Hitler’s Playbook 101: Invade to Repatriate My People.

Are comparisons of Putin’s Ukraine invasion to Hitler’s aggression, which ultimately started World War II, valid? Based on Hilter’s Playbook… yeah.

“German-Austria must return to the great German motherland, and not because of economic considerations of any sort. No, no: even if from the economic point of view this union were unimportant, indeed, if it were harmful, it ought nevertheless to be brought about. Common blood belongs in a common Reich. As long as the German nation is unable even to band together its own children in one common State, it has no moral right to think of colonization as one of its political aims. Only when the boundaries of the Reich include even the last German, only when it is no longer possible to assure him of daily bread inside them, does there arise, out of the distress of the nation, the moral right to acquire foreign soil and territory” -Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

Ukraine tweets a cartoon of Hitler and Putin as Russia invades
Ukraine tweets a cartoon of Hitler and Putin as Russia invades on Feb. 23, 2022.

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Over 3 million Germans inhabit the Sudetenland of 1938, comprising about twenty-three percent of the population of the First Czechoslovak Republic. In May of that year, Hitler tells his generals, “I am utterly determined that Czechoslovakia should disappear from the map.” He falsely claims these German-speaking people suffer “unheard-of atrocities” at the hands of the Czechs. He wants “self-determination” for them, so he annexes it into the Greater German Reich in October. The Munich Agreement gives it to him, no shots fired, because no one in Europe wants a fight. The agreement becomes the prime historical example of a futile attempt to appease expansionist totalitarian states.
There was no Czechoslovakian representative present at the negotiations, and it hands the Nazis seventy percent of the Republic’s military industrial complex and its defensible, mountainous border. There’s a lot to unpack here, but I’ll just say it gives Hitler everything for nothing, eradicates Czechoslovakia by April 1939, and sets the stage for the invasion of Poland in October of ‘39.


A 13.5 meter-tall statue of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin currently dominates the main square of Donetsk.
A 13.5 meter-tall statue of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin currently dominates the main square of Donetsk.

Jumping to 21st century Europe, Vladimir Putin’s puppet, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, invades Georgia in 2008. After the ceasefire, he states five principles on State-sponsored media, in what is now known as the Medvedev Doctrine:

  1. “Russia recognizes the primacy of the fundamental principles of international law.”
  2. “The world should be multipolar.”
  3. “Russia does not want confrontation with any other country.”
  4. “Protecting the lives and dignity of our citizens, wherever they may be, is an unquestionable priority for our country.”
  5. “As is the case of other countries, there are regions in which Russia has privileged interests.”

Unquestionably penned by Putin, number five sounds, to me, like a 21st century version of, “common blood belongs in a common Reich.”

This brings us to Donetsk, the proclaimed capital of one of these breakaway states. Eighty-eight percent of this city’s population speaks Russian. Both entities are heavily armed by Russia, considered terrorist organizations by Ukraine, and were recognized as independent states by Putin on February 21, 2022. Three days later, Russia invaded Ukraine. Putin stated before the invasion that Ukraine had no “historical right to exist”. Europe has seen nothing like the last eight days since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Germany had an alliance with Italy, and Japan, and an agreement with the Soviet Union as it invaded Poland. The Western Allies’ response was too late.

Russia has some arrangements with China to mute the effectiveness of sanctions from the west. Both countries, along with several NATO countries, now have nuclear weapons.


As an armchair historian, with delusions of geopolitical awareness, and after viewing the images circulating of Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko standing in front of a battle map that appears to show a planned invasion of Moldova, I’d say Moldova is next. In all seriousness, the sloppiness of Belarus only confirms what a google search will tell me: Moldova isn’t a member of NATO, therefore no NATO member will intervene if Russia invades.

Further googling brings to light Transnistria, a sliver of an unrecognized breakaway state between Moldova and Ukraine. Russian is the largest ethnic group by population, and an undisclosed number of Russian troops are stationed there. Hitler’s Playbook.

Beyond Moldova is Romania, a former Soviet satellite nation, but now a NATO member. “The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.” It’s sobering to think that Article 5, and the threat of nuclear war prevent Putin from going full Hitler on Europe.

I live in the United States, where many criticize NATO as an unnecessary burden upon us. Please remember: For the first and only time since its 1949 inception, NATO invoked Article 5 on September 12, 2001. All 18 of the United States’ allies stated they would support America’s response to the 9/11 attacks.

Some Pertinent Links:

Value of the Russian Ruble

Want to support the people in Ukraine? Here’s how you can help.

How Putin is following Hitler’s playbook, by Nigel Jones, in The Spectator

The End of an Era (Again), by John Scalzi


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