The anniversary of D-Day highlights the rift in relations between Russia and the West « Diario y Radio Universidad Chile

The anniversary of D-Day highlights the rift in relations between Russia and the West « Diario y Radio Universidad Chile

Western leaders commemorated this Thursday the 80th anniversary of the Normandy Landings that paved the way to liberate Europe from Nazi occupation, under the shadow of the war in Ukraine and with the great absence of Russia.

Thursday June 6, 2024 3:01 p.m.

Normandy (AP - Laurent Cipriani)

Cover photo: AP – Laurent Cipriani

80 years ago, 156,000 Allied soldiers landed on the Normandy coast to fight a battle that not only marked the beginning of the end of the Nazi occupation in Europe, but was also key to the consolidation of an anti-fascist political culture in the West.

Russia, from historical ally to enemy of the West

A culture in which the USSR was also originally a part, but due to the invasion of Ukraine, France has made it clear to the world that Russia is no longer an ally. Antonio Morete, professor at the Complutense University of Madridexplains this historical contrast to us.

“In 1944 we were immersed in the context of the Second World War. Today, basically, war has returned to Europe, but it is a different war. It is located on the other side of Western Europe, specifically in the easternmost part, in Ukraine, and the consequences are completely different. On the other hand, he remembers that there was an anti-fascist alliance in which Soviet Russia participated. And today basically our opponent, or to say possible adversary, who would basically be the current Russia of Vladimir Putin,” says Morete.

An attempt to “rewrite history”

Putin attended the 2004 and 2014 celebrations, despite Russia’s war against Georgia and the invasion of Crimea. But for the Complutense expert, the current geopolitical tensions are clearly represented in this absence.

He assures: “Any celebration of the past involves a reading of the past today. I consider that the current circumstances rule and the distance that exists ends up defining this act. With this, I mean that beyond what unites them, historically there would be what separates us the most and at this moment what separates us is the abyss that the war in Ukraine has opened.”

Several organizations of Russian activists in exile have criticized the absence of representatives from Russia, whether members of the political opposition or war veterans.

Victor Jeiftets, a historian specializing in international relations based in Saint Petersburg, speaks of the serious historical consequences of this act: “It would mean an attempt to rewrite history in pursuit of contemporary political goals. I would also add that they did not invite Belarus either and it is the country that lost the highest percentage of people in World War II. It is also an offense to the people that will not affect the rulers.”

NATO must “boost” its military industry

During the commemoration events, American General Christopher Cavoli put on the table the need for NATO to strengthen its military industry, a military alliance, remember, that emerged after the Second World War with the aim of keeping the USSR at bay.

“What it ends up defining is that commitment that the United States has with Europe and also that Europe has with defense, and that the defense of Europe is an Atlantic defense in which the United States plays an important role, but also a call for attention from the Europeans, that war is a clear possibility today in this framework,” explains the export from the Complutense University of Madrid.

Legitimate or not, the absence of Russian representatives on the anniversary of the Normandy battle is a clear message from the West of the extent to which the allies think that today’s Russia is on the wrong side of history.

Follow us on

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *