidate of Science (History)

Plans to erect a monument in Prague to Nazi collaborationists from the army of the ill-famed General Andrey Vlasov quickly found itself in the focus of attention by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, financed by the US Congress, and which has in recent months been trying hard to rehabilitate the Vlasov movement. There have been attempts, careful albeit consistent, to whitewash these pseudo-heroes as supposedly a kind of a “third force” and “ambiguous figures,” and now they want perpetuate their memory “at least” in the form of a memorial plaque.

This propagandistic effort pretty much resonates with the consistent vote by the United States and “independent” Ukraine against the annually updated resolution by the UN General Assembly aimed against the glorification of Nazism, while 133 states have voted in support of the resolution.

Meanwhile, many US Congressmen and taxpayers would probably be surprised to know that General Vlasov’s so-called Russian Liberation Army (ROA) not only fought against the Soviet troops and partisans,( fought against “Stalin” as some publicists prefer to put it), but also against US and British paratroopers, that is also against Roosevelt and Churchill. Moreover, Vlasov suppressed peaceful citizens who disagreed with Nazi policies, activists of the Resistance movement, and incited anti-Semitism.

 

Russian anti-Soviet emigres about Vlasovites

 

The Vlasov movement and the ROA consisted of demoralized Soviet POWs   recruited in German concentration camps, young people in occupied territories deceived by Nazi propaganda, forced workers from the USSR, deserters, and also emigrants from Russia/the Soviet Union – enemies of the  Soviet government, who sympathized with Hitler.

That being said, most emigrants rejected the idea of collaborating with Nazi Germany, including the philosopher Ivan Ilyin - one of the spiritual leaders of the Russian diaspora of that time in Europe, and a passionate critic of Bolshevism. He rejected Vlasov’s offer to join the so-called “Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia.” Assessing the dangerous collaboration with Hitler, Ivan Ilyin wrote:

“In politics, too much is being said to deceive naive people, especially those who know little, have no mature political experience of their own and cannot think independently. [...] When Hitler started howling against communism, many Russians believed him. In reality, he used those rants as a camouflage for his impending revenge against the Versailles-weakened Europe and his aggressive campaign against Russia. [...] However, many naive Russian émigrés hoped that Hitler would crush the Communists and liberate Russia. ‘The enemy of my enemy is my natural associate and ally,’ they argued. In reality, the enemy of my enemy can prove to be my most merciless foe. Therefore, sober-minded Russian patriots should not have fallen for such illusions.” [3]

Another prominent archenemy of the Soviet regime, the White Guard Lt.-General Anton Denikin, who then lived in German-occupied France, also refused to cooperate with Nazi collaborationists, despite the threat of reprisals (his wife was briefly arrested by the Gestapo). Denikin dismissed Vlasov’s stake on Germany and its badly-flawed Nazi ideology as a tragic mistake and a road to nowhere. During his contacts with the traitors in France, he tried to convince them of the futility of cooperation with the Nazis.

In one of his post-war writings, Anton Denikin noted: “The few Russian units that were part of the German army began their service on the German-Soviet front and most of them were deployed in the rear to fight against the partisans, who were active on vast territories in the German rear, above all in Belarus and Ukraine. [...] Because many people were becoming partisans, the German command moved almost all ROA units from the Eastern front to other fronts. Some battalions were assigned to the German divisions of the Western and Italian fronts, some were sent to Greece, and the Cossack division was transferred to Yugoslavia. In their newly-assigned areas of deployment, the ROA members engaged in military operations against the Anglo-Americans and were used to crush uprisings in German-occupied countries.” [4]

Redeployed to the West, the Nazi collaborationists were used in punitive operations against members of the Resistance movement in several European countries. For example, the Kaminsky Brigade crushed the Warsaw Uprising (August-October 1944), the 30th Grenadier Division of the SS troops (the 1st Russian) fought against partisans in Eastern France (September 1944), and the East Turkic SS unit fought in Northern Italy (March-May 1945). Finally, the 1st Cossack Cavalry Division was most actively engaged against members of the Yugoslav Communist Resistance movement (September 1944 - May 1945). [5]

Besides purely combat operations against the USSR and its allies, the ROA was actively engaged in information and psychological warfare on Hitler’s side on Nazi-occupied territories, among enemy troops and in their rear. Since the times of World War I, the German command was well aware of the importance of demoralizing the enemy through the dissemination of propaganda materials and assisting the internal opposition.

