Disinfo: USSR did its utmost to create anti-Hitler coalition, the West left it to deal with Nazi Germany alone

Summary

The Munich Agreement served as a “trigger” and made World War II inevitable. The Munich Agreement showed to the Soviet Union that Western countries would deal with security issues without taking its interests into account. In fact, they could even create an anti-Soviet front, if needed. Nevertheless, the Soviet Union did its utmost to use every chance of creating an anti-Hitler coalition, despite the double-dealing on the part of Western countries. However, the Soviet leadership saw how attempts were made to leave the Soviet Union alone to deal with Germany and its allies. Bearing in mind this real threat, Soviet leaders sought to buy precious time needed to strengthen the country’s defences.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism which attempts to portray Russia's role in World War II as non-aggressive and to blame the West for the failure to create an anti-Nazi coalition with the Soviet Union. This narrative essentially blames the West for the outbreak of World War II, and seeks to relativise and erode the disastrous historical role of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact (the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union) by stating that other countries signed various international agreements with Adolf Hitler throughout the 1930s, and to argue that it was the Munich Agreement that triggered WWII. The article’s claim that the failure to create an anti-Nazi alliance between Western powers and the Soviet Union in the late 1930s is entirely the West’s fault is not true. This failure was due to deep mutual mistrust between Western democracies and the Soviet Union. On the one hand, mass terror inside the Soviet Union made many European policy-makers wary of entering into an alliance with Moscow, especially because thousands of experienced Soviet military officers were imprisoned or executed during this purge. On the other hand, Stalin perceived that Western powers, especially after the Munich Agreement, looked with favour on Germany’s eastward expansion. Furthermore, he played a “double game”, negotiating the creation of an anti-Nazi alliance with France and the UK, and at the same time discussing with Berlin a possibile Soviet-Nazi rapproachment. The Munich Agreement has always been a symbol of “appeasement policy", it was widely criticised and proved to be a disastrous move. Great Britain and France, without inviting Czechoslovakia decided that, for the sake of peace in Europe, the Sudetenland region, which was predominantly inhabited by Germans, must be surrendered to Germany. However, when Germany itself destroyed the Munich Pact and occupied Prague in March 1939, Anglo-French policy towards Nazi Germany changed fundamentally from appeasement to resistance. Britain and France approached various governments, including Russia, about the need for forming a coalition to oppose further German aggression. The Molotov-Ribentropp Pact was signed on August 23, 1939. Its secret protocols divided Eastern and Central Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence. The signing of this Pact enabled the German and Soviet military aggression against Poland in September 1939, which resulted in the occupation of this country by Germany and USSR, triggering the beginning of World War II.The Pact also led in 1940 to the Soviet occupation and annexation of the three Baltic states -- which did not regain their independence until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Read more about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact: The Night Stalin and Hitler Redrew the Map of Europe. Read previous cases claiming that the Soviet Union was forced to sign the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact , that Western democracies are primarily responsible for the outbreak of World War II and that the Munich agreement triggered World War II.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 202
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 19/06/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Italian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Poland, Germany, Russia
  • Keywords: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Historical revisionism, USSR, WWII, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Nazi/Fascist
see more

Crimea returned to Russia after a referendum

Crimea returned to Russia after a referendum on the peninsula.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the annexation of Crimea, claiming that Crimea voted to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum.

Crimea is a part of Ukraine and was illegally annexed by Russia. In 2014, Russian troops obliged the parliament of Crimea to organise a referendum, which was illegitimate under international law, and then formally annexed the peninsula and brought it under Russian territorial control. The annexation has been condemned by the UNGA (see the resolution A/RES/68/262 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine).

Ukraine is preparing a new provocation in the Black Sea

Under the leadership of US intelligence agencies, Ukraine is creating a “mosquito fleet” to continue provocations in the Black Sea, similar to the one that was carried out near the Crimean bridge. So we should expect that these American boats, being captured by Russian border guards along with Ukrainian crews, will again gather dust in Sevastopol as material evidence.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the Kerch strait incident and US controlling Ukraine. No evidence is given. The U.S. State Department has cleared a potential sale to Ukraine of 16 Mark VI patrol boats and other gear worth $600 million. According to a State Department official, the sale will improve the capability of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to “sustain river and littoral water patrols throughout Ukraine’s [maritime] exclusive economic zone.” The article tries to link this potential sale to the Kerch strait incident, itself the source of multiple disinformation instances. On 25 November 2018, border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and a tugboat and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen and arresting 24 members. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters. However, a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty is considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine. On 25 May 2019, the United Nations Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ordered Russia to immediately release Ukrainian sailors and allow them to return to Ukraine. The EU also urged Russia to release the captured crew. Twenty-four military sailors returned to Ukraine on 7 September 2019 as part of a mutual release of detainees by Ukraine and Russia. On 21 November 2019, Russia returned the ships to Ukraine.

No evidence of the involvement of Russian state structures in the killing of Georgian citizen in Berlin

Almost ten months after the murder of a Georgian in Berlin, the federal prosecutor’s office in Karlsruhe filed charges against a Russian. On 18 June 2020, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office brought charges against the Russian citizen Vadim K. alias Vadim S. before the State Protection Senate of the Berlin Court of Appeal. There was, and is, no evidence of the involvement of Russian state structures in this incident. Also it was stated that this murder case is not connected with the Russian state and state authorities.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that there is no proof and evidence behind accusations against Russia. Consistent with the narrative on Russophobia. A 40-year-old man, Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, was shot dead in a Berlin park just before midday on 23 August 2019. The victim was a Chechen exile who had survived two previous attempts on his life. The Dossier Center, a London-based research group founded by Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, and other investigation groups, such as Bellingcat, identified the suspect as Vadim N. Krasikov, a 49-year-old Russian citizen from Siberia who, according to Bellingcat, used fake identity documents to enter Germany a few days before. The German Foreign Office says Russian officials have not responded sufficiently to repeated requests for information, despite repeated high-level and urgent demands. In addition, the German Federal Foreign Office insisted in a statement that "the Federal Public Prosecutor General has taken over the investigations into this case as there are sufficient grounds to believe that the killing was carried out either on behalf of state authorities of the Russian Federation or of those of the autonomous Chechen Republic as part of the Russian Federation". On December 4th, Germany expelled two Russian diplomats in response to this incident. Germany's federal prosecutor took over the investigation in December 2019. On Thursday, 18 June 2020, almost ten months after the murder, they said they had gathered sufficient evidence and brought charges against the suspect. See similar cases on the Khangoshvili murder here, and similar narratives on Skripal and MH17 cases.