Upon reading Putin’s New Nostalgia article by Timothy Snyder, I was specifically intrigued by one particular historical point he mentioned. Given the charged nature of current events, and Snyder’s apparent bias, I had found a lot of his statements suspicious (some of which were hard to verify, or they did not warrant unequivocal language he chose to use, etc.). But one of them, I thought, would be easy to confirm by available historical record as it concerned official propaganda around the time of Molotov-Ribbentrop :
Between 1939 and 1941, the Soviet Union presented Nazi Germany in its own internal propaganda as a friendly state, ceased to criticize German policies, and began to publish Nazi speeches. People at public rallies occasionally misspoke, praising “Comrade Hitler” or calling for “the triumph of international fascism.” Swastikas began to appear on buildings or even on posters of Soviet leaders.
Some of it seemed far-fetched to me. Now, I would completely understand the desire by the Soviet government to present positively the trade and economic cooperation agreements with the state that was deemed previously hostile (given the Nazi destruction of political left and labour movement in the mid-1930s). However, the complete turn-about in propaganda to a full-blown support of Nazi regime did not appear likely.
Reckoning it would be easy to find relevant posters, I started to search for swastikas on pre-war Soviet posters, for Soviet pro-Nazi posters, for posters about Soviet-German friendship ca. 1940 etc. and came up largely empty-handed. Even assuming that Soviet leadership ordered destruction of pro-Nazi propaganda after German invasion, it is hard to believe that nothing fell through the cracks.
The only thing that turned up was the following poster, that was allegedly drawn up in 1940, to signify joint Soviet-German attack on imperial Britain, and then redrawn later with Berlin instead of London. However, it can possibly be a fake, because the Gothic font used in both is different (evidenced by the letter “н”), and the fact that the plane on both posters resembles Handley Page Hampden, and not any of the common German twin-engine bombers or heavy fighters, such as Bf 110, He 111 or Ju 88:
So, the question: are there properly sourced books or peer-reviewed articles on which Snyder based his statements?