As Anton Denikin wrote, “General Vlasov oversaw, under German supervision, of course, the work of propaganda courses, officer and non-commissioned schools, and the release of several mediocre anti-Bolshevik and pro-German leaflets and newspapers. According to Denikin, the Germans did not attach much importance to those newspapers in terms of Russia’s future makeup. They used the Vlasov propaganda only “as an ideological cover for the recruitment of cannon fodder.” [6]

The Vlasovites’ malicious newspapers and leaflets were distributed in the occupied territories, at the frontlines and were spread, with German assistance, in the Soviet rear. Radio broadcasts were also used and wartime documents preserved to this day in archives, libraries and personal collections offer a fairly exhaustive picture of Russian collaborators.

We will try to draw the information and ideological profile of the Vlasov movement after the opening of the Second Front in Europe in June 1944, as well as shed light on their participation in the hostilities against countries of the anti-Hitler coalition and resistance activists based on publications in ROA newspapers.

For example, the editorial, titled “Fighters for the Motherland,” published in issue No. 49 (117) of June 18, 1944 of the Russian-language newspaper Volunteer, led by ROA Lieutenant-General G. Zhilenkov [7], said:

“The conditions of the struggle against Bolshevism and its "allies" necessitated the need to transfer part of the ROA troops to the West. Now that the Anglo-Americans are landing, each of us became convinced that this measure was entirely justified and carried out prudently. The combat operations in Italy and Normandy have showed that the Russian volunteer units are fighting in the West as well as they did in the East. This is because volunteers fully realize the goals of this struggle and understand the conditions in which this struggle is being waged. [...] Our units, now on the territory liberated from the Bolsheviks, see that the struggle in the West is just as important as in the East; that our complete victory over the enemy will depend on the outcome of this struggle. The fight being waged by our units at and near the frontline against the Stalinist partisans, is increasingly assuming the character of a nationwide struggle against Judeo-Bolshevism.” [...] It is for the sake [of this struggle] that ROA volunteers in the West and in the East are fighting hand in hand with the Germans and other peoples of Europe.”

Another article, published in that same issue and pompously headlined “In the battles for freedom of Europe, Russian volunteers bravely fight Anglo-American accomplices of Bolshevism,” proudly stated:

“War correspondents of German newspapers covering the battles against the Anglo-American invasion army devote many lines to our volunteers fighting shoulder to shoulder with German soldiers for European freedom, against plutocracy and Bolshevism.”

And here is a report by the German correspondent Anton Klaas from Paris on June 14, 1944, published right next to the abovementioned note:

“The Anglo-American landing, which began on the night of June 6, was an hour of trial for the Russian volunteer battalions deployed between Le Havre and Cherbourg. Together with their German brothers-in-arms, the volunteers steadfastly fought the enemy landing from the sea and air and inflicted huge losses on them. Even when the superior Anglo-American forces cut off several units and surrounded them, the volunteers kept fighting on pinning down large enemy forces. This happened near Orne River [close to the English Channel], where one of the Russian volunteer battalions distinguished itself fighting against large airborne assault forces. Another battalion carried out a number of successful operations against the landed Anglo-American units near the mouth of the river Vire. Even after the Russian officers commanding the battalion went down, the battalion fought on. In the area north-east of Carentan, one volunteer battalion held back an advancing enemy until it managed, after having suffered significant losses, to break through to two German regiments and take up new positions alongside them.”

A report by German war correspondent A. Schmalfus, published in the same issue of Volunteer under the headline “Praise for an outstanding soldier,” wrote that “In the unanimous opinion of all German commanders, the eastern battalions operating against the Anglo-Americans on the invasion front fought brilliantly and fully justified their hopes. The volunteers can be proud of the gratitude expressed by the commander of the army corps, General Marx, who has died a hero’s death at the frontlines. In the presence of his chief of staff, General Marx had the following to say about the volunteers: "All the volunteer battalions active in the area of my army corps fought truly valiantly." The well-deserved praise by such an outstanding soldier as General Marx inspires volunteers to new feats of heroism."

