Disinfo: In September 1939 the USSR did not attack Poland, but carried out the liberation campaign of the Red Army

Summary

On 17 September 1939, the Red Army’s Liberation Campaign took place on the territory of Poland defeated by Nazi Germany. As a result of this campaign, Western Ukraine was reunited with the Ukrainian SSR, and Western Belarus – with the BSSR. “Human rights activists”, “liberal” historians and journalists in Belarus and Russia in vain play along with the regular attacks of Russophobia and anti-Sovietism in Poland every time the historical dates of the beginning of World War II are celebrated.

Disproof

This is a pro-Kremlin narrative about Russophobia and a clear case ofhistorical revisionism aboutWWII. The beginning of WWII was marked by cooperation between Hitler's Germany and the USSR. The Non-Aggression Pact between Germany and the Soviet Union, also known as the"Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact" (Hitler-Stalin Pact) was signed on 23 August 1939. After its conclusion, Nazi Germany and the USSR became allies for 22 months. The agreement was accompanied by asecret supplementary protocol on the delimitation of areas of mutual interest in Eastern Europe. In particular, Hitler and Stalin agreed to divide Poland. The agreement also indicated that the Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, as well as Bessarabia and Finland, also belong to the respective areas of interest of Germany and the USSR. On 1 September 1939, Hitler attacked Poland, Soviet troops entered the territory on September 17 of the same year. This was not a "liberation operation", but the beginning of the war and the partition and occupation of Poland. Read more disinformation cases on the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 214
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/09/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: EU, Russia
  • Keywords: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, WWII
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Getting out of coma proves that Novichok wasn’t used on Navalny

Alexei Navalny’s coma indicates that if we assume that he was poisoned, then Novichok was not used. Poisoning can be ruled out because there are no symptoms. But even if a dose of 400 times less than the lethal dose was used, he would come out of a coma, but his pupils would remain constricted, and there were no such symptoms.

Disproof

The story is part of an emerging web of counter-narratives designed to confuse Western public opinion and deny Moscow's involvement in the poisoning of Alexei Navalny. This argument follows a recurring Kremlin pattern of denying that Navalny was poisoned and that Moscow had anything to do with it. In this case, the argument is that Novichok is only a lethal military-grade nerve agent and that the result is always death. However, we know that Novichok is a highly toxic nerve agent that slows the heart, paralyses the muscles used for breathing and — if the dose is big enough — can lead to death by asphyxiation. A smaller dose may result in seizures, neuromuscular weakness, liver failure and other damage. This has been presented in various other reports here, here and here. So, Novichok does not necessarily lead to the death of everyone who came in contact with it. Furthermore, Navalny's coma was medically induced and did not constitute a symptom of poisoning. Several other confirmed Novichok victims were put in a coma and subsequently regained consciousness. In 1987 Andrey Zheleznyakov, a researcher attached to the Soviet chemical warfare programme, suffered an accidental exposure to a Novichok-type compound. The accident left him permanently disabled but alive for another six years. In March 2018, Russian ex-spy Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yuliya fell victim to poisoning in Salisbury but recovered with intensive medical care as did a police officer who had been exposed when he visited their home to investigate. The UK authorities established that the assassination attempt had been carried out by two Russian intelligence operatives using Novichok. The following June, two individuals in Amesbury, England were accidentally exposed to Novichok contained in a fake perfume bottle. One of the victims survived. It should be further noted that, like most other chemical weapons, Novichok was not developed with the individual assassination in mind. Marc-Michael Blum, former head of the OPCW Laboratory, explains that "these substances are designed for the mass destruction of enemy personnel during the war," and are thus "not reliable enough" if used to kill one, specific individual in peacetime conditions. In other words, it cannot be ruled out that Navalny was poisoned by Novichok simply because he survived the ordeal and regained consciousness. Read similar disinformation messages alleging thatthe West has an interest in the death of Navalny to launch a new wave of sanctions against Russia, thatonly traces of alcohol and caffeine were found in Navalny's blood, thatthe West will falsely accuse Russia of poisoning Navalny, as with Skripal and Litvinenko or thatUS used Navalny case to block Russian vaccine against COVID-19.

