Russian State TV Rewrites WWII Narrative: 'Europe Took Side of the Nazis'

A Russian state TV host has compared Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine with the World War II battle of Stalingrad, falsely claiming that all of Europe was fighting with Adolf Hitler against Soviet Russia during what Moscow calls the Great Patriotic War.

Anchor Dmitry Kiselyov made the remarks during a segment on Russia's Channel One. It was aired after the 80th anniversary of the battle of Stalingrad, which was marked on Thursday. The event, which ended with the surrender of German forces on February 2, 1943, is deeply symbolic to Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with members of public patriotic and youth organizations at the Battle of Stalingrad Museum and Panorama in Volgograd on February 2, 2023, during commemorations for the 80th anniversary of the Soviet victory at the Battle of Stalingrad during World War II. MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/SPUTNIK/AFP/Getty Images

An excerpt of the broadcast was shared on Twitter by The Daily Beast's Julia Davis.

"Russian state TV lies about WWII, attempting to draw parallels with Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Host Dmitry Kiselyov falsely claims that the collective West attacked "Soviet Russia" in WWII," she wrote as a caption.

BBC journalist Francis Scarr also shared a still from the broadcast, describing Kiselyov's comments as "some jawdroppingly shameless rewriting of history."

Kiselyov falsely claimed that 80 years ago, during the battle of Stalingrad, Europe sided with Germany against Russia.

"We fought off the onslaught of the collective West against our country... the entire Europe was on the side of fascist Germany," the TV anchor began.

"The armada of Hitler's Germany near Stalingrad had superior quantities of troops, arms and equipment. They ran into all kinds of trouble. We'll follow up with more details, but the fact is that Stalingrad is our common experience, for those who won and for those who were defeated," Kiselyov continued.

The state TV host said Russian President Vladimir Putin is issuing a warning to those who supply Ukraine with weapons in the ongoing conflict. "Modern war with Russia will be totally different," he said.

He continued, "Up until now, Russia behaved with restraint, counting on the understanding, but still."

In fact, the United States and Britain were allies of the Soviet Union in the struggle against Nazi Germany in World War II. Both countries played a crucial part in the Soviet defense against the German invasion by supplying Moscow with fighter planes, tanks, fuel, ammunition and food that was delivered by convoys of merchant ships, protected by the British, U.S. and Canadian navies, that made perilous Arctic voyages.

Many other European countries were occupied by Nazi Germany during World War II.

Ukraine is set to receive dozens of advanced tanks over the coming months to help counter Russian aggression. Multiple countries have promised in recent weeks to provide Ukraine with tanks, after much deliberation and debate.

The U.S. announced on January 25 that it would send Ukraine up to 31 M1 Abrams tanks. Germany has said it would provide the war-torn country with 14 of its Leopard 2A6 tanks, and allow partner countries to re-export other combat tanks to assist Kyiv.

Western countries have so far ruled out sending Kyiv modern Western fighter aircraft. The issue is expected to be on the agenda at a summit in February at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

Putin on Thursday said that German tanks are again threatening Russia, "drawing a false parallel with World War II," the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a think tank based in Washington, noted in its daily assessment of the conflict on Monday.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz responded by stating that Putin's remarks are "a part of a series of abstruse historical comparisons that he uses to justify his attack on Ukraine."

Do you have a tip on a world news story that Newsweek should be covering? Do you have a question about the Russia-Ukraine war? Let us know via