The Real Soviet Union

A few days ago, this picture of a tweet appeared on my facebook page.

Now Ms. Sorrenti’s tweet is totally absurd as Mr. Hauer points out and references his Moscow Times piece.

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/02/25/stalins-great-crime-in-the-caucasus-a64615

 

The problem with Ms. Sorrenti’s tweet isn’t that the Soviet Union did all those the things that she describes, it’s that she doesn’t understand the true horror of it all. The horror that is still having an impact. The fact is that the Revolution that created that monster, the Soviet Union and its satellites and descedants snuffed millions of peoples lives and smothered million more. The toll of waste and ruin in the pursuit of mad dream and ultimate power and losses in lives cannot really be measured.

https://fee.org/articles/the-staggering-toll-of-the-russian-revolution/?fbclid=IwAR06x0zqk_mDl5E1Tojc139x-hvTfxtoqfz4bu6lEm-HbI9CqVJi-lPUz0c

As a case in point, I give you Semipalatinsk. I discovered Semipalatinsk or the polygon, as it was called when a picture of weird concrete shapes appeared on my Pinterest feed. Semipalatinsk was where the Soviets conducted their earliest and dirtiest nuclear tests. It is, simply, the most nuked place on earth.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/proof/2017/10/nuclear-ghosts-kazakhstan/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social&utm_content=link_fbp20171014photo-nucleartesting&utm_campaign=Content&sf121879797=1

https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/semipalatinsk-polygon

https://io9.gizmodo.com/the-tragic-story-of-the-semipalatinsk-nuclear-test-site-5988266

Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Range, Model

The sick part isn’t that such a place existed, as bad as that is. The sick part is that the government that built the polygon didn’t care that people lived there. I can understand not knowing, which the US was certainly guilty of where the Nevada test range was concerned. But a high government official declaring a place empty without checking and then setting off nuclear devices and dirty bombs deliberately. Admittedly the hundred thousand or so that probably had cancer at Semipalatinsk were a small thing compared to deliberate famines, collectivization, spontaneous industrialization and the massive slave labor efforts that made the Soviet Union a worker’s paradise.

The really scary part is that people like Ms. Sorrenti believe the things that they say. They go through life in blissful ignorance. Chances are they have never met the victims of the old Soviet Union. Perhaps they should look for some and talk to them. I have had the privilege of working with quite a few and the stories that they have told are chilling. The Soviet Union was a place of deprivation and shortages where everyday life was a struggle and all of the horrors were not necessarily created by the like of Stalin or Beria. All too often the horrors were done by people with calculations and slide rules. Of course in the secret cities the people in Moscow never cared which way the wind blew.

 

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