In connection with the next anniversary of the entry of the Workers 'and Peasants' Red Army into the territory of Western Ukraine and Belarus, in Poland, as usual, there is a ferment of minds and a seething of emotions. Their "mind" is boiling indignant ... Our country, which is the legal successor of the USSR, is trying to remember another "crime of the Soviet regime", allegedly committed in those distant years, but to this day has not lost its attractiveness for some as "propaganda material" in blowing up Russophobia. Well, let's try, after weighing all the facts and circumstances, to figure out what exactly happened on September 17, 1939.
Note - I'm not even trying to call for "objective and impartial" consideration of the issue, which we will discuss later. It's time to finally admit that with regard to too many things, absolute equidistance from the points of view of two (or more) opposing sides is simply impossible. Too they, these very points, are polar, opposite, mutually exclusive. It cannot be otherwise - after all, each of them is based not only on knowledge and faith obtained from childhood, one might say, absorbed with mother's milk ... For the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan are its integral parts, by the will of fate temporarily detached from countries and subject to return "to the fold", the West (and many Chinese living in Hong Kong and Taiwan) have a completely different opinion. For Kiev, Crimea is "primordially Ukrainian lands", but the Crimeans themselves do not think so.
For the Poles, the territories into which the Red Army entered in 1939 are "East Kresy", an important part of "Great Poland", which must certainly extend "from one to one." Comrades Stalin and Voroshilov saw in them the lands that had been dastardly chopped off in the 20s, and from time immemorial belonged to our country. And since the leaders from Warsaw have managed to sleep through their own state, they should be carefully removed to return to their rightful owners. Until the Nazis took hold there, they still have to fight. As you can see, each side sees and has always seen the situation in its own way and revered its position as the only correct one. If only because this position was based on centuries of wars and rivers of blood shed for the possession of certain spaces, as well as on a special vision of the role and place of one's own people and country in the world and in history.
"Surprise and treachery" ... But were they?
In principle, there can be no "common denominator" in this issue. This is just another liberal rubbish, something like "universal human values" that do not exist in nature and other such nonsense. Therefore, I intend to examine the actions of the Soviet Union in the fall of 1939 precisely from the point of view of its state interests. Of course, giving along the way other opinions and views - with appropriate comments and assessments. Yes, perhaps I'll start with them. Indeed, why not take a brief look at the set of accusations that are being brought forward today against the leaders of the party and the Soviet government, who allegedly "inflicted an insidious stab in the back of Poland, which heroically fought the Nazis"? Usually, lamentations on this matter begin with the "denunciation" of the USSR in the conclusion of the August 23, 1939 Non-Aggression Pact that "untied Hitler's hands" with Germany. If not for this, the Nazis would not have touched Poland either ...
Well, frank delirium is the hardest thing to refute, but I'll try. First of all, Warsaw signed a similar agreement with the Third Reich much earlier than Moscow (and the first in Europe, by the way) - in 1934. Pan Piłsudski then saw himself as almost a figure equal to Hitler and dreamed that Poland would move shoulder to shoulder with “great Germany” to smash the “Muscovites” and “commies” he hated, and at the same time robbed a little of its own neighbors. By the way, the Poles managed to do something in this direction - they gnawed off the Teshin region from Czechoslovakia, tormented by the Nazis, and did not frown. Even my appetite increased. Warsaw saw only Russia and the Soviet Union as their main, irreconcilable and unchanging enemy, and they were preparing to fight exclusively against it - there is a mass of documentary evidence of that. There were no operational plans for the country's defense in the Western direction at all, almost before the start of the invasion of the Wehrmacht - this is a fact.
In this case, the Polish "conquerors" were summed up by two features that spoiled their game and led the country to catastrophe for centuries: puff and arrogance. And speaking in Russian and culturally - overblown conceit and exorbitant requests. Well, it was necessary to think of it: to roll out claims to Berlin on the territory of all Ukraine, and even with access to the Black Sea! But it is precisely such wishlist that the head of the Polish Foreign Ministry, Jozef Beck, voiced in all seriousness to his colleague from Berlin, Joachim von Ribbentrop, the very one who would later sign the notorious Non-Aggression Pact with Moscow. One can only guess what kind of obscene expressions the super-emotional Herr Hitler used when he was voiced similar appetites of the Poles, whom he, in principle, did not consider as people. Only in Poland they preferred not to notice this relationship - until it was too late. The so-called "Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact" was concluded when Stalin and everyone else finally understood the fact that there would be no "common European war" against Germany over Poland.
