Russian leader Vladimir Putin has justified the Nazis' actions, saying that Adolf Hitler was forced to start the war with Poland in 1939 due to the Poles’ intransigence over Gdańsk. Poland is outraged by these claims.
Quote from Putin: "The territory was transferred to Poland, and instead of Danzig, the city of Gdańsk emerged. Hitler asked them [the Poles] to give it up amicably, but they refused...
[The Poles] went too far, pushing Hitler to start World War II by attacking them. Why was it against Poland that the war started on 1 September 1939? Poland proved to be uncompromising, and Hitler had no choice but to start implementing his plans, starting with Poland."
Quote from Sikorski: "It's not the first time the Russian dictator V. Putin blames Poland, invaded by the USSR on 17 [September] 1939, for the outbreak of WWII.
We are used to paranoid justifications for Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
What’s shocking is that this time they are enabled by an American journalist."
Details: In his interview with Carlson, Putin once again outlined his vision of history. He claimed that it was Ukraine that started the war in 2014 and that Ukraine had "created a threat to Crimea, which we had to take under our protection". According to the Russian leader, Russia did not start the war in 2022 either, but "tried to stop it".
Putin also said that Russia has not yet achieved its goals, among which he named "denazification" and "the prohibition of all kinds of neo-Nazi movements".
In the interview, Putin also outlined other arguments from Russian propaganda: that Ukraine was created by Lenin within the USSR, that nationalists collaborated with Hitler during World War II, that SS massacres were carried out, and that "nationalism and neo-Nazism" allegedly exist in modern Ukraine and nationalists are glorified.
"I say that Ukrainians are part of the Russian people, they say: no, we are a separate people. Okay, fine. If they consider themselves a separate people, they have the right to do so, but not on the basis of Nazism, the Nazi ideology," Putin claimed.
He also asserts that after 1991, Russia agreed to Ukraine's independent status, but did not agree to NATO being adjacent to its territory.
When asked if Moscow could send troops to Poland, a NATO member, Putin responded that this would only be possible if Poland attacked Russia, which is allegedly not interested in Poland, Latvia, or anything else.
According to Polish Defence Minister Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, this statement will not deter Poles from remaining vigilant. "The more someone repeats that he has no plans for something, the more one should be treated with suspicion," he said, citing Russian officials' statements prior to the invasion of Ukraine.