The Scandal and Shame of the “Red Partisans”

Hero journalist Yulia Latynina, writing in the Moscow Times:

In 2004, Vasily Kononov, the former leader of a pro-Soviet commando unit in Nazi-occupied Latvia during World War II, was convicted by Latvia’s highest court for killing nine civilians in the village of Mazie Bati in 1944. On May 17, the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights upheld the ruling.

As usual, the Russian authorities were outraged by the decision. Members of the pro-Kremlin Nashi youth movement demonstrated outside of the Latvian Embassy in Moscow.

Kononov insists that the victims, including a young pregnant woman, had been collaborating with the Nazis.

To understand the nature of the wartime actions of the “red partisans,” not only in Mazie Bati but in all occupied territories, it is important to remember the directive issued by the Council of People’s Commissars on June 20, 1941, “Do not leave the enemy a single kilogram of bread or a single liter of fuel,” and the order from the headquarters of the Supreme Command of Nov. 17, 1941, instructing saboteurs “to destroy and burn down all the settlements in the German rear at a distance of 40 kilometers to 60 kilometers from the front and within 20 kilometers to 30 kilometers of both sides of the road.”

These orders applied to all Nazi-occupied territories. NKVD troops were deployed to create diversions in the enemy rear, and they had to find a way to gain support of the local people whom they knew were already sentenced to death by Stalin. Their solution was to win support by terrorizing and plundering.

Kononov and others like him are typically referred to as “partisans,” but this is a misleading term. The word “partisan” usually refers to a local resident who has the support of the local population in waging war against the occupiers. But none of these conditions applies to Kononov.

First, Kononov was not a civilian but a special forces agent. Second, he did not fight the occupiers. On May 27, 1944, he was fighting against the civilian population. Among the nine people his commando unit killed were three women, one of whom was nine months pregnant. She was shoved back into a burning building from which they had only just managed to escape. Third, Kononov’s unit obviously did not enjoy the support of the local population. The locals hated the partisans even more than they did the Nazis. In fact, the Nazis — who themselves were occupiers — were not afraid to issue rifles to the locals so that they could protect themselves from the “reds.”

It is true that the verdicts of the Latvian court and the European Court of Human Rights are vivid examples of an attempt to rewrite history. But this is precisely the history that needs to be rewritten.

Soviet propaganda created a glorious picture of the “people’s war in the enemy’s rear.” But the reality is that a civil war was fought behind the front lines. From 1941 to 1944, the red partisans behaved exactly like the Vietcong did during the Vietnam War — that is, by terrorizing the civilian population even more than the ruthless enemy did.

The Latvian and Strasbourg court rulings have shed valuable light on a small, but extremely important, historic episode. Lets hope the correct lessons will be learned.

38 responses to “The Scandal and Shame of the “Red Partisans”

  1. “Nina’s Journey: A Memoir of Stalin’s Russia and the Second World War”, by Nina Markovna, features similar stories. Some excerpts are available here:

    In any case, the Nazis were generally better occupiers than the Reds. The Commies have murdered 150,000,000 people as opposed to only 21,000,000 estimated casualties for Nazi Germany.

    The inferior reputation of Nazi Germany — despite the clearly far greater casualties inflicted by the Reds — is most likely a result of Nazi racialism. Communists, despite their frequent racism, officially observed an ideology of class rather than race, which sat better with the West.

    Western thinking has been strongly influenced by the ravages of liberalism, which has come to involve a strong anti-racist element.

    Marxism was originally a racialist ideology with little connection to liberalism, which was later subjected to liberal influence to produce the Westernised version that eschews anti-Polish, anti-Scottish, and anti-Serbian racism. The influence of “On the Jewish Question” has remained important for Marxists, so that Marxists tend to be virulently opposed to non-Marxist Jews, and in some cases even the Marxist ones will not do (as with the KGB and the Soviet Communist Party).

    Thanks for another great post!

  2. Bogdan from Australia

    Agree Whitey. According to the GENIAL author Yung Chang of the FANTASCIS book “Mao The UNknown Story” that I’m reading now, the daily ratio of calories in China during at least half of Mao’s reign was 1200 calories in comparison with Aushwitz were the daily ratio was 1700 calories.

