at the Museum of Modern Russian History, the Russian President presented his version of the August 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop pact: “The Soviet Union signed a non-aggression agreement with Germany. They say, ‘Oh, how bad.’ But what is so bad about it, if the Soviet Union did not want to fight? What is so bad?” Bad enough that the pact had a secret protocol that divided Poland between Hitler and Stalin, and acknowledged that the Soviet Union had legitimate interests in: Finland, Estonia and Latvia, and the region what is today Moldova. Since the occupation of Crimea in Februray 2014, Mosow has started to increasingly demonstrate its claim on those states, for example with aggressive airfighter activities in the Baltic Sea region.
The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact led directly to the invasion of Poland in September 1939 and to the Second World War. But according to the Russian president: “Poland had got what it deserved” (the Polish army had annexed small parts of Czechoslovakia in 1938 that were inhabited partly by Poles). The eastern part of Poland occupied by the Soviet Union immediately saw mass arrests and mass deportations of more than half a million Poles to the Gulag, and the direct liquidation of anti-communist activists, the national-democratic elite and others considered as “enemies of the people”. The Soviet Union did not officially declare war on Poland, and did not grant Polish servicemen the status of prisoners of war, but classified them as rebels, sent a great part of Polish soldiers to the Gulag, and liquidated the officers. None of those crimes has been condemned by a European court as crimes against humanity until today.