Sergei Lavrov: Britain Caused WWII, Russia saved Europe
by “George X”
Original to La Russophobe
Many people will be aware from its coverage in the Western media of the statements by Medvedev earlier this year from an article in Izvestia repudiating the “totalitarian” Soviet Union. He said that Stalin had committed unforgivable crimes regardless of any progress made by the Soviet Union under his rule. He refused to allow Stalin’s portraits to be displayed in the Victory Day parade. He even said, “We ourselves allowed history to be falsified”. (Although that last sentence is pretty ambiguous when you think about it.)
Why then has there been no coverage of a contrasting point of view expressed by Medvedev’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov before the Victory Day parade? In fact, by searching for this article which I read quotations from, I came across a website which is really best ignored…except that it speaks volumes about what the largely ex-KGB/FSB members of the current Russian government really think, or at least want others to think.
“New Eastern Outlook” declares itself to be “an international intellectual discussion and networking platform” unusually free from any political point of view. However it turns out to be based in Moscow and its long list of contributors are mainly Russian, some declared to be working for the government. When you start to read the articles you realise that many of them are hard-core anti-Western propaganda ranging from alleging that the US invasion of Afghanistan was undertaken to allow it to profit from opium, to latest news that a US/Israeli alliance is currently engaged in a massive military mobilisation to wage war on Iran. In other words, like Russia Today without the news items that make it look like an ordinary online newspaper..
In the colomn in question, Lavrov makes it clear that he, like Putin, is a hardliner when it comes to Soviet history and will not stand for softening of the Soviet version of events beyond admitting the facts that are most obviously out of the bag. Like his falsifying predecessors, he accuses the honest of “falsifying history.” But even without knowing all of the stories put out by the Soviets I wonder if even they went as far as accusing Britain of being largely responsible for World War II.
He writes: “Without the Munich agreement, little of what followed would have occurred.” Then he writes: “Historical revisionism has been used to attempt to link August 23 and September 1, 1939 – the conclusion of the Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact and Germany’s attack on Poland.” In other words, Lavrov believes that Stalin’s accord with Hitler had nothing to do with causing World War II, and specifically nothing to do with Germany’s attack on Poland. According to him, Britain must shoulder the blame.
But it is beyond dispute is that the representatives of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed that pact with secret protocols in which they drew a line on a map of eastern Europe dividing it into their respective spheres of influence. What happened subsequently made it clear that this line was nothing less than the proposed demarcation line between the empires of two brutal dictatorships (irrespective of the sincerity of the two parties signing it). No such division of territory occurred between Britain and Germany.
Next, Lavrov criticizes Britain and France for waging a “phony war” against Hitler when the two countries (unlike the USSR) were desperately under-equipped for full-scale conflict and when Russia was providing large-scale raw material supplies to Germany to allow it to withstand a British naval blockade. And what would the brave British sailors who later helped Russia in the Arctic convoys have thought if they had known that Stalin had previously provided the German navy with an arctic port? Britain did not, of course, provide aid and comfort to Nazi Germany as Stalin’s Russia did.
Finally, Lavrov writes: “There are frequent attempts to exploit World War II, and questions are raised regarding the causes of this global catastrophe for selfish purposes.” Yet he makes no attempt to even acknowledge, much less criticize, any such attempts on the Russian side. Instead, he chooses to issue nothing more than a propaganda tract condemning the West’s failure to appreciate Russian heroism as it saved the West from the horror of Nazism single-handed. Conversely, he makes no attempt to acknowledge any role the West may have played in staving off the Nazi scourge.
In jaw-dropping fashion, Lavrov states: “During World War II Russia—once again—fulfilled its historic mission of saving Europe from forced unification and its own folly.” So in other words, when Russia carved up Eastern Europe into a Russian slave empire at the close of the war, after seeking to do the same in a pact with Hitler before the war began, Russia was not engaged in naked aggression and imperialism but was actually saving Europe from itself!
The Nazi-Soviet Pact was one of the darkest chapters in the inglorious history of the Soviet Union and modern Russia cannot aspire to be a civilised country until its leadership admits the full terrible facts of it as we know them without seeking to deflect and mitigate that blame with neo-Soviet attacks on other countries. But instead, Lavrov’s article has fully restored our worst fears about their intentions to continue their denials revisionism and false accusations.
Ed. Note: SWP further dismantles Sergei “the Tarantula” Lavrov’s essay over on his blog.