    During the so called “Great Leap Forward” in the year 1960 alone, some 20 million Chinese died from hunger plus, of course, hundreds of thousands who were murdered, tortured to death and commited suicides in the result of inhuman persecution.

  3. Bogdan from Australia

    Should be FANTASTIC book, of course. Sorry…

  4. Voice siome Reason

    Nazis said that they were liberating Europe from “filthy Jewish communists”.

    Modern neo-Nazis complain that instead of thanking the Nazis for exterminating “filthy Jews, Bolsheviks, Serbs and Russians”, the international community demonizes them.

    Neo-Nazis also point out that without the advances in the propaganda science achieved by Dr. Goebbels, there would be no modern Western mass media as it exists today.

    I am sure that many readers of this xenophobic propagandist blog share such views.

  5. “The applicant’s unit searched six farm buildings in the village. After finding rifles and grenades supplied by the Germans in each of the houses, the Partisans shot the six heads of family concerned. They also wounded two women. They then set fire to two houses and four people (three of whom were women) perished in the flames. In all, nine villagers were killed: six men – five executed and one killed in the burning buildings – and three women – one in the final stages of pregnancy. The villagers killed were unarmed; none attempted to escape or offered any form of resistance,” the ECHR said in its ruling.

    Kononov has received strong support from Russia throughout the trial process – he was granted Russian citizenship in 2000. The Latvian foreign ministry has formally complained of Russian pressure on the court.

    “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia strongly condemns attempts by representatives of the Russian Federation to exercise pressure on the European Court of Human Rights… threatening remarks made by representatives of the Russian Federation should be treated as a violation of the secrecy of court deliberations and undermining the Court’s independence,” the foreign ministry said in a press release.

    • Decision of the Court

      Had there been a sufficiently clear legal basis in 1944 for the crimes of which the applicant had been convicted?

      Mr Kononov had been convicted under Article 68-3 of the 1961 Latvian Criminal Code, a provision introduced by the Supreme Council on 6 April 1993, which used the “relevant legal conventions” (such as the Geneva Convention (IV) 1949) as the basis for a precise definition of war crimes. The Latvian courts’ conviction of the applicant had, therefore, been based on international rather than domestic law.

      By May 1944 the prevailing definition of a war crime had been an act contrary to the laws and customs of war; and international law had defined the basic principles underlying those crimes. States had been permitted (if not required) to take steps to punish individuals for such crimes, including on the basis of command responsibility. Consequently, during and after the Second World War, international and national tribunals had prosecuted soldiers for war crimes committed during the Second World War.

      As to whether there had been a sufficiently clear and contemporary legal basis for the specific war crimes for which the applicant had been convicted, the Court began its assessment on the basis of a hypothesis that the deceased villagers could be considered to be “combatants” or “civilians who had participated in hostilities” (rather than “civilians”). The Court also recalled the “two cardinal principles” relied on by the International Court of Justice as applicable to armed conflict which constituted “the fabric of humanitarian law”, namely “protection of the civilian population and objects” and “the obligation to avoid unnecessary suffering to combatants”.

      In that connection, and having regard notably to Article 23(c) of the Hague Regulations 1907, the villagers’ murder and ill-treatment had violated a fundamental rule of the laws and customs of war by which an enemy rendered hors combat – in this case not carrying arms – was protected. Nor was a person required to have a particular legal status or to formally surrender. As combatants, the villagers would also have been entitled to protection as prisoners of war under the control of the applicant and his unit and their subsequent ill-treatment and summary execution would have been contrary to the numerous rules and customs of war protecting prisoners of war. Therefore, like the Latvian courts, the Court considered that the ill-treatment, wounding and killing of the villagers had constituted a war crime.

