Unlike Germany, which has acknowledged and apologised for crimes committed by its Nazi regime, Russia as the legal successor of the Soviet Union has yet to do so. Instead modern Russia under Vladimir Putin appears to glorify its genocidal past.
Many of these incidents occurred in Eastern Europe before and during World War II, and involved summary executions and mass murder of prisoners of war (such as the Katyn massacre) and mistreatment of civilians in Soviet-occupied territories. Although there are numerous documented cases of such incidents, very few members of the Soviet armed forces and leaders such as Vassili Kononov have ever been charged with war crimes and none of them by the International Criminal Court or Soviet or Russian tribunal. For example, when the victors of World War II founded the International Military Tribunal there were no Soviet defendants, a clear case of victor’s justice.
Norman Davies is widely regarded as one of the preeminent historians of Central and Eastern European history. He is the UNESCO Professor at the Jagiellonian University, Professor Emeritus at the University College London, a Visiting Professor at the College of Europe and an Honorary Fellow at St. Antony’s College, Oxford.
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