Phnom Penh (FN), Sept. 3 – On August 23, 1939, Moscow signed a sensational non-aggression pact and a secret protocol to it with Berlin. Nowadays, many Western historians and the media consider this agreement almost an evidence of the criminal union of Stalin and Hitler, who divided Eastern Europe between themselves. But did the Soviet leadership have a choice? This is discussed by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Russian Military-Historical Society Sergey Ivanov.

When and why did the relations between the USSR and Germany begin to change and whose initiative was it?

In the 1930s, the USSR took a clear anti-fascist, and therefore anti-German stance. Relations with Germany began to gradually change only after the Munich agreement, with Berlin taking the initiative, first in the form of a probe of the position of the USSR. However, Soviet leaders, who were focused on building a coalition with England and France, were wary about it and were reluctant to meet German proposals.

According to the acknowledgment of serious, and even Western historians, until mid-August 1939, right up to the failure of tripartite negotiations, Stalin aimed to create an anti-Hitler coalition with France and Great Britain. The Soviet Union was well aware that the foreign policy concept of the Third Reich was directly connected and merged with Nazi nonsense about the "living space" not somewhere in Africa, but in the East: as Hitler said, in Slavic lands. Therefore, Berlin remained our main enemy.

But what did Stalin have to do in case the negotiations with the British and French failed and on the eve of the German invasion of Poland? In this situation, when the armed conflict on Khalkhin Gol continued, he first of all had to think about the national security of the country. It was necessary to delay the beginning of the war with Germany. And why did the USSR have to be the first to enter the war against Nazi Germany, contrary to the clearly stated opinion of the Polish government, and impose its defence on the Poles, send their soldiers to death to save Poland when Great Britain and France did not want to fight it?

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