The West destabilises Belarus to destroy Russian civilisation, an alternative route of human development

Leading Western think tanks set the trends and define collective West policies towards Belarus. An analysis of publications by Northern American think tanks demonstrates that the main Belarus-related strategic goals were to create conflict in Belarus, to topple Alyaksandr Lukashenka, and to tear Belarus away from Russia. This would become the West’s success in destroying Russian civilisation as an alternative route of human development. It is clear that Poles and Lithuanians were only the executors of a thoroughly planned hybrid attack. However, Westerners failed to bring discord to Belarus-Russia relations which did not allow them to organise a colour revolution and to knock Belarus out of Russian civilisation. Belarus is just a square on a chessboard. The Western strategy to withdraw Belarus from the Russian camp remains long-term and unchanged. The Belarusian proposal to become a bridge amid the geopolitical conflict was nearly burnt down. The West tried to put Belarusians into impoverishment and emigration just as happened in Serbia, Ukraine and Libya where colour revolutions replaced legal authorities.

Disproof

This article promotes recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about West's attempt to organise a colour revolution in Belarus and to disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations, and about Poland and Lithuania as the US's puppets. It also promotes the concept of the Russian world / civilisation and Russia superiority by claiming an "alternative route of human development" The Russian world is an imperial Russian and Russian irredentist ideology that is a favoured pro-Kremlin narrative aimed at weakening the national identity of Belarusians and Ukrainians, as well as their sovereignty. Belarus and Ukraine are well-defined nation-states with a long history, which preserved their languages, literature and identity, despite foreign rule for long periods. There is no evidence that Poland, the Baltic states or any other Western governments are in any involved in the protests in Belarus. Lithuania and Poland are independent states, which shape their own foreign and domestic policies. The US is an important ally to the EU but EU policy is not determined by the US, as explained by the EU High Representative. The large-scale Belarusian protests began in Minsk on August 9 against the results of the presidential election, and then in other cities. People revolted against election fraud and police violence towards thousands of rally participants. The European Council condemned the violence against peaceful protesters and announced that it would soon adopt a list of sanctions for those responsible for violence in Belarus. "As the elections in Belarus were neither free nor fair, and did not meet international standards, the EU does not recognise the results presented by the Belarus authorities," is mentioned in a European Council press release. However, Western countries are not waging any "hybrid attack" as alleged in the publication. Pro-Kremlin media frequently use disinformation narratives about popular protests around the world allegedly incited and funded by the US and other Western states, including colour revolutions in post-Soviet states, the “Arab Spring” revolts, Euromaidan in Ukraine, protests in Catalonia and others. This narrative claims that protests, disorders and civil uprisings are never manifestations of popular discontent but are “colour revolutions” directed and funded by the West. Read earlier disinformation cases claiming that Russia saved Belarus from Western bombing like in Yugoslavia, that the West destroyed the USSR and is currently targeting the Union State between Belarus and Russia, that the EU is trying to disrupt Belarus-Russia relations, that the West's only interest in Belarus is to make it anti-Russian, and that Belarus faces either normal development under Russia or a forced Polonization and economic devastation.

September 17, 1939, did not change the course of the war for Poland in a significant way

Regardless of how disappointed we felt, September 17, 1939 [beginning of the Soviet attack at Poland], was not a date that changed the course of the war in some significant way for Poland. The Polish army defended itself in a heroic way, but it had outdated military equipment, a terrible command model and the Polish allies were situated too far away.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and an attempt to erode the disastrous historical consequences of the Soviet attack on Poland in September 1939. The claim that the Soviet attack on Poland did not have any significant effects on the course of the war for Poland is a cynical attempt to downplay the historical importance of the Soviet participation in the partition of Poland realised together with Nazi Germany. On August 23, 1939, Nazi Germany and the USSR signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with a Secret Supplementary Protocol, which divided Poland and other Eastern European countries between these two totalitarian powers. On September 1, 1939, Nazi Germany attacked Poland while the Soviet Union's attack at Poland started on September 17 – in this way, Nazi Germany and the USSR started the implementation of the Secret Supplementary Protocol to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. 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.