100 Years Ago US Troops Attacked Russia’s Pacific Coast and Committed Atrocities

Hits: 861

Four men, accused of being partisans, are alleged to have been buried alive. The wife of a partisan is said to have been “pierced by bayonets and drowned in a garbage pit” [искололи тело штыками и утопили в помойной яме].

The author (who is unnamed) states that his own elderly father was taken as a hostage by Allied forces from the town of Kharitonovka [Харитоновка]. He was returned home alive but in a bloodied condition. He is said to have died a few days later, after asking “Why did they torture me…”? [За что меня замучили]. The man is said to have left five orphans behind.

It further describes young men … who were “tortured for days, had their teeth knocked out and their tongues cut off.”

Strolling the cavernous and well-appointed halls of Russia’s carefully renovated Central Naval Museum [Центральный Военно-морской Музей] near the Neva River in St. Petersburg, one can find an assortment of interesting artifacts, not least the small skiff in which Peter the Great learned to sail more than three centuries ago now.

Among the many captured battle standards from Sweden, Turkey and Germany that are proudly displayed, a few of the expansive oil paintings took me by surprise.

There was, for example, a picture depicting the Russian fleet at anchor off of Kodiak in Alaska during the mid-eighteenth century. Another showed the Soviet Navy’s first submarine kill by torpedo on July 31, 1919. On that day, the British destroyer HMS Vittoria was sunk by the Bolshevik submarine Pantera under the command of Alexander Bakhtin. I had known, of course, that Allied forces intervened in the Russian Civil War during 1918–22, but was not aware that the intervention had occasioned such deadly incidents.

I was starkly reminded of this fact again during a December 2017 visit to Vladivostok, when quite by chance I came upon a full page article in the December 5 issue of the local newspaper The Competitor [Конкурент] under the following headline: “Atrocities of the American Invaders in Primorye” [Зверства Американских Захватчиков в Приморье]. A close reading of the reasonably detailed Russian-language article (which seems to have been republished) suggests that the allegations are serious.

In keeping with the mission of this Bear Cave series of columns to try to gain insights into the Russian mind-set or weltanschauung, we will take a close look at this article. It not only reveals a plethora of history long forgotten in the United States, but is also suggestive of the new and dangerous Cold War climate that is quickly overtaking U.S.-Russian relations that only a decade ago could be considered friendly or at least pragmatic. However, a careful study of Russian history and U.S.-Russian relations, in particular, could help to defuse this most dangerous rivalry even as the conventional media (in both countries it seems) daily stirs the boiling cauldron of rivalry.

What were more than 7,000 “doughboys” doing in Siberia at the end of the First World War? To make a long and complex story—explored in detail by such luminaries as George Kennan—a bit shorter, the intervention by a large group of allied powers was not simply anti-Bolshevik, but was premised at the outset as a wartime operation to prevent Germany from gaining access to Russia’s resources and especially Allied supplies and material. That explains the focus on large ports, including both Murmansk and Vladivostok.

An additional bizarre wrinkle in this tale is the subplot of a large group of Czech soldiers, seemingly trapped in the Russian Civil War, and trying to “escape” to the east in order to rejoin the fight with the Allies. But as an impressively detailed English-language account of the U.S. mission in the Russian Far East records, these operations extended well beyond Vladivostok, reaching Khabarovsk for example, and U.S. forces engaged in quite extensive combat. On the bloodiest day, June 25, 1919, twenty-five American soldiers were killed when “partisan units” attacked their encampment near the village of Romanovka about twenty miles northeast of Vladivostok.

Our interest here, however, is the Russian perception of these events and how they resonate today. Hinting at a rather anti-American disposition, the author asks at the outset: “… where have the Americans not stuck their nose, leaving behind a not so fond memory of themselves”? [куда они свой нос не совали, оставив недобрую память о себе] Then, it is further lamented that “… the majority of our youth today, educated by American action films and nurtured by hamburgers and Coca-cola do not even have a small bit of understanding [of this history].” According to the author, all the evidence is available in local papers and in the archives.

