Putin calls collapse of Soviet rule a tragedy
President laments breakup of empire
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
BY MIKE ECKEL
MOSCOW -- President Vladimir Putin lamented the demise of the Soviet Union in some of his strongest language to date, saying in a nationally televised speech before parliament yesterday that it was "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century."
[Perhaps for the Soviet Union?for the rest of the world, especially Eastern Europe, it was a pretty good deal]
In his annual address to lawmakers, top government officials and political leaders, Putin also sought to reassure skittish investors about Russia's investment climate -- just two days before a ruling in the tax evasion and fraud trial of oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
His statements on the collapse of the Soviet Union and its effects on Russians, at home and abroad, come as the country is awash in nostalgia just two weeks before the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe -- a conflict Russians call the "Great Patriotic War."
[Ha! Any student of WWII history knows that Stalin was in league with Hitler. They entered into the Molotov-Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact and Hitler was using Soviet land to practice with Nazi troops and equipment. When Hitler invaded Russia in 1941 Stalin went to bed for three days. He couldn?t believe he?d been tricked so badly. Did you hear me, Mr. Putin? The Great Patriotic War was only great and patriotic because your ally, HITLER, double-crossed Stalin and FORCED you into war.]
Putin, who served as a colonel in the KGB, has resurrected some Communist symbols during his presidency, bringing back the music of the old Soviet anthem and the Soviet-style red banner as the military's flag.
[Putin was a colonel in the KGB? I'm shocked!]
In the 50-minute address at the Kremlin, Putin avoided mentioning the need to work more closely with other former Soviet republics -- in contrast to previous addresses -- and he made passing reference to the treatment of Russian-speaking minorities in former Soviet republics.
[Wait. Hold on a second while my tears flow like a river into the ocean. Those poor Russian-speaking minorities in former Soviet republics. The indignity of it all. I can?t understand why a formerly captive people would want to treat their former captors badly?what is the matter with the world?!]
Click the link to read the rest of the article. Shame on the Associated Press for not telling the whole story. Giving Putin a forum to cry about the Soviet Union?s former glory is nauseating at best.