Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

NATO Hits Russian Raw Nerve With “Forest Brothers”

Sputnik just published an article titled ”NATO Charging New Propaganda Cannons’: What’s Behind ‘Forest Brothers’ Video?

As soon as I read the following two paragraphs, I knew somebody in Russia was so angry they were spewing and spitting – generally enraged beyond belief.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry severely criticized a video about Nazi collaborators, the so-called Forest Brothers, published by NATO on Twitter. In an interview with Sputnik, political expert Igor Nikolaychuk explained the reasons behind the alliance’s decision to rake up this forgotten subject.

According to Nikolaychuk, NATO has created a new propaganda weapon based on rhetoric that is no longer relevant even in the Baltic countries.

Please allow me to extract a few phrases which have special meaning:

  • Severely criticized
  • Nazi collaborators
  • So-called
  • Forgotten subject
  • New propaganda weapon
  • No longer relevant

These dismissive terms indicated NATO found a festering wound, had figuratively dug a finger into the wound, twisted the finger around and thrown in some salt as an extra, added bonus of pain.  That’s just from the first two paragraphs!

Every dismissive term meant that the video and the topic was relevant, the subject was not forgotten, and it still burned in the Russian psyche.  Burned, just like how a few Finns kicked their butts, too.

NATO made a propaganda coup.

I had to find out more.

So…  I went in search of.

Sputnik was so kind as to publish the ‘offending’ tweet.

It contained a 55-second teaser, which eventually leads to the actual video. Watch the whole thing, 8:07 minutes:

This is a story about the partisan resistance to the Soviet occupation of the Baltic States of Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, focusing mostly on Lithuania.  This started late during the Nazi occupation, hence they were labeled Nazi collaborators. Later, the Soviets prevailed and refused to grant the Baltic States their independence. This lead to 15,000 or so partisans actively resisting the Soviets, starting about 1949. The last Forest Brothers lasted until the 1980s.

You know a video is good when Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova criticized NATO’s new film.

During Russia’s rush to revise history in their favor, there is no room for second opinions, no room for a different perspective, there is no room for an objective truth.

This video provides an uncomfortable truth which Russia is not prepared to counter, they were caught by surprise.  Therefore Russia undermines the credibility of the source, belittles the information, and dismisses the partisans as ‘Nazi collaborators’.

This should sound familiar to those who know Ukraine history, also. Remember Stepan Bandera?  He was a nationalist for Ukraine.  He butted heads with Poland. He butted heads with Nazi Germany. Then he butted heads with the Soviets. He was constantly fighting for an independent nation of Ukraine and sought help from whoever could help. Finally, the KGB assassinated him in Munich, West Germany in 1959.  Since then the Soviets and now the Russians have called him a Nazi collaborator, and still do. In 2014 the Russians said the current Ukraine leadership were heirs to Stepan Bandera in a derisive tone even though Ukraine considers him a hero.

The bottom line is that Russia rewrites history according to their whims and wishes, they are actively engaged in the revisionism of history. Whenever they encounter something which makes the Soviets and, in turn, Russia, look bad, they deny, degrade, deride, and destroy.

Kudos to NATO for remembering the Forest Brothers and their Fight for the Baltics. Ouch, Russia.


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