Disinfo: Estonian authorities pay tribute to the Hitler’s Cross of Liberty in Tallinn

Summary

The Estonian authorities pay tribute to their own heroes by laying flowers to Hitler’s Cross of Liberty. This monument is a copy of the emblem of the Estonian SS Legion – it was erected in the city centre ten years ago.

Disproof

This message is a part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism – it tries to promote the idea that there was no Soviet occupation of the Baltic states and that the local population actively welcomed the Soviet rule in their countries. Any disagreement with the official Kremlin’s view on the history of the Baltic states is labelled as a support for “Nazism”. In particular, this message indirectly accuses the Estonian soldiers, who fought in the War of Independence (1918–1920), of being “Nazis”. The Cross of Liberty monument has no connection to WWII at all – it was erected in the memory of thousands of Estonian soldiers who lost their lives in 1918-1920 during the War of Independence. The initial plan to create this monument first appeared in 1936; however, as a result of WWII outbreak, this plan was not realised. The symbols presented on this monument were used by the Estonian soldiers fighting in the War of Independence in 1918-1920. Thus, they have no connection to Nazism at all. During WWII, this symbol was unofficially used by the Estonian soldiers fighting for the Estonian Legion. According to the Soviet and Russian vision of history, all the historical and state symbols used by the forces supporting the German Army may be presented as “Nazi” (including the national flags and coat of arms of the Baltic states, Belarus and Ukraine). See similar cases on the Baltic states and the Soviet occupation here, here and here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 165
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 23/09/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Country: USSR, Estonia, Russia
  • Keywords: Occupation, Historical revisionism, WWII, Baltic states, Nazi/Fascist
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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine's alleged dependence on its Western partners. See earlier disinformation cases alleging that Ukraine is seen by the West as an anti-Russian project. Ukraine's current foreign policy towards Russia is not a result of western anti-Russian strategy but of Russia's aggression against Ukraine, including its annexation of Crimea and the Russian military presence in Donbas. Ukraine is a sovereign and independent state with a democratically-elected president and parliament. The EU and US support the democratic development of Ukraine in accordance with the UN Charter’s principles of non-interference into internal affairs and respect towards territorial integrity and political independence.

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Disproof

Another recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Ukraine and its relations with the European Union. In June 2014, the EU and Ukraine signed an Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), which promotes deeper political ties, stronger economic links and respect for common values. See here for more details about EU-Ukraine relations. The total trade turnout increased to 50 billon USD in 2018. During 2015-2018, Ukraine also increased its exports to the EU from 13 billon USD to 23 billion USD. Overall, in 2018, Ukrainian exports to the EU increased by 13.1%. Now, the EU accounts for almost half of Ukrainian exports. See here for further information about the DCFTA and the cooperation between the EU and Ukraine.

On 17 September 1939 USSR began liberating Poland from Nazi occupation

September 17th [this year] marks the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the USSR’s assault on Nazi-occupied Poland, which it liberated in the process.

Disproof

This is part of Russian efforts of historical revisionism, applied in order to portray Russia’s role in World War II as a non-aggressive power and Poland as one of the main culprits of the conflict. You can see other examples of disinformation narratives about the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact here, here and here, and about alleged Poland’s blame for the WWII outbreak here, here and here.