Disinfo: A two-day visit of Ribbentrop to the USSR could not be the reason for WWII outbreak

Summary

it is unfair to claim that the two-day visit to Moscow of Nazi Foreign Minister Ribbentrop was the main reason for the start of the Second World War.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and an attempt to erode the disastrous historical role of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact by the statements that the USSR was forced to sign this pact; other European countries signed various international agreements with Adolf Hitler, Munich Agreement triggered WWII and various historical conspiracies saying that the Western democracies wanted to inspire a war between Nazism and Communism. A “two-day” visit of Ribbentrop to the USSR resulted in the signing of the Secret Supplementary Protocol to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which assumed the partition of Central and Eastern Europe between Nazi Germany and the USSR. This Secret Protocol was the direct reason for the outbreak of WWII - the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact enabled the German and Soviet military aggression against Poland in September 1939, triggering the beginning of WWII. Read similar examples of the Russian historical revisionism concerning this issue - Signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact thwarted the UK’s expansionist plans in Europe, The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact did not violate the rights of the Polish state, The shift of all blame for WWII outbreak at the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact the best example of manipulation of history.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 202
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 19/06/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Polish
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Germany, Russia
  • Keywords: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Historical revisionism, USSR, WWII, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Putin, Nazi/Fascist
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Crimea returned to Russia after a referendum

Crimea returned to Russia after a referendum on the peninsula.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the annexation of Crimea, claiming that Crimea voted to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum.

Crimea is a part of Ukraine and was illegally annexed by Russia. In 2014, Russian troops obliged the parliament of Crimea to organise a referendum, which was illegitimate under international law, and then formally annexed the peninsula and brought it under Russian territorial control. The annexation has been condemned by the UNGA (see the resolution A/RES/68/262 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine).

Ukraine is preparing a new provocation in the Black Sea

Under the leadership of US intelligence agencies, Ukraine is creating a “mosquito fleet” to continue provocations in the Black Sea, similar to the one that was carried out near the Crimean bridge. So we should expect that these American boats, being captured by Russian border guards along with Ukrainian crews, will again gather dust in Sevastopol as material evidence.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the Kerch strait incident and US controlling Ukraine. No evidence is given. The U.S. State Department has cleared a potential sale to Ukraine of 16 Mark VI patrol boats and other gear worth $600 million. According to a State Department official, the sale will improve the capability of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to “sustain river and littoral water patrols throughout Ukraine’s [maritime] exclusive economic zone.” The article tries to link this potential sale to the Kerch strait incident, itself the source of multiple disinformation instances. On 25 November 2018, border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and a tugboat and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen and arresting 24 members. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters. However, a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty is considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine. On 25 May 2019, the United Nations Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ordered Russia to immediately release Ukrainian sailors and allow them to return to Ukraine. The EU also urged Russia to release the captured crew. Twenty-four military sailors returned to Ukraine on 7 September 2019 as part of a mutual release of detainees by Ukraine and Russia. On 21 November 2019, Russia returned the ships to Ukraine.

No evidence of the involvement of Russian state structures in the killing of Georgian citizen in Berlin

Almost ten months after the murder of a Georgian in Berlin, the federal prosecutor’s office in Karlsruhe filed charges against a Russian. On 18 June 2020, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office brought charges against the Russian citizen Vadim K. alias Vadim S. before the State Protection Senate of the Berlin Court of Appeal. There was, and is, no evidence of the involvement of Russian state structures in this incident. Also it was stated that this murder case is not connected with the Russian state and state authorities.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that there is no proof and evidence behind accusations against Russia. Consistent with the narrative on Russophobia. A 40-year-old man, Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, was shot dead in a Berlin park just before midday on 23 August 2019. The victim was a Chechen exile who had survived two previous attempts on his life. The Dossier Center, a London-based research group founded by Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, and other investigation groups, such as Bellingcat, identified the suspect as Vadim N. Krasikov, a 49-year-old Russian citizen from Siberia who, according to Bellingcat, used fake identity documents to enter Germany a few days before. The German Foreign Office says Russian officials have not responded sufficiently to repeated requests for information, despite repeated high-level and urgent demands. In addition, the German Federal Foreign Office insisted in a statement that "the Federal Public Prosecutor General has taken over the investigations into this case as there are sufficient grounds to believe that the killing was carried out either on behalf of state authorities of the Russian Federation or of those of the autonomous Chechen Republic as part of the Russian Federation". On December 4th, Germany expelled two Russian diplomats in response to this incident. Germany's federal prosecutor took over the investigation in December 2019. On Thursday, 18 June 2020, almost ten months after the murder, they said they had gathered sufficient evidence and brought charges against the suspect. See similar cases on the Khangoshvili murder here, and similar narratives on Skripal and MH17 cases.