Disinfo: More than 7000 POWs were buried alive, killed in gas chambers or shot by Finns in Karelia during WWII

Summary

More than 7000 POWs were buried alive, killed in gas chambers or shot by Finns in Karelia during WWII, says Investigative Committee of Russia, which has opened a genocide investigation of Finns conducting mass killings in Karelia during WWII.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation message focusing on Finland and Russia's Karelia during WWII. In October 2019, Russia's Security Service FSB released "secret documents" about the conditions in the Finnish camps. In April 2020, more documents were published, and former prisoners of the Finnish concentration camps asked the head of the Russian Investigating committee Alexander Bastrykin to launch an investigation into crimes of the occupying authorities during the war.

While it is true, therefor, that Russia's investigative committee has indeed launched such an investigation, the media outlet in question repeats its questionable claims without challenging them.

The researchers have studied the treatment of civilians detained in the Finnish camps established in the Finnish-occupied Soviet Karelia in WWII, and nothing suggests Finns aimed at a genocide of the Russian or Slavic nations. The word genocide is frequently used in pro-Kremlin disinformation, but it seldom corresponds to the actual definition of a genocide.

Immediately after the end of the war, a commission led by Russian Major General Gennady Kupryanov held hearings in the occupied territory and provided more than 2,400 pages of evidence. FSB materials have been open since 1996 and this has been known to the Finns. The probative value of the material was weak, as many of the testimonies were based on hearsay. Among other things, allegations about gas chambers and live burials have been raised in the Russian media. However, "nothing like this was revealed in the reports of the Allied Control Commission, not even in Finnish archival sources, memoirs or in many investigations into the occupation of East Karelia,"

This is not a new problem either for Finland or for Russia. The issue of responsibility for Finland’s military policy was carefully studied in court after the war. The Allied Control Commission, where the Soviet Union was represented, chaired by Andrei Zhdanov, monitored the trial. As for judicial issues about the war between our countries, they were resolved in the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947, " the Finnish Foreign Ministry stated.

War reparations amounted to US $ 300 million, and after all, Finland was the only country after World War II to pay all reparations in full to the Soviet Union.

A detailed disproof in English can be found here: "The allegations of the use of gas chambers and the burial alive of prisoners of war are absurd. Nothing of this kind came to light in the Allied monitoring commission reports, nor in Finnish archive sources, memoirs or the many studies of the occupation of East Karelia", writes Jussi Nuorteva, director general of the National Archives of Finland and an adjunct professor at the University of Helsinki

Read similar cases in our database claiming that Civilians in the Finnish concentration camps in Carelia are victims of genocide, that Finnish concentration camps in Carelia: Finnish guards were paedophiles raping dying kids.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 197
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 23/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Finland
  • Keywords: WWII, Genocide
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US might be developing weaponised insects; Pentagon’s biolabs must be investigated

Leaving your opponent without a harvest, which could lead to famine, is a much slower approach to reaching one’s aim. But it is a practical one, as the land could still be used for growing crops in the future. Such a bioweapon (an insect that introduces genetically modified material) could be deployed by an aggressor without the need for special equipment, thus leaving no trace of an attack. No means of spreading any chemicals or toxins would be found either as these could serve as indirect proof of a deliberate (far from natural) attack on plants. Filling a field with weaponized insects is all one needs.

Concerns are growing about the fact that the United States has been providing a great deal of funding for biological programs that may have dual uses, such as conducting controversial experiments with infectious agents that cause deadly diseases; testing mechanisms of dispersal; increasing the scope of military research in biolabs abroad, and others. And as there are more and more questions about the nature of research done in numerous secret biolabs of the Pentagon, an unbiased international investigation ought to be conducted into their work.

Disproof

An unfounded conspiracy theory connected to recurring disinformation claims about the US allegedly developing bioweapons at secret facilities. See related examples of disinformation about the Lugar lab in Georgia. These messages are a longstanding element of pro-Kremlin disinformation - and especially in the current context of the coronavirus pandemic, pro-Kremlin media have been actively spreading disinformation claims about the US - or the West more broadly - manufacturing biological weapons; see here for an overview.

Also see related disinformation cases alleging that US laboratories in Ukraine are deadly; that COVID-19 brings attention to secret US laboratories on the borders of US and China; that US is afraid of leakage of infectious substances on its territory so it builds secret laboratories in colonized countries.

EU and NATO countries are hostile towards Russia because they fail at showcasing unity

Unfortunately, a wave of hostility has emerged [against Russia], but we prefer not to draw attention to it. We believe that this situation is caused by the failure of the Western countries, that is, the European Union and the NATO, to showcase a spirit of unity within their bloc.

Disproof

A recurrent narrative, consistent with suggestion that “Russophobia” is a driving force behind European policies. More on Russophobia here.

The COVID-19 outbreak constituted a serious challenge to Europe's readiness for a crisis. But the claim that "EU has failed in showing unity" is false.

Belarus will either become part of the Russian World or a limitrophe country with reduced territory under the West

Belarus’s historical horizon is painted in orange. Today a Ukrainian scenario for Belarus is more real than ever. David Cramer’s appearance on the Belarusian direction is a sign of it. This person organised an orange revolution in Ukraine. It seems that Belarus is chosen as the new goal for American political actions aimed at the destruction of the Russian World.

If Belarus goes out of the Russian World, it would follow the path of destruction of its authenticity and will lose the values of its history and culture. It will exist as a limitrophe with a declining population and probably within the reduced territory. Alternatively, if Belarus completely returns to the Russian World it will preserve its cultural uniqueness and get a chance for sustainable development.

Russia does not have a moral right to leave Belarus face-to-face with its main geopolitical adversary. Each and any Western government and NGO should realise that their destructive activities against Belarus constitute  aggression also against Russia. Russia should defend any piece of the Russian World. The West should realise that one small Belarusian town is much more important for Russian society than a dozen European capitals. Any invasion into the Russian World, be it overt or covert, will have catastrophic consequences for the aggressor.

Disproof

This is a conspiracy theory consistent with recurring disinformation narratives about the all-Russian nation and Russian world/civilisation, Western attempts to organise a colour revolution in Belarus and to disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations.

The article puts forward a false dilemma about the direction of Belarus' political development (union with Russia vs. an unavoidable degradation). This false dilemma was repeatedly promoted in earlier disinformation cases herehere, and here.