Most Russians unaware of Molotov-Ribbentrop pact

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The percentage of Russians approving of the signing in August 1939 of the treaty of non-aggression between the USSR and the Nazi Germany (the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact) has noticeably dropped from 40% to 33% in the past five years, sociologists from the Levada-Center told Interfax on Monday.

Forty-six percent respondents are unaware about the pact's existence at all (37% in 2005), according to the findings of a nationwide poll conducted on August 20-23. The document is condemned by 5% Russians.

There are also fewer respondents who believe that secret protocols to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact about territorial partition of Europe between the USSR and Germany really existed.

Whereas in 2005 43% believed in their existence, today the figure is 36%. Another 11% believe that protocols were fabricated. And 41% respondents said they never even heard about those documents.

The poll also showed that 56% of Russians are unaware that the Soviet troops invaded Poland together with the Nazis in September 1939 and held a joint parade in Brest after its defeat.

According to the survey, the Russian public does not have a unanimous opinion on how much the differing views on the 1939-1940 historical events aggravate Russia's relations with Poland and the Baltic States.

Thirty-one percent respondents believe that Russia's relations with these countries are not compounded by this factor. However, 29% respondents believe that differing views on history have a significant impact on the relations between countries, while 40% could not answer, sociologists said.

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