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MOSCOW — Seventy years ago Sunday, the Soviet Union signed a pact with Nazi Germany that gave dictator Josef Stalin a free hand to take over part of Poland and the Baltic states on the eve of World War II.
Most of the world now condemns the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, but Russia has mounted a new defense of the 1939 treaty as it seeks to restore some of its now-lost sphere of influence.