Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, during a conference in San Francisco at which the United Nations was created. September 1945
130 years ago, on March 9, 1890, the future Soviet political and statesman V.M. Molotov was born. Head of the Soviet government from 1930 to 1941, People’s Commissar, and then Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR: in 1939-1949 and 1953-1956. A real marshal of Soviet diplomacy, the creator of the Great Victory, Stalin’s closest ally, who until his death remained a supporter of his policy.
Vyacheslav Mikhailovich did not study specifically to become a diplomat. Didn’t know any foreign language well. Although during his life he learned to read and understand French, English and German. But for almost 13 years, he defended the interests of the Soviet state and the people, conducted complex negotiations with experienced foreign diplomats and leaders. Major Western politicians unanimously ranked Molotov among the greatest diplomats of all times and peoples. So, the American Secretary of State in 1953-1959. John F. Dulles considered Molotov the greatest diplomat in the world since the early 20th century. Vyacheslav Molotov was a conductor of the Stalinist course, a people’s diplomat. He steadfastly and skillfully defended the interests of our country and people.
Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov was born on March 9 (February 25, old style), 1890 in the Kukarka settlement of the Kukar volost of the Yaransky district of the Vyatka province (now Sovetsk of the Kirov region). The real name is Scriabin. Father – Mikhail Prokhorovich Scriabin, from the bourgeoisie (bourgeois – the urban estate in the Russian Empire), mother – Anna Yakovlevna Nebogatikova, from a merchant family. After school, Vyacheslav studied at the Kazan real school. There he became acquainted with Marxism, in 1905 he began to support the Bolsheviks, in 1906 he joined the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP).
He had an ordinary life for revolutionaries of that time: already in 1909 he was arrested, poisoned into exile in the Vologda region. In 1911 he was freed and completed his studies at a real school. In 1912, Vyacheslav Scriabin entered the Faculty of Economics of the St. Petersburg Polytechnic Institute, where he studied until the fourth year. His main occupation was not study, but revolutionary struggle. Vyacheslav led party work, took part in the creation of the newspaper Pravda, where he was the editorial secretary. In 1915 he was sent to a second exile – to the Irkutsk province. At the same time, he adopted the party pseudonym – Molotov.
In 1916, Molotov escaped from exile. Arrived in Petrograd, where he became a member of the Russian Bureau of the Central Committee of the RSDLP (b). By the time of the overthrow of Tsar Nicholas II, Molotov was already one of the most authoritative leaders of the Bolsheviks who were at large in Russia. He again entered the editorial office of the newspaper Pravda, became a member of the executive committee of the Petrograd Soviet and the Petrograd Committee of the RSDLP (b). After February, he was opposed to cooperation with the Provisional Government and a supporter of deepening the revolution, an armed uprising. But after the return of many prominent revolutionaries to Russia, he was relegated to the background.
During the Civil War, he worked on the economic and party lines. After the Civil War, he again became a prominent figure in Soviet Russia. At the X Congress of the RCP (b) in March 1921, Vyacheslav Molotov was elected a member of the Central Committee, and at the plenum held at the same time – the actual first secretary of the Central Committee. In 1922, the post of general secretary was established, which was taken by Stalin. Molotov moved to a second role in the Secretariat.
Meeting of the Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR VM Molotov at the Anhalt station in Berlin. The head of the Soviet government was met by the Chief of Staff of the Wehrmacht High Command, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, and German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. In the second row from the left, behind Molotov, is the plenipotentiary representative of the USSR in Germany Alexei Alekseevich Shkvartsev. November 12, 1940
Stalin’s ally and “marshal” of diplomacy
After Lenin’s death, Molotov became an active supporter of Stalin and remained faithful to him until his death. He opposed Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, “right deviators” (Bukharin, Rykov, Tomsky). In 1930, Vyacheslav Mikhailovich headed the Soviet government, replacing Rykov. Molotov worked hard during the first five-year plans and made a great contribution to the growth of the economy, the welfare of society, the country’s defense, the implementation of large-scale industrial and infrastructure projects, industrialization, urbanization, modernization, etc.
In May 1939, Molotov replaced Litvinov as the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the USSR, retaining the post of head of government. Litvinov’s name is associated with Moscow’s attempt to create a collective security system in Europe. The Union pursued a flexible, extremely cautious policy. Litvinov to the last tried to push through the idea of creating a new Entente. In this situation, Russia again became the “cannon fodder” of the West, as in 1914. This did not suit Stalin, he did not want the Russians to fight again, not for their own, but for the interests of others. By 1939, the situation in Europe and the world had changed dramatically. The inevitability of a world war became apparent as the policy of the West to incite Hitler’s Third Reich against the USSR (the policy of “appeasing” Hitler at the expense of Russia). The course towards the creation of a collective security system has collapsed. It was necessary to avoid war with the imperialist powers for as long as possible and to tighten foreign policy, restoring the Russian imperial positions (until 1917).
Stalin maneuvered to the last, trying to stay away from the world war caused by the crisis of capitalism, trying to turn the global conflict into an internal affair of the West. That is, the Union was supposed to play the role of a wise monkey on a hill from a Chinese parable, which looks at the battle of two tigers. Simultaneously, Moscow was consistently restoring national positions lost after the 1917 revolution (Poland, the Baltic states, Finland, Bessarabia).
