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.

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 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).

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 165
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/09/2019
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: Poland, USSR, Germany
  • Keywords: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Historical revisionism, WWII, Joseph Stalin, Nazi/Fascist
  • Outlet: Sputnik Deutschland
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The Konev monument: A small clique of junior officials have created this international row

Ondřej Kolář, who brought up the idea of removing the monument to Marshall Konev, Prague’s liberator from the Nazis, is a junior city official of the Municipal District 6 in Prague with a few supporters. That means that this international row has been set up by a small clique of municipal clerks. No one outside the Czech capital had ever heard about Ondřej Kolář. His hatred towards all Russians is gigantic. These people are idiots.

Disproof

This is a false claim and one of several disinformation cases about the statue of Marshall Konev in Prague. It is also consistent with common pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Russophobia and the supposedly hostile anti-Russian intentions of the West, based on which Russia can cast itself as the victim.

The monument to Marshall Konev was erected in 1980 during the "normalisation" period in communist Czechoslovakia. The leadership of Prague's Municipal District 6, which retains legal ownership of the statue, has voted to move the monument to a museum and replace it with a memorial commemorating Soviet sacrifices in the fight against Hitler in general, and the liberation of Prague in particular. More information available here.

Removal of the monument to Marshall Konev is a violation of the Czech-Russian agreement of 1993

The decision to remove the monument is an outrage and violates the obligations of the Czech Republic according to the 1993 agreement on amicable relations and cooperation.

Disproof

This is a false claim and one of several disinformation cases about the statue of Marshall Konev in Prague. It is also consistent with common pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Russophobia and the supposedly hostile anti-Russian intentions of the West, based on which Russia can cast itself as the victim.

In the dispute over the statue, Russia has argued that under the Czech-Russian mutual agreement of 1993, the Czech Republic is obliged to leave the statue in place on Prague's Interbrigade Square. However, this is an intentionally false and misleading interpretation of the terms of the agreement (full text available here). The monument is municipal property, belonging to city district Prague 6, and the 1993 agreement therefore does not apply to this case.

Local Gauleiter wants to remove the statue of Marshall Konev, the liberator of Prague

Prague was liberated after Berlin’s fall. This was not a walk in the park. Konev’s army was set in to the operation, 12,000 of our soldiers died, liberating Prague. The citizens of Prague erected the statue of Konev as a sign of gratitude. And suddenly some local guy, representing a borough, declares that the borough should take down the monument of the liberator and the saviour of the city. Some local kind of Gauleiter. Now Czech President Milos Zeman, a wise and educated man, has said that this is an outrage and this mustn’t be done. We are, of course, grateful towards the President for his support. We hope that after this declaration, the [local] authorities will make the correct decision.

Disproof

This is a false claim and one of several disinformation cases about the statue of Marshall Konev in Prague. It is also consistent with common pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Russophobia and the supposedly hostile anti-Russian intentions of the West, based on which Russia can cast itself as the victim.

The article's description of the Head of Prague's Municipal District 6 as "Gauleiter" is consistent with the Kremlin's well-established efforts to smear its opponents as "Fascists" and "Nazis".