Yury Selivanov: Countering the West’s Lies About the Red Army’s WW2 Poland Campaign

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard



A short story about the logical dismantling of western propaganda fictions on key topics of World War II…

74 years ago, on October 29th, 1939, the operation of the Red Army on taking the Eastern regions of Poland, also known as the liberation of the territories of Western Ukraine and Western Belarus, came to an end.

It is precisely this operation – which was allegedly crowned by a joint “victory parade” of German and Soviet troops, but which was never carried out in the city of Brest – that is the epicenter of all anti-Soviet and anti-Russian theories about the reasons for World War II.

In the West’s opinion, things happened like this. Hitler and Stalin provoked war in Europe, having signed on August 23rd, 1939 a non-aggression pact between Germany and the USSR. It is precisely this treaty, as the West nowadays affirms, that gave a free hand to the Third Reich and made its attack on Poland possible.

And it’s not only in the West that this is said. Here is, for example, what is written concerning this topic in a Ukrainian history textbook for the 11th class – the authors of which are Olena Pometun and Nestor Gupan – that was recommended by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine for general education institutions in March, 2011 – i.e., at a time when the president of this country was the allegedly through-and-through pro-Russia Yanukovych:

“In fact, having agreed to sign the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, according to which Poland had to be divided, Hitler and Stalin initiated World War II.”

In addition, there allegedly were confidential protocols concerning this agreement, according to which Berlin and Moscow decided to divide Poland among themselves and even coordinated the line of the new border in advance.

Then, noble and faithful to their obligations to Poland, Britain and France were obliged to declare war on Germany. Well, and then everything escalated up to a full-scale world conflict.

Thus, according to the western narrative, two tyrants – Hitler and Stalin, who agreed among each other – stood at the origins of this world tragedy. And, therefore Germany and the Soviet Union (nowadays – Russia) bear identical responsibility for unleashing this war.

In reality everything wasn’t really like that. Or to be exact – absolutely nothing like that. In this case, I don’t need to detail that historical period, reminding about the role of the Anglo-Saxon West in the restoration of the military power of Germany, about the Munich agreement, about the direct handing over of Czechoslovakia to the aggressor, about the West blocking all Soviet proposals for preserving peace in Europe, and also, to put it mildly, the unfriendly behaviour of the same West towards the first socialist state on the planet – the USSR.

We will put all of this to one side and deal with this local episode which, as the western accusers claim, served as the starting point for World War II. I.e., the Polish campaign.

Here is the first thing that one should pay attention to in this regard. The USSR and Germany signed on August 23rd, 1939 only a non-aggression pact, and nothing else, which was for our country an absolutely natural and lawful precautionary measure against the background of an aggravation of the military-political situation in Europe and especially taking into account the obvious unwillingness of western states to opt for reaching any agreements with the Soviet government for the prevention of war.

Concerning the so-called division of Poland, which allegedly was already back then agreed between Berlin and Moscow, a whole number of essential circumstances hampers the credibility of this narrative.

If matters were really like this, up to the drawing of a clear line for a new Soviet-German border, then it is resolutely unclear how during the capture of Polish territory there could be clashes between Wehrmacht and Red Army. After all, there is nothing more simpler – reaching the line of demarcation coordinated by both sides in advance and stopping there without a single shot being fired. But such clashes nevertheless happened, because of which the narrative about a prior conspiracy between the USSR and Germany already hangs in mid-air. It doesn’t just happen like that.

Further. Well, let us assume that bad Stalin via the treaty with Hitler opened the road to a European war. But here is a question: what prevented “peaceful” Britain and France from immediately closing this road? Especially since they instantly declared war on Germany after its attack on Poland. And the ratio of forces in the West at that moment was absolutely catastrophic for the Third Reich.

Here is some brief historical information:

“… On September 10th the French armed forces finished their wartime deployment and totalled nearly 5 million people, and the day before this the units of 9 French divisions started to advance the frontline defences of Siegfried to the East of Saarbrücken without encountering the resistance of the enemy’s troops, which were ordered to avoid battle and retreat to the line of fortifications. Having advanced by September 12th deep into German territory by tens of kilometers on the 25 km-long front, the French received the order – adopted at the Supreme Military Council of allies in Abbeville – to stop the offensive ‘because of the fast succession of events in Poland’, and a week later started withdrawing its troops back. These actions of England and France, which left Poland to the mercy of fate, later received the name ‘Phoney War‘.

Upon the end of World War II, during the Nuremberg process the former head of the Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht Jodl claimed that ‘a process similar to Nuremberg didn’t start in Germany in 1939 only because about 110 French and English divisions, which stood during our war with Poland in the West against 23 German divisions, remained absolutely inactive”.

In other words, it wouldn’t have cost anything for western “peacekeepers” to inflict a military defeat on the Third Reich in September, 1939 and, thereby, not allow the events to develop into a phase of world war. But they, if to adhere to their narrative, didn’t do it according to absolutely unclear reasons.

