Russia’s Victim Narrative

Av Stefan Forss, Dr.
Publicerad 30 november, 2020

November 30th marks the beginning of the Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland (30 November 1939 – 13 March 1940). 81 years later, the history of the war remains a burning issue which is being used by Russia for geopolitical purposes.

In the new report “Russia’s Victim Narrative”, Professor Stefan Forss examines Russia’s narrative building around The Second World War. Great efforts are made in order to deny and obfuscate the role and plans of the Soviet Union as a partner of Nazi Germany to start World War II.

The report discusses Russia’s attempt to consolidate a Soviet interpretation of the history of the Winter War and the USSR’s cooperation with Hitler’s Germany. Moreover, Russian attempts to re-interpret Stalin’s allegedly limited and benign ambitions regarding Finland are rejected.

– The Russian attempts to get universal recognition for a Soviet interpretation of the history of World War II should be understood as an attempt to build a new European security order, which dismisses the principles of the Helsinki Final Act in 1975 and the profound co-operative achievements in CSCE/OSCE during the 1990s, says Stefan Forss, author of the report.

This is the third publication from Stockholm Free World Forum addressing Russian use of history for political purposes. The previous publications are: “Controlling the Past” by Dr.  Gudrun Persson  “Kremls historievapen” (in Swedish) by Patrik Oksanen, Senior Fellow.

Dr. Stefan Forss is a professor, retired physicist, and Adjunct Professor at the Finnish National Defence University. He has served as Chief Scientist at the Technical Research Centre of Finland and Senior Scientist at the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, focusing on nuclear weapons issues, arms control and security policy. He has a keen interest in military history and co-operated closely with Finnish war veterans and their organizations in the early 2000s, leading to two drama documentary motion pictures. Dr Forss is an invited member of the Finnish Society of Military Sciences and the Swedish Royal Academy of War Sciences