A diplomatic row has emerged between Russia and Poland, after scandalous comments by Russian President Vladimir Putin emerged, in which he claimed that the invasion of Poland on the 17th of September 1939 was “necessary because the Polish government lost control of the country” and bizarrely claimed that the Soviet invasion “saved many lives”.

He further went on to accuse Poles of “negotiating with Hitler” and complained that the Poles have been dismantling Red Army memorials.

These comments are part of an increasingly worrying trend in Russian politics, which seeks to minimise and whitewash the crimes of the USSR, in particular their post war occupation of Central and Eastern Europe and their implementation of puppet governments which kept the region under the yolk of communism for almost half a century.

Stefan Tompson, a British-Polish filmmaker has recorded a short response video, debunking the Russian claims and setting the record straight. In his reaction video, he highlights the role of the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact, and the secret protocol within it which led to the mutual invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, and their attempts at destroying and eradicating the Polish elites, culture and nation.

He points out the numerous crimes of the Soviet Union on the Polish people: over a million Poles were deported to gulags, half a million Poles were imprisoned in Soviet jails and tens of thousands were shot, including 22 thousand top Polish officers who were systematically shot in the Katyn Massacre, a crime the Russians denied responsibility for till recently.

He critiques communism, reminding his viewers that “communism is a totalitarian ideology that sacrifices every aspect of life at the altar of its oppressive ideology.”

He ends the video by extending a hand to the Russian people,a people who have been the greatest victims of communism, with 20-30 million Russians killed by totalitarian communists. Tompson points to hope, by quoting the Russian dissident, philosopher and Nobel Prize winning writer, Alexander Solhzenitsyn, who survived a soviet gulag and penned “Archipelago Gulag”: the Russian thinker understood the importance of truth and its role in vanquishing totalitarianism, and he phrased it simply: “One word of truth shall outweigh the whole world.”

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