USSR was forced and reluctant to sign Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact

Summary

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.”

Disproof

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.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 160
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/08/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, USSR, Germany
  • Keywords: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, World War 2, Historical revisionism, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Nazi/Fascist
  • Outlet: Baltnews.ee
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Washington is behind Latvia’s decision to buy Belarusian-produced energy

It is an illusion that the Latvian government changed its policies and suddenly started caring about the people; put a stop to psychiatric Russophobia; stopping attempts to revise the results of WWII results and to rehabilitate fascism. Latvia’s decision to trade energy on the border with Russia, not through Lithuania as before, could not be adopted without the US’s approval. Such geopolitical deals cannot be made by Latvia without Washington, just as the issues of moderate importance have to be agreed in Brussels.
The US’s intention seems to increase leverage over Belarus by intensifying its economic dependence on Latvia. At some point in the future, if no concessions are made by the Belarusian authorities over some matters, Washington will be able to blackmail Minsk, saying that Latvia will interrupt imports of Belarusian energy.

Disproof

This is a conspiracy which continues a series of disinformation attempts concerning the construction of the Belarusian NPP. It is consistent with recurring narratives about Latvia as a vassal state of the US and the prevalence of fascism and Russophobia in the Baltic countries.

Taken that Lithuania considers the Belarusian NPP as insecure and intends to end energy imports from Belarus and that until recently, the Lithuanian-Belarusian border, had been serving the Baltic states as the only point of trade in energy with third countries, Latvia decided to open an energy trade point at the Latvian-Russian border. It is groundless speculation that Latvia sought Washington’s approval to make this decision. Instead, as the Latvian government stated, it consulted neighbouring Estonia and Lithuania and the European Commission over this issue.

Soviet Union was forced to sign the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact

[Context: “A collection of archival documents was presented at the House of the Russian Historical Society in Moscow, proving that Hitler Germany was the initiator of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.”]

The Soviet Union was forced to sign this document in order to ensure its security.

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 Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) was signed on August 23, 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 Soviet Union 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 Czechoslovak 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.

Latvia plans to buy electricity at Russian border to disrupt Belarusian-Russia relations

Latvia’s decision to buy electricity at the Latvian-Russian border is an attempt to play a political game. Latvia wants to occupy a strategic position thanks to its location between Estonia and Lithuania. It also wants to place itself higher than the other Baltic states due to its Russophobic activities. Latvia wants to enhance bilateral relations with Belarus by becoming a large buyer of energy produced at the Belarusian nuclear power plant. Given that Latvian relations with Russia are tense, Latvia plans to disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations this way. This is an artificial and silly measure though, which will hardly bring fruit for Latvia.

Disproof

This is conspiracy based on a misinterpretation of the recent decision taken by the Latvian government. This message is consistent with recurring narratives about the West's attempts to disrupt Belarusian-Russia relations by any means and groundless Russophobic tendencies and measures taken by the Baltic states.

Taken that Lithuania considers the Belarusian NPP unsecure and intends to end energy imports from Belarus and that, until recently, the Lithuanian-Belarusian border had been serving the Baltic states as the only point of trade in energy with third countries, Latvia decided to open an energy trade point at the Latvian-Russian border.