Media build up to World War II

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In the third of a series of articles marking the outbreak of World War II 70 years ago, the BBC Russian Service's Andrei Ostalski analyses media coverage of the events that led to conflict.

On 21 August 1939 the Soviet government newspaper Izvestiya published a short article entitled On Soviet-German Relations in its middle pages, between pieces on the development of Soviet agriculture and the legal system.

Just a few lines in length, it was to have the effect of an exploding bomb on a global scale.

The content of the short article was even more curious, and it left the Soviet press facing the difficult task of explaining a major U-turn - away from thunderous anti-Fascism, and towards friendly relations with the Nazis....

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