 

In an article titled “A Hard Blow to England” published in that same issue of Volunteer, the author thus commented on the actions of the Allies, blaming the British for provoking the war: “For many months the German people silently but heroically withstood terrorist air raids by the Anglo-Americans. They did not achieve what they were striving for - they did not succeed in breaking the will and steadfastness of the German people. On the contrary, amid fires and bomb explosions, the community of the German people was forged for life and death and its readiness to avenge the murder of their elderly, women and children. [...] The British should now thank their government for the bill they have to pay in full because of their instigators of war. Now the Russian soldiers, heroically fighting shoulder to shoulder with their German comrades know as never before what they are fighting for. Victory is ours. We will not lay down our arms in the fight for a common cause and, if necessary, will sacrifice our life for the sake of our victory!”

In another ROA mouthpiece, the Russian-language newspaper For the Motherland (November 15, 1944), one of Vlasov’s closest associates, the ROA chief of staff, Major-General F. Trukhin himself exposes his movement:

“The German people became convinced that in the person of our volunteers they have faithful allies. In the battles on the Eastern front, in Italy, in France, our volunteers showed courage, heroism and an inexorable will to win.”

Or: “We have battle-hardened cadres of the Russian Liberation Army, the Ukrainian Vizvolny Viisk and other national formations, who have fought on the Eastern front, in the Balkans, in Italy and France. We have experienced and seasoned officers.”

And more: "We will courageously fight the Red Army to the death.”

The article also states that Vlasov’s forces will consist of all types of troops necessary for modern warfare, and boast the latest and most advanced weapons: "In this regard, our German allies are of great help to us."

 

The editorial of the March 22, 1945 issue of the newspaper For Our Motherland, writes about the solemn transfer to the Vlasovites of a Russian battalion, which until then served as part of the German army: “The road traveled by the battalion is both glorious and instructive. It was formed in Belarus and l distinguished himself in battles with partisans. After that preliminary combat training, which proved the courage, fearlessness and steadfastness of Russian soldiers, the battalion was included in the active German army with deployments in France, Belgium and Holland. During the memorable days of the Anglo-American offensive of the summer of 1944, the battalion took part in fierce battles. Many of its members have been decorated for their courage.”

And here are excerpts from the report in the same issue of For Our Motherland about the arrival of the former commander of the German division the Russian battalion was once part of:

“My glorious brothers!” he said in perfect Russian. ”Until today, you belonged to the German army. For a year-and-a-half you fought alongside German soldiers. You fought near Bobruisk, Smolensk, in France, Belgium. You have displayed numerous feats of heroism; the third company is especially glorious. We are now required to fight to the last drop of our blood. We need to win in order to liberate the long-suffering Russia from the 25-year-old yoke of the Yids and Communists. Long live the new Europe! Long live the liberated Russia! Long live the leader of the new Europe, Adolf Hitler! Hurray! (Everyone gets up. A powerful “Hurray” reverberates through the audience.)”

Adding to the image of the Vlasov movement are excerpts from a letter to the newspaper’s editors sent by a Russian volunteer from the frontlines:

“I’ve gone through a hard school of war with my soldiers. For three years now, hand in hand with the German comrades, we have been on the Eastern, and now the Northeastern front. Many heroes fell in battle; many were decorated for their courage. My volunteers and I look forward to next evening’s radio broadcasts. Give my personal greetings to General Vlasov. He is our commander; we are his soldiers, filled with true love and devotion.”

Another message to the editor said: “We are here in the German battalion as a group of volunteers. Four Russians, two Ukrainians, two Armenians, one Georgian. Having heard the appeal made by the committee, we hurry to respond and want a speedy transfer to the ranks of the ROA or national units.”

As evident from Vlasov publications, people of different Soviet nationalities fought in the ranks of the ROA on Hitler’s side. For example, an article published in the daily “Information sheet of volunteer units” (No. 142 (188) of June 23, 1944) under the lengthy heading “The fate of European nations is being decided in the fields of Normandy. We are proud of our participation in this battle and the heroic valor of the Russian soldiers” reported: “The soldiers of the combined Central Asian battalion where Germans, Tajiks and Kazakhs are fighting shoulder to shoulder were ordered to comb the forest, where enemy paratroopers had landed. The British had already managed to gain a foothold along the clearing and met the volunteers with machine-gun fire. [...] Hand grenades were thrown into the English trenches and explosions thundered. With a deafening “Hurray!” the volunteers burst into the enemy trenches. Hand-to-hand combat ensued, for which the British were totally unprepared. The Kazakhs were doing a good job with bayonets. Tajik Salim Nazarov, twice wounded before that, kept fending off a handful of Englishmen surrounding him and was eventually released by his comrades. Having taken 15 prisoners, the battalion returned to the convoys, having accomplished their first mission with honor.”

