The Kremlin Institute for Historical Review

Molotov-Ribbentrop PactToday is the 70th anniversary of the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union, also known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Russia seems uncomfortable with this anniversary.

President Dmitry Medvedev recently announced the setting up of a Historical Truth Commission to counter “the falsification of history.”

Natalia Narochnitskaya, a member of the new commission, is angry that western media portray Germany and the Soviet Union as “two equal, disgusting, totalitarian monsters.”

Earlier, Colonel Sergey Kovalev, senior researcher at Russia’s Ministry of Defence, characterised the Pact as “merely a time-buying mechanism.” He went further by claiming that the Second World War began because of Poland’s refusal to satisfy Germany’s “very modest” demands.

The ministry later announced that Colonel Kovalev’s opinion did not represent the official views of the Ministry of Defence.

In August 2009, Russia’s foreign intelligence service, SVR, declassified hundreds of top-secret surveillance documents on the Nazi-Soviet pact. The SVR said the files demonstrated the Soviet Union was left with no choice but to agree a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany.

The hidden protocols of the pact, in which Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler agreed to carve up Poland and other sovereign states, were denounced by the Soviet parliament in 1989, shortly after they were revealed for the first time.

Having lost its Soviet-era empire, Russia worries about its status in the world. Most of the former East Bloc is now part of the EU and NATO. The old Soviet Union twisted historical truths to suit ideological ends. It is sad to see today’s Russia slipping back into such bad habits.

Source: Jewish Tribune, 18.08.2009

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