It’s TL;DR for me.
But quick perusal, seems like a standard modern Russian attempt to reconcile the Soviet version of history, including battling the Eastern European promoted “politics of memory” in which Stalin was a co conspirator of Hitler, while also distancing from Stalin:
Stalin and his entourage, indeed, deserve many legitimate accusations. We remember the crimes committed by the regime against its own people and the horror of mass repressions. In other words, there are many things the Soviet leaders can be reproached for, but poor understanding of the nature of external threats is not one of them. They saw how attempts were made to leave the Soviet Union alone to deal with Germany and its allies. Bearing in mind this real threat, they sought to buy precious time needed to strengthen the country’s defenses.
But this is a hard balancing act and leads to understandable inconsistencies:
I would like to point out in this regard that, unlike many other European leaders of that time, Stalin did not disgrace himself by meeting with Hitler who was known among the Western nations as quite a reputable politician and was a welcome guest in the European capitals.
Hitler wasn’t viewed as a “normal” politician in Europe from the Night of the Long Knives. But yes, he was certainly less toxic than Bolsheviks who had already racked up body counts in the millions. Nothing surprising about that and not something that contemporary politicians could be reasonably blamed for.
It also repeats the standard spiel about Polish “complicity” with Hitler which are really comparing apples to oranges.
At the end of the day, the Russian state will do what it must to protect its reputation as the formal successor of the Soviet state (explicitly mentioned as such in the forthcoming Constitutional changes).
But as I noted on the 75th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, it’s all very tiring at the end of the day:
There has been the usual whining and kvetching on a certain anniversary. There’s basically two versions of telling the lead up to WW2 centering on either Munich (pro-Russians) or the Non Aggression Pact (pro-Westerners), and the one you favor is ideologically, not historically, determined.
And I don’t see why ethnic Russians should be much invested in the project; as I noted, a Ctrl-F on “russkie” in that article only registers three hits, all of them from quotations.
I outlined a more promising and logically consistent approach to a Russian politics of memory, which by stressing the foreign nature of the Bolsheviks entirely foregoes the need to try to justify and rationalize Stalin’s pre-war diplomatic maneuvers with whataboutism acrobatics. Instead, it would have the opposite effect of forcing many Europeans nations that are hostile to Russia in addressing their culpability in crimes against Russians.
But it is also not surprising that the Russian state is too wedded to the Soviet legacy to adopt such an approach.