Disinfo: The Soviet Union was forced to sign the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact

Summary

The Soviet Union was forced to sign a pact with Hitler after several attempts to solve the problem with Western countries in a diplomatic way and after trying to make an agreement with Poland. At the same time, the West were helping Hitler by directing him toward the USSR. The content of the agreement was very simple – the two sides agreed to not attack each other for the next 10 years. Secret protocol regulated the distribution of spheres of influence in Poland. The USSR was given only the territory that was previously occupied by Poland after the First World War. These are western Ukraine and western Belarus.

Disproof

A recurring disinformation narrative revising the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and an attempt to portray Russia's role in World War II as non-aggressive. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) was signed on August 23, 1939. Its secret protocols divided Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence. Thus, the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact directly caused the German and Soviet military aggression against Poland in September 1939, which resulted in complete occupation of the country by Germany and the USSR. A secret protocol was appended to the public pact of nonaggression which divided the whole of eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence. Poland, east of the line formed by the Narew, Vistula, and San rivers would fall under the Soviet sphere of influence. The protocol also assigned Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland to the Soviet sphere of influence. Also, the Soviet Union kept negotiating with Britain and France, but in the end, Stalin chose to reach an agreement with Germany. By doing so, he hoped to keep the USSR at peace with Germany and to gain time to build up the Soviet military establishment, which had been weakened by the purge of the Red Army officer corps in 1937. See similar disinformation cases here and here. Read more about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact: A 'honeymoon' for two dictators (Deutche Welle); The Night Stalin and Hitler Redrew the Map of Europe (RFERL).

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 163
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05/09/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Serbian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: USSR, Poland, Russia
  • Keywords: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, World War 2, West, Adolf Hitler
see more

Violations by the Ukrainian army in the Donbas are secret and nobody investigates them

Former Verkhovna Rada deputy, Alexey Zhuravko, published documents that testify to the crimes of the Ukrainian Armed Forces against the civilian population of the Donbas. Reported cases are dated from 2014-2015 and addressed to the Minister of Defence of Ukraine, Stepan Poltorak. According to experts, information about the crimes of the Ukrainian military in the east of the country has become public knowledge more than once. However, analysts believe that the new government in Kyiv will not be engaged in a full-scale and comprehensive investigation of human rights violations in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the Ukrainian army and its impunity, aggression against the civilian population in Donbas. The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine denied such allegations, noting that a sentence has been passed on each existing case, and the Main Military Prosecutor’s Office is constantly monitoring the issue of combating crimes in the conflict zone. The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission documented cases of human rights violations in Donbas every year, and this information is not secret.

The US intends to "discipline the EU" from the position of a senior partner

The EU is in crisis: a crisis in migration policy, in relations with each other, a crisis in relation to sanctions against Russia, and so on. The United States wants to keep under its vigilant control the processes of the evolution and transformation of the European Union. They’re not going to leave Europe. The US will try to rebuild relations on the basis of a senior partner’s relation to a junior.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about US presence in Europe, portraying Europe as a vassal of the USA. Russian disinformation sources like to claim that almost all European countries are no longer truly sovereign. The EU Member States are sovereign countries and make sovereign decisions about their own security and policies. The US is an important ally to the EU but EU policy is not determined by the US, as explained by the EU High Representative. The EU is not "a young relative of US" and not dependent on the USA in terms of foreign policymaking and therefore it is a conspiracy theory presented without any evidence.

Ukraine's political goal is war with Russia

Ukraine’s political goal remains the same – war with Russia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine. The international community, including the European Union recognizes and condemns clear violations of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014. One of the promises the current president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy made during the election campaign was to raise the question with the guarantors of theBudapest memorandum of supporting Ukraine in an effort to end the war, return the temporarily occupied territories and force Russia to compensate Ukraine for the losses incurred. Zelenskyy thencontinued mentioning the importance of ending the war in Ukraine. Recently he said that Donbas must be rebuilt upon completion of the war.