      Furthermore, the domestic courts had reasonably relied on Article 23(b) of the Hague Regulations 1907 to separately convict Mr Kononov of treacherous wounding and killing. At the relevant time wounding or killing had been considered treacherous if it had been carried out while unlawfully inducing the enemy to believe they had not been under threat of attack by, for example, making improper use of an enemy uniform, which the applicant and his unit indeed had done. Equally, there was a plausible legal basis for convicting Mr Kononov of a separate war crime as regards the burning to death of the expectant mother, given the special protection for women during war established well before 1944 (ie Lieber Code 1863) in the laws and customs of war and confirmed immediately after the Second World War by numerous specific and special protections in the Geneva Conventions. Nor had there been evidence domestically, and it had not been argued before the Court, that it had been “imperatively demanded by the necessities of war” to burn down the farm buildings in Mazie Bati, the only exception under the Hague Regulations 1907 for the destruction of private property.

      Indeed, the applicant had himself described in his version of events what he ought to have done namely, to have arrested the villagers for trial. Even if a partisan trial had taken place, it would not qualify as fair if it had been carried out without the knowledge or participation of the accused villagers, followed by their execution. Mr Kononov, having organised and been in control of the partisan unit which had been intent on killing the villagers and destroying their farms, had command responsibility for those acts.

      In conclusion, even assuming as the applicant maintained that the deceased villagers could be considered to have been “civilians who had participated in hostilities” or “combatants”, there had been a sufficiently clear legal basis, having regard to the state of international law in 1944, for the applicant’s conviction and punishment for war crimes as the commander of the unit responsible for the attack on Mazie Bati on 27 May 1944. The Court added that, if the villagers were to be considered “civilians”, it followed that they would have been entitled to even greater protection.

      Had the crimes been statute-barred?

      The Court noted that the prescription provisions in domestic law were not applicable: the applicant’s prosecution required reference to international law both as regards the definition of such crimes and determination of any limitation period. The essential question was therefore whether, at any point prior to Mr Kononov’s prosecution, such action had become statute-barred by international law. The Court found that the charges had never been prescribed under international law either in 1944 or in developments in international law since. It therefore concluded that the prosecution of the applicant had not become statute-barred.

      Could the applicant have foreseen that the relevant acts had constituted war crimes and that he would be prosecuted?

      As to whether the qualification of the acts as war crimes, based as it was on international law only, could be considered to be sufficiently accessible and foreseeable to the applicant in 1944, the Court recalled that it had previously found that the individual criminal responsibility of a private soldier (a border guard) was defined with sufficient accessibility and foreseeability by a requirement to comply with international fundamental human rights instruments, which instruments did not, of themselves, give rise to individual criminal responsibility. While the 1926 Criminal Code did not contain a reference to the international laws and customs of war, this was not decisive since international laws and customs of war were in 1944 sufficient, of themselves, to found individual criminal responsibility.

      • @At the relevant time wounding or killing had been considered treacherous if it had been carried out while unlawfully inducing the enemy to believe they had not been under threat of attack by, for example, making improper use of an enemy uniform, which the applicant and his unit indeed had done.

        Kononov and his OSNAZ “partisan” group were pretending to be German forces (which is illegal too).

        Btw the Russian forces still know nothing about the laws of war. They just don’t learn them.

  6. “Hero” journalist Yulia Latynina от слова хер,
    как и небезызвестный пидор Козловский. Либерасты всех стран, обьединяйтесь, и Барак Осама вас обнимет, а потом и зловонный Джон Маккейн облобызает. Держитесь, ведь мы все грузины!

  7. Sorry, I meant 130,000,000 casualties for the Reds, not 150,000,000, this according to Professor R.J. Rummel’s studies of democide.

    • Voice of Reason

      Professor R.J. Rummel’s studies are outdated. He forgot to include the unborn children of unborn children of unborn children.

      So, the latest count of Reds’ victims is 7 billion and growing exponentially.

  8. Whitey, pls explain where Reds killed 130 mios.

    • In the world presumably.

      You must also understand not all were shot, died in the camps or during deportation and such. For example many, many millions were starved to death in their own homes (like tens of millions during the catastrophic Great Leap Forward program or the infamous famines in the Soviet Russia in the early 1920s, the Soviet Ukraine in the 1930s, and in the Derg Ethiopia in the 1980s).

