Putin Touches the Third Reich of International Politics

If it’s Wednesday, that means it’s time for a Nazi comparison. This one is courtesy of Vladimir Putin in his remarks at a ceremony commemorating the 62nd anniversary of the German defeat in World War II.

“We do not have the right to forget the causes of any war, which must be sought in the mistakes and errors of peacetime,” Mr. Putin said.

“Moreover, in our time, these threats are not diminishing,” he said. “They are only transforming, changing their appearance. In these new threats, as during the time of the Third Reich, are the same contempt for human life and the same claims of exceptionality and diktat in the world.”

Putin probably shouldn’t be throwing stones considering the glass house in which he lives. The confrontational tone is troubling too — Putin knows what kind of reaction he’ll get from saying this, which means he must want his strong antagonism toward the US to be known.

More interesting, perhaps, is the conflict over Estonia’s decision to move a monument to the Red Army. It’s unclear how best to honor the sacrifice of the 20+ million Soviets who gave their lives to defeat the Nazis without also glorifying the not-so-great government that gave them their orders to fight.

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