The origin of World War II continues to be a hot issue on the political scene as President Dimitry Medvedev insists his nation was the savior, not the instigator of the world conflict. He told the media it was a “flat-out lie” that dictator Joseph Stalin had anything to do with causing the war. He accused the Ukraine and Baltic states of attempting to smear the Soviet Union as the brutal force in the war and ignore their own participation in collaborating with Nazi Germany. Medvedev was furious the EU passed a resolution equating Stalinism with Nazism.
At the center of the World War II debate is Stalin’s decision to sign a non-aggression pact with Hitler in 1939. The agreement also included turning eastern Poland over to Russia once Germany conquered Poland. Stalin later argued without eastern Poland in Russia’s possession, Nazi Germany would have taken Moscow in the winter of 1941. His argument has validity, but Medvedev ignores the UK warned Stalin of a German attack in June, 1941 and he ignored it resulting in devastating Russian casualties.
Is the Soviet Union akin to Nazi Germany. In terms of being dictatorial, in terms of having racist policies, in terms of having death camps, the comparison has some validity. But, the Soviet Union under Stalin was NOT an expansionist nation and had no dreams of conquering all of Europe. That was a critical difference. Medvedev is absolutely correct in arguing the Soviet Union in WW II bore the brunt of the German army, at least 70% throughout most of the fighting.
Medvedev is also correct in arguing the Ukraine had many collaborators with Nazi Germany and the Germans readily had the support of many in the Baltic states for the anti-Jewish atrocities. The bottom line is the world is better off that Nazi Germany was defeated and the Soviet Union eventually disintegrated.