Lviv prisoners who were killed by the NKVD before it retreated from the town, July 1941. Photo: cdvr.org.ua
75 years ago, during June – July 1941, the Soviet NKVD shot around 24 thousand prisoners in western Ukraine. Now the names of many of these victims are made known thanks to documents published the Electronic Archive of the Ukrainian liberation movement
Immediately after Nazi Germany attacked the USSR, the Soviet NKVD began shooting prisoners who were sentenced to death. Plans were made to evacuate the rest to rear, and to free those who were arrested for minor crimes. Continue reading
German Foreign Minister Joachim Von Ribbentrop (left), Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, and his Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov (right) in the Kremlin signing the pact dividing Europe between Hitler’s and Stalin’s regimes on August 23, 1939.
A few days after Hitler broke his alliance with Stalin and invaded the Soviet Union, the Soviet dictator used a diplomatic back channel to explore whether the Nazi leader would be prepared to end the war if Stalin agreed to hand over to German rule Ukraine, the Baltic republics and perhaps even more.
That is the conclusion of a Friday article by historian Nikita Petrov in “Novaya gazeta,” an article that undercuts both:
- Stalin’s carefully cultivated stance as someone who was prepared to fight the invader to the end and
- Vladimir Putin’s use of World War II as a legitimizing and mobilizing tool in Russia today. Continue reading