In any case, the appropriate question is: so why blame Stalin and the Soviet Union – which, in the conditions of the extremely muddy and unpredictable policy of Western states, additionally burdened by the Munich agreement with Hitler – took elementary precautionary measures for the purpose of ensuring its own safety?

But this isn’t yet everything. There is also other question. What kind of very strange “agreement” is it where one party – the Soviet Union – presents to the other party – Germany – the “honourable right” to wash itself in its own blood and to drag its chestnuts out of the fire? Was Hitler really so feeble-minded that he agreed, within the framework of his “agreement” with Stalin, to completely defray the expenses connected with the military defeat of Poland and then to generously invite the USSR, which didn’t lift a finger for the sake of this defeat, to a feast of winners? Especially since nobody could give any guarantees to the Fuhrer that war with Poland would be so short-term and almost bloodless for the Reich.

Let’s agree that a picture of Hitler sacrificing the interests of Germany for Stalin, including also the lives of his soldiers, is so improbable that only a complete idiot or, for example, a guinea pig of Kiev’s current propaganda – which is practically the same thing – can believe that it’s the reality. It can’t be subject to doubt that in the event of a real agreement between Moscow and Berlin on the joint destruction of Poland the issue of sharing the military burden would be decided in a completely different way and only on a parity basis. But not so that the USSR would receive a delay for the introduction of troops in Poland until that time when the Polish army had already been completely crushed by the Wehrmacht, and for the Red Army it would only be left to take prisoners.

This is the second incontestable argument against such a coordinated Soviet-German plan existing in reality.

The above-mentioned fact about the lack of some kind of defined line of demarcation between Soviet and German forces, as well as the circumstance that Germany practically throughout the entire Polish campaign didn’t actually know anything about the further intentions of the Soviet leadership concerning Poland and asked Moscow to clarify them, points to the obvious fake nature of this. Moreover, the German leadership repeatedly appealed to the Soviet leadership with desperate requests for the intervention of the USSR in the situation in the Eastern regions of this country.

Here is one of such documents – the telegram of the head of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ribbentrop to the ambassador of Germany in Moscow Count Schulenburg, intended for transfer to the head of the Council of People’s Commissars, the People’s Commissariat of Foreign Affairs of the USSR VM Molotov of September 3rd, 1939.

“We definitely expect to definitively crush the Polish army within several weeks. Then we will keep that territory that was defined in Moscow as the sphere of German interests under military control. However, we will naturally be obliged, for reasons of a military character, to continue military operations against those Polish armed forces that will be at that moment on the Polish territory belonging to the sphere of Russian interests. Please immediately discuss this with Molotov and find out if the Soviet Union would consider it desirable that the Russian armed forces move forward at the appropriate moment against the Polish armed forces in the area of the sphere of Russian interests and occupy this territory in return. In our opinion, it would be not only relief for us, but it would also correspond to the spirit of the Moscow agreements and Soviet interests …”

Firstly, the very vague language of this German text in the part concerning “spheres of German and Russian interests”, which allegedly were defined during Ribbentrop’s visit to Moscow in August of this same year, attracts attention, which more likely points to an absence of concrete agreements on this issue, including the notorious map of demarcation of “spheres of influence” and the joint plan of action for the dismantlement of the Polish state.

Secondly, the fact that it turns out that one of imaginary “allies” – Germany – had no notions about the immediate plans of another “ally” – the USSR – looks extremely strange. And, moreover, Germany was obliged in an urgent fashion during the already begun war to ask Moscow to explain its further intentions! Such serious matters aren’t done in such a way! And “secret historical agreements” even more so.

Such things are possible in only one case – if there was no coordinated Soviet-German plan of attack on Poland in general. And the actions of the parties were defined only by their understanding of their own state interests. And also, not allowing direct military clashes between parties during the realisation of these interests was a rather natural desire.

Some kind of “cherry” on this “pie” of logically faultless proof of the absolute groundlessness of the West’s accusations of the USSR’s equal responsibility with Germany for unleashing World War II is the lack of the fact of the event named in Western propaganda and also in Kiev’s history textbooks no differently than “a joint victory parade” of German and Soviet troops in the city of Brest on September 22nd, 1939. There is no documentary photo or footage that captures a joint parade of units of the Red Army and the Wehrmacht on the streets of this city. Concerning the presence of the Soviet brigade commander S. Krivoshein at a ceremony for the withdrawal of German forces from Brest, it was his direct official duty to be sure of this and to accept the “keys to the city” from the German command. As for the thick-headed admirers of this absolute propaganda forgery, I can only recommend to them to strongly bash their head on a wall – perhaps they will grow wiser.

Here is actually everything that it is necessary to know about the Polish campaign of the Red Army of 1939 and about the never existing agreement between Stalin and Hitler that allegedly opened the road to World War II. The West, as always, impudently lies, shifting responsibility from a sick head to a healthy one. And we need to absolutely clearly understand it.

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