Who prepares for 80th anniversary of beginning of World War II and how
September 1, 1939 began with the invasion of German Wehrmacht in Poland. It was the beginning of most bloody and destructive was in the history of mankind, World War II, in which 57 countries participated, and the total losses, according to various estimates, amounted to 50 to 80 million people.
On the eve of the 80th anniversary of the beginning of World War II, Russian Public Opinion Research Center (WTSIOM) presented research data on what Russians know about that war. It turned out that 52% of respondents believe that the Second World War began in 1941. But most Russians accurately name allies and opponents of the USSR in World War II - the United States, Britain and France. 8% say that Poland was one of the allies and 5% also mention China. Another 4% named Mongolia. 2% named - Ukraine, Belarus, Spain and Czechoslovakia.
Regarding opponents of the USSR, Russians were more confident. Most named Germany led by Adolf Hitler (77%), 38% - Japan, 29% - Italy, led by Benito Mussolini. 17% also named Romania, 8% - Poland, 7% each - Hungary and Finland. Another 5% mention France and the US.
Russians said that the main reason for the World War II was fight for resources and spheres of influence - this is opinion was expressed by every seventh respondent (14%). The next most mentioned reason was Germany’s desire to conquer everything, expand its territory and achieve world domination (13%). In addition, many Russians believe that World War II was Germany’s attempt to capture Russia (10%). One in ten respondents believes that disagreements between countries and the state of world politics of that time (7%) led to the conflict. A third of Russians haven't decided on reasons for the outbreak of World War II (34%).
Meanwhile, most respondents believe that the USSR's contribution to victory in World War II was very significant.
“Silencing the feat of Soviet people can't be allowed,” said Anatoly Shirokov, member of the Federation Council. "The past 80 years underline the importance of those events. Today's Russia, just like the USSR 80 years ago, is ready to support creation of common European security system in order to make this world safe. Unfortunately, our colleagues are withdrawing from all treaties, which makes peoples of Europe an easy target of military conflicts. The USSR in the late 1930s insisted on creation of collective security system, but, unfortunately, England and France refused to join such system with our country, thereby allowing Hitler to begin the Second World War."
Today, according to senator, “many European countries are making efforts to 'isolate' Russia from the international community, to make its role in international arena insignificant; attempts of this kind were also made during the second half of the 1930s. The growth of conflict between leading European players, including Russia, is not productive, especially for Europe's stability."
Polish authorities decided not to send Russia and Kazakhstan official invitation to events dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the beginning of World War II. Invitations were sent only to NATO, EU, and Eastern Partnership countries. Although leaders of the United States, Belarus and Armenia refused to visit Poland. Commenting on these facts, Shirokov noted: “Events in Poland will be celebrated by those who once organized concentration camps like Treblinka, Majdanek, Auschwitz, and those who freed them were not invited to these event. Today we can confidently say that just like 80 years ago, anti-Russian position of many European states doesn't contribute to normal and calm dialogue in Europe, doesn't contribute to creation of a system in which any military conflict would be impossible. This is fundamentally important when we're thinking about the relevance of those events."