Russia Reenacts WWII March After Putin Defends Nazi Pact

File Photo of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Riding in Convertible

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer – November 7, 2014) Russian troops marched in Red Square to commemorate a World War II parade held under the noses of German invaders in 1941 two days after President Vladimir Putin defended a 1939 non-aggression pact with Hitler.

Joseph Stalin file photoSix thousand soldiers and cadets accompanied by World War II-era warplanes and other weaponry today re-enacted the parade that Soviet dictator Josef Stalin presided over.

The soldiers who marched 73 years ago today, went straight to fight on the front against the Germans, who were 70 kilometers (40 miles) outside of Moscow after having invaded the country in June of that year.

Putin said two days ago he saw nothing wrong with the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact that the Soviet Union signed with Germany in 1939, carving up eastern Europe. “Serious research would show those were the methods of foreign policy then,” he said at a meeting with historians.

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Desk“The Soviet Union signed a non-aggression agreement with Germany. They say, ‘Oh, how bad,'” Putin said during a meeting of academics. “But what is so bad about it, if the Soviet Union did not want to fight? What is so bad?”

Poland and the Baltic states, which were invaded by the Soviet Union after the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, have pushed for more protection from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization since the conflict in Ukraine began this year.

The government in Kiev and its U.S. and European Union allies accuse Putin of inciting the confrontation by giving pro-Russian insurgents cash, weapons and fighters after he annexed the Black Sea peninsula Crimea in March.

Article ©2014 Bloomberg L.P. All Rights Reserve. Article also appeared at bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-07/russia-reenacts-wwii-march-after-putin-defends-nazi-pact.html

[featured images are file photos]