Human Rights in Ukraine reports on a remarkable ruling, denying obvious fact.
Russiaâ€™s Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of Perm blogger Vladimir Luzgin for reposting a text which states that both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland in 1939. The Supreme Courtâ€™s ruling came on September 1, 2016, the 77th anniversary of Hitlerâ€™s invasion of Poland, 17 days before the anniversary of the Soviet invasion from the east.
Henry Reznik, the well-known lawyer who was representing Luzgin, commented that the Supreme Court has discredited itself through this ruling and promised to appeal further. He added that an application to the European Court of Human Rights was simply demanded.
As reported here, 37-year-old Vladimir Luzgin was convicted in July this year by the Perm District Court and fined 200 thousand roubles. The charge was under Article 354.1 of Russiaâ€™s criminal code (â€˜rehabilitation of Nazismâ€™) and concerned Luzginâ€™s repost of a text on his VKontakte social network page entitled â€™15 facts about Bandera supporters, or what the Kremlin is silent aboutâ€™.
It may be no accident that the â€˜offending textâ€™ should be Ukrainian, and fairly nationalist, however it was specifically over the following paragraph in the repost that the criminal proceedings against Luzgin were initiated:
â€œThe communists and Germany jointly invaded Poland, sparking off the Second World War. That is, communism and Nazism closely collaborated, yet for some reason they blame Bandera who was in a German concentration camp for declaring Ukrainian independenceâ€.
Russiaâ€™s Supreme Court has now agreed that this paragraph constitutes â€œthe public denial of the Nuremberg Trials and circulation of false information about the activities of the USSR during the years of the Second World Warâ€.
It is hard to know what is most shocking in all of this. A prime contender must be Alexander Vertinsky, dean of the History Faculty of the Perm Humanitarian-Pedagogical University. He proved willing to appear for the prosecution and claim that the paragraph really did contain â€œstatements that do not correspond with the position accepted at international levelâ€.
There are also two Russian courts willing to agree that since the Nuremberg Trials did not mention the Soviet invasion, the information was â€˜knowingly falseâ€™. With the Soviet Union as one of the victors exerting considerable influence at Nuremberg, it was highly unlikely that Soviet collaboration with the Nazis and its invasion would get a mention.
The rulings are extraordinarily cynical. Whatever was said at Nuremberg, any genuine historian will confirm that the Soviet Union invaded what was then Poland on September 17, 1939.
To deny this is absurd when the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and its secret protocols which carved up Poland between the Soviet Union and Germany have long been in the public domain, and can be read about in any history book.