SOVIET RUSSIA. Brief history of the USSR
In 1933, when Hitler came to power in Germany on the initiative of the Soviet side, the military relationship of the Red Army with the Reichswehr was severed. For their part, the fascist authorities declared the Soviet-German trade agreement of May 2, 1932 invalid, as a result. As a result, exports to Germany only in the first half of 1933 decreased by 44%. In 1933, the Soviet embassy in Berlin sent 217 notes to the German Foreign Ministry, protesting against various anti-Soviet actions of fascists - illegal arrests, searches, etc. Preparations for an aggressive war were elevated to the rank of German state policy. “Nothing will frighten me. No so-called norms of international law, no treaties will keep me from using the advantage that was given to me. The impending war will be unheard of bloody and cruel,” said Hitler.
Despite the changes taking place in Germany, the USSR sought to maintain civilized relations with this state. Stalin declared this from the rostrum of the XVII Congress of the CPSU (b) in January 1934. However, in 1935-1