Black is white, freedom is slavery, and Stalin’s invasion of Poland was ‘a liberation campaign,’ Russian Foreign Ministry says

Stalin supervising the signing of the so-called Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact dividing Poland between Hitler's regime and his own, Aug 23, 1939. From left to right: Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Minister of Foreign Affairs; Vyacheslav Molotov, Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs (sitting); Joseph Stalin, Soviet dictator; Vladimir Pavlov, First Secretary of the Soviet embassy in Germany (Image: TASS)

Stalin supervising the signing of the so-called Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact dividing Poland between Hitler's regime and his own, Aug 23, 1939. From left to right: Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Minister of Foreign Affairs; Vyacheslav Molotov, Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs (sitting); Joseph Stalin, Soviet dictator; Vladimir Pavlov, First Secretary of the Soviet embassy in Germany (Image: TASS) 

History, International, Russia, World War 2

Edited by: A. N.

In Putin’s increasingly Orwellian approach to the world, the Russian Foreign Ministry on the anniversary of the introduction of Soviet forces in Poland 82 years ago described that action not as an invasion that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact had opened the way for but “a liberation campaign.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry's tweet of September 17, 2021 describing Soviet Union's invasion of Poland on September 17, 1939 as "liberation." (Source: @MID_RF on Twitter)

The Russian Foreign Ministry’s tweet of September 17, 2021 describing Soviet Union’s invasion of Poland on September 17, 1939 as “liberation.” (Source: @MID_RF on Twitter)

The ministry said that the introduction of Soviet forces into Poland, which it argued had already collapsed as a state because of the German invasion, was not only an effort to liberate Belarusian and Ukrainian populations Poland had seized in 1920 but also designed to defend the USSR against the possibility that Berlin would move its forces further east.

Moscow also said that Berlin had called on Moscow to move more quickly than it did but the Soviet government decided to move “only when there was a threat that German forces might press on to Minsk,” something that would have left the Soviet Union at risk of a broader invasion in 1939 and not in 1941 when it in fact came.

The foreign ministry pointed out that “by September 17, the Polish military-political hierarchy had fled to Romania, Poland had actually ceased to exist as a state. Moscow could not allow that Hitler might seize all of Poland as this would have worsened the position of the USSR in the western direction.”

German (L) and Soviet (R) commanders in Poland discuss the Soviet-Nazi demarcation on a map of the conquered country in September 1939. At the time, German troops advanced farther than was agreed in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and had to cede the extra territory to the Soviets.

German (L) and Soviet (R) military in Poland discuss the Soviet-Nazi demarcation on a map of the jointly conquered country in September 1939. At the time, German troops advanced farther than was agreed in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and had to cede the extra territory to the Soviets.

Moreover, the declaration said, “the Soviet Union was interested in guaranteeing the security of the Ukrainian and Belarusian populations in Poland … as documents testify, the Ukrainian and Belarusian population received the Red Army as genuine liberators.” Stalin couldn’t have said it better: indeed, that is what his regime did say in 1939.

Not surprisingly, many in Poland, Europe and even Russia denounced this Orwellian turn of phrase, to which Moscow responded with another declaration denouncing them for rewriting history so as to “present the USSR as an aggressor equal to Hitlerite Germany.

As so often and with increasing frequency, the facts are not on the side of Moscow in its discussion of World War II. The Soviets invaded and occupied part of Poland on the basis of the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which Moscow finally published in 2019.

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Edited by: A. N.

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