Medvedev Blasts Ukraine, Baltic States Over WWII

MOSCOW, Russia -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Sunday criticised Ukraine and the Baltic states for glorifying “Nazi accomplices”, speaking ahead of the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

“We are seeing some astounding trends,” Medvedev said in an interview with the Rossia state television channel. “Governments in the Baltic states and even Ukraine are now essentially pronouncing former Nazi accomplices to be their national heroes who fought for the liberation of their nations. “Of course, everyone knows what really happened, but everyone looks down in shame, so as to avoid souring relations.”

Russia has repeatedly criticised former Soviet republics Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania for seeking to rehabilitate anti-Communist groups that in some cases collaborated with the Nazis.

Resolution: Medvedev also lashed out at a resolution passed in July by the parliamentary assembly of the Organisation for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE) which condemned both Nazism and Stalinism.

Medvedev said the resolution had pronounced Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union “to be equally responsible for World War II” and said: “Now this, quite frankly, is a flat-out lie.” He appeared to be referring to the resolution’s assertion that both regimes brought about genocide and war crimes, and its call to establish a Europe-wide memorial day on August 23, the anniversary of a notorious Nazi-Soviet pact.

Berlin and Moscow signed the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact in 1939, paving the way for a joint invasion of Poland days later and Moscow’s seizure of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, which remained Soviet republics until 1991.

Despite the pact, the Soviet Union was invaded by Nazi Germany in 1941 and lost tens of millions of people in the conflict.

Present-day Russia regards the Soviet role in World War II as heroic and bristles at attempts to equate the totalitarian systems of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

Tuesday marks the 70th anniversary of the Nazi German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, widely regarded as the start of World War II. Soviet troops invaded and occupied eastern parts of Poland less than three weeks later.

Source: AFP