Stalin did not want to be the “cannon fodder” of the West, to avoid a new battle between the Russians and the Germans in the interests of London and Washington. He tried to play the Russian game according to his own rules. And Molotov became the conductor of this course. Stalin and Molotov succeeded in a lot. Moscow managed to restore many of the positions of the Russian Empire, to return the Baltic states, Bessarabia, Vyborg, the western regions of White and Little Russia to Russia. It was possible to avoid Hitler’s blow already in 1939, postponing the war until the summer of 1941. The Kremlin baffled both Britain and France, demanding from them a full-fledged military alliance against Germany, and when they refused, it entered into an agreement with Hitler. In the winter of 1939-1940, during the war with Finland, a very dangerous situation was avoided. After all, Great Britain and France, already in a state of “strange” war with the Reich, planned to attack the USSR in Scandinavia and the Caucasus. For Hitler, this situation was just a miracle – a war between the main opponents. But the USSR managed to deal with Finland faster than the Allies landed troops to help the Finns.
As a result, the world war began as a clash between two capitalist camps. It was possible to avoid a war on two fronts – immediately with Germany and Japan. England and the United States, when plans to destroy the red empire by Hitler’s hands failed, had to support the USSR in the war. Stalin and Molotov made the USSR-Russia one of the most important parts of the new world order. They created the Yalta-Potsdam political system.
Thus, the “tandem” Stalin – Molotov very successfully and competently conducted the foreign policy of the Soviet state during the 10 most difficult years – World War II and the Cold War (in fact, already the third world war – between the USSR and the “collective West” at the head from the USA). And there is no doubt about the knowledge and personal qualities of Molotov. He was in his place. He successfully restored the positions of the USSR-Russia in the world, was one of the founders of the Soviet superpower.
Winston Churchill, a terrible enemy of Russia and one of the great Western politicians, described Molotov as follows:
“I have never seen a human being that would be more suited to the modern idea of the automaton. And yet, at the same time, he was obviously a sensible and carefully polished diplomat … There is no doubt that in Molotov the Soviet machine found a capable and in many respects typical representative – always a loyal party member and follower of communism. Having lived to old age, I am glad that I did not have to endure the stress that he was subjected to – I would rather not be born at all. As for the leadership of foreign policy, Sully [первый министр короля Франции Генриха IV]Talleyrand and Metternich will gladly accept him into their company, if only there is such an afterlife where the Bolsheviks allow themselves access. “
That is, in the West, Vyacheslav Molotov was considered one of the greatest statesmen in world history. He defended the interests of the country and the people with all his might, and was never a “convenient partner” for the West. It is clear what caused undisguised irritation in the West. Molotov in the West for his intransigence was nicknamed “Mister No” (later this nickname was “inherited” by A. A. Gromyko). The Foreign Minister became the founder of the “imperial” diplomatic school. He nominated Andrei Gromyko and a number of other leading diplomats of the USSR.
Also, during the war, Molotov was deputy, first deputy chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars (then the Council of Ministers). Molotov was also deputy chairman of the State Defense Committee (GKO), was a member of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief’s Headquarters. It was he who, at the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, spoke on the radio with a message about the attack of Nazi Germany on the Union. On June 22, 1941, at 12 noon, Vyacheslav Mikhailovich’s words sounded throughout the Soviet state: “Our cause is just. The enemy will be defeated. Victory will be ours”. Molotov was responsible for the development of the tank industry. For his labor services to the Motherland, by the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of September 30, 1943, Vyacheslav Mikhailovich was awarded the title of Hero of Socialist Labor with the award of the Order of Lenin and the hammer and sickle gold medal.
USSR Ambassador to Great Britain IM Maisky, People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the USSR VM Molotov and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill for a walk in the garden of the residence of the British Prime Minister (10 Downing Street) in London. May 1942
Molotov was Stalin’s “right hand”, he was rightfully considered one of the possible successors of the great leader. Therefore, various intrigues were conducted against him. In 1949, Vyacheslav Mikhailovich fell under suspicion: Molotov’s wife was involved in the so-called. case of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, arrested and sent into exile. Molotov was removed from his post as head of the Soviet foreign policy department (he was replaced by Vyshinsky). At the same time, Molotov remained one of the deputy chairmen of the Council of Ministers (that is, the supreme one). Already in 1952, Molotov was elected to the highest governing body of the party – to the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU.
After Stalin left (apparently, he was eliminated), Molotov was one of his possible successors. At the same time, he is an ardent supporter of the continuation of his foreign and domestic policy. However, he was not eager for power. After the murder of Beria, Molotov tried to resist Khrushchev, but it was too late. In May 1956, under the pretext of an incorrect policy on the Yugoslav question, Molotov was relieved of his post as USSR Foreign Minister. Then he tried to remove Khrushchev along with Malenkov, Kaganovich, Voroshilov, Bulganin, etc., but the so-called. the anti-party group was defeated. Molotov was stripped of top posts in the state and the party and sent into “exile” as an ambassador to Mongolia, then as a representative of the USSR in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). For such a diplomatic “bison” as Molotov, this was a mockery.
Vyacheslav Mikhailovich did not accept and still tried to resist Khrushchev’s anti-popular course. Repeatedly appealed to the Central Committee of the CPSU in defense of the Stalinist course (these documents were classified at the direction of Khrushchev). In 1961, he criticized the new edition of the CPSU Program. Molotov was retired and expelled from the party. They were reinstated in the Communist Party only in 1984, under Chernenko, who was thinking about the complete rehabilitation of Stalin and his policies (but did not succeed). Until his death, Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov was a firm Stalinist. The great Russian and Soviet statesman passed away on November 8, 1986.
Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin, Marshal of the Soviet Union, Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR and Chairman of the State Defense Committee of the USSR, talks with People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the USSR Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov at the Yalta Conference. February 1945