Disinfo: Soviet occupation is a myth

Summary

The main reason for the myth of the “Soviet occupation” is the policy of apartheid and de-Russification.

They just want to find an excuse for discrimination against the Russian-speaking minority.

As long as NATO is in the Baltics, we will constantly hear about the “Soviet occupation”, the policy of apartheid will continue, and the country’s leaders will continue their anti-Russian rhetoric.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Baltic States. 

The Soviet occupation is not a myth. On the 23rd of August, 1939, 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 secrets behind the the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact led to  World War II and all its consequences. Shortly after the pact was signed, Poland was invaded by Nazi Germany on 1 September and by Soviets on 17 September in 1939, followed by the Soviet aggression against Finland, and in June 1940  - occupation of the Baltic States and part of Romania.

After Germany attacked the USSR in June 1941, the Baltic States were occupied by Nazi Germany until 1944 when the region reverted to Soviet control.

Contrary to the claims of the pro-Kremlin media, the re-capturing of the Baltic States did not bring freedom, but Soviet repressions and occupation, which lasted for 50 years. The estimated war and occupation deaths are at 90,000 in Estonia, 180,000 in Latvia, and 250,000 in Lithuania. Furthermore, It has been estimated that between 1946 and 1953 deportations and guerrilla deaths reached 95,000 in Estonia, 125,000 in Latvia, and 310,000 in Lithuania.

As for apartheid, it's a recurring pro-Kremlin propaganda narrative about discrimination of the Russian-speaking minority and ubiquitous Russophobia in the Baltic states and beyond. For background, read our analysis The “Russophobia” Myth: Appealing to the Lowest Feelings and look at earlier disinformation cases alleging that Russophobia is the main activity of the Latvian state and that Lithuania is NATO's dog barking at Belarus and Russia.

See earlier disinformation cases alleging that Latvia instigates linguistic genocide against Russian-speaking citizens, that genocide against ethnic Russians / Russian-speaking population in Anglo-Saxon-ruled Latvia is possible, that Lithuania is temporarily NATO-occupied territory ruled by non-Lithuanians, and that Baltic states' policies are similar to Third Reich's.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 213
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 28/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Baltic states, Estonia
  • Keywords: Occupation, Russophobia, NATO

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

see more

Imperialistic Poland and Lithuania are the springboard for Belarusian Maidan

Poland and Lithuania are the springboards for Belarusian Maidan. The Belarusian opposition has long been based in Lithuania, whereas Poland has been making preparations for a Belarusian Maidan for years. Poland aims at putting its protégé on a throne and making Belarus its colony. This way, Warsaw plans to increase its role in the EU and to establish a bridgehead on Russian borders. It also wants to restore the Polish empire with a new ideological “sauce”.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Belarusian protests;  and about imperial and colonial intentions of Poland and Lithuania,  as well as about their anti-Russian activities.

Poland fully supports the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine and Belarus, it does not have any territorial claims against its neighbours and it rejects any “imperial” ambitions towards other countries.

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict favours US interests, someone wants to divert Russia from Belarus and Syria

The escalated Nagorno-Karabakh conflict clearly creates problems for Russia and serves the US national interests. It seems that third parties want to drag Russia in a big war in the Caucasus and thereby divert its efforts from Belarus, Syria, Nord Stream II and other geopolitical issues. Consciously or not, Azerbaijan and Armenia are harming Russian interests and destroying CIS and CSTO security systems. This may well be the result of comprehensive military and political combination rather then mere coincidence.

A number of planned armed conflicts of average intensity in the Caucasus and other regions manifest the US’s desire to prevail in economic and military spheres in the vicinity of the Russian border. The US does not care about the population of CIS countries, whereas Russia will have to deal with such local conflicts, therefore less Russian resources will remain to compete with Washington in other parts of the world.

Disproof

This is conspiracy theory hinting that the recent escalation of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the result of deliberate US actions aimed at harming Russia and its interests. It therefore corresponds to recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the belligerent and hostile US and West against Russia and fits well into the disinformation narrative that presents virtually all protests, civil uprisings or local conflicts as a consequence of the West's intentional actions.

The recent escalation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region is a continuation of the decades-old conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. It is reported that nearly 100 people, including civilians, have died as of 29 September 2020. On 27 September, the EU High Representative Josep Borrell made a statement calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities, de-escalation and for strict observance of the ceasefire.

Russia has been the sole guarantor of Armenian statehood

For years, Russia has been the only guarantor of Armenian statehood and the only force capable to rescue it in the event of a full-scale Azerbaijani-Turkish attack. Nonetheless, the Armenian leadership did pretty well in undermining its strategic partnership with its neighbor.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation on Russia's role in international relations. The concept of "guarantor" does not exist in current international law. All UN memberstates are, according to the UN Charter obliged to respect other countries integrity.

All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.