Disinfo: The European Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Totalitarian Regimes is a false holiday


In 2008-2009, PACE established August 23 as a false holiday, commemorating the victims of fascist and communist “totalitarianism” and the signing of the Nazi-Soviet Non-aggression pact. The Eastern Europeans and the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO (meaning, the United States) were also in favour of the establishment of this new “holiday”.


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 not aggressive. The European Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Totalitarian Regimes (August 23) was established by the European Parliament on 23 September 2008. The initiative to establish this Day of Remembrance comes from the Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism signed in 2008 by over 50 European politicians and prominent political prisoners and dissidents. This Remembrance Day is aimed at the promotion of historical remembrance about WWII and condemnation of totalitarian ideologies.

Both Nazi Germany and the Stalinist USSR were harsh totalitarian regimes, which directly caused the deaths of tens of millions of people.

Nazi Germany started the WWII attacking Poland on September 1, 1939, with Soviet troops entering Polish territory on September 17.

By the early part of 1939 Hitler had become determined to invade and occupy Poland. Secret negotiations between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union led to the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in Moscow on August 23–24. In a secret protocol of this pact, the Germans and the Soviets agreed that Poland should be divided between them, with the Western part of the country going to Germany and the eastern two-thirds being taken over by the USSR. Read more here. 

See similar examples of the Russian historical revisionism concerning this issue such as the Signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact thwarted the UK’s expansionist plans in EuropeThe Molotov-Ribbentrop pact did not violate the rights of the Polish stateThe shift of all blame for WWII outbreak at the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact the best example of manipulation of history.


  • Reported in: Issue180
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/01/2020
  • Language/target audience: Polish
  • Country: US
  • Keywords: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, European Parliament, EU, USSR, Historical revisionism, NATO, Nazi/Fascist


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.

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In 1938, Poland was a Nazi ally

The Polish elite have never hidden the fact that they preferred closer relations with Germany to better relations with the USSR. In 1938, Poland was a Nazi ally and partner, before it became a Nazi victim in 1939.


This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and an attempt to erode the disastrous historical role of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact by stating that Poland was a Nazi ally, so it should blame itself for the German-Soviet attack in September 1939. The claim that Poland was “an ally of Nazi Germany” goes against all available historical documents. Before WWII, Poland had tense political relations with Nazi Germany, which expressed open territorial claims on Poland (revision of the status of the Free City of Danzig and control over the “Polish Corridor”). Despite intense political pressure from Hitler, Poland consistently refused to become part of the Nazi block.

According to the pre-war plans of Hitler, Poland was supposed to be part of the “living space”/ Lebensraum for the Third Reich, a large part of its territory was planned to be incorporated into the German state and millions of Poles and Polish Jews were supposed to be exterminated.

The Red Army could not support the Warsaw Uprising

The Red Army, exhausted by a two-month offensive in Belarus and experiencing a deficit in ammunition and fuel, stopped its advance near Warsaw.

The failure of the Warsaw Uprising is mainly caused by its poor preparation and wrong political calculations of the Polish Government-in-exile. This Government did not have enough own forces, but it still did not want to cooperate with Moscow in preparation of the Uprising.

Despite the fact that the Red Army delivered weapons and ammunition to the Polish fighters by planes, it could not change the course of events.


A common Soviet and Russian disinformation narrative aimed to prove that Soviet troops could not support the Warsaw Uprising due to numerous objective reasons (such as the lack of necessary forces, overstretched supply lines, lack of communication with the Polish Home Army and the Polish Government in London, etc.). This message should be perceived as a part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism.

The Warsaw Uprising was the largest single military action realized by any European resistance movement during World War II – the number of Polish soldiers and civilians fighting in the Uprising was between 20 and 50 thousand.

Ukraine and Georgia are Western tools against Russia

Europe and the US have long been using Georgia and Ukraine as leverage on Russia.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative alleging that Ukraine and Georgia are controlled by the West and about the West’s strategy of encircling Russia.

Ukraine and Georgia are sovereign, independent states, not controlled by any foreign government, and without any anti-Russian policies. They are not tools against Russia in the hands of either the EU or the US. The EU and the US bilateral relations with Ukraine and Georgia are established on an equal basis.