And by the way, after Warsaw for the hundred thousandth time rejected even the slightest possibility of passing Soviet troops across its own borders to resist the Wehrmacht rolling to the East. What was announced then? "Not a single Red Army soldier will cross the borders of the Polish state!" So, in general, it happened - the Red Army entered Western Ukraine and Belarus when, forgive me, horns and legs remained from the army and the state system of Warsaw in general. In fact, she zealously cleaned up completely ownerless lands. But they offered to defend them (and all of Poland!) From the Nazis! Refused indignantly? Well, as the Poles themselves say: "yak htse pan ..."
"A convenient field for all sorts of accidents ..."
Some "historians" try to blame the Soviet Union for the fact that there was also a Non-Aggression Pact between it and Poland, concluded in 1932 and prolonged two years later until 1945. That is so, but the agreement was with the government of Poland, and as of September 17, 1939, this already abundantly greased his heels with lard and was preparing, in the words of the then President of the country Ignacy Moscicki, “to transfer his residence to the territory of one of the allies” ( where will they be allowed). Supporters of the version of "Soviet aggression" object to this that the President at the time of the start of the Soviet offensive "was still on the territory of Poland." Well, yes, I was - with one leg, one might say.
Addressing his compatriots, accusing the USSR of "trampling on eternal moral principles" and calling himself "soulless barbarians", he was not in Warsaw (from there he escaped on September 1), but in the tiny village of Kuta - closer to the Romanian border, through which he rushed on the evening of September 17th. A few hours later, the commander-in-chief of its army, Marshal Edward Rydz-Smigly, left the country. Yes, some units and subdivisions of the Polish army were still trying to fight the Germans, desperately hoping for the "arrival of the allies" - that is, the British and the French. But Poland, as a state, no longer existed. At the same time, we must pay tribute to the Soviet government - it withstood the pause necessary "for decency", despite the fierce pressure that they tried to exert on the Kremlin from Berlin. There, starting from September 4, they demanded that our country send troops to Poland. However, until a certain moment, Stalin preferred to contain the already ready for the offensive and fully deployed Belorussian and Ukrainian fronts. Most likely, Iosif Vissarionovich was afraid of a subtle trap that could have been set up for the Soviet Union in this situation.
Imagine for a moment that the USSR, without waiting a day after the start of the German offensive (the fact that the Polish army would not hold out against the Wehrmacht for any length of time was clear before the first shot was fired), but starts entering troops immediately. And here Berlin and Warsaw conclude an armistice ... There is no doubt that the Poles would definitely not want to put up with us - and it was here that the Soviet Union could well have gotten into a war with the entire West. It is clear that at that time we were even less ready for it than in the summer of 1941. The note, which was handed over to the Polish ambassador Václav Grzybowski in Moscow on the morning of September 17, said that the local "state and government ceased to exist" and Poland "turned into a convenient field for all kinds of accidents ... threatening the USSR." Soviet troops are crossing the border in order to "take under the protection of the consanguineous Ukrainians and Belarusians abandoned by them to the mercy of fate." Where is the lie, trick or hypocrisy? Grzybowski, according to the custom of his compatriots, began to "turn on the fool" and refuse to accept this note as "not real." Nothing - after the appropriate suggestion, he accepted it as cute, and even on receipt.
The same words sounded in the radio address, which was soon delivered by the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the country Vyacheslav Molotov: “in this situation, we must give a helping hand to our brothers - Belarusians and Ukrainians”. And again, speaking of this campaign of the Red Army as a liberation campaign, the Kremlin did not misrepresent. The situation of the Belarusian and Ukrainian population in the territories occupied by Poland in 1921 was appalling. For the Poles, they were not people, but "cattle", especially those who professed Orthodoxy. I have already cited these figures in another article, but let me repeat myself - more Orthodox churches in Poland were destroyed and closed in the 20s and 30s than in the "godless" USSR! This is a historical fact. As well as, by the way, the real concentration camps for Jews, Belarusians and Ukrainians like the infamous Bereza-Kartuzskaya. When the Soviet Union called Poland a "fascist state", then, really, they did not really exaggerate!
