Today we continue this piece by reporter Dmitry Steshin for the Komsomolka newspaper. Steshin’s title literally translates as:
“Do not awaken, in your ancestors Perpetrators and Victims. Otherwise we will have 1937 all over again.”
In his very title, Steshin reveals which side of this ideological debate he is on. For, in reality, there are three sides to this debate:
Let me briefly, in just a few phrases, describe the core ideology of each of these three sides; if I mispresent them, they are free to place a comment and correct me:
Reds believe that the Communists were right to overthrow the Tsar and build an egalitarian welfare state based on the needs of the working class and the working masses in general. They believe that the Whites were retrogrades who attempted to restore a monarchy or at least impose a bourgeois-capitalist wage-slavery on the awakened masses.
Whites believe that the Communists were wrong to overthrow the Tsar [they tend to gloss over the fact that the Tsar was actually overthrown by bourgeois “democrats”, and that the Commies only stepped up to the plate a bit later, but whatever…], and that the White forces (Kolchak, Denikin, Vlasov, etc.) who resisted Communism were the good guys. They believe that Communism is an evil philosophy which inevitably leads to a dictatorship of State Terror. They point to the year 1937 as the culmination of this teleological process. Speaking even more broadly and on a pan-European scale, “Whites” seek to overturn the rulings of the Nuremberg Tribunal which declared Nazi Germany as THE guilty party and instigator of World War II. Whites believe that Stalin was just as bad as, if not worse than, Hitler; and that the Soviet Union (and its successor state, the Russian Federation) should be declared as the aggressor state in World War II. Not seeing much of any difference between a racialist ideology such as Nazism and a class-based ideology such as Communism, Whites in the post-war period crafted a bogus political model which they dubbed Totalitarianism. “Analyzing” superficial markers and drawing false analogies, they basically equated Nazism and Communism. Their usual methodology is to use the metric of “Number of Innocent People Killed” to determine which side is more egregious. By this metric, they say that Stalin was worse than Hitler, because he killed more innocent people. For example, if you shot a Russian kulak simply because he is a kulak, then that is more or less the same thing as killing a Jewish shopkeeper simply just because he’s a Jew, Note that the comparison requires that the kulak be innocent of any actual crime. If the kulak were to turn out to be an actual Japanese spy, then the comparison would be ruined.
Conciliators are those who attempt to build a new “Russian mentality” and a “Russian consensus”. They want to put the old class war (Reds vs Whites) behind them and start afresh with modern Russia. They are Russian patriots but not nationalists or racialists. They accept that Russia is a capitalist country now, but they don’t necessarily want to be part of Europe or the Western world. They want to equally recognize the achievements of the entire period of Russian history, including the Tsars, along with Soviet achievements. They generally do not approve of demonizing the Soviet Union. A typical spokesperson for the Conciliator point of view is Moto-Biker Alexander Zaldostanov, aka “The Surgeon”, chief of the “Night Wolves” biker gang. Conciliators tend to be pro-Putin, although Putin has made it clear that, ideologically, he tilts towards the Whites. Nevertheless, Putin is the President of all of the Russians, including those who didn’t vote for him; and including those who yearn nostalgically for the welfare state and for Soviet times. Therefore, Putin and those around him have to be careful of what they say, for fear of, as Steshin puts it, “awakening the ghosts of the past”.
Conciliators are hampered in their quest for national harmony by an external enemy (=Westies) which meddles in the Russian internal debate; which aggressively supports the White side; and which continues to hammer on the class war; a side which insists that Russia be de-Communized in the same way that Germany was (supposedly) de-Nazified. Remember: These guys believe that Communism is worse than Nazism, so they also believe that Russia can never be a “real” country until it shucks off the entire 70 years of Communist history and repents for every single wronged kulak who was ever shot by out-of-control Stalinist goons.
This ideological architecture frames every individual occurrence that flares up within Russian society. If there were no “Denis and Yulia” to step forward and denounce the Stalin Terror, then there would be a “Shmenis and a Shmulia”. The Whites will always find a new champion every couple of years or so. Unfortunately for them, the Reds, awakening from their 25-year stupor, have started to counter-parry these incessant thrusts.
Now, having drawn this frame around the ongoing debate, it is time to get to the meat and potatoes of this particular example:
Was Stepan Karagodin, or was he not, a Japanese spy?
Recall that the “Cossack peasant and father of nine” Stepan Karagodin was arrested, charged with a specific set of crimes, and executed by an NKVD tribunal. Stepan was not charged with the crime of “having an ugly face” or growing his beard too long. He was charged with aiding enemies of the Soviet state, specifically the Japanese.
Westie propaganda vehicles such as the Guardian, the BBC, and Radio Free Europe just laugh their heads off and declare that such charges are ridiculous, they were clearly trumped up. But how would they know? They don’t, they just assume. And, as every American schoolchild knows, when you just “ASS-U-ME” something, without knowing for sure, then you risk making an ASS of yourself.
The conflict between Japan and the Soviet Union had been simmering for many years, and did not end with the Russo-Japanese War of 1905. During the Russian Civil War, the Japanese intervened in Siberia, using Russian disarray in an attempt to seize disputed territory. Even though the Soviets won, the Japanese were never fully driven out of Siberia: They left behind a spy network. The goal of these spies was to continue to plot for Japanese hegemony in disputed territories; the Japanese called their plan Ōtsu.
Starting in 1935 there were constant border clashes between the Soviet Union and Japan on the Manchurian border. In essence there was an undeclared war already going on between Japan and the USSR. The battles of Khalkin Gol and Lake Khasan took the lives of over 60,000 soldiers (from both sides)
In addition to military superiority, the Japanese army enjoyed a massive international spy network towards the end of the 1930’s. Cells had been uncovered all over Europe, even in France and Poland. In the lead-up to World War II, Japan very aggressively sought dominance in the field of military intelligence. A major target was the Soviet Far East. The Japanese spy network in Siberia went under the name Tokumu Kikan, or “Organ of Special Services”. These spy residents recruited from among the local population, including Russians who were unhappy with the Soviet government.
One thing we know for sure about Stepan Karagodin: He was extremely unhappy with the Soviet government, as he had expressed numerous times in the past; and not just in words, but also in violent deeds of resistance. But did Stepan actually step over the line and enlist in the service of an enemy state? The true answer: We don’t know for sure. But there are certain clues pointing in that direction; what a Prosecutor might call “Circumstantial Evidence”. Tomorrow we will go over these points of circumstantial evidence against Stepan and conclude this piece with Steshin’s final comments and warnings.
[to be continued]