August 13, 2008
The Ghost of Stalin Stalks the Streets of Gori
Josef Stalin was born Iosef Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili in Gori, Georgia on December 18th 1878.
Yesterday a "ceasefire" was announced in the Georgian war, but the killing continued in Gori. According to the Daily Telegraph:
Russian forces have shelled the strategically important Georgian town of Gori, an attack that represented a significant escalation in Moscow's military offensive even as Kremlin leaders were announcing a cessation of hostilities.
A Dutch journalist was killed and another wounded after a fragmentation shell exploded outside a press centre where western reporters in Gori, including reporters for The Daily Telegraph, have based themselves since the conflict began.
This morning the leaders of 6 countries that are neighbours of the current Russian Federation held a press conference in Tbilisi, Georgia. Present at the conference were Polish president Lech Kaczynski, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, the president of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko, the president of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus, the prime minster of Latvia Ivars Godmanis and the president of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves. Mr. Kaczynski emphasized that the leaders were there to say “no” to Russian domination. He said that:
We are here to fight. Today we are here together. Today the World has to react, even if with reluctance. We are here so the World can react more powerfully, especially the EU and NATO.
Some people are asking today "Why on earth did Lech Kaczynski do what he did, and say what he said"? Here is our answer:
On August 1st 1944, as Stalin's troops approached Warsaw from the east the inhabitants rose up against the Nazi occupiers, in what came to be known as the Warsaw Rising. The action was intended to last only until the Soviet army reached the city. The Soviet advance stopped on the opposite bank of the river Vistula and never came to the aid of the insurgents. Stalin's forces looked on as Polish resistance against the Germans continued for a total of 63 days. The Polish forces ultimately surrendered on October 2nd, and by the time the Soviet army eventually crossed the Vistula in January 1945 the city had been destroyed and by some estimates 250,000 Poles had been killed, the majority civilians.
In February 1945 Josef Stalin, Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt met at the Yalta Conference on the Crimean peninsula. They discussed an agenda for governing post-war Germany and the issue of Poland. Stalin insisted that the Russians would keep the territory they had already annexed in eastern Poland, and Poland was to be compensated for that by extending its Western borders at the expense of Germany. He promised free elections in Poland despite the recently-installed Communist puppet government based in Lublin. As we now know, Stalin did not keep his word, and the Allies were unable or unwilling to prevent a totalitarian regime suppressing the freedoms for which so many had fought and died.
Ten days ago Lech Kaczynski and Toomas Hendrik Ilves took part in the ceremony commemorating the 64th Anniversary of the Outbreak of the Warsaw Rising held in Park Wolnosci (Liberty Park) located on the site of the Warsaw Rising Museum.
For further information please go to the website of the Warsaw Rising Museum
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