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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Russia in Denial

TRIGGER WARNING:  In which I discuss that the Russians have not always been nice to her neighbors.
For John, BLUFDenial of history or suppression of it just leads to future mistakes.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Reporter Halya Coyness and the web magazine Real Clear World.

Just some quick facts:

  • 23 August 1939, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact paved the way for Germany's invasion of Poland.
  • 1 September 1939, Germany invaded Poland.
  • 16 September 1939, the Soviet Union (Russia) concluded a cease fire agreement with Japan.
  • 17 September 1939, the Soviet Union (Russia) invaded Poland.
  • 30 November 1939 the Soviet Union (Russia) invaded Finland in what is known as the Winter War.
  • 14 June 1940 the Soviet Union (Russia) overran the Baltic States.
  • "Bandera" was Ukrainian nationalist Stepan Bandera (Assassinated by the KGB in Munich, Germany, in 1959).
Here is how the article starts out:
Russia's Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of Perm blogger Vladimir Luzgin for reposting a text which states that both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland in 1939.  The Supreme Court's ruling came on September 1, 2016, the 77th anniversary of Hitler's invasion of Poland, 17 days before the anniversary of the Soviet invasion from the east.

Henry Reznik, the well-known lawyer who was representing Luzgin, commented that the Supreme Court has discredited itself through this ruling and promised to appeal further.   He added that an application to the European Court of Human Rights was simply demanded.

As reported here, 37-year-old Vladimir Luzgin was convicted in July this year by the Perm District Court and fined 200 thousand roubles.  The charge was under Article 354.1 of Russia's criminal code ('rehabilitation of Nazism') and concerned Luzgin's repost of a text on his VKontakte social network page entitled '15 facts about Bandera supporters, or what the Kremlin is silent about'.

It may be no accident that the 'offending text' should be Ukrainian, and fairly nationalist, however it was specifically over the following paragraph in the repost that the criminal proceedings against Luzgin were initiated:   "The communists and Germany jointly invaded Poland, sparking off the Second World War.  That is, communism and Nazism closely collaborated, yet for some reason they blame Bandera who was in a German concentration camp for declaring Ukrainian independence".

Russia's Supreme Court has now agreed that this paragraph constitutes "the public denial of the Nuremberg Trials and circulation of false information about the activities of the USSR during the years of the Second World War".

A person I know made this set of comments:
This is a major step backwards for Russia....  It was during Gorbachev's period that the Soviet Union finally acknowledged that there were so-called secret protocols were part of the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Treaty (aka Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact) which divided Eastern Europe between Stalin and Hitler.  Of course, the Soviets did invade Poland 16 days after the Germans did and then absorbed the eastern part of Poland into the Soviet Union.  This invasion, occupation, and annexation led to the deaths of tens of thousand Polish officers and civil servants by the Soviet secret police, the NKVD.

UPDATE:  Corrected mis-attribution.

Regards  —  Cliff

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