The Russian Ministry of Foreign affairs tweeted an infographic Wednesday, identifying a former Estonian KGB henchman, Arnold Meri, as a hero of the “Soviet Union.” The infographic was ostensibly published in response to a NATO short film about the Baltic Forest Brothers, who fought a guerilla war for independence against occupying Soviet forces through the 1950’s.
Историческая правда: подходы #НАТО и #МИД России #Кремльнашуисториюнеперепишешь #ЛесныеБратья pic.twitter.com/mSFsLi8Hfi
— МИД 🇷🇺 Краснодар (@MID_Krasnodar) July 26, 2017
Arnold Meri volunteered to join the Soviet Red Army in 1940, after Josef Stalin signed a pact with Adolf Hitler which allowed the Soviet Union to illegally occupy Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. He was awarded the Soviet Union’s Order of Lenin in 1948, but was stripped of it in 1951. Meri admitted to organizing the 1949 deportation of Estonians from the island of Hiiumaa, to the Soviet GULAG. Most of the deportees were women and children, of which, nearly a quarter died.
Meri was charged with genocide in 2007, for his role in the deportations. The Kremlin objected to the charges and Russian state media actively defended Meri as a hero, ramping up efforts to manipulate historical fact and denying the Soviet occupation of Estonia.
Russian State Media Manipulation of Baltic History and Denial of Soviet Occupation and Genocide
In July 2017, NATO produced a historical documentary about the Baltic Forest Brothers, a partisan group that fought for the freedom and independence of the Baltic States in the late 1940’s and 50’s. High ranking Kremlin officials, including former leader of a Russian extremist nationalist party, Rodina, current Russian deputy prime minister, Dimitry Rogozin, who linked the Baltic Forest Brothers to Nazis in efforts to discredit the documentary.
Ролик @NATO про “лесных братьев”, убивающих наших солдат, подтверждает, что в лице НАТО мы имеем дело с наследниками гитлеровских недобитков https://t.co/jbZddWA0J7
— Дмитрий Рогозин (@Rogozin) July 13, 2017
The Kremlin’s effort to distort historical facts to suit current propaganda objectives is not limited to Russia. Kremlin efforts to rehabilitate the crimes of Josef Stalin, who killed over 30 million people, have reached North America as well.
Glad to see you’re not even attempting to be unbiased. These people deported were terrorists, Nazi sympathisers and kulaks. We’ve seen before what kulaks do when left to their own devices during collectivisation, and don’t give me this “they’re just women and children” because women and children were key in instigating the terroristic actions of the Ukrainian kulaks. The Soviet Union was protecting the interests of its class, and these communities deported were ones that were filled with class enemies.