Two days ago a court in Odessa ruled that it was illegal to display replicas of the Soviet-era “Banner of Victory”, namely the Soviet flag which was raised over the German Reichstag at the end of World War II. This image, and this banner, is as iconic to Russians, as is, say, the Iwo Jima flag-raising image is to Americans. Both represent the victory of the “good guys”, in a completely non-sarcastic way, over truly inhuman philosophies and aggressive war. The racialist ideology of the Nazis and also the Japanese ruling elite of that time, resulted in untold human misery, war and suffering, the death of millions of innocent people; people who had done nothing wrong except being born with the “wrong type” of DNA, which displeased the new “masters of the universe.”
Restating a previous sentence: These images represent the victory of the good guys. With an emphasis on the word VICTORY. Because sometimes, yes, the good guys do actually WIN. And whenever that happens (it’s a very rare thing), then such events need to be cherished and commemorated.
The Rag of Defeat
With what did Ukraine replace the image of the “Banner of Victory”?
With the “Rag of Defeat”, a torn-up blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flag which supposedly was salvaged from the “Ilovaisk Cauldron”. Ukrainian militias, representing the genocidal philosophy of Stepan Bandera, suffered an ignoble, and well-deserved, defeat at Ilovaisk. It would have been better for them to keep silent about their unsuccessful attempt to ethnically cleanse the Donbass region. Instead, they prefer to pick at their own scabs, as if this was some noble but lost cause. “Remember the Alamo!”
What Does the Rag of Defeat Represent?
You may ask. Well, for starters, how about Babiy Yar? Just under a month ago, on September 29-30, Ukraine “celebrated” the 73rd Anniversary of the Babiy Yar massacre. Well, the Nazis are to blame for this atrocity, of course, but they simply couldn’t have done it nearly as well without their Ukrainian assistants. Followers of Stepan Bandera. The eager-beavers who helped their Nazi masters clear out the Jewish ghettos.
In Ukraine today, the official ruling government, and most of the ruling parties, revere Stepan Bandera and the virulent nationalist ideology that he represented. Nazism, which is a racialist/eugenics type philosophy; along with nationalism, which considers anything to be okay, so long as its serves “the nation” — both ideologies allow for, and even encourage, the killing of inconvenient people who have done nothing except perhaps just stand in the way of the superior people.
People are people. Most people are not psychopaths or killers. But even normal people, with normal brains, will act like psychopaths and killers, if the ideology which organizes their thinking, tells them that this is necessary.
It was racialist/nationalist ideology that made Babiy Yar possible. How else could completely normal human beings force naked women into a pit and then shoot them for no reason whatsoever?
Victory or Defeat?
And returning to the concept of “Victory” vs “Defeat”.
The Nazis worshipped the concept of “Victory” (“Sieg!”) They enlisted allies such as the Banderites, promising them things (=a Ukrainian nation), which they did not intend to deliver. Eventually, the Nazis suffered military defeat at the hands of their worst enemy, the Soviet Union.
And yet, their defeat was not absolute either. In life, nothing is absolute. The bad guys can be defeated, and then return later, for the sequel. Because 70 years later, the Banderite parties returned to power in Ukraine. With a different flag this time, the yellow and blue one, which the Ukrainian nationalists have somehow patched onto their already patchy history.