August 23 marked the 80th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Throughout those years, we saw the widest variety of arguments and explanations for concluding the Pact from Russia as well its consequences and the roles of the parties in it.
The EuvsDisinfo portal has mapped them and published a separate article on the craziest ones.
For example, Russia has repeatedly claimed they were reluctant to enter into the pact and that the Kremlin had no opportunity not to do so.
It has also been claimed by Russia that the signing of the pact did not start World War II and the Soviet Union cannot be blamed for it as well as it was all Hitler’s fault.
One of the stupidest arguments the Kremlin has made in relation to the pact accuses Poland of wanting to attack the Soviet Union, which signing of the pact was to prevent.
A separate chapter in the false allegations area, based on distortions of history, also features Kremlin narratives related to the end of WWII, which is particularly vivid this year, 75 years later. This event allows for the spread of accusations about the Baltic nations spreading the „Soviet occupation myth“ and for not acknowledging the victory over fascism. All of this can be garnished with accusations of Russophobia, glorification of Nazism, attempts to rewrite history and much more of the Kremlin’s odiousness.
All of the above statements are outright lies and are based on the Kremlin’s long-standing tactic of distributing its own version of historical events for its own promotion and propagandistic way. The longer the time from the actual event, the easier it is for the Kremlin to distribute its own versions.
The Kremlin has long denied the existence of a secret supplementary protocol to the MRP, which fixed the spheres of interest in Eastern Europe between them. The existence of this secret protocol was publicly confirmed in 1989, when it was declared invalid by the Congress of the People’s Deputies of the USSR. Although the MRP texts have been in the public domain for a long time, the actual physical document itself is publicly accessible for the first time this year.
A comprehensive overview of the actual events and consequences has been published on the ERR portal by Meelis Maripuu, Doctor of History and a graphic chronology has been compiled by the Estonian Memory Institute.
Historical facts disprove the Kremlin’s false statements
Some passages from Meelis Maripuu’s article:
Since the Spring of 1939, the USSR had been conducting essentially parallel negotiations with Britain and France on the one hand and Germany on the other, exploring the possibilities of a more beneficial agreement with the other side. Stalin’s goal was to gain the maximum amount of time before his own intervention in the war and to obtain any advantageous conditions from the supporting parties.
Stalin’s orbit of interest lay in the entire area of neighbouring countries from the Gulf of Finland to the Black Sea. Stalin aborted talks with Britain and France suddenly on 21 August after confirmation of a better offer from Hitler.
The secret additional protocol divided the spheres of interest in Eastern Europe: the Baltic nations (Finland, Estonia and Latvia) and Bessarabia belonging to Romania were considered to be in the Soviet sphere of interest, Poland was divided between the parties and Lithuania initially remained in the German sphere of interest.
In June 1940, as the rest of the world watched Hitler’s victory in Paris, the Soviet Union occupied the Baltic nations and annexed them to its membership.
The success of the Kremlin based narratives is based on a lack of historical knowledge; they used the opportunity to fill the void with their own story.
Photos: excerpt from an infographic of the Estonian Memory Institute, a poster by the Lithuanian- American artist Ray Bartkus.