Recently online, the Russian Embassy in South Africa came into conflict with the Voice of America, a U.S. state media outlet. This conflict was over a statement put out by the Embassy commemorating the anniversary of the 1939-40 Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland, which VoA claimed the Russian Embassy lied about in one of their “Polygraph” “fact checks.” However, the VoA’s so-called “fact check” is really just a part of broader efforts by the United States, Britain, and other NATO countries to rewrite the history of the second world war.
The Russian Embassy stated that at the time Finland, under Mannerheim, was expanding friendly ties with Nazi Germany, something that cannot be disputed by anyone with any integrity whatsoever. In response, VoA claimed this uncontroversial statement was false but brought no evidence to back their claims up, instead pivoting to talk about the Soviet-German non-aggression pact of 1939, also known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. While the existence of the pact in no way disproves the Russian Embassy’s statement, its context and relevance should be addressed as well because the lies, distortions, and spin by western media on this crucial agreement are unfairly used against Russia to this day.
Firstly, the USSR was hardly the first country to sign an agreement with Germany. Rather, it was actually among the last. Britain signed two agreements with Hitler, the Anglo-German treaty in 1935 and the Munich Agreement (or Munich Betrayal) with France in 1938. Also, Poland signed a friendship agreement with Hitler as early as 1934. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union had been advocating a policy of peace and collective security with the western powers throughout its history. The Soviets tried repeatedly to form a defensive alliance with Britain and France, and only after being rebuffed and betrayed repeatedly by these so-called allies did they conclude a temporary non-aggression pact with Germany. The truth is that the western powers of Britain and France wanted Hitler’s armies to march westward to crush Russia, evidenced by their surrendering of Czechoslovakia at the Munich Betrayal, and the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was an effort by the Soviet leaders to delay the inevitable war with Germany, allowing time for more defensive preparations on the part of the USSR. And how crucial those extra two years of preparation proved to be, when the Red Army became the heroes of the whole world and contributed the most to the war out of all the members of the anti-Hitler alliance.
Lastly, we must address VoA’s claims about the so-called “invasion” of Poland by the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union did not invade Poland, and such claims are used in an attempt to make a false equivocation between Nazi Germany and Russia. After the German invasion of Poland in 1939, the Polish government collapsed and went into exile. At this point, the Soviets moved their forces up to a line stipulated in the pact. These territories had been Russian territories prior to the Bolshevik revolution, and they had been seized and occupied by Poland in an effort to construct a fascist-esque narrative of a greater Poland. These territories had largely been inhabited by Ukrainians and Belorussians, minority groups who suffered persecution under the Polish government, which was pursuing a policy of proto-fascism and cooperation with the fascist regimes at the time.
Overall, the history of the Second World War and the Great Patriotic War has been severely distorted by western powers in order to paint a narrative of Russia and Germany as equal aggressors, in a faulty attempt to justify NATO’s policy of expansionism and aggression against Russia today.