It’s amazing how many people there are, especially in the Western world, who are under the impression that today’s Russia is a normal, democratic country. The number of people who believe that is particularly high among European and American politicians, except only a few (like John McCain, for example). Although I do not assume this document, prepared by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will change the minds of many, I think it’s still a nice example of how present day Russia conducts its foreign relations, denies its own history and spreads outright lies. One would have expected horseshit like this from the Soviet politburo in 1970, but not from a supposedly democratic country in 2011.
According to the document, dated 17 November, 2011, the Soviet Union never occupied Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, claiming it was the will of the people to join the Soviet Union because the governments of these countries were cooperating with nazi Germany. The document claims that after signing the non-aggression pacts with Russia, the governments of these countries continued anti-Soviet policies and made it hard to solve the details of those pacts, for example placing Soviet troops on the soil of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The document also claims that these countries continued to cooperate with nazi Germany and that the Soviet government reminded the governments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania that such activity is in violation of the non-aggression pacts.
Particularly idiotic and absurd about these claims is that even if the governments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania had cooperated with nazi Germany—which they didn’t (a fact; for example, Estonia in 1933 banned the activity of a party whose ideology somewhat resembled the nazi party in Germany. Of course, elements in all three countries cooperated with the Nazis and participated in horrible atrocities, but it was never government-level.), it wouldn’t have in any way violated the Soviet Union’s interests because, after signing the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact on 23 August, 1939, Soviet Union and nazi Germany were allies, not enemies.
But the document continues: “Most of the population of the Baltic States didn’t support the policies of the ruling groups and in July 1940, after general elections, forces loyal to the Soviet Union came to power. The highest legislative bodies turned to the Soviet Union, requesting admission to the Soviet Union, and in august 1940, these requests were accepted.”
The truth can’t be farther from this utter rubbish. In 1940, the Soviet Union presented an ultimatum to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and occupied these countries by force, bringing in tens of thousands of the Red Army troops. New elections were called and only the pro-Soviet individuals were allowed to run for office, barring everyone who the Soviet powers deemed “unsuitable”. The new “people’s governments”, also handpicked by the Soviet Union, and the new legislative bodies that came to power after those rigged elections, requested admission to the Soviet Union. It was never the will of the people, but since the countries were effectively occupied by the Soviet Union, the statesmen of the pre-occupation republics had lost all opportunities to have a say. It’s needless to mention that the heads of states and governments were either imprisoned or brutally murdered by the Soviet occupation powers.
The Ministry’s document also mentions that the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact postponed the nazi Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union by two years when the Soviet Union had the chance to prepare better for the war. However, the fact that the Soviet Union and nazi Germany together started a coordinated attack on Poland and occupied another independent country, according to the terms of the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, goes entirely unmentioned in the document.
This is what kind of a country Russia is today. Completely unrepentant about its past, completely ignoring the facts and deliberately and forcibly forging history. How can any democratic nation not consider this country as a pariah is completely beyond me. How can any government have any reasonable relations with a regime where government-level lying is a norm?
It’s outrageous, it’s pissing into one’s own boot and feeling happy about it. A regime like this can’t be a partner, let alone a reliable partner. But nevertheless, many governments have extremely friendly relations with Kremlin because it’s useful to them. Blimey, am I glad that my government can hold its distance.
P.S. If you want to learn the truth about the Soviet Union and its relationship with its neighbours and the nazi Germany around 1930-1945, please watch “The Soviet Story“. It’s a great documentary and answers a lot of questions that may arise.