In a separate note in the same issue of the “Sheet…” the author described the combat missions performed by members of the Armenian legion in France against local partisans: “Armenian legionnaires are participating in a nationwide fight against the Anglo-Americans and Bolshevik oppressors. [...] In recent battles against the partisans, they achieved significant success, inflicting heavy losses on them, seizing a lot of weapons, machine guns, rifles, etc., taking 35 prisoners and killing 75 partisans."

Criticizing the Bolsheviks, the Vlasovites often resorted to the tactics and slogans once used by Russian revolutionaries. For example, they dreamed of turning the war being waged against the USSR by Nazi Germany and its allies into a civil war, as it happened in the Russian Empire during World War I. The civil war of 1917-1922 and the foreign intervention cost the Russian people millions of victims. Naturally enough, this intention to destabilize the USSR was reflected in the print materials and radio programs of the Vlasovites. This subversive activity played right into the hands of the German military command.

 

Anti-Semitism and Vlasovites

 

Vlasov’s apologists prefer to turn a blind eye to his rabid anti-Semitism. However, even a cursory analysis of the ROA’s Russian-language newspapers For Our Motherland, Volunteer and Zarya (Sunrise) shows that almost every issue contains calls to fight "Jew-Bolshevism," direct attacks on Jews, not necessarily Soviet, lengthy quotations of speeches by Hitler, Goebbels, other Nazi leaders, reprints of articles from Nazi newspapers, such as Völkicher Beobachter, which more or less touched upon the issue of  “Judeo-Communism.”

Following a series of meetings and speeches in German-occupied France, a ROA propagandist, N. Davidenkov, wrote in the August 22, 1943 issue of Zarya: “In Marseilles, two local French police chiefs were underhandedly killed; in Lyon, a secret organization of spies and saboteurs was revealed, half of which were Jews. [...] I imagined this country, freed from the continuous fear of British terrorist bombs, cleared of the Jewish infection, giving birth again to Victor Hugo, Balzac and Pasteur."

A June 18, 1944 article "Eastern Workers in the Fight for European Freedom," reprinted by the editors of Volunteer from the German newspaper Der Angriff, described a meeting of workers at a military plant outside Berlin: “The hall was filled with Russian and Ukrainian workers. The plant director said that the invasion is an attempt by the Western powers to contribute to the victory of Bolshevism in Europe and a desire to turn all the peoples of the mainland into eternal slavery to the Kremlin. In their speeches, the Eastern workers, men and women, voiced their full readiness to devote now, more than ever, all their effort to the production of weapons for the whole of Europe, for victory over the worldwide plutocrat-Bolshevik conspiracy, led by Jews. [...] In their statements, the Eastern workers emphasized that the recent events at the front decisively speak in favor of the victory of Germany and Europe.”

In its July 12, 1944 editorial titled Jewish Hatred, the newspaper Zarya stoked up anti-Jewish sentiment from different angles: "The wily sons of the "people of Israel" prefer to sit out the war deep in the Soviet rear, and if they fight, they do this as NKVD members against the unarmed population or at worst as anti-retreat troops and members of punitive units, which is completely safe for their skin."

The editorial also said that the Soviet Jews allegedly had very special reasons to fight Hitler: “While the Bolshevik politicians are trying to explain the war by some high-handed motives like “defending the fatherland” or “Slav brothers,” Soviet Jewry openly believes that the war is being waged to advance their own interests, their wellbeing, and that now is the best time to settle accounts with the enemies of the "people of Israel." [...] Jews are filled with Satanic hatred towards millions of Russians, Ukrainians and Germans who don’t want to live under Jewish domination anymore ... In every Russian and Ukrainian who lived in areas liberated by the German army, they see an enemy, they believe that he necessarily "tormented" the Jews and yearn for revenge, retribution. "

What is this if not inciting anti-Jewish sentiment and not egging on collaborationists to stage Jewish pogroms? As you know, massacres that Russian-speaking anti-Semitic collaborationists, including SS members, actively participated in took place on Nazi-occupied territories, especially in Ukraine.

