“” “” The Poles I know are bitter about German atrocities, but respect the Germans for their cultural, scientific and economic achievements. For the Russians they have nothing but unbridled contempt. “” “”
With all the respect to the Poles and their suffering it is in part a result of Nazi and their own ultra-Nationalist propaganda.
Poland was bigger than Russia in many senses until early 17th century in cultural, economical and many other senses.
It was probably an unofficial leader of the Slavic world and a sort of great power.
At the same time, just like Ukraine and Turkey now or Russia for centuries to come it was in confusion is it part of the West or East. They decided West and it didn’t work as expected. Combined with political corruption typical to that of modern Ukraine but adjusted to 17th and 18th centuries they downgraded themselves from a great power into a troublesome backward part of Europe. And they were in denial about it for centuries. ‘Backward’ Russia has developed on all fronts into a global superpower at the same time and swallowed them at one point.
The general belief to this day is that it was unfair and Poland deserved the Russian place in history. That is why many stereotypes on Russian backwardness dating back to middle age but barely actual for 300 years and counting.
The most extreme of their theories even denies that the Russians are Slavs but states they are a mix between Mongols and Finno-Vikings.
I am in no way support historical Russian approach toward Poland but the Polish did some very bad things in Russia before is became big to hit back. It would make sense to update their view of Russia too. More so to bury it and move on.
First, they made the last Catholic king of Sweden king of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, who continued to meddle in Swedish politics, dragging Poland into a disastrous war with the Swedes, that ravaged Poland and allowed the Duchy of Prussia to become an independent kingdom.
Second, what started as a civil war between small Polish landowners like Chmielnicki (whose father was part of the Polish occupation of Moscow in 1618) and the big landowners like Wisniowiecki expanded to include the Cossacks and finally the Russians, who seized the eastern Ukraine including Kiev from Poland-Lithuania.
Third, a resurgent Turkish sultanate attacked Poland in Bessarabia, another brutal war.
These conflicts were in some respects the Polish equivalent of the Thirty Years War, leading to a reduction in population of between 15% and 25% in the area still under Polish-Lithuanian control.
Lastly, the Turkish occupation of Hungary had forced the Hungarian nobility to make a deal with the Hapsburg monarchy, transforming what had been an ally into another potential adversary.
After Sobiecki, Poland found itself surrounded by enemies on all sides.
As far as "disorder" goes this was in part a quite successful propaganda effort by both Prussia and Russia against Poland, and in many cases what "disorder" existed was instigated by those same powers, such as Frederick the Great's deliberate counterfeiting of Polish currency to debase it and the Tsars' bribes to Polish nobility to disrupt the Polish-Lithuanian parliament starting with Peter the Great.
Regarding Polish misdeeds (in historical context), it's hard to think of any apart from Wisniowiecki's persecution of Ukrainian peasants and Cossacks in the 17th century, where impalement was a favorite method of execution used by all sides (a practice picked up from the Mongols).
Starting with Russia's occupation during the Third partition there's an endless litany of brutalities, starting with deportations, the theft of the contents of Europe's first public library in Warsaw by the Russian governor, the absolutely brutal forced conversion of Ukrainian Catholics to Russian orthodoxy, Cossacks riding down civilians in Warsaw, etc., etc. In addition to the mass murder of the 1939-41 period (when Stalin aimed to annihilate the Polish intelligentsia as much as Hitler did), there was the mindless vandalism involving the destruction of palaces and churches, as well the grotesque postwar executions and deportations of Polish Home Army members.
German brutalities were mainly limited to the 39-44 period, while Russian atrocities span centuries.