A Genuine Comparison?
Adolf Hitler, as it is known, had shot himself in the head inside the Führerbunker (Führer’s shelter) located near the Reich Chancellery, when Soviet troops reached there on April 30, 1945. By that time, the Führer realised (for the first time) that “everything was lost” , as the Russian troops surrounded his secret camp and he would certainly be captured by the enemy. Hitler committed suicide in order to avoid such humiliation. Seventy-seven years later, Russian President Vladimir Putin is experiencing a tough April, as well. The Global Community is curious about his fate, with people speculating what is going to happen to the Russian Strongman at the end of the Ukraine War!
Experts are of the opinion that President Putin may have to pay a heavy price for waging the war against Ukraine, as he has repeated similar mistakes committed by the Nazi supremo more than seven decades ago. The Russian president has claimed, time and again, that he hates the Nazis who murdered many of his family members during the Second World War. He even called the Ukrainians Nazis after launching the military operation in Ukraine on February 24, 2022. According to experts, although President Putin has criticised Hitler on many a time, he, seemingly, adheres to steps taken by the Nazi dictator.
A section of Historians has argued that Putin is making mistakes that are similar to what Hitler had made during the Soviet invasion. Putin’s actions during the ongoing war against neighbouring Ukraine are thought to have led to Hitler’s misfortunes during the Second World War. Some close aides of the Russian president believe that Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine is an irrational one. However, one cannot expect this sort of irrationality from President Putin, as he is a known cool-headed person. Peter T DeSimone, an Associate Professor of Russian and Eastern European history at Utica University in New York, has said: “I have been trying to make sense of this for a month, because as terrible as Putin is, you could never say he was illogical. All of this is illogical, and that’s the scary thing. This is not normal for what he’s done in the past. This is something that makes no sense on many levels, and not just in regard to World War II.“
Experts are of the opinion that President Putin is not following the general rules of war. He has sent troops to Ukraine, but is yet to ensure a steady supply of food and other items (necessary for war) for the Russian Army. It may be noted that the Führer had made the same mistake during the Second World War. In fact, it triggered the downfall of German forces during the Soviet occupation. War strategists have opined that Hitler assumed the weapons and troops he had at that period of time would not take long to defeat the Red Army. Similarly, Putin thought that he would be able to occupy Ukraine within a week. However, both have been proven wrong.
President Putin could not have imagined that the war against Ukraine would last so long. As a result, the Russian tanks are facing fuel shortage. The German tanks had created problems for the Red Army during the Second World War. However, the Russian tanks have a little impact on the war against Ukraine mainly because of two reasons. Firstly, the Ukrainian forces have sufficient anti-tank weapons, which have destroyed quite a few Russian tanks, and those, which have survived counter-attacks by Ukraine, have become useless, due to lack of fuel. The German tanks, too, had run out of fuel during the Second World War. Nazi Germany had to pay the price for its failure in supplying essential items (including winter clothes) to its soldiers there at the battlefield. Nearly 0.25 million German soldiers perished, as they could not stand the cold in Russia. Defence experts have pointed out the similarities between the two statesmen, stressing that lesser powerful states usually prepare fool-proof war strategies. According to them, far-sighted people first think about the supply of essential items to the battlefield.
The Russian President has made another mistake. He did not think about the Ukrainians who love Russia. Political analysts have stated that the people of Ukraine hate Russia now only because of President Putin. The Ukrainians have become united against the Russian Forces after the latter destroyed hospitals, shopping malls, and settlements, apart from killing innocent civilians. Even those, whose relatives are in Russia, have now turned against the Kremlin, while, they were pro-Russians, initially.
An image of a pregnant Ukrainian lady has recently gone viral. The image shows a lady, badly injured in the Russian shelling, is being taken to a van, as she bleeds. The woman was holding the lower part of her abdomen with both hands in the hope of saving her unborn child. Later, both the mother and her child perished. The Ukrainian politicians have claimed that the image has united the entire nation in a way that never happened before.
Experts in International Relations have opined that excessive violence at the battlefield often makes the situation worse. President Putin, like the Führer, has done just that. Just before the Second World War, majority of the Soviet people had considered Hitler a saviour. However, the brutal activities of the German dictator made him a villain later.
Many have found similarities between words used by President Putin in recent times and Hitler’s war speeches. Experts have also claimed that the Russian Strongman used lines from Hitler’s autobiography ‘Mein Kamph‘ a number of times while delivering speeches in the past couple of months. Hitler was proud of German history and culture, as he used to tell his countrymen that Germany’s pride would return after the Second World War. Similarly, Putin said that Russia could bring its glory back only by annexing Ukraine. In 1925, Hitler coined the term Big Lie, meaning a gross distortion or misrepresentation of the truth, used especially as a propaganda technique. In his autobiography, he mentioned that the use of a lie should be so colossal so that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously“. Interestingly, President Putin has told the Russians that he launched the war against Ukraine in order to eliminate the neo-Nazis. However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy is a Jew, and he had lost many of his family members during the Holocaust.
Everyone knows the consequences of Hitler’s invasion of the erstwhile Soviet Union. The Nazis had lost the war because of their poor strategy. Right now, it is difficult to predict the fate of Russia’s war against Ukraine. Russia may win the war. However, Ukraine’s victory would certainly help this war enjoy the status of a World War. Then, President Putin will find no place to hide his face. Maybe, he, like Hitler, would have to make a serious decision.
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