Many examples of atrocities are given. Four men, accused of being partisans, are alleged to have been buried alive. The wife of a partisan is said to have been “pierced by bayonets and drowned in a garbage pit” [искололи тело штыками и утопили в помойной яме]. The author (who is unnamed) states that his own elderly father was taken as a hostage by Allied forces from the town of Kharitonovka [Харитоновка]. He was returned home alive but in a bloodied condition. He is said to have died a few days later, after asking “Why did they torture me…”? [За что меня замучили]. The man is said to have left five orphans behind. It further describes young men from Vladivostok that were accused of being partisans, who were “tortured for days, had their teeth knocked out and their tongues cut off.”

The author acknowledges that the Americans were not alone in allegedly committing such atrocities, suggesting that the Japanese were hardly inferior in this respect. Two towns are said to have been destroyed by Japanese soldiers in January and February 1919. Citing a Japanese reporter, many inhabitants were burned in their homes when the villages were “completely torched.” [были полностью сожжены]. In addition to local papers, the author explains that pictures of these atrocities can be found in the archives of museums in Vladivostok. It is lamented that, “It is true that politicians today do not want to remember [these events] (and many of them, alas, do not even know about this).”

I am not a historian and the point here is not to dig up old wounds from a century ago. Moreover, I should note that the Russians I met in Vladivostok could not have been more friendly and welcoming to our American delegation. That made the article all the more jarring after reading it. Whether there is some validity to these accusation or this is instead just warmed over Soviet propaganda is not clear. Given the inherent difficulties of counterinsurgency, the lack of oversight (the “CNN effect”) in those times, and the other atrocities that are known to have occurred in the Asia-Pacific, specifically in the Philippines just a few years before, these accounts cannot be dismissed altogether. In fact, watching the Iraq and Afghanistan interventions unfold, one is tempted to conclude that the Washington foreign policy establishment has learned little over the past century.

But these stories also serve Moscow’s nationalist and propagandistic agenda, as well of course. Russia may indeed have as many Ameriphobes [Aмерoфобы] by now as our country counts Russophobes. If one reads the Washington Post and the New York Timesregularly, one is familiar with the concept that great power rivalry sells newspapers, of course. Even the editorial teams at those rabidly Russophobic newspapers would have to concede that allegedly stolen e-mails or purchased facebook advertisements are in a rather different category than allegations of torture and murder of civilians, even if those incidents occurred some time ago.

Yet there is more “obscure” history in U.S.-Russian relations that is actually much more pertinent to the strategic quandaries that confront us today. During 1854–56, a quarter million Russians died fighting against the combined forces of France, Britain and Turkey in order to hold Crimea in the Russian Empire. That was Russia’s first Gettysburg-like bloodletting on Crimea. Count Lev Tolstoy, as many readers will know, was in Sevastopol then to record the slaughter. The second “Gettysburg moment” for Russians on Crimea came during the Second World War, when the determination of the Soviet defenders of the Sevastopol fortress forced the Nazis to commit major forces that were then significantly battered just before the decisive battle at Stalingrad. Had the Red Army not held out to the tragic end, Hitler might have been victorious in WWII.

But let us return to that scenic, but blood-soaked piece of real estate, jutting prominently out into the Black Sea known as Crimea, which has seemingly tipped European security on its head during the last three years. For all the extensive punditry explaining how Russia’s absorption of Crimea upset the “rule-based order,” there has been hardly a reflective thought regarding the Crimean War and its significance. After all, that grisly conflict, which spawnedthe poetic legend of the Charge of the Light Brigade and figures such as Florence Nightingale, was essentially fought by London and Paris for the same purpose ostensibly that NATO has had for the last several decades: namely containing alleged “Russian aggression.”

