Disinfo: WWII: There was no French resistance to the invaders during the first year of occupation


There was no French resistance to the invaders for more than a year. It’s not common knowledge whom the majority of the French actually supported.

Only one Nazi German has been killed by a French since the beginning of the Nazi occupation and it happened on 21 August 1941.


No evidence given. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about WWII.

Within weeks of the 1940 occupation of France, groups of men and women had begun to resist. Some collected military intelligence for transmission to London; some organized escape routes for British airmen who had been shot down; some circulated anti-German leaflets; some engaged in the sabotage of railways and German installations. French citizens helped to save Jews during the occupation as well.

220.000 French people were honored by the post war authorities for their role in the French Resistance. Moreover, French units abroad under the command of Charles de Gaulle continued fighting against Axis troops, rejecting Marshal Petain's armistice with Germany. The air force of Free France even set up a Fighter Regiment, engaging in combat on the Eastern Front along with Soviet Air Force units.

Read more about the French Resistance here.


  • Reported in: Issue 160
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/08/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: USSR, Germany, France
  • Keywords: WWII


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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The USSR tried to prevent the start of WWII, but Europe abandoned the anti-Hitler coalition

The Soviet Union made every effort to create an anti-Hitler coalition with European countries in order to confront fascist Germany. However, in spite of all the USSR’s efforts, Poland, France and Great Britain had signed the non-aggression pact with Germany, so the Soviet side had to sign Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, which was a forced measure.


During the so-called Moscow Negotiations, which began in May and lasted until August 1939, the UK, France, Poland and the USSR could not find a compromise to create a coalition. Poland categorically refused to let the Red Army into its territory, fearing Soviet occupation. The USSR also started negotiations with Germany in parallel and on August 23, 1939, signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop (Stalin-Hitler) pact, in which the Soviet Union and Germany divided the spheres of interests in Europe: the division of Poland, the Baltic countries, Finland, and Romania were agreed.

On September 1 1939, Hitler attacked Poland, Soviet troops entered the territory on September 17 of the same year. From September 3 1939, Great Britain and France were at war with Germany, creating an anti-Hitler coalition together with the expelled Polish government and other countries.

NATO jet intentionally provoked Russian jets over the Baltic sea

The F-18 pilot acted unacceptably […] There could be only one conclusion: the NATO pilot received an order to show “who is the boss of the house” over the Baltic sea. But it didn’t work out since our fighter jets warded him off. It was an intentional provocation.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO.

On August 13 2019, two NATO fighter jets assigned to the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission were sent to identify a Russian Tu-214 transport aircraft that was being escorted by two Russian Su-27 fighter airplanes over the Baltic Sea, close to NATO member airspace.

The Munich conspiracy of European powers launched the WWII

The Munich Agreement (1938) is the culmination of the helplessness of European diplomacy in front of the Nazi threat. This Munich conspiracy of European powers launched the largest war in history. 

UK and France did not want to form an anti-Nazi alliance with the USSR, which forced Moscow to take maintain peace on its territory with its own forces.


This is a pro-Kremlin conspiracy narrative about the WWII.

The Munich Agreement (September 30, 1938), indeed, permitted German annexation of the Sudetenland, in western Czechoslovakia. The policy of appeasement towards Adolf Hitler was heavily criticized in Europe and proved to be a disastrous move. World War II began in Europe on 1 September 1939, when Germany invaded Poland. Great Britain and France responded by declaring war on Germany on 3 September.