“The Soviet Union is equally responsible for WWII as Nazi Germany, but Stalin was a better strategist than Hitler,” Viktor Suvorov, a Russian writer and former intelligence officer told the Polish Press Agency. September 17 marks the 82nd anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland.
82 years ago, on August 23, 1939, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Nazi German Third Reich, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and the People’s...see more
“The Soviet aggression against Poland on September 17, 1939 did not meet with any reaction from the West and explanations about the ‘liberation’ of Ukraine and Belarus were accepted,” Mr Suvorov emphasised.
“According to Stalinist propaganda, the Soviet Union was a peaceful country and it did not attack anyone, but defended itself, waging the Great Patriotic War from 1941. Nonsense. There was no Great Patriotic War, but WWII. The Soviet Union took part in it from August 23, 1939, when it signed a pact with [Nazi] Germany to divide Poland. Two criminals divided Europe,” he said.
He argued that the only difference between Hitler and Stalin is that the latter was a better strategist. The former officer put forward the thesis that the Soviet leader had already planned the conquest of Europe a few years earlier and that the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact was invented by him to provoke a war between Nazi Germany and the Western powers, which in turn would open up the possibility of an easy conquest for the Soviet Union. Despite the declaration of war on Hitler by France and the UK on September 3, 1939, real military actions did not follow, in the end it happened as Stalin had planned. “Hitler lost the war when the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was signed, because Germany could not win fighting on two fronts,” he said.
Mr Suvorov explained that the fact that the Soviet invasion of Poland took place only on September 17, and not earlier, was because Stalin waited to see if there would be a war between Nazi Germany, France and the UK. “Under the pact, the Soviet Union was to attack Poland as soon as the Germans did. When Hitler started a war with Poland, Stalin said he was not ready yet and waited. When Britain and France declared war on the Third Reich, Stalin was still waiting. He waited and waited as long as possible, but when German soldiers occupied Warsaw, Lviv and Brest, he could not wait any longer, fearing that they would take over all of Poland, so eventually he had to step in as well,” he pointed out.
The former intelligence officer also emphasised that Stalin’s greater cunning is also evidenced by the fact that the Soviet aggression against Poland did not meet with any reaction and his explanations about the “liberation” of the peoples of Ukraine and Belarus were accepted. “On September 1, 1939, Hitler attacked Poland and everyone agrees that this is the beginning of WWII, and Britain and France declared war on him. 17 days later, Poland was attacked by the Soviet Union, but Stalin said he was not waging any war, but he is neutral and no one has declared war against him because of this aggression,” Viktor Suvorov said.
As he recalled, the Soviet Union attacked Poland and Finland in 1939, and in 1940 Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania, that is, it attacked all its neighbours in the West. “Stalin said that it was a liberation of nations from capitalism,” he said.
By September 17, the Nazi German Army had already cut deep into Poland, capturing about a third of the country and assaulting the capital city of Warsaw. Soviet invasion in the East completely broke any chances of effective resistance.
On the night of the invasion, the communist government of the Soviet Union presented a diplomatic note to the Polish government, claiming that the Polish state had fallen and had no functioning government. This was used as a justification for the invasion.
A month before the invasion, on August 23, 1939, the foreign ministers of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, which contained a secret protocol, dividing Eastern Europe between themselves. The eastern part of Poland which the Soviets invaded on September 17 fell within the areas assigned to the USSR in the pact.
About 21,000 Polish officers captured by the Red Army were murdered by the Soviet authorities, most notably in Katyń, in present-day Russia. The communist government long denied the responsibility for the crime, only admitting to it in 1990.
Viktor Suvorov is a Russian writer, publicist and author of history books. In the past, he served in the Soviet Army and then in the GRU Military Intelligence, but in 1978 he fled to the UK, where he has lived since then.