Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia is on track to ban all memorials to Joseph Stalin, in spite of concerns that such a ban would constitute an infringement on freedom of speech.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that Russia cannot afford to lose Ukraine, lamenting what he said was the existence of “Nazis who continue marching in Kyiv and continue glorifying Adolf Hitler’s accomplices”.
The remarks clearly refer to the reverence many Ukrainians have for Stepan Bandera.
Bandera fought against both Hitler and the Red Army during the Second World War but Russia has accused the Ukrainian government of supporting Nazi ideology because of the popularity of Bandera among many Ukrainians.
The Kremlin’s attempt to brand the Ukrainian government Nazis has been criticised by historians for flagrant hypocrisy, because in Russia and among the Kremlin-backed insurgency, former leader Joseph Stalin is hailed as a hero, despite the fact that Stalin supported, aided and abetted the Hitler regime prior to the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.
The pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, which contained a protocol to carve up eastern Europe, was signed in 1939.