Putin Justifies Soviet Union’s Pact With Nazi Germany
Over the weekend, Russian President Vladimir Putin defended the Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression pact the Soviet Union made with Hitler’s Nazi Germany just days before World War ii broke out.
“This pact made sense in terms of guaranteeing the Soviet Union’s security,” Putin said on May 10, as he stood alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Putin said that, before signing the pact, the Soviet Union had made “tremendous efforts” to build a “collective resistance” to Nazism with other European powers. But since these attempts failed, it signed the pact with Berlin in an effort to avoid a direct confrontation with Germany. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was a promise of non-belligerence by either party toward the other.
Just a week after it was signed, Germany invaded Poland, officially igniting World War ii.
Back in November, Putin made similar justifications for the pact: “The Soviet Union signed a non-aggression treaty with Germany,” Putin said to a group of young historians in Moscow. “People say: ‘Ach, that’s bad.’ But what’s bad about that if the Soviet Union didn’t want to fight; what’s bad about it?”
But the details of the Molotov–Ribbentrop agreement show that it was no declaration of pacifism by the Soviets.
In fact, Putin knows full well that the pact included secret protocols that divided Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland into “spheres of influence” for Germany and for the Soviets. Until 1989, the Russians denied these protocols, but since then they have acknowledged them.
As a direct result of the protection from each other granted by the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, both the Soviets and the Nazis ravaged Poland. The ussr captured and executed more than 20,000 Poles in the 1940 Katyn massacre, and the Germans started a campaign that slaughtered around 3 million Polish Jews.
Putin’s endorsement of the pact is significant because of the long history of conflict between Germany and Russia. There have been seasons of cooperation between the two sides, such as the 1922 Treaty of Rapallo and the aforementioned Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. But such seasons have been brief, and have generally been the autumns just before winters of war.
The Trumpet has predicted that another such pact between the Russian Federation and Germany is imminent, and that it will be a precursor to a conflict larger than any the world has ever seen.
In 2009, columnist Brad Macdonald wrote:
History is consistent on this point: Germany and Russia are not close friends, and any appearance that they are is a harbinger of conflict. … History tells us where this will end. The formation of a peace pact between Russia and Germany is a sure sign that one or both are preparing to engage in an imperialistic, violent mission. Watch German-Russian relations carefully: It appears another Molotov-Ribbentrop pact is imminent.
[D]id you know that Germany and Russia have probably already dealt with their most urgent differences? … I believe that Germany’s leaders may have already agreed to a deal with Russia, a modern Hitler-Stalin pact where Germany and Russia divide countries and assets between themselves. This agreement would allow each to turn its sights on other targets. Any such deal that may have been struck between Germany and Russia is a precursor to war!
Vladimir Putin’s defense of the Soviet Union’s pact with Hitler suggests that the idea of an equivalent modern agreement may well be on his mind.