Medvedev defends Moscow's role in WWII





MOSCOW – Russia's president defended Moscow's role in World War II before the 70th anniversary of its outbreak, saying in an interview broadcast Sunday that anyone who lays equal blame on the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany is telling a "cynical lie."

Dmitry Medvedev's remarks were the latest salvo in Russia's bitter dispute with its neighbors over the war and its aftermath. The Kremlin has launched a campaign for universal acceptance of its portrayal of the Soviet Union as Europe's liberator.

In Eastern Europe, however, gratitude for the Nazi defeat is diluted by bitterness over the decades of postwar Soviet dominance.

Medvedev suggested in the interview with state-run Rossiya television that nobody can question "who started the war, who killed people and who saved millions of lives — who, in the final analysis, saved Europe."

"You cannot label someone who defended himself an aggressor," Medvedev said...

... In the broadcast interview, Medvedev accused Western nations of turning a blind eye to what he said is the practice of Ukraine and the Baltic ex-Soviet republics of treating "former Nazi disciples" as "national heroes."

He suggested there was greater agreement between Moscow and the West about the moral aspects of World War II during the Cold War than there is now.


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