DISINFO: The isolated USSR had no alternative and had to sign the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
DISINFORMATION CASE DETAILS
  • Outlet: Sputnik Germany (archived)*
  • Date of publication: September 17, 2019
  • Outlet language(s): German
  • Reported in: Issue 165
  • Countries / regions discussed: USSR, Poland, Germany
Tags:
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact Historical revisionism WWII Joseph Stalin Nazi/Fascist

DISINFO: The isolated USSR had no alternative and had to sign the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact

SUMMARY

The isolated USSR had no alternative and had to sign the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The isolated Soviet Union had to act (…). It therefore subsequently entered into negotiations with fascist Germany. Moscow had “no alternative” and signed the non-aggression treaty with Berlin. All Soviet security interests had been taken into account in the secret additional protocol on the division of Poland. (…) The Soviet leadership had not given up and made further proposals, including a stand-by pact and a military treaty with Britain and France. But this had been rejected one by one and the talks with Moscow had been prolonged. Since then, the events have repeatedly been used for accusations and allegations that the Soviet Union under Joseph V. Stalin had made common cause with fascist Germany under Adolf Hitler. (…) Historical events like these 80 years ago are also used in the current Western front position against Russia.

RESPONSE

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 Soviet Union) was signed on 23 August 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. The Treaty enabled the USSR to invade and annex the Baltic States. The Soviets also annexed Romania's provinces of Bessarabia (today's Moldova) and northern Bukovina (now in Ukraine) and the Czechoslovakian territory of Carpathian Ruthenia (now also part of Ukraine). Throughout the territories it occupied, the Soviet Union carried out harsh political reprisals, including mass executions and deportations. 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. The Pact is not being used against Russia by "the current Western front" but rather regarded - alongside the Western policy of appeasement - as one of the direct causes of the Second World War. Although widely criticised since, the 1938 Munich agreement confined the recognition of Nazi territorial claims to Sudetenland; Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact entitled Hitler to half of Europe. See more examples referring to Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact here, 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).

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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.

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