In an article headlined “Treasonous affairs of the Jews,” published in the February 2, 1944 (No. 10(78) issue of Volunteer a certain G. Rostov expands on the influence of Jews in Italy, who had allegedly seized “commanding heights in economy and culture before the fascists came to power."

According to him, "the Judeo-Masonic bloc, in close contact with its American and English ‘brothers’ actually owned the country until 1922. It’s clear, therefore, that the victorious fascism was completely unacceptable for the Jews and their ‘allies’ ... The Jews managed to paralyze Mussolini's first attempt to resolve the Jewish question in Italy. [...] From the very first years of the fascist regime in Italy masons and Jews worked to eliminate Mussolini whom they considered as dangerous to them.”

This anti-Semitic oeuvre ends with a quote from the Nazi Berliner Zeitung:

“If the devil’s plan was not completely successful, it was only thanks to the decisive intervention of allied Germany, as a result of which Italy, which due to the treason of Jews and Masons, had found itself on the brink of an abyss was saved at the very last moment from ruin.”

Propaganda leaflets spread by the Vlasovites were equally anti-Semitic, calling on the Red Army to join with Nazi Germany. Here is an excerpt from one such leaflet: “We, the ROA warriors, led by the sons of Russian peasants, Generals Vlasov and Malyshkin, together with the German army, are fighting against Stalin and his Jewish clique! We do not want to fight against you, our brothers, so think what you are fighting for. Stalin has now gone so far as to take orders from Anglo-American Jews and capitalists in order to stay  in power, and the latter require the "most ingenious one" to fight to the last Russian man. In return, the USSR receives exactly the amount of weapons and food from its ‘allies’ so that Stalin can postpone, at the expense of the Russian people, a terrible war of attrition, while your wives and children are dying from hunger and exhaustion, like flies in the fall. ”

 

An ROA leaflet appeals to the Red Army: "Bayonets to the ground!" adding anti-Semitic “verses.” Here is an example of Vlasov's "poetry":

 

“Wide is my Motherland,
Of her many forests, fields, and rivers!
Get up to fight the Jews

Our free Russian man!

 

The Vlasovites were an important part of the propaganda machine of National Socialism, as well as being instrumental in the practical implementation of the plans devised by the German political and military command. Can we exclude with 100-percent certainty that anti-Semitic fanatics, such as G. Rostov, the above-mentioned author of Volunteer’s publication, or the Vlasovite “poet” are not among those whose memory some people in Prague would like to perpetuate in the form of a monument or in some other form? Since the answer is obvious, the action planned in the Czech Republic cannot but beg serious ethical questions.

 

The end of the Vlasov movement

 

Realizing that the fate of German Nazism was now sealed, most of the demoralized Vlasovites chose to surrender to the Americans and the British. Some activists hoped to continue the war with new allies. The editorial titled It Will Be in the final issue of the newspaper For Our Motherland that came out on May 7, 1945 (!) signaled a radical change in the concept of the Vlasovites’ war:

“The war on the Western front is over, the war with the Bolsheviks continues - this is the bottom line of the historic events we are going through. [...] We firmly believe that Western democracies will not allow the triumph of world communism and that a great crusade will be launched against the triumphant kingdom of violence, anger and obscurantism... It will be. "

On May 8, 1945, some of the ROA volunteers stationed in Latvia managed to break out of the Kurland “noose” and evacuate by sea (on board a German tanker). After the collapse of the Third Reich, some Vlasov activists continued waging an information war against the USSR in the West. These include, for example, the ROA propagandist and translator Lolli Lvov, who escaped punishment and began working for Radio Liberty during the Cold War under the supervision of the CIA in Munich.

Other Vlasovites were not so lucky though. Ironically, after unsuccessful battles with Soviet troops on the Oder, the commander of the ROA division, Major General S. Bunyachenko, who fought against the Anglo-American airborne assault in France and was decorated three times by the German command [8], disobeyed orders by the Wehrmacht leadership and commanded his troops to move west to surrender to the Western allies. However, even the firefights the ROA members had with the Germans in Prague did not help Bunyachenko who, along with his accomplices, was handed over to the USSR.

