The Polish Institute of National Remembrance accused Russia of trying to manipulate history on the anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. It was Polish response to Russian President Putin’s statement, made on December 19, about the reasons for the introduction of Soviet troops into Poland before the World War II outbreak.
“Russia's current attempts to rehabilitate the German-Soviet agreement of 1939 and hide its long-term tragic consequences are nothing more than an attempt to falsify the history and defend the totalitarian regimes policies, the victims of which were not only Poles, Jews, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Romanians, Finns, Ukrainians, Belarusians, and many other nations, but also Russians themselves. On this special day, when we celebrate the European Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Totalitarian Regimes, we urge that the tragic history should be a lesson,” reads the message.
December 19, Putin gave a press-conference, broadcasted on the air of Russia’s leading media.
So, speaking of the outbreak of World War II, Putin said that Soviet troops entered Poland after the Polish government lost control of its armed forces. He tried to justify the actions of the Soviet Union, noting that “this was the last state in Europe, which signed a non-aggression pact with Germany.”
However, Polish historians drew attention to several facts.
In the interwar period, the Republic of Poland concluded two nonaggression pacts with both totalitarian neighbors: in 1932 (from the Soviet Union) and in 1934 (with the German Reich). Both agreements meant the rejection of war, without any secret protocols or hidden agreements on the separation of spheres of influence in Europe.
Polish Institute of National Remembrance notes that Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, signed on August 23, 1939 in Moscow, had a completely different nature. Under the pretext of a non-aggression pact, Germany and the Soviet Union outlined their spheres of influence in a secret protocol, dividing the territories of other independent states among themselves. Thus, both countries were preparing for the policy of imperial conquests of free nations in order to enslave them and subjugate them to the totalitarian regimes of Moscow and Berlin. This treaty was a prerequisite of World War II, Polish scientists summarize.
German Reich invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Polish historians emphasized that Soviet Union violated the 1932 treaty by its armed invasion of Poland on September 17, 1939 in alliance with Adolf Hitler.