((edited: 4/13 and 5/14, 1/25, 4/19/18)
The historical treatment of the expanse of a varied Russian people -- peasants, enslaved serfs, from Ukraine to Siberia, to southern Muslim regions, to Asian areas in the southeast -- by the Czars was horrific, tragic.
As a nation, by policy, by design, no one suffered greater casualties from war, totalitarian brutality, orchestrated famine, than the Russian people in the 20th Century.
In a Homeric resistance to the Nazi invasion and then pursuit of the Nazis into eastern Europe to help achieve an Allied victory, more than 20 million Soviet people died in World War 2. 20 million people, (Ukrainians, Georgians, Russians, etc.) -- a conservative estimate given various sources (upto 35 million by some estimates) -- died by enslavement in Siberia, gulag imprisonment, famine, purges, execution, during Stalin’s reign, from the mid-20s until 1953.
As a people, maybe half or more decimated by design in the most efficient of factory methods, Hitler’s murder of 6 million European Jews, via a Final Solution -- the intended extermination of a people, a culture, a religion -- was reflected in part by a mass murder of Soviet Jews, an indeterminate number, maybe 1-2 million Jewish people were killed by order of Joseph Stalin.*
By many American's perspective, and by some Russian's -- dissidents, civil right workers -- Putin is a thug, a killer, but he is popular with Russians in general because he is seen as strong, effective, and within the context of historical Russia, from the Czars through the leaders of the Soviet Union, he is a relatively benign leader, even benevolent, despite Chechnya, Ukraine, Crimea, Georgia…
If the murder of a single innocent, guilty only by the act of free speech -- freedom of ideas, belief -- is understood to be wrong by all socio-cultural-legal standards, wrong for all nations, and if inviolable human rights are imperfectly-absolute by rigorous application for all nations, the world will be a better place.
- Some sources: Wikipedia, World Heritage Encyclopedia, International Business Times (from Roy Aleksandrovich Medvedev), HistoryofRussia.org
*Please see Carbuncle Moon blog: 1/27/16
Primarily, because of famine as a result of forced collectivization, the forced movement of people from cities to farms, lack of farming knowledge, equipment, some historians believe that Mao Zedong's policies of The Cultural Revolution killed as many as 45*-65** million Chinese.
The worst mass murderers in history were Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and King Leopold of Belgium, whose treatment of the Congolese people resulted in the murder of millions.
*Arifa Akbar/ Independent **Lee Edwards, Phd.
Please support the Office of the United Nations High Commission For Human Rights: Palais Wilson, 52 rue des Paquis/ Ch-1201/ Geneva, Switzerland
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