Disinfo: Nazi-Soviet pact was not the cause of WWII

Summary

Russia has become locked in a dispute with Poland and the Baltic States over the origins of WWII after the European Parliament passed a resolution in September on the history of the conflict. The resolution claimed that the 1939 non-aggression treaty between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany led to the start of the war. The responsibility for WWII lies with the Polish elite who ruled the country in the 30s, who were the first to conclude a non-aggression pact with Hitler in 1934, who were allied to him, who participated in the division of Czechoslovakia with Hitler and who received territorial acquisitions from the Munich conspiracy when Czechoslovakia was surrendered to Hitler.

Historians in the West, in Poland, in Europe, in the USA even earlier have held the point of view that allegedly the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact initiated the Second World War.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative distorting the events of the Second World War and accusing Poland of historical revisionism.

The European Parliament resolution in question stresses the fact that WWII was an immediate result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. It aims to promote historical remembrance of the Second World War, and is supported by broad consensus on the causes of its outbreak.

The "Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact" was accompanied by a secret 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 belonged to the respective areas of interest of Germany and the USSR. Just a week after the signing of the Pact, the German attack on Poland started World War II. Two weeks later, Soviet troops entered Polish territory.

See similar cases about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact herehere, here, here and here. 

Read more about the Pact here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 183
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 08/02/2020
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: USSR, Russia, Poland
  • Keywords: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, World War 2, Propaganda, Historical revisionism, WWII, Nazi/Fascist
  • Outlet: Sputnik News
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The other ‘Inspector’ was presumably a reference to ‘Alex’, an elusive whistleblower whose identity has not been revealed, and who has provided materials to WikiLeaks similarly casting major doubt on the OPCW’s integrity in its investigation of the alleged Douma attack.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives attacking the independence and integrity of the OPCW; lending credence to the claim that the 2018 Douma attack was staged; and absolving the Syrian regime of responsibility for chemical attacks in general.

The story is peppered with falsehoods and out-of-context citations lifted from the OPCW website. It conveniently omits the fact that the quoted remarks were not ad-hoc verbal attacks on the "whistleblowers," but were made on the heels of an independent OPCW probe (not an internal review) which took six months to carry out and was overseen by external investigators. 

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Disproof

No evidence given. This is a conspiracy theory, part of a well-established Russian disinformation narrative about a global elite secretly ruling the world, and specifically, a so-called ‘deep state’ in the United State that promotes aggression wars and prevents US reconciliation with Russia.

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In March 2019, the OPCW issued a report on its investigation into the alleged 2018 chemical attack in Douma, saying that chlorine was “most likely” the chemical agent used in the incident but stopped short of apportioning blame.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin conspiracy theory painting the White Helmets as terrorists and shifting blame for chemical attacks in Syria away from Damascus.

The claim is made without evidence and follows the pattern of unsubstantiated accusations regarding the White Helmets' complicity in chemical attacks in Syria. Available evidence on such attacks has yet to link a single incident to any other party than the Assad regime.