MOSCOW—Poland and Russia are locked in an escalating dispute over who is to blame for the outbreak of World War II, as President Vladimir Putin exports a historical revisionism that is widening the Kremlin’s rifts with Europe.
A dispute that has simmered for months over the conflict has sharpened in recent weeks. Polish and Russian officials—along with U.S. and German diplomats—have traded barbs over how the conflict began and who should carry historic responsibility.
This past week, Polish President Andrzej Duda said he would boycott the 75th anniversary commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz, the Nazi concentration camp located in Poland, after complaining that he won’t be allowed to speak at the event in Israel later this month but Mr. Putin will.
Mr. Duda’s government had pushed for Europe to condemn the Soviet Union’s 1939 invasion of Poland in ways many in Russia felt equated the Soviet Union with Nazi Germany. The latter also invaded Poland that same year. Mr. Putin has responded by criticizing Poland’s role in the years before the war’s outbreak. But his version—widely dismissed by most historians—holds Poland partly responsible for the dual invasions.