In his brilliant 2010 book on the Crimean War, author Orlando Figes explains the evolution of strategy in London during the decades prior to that unfortunate war: “… the phantom threat of Russia entered into the political discourse of Britain as a reality. The idea that Russia had a plan for the domination of the Near East and potentially the conquest of the British Empire began to appear with regularity in pamphlets, which in turn were later cited as objective evidence by Russophobic propagandists in the 1830s and 1840s.” Hmm … sounds eerily familiar.

However, it is most interesting to consider how Americans of that era looked upon Russia’s epic struggle against Britain and France for control of Crimea. Figes’ explanation is worth quoting at length:

US public opinion was generally pro-Russian during the Crimean War … There was a general sympathy for the Russians as an underdog fighting against England, the old imperial enemy, as well as a fear that if Britain won the war against Russia it would be more inclined to meddle once again in the affairs of the United States. … Commercial contracts were signed between the Russians and the Americans. A US military delegation (including George B. McClellan …) went to Russia to advise the army. American citizens sent arms and munitions to Russia … American volunteers went to Crimea to fight or serve as engineers on the Russian side. Forty US doctors were attached to the medical department of the Russian Army.

The above American inclination to take Russia’s ownership of Crimea rather seriously “way back when,” points to the peculiarity that exists today of basing U.S. strategy in Eurasia (and other parts of the world) on contesting Russia’s claim to that blood-soaked peninsula in the Black Sea. Never mind that everyone knows that the Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in 1954 gave over Crimea to the Ukraine SSR as a rather meaningless gesture with obviously unintended consequences. It might further be recalled that Russia first acquired Crimea in the same year, 1783, that marked the end of the American Revolution.


Originally published on 2018-01-27

Author: Lyle J. Goldstein

Source: Russia Insider

Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics, and international relations.

