Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact: a blank check to the aggressor or the victory of Soviet diplomacy?
Meanwhile, Western propaganda has long characterized the then Russian-German agreements only as the fourth partition of Poland. And politicians from Estonia and Latvia - the two ministers of justice clearly connected their dubious demand for compensation from Russia during the years of occupation to the anniversary.
Disputes about whether the Pact itself contributed to the outbreak of the Second World War, or whether it delayed, if not its beginning, then at least the blow of Germany to the Soviet Union, are still going on.
However, it was from Estonia that this time they managed to hear a really alternative point of view on this non-aggression treaty. And not at all critical, since an Estonian passport and half Estonian by nationality, well-known international journalist, political analyst Vladimir Illlyashevich generally believes that the pact was one of the first stones that the Soviet leadership managed to lay in the foundation of a future victory.
Moreover, there are quite a few experts who believe that the sources of the current state sovereignty of many countries, including the Baltic states, include, among other things, the position taken by the USSR in negotiations with Germany. Moreover, the conditions on which a few months after the signing of the pact itself the Baltic republics were part of the Soviet Union, were completely forgotten.
In 1938, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were actually abandoned by their main anti-Soviet ally, Great Britain, which even withdrew its fleet from the Baltic ports. The prospect of absorption by Germany became so real for them that there seemed to be no other alternative for the countries of Europe, which were hardly the poorest at the time, apart from joining the USSR.
It was not bad to remind our neighbors more often that by that time political regimes were established in the Baltic countries that were very similar to Hitler's. The welfare of the population was very, very doubtful, unemployment reached 70 percent, and there was no talk of any respect for human rights or freedom of speech in Lithuania or Latvia, and especially in Estonia. In a sense, the way to power by the local communists was paved by their predecessors, and not by the Soviet troops.
Military historian Alexander Bondarenko reminded that at the same time the Soviet Union itself at that time was also unlikely to have a real alternative to the agreements with Germany. The Russian ambassador to Estonia, Alexander Petrov, recalled in this connection that as early as the 90s, the German politician, the long-term chairman of the CSU, Theo Weigel, decisively dismissed all the speculations on this topic, believing that story placed the aggressor and the one who then had to defend himself.
Today, it is not easy to find such brave politicians in the West, especially since the topic “Russia's guilt” is again very popular there. However, in the opinion of Vadim Trukhachev, an associate professor at the RSUH, it is imperative to remember that the topic of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, as almost the source of all the misfortunes that happened then, was promoted by the British politicians in the same way as it is done today in Crimea, Donbass and the same the case of Skripale.
But the non-aggression pact in itself, and even its notoriously secret secret protocols, fully corresponded to the pre-war political practice. The same treaties and pacts, by the way, managed to be concluded by Germany and Poland, and Poland with the Baltic countries. In Estonia, the current authorities prefer not to recall the Selter-Ribbentrop Pact at all, and in Latvia the Munters-Ribbentrop Pact.
Estonia and Latvia managed to sign non-aggression pacts with Germany six weeks before the Soviet Union
Both pacts signed by Baltic diplomats with the minister of Nazi Germany are also non-aggression, although the Germans would first have to do something with Lithuania to attack Estonia and Latvia. But even in the Baltics, even today there are still people who are well aware that without these pacts there could have been no Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact.
However, their voices in Riga and Tallinn prefer not to hear what the Estonian citizen Vladimir Ilyashenko recalled during the video bridge. The failures in the memory of those in power there are clearly related to the fact that Hitler could promise anything to the Baltic countries, but in reality he was not going to do anything.
Moreover, not in modern Russia, but also in the USSR at the Congress of People's Deputies, legal assessment was given to both the main provisions and the secret protocols to the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact. The congress recognized the legal inconsistency of the latter, and condemned the very fact of signing the protocols.
And this despite the fact that, formally, the contract, neither in form nor in content, did not stand out from a number of similar agreements between those or other countries at that time. It can not be described as the issuance of a carte blanche to Hitler at the beginning of hostilities against Poland. At the same time, the notorious Munich Agreement is different, just how such a carte blanche is not regarded even by Western politicians and historians.
Yes, Hitler Germany began the war with Poland literally several days after the signing of the non-aggression pact by Molotov and Ribbentrop. However, by no means the provisions of the secret protocols became the basis for the entry of Soviet troops into Western Ukraine and Belarus - the legendary Liberation March.
Such a foundation was in itself the collapse of the then Poland, as a sovereign state. And no matter how hard the Western media asserted about the “fourth section,” not a single serious politician, even in Poland, would ever think of returning the territories lost in 1939.
Ambassador Alexander Petrov recalled, in this connection, his conversation with an outstanding diplomat, now deceased Yuri Kvitsinsky. He directly described the non-aggression treaty as a victory for Soviet diplomacy, while recalling the extremely difficult situation in which the USSR then found itself. In the midst of the fighting were at Khalkhin Gol, and on the north-western border, everything was clearly going to war with Finland.
Vladimir Ilyashenko noted that the question of the responsibility of the USSR for agreements with Germany is openly bloated, for which considerable efforts were made by Great Britain. Everything was done sequentially using a powerful layer of fraud, as it is now called - fake News, was done purposefully when the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact was turned into a long-term propaganda tool.
However, as Alexander Petrov noted, the pact itself was no different from dozens of similar documents of that era. Even the notorious secret protocols, all the hype around which is connected precisely with their secrecy, are more technical in nature. And they were classified only in order not to inform the countries that they may be affected. This is a common diplomatic practice.
According to the testimony of Alexander Bondarenko, at the same time, there was, for example, a secret protocol to the treaty of the same UK with Poland, which gave the British the right to invade in case of an attack on Poland by Germany. As you know, in the course of the “strange war”, the United Kingdom somehow did not hurry with this right to exercise.
The perennial attacks on the Soviet-German treaty are clearly designed to erode political sentiment in Europe. Moreover, against the background of the numerous political combinations, which in those years Great Britain turned the old continent in the north, the pact can be generally considered an insignificant particular, Alexander Bondarenko is convinced.
Vadim Trukhachev, supporting such an assessment, insists in general that it would be simply naive to evaluate the Soviet-German treaty as a prerequisite for a world war. By that time, both the German and Polish armies were already prepared for battle, the British and French were also actually ready for war. The causes of the war ripened much earlier, and it is not by chance that the Second World War is considered by most serious historians as a continuation of the First.
According to Trukhachev, the straightforward slide into war began as early as the negotiations in Locarno in 1925, when England and France forced Germany to give guarantees regarding its western borders, and did not set any conditions regarding the eastern ones. In the future, the Soviet Union left no alternatives other than to go to an agreement with Germany.
But even then, the USSR went into negotiations with Germany, in fact, the last, although the country's leadership understood quite well that it was unlikely to be able to avoid a global conflict with the fascists. As a result, the pact most likely helped delay the start of a major war.
Well, the direct entry of the Red Army to it in Western Ukraine, Belarus, and then in the Baltic States pushed the border tens of kilometers to the west. It would not have been to assess the tragic events of the 1941 of the year, the German invaders still had to overcome these kilometers. And overcome with fights.
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