DISINFO: USSR was forced and reluctant to sign Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
  • Outlet: Baltnews Estonia (archived)*
  • Date of publication: August 13, 2019
  • Outlet language(s): Russian
  • Reported in: Issue 160
  • Countries / regions discussed: USSR, Germany, Russia
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact World War 2 Historical revisionism Adolf Hitler Joseph Stalin Nazi/Fascist

DISINFO: USSR was forced and reluctant to sign Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact


The signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 was the lesser-evil option for the Soviet Union, allowing it to obtain at least some sort of guarantees [of security] for the foreseeable future.

Today, the pact is being harshly demonised, primarily by those countries which signed the 1938 Munich Agreement, thereby sacrificing real peace to a “politics of appeasement.”


The story advances what is perhaps the oldest and grandest legitimising narrative in pro-Kremlin discourse, namely the unimpeachability of Soviet decision-making in the run-up to and during the Second World War.

Historical records contradict the claim that the Soviet Union was somehow reluctant to conclude any agreements with the Third Reich, and that it was only forced to do so in the face of the West's moral capitulation at Munich. If anything, Joseph Stalin appeared quite enthusiastic throughout the Nazi-Soviet negotiations which culminated in the signing of Molotov-Ribbentrop. The following month, the Pact was supplemented by the Nazi-Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty.

Likewise, the article never bothers to mention the Secret Supplementary Protocol of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which effectively carved up Europe into Nazi and Soviet "spheres of influence." Within one year, the USSR invaded Poland (September 1939, jointly with Nazi Germany), Finland (November 1939), the Baltic States (June 1940), and Romania (June 1940).

The Pact is not being "demonised" but rather regarded -- alongside the Western policy of appeasement -- as one of the direct causes of the of the Second World War. Although widely criticized since, the 1938 Munich agreement confined the recognition of Nazi territorial claims to Sudetenland; Ribbentrop-Molotov entitled Hitler to half of Europe.


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