To one of Vlasov’s representatives, who was asking the Americans for leniency and salvation from the Red Army, the commander of the 7th US Army, General A. Patch, put a very hard question:

“If Vlasov is fighting not for Hitler, but against Stalinist Bolshevism, then what were the Russian volunteers doing on the Atlantic coast and how can this justify the casualties suffered by the US army in battles with these volunteers?” [9]

According to the agreements reached during the Yalta Conference by the Allied Powers (February 4–11, 1945), all Soviet citizens who had ended up abroad as a result of the war, including concentration camp inmates, forced laborers as well as traitors who fought on the Nazis’ side were to be repatriated. [10] Most of the Vlasovites were eventually sentenced by Soviet courts to be sent to forced labor camps, and their ill-famed leaders and officers were executed, including Vlasov himself and his closest associates - Malyshkin, Trukhin, Zhilenkov, Bunyachenko and others.

By the way, reprisals against collaborationists (judicial and extra-judicial) were commonplace during the post-war years. In his extensive research on Nazi collaborationists, the prominent Russian historian M. Semiryaga provides a detailed account of mass-scale arrests, prosecution and lustrations of collaborators in various countries of Western and Eastern Europe. In France, for example, intellectuals who had collaborated with the Nazis were put on trial “for these traitors, using the media, caused the most severe harm to the people of France. Some of them were executed, but the majority was sentenced to long terms of in jail.” [11] In Belgium, immediately after the liberation of some towns and villages, the Resistance fighters evicted collaborators from their homes, burned their houses and destroyed their property. “The Belgian workers who voluntarily left for Germany were humiliated and subjected to various repressions ... More than 70 journalists were reportedly sentenced to death and hanged.” [12]

Professional historians enlisted by various modern propaganda resources as advocates and apologists of the ROA usually ignore the above-mentioned horrid facts of Vlasov’s collaborationism. As you can see, the ROA was not an independent "third force." Up until the fall of the Third Reich, its members were puppets and faithful executors of the plans drawn up by the Nazi elite. Moreover, during the final phase of the German defeat, General Vlasov, determined to continue the war, even tried to encourage members of the Nazi elite. On March 1, 1945, after a meeting with Vlasov, the German Minister of Propaganda Josef Goebbels wrote in his diary: “Vlasov described to me the days in Moscow during the ominous atmosphere of the late fall of 1941. The entire Soviet leadership then had lost control, and only Stalin was the one who was determined in his resistance, even when he was being defeated. The situation then was almost what we have now. [...] The conversation with General Vlasov encouraged me a great deal. I learned from this exchange that the Soviet Union had to overcome exactly the same crises as those that we must overcome now, and that there is always a way out of these crises, you just have to decide not to give in.” [13]

Obviously, the betrayal by part of the Vlasovites of their German masters in the closing days of the war would not have happened had it not been for the very quick advance by the Red Army and the Allied forces on all fronts. For example, almost 2 million soldiers and officers took part in the large-scale Prague offensive by the Red Army’s 1st, 2nd, and 4th Ukrainian fronts (May 6–11, 1945). Against this background, the short-term revolt by a handful of isolated and completely demoralized ROA units against the orders of the Wehrmacht for the sake of avoiding retaliation by the Allies can by no means  serve as an alibi for their previous atrocities in the service of the Nazis.

To "understand" the Vlasovites betrayal is, of course, a matter of a personal moral choice. Only a fraction of the Soviet inmates of Nazi concentration camps agreed to become traitors, while despite the inhuman conditions they were in, an overwhelming majority rejected offers of cooperation in exchange for salvation and a better fate for themselves. A shining example of such fortitude is the Soviet Lieutenant General Dmitry Karbyshev who turned down all attempts, however sophisticated, to persuade him to cooperate.

During the Nuremberg Tribunal, the pro-Nazi activity of collaborationists was condemned, and subsequently, aiding the Nazi regime was declared a crime in many countries. [15] In a number of international legal acts, as well as domestic legislations of most states, inciting ethnic hatred and the propaganda of Nazism is often deemed a criminal offense.

Against this historical and legal background, attempts to justify the Vlasovites, even if by their parallel struggle against communism-socialism, look very strange and clumsy. This is like justifying Napoleon’s aggressive expansionism by the need to overcome the deficiencies of the feudal system. By the way, even then, in 1812, despite the massive Napoleonic propaganda, the Russian people gave a clear answer to the “invincible army” and its allies, who, by the way, also promoted the idea of “European unity” and “liberation of peoples.”