      • Yet more Russophobic PROPAGANDA.

        You brainless APES have provided no conrete evidence whatsoever of the Soviets killing 150 MILLION people.

        The actual numbers were at least SEVEN times less, standing at 20 million maximum.
        Here you are, you ILLITERATE baboons:

        (taken from
        “Approximately 20 million, including up to 14.5 million needlessly starved to death. At least one million executed for political “offences”. At least 9.5 million more deported, exiled or imprisoned in work camps, with many of the estimated five million sent to the ‘Gulag Archipelago’ never returning alive. Other estimates place the number of deported at 28 million, including 18 million sent to the ‘Gulag’. ”

        There, not quite the 150 million you were claiming before, now is it?

        “many, many millions were starved to death in their own homes (like tens of millions during the catastrophic Great Leap Forward program ”

        What the Chinese government did is not connected to what the Soviet Union did. Get it now, you worthless Russophobic TRASH?

        • Nobody ever said that the Soviet Union alone killed 150 million people. First, the figure is about 100 million (is that enough for you), and second, it’s a combined figure for all Communist regimes combined. The U.S.S.R. is responsible for probably 25 million or so. Solzhenitsyn gave a higher figure, up to 50 million. China is of course responsible for more than that. And then the assorted medley of Communist regimes (Cambodia, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Laos, Cuba, East Germany, etc.) contributed what they could, according to their ability

          • “Nobody ever said that the Soviet Union alone killed 150 million people.”

            That’s clearly a LIE, isn’t it?

            “In any case, the Nazis were generally better occupiers than the Reds. The Commies have murdered 150,000,000 people as opposed to only 21,000,000 estimated casualties for Nazi Germany. ”

            Right at the top of the comment section. Like I said, you really are illiterate. The author is talking about the USSR, the link he provides even references to it.

            “The U.S.S.R. is responsible for probably 25 million or so. ”

            More proof of your SUB-HUMAN intelligence. I have provided a source for what I have said, yet you CLEARLY continue to ignore it. You just pull figures from nowhere. It’s clear who is right from the two of us.
            It’s BLATANTLY not clear who “the Reds” could be, but in my opinion, it was the Soviet Union.

            As a truly IDIOTIC russophobe, you deviate from the original topic of the Soviet Union, and start talking about other countries.
            It’s good that you have read “The Black Book of Communism”, but don’t start confusing the crimes of the USSR with the crimes of communism in general. Or do they not teach you the difference in your country?

            • I do not appreciate your tone, and your argument is not going to be any stronger if you capitalize many words. I don’t remember insulting you or anybody, did not call you sub-human idiot, and expect the same treatment. You don’t know me, perhaps I am a super-human genius.

              Now, I have to tell you that the link you have provided does not open anything, so before screaming and yelling here check that out. I wanted to look at your source, but I cannot.

              As to your number of 20 million, I think it’s an underestimate; there are many sources showing much larger figures, and my number of 25 million is not that much different from yours to provoke your maniacal behavior. I never said it was 150 million, that’s a gross exaggeration. If somebody else said that, kindly direct your ire at that person.

              I am prepared to discuss the numbers if you care to be civilized.

              • If you care to remove the bracket that was placed at the end of the sentence, maybe you would be able to open the link. Do I have o explain something as simple as that to a “super-human genius”? Yeah right, more like super-human IDIOT.
                Your “opinion” on this matter is as important to me as the next piece of propaganda chucked out by Fox or CNN, unless you provide SOURCES.
                It is explained in the comment policy of this blog. If you read it before commenting here, maybe you would know this.
                I say “maybe”, because your intelligence level seems sub-human. You never know with Russophobes, that’s the thing.

            • ASD, you sub primate retard, Lenin killed millions, Kruschev, Brezhnev and others also killed millions.

              Chapter 2. 3,284,000 Victims: The Civil War Period 1917 to 1922

              Chapter 3. 2,200,000 Victims: The NEP Period 1923-1928

              Chapter 4. 11,440,000 Victims: The Collectivization Period 1928-1935

              Chapter 5. 4,345,000 Victims: The Great Terror Period 1935-1938

              Chapter 6. 5,104,000 Victims: Pre-World War II Period 1939 to June, 1941

              Chapter 7. 13,053,000 Victims: World War II Period June, 1941 to 1945

              Chapter 8. 15,613,000 Victims: Post-War and Stalin’s Twilight Period 1945-1953

              Chapter 9. 6,872,000 Victims: Post-Stalin Period 1954-198

              Total 61,911,000 Victims: Utopianism Empowered 1917 to 1987

              The above is just for the USSR. Mass murder neither started or finished with Stalin, but was a central pillar of Russian rule.


              If you bother to look at the tables, you will see references to sources (VOR and other Russophiles are however too retarded to do this, so I assume a moronic piece of waste such as yourself will also be too stupid….) from which the numbers are taken.

              But here they are in list form


              • British Empire killed 29 million Indians, if not talking about others.


                And victims of USA are not measurable, as billions are affected by the US bloody politics.

                • Yes, The Arab News sounds like a very neutral and objective source of information regarding the British Empire

                  • RV,

                    Johann Hari is a Scottish journo and it’s just a reprint from The Independent.

                    Just like in the case of the Irish potato famine, there were huge numbers of victims in India due to criminal neglect by the metropolis. But no, not “29 million”.

              • More moronic drivel from a Russophobe who is incapable of providing a normal source.

                Rummel’s book is outdated ( it was written twenty years ago! ), whereas my source has been reviewed in 2003. His “sources” are taken from Cold War era materials which greatly exaggerated figures, because they were written in the US. This is not an acceptable source, it is nothing but Western propaganda which used absolutely anything to discredit the USSR, and mostly wrote LIES.

                This book of yours is completely ridiculous in all its forms, and not to mention the fact that Rummel collaborates with the United States Institute of Peace, a well-known think tank which specializes on all things Russophobic in nature.

                I have kindly provided an INDEPENDENT source, so you should do your best to read it ( it’s hard for you Russophobes, I know ), and move on out of here. You clearly know nothing about the matter you IGNORANT degenerate.

                • @the United States Institute of Peace, a well-known think tank which specializes on all things Russophobic in nature

                  List of all things Russophobic in nature:

                  -United States

                  Meanhwile in the real world, Russia isn’t even mentioned there:


                  And neither there:


                  And nope, here neither:


                  Guess what, no Russia:


                  Well, maybe this?



                  That’s how they “specialize”. Simpley exactly nothing about Russia (positive, negative), at all.

                  So I guess it’s more “all things Congophilic” or “all things Nigeriophilic” or whatever.

                  Or maybe you meant some other United States Institute of Peace, I don’t know.

                  Mr. “IGNORANT degenerate”.

                • Really?

                  So his sources (including Russian sources one might add) are biased?

                  Really ASD, you are a cretin.

                  Russia is the greatest mass murderer per head of population in history, compared to them the Germans look like amateurs, while the Chinese killed more people, the number per capita was far less.

                  People like you who would denigrate the suffering of the victims of Russian imperialism in the 20th century are vermin.

                  In addition, oh brainless wonder, you seem incapable of understanding the fact that mass murder in the Russian state neither began or finished with Stalin.

                  Lenin, Khruschev, Brezhnev, Andropov, Putin, all the same kind of mass murdering vermin we have come to expect from the Russian body politic.

                  BTW, just because a book was written 20 years ago does not reduce it’s worth.

                  Try “The Gulag Archipelago” for example.

                  Also note, that many estimates of Soviet victims only number Soviet citizens, however, the Russian state killed millions beyond its own borders.

                  But really, it seems that you are an ignorant little piece of filth, but never mind.

                  You are irrelevant.

  9. @Why do you dislike Arab news? Are you nazi?

    Actually the Nazis liked Arabs. And many still do (“many” because I honestly don’t know about the Russian Nazis, and keep in mind more than half of the Nazis in the world currently live in Russia).

    • And they liked Persians even more (them being “Aryan” and all that, German troops actively aided Iran against Britain). But here too I have no idea about the Russian Nazis’ attitude to their own Persian people (the Ossetians). Maybe you tell me.

      • Robert, the attitude of Russians to Ossetes is simple. If they live south of the Caucasus in South Ossetia, inside the Georgian border, they are heroic oppressed fighters for freedom threatened by Georgian genocide. If they live in North Ossetia, north of the Caucasus and inside Russian borders, they are dreaded Islamist bandits and terrorists. Clear?

        • The world whispers to your ear

          Idiot, Ossets are Orthodox Christians.

          • Seems like you’re the idiot, nobody in this thread said anything to the contrary, you illiterate baboon. In fact, YOU are the only one to bring up the subject of religion AT ALL.

            • voce della ragione

              Fabio P.Barbieri wrote: “the attitude of Russians to Ossetes is simple. If they live in North Ossetia, they are dreaded Islamist bandits and terrorists. Clear?

              What is clear is that your brain operation was unsuccessful. Ossetians are Greek Orthodox Christians.

          • Yes, but Russian propaganda will still label them “Moslems” if it suits.

            There is also a sizeable moslem minority in North Ossetia, around 1/3 of the population.

            Not all Ossetians are Orthodox by any long stretch of the imagination, after all, that is why they have a Mufti in North Ossetia……

        • I rather wondered about the attitude of the Russian Nazis (literal Nazis) towards them. As in: are they included among the Caucasian “niggers” to be stabbed in the annual Hitler’s birthday “hunts” or not.

          Same about the Arabs, because I don’t know too.

  10. voce della ragione

    Andrew wrote: “Yes, but Russian propaganda will still label them “Moslems” if it suits.

    Please give examples or get banned for lying.

    2. If you make a controversial factual statement, you must back it up with a link to source material. If you don’t, your comment may be deleted. Alternatively, we may aim a great deal of personal abuse at you as retribution and delete any response you might make.

  11. Most people do not realize that NAZI =

    same BS as the uncivilized pagan barbarians in the kremlin!

    Nazis believed in government control over just about everything. They promised to “take care” of the people. They directed the economy. They changed laws to meet their agenda, and the people’s rights were subordinate to the government.

    The Nazis, Socialists and Communist were and are leftist. The principle difference was that the Communists wanted to take ownership control of the means of production. The more Fascist Nazis and Socialists just wanted to control the means for production because they were already very aware of the disastrous failure of the Soviet Communist takeover of private enterprise.

    Nazis looked at the Communist (KPD) and Socialist (SPD) as their main obstacles to consolidating power, since they all expressed varying degrees of leftist socialist ideology.

    That is why the Nazis imprisoned their competitors for power.

    Conservatives, that is self-reliant free enterprise oriented people, loathed the Nazis. Nazi philosophy was not conservative, i.e., they did not believe in individual liberty or that individual rights came from God rather than the government. Actually they tried to replace religion with the Fuehrer.

    One of the invited speakers to this ICL class, B.F. Malac, a Czech survivor of both the World War II Nazi forced labor camps and the Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia after WWII, was asked, “What were the differences between Nazis and Communists?” He succinctly relied, “There wasn’t a spits worth of difference between the two.”

  12. The greatest contribution of the Red Partizan’s
    ” heroism ” , consisted of posing as Ukrainian
    partizans , the UPA , in German occupied
    Ukraine , creating an icident against some
    german unit for which the dimwitted Nazis
    took reprisals on the Ukrainian civilian
    population . Since the Ukrainian partizans
    fought both the russian reds AND the germans ,
    it was easy to mislead the germans . They , the
    russian reds , did this as well in Bielorussia and
    the Baltic States . At the same time the red
    partizans , commited countless murders and
    artocities that were blamed on the Ukrainian
    partizans . That is why there is so much
    confusion to this day , as to who to blame for
    the terrible loss of life during that period . And
    that is why to this day the moscovites , both
    red and whatever , tremble at the very names
    of Bandera and Shuchewych .

    • You forgot to add they brave Ukrainian “partizans”, UPA, were fighting Russians AND Jews AND Poles. Especially the latter two, really.

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