Mihai Țurcanu: Russia wants to change international order by force

Current Russia and Nazi Germany resembled each other by the model of action. Both Germany, after World War I, and Russia, after the dismemberment of the Soviet Union , showed revisionism and tried to change international order by force, historian Mihai Țurcanu stated in a public debate hosted by IPN News Agency. According to him, through the wars in the Transnistrian region of1992 and that in Georgia of 2008 and also the wars in Ukraine of 2014 and 2022, Russia shows that it didn’t abandon its imperial and revanchist attitude.

Mihai Țurcanu noted that by the Ribbentrop-Molotov nonaggression pact signed in August 1939, the USSR and Nazi Germany divided the spheres of influence. The secret alliance between the two states enabled the German forces to attack Poland on September 1, 1939, triggering World War II this way.

“The Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact wasn’t a simple treaty. It wasn’t a banal document. Point III of the treaty provided that Germany and the Soviet Union undertook to consult each other in the future about problems of interest. De facto, it was practically an alliance. They then agreed the known division of the spheres of influence. Finland, the Baltic countries, half of Poland and Bessarabia were transferred under the Soviet sphere of influence. By the way, the Soviet Union gained more from this division,” said doctor of history Mihai Țurcanu, of the Institute of History of the Moldova State University.

According to him, the start of World War II and the outbreak of the war of aggression against Ukraine were based on motives similar to those of the dictatorial states. Both Nazi Germany and current Russia, which is the lawful successor of the Soviet Union, aimed to change the international order by force.

“Revisionism is one of the resemblances. Both Nazi Germany and current Russia are revisionist states. They set the goal of changing the international order by force. Moreover, Russia today is unable to assume a constructive role in this system and it wants to destroy it by force. There is also the myth of the ethnics from abroad, who should be helped. Hitler said that Germany’s historic mission was to save the 10 million German ethnics from outside the borders of the Reich, while Putin said the same about the Russian world and the Russian speakers,” stated Mihai Țurcanu.

He also said that after the dismemberment of the USSR, Russia has tried by aggression to rebuild its image of world power and to regain control over its spheres of influence. Both Nazi Germany and current Russia promoted the idea of internal coups that hinder these desiderata.

“The stab-in-the-back is another myth that was disseminated in Germany after World War I, when they said the Germany in World War I was very close to victory, but was betrayed by Liberals, Social-Democrats, Jews, masons who staged strikes behind the front and the war was this way lost because of the traitors. A similar myth is today propagated in Russia. This says that the Soviet Union was a success, a model for the whole world, but Gorbachev sold the USSR to the Americans. Gorbachev repeatedly denied such rumors, but the Russian propaganda is more powerful. The Russians continue to spread the betrayal myth according to which the enemies from inside sold the country to the Americans, to those from NATO. Ultimately, the current aggression in Ukraine took place after the Russian war against Georgia, the war in Ukraine of 2014. In vain Yeltsin assured in 1991 that Russia renounced its imperial inheritance. Their war against our Transnistria and what followed went against those assertions,” explained the historian.

The public debate entitled “Truth and lie about beginning of World War II” was the 18th installment of IPN’s project “Impact of the Past on Confidence and Peace Building Processes” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany.

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