Disinfo: Latvia rewrites World War II history

Summary

Latvia is engaged in rewriting history, speaking out against the fireworks in honour of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Riga from Nazi invaders. Soviet troops liberated Riga from the Nazis on 13 October 1944, the victory of the USSR in the Great Patriotic War does not need to be rewritten, this is an historical fact.

Disproof

Another example of pro-Kremlin historical revisionism. More cases here. The Soviet Union occupied Latvia twice. The first time the occupation lasted a year. In the summer of 1940, when Nazi Germany attacked France, the Red Army occupied Riga. This was enabled through a secret protocol to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact on the separation of spheres of influence between the Soviet Union and fascist Germany. The second time, Soviet troops captured Latvia on 13 October 1944. Modern Latvia received full independence only after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 2015, the Ministers of Justice of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia signed a joint declaration on the calculation and the need to receive compensation for damage caused by the occupation of the USSR. The Baltic States' leadership have repeatedly emphasised that Russia is the successor of the USSR, therefore, it has an obligation to compensate the Baltic countries for the losses incurred. Latvia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs also emphasised that any events planned in Russia to celebrate the liberation of Riga from Nazi troops are unacceptable, because for the Baltic countries this "liberation" meant only a change from one occupying power to another, this one lasting 50 years.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 168
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/10/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia, Latvia
  • Keywords: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, USSR, WWII
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Ukraine refused to withdraw the troops, so there will be no Normandy format

There will be no Normandy format because the main condition is the withdrawal of troops. Ukraine refused to withdraw the troops.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukrainian government sabotaging peace in the Donbas region. See previous cases about the Minsk agreements and the war in Ukraine. At the moment, neither Ukraine nor the so-called "DPR" and "LNR" withdrew its troops. SMM OSCE in its daily reports noted fewer ceasefire violations in the Donetsk region and more in Luhansk region. For the 10th of October 2019, the Mission observed weapons in violation of withdrawal lines in non-government-controlled areas of Luhansk region. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy declares that all issues regarding the format of the deployment of forces in the Donbas are clearly stated in the Minsk agreements, so Ukraine should not discuss it again and cannot provide a withdrawal when the shelling continues.

Intelligence Committee's report found no evidence of Russian intervention in the US elections

The US Senate Intelligence Committee’s final report on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential elections offers no evidence, but many reheated allegations and allusions by so-called experts who have themselves now been exposed as the actual election influencers. Not surprisingly, the “results” of the report are cited as conclusive evidence that the Democrats were right and President Donald Trump wrong about 2016, Russia, Ukraine and the US presidential elections. The problem is that the committee provides no concrete evidence for its statements – just allegations. Since Hillary Clinton blamed “Russian hackers” in July 2016 for the revelations about corruption within the DNC, the Washington establishment has been eager to blame Moscow for all the evils of the US political system, real or imagined. The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report seems to be nothing more than an attempt to warm up the long-cooled corpse of a conspiracy that the Mueller report should have buried and left to rest in peace.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election. Robert Mueller's investigation did conclude that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Mueller's report determined that there were "two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election". It led to US senators' proposals to extend sanctions on Russia to deter it from further election meddling. The claim that the report provides no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion is spurious. Gathering evidence of "collusion" - which is not a legal concept - fell outside the scope of the investigation. The aim of the probe was not merely to ascertain contacts between the Trump Campaign and Russia-linked individuals during the election period, but to establish whether these interactions were deliberate enough on the part of Trump Campaign officials to sustain charges of conspiracy (p. 2). The report explicitly identifies "numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign" (p. 9). Find more disinformation cases on this issue here.

The Baltic States joined the USSR in accordance with international law

Riga was liberated from Germans in 1944. The liberation of the Baltic states was itself a big operation and several fronts participated in the process. The Baltic states consider that their countries were occupied during 1944-1991. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the incorporation of the Baltic states into the Soviet Union happened in accordance with the international law.

Disproof

A recurring attempt of historical revisionism aiming at justifying Soviet actions. On 23 August 1939, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed a non-aggression (Molotov-Ribbentrop) pact whose secret protocols divided the territories belonging to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, and Romania into Soviet and Nazi spheres of influence. The Baltic States were not beneficiaries of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. Like other countries mentioned in the pact, they lost their independence and territories. Soviet occupation of the Baltic States lasted for 50 years and resulted in mass deportations and repressions against local populations. 24 December 1989, the Parliament of the USSR, the Congress of the People’s Deputies, adopted a resolution, denouncing the secret protocol of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. An English translation of the full text here:

The Congress notes that during this period the relations of the USSR with Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were regulated by a system of treaties. Pursuant to the 1920 Peace Treaties and 1926-1933 Non-Aggression Treaties, the signatories were obliged to honour each other’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability under any circumstances. The Soviet Union had assumed similar obligations to Poland and Finland.

See similar disinformation narratives on history and Baltic states here and here.