READ MORE!
1939 metų rugsėjo 19 d. Tarybinė armija įžengė į Vilnių
1939 metų rugsėjo 19 d. Tarybinė armija įžengė į Vilnių, Vilniaus gyventojai džiaugsmingai sutiko tarybinius karius-išvaduotojus. 1939 metų kovo 22 d. Lietuvos prezidento A.Smetonos įgaliotas premjeras Mironas, Užsienio reikalų ministras J.Urbšys, Lietuvos pasiuntinys Vokietijoje ir kartu Abvero agentas K.Škirpa “patriotiškai” atiduoda Klaipėdos kraštą nacistinei Vokietijai “istoriniam teisingumui atkurti” , kaip teigiama pačioje sutartyje. http://www.xn--altiniai-4wb.info/files/istorija/IH00/1939_03_22_Sutartis_d%C4%97l_Klaip%C4%97dos_atidavimo_Vokietijai.IH2407.pdf  Anksčiau A. Smetona nuolankiai atidavė Vilnių ir Vilniaus kraštą Lenkijai, Europos hienai, kaip ją pavadino Anglijos premjeras V. Čerčilis. Lenkija viena iš pirmųjų 1934 metais pasirašė su nacistine Vokietija Hitlerio-Pilsudskio Nepuolimo paktą ir iki pat 1939-09-01, kai nacistinė Vokietija užpuolė savo “partnerę”, bendradarbiavo su nacistais, laikė juos savo strateginiais ...
READ MORE
Zoran Djindjic: The Quisling Of Belgrade
Tributes to Zoran Djindjic, the assassinated prime minister of Serbia, have been pouring in. President Bush led the way, praising his “strong leadership”, while the Canadian government’s spokesman extolled a “heralder of democracy” and Tony Blair spoke of the energy Djindjic had devoted to “reforming Serbia”. In western newspaper obituaries Djindjic has been almost universally acclaimed as an ex-student agititator who bravely led a popular uprising against a tyrannical dictator and endeavoured to steer his country into a new democratic era. But beyond the CNN version of world history, the career of Zoran Djindjic looks rather different. Those who rail against the ...
READ MORE
The CIA: Nazifying Ukraine since 1953
The recent declassification of over 3800 documents by the Central Intelligence Agency provides detailed proof that since 1953 the CIA operated two major programs intent on not only destabilizing Ukraine but Nazifying it with followers of the World War II Ukrainian Nazi leader Stepan Bandera.The CIA programs spanned some four decades. Starting as a paramilitary operation that provided funding and equipment for such anti-Soviet Ukrainian resistance groups as the Ukrainian Supreme Liberation Council (UHVR); its affiliates, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), all Nazi Banderists. The CIA also provided support to a relatively anti-Bandera faction ...
READ MORE
Kosovo and Ongoing De-Christianization
The ongoing de-Christianization of Kosovo continues and unlike the past frenzy of the anti-Serbian mass media in the West, we mainly have a deadly silence about the reality of Kosovo and the continuing Albanianization of this land. However, how is it “just” and “moral” to persecute minorities and to alienate them from mainstream society; and then to illegally recognize this land without the full consensus of the international community?How ironic it is that the same United States of America and the United Kingdom, two nations who were in the forefront of covertly manipulating the mass media; remain mainly silent about ...
READ MORE
Voting Discrimination in America
The Supreme Court’s acceptance of a case about the allocation of voting districts will have consequences far beyond the millions of U.S. taxpayers its ruling may deprive of representation. A decision that only counts voters, rather than all persons, will undermine the very foundation of the Republic. The American Revolution was fought over “taxation without representation,” and those who wrote the Constitution carefully apportioned taxation and representation among the states “according to their respective Numbers . . . of free Persons . . . and . . . three-fifths of all other Persons.” The authors clearly equated We, the People with ...
READ MORE
The State-Name of “Macedonia”?
PrefaceThe “Macedonian Question” is today actual for several reasons of whom two are of the fundamental importance: 1. The Albanian secession in the FYROM; and 2. The Greek dispute with the FYROM authorities over several issues.[1] For the matter of illustration, for instance, Greece is so far blocking Macedonia’s joining NATO and the EU because of an on-going dispute between the FYROM and Greece. The main disputable issue is the title of “Macedonia” used in the country’s Constitution in the form of the official state-name as the Republic of Macedonia.[2] When the ex-Yugoslav Socialist Republic of Macedonia voted for independence ...
READ MORE
Remembering the 1999 War on Yugoslavia (Serbia & Montenegro)
March 24, 2018, marks the 19th anniversary of NATO illegal and illegitimate bombing of Yugoslavia, Serbia and its Kosovo, province during 78 days. It has – one is tempted to say: of course – been conveniently forgotten by the West itself.It was masterminded by the United States under Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright after the so-called negotiations between Serbs and Albanians in Rambouillet outside Paris (the parties never met face-to-face).While Clinton may be best remembered for his relations with Monica Lewinsky and his wife, Hillary Clinton, some of us also remember him (and Albright) for bombing Afghanistan, ...
READ MORE
”The Time Of The Kurds” (Documentary Film)