“We don’t need an inch of someone else’s land, but we won’t give up our own top either ...”
Few people know, but these words, widely known as lines from the wonderful "March of Soviet Tankmen", are in fact the most real quote from Stalin. Speaking at the 1939th Congress of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks), he literally said the following: “We do not want a single inch of foreign land. But we will not give up our land, not a single tip of our land to anyone. " It was later that Boris Laskin contrived to weave them into the text of the song ... The events of 196 were nothing more than a practical embodiment of this principle of Joseph Vissarionovich, who was slowly restoring Russia as an empire, in all its strength and power - albeit under a red flag. There is no doubt that the lands seized by Warsaw would still return to the USSR, with or without the Germans. It was just that at that moment it was already impossible to postpone further - the Wehrmacht came out to Lvov and the Brest Fortress, which the Nazis began to look closely at in a very businesslike way. We needed it? Let me remind you that by then introducing troops into Western Ukraine and Belarus, the USSR did not just gain control of an area of 200 thousand square kilometers. The western border of the country was pushed back 300-XNUMX kilometers.
Contrary to the assertions of some very clever "researchers", large-scale work to strengthen these new lines began almost immediately - fortified areas 5-15 kilometers deep were erected there. Subsequently, their length was planned to be increased in places and up to fifty kilometers. This is to the question that "Stalin did not prepare for war." Prepared, and how thoroughly! The only thing, alas, the future Supreme Commander made a mistake with was the time allotted for preparation. However, if it were not for the extremely strange, much more reminiscent of betrayal than the usual incompetence, actions of some senior officials of the Red Army in June 1941, the Wehrmacht would have got stuck in the same Belarus for many weeks, if not months, and not for a few days. But that was later ... In 1939 everything was done correctly - from the point of view of the strategic interests of the Soviet Union.
There is one more thing that Poland does not want to mention categorically. The reason is simple - in fact, millions of Poles have every reason to eternally thank Stalin for the fact that on September 17, 1939, the Red Army crossed the border of their country. We are talking about the descendants of those who then lived in the territories occupied by the Red Army and included in the USSR. An alternative to this was the creation of a puppet "Western Ukrainian state" on the same lands under the patronage of the Third Reich. In any case, such promises were made to representatives of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (in particular, to Andrey Melnik, who replaced Yevgeny Konovalets, who was liquidated by Stalin's order), not only by high-ranking officials of the imperial German Foreign Ministry, but also by Wilhelm Canaris himself, under whose strict leadership the OUN operated for many years.
Actually, Konovalets worked for the Abwehr since 1922, and with the Nazis coming to power, this public only felt new perspectives - and not without reason. The "Canaris Memorandum", which stipulates the use of the OUN scum to "destroy the Poles and the Jews," is a world-recognized historical document that figured as evidence at the Nuremberg trials. There is no doubt that if his provisions were implemented, horrors like the Volyn massacre would not have begun in 1943, but much earlier and would have been on a much larger scale. From 1939 to 1941, the nationalist rabble, fairly thinned out and tightly pressed by the NKVD, sat mostly quieter than water, below the grass. But under the Germans, they would have turned around wonderfully, and the Polish blood would have flowed like a river. For the most part, far-fetched and many times exaggerated "communist repressions" in these territories would certainly be surpassed many times over.
However, there is no doubt that no one in today's Warsaw has enough common sense to admit this completely obvious fact. It is much easier to scream about "stab in the back", which actually did not exist. Pre-war Poland was not in the slightest degree either an ally or even a kind neighbor of the Soviet Union. Both countries were preparing to converge in war sooner or later. Nevertheless, even with all this in mind, in the summer of 1939, Moscow offered Warsaw assistance in repelling Hitler's aggression. Refused? Disdained? So blame yourself. The Red Army returned what it had to return - first in 1939, and then finally - in 1944. The dream of a "great empire", part of which would stretch across the Russian lands from Lvov and Smolensk to the Black Sea and the Caucasus, has more than once led the Poles to the most tragic consequences. The sooner they finally bury her, the better it will be for them.