Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 02.09.2017
It's September. 78 years ago, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland. Three and a half years ago the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine. Learning nothing from history, Europe is plunged into international war once again.
Hitler’s Germany invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939 and Stalin’s USSR invaded Poland on Sept. 17. The two dictatorships were moving quickly to implement the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. After the fall of Poland, the Soviet Union invaded Finland at the end of November 1939 – a war crime for which it was expelled from the League of Nations. Germany invaded Denmark and Norway in April 1940, and Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and France in May 1940. The Soviet Union invaded Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia in June 1940.
The western European countries invaded and occupied by Nazi Germany were liberated by the end of the Second World War. The central and eastern European countries invaded and occupied by the Soviet Union remained captive nations until 1991. One-tenth of Finland remains occupied by Russia, including its second largest city, Viipuri. The Prussian Königsberg (renamed into Kaliningrad) is still occupied by Russia too.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 20, 2014. In three and a half years of war, Putin’s armies have seized and occupied Crimea, Sevastopol, and parts of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in eastern Ukraine. Like the invasions of Stalin, Putin’s invasions are undeclared wars: Georgia, Ukraine. The wars of Stalin against Poland, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, were not recognized as such by the United Kingdom, France, and the United States – the Allies of World War II. The war of Putin against Ukraine is not recognized as such by the United Kingdom and the United States (along with Ukraine and Russia, they’re the signatories to the Budapest Memorandum). Nor is the war of Putin against Ukraine recognized as such by France and Germany (along with Ukraine and Russia, they belong to the “Normandy Four” which made the Minsk Agreements). Unable to call the invasion of its homeland a war, Ukraine fights Russia in an “Anti-Terrorist Operation” (although moves are afoot to declare Russia an aggressor).
Russia is invading Europe in Ukraine. This is as catastrophic an event for Europe as the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain is derided for his 1938 appeasement, but he knew his duty in 1939 and declared war. So did Prime Minister Édouard Daladier of France. So did Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King of Canada. In 2014, when Russia launched its long-planned invasion of Ukraine, Putin saw that the mood for appeasement among weak Western leaders was as prevalent as it was in 2008 when he invaded Georgia. In 2017, Western leadership is still so weak that no country except Lithuania will arm Ukraine.
The lesson of 1938 is that appeasement always leads to a wider war. But nine years after Russia invaded Georgia, three and a half years after Russia invaded Ukraine, and two years after Russia started bombing Syrians there isn’t even the use of the word “war” let alone a plan to defeat Russia and win it.
In World War II and afterwards, the West failed Finland. The West failed the Forest Brothers in the Baltic countries, the Home Army in Poland, and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army in Ukraine. Learning nothing from history and betraying solemn security guarantees, the West is now failing Ukraine. The result is that Europe is at war.
Text on the screenshot from Soviet newspaper, heading this article:
Statement of German and Soviet Governments from September 28, 1939.
By signing this treaty between the German Government and the Government of the USSR and ultimately regulating the issues arisen after the disintegration of the Polish state and thereby building a solid foundation for long lasting peace in Eastern Europe, the parties mutually express the opinion that the liquidation of the present war between Germany on one side and England and France on the other side would meet the interests of all nations. That's why both Governments are going to direct joint actions, if necessary in agreement with other fellow states, to possibly reach that goal. However, if these efforts of both Governments fail, there will be declared the fact that England and France bear responsibility for the war's continuation, besides in case of continuing the war the Governments of Germany and the USSR will have consultations with each other about the necessary measures.
Appointed by the Government of the USSR, V. Molotov
Appointed by the Government of Germany, J. Ribbentrop
September 28, 1939
Another screenshot from a then Soviet newspaper:
German-Russian Communique, September 18, 1939
To avoid all kinds of ungrounded talk regarding the tasks of German and Soviet troops operating in Poland, the Government of the USSR and the Government of Germany declare that the actions of these troops do not pursue any goals contradicting the interests of Germany or the Soviet Union and going against the spirit and the terms of the pact about non-invasion agreed between Germany and the USSR. On the contrary, the task of the troops is to restore order and peace in Poland disrupted by the fall of the Polish state and to help the people of Poland reorganize the provisions of its statehood.