Disinfo: The Baltic States joined the USSR in accordance with international law

Summary

Riga was liberated from Germans in 1944. The liberation of the Baltic states was itself a big operation and several fronts participated in the process. The Baltic states consider that their countries were occupied during 1944-1991. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the incorporation of the Baltic states into the Soviet Union happened in accordance with the international law.

Disproof

A recurring attempt of historical revisionism aiming at justifying Soviet actions. On 23 August 1939, the 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 Baltic States were not beneficiaries of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. Like other countries mentioned in the pact, they lost their independence and territories. Soviet occupation of the Baltic States lasted for 50 years and resulted in mass deportations and repressions against local populations. 24 December 1989, the Parliament of the USSR, the Congress of the People’s Deputies, adopted a resolution, denouncing the secret protocol of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. An English translation of the full text here:

The Congress notes that during this period the relations of the USSR with Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were regulated by a system of treaties. Pursuant to the 1920 Peace Treaties and 1926-1933 Non-Aggression Treaties, the signatories were obliged to honour each other’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability under any circumstances. The Soviet Union had assumed similar obligations to Poland and Finland.

See similar disinformation narratives on history and Baltic states here and here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 168
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 11/10/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: USSR, Baltic states, Latvia
  • Keywords: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Historical revisionism, Nazi/Fascist
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Ukraine derailed the plan to renew disengagement of forces in Donbas

Ukraine, under the far-fetched pretext of violation of the ceasefire, did not start the practical part of the disengagement [in Petrivske and Zolote]. Ukrainian armed formations derailed the plan on the renewal of disengagement of forces in the Petrovskoye area endorsed by the Contact Group.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative blaming Ukraine for the disruption of the agreed disengagement of the troops and hardware in Donbas. It also repeats common disinformation narratives about the war in Ukraine. On October 7, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Vadym Prystaiko mentioned that the disengagement has been thwarted by ongoing attacks on the areas where the disengagement should have taken place. "To our deep regret, you know that Petrivske and Zolote came under attack several days ago. As you remember, we agreed to begin the disengagement on the seventh day of truce in this area," Prystaiko said at a press-conference. Ukraine’s Defence Minister Andriy Zahorodniuk mentioned Ukraine’s readiness to withdraw troops from the agreed areas after the shelling stops. OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine confirmed the ceasefire violations in the Zolote disengagement area on October 5-6 and in Petrivske on October 9. In accordance with the Trilateral Contact Group Framework Decision the disengagement of forces and hardware begins only after a seven-day ceasefire is achieved and verified by the SMM.

EU integration means property restitution from a large part of Ukrainian territory in favour of EU countries

Poland and possibly Hungary are preparing documents on property located in Western Ukraine. Restitution is the key rule of EU integration. This is what Latvia went through and it had to return almost a half of Riga’s historical centre to previous owners. Restitution of property on the territories of Bessarabia, Zakarpattia, Bukovina, Galicia, Volyn, and part of Podillia regions are open questions. One may wonder if the rights of the Russian empire over Kyiv can be treated as restitution too.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about massive restitution claims that Ukrainians will face in case Ukraine joins the EU. In reality, property restitution is not a condition for EU membership and is not on the agenda of EU-Ukrainian relations. "Restitution is one of the most mythologised issues in Ukrainian politics. Politicians and experts contribute hugely to the belief that European integration will inevitably lead to a review of property rights and many ordinary citizens will lose their homes or have to pay compensation to foreigners, primarily to Poles," Europe Insight analysis reads. It includes an expert opinion that the property restitution issue is "above the EU's competence" and could not be inserted into the EU-Ukraine Association agreement even theoretically. Read an earlier disinformation case alleging that Poland wants restitution of II Rzeczpospolita from Belarus [Second Polish Republic] property and a total clean-up of the political sphere.

Ukraine is turning into neo-feudal state, ruled from the outside

Ukraine is increasingly legitimizing neo-feudalism. The land market will create regional landowners, who will become nobles with serfs and titles. Central overlords will be located outside Ukraine. Therefore Ukraine will return in the situation similar to periods in Polish history when the nobles had rather wide competences and the king did not have real power.

Disproof

This is a recurrent narrative aimed to discredit Ukrainian statehood and to draw imminently negative consequences of Ukraine's integration with the EU.

See earlier disinformation cases alleging that Zelenskyy has neither army nor police, he is surrounded by corrupted predators, post-Soviet countries are feudal principalities governed by the West, and that the idea of Ukraine is based on a mythologised lie.