Russia did not “stand by” Britain against Napoleon, the Kaiser and Hitler, as Patrick Mercer said (The Yorkshire Post. March 17).
Napoleon attacked Russia, not the other way round. It was the Russian winter which ultimately defeated him. Then Mother Russia showed her true colours in the Crimean War. An initial co-combatant in the First World War, Russia backed out of it in 1917, thus releasing huge German forces for use on the Western Front against the Allies.
At the outset of the Second World War Russia, under Stalin, signed a non-aggression pact with Hitler and only reacted (admittedly with great determination) when, after two years, the German army invaded.
They didn’t “stand by” us, they defended themselves, with assistance from our Arctic convoys, during which many gallant British servicemen died, incidentally getting little thanks from the Russians for their efforts.
The truth is that Russia is, and for various reasons always has been, a country founded upon a peasant mindset which thrives on being “oppressed” by its neighbours.
History teaches us that. But in the depths of its paranoia, it risks the safety of the entire world. The worrying thing is that it doesn’t seem to care.