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Analysis of Vladimir Putin’s article ‘The Real Lessons of the 75th Anniversary of the Second World War’

In June 2020 the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, wrote a long article in the American magazine The National Interest on the ‘Real Lessons of the 75th Anniversary of World War II’. In the article he tried to show among other things that Western historians and journalists regularly dismiss the decisive role played by the Red Army in defeating Hitler, and place blame on the Soviet Union for the pact with Hitler that led to the division of Poland. Putin claims that it was Poland’s fault that war broke out in 1939 and blames Britain and France for the ‘Munich betrayal’ of the Czechs and the later abandonment of Poland, which collaboration with the Soviet Union would have avoided. These claims are examined in what follows to show that in many respects they are not the ‘real lessons’ but a distortion of reality.

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