In view of the destructive activity of the ROA and the ideas espoused by its members, even a partial rehabilitation of the Vlasovites would be blasphemous, fly in the face of the countless victims of Nazism and create a dangerous ideological precedent. There is no denying the fact that the Vlasovites were used by Hitler as a weapon and disseminators of Nazi propaganda. Therefore, it is hard to imagine that in any country that once  suffered from the Nazi scourge monuments or memorial plaques honoring Nazi sidekicks may ever appear (perhaps with the exception of today's Ukraine and some Baltic states, where history can easily be rewritten for the sake of time-serving political interests). Any form of glorification of WWII Nazi collaborationists is an insult to the memory of the warriors of the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition and the participants of the people’s resistance to Nazism.

 


1. See, for example “Fallen Angels. Vlasov days in Prague.” May 5, 2019 or “The Prague manifest: 75 years later.” December 1, 2019

2. The resolution “The fight against the glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to the escalation of modern forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”, initiated by the Russian delegation, was adopted on 12/18/2019 in New York at the plenary meeting of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly. The number of co-authors of this document reached 62. The overwhelming majority of states (133) supported the resolution. As in previous years, only the delegations of the US and Ukraine voted against, and 52 countries abstained (including EU member states). One of the key elements of the resolution is the condemnation of war against monuments to fighters against Nazism and fascism, which is gaining momentum in some countries, going on against the backdrop of memorials being opened and monuments erected honoring SS men and all sorts of collaborators, as well as the holding of marches and torchlight processions by nationalists and neo-Nazis. At the same time, grave concern is expressed about attempts to lionize members of the Waffen-SS criminal organization recognized by the Nuremberg Tribunal, as well as those who fought against the anti-Hitler coalition, collaborated with the Nazi movement and committed war crimes and crimes against humanity // https://news.un.org/ru/story/2019/12/1369371

3. Ilyin I.A. Collected Works: in 10 vols. T. 2. Book. 1. M .: Russian book, 1993. p. 24-25.

4. Denikin A.I. “General Vlasov and the ‘Vlasovites’” / A.S. Puchenkov, O.V. Romanko and S.V. Mashkevich // Recent History of Russia / Modern History of Russia. 2017. No2. S. 240-242 // http://modernhistory.ru/d/puchenkov_9.pdf

5.Drobyazko S.I., Romanko O.V., Semenov K.K. Foreign formations of the Third Reich. M., 2011.S. 398-403, 457-458, 638-646, 692-695.

6. Denikin A.I. Decree. Op. p. 235-236.

7.G. Zhilenkov - former Soviet brigade commander who joined the Nazis. The closest associate of General A. Vlasov was a Lieutenant-General of the ROA, the head of the Main Propaganda Directorate of the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia, and the editor of several Vlasov publications, including Volunteer. February 28, 1945 participated in a meeting between Minister of Propaganda of Germany J. Goebbels and  Vlasov, during which issues of propaganda interaction were discussed. In May 1945, Zhilenkov tried to obtain political asylum in the American zone, but was interned and extradited to the USSR.

8 S. Bunyachenko was the owner of the German Iron Cross of the 2nd Class, the Insignia for the Eastern peoples "For Merit" of the Second Class. “In bronze” (twice) and the Insignia for the Eastern peoples “For courage,” class I “in silver.”

9. Semiryaga M.I. Collaborationism. Nature, typology and manifestations during the Second World War. M .: ROSSPEN, 2000.p. 480.

10. Materials of the Crimean Conference February 4-11, 1945 // http://www.hist.msu.ru/ER/Etext/War_Conf/krim21.htm

11. Semiryaga M.I. Decree. Op. p. 802.

12. Ibid p. 805.

13. Rzhevskaya E.M. Goebbels. Portrait against the background of a diary. M .: AST-PRESS BOOK, 2004. p.347.

14.Kruzhkov V. Who is he - General Karbyshev? // Wider circle. 2015. No.2 // URL: http://www.ruvek.info/?module=articles&action=view&id=9669

15.Kruzhkov V. How Austria defeated Nazism // International Affairs. 2019. №6. S. 32-43 // URL: https://interaffairs.ru/jauthor/material/2198