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Suvorov - The Liberators - My Life in the Soviet Army (1981)
09-10-2009, 02:33 PM,
Suvorov - The Liberators - My Life in the Soviet Army (1981)
This is Viktor Suvorov's shocking book The Liberators - My Life in the Soviet Army (1981) which is a rambling but hugely entertaining account of author's entry into, and life inside, the Soviet military during the early-mid-1960s, beginning with the story of how he obtained acceptance to a military academy and ending with his part in the 1968 "liberation" of Czechoslovakia by Soviet tanks. Viktor Suvorov (real name Vladimir Bogdanovich Rezun), who grew up under communism, has never kept silent on what it was like to live in a society operating under Marxist-Leninist philosophy. He was a former member of the Soviet GRU who later defected to Britain during the height of the cold war. Suvorov revels in exposing the Soviet leviathan as lumbering, corrupt, unspeakably cruel and yet almost comically inefficient - a year's supply of anti-magnetic paint is used up whitewashing rocks because an admiral wants an improved-looking coastline; thousands of tons of chemical fertilizer are dumped into the Volga River (creating an environmental catastrophe) because the Party didn't make adequate preparations to store it; military exercises are run which leave the country defenseless; soldiers are sentenced to barbarous punishments for the slightest infractions; generals keep private harems and use military resources to construct fabulous dachas; incompetent drunks are promoted to important posts simply to get rid of them. Nothing works, the bureacracy is suffocating, one has to bribe officials to get them to do their jobs and secret police stooges are everywhere, ignoring corruption and crime but mercilessly punishing political unorthodoxy. By the time Suvorov was a young lieutenant, he understood the Soviet habit of substituting the word "hell" with "communism." So you can imagine his feelings when, in the summer of '68, the Soviet army was sent to Czechoslovakia to crush the burgeoning democratic movement there. Expecting to be greeted as liberators, the naive Soviets were pelted with eggs, rocks and rotten tomatoes, cursed roundly and told to stop doing to Eastern Europe what they had done to their own country. That, and seeing how much better off Czechoslovakia was than Russia, was so psychologically devastating to the liberators that the Soviet government sent most of them to the Chinese frontier for the rest of their military service, lest they start asking too many unfortunate questions. The Liberators is a half-tragic, half-comic book, one which shows the amusing and yet painful coming-to-consciousness of a young man who wakes up one day to discover that he is not a liberator but an inmate - and his country a prison. 200 pages. A must read for everyone.


Please share this book with others, add links on other forums as I don't know many of them.

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