Disinfo: The US is rewriting World War II history

Summary

The United States is trying to rewrite history in its favour, with the aim of diminishing the role of the Soviet Red Army in defeating Nazi Germany in World War II.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on WWII and the West.

The accusation in this article against the US is a reaction to a competition organised by the US Embassy in Hungary for "proposals for programmes that foster truthful recognition and remembrance of the tragedies of the Second World War, the Holocaust, and the long road to freedom that followed." What angered pro-Kremlin media is that, amongst others, the proposals should "focus on individual experiences and oral histories... under the tyranny of the Soviet Union".

Mentioning Soviet tyranny in Hungary is not historical revisionism, it is acknowledging well-documented facts. In 1956, Soviets viciously crushed a spontaneous national uprising led by Hungarian Prime Minister Imre Nagy. Moscow then backed a new breakaway Hungarian government led by Janos Kadar, whose stated purpose was to destroy Mr Nagy's "counter-revolution". Read more about the Hungarian uprising here.

Western historians acknowledge the role played by the USSR in defeating Nazism and do not question the Soviet contribution to the victory in WWII and the status of the USSR as a country which had won.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 197
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 01/05/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Hungary, USSR, US
  • Keywords: Red Army, WWII, Nazi/Fascist

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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More than 7000 POWs were buried alive, killed in gas chambers or shot by Finns in Karelia during WWII

More than 7000 POWs were buried alive, killed in gas chambers or shot by Finns in Karelia during WWII, says Investigative Committee of Russia, which has opened a genocide investigation of Finns conducting mass killings in Karelia during WWII.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation message focusing on Finland and Russia's Karelia during WWII. In October 2019, Russia's Security Service FSB released "secret documents" about the conditions in the Finnish camps. In April 2020, more documents were published, and former prisoners of the Finnish concentration camps asked the head of the Russian Investigating committee Alexander Bastrykin to launch an investigation into crimes of the occupying authorities during the war.

While it is true, therefor, that Russia's investigative committee has indeed launched such an investigation, the media outlet in question repeats its questionable claims without challenging them.

US might be developing weaponised insects; Pentagon’s biolabs must be investigated

Leaving your opponent without a harvest, which could lead to famine, is a much slower approach to reaching one’s aim. But it is a practical one, as the land could still be used for growing crops in the future. Such a bioweapon (an insect that introduces genetically modified material) could be deployed by an aggressor without the need for special equipment, thus leaving no trace of an attack. No means of spreading any chemicals or toxins would be found either as these could serve as indirect proof of a deliberate (far from natural) attack on plants. Filling a field with weaponized insects is all one needs.

Concerns are growing about the fact that the United States has been providing a great deal of funding for biological programs that may have dual uses, such as conducting controversial experiments with infectious agents that cause deadly diseases; testing mechanisms of dispersal; increasing the scope of military research in biolabs abroad, and others. And as there are more and more questions about the nature of research done in numerous secret biolabs of the Pentagon, an unbiased international investigation ought to be conducted into their work.

Disproof

An unfounded conspiracy theory connected to recurring disinformation claims about the US allegedly developing bioweapons at secret facilities. See related examples of disinformation about the Lugar lab in Georgia. These messages are a longstanding element of pro-Kremlin disinformation - and especially in the current context of the coronavirus pandemic, pro-Kremlin media have been actively spreading disinformation claims about the US - or the West more broadly - manufacturing biological weapons; see here for an overview.

Also see related disinformation cases alleging that US laboratories in Ukraine are deadly; that COVID-19 brings attention to secret US laboratories on the borders of US and China; that US is afraid of leakage of infectious substances on its territory so it builds secret laboratories in colonized countries.

EU and NATO countries are hostile towards Russia because they fail at showcasing unity

Unfortunately, a wave of hostility has emerged [against Russia], but we prefer not to draw attention to it. We believe that this situation is caused by the failure of the Western countries, that is, the European Union and the NATO, to showcase a spirit of unity within their bloc.

Disproof

A recurrent narrative, consistent with suggestion that “Russophobia” is a driving force behind European policies. More on Russophobia here.

The COVID-19 outbreak constituted a serious challenge to Europe's readiness for a crisis. But the claim that "EU has failed in showing unity" is false.