This video is part of the Council on Foreign Relations’ InfoGuide Presentation, “The Time of the Kurds”: http://www.cfr.org/kurds The Kurds are one of the world’s largest peoples without a state, making up sizable minorities in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. Their history is marked by marginalization and persecution. Yet some Kurds may be on the verge of achieving their century-old quest for independence in a Middle East undergoing the convulsions of Syria’s civil war, Iraq’s destabilization, and conflict with the self-proclaimed Islamic State. Watch video here: THE TIME OF THE KURDS Duration: 10 min. Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement! Donate to Support Us We would like to ...
READ MORE
Manipulating Uprisings: Hungary 1956
Magic, and tragic years, tend to fill the calendar of commemoration for central European patriots. There are religious intercessions; guiding symbols; omens.  Then there are the calamities, the crushing battles that empty entire classes and countries.For Hungary, a country ever dreamy and mournful about such events, there are two notable disasters of rollicking value. There is Mohács 1526, where a good deal of the country’s aristocratic elite fell before the relentless Ottoman advance.  The event effectively gave the Hapsburgs the ascendency to the west, assuming the role of defender against the Turkish advance into Europe.Then there is 1956, where the invaders ...
READ MORE
The 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact & Imperialist Propaganda
"If we see that Germany is winning we ought to help Russia and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and that way let them kill as many as possible…”Harry S. Truman, 33rd POTUS, 1941Since the end of the Second World War, the bourgeois historiography has tried to distort various incidents in order to vilify Socialism and the USSR. One of these incidents- which has been a “banner” of imperialism’s apologists and other anticommunists- is the so-called “Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact“* which was signed in 1939. In it’s unscientific, unhistorical effort to equate Communism with Nazism, the bourgeois propaganda presents ...
READ MORE
The Paradox of America’s Endless Wars
There is no significant anti-war movement in America because there’s no war to protest. Let me explain. In February 2003, millions of people took to the streets around the world to protest America’s march to war against Iraq. That mass movement failed. The administration of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney had a radical plan for reshaping the Middle East and no protesters, no matter how principled or sensible or determined, were going to stop them in their march of folly. The Iraq War soon joined the Afghan invasion of 2001 as a quagmire and disaster, yet the antiwar movement ...
READ MORE
Obama Ignorance Exposed: Kosovo Left Serbia after Referendum, but There Was NO Referendum!
Barack Obama’s speech on the Ukrainian crisis seems to have left the public confused as he claimed that Kosovo broke away from Serbia “after a referendum”. But attentive listeners quickly pointed Obama’s gaps in history – there was no referendum in Kosovo. Video here.President Obama was speaking Wednesday at The Center for Fine Arts in the heart of Brussels, Belgium, and was telling the youth crowd mostly about Russian-Ukrainian conflict over the strategic Crimean Peninsula.He lashed out at Russia for “violation of international law, its assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”Obama recalled the conflict around Kosovo and NATO’s involvement, ...
READ MORE
Why the Latest Claims Against Assad are a Pack of Lies
With a critical public increasingly turning to social media to scrutinize the claims of the mainstream as well as the credibility of the assertions made by the various NGOs and government-funded human rights organisations, it’s arguably becoming more difficult for the corporate press to pass their propaganda off as legitimate news. This is particularly the case during periods when the establishment pushes for military conflicts. One salutary lesson from the Iraq debacle, is that the public appear not to be so readily fooled. Or are they? It’s a measure of the extent to which the mass media barely stray from their paymasters ...
READ MORE
Kosovo’s “Mafia State” and Camp Bondsteel: Towards a Permanent US Military Presence in Southeast Europe
In one of the more bizarre foreign policy announcements of a bizarre Obama Administration, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced that Washington will “help” Kosovo to join NATO as well as the European Union. She made the pledge after a recent Washington meeting with Kosovan Prime Minister Hashim Thaci in Washington where she praised the progress of the Thaci government in its progress in “European integration and economic development.”1Her announcement no doubt caused serious gas pains among government and military officials in the various capitals of European NATO. Few people  appreciate just how mad Clinton’s plan to push ...
READ MORE
Israel is Militarily, Geostrategically and Culturally Tied to the US
During the early 1960s, apartheid South African diplomats were increasingly concerned their country’s plummeting reputation would affect relations with America. In one notorious incident, of March 1960, South African police shot dead 69 black protesters in Sharpeville, a township about 40 miles from Johannesburg. Such atrocities sparked protests against the racist regime on the streets of England, America’s great ally, which surely did not go unnoticed in Washington. Aware of the changing climate, South Africa’s dignitaries pleaded with their American counterparts for continued assistance. They need not have worried that the earth’s dominant power would desert them. As long as the United ...
