Disinfo: Western countries revise WWII history to evade responsibility for allowing Hitler to gather strength for the attack on the USSR

Summary

For several years, Moscow has been warning about the attempts of Western countries to revise the history of WWII. The goal of the revision of WWII history is to approve a new interpretation of this period with the following goals: a). UK, France and the US get rid of their responsibilities for allowing Hitler to gather strength for the attack at the East (Drang nach Osten); b). maximal limitation of the role of the USSR in the victory over Germany; c). the fault of Germany for outbreak of WWII and the fault of the West for its tactical games is divided between Germany and the USSR.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism – it accuses the West of the “falsification and re-writing” of WWII history in order to “minimise the role of the USSR in victory over Nazism” and to “get rid of its share of the blame for the outbreak of WWII”. The same opinion piece contained other disinformation about the dismantling of the Konev monument in Prague, Western democracies preferring to co-operate with Hitler instead of the USSR in the 1930s and Poland cooperating with Hitler before the German attack on their country. Any disagreement with the official Kremlin’s view of the history of WWII is automatically labelled by Russia as support for “Nazism”. The perception of WWII history in the EU and the USA is based on facts, shared by the predominant majority of historians. Both Nazi Germany and the Stalinist USSR were harsh totalitarian regimes, which directly caused the deaths of tens of millions of people. These two regimes signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with a Secret Supplementary Protocol, assuming the division of Poland and other Eastern European countries. The European Parliament resolution on the importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe stressed the fact that WWII was an immediate result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The resolution is aimed at the promotion of historical remembrance about WWII and condemnation of totalitarian ideologies. Western countries do not question the role of the USSR in the victory over Nazi Germany. See similar examples of the Russian accusations against particular European countries regarding falsification and re-writing of history - Poland creates and promotes its historical myths in an active and aggressive way; Poland and Lithuania question the status of Russia as a country who won WWII; President Duda and President Zelensky promote propaganda and Poland tries to adjust history to politics, misinterpreting the historical facts. [Note: This opinion piece contained other disinformation about the removal of the Konev monument in Prague and Poland and Western democracies cooperating with Hitler.]

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 196
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 08/05/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Polish
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: UK, France, Germany, US, Russia
  • Keywords: West, Historical revisionism, Anti-Russian, USSR, WWII, Adolf Hitler, Nazi/Fascist
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“Devaluation” of Victory Day means “devaluation” of Ukraine

Some forces intentionally tried to devalue the Victory Day only because Russia celebrates it, this meaning that Ukraine should not celebrate… The attempt to “devalue” Victory Day is an attempt to “devalue” the state of Ukraine itself.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative distorting the events of the Second World War. Since 2016, in the framework of the law on decommunisation, on 9 May, Ukraine began to celebrate "Victory Day over Nazism in World War II of 1939-1945." The holiday replaced the "Victory Day over fascism in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945." The relevant law No. 2539 “On the Perpetuation of the Victory over Nazism in World War II of 1939 - 1945” was adopted on 9 April 2015, by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. The law defines the duty of the state and citizens of Ukraine to respect the memory of the victory over Nazism in WWII; war veterans, members of the Ukrainian liberation movement and the victims of Nazism. At the same time, while respecting the memory of those who fell during WWII, the use of Soviet symbols was cancelled. Instead, now the official symbol of the celebration of the Day of Victory over Nazism in WWII is the red poppy flower - the generally accepted symbol in the world for the celebration of significant days of WWII. Also, together with many EU countries, on 8 May, Ukraine annually celebrates Remembrance and Reconciliation Day. The holiday is celebrated on the day of the surrender of Nazi Germany on 8 May 1945.

The purpose of the US Arctic Doctrine is to destabilise the region

Washington has long been developing plans for the international use of the Arctic seas. Also, criticising Russia for the “militarisation” of the Arctic. In October 2019, the Pentagon unveiled its Arctic Doctrine. The purpose of Doctrine is to block the Russian Northern Sea Route. They likely will deploy the US naval strike groups in the European sector of the Arctic. This will inevitably lead to regional destabilisation. Russia will never give its Arctic to anyone.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US, claiming that American and NATO policies are a threat to world peace and security. US policy towards the Arctic emphasises science and international collaboration, tending to neglect strategic and geopolitical considerations. In June 2019, the US Department of Defense released its updated Arctic Defence Strategy. This document focuses on threats posed by Russia – which is building up and upgrading military infrastructure in its Arctic region – and by China. Previously abandoned Cold War-era military installations have been reopened and incursions by Russian aircraft and submarines into or close to other countries’ Arctic spaces have become more frequent. The US and NATO are reviewing their policies in the Arctic region because of the increasing military activities of Russia and China in the Arctic. Read similar cases claiming that Washington is using NATO for military confrontation in the Arctic, or Finland cooperates with NATO in order to get territory in the Arctic, that the new US policy in the Arctic is belligerent, and that NATO wants to prevent Russia from utilising the Northeast passage.

Ukrainian army purposefully fires at children in Donbas

Against the backdrop of indifference on the part of the world community, Ukrainian servicemen intentionally fire at children of the Donetsk People’s Republic. Ukraine continues to terrorise the Republic’s population and traditionally increases the number of aggressive acts before holidays, such as Victory Day.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the war in Ukraine. Over the last two weeks, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission has recorded just one case of injuries sustained by children. According to the May 5 report, three children were injured due to shelling in Oleksandrivka (non-government-controlled). Medical staff at a Donetsk hospital refused to provide the SMM with further information. Also, according to the OSCE mission's daily reports, the number of ceasefire violations in the previous 30 days as of 7 May was lower than the 2019 daily average. However, the number of daily ceasefire violations on 5 May was higher than average. According to human rights organisations, children's rights are often violated by the occupying administrations in Donbas. For instance, the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" created a militarised "army" for young people which is called "Yunarmia". Since 2014, children have participated in non-government military formations on both sides. See recent disinformation alleging that Kyiv will soon try to take back the Donbas and that Kyiv's Western protectors are inflaming war in the Donbas.