On 17 September 1939, Soviet Russia invaded Poland. 17 days after Nazi Germany invaded Poland from the west, their allies - Soviet Russia- invaded Poland from the east.
The invasion and battle lasted for the following 20 days and ended on 6 October 1939 with the two-way division and annexation of the entire territory of the Second Polish Republic by both Germany and Russia.
The joint German-Soviet invasion of Poland was secretly agreed in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, signed on 23 August 1939.
Russian and German officers shake hands in occupied Poland
The official reason for the Russian invasion of Poland in 1939 was because Soviet Russia claimed it wanted to protect the "Russian minorities" in Poland.
Yes, this explanation might seem a tad familiar seeing how it's exactly the same explanation Russia gives every time it invades one of its neighbors.
Whether it's Poland in 1939 or Georgia in 2008 or Ukraine in 2014, Russia has never invaded it only protects the Russian minorities living in that country.
Present day Baltic states, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, who have large Russian minorities living in their countries, and unlike most people in the west, are painfully aware of this tradition of Russian “protection” of Russian minorities are very worried, given the fact that Russian expansion, spearheaded by the new Russian Tsar Vladimir Putin, is once again on the rise.
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