READ MORE
Journey to Aleppo: Exposing the Truth Buried under NATO Propaganda
Aleppo has become synonymous with destruction and “Syrian state-generated” violence among those whose perception of the situation in the war-torn nation is contained within the prism of mainstream media narratives.The NATO-aligned media maintains a tight grip on information coming out of this beleaguered city, ensuring that whatever comes out is tailored to meet State Department requirements and advocacy for regime change. The propaganda mill churns out familiar tales of chemical weapons, siege, starvation, and bombs targeting civilians–all of which are attributed to the Syrian government and military, with little variation on this theme.The purpose of this photo essay and my ...
READ MORE
Hillary Clinton Wants to Do this Again — Now to Syria
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (and President Obama — and some NATO partners) did it previously to Libya, and here was the result (as discussed by the retired British career diplomat Craig Murray, at his craigmurray.org.uk, who has kindly allowed me to distribute it to other newsmedia) [and I as editor will add a few clarifiers and questions in brackets] (and then afterward, I shall add my own comments); so, here is Craig Murray:This is the result of NATO bombing of Sirte to “enforce the no-fly zone” in Libya.When the neo-cons in the UK parliament and the serial warmonger Hillary Clinton call for a ...
READ MORE
How Britain Helped Create ISIS
Britain is gripped by fear, panic and anger, after being struck by three terror attacks in the space of three months. Innocent men, women and children have been killed in the terror rampage, filling many homes with tragedy and despair. Martial law has practically been declared in many regions of the country, with troops now being a common site on the streets of Royal Britannia. Many are looking for someone or something to blame, as rage is increasingly triumphing over reason.  Lost in all this hysteria however, there sits a glaring connection that needs to be illuminated: the connection between these ...
READ MORE
Thanksgiving Reflections on the Cruel Hegemon
Russian literature fans will recall a moving spectacle from Dostoevsky’s novel “The House of the Dead”. As political prisoners are marched off under guard to Siberia, village folk are handing them food and other provisions that they will need on their long journey. The poor villagers are probably scraping the bottom of their own barrel in order to show Christian Orthodox compassion to those unfortunates. The allegedly nasty czarist guards do nothing to thwart these poignant expressions of humanity. Chances are (and Dostoevsky strongly suggests it) that they themselves feel considerable sympathy for their pitiful charges. Now, fast forward.Albeit depicted ...
READ MORE
Kosovo: What Everyone (Really) Needs to Know
Preface Kosovo is today one of the most disputed territories in Europe and a real Balkan powder keg which can explode again at any time. It is a province within the Republic of Serbia, recognized as such by both Serbia’s constitution and the Resolution 1244 by the Security Council of the United Nations (the UNSC Resolution 1244, June 10th, 1999). However, Kosovo parliament with a clear Albanian majority proclaimed the independence of Kosovo (without a referendum) in February 2008 that was recognized by the majority of the Western countries followed by their puppet clients all over the world (in reality, today ...
READ MORE
1939 metų rugsėjo 19 d. Tarybinė armija įžengė į Vilnių
Zoran Djindjic: The Quisling Of Belgrade
The CIA: Nazifying Ukraine since 1953
Kosovo and Ongoing De-Christianization
Voting Discrimination in America
The State-Name of “Macedonia”?
Remembering the 1999 War on Yugoslavia (Serbia & Montenegro)
”The Time Of The Kurds” (Documentary Film)
Manipulating Uprisings: Hungary 1956
The 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact & Imperialist Propaganda
The Paradox of America’s Endless Wars
Obama Ignorance Exposed: Kosovo Left Serbia after Referendum, but There Was NO Referendum!
Why the Latest Claims Against Assad are a Pack of Lies
Kosovo’s “Mafia State” and Camp Bondsteel: Towards a Permanent US Military Presence in Southeast Europe
Israel is Militarily, Geostrategically and Culturally Tied to the US
Journey to Aleppo: Exposing the Truth Buried under NATO Propaganda
Hillary Clinton Wants to Do this Again — Now to Syria
How Britain Helped Create ISIS
Thanksgiving Reflections on the Cruel Hegemon
Kosovo: What Everyone (Really) Needs to Know

Written by Policraticus

SHORT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website. The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website. The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. No advertising, government or corporate funding for the functioning of this website. The owner & editor-in-chief and authors are not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the text and material found on the website www.global-politics.eu

Website: http://www.global-politics.eu