USSR was not going to divide Poland

Summary

It is often said that Stalin or the Soviet government entered into a treaty with Germany in order to divide Poland and seize the Baltic states. Thе treaty was signed on the basis of national interests. But USSR had neither documents nor facts showing that Hitler would definitely attack Poland. There were intelligence reports – this was assumed, but there was no certainty. USSR certainly was not going to divide Poland.

Disproof

A recurring disinformation narrative revising the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) was signed on August 23, 1939. To the public pact of nonaggression was appended a secret protocol, which divided the whole of eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence. Poland east of the line formed by the Narew, Vistula, and San rivers would fall under the Soviet sphere of influence. The protocol also assigned Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland to the Soviet sphere of influence.

In 1989, the Soviet Congress of People's Deputies condemned these protocols: "The content of this treaty did not diverge with the norms of international law. However, during the signing of the treaty and in the process of its ratification the signature of an "additional secret protocol", which delimited the "areas of interest" of the parties from the Baltic to the Black Sea, from Finland to Bessarabia, was hidden."

The original documents were burned by the Nazis at the end of the war, but a microfilm copy was saved and turned over to British and American authorities, who revealed its contents. Read more about this in the New York Times article.

More about the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact: The Night Stalin and Hitler Redrew the Map of Europe (RFERL) and Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact: A 'honeymoon' for two dictators (Deutsche Welle).

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 159
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04/07/2019
  • Language/target audience: Armenian, Russian
  • Country: Poland, USSR, Germany
  • Keywords: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Historical revisionism, WWII
  • Outlet: Sputnik Armenia
see more

24 Ukrainian sailors were captured after they violated Russia’s border

The Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe called on Russia to release the 24 Ukrainian sailors who were captured in November 2018 after they violated the Russian border.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the November 2018 Kerch incident. On 25 November 2018, border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and a tug boat and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen and arresting 24. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters. The EU has urged Russia to release the captured crew.

However, the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov, as addressed by the 2003 bilateral agreement between Ukraine and Russia are defined as the internal waters of both Russia and Ukraine. The agreement gives both parties the power to inspect suspicious vessels. Furthermore, both the 2003 bilateral agreement and UN Convention on the Law of the Sea provide for the freedom of navigation.

The US didn’t provide any proof that Russia violated the INF treaty

In October 2018, US President Donald Trump stated that the US would withdraw from the INF treaty due to Moscow’s violations of its commitments. However, the US didn’t provide any proof to support this claim.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that the US is entirely responsible for the demise of the INF Treaty, and that Russia was fully compliant with it.

In July 2014, President Obama officially accused Russia of testing an intermediate-range land-launched missile in violation of the INF. Russia’s violations were also acknowledged by NATO Foreign Ministers in a meeting in Brussels on 4 December 2018. NATO allies share the US government’s assessment that Russia has developed and fielded a missile system, the 9M729, which violates the INF Treaty and poses significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security. The US gathered detailed information on Russia’s flight-testing of the 9M792 missile to distances well over 500 kilometers, in violation of the INF, and provided Moscow with evidence about the 9M729’s violations, including geographic coordinates and dates for the tests. Russia has continually denied any wrongdoing.

British lab in Porton Down was involved in Skripal poisoning

The Porton Down laboratory near Salisbury was evidently somehow involved in the Skripal case, though it is unclear to what extent this was a “news game” between MI5 and Russia’s SVR.

Disproof

Earlier, pro-Kremlin media have claimed that Porton Down might have manufactured Novichok, or that the Porton Down laboratory was responsible for the Amesbury poisoning.

British police and intelligence investigations have produced hard forensic evidence which was sufficient to charge two Russian nationals – identified as officers of the Russian Military Intelligence, GRU – for the attack on the Skripals. Following this attack, the United Kingdom notified the OPCW, invited them to confirm the identity of the substance involved, and briefed members of the Security Council. The OPCW’s independent expert laboratories confirmed the UK’s identification of the Russian-produced Novichok nerve agent.