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I am shocked by the soft-headedness of many of your correspondents who criticise Prince Charles for comparing Vladimir Putin to Hitler (Letters, 26 May). Hitler pursued a policy of revanchism from the time he was elected, just like Putin. Hitler used any means at his disposal to 
silence critics, just like Putin.

Hitler used the excuse of “protecting the rights of Germans” 
living outwith Germany to annex Austria, seize the Sudetenland and Memel, just as Putin has seized 
Crimea and is now attempting to occupy eastern Ukraine.

We learned the hard way in the 1930s that one cannot secure peace by appeasing dictators; any concession was seen as a sign of weakness – encouraging further adventurism. We are already finding the same with Putin.

Claiming that Russia fought Nazism at the cost of 26 million Soviet lives is the biggest lie of all. Stalin allied with Hitler in 1939 to accomplish the rape of Poland, the Baltic states and Finland.

They sought to divide up eastern Europe between them. Stalin maintained the jackal alliance until Hitler attacked him, at which point he used the most brutal methods to defend the USSR. Yes, Soviet losses were huge, but how much of this was due to Stalin’s purges of the officer corps in the 1930s, the deficiencies in leadership, men and material due to Stalin’s policies, his horrific scorched earth evacuations and the genocidal treatment of “untrustworthy” subjects?

Putin has not repudiated Russia’s historic links with the USSR and has called the collapse of the Soviet regime “the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century”. He is clearly not unhappy to be compared to Stalin – a man whose crimes far exceed the horror of Hitler’s ghastly regime.

Scott McIntosh