While the western world is celebrating christmas, for orthodox christians the festivities are still several days ahead. Therefore, Russian media’s topics may be surprising to some of us. Last Tuesday, the Russian president Vladimir Putin gave a speech to the military brass and accused Poland of starting the Second World War.
According to the Russian state television Vladimir Putin ended his end of the year speech to high ranking military officials with accusation towards the Polish diplomats from the 1930s!
He referred to the 1938 appeasement pact when the Allies agreed to the partition of Czechoslovakia.
What’s more, he reserved particular criticism for Poland, namely stating that Poland’s ambassador to Germany at the time was a Nazi sympathiser.
“Essentially they colluded with Hitler. This is clear from the documents and archives,”
Particular critique was reserved for the Polish ambassador at the time, Józef Lipski. Apparently, Putin said this about him: “That bastard! That anti-Semitic pig,”
“He expressed full solidarity with Hitler in his anti-Semitic views,” the Russian leader added.
According to Polish analysts, there are several reasons why Putin is singling out Poland.
First, is the practical seizing of the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline due to US sanctions. Poland is afraid that this project will jeopardize Europe’s energy security and boost the Russian military presence at the Baltic Sea. It also breaches the trade rules of the European Union.
Moreover, Russian leadership suffered a propaganda defeat on its favourite topic – the Second World War. In march, 1945 Russia ended the war as an Allied power but in the beginning of the world conflict, in september 1939 Moscow was one of the aggressors attacking Poland together with Nazi Germany. In October, Soviet and German troops even staged a parade to celebrate this victory.
Today Russia denies this alliance, especially after the European Parliament condemned the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and blamed modern Russia for rewriting history.
It is worth noting, that Józef Lipski fought in France as infantryman during the Second World War and voluntarily joined the Polish Army.
What’s more, the source of Vladimir Putin citation is a book entitled “Small nations in times of crisis and confrontation” by an Israeli politician Yohannan Kohen, who was born in Poland, and as a 20 year old emigrated to Palestine before World War 2.