Disinfo: Poland falsely claims that the USSR occupied it in 1939

Summary

Today, Polish authorities consider the actions of the USSR to protect Ukrainians and Belarusians in 1939 as “an act of division and occupation of Poland” (at that time, let me remind you, not only did no great power but also the League of Nations as a whole did not consider it so). It is clear that we, in Russia, do not divide divisions or fronts into “ours” or “not ours”.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative attempting to distort the events of the Second World War and rewrite its history in a way that is favourable to Russia. Identifying the events of September 1939 as "division and occupation" is a legitimate choice by Polish authorities, considering that this characterisation accurately sums up Soviet conduct toward its eastern neighbour at the time. The interview omits all mention of the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact signed in August 1939 which, in a secret protocol, entitled Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union to their respective "spheres of influence" in Eastern Europe. As it were, Poland was divided between the two spheres, its two halves occupied by Germany and the USSR starting 1 September and 17 September 1939, respectively. In laying out its obligation to "protect" Ukrainians and Belarusians living in Poland, Soviet Foreign Affairs Commissar Molotov cited the "disintegration" of the Polish state brought about by the German-Polish war. It was unknown at the time (and is unmentioned by Sputnik) that the German invasion of Poland had been agreed upon with the USSR, and thus that the later Soviet campaign to protect the "kindred Ukrainian and White Russian people" was also predicated on that very same agreement with Nazi Germany. For similar cases of historical revisionism around World War II, see here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 184
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/02/2020
  • Outlet language(s) English
  • Country: USSR, Poland, Russia
  • Keywords: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, World War 2, Occupation, Historical revisionism, USSR
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Disproof

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Disproof

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