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Max Hastings

Putin’s Ukraine War Is a Replay of Russia’s Atrocities of 1919

A new book on the White Russian conflict by the historian Antony Beevor reveals ominous parallels with today.

Cossacks were as brutal as the Bolsheviks.

Cossacks were as brutal as the Bolsheviks.

Source: Hulton Archive via Getty Images

“Russia,” predicted a British statesman, “will certainly rise again, perhaps very swiftly, as a great united empire determined to maintain the integrity of her dominions and to recover everything that has been taken away from her. While this process is going on Europe will be in a perpetual state of ferment.” 

Those warning words were written not in the wake of the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, but in February 1919, by Winston Churchill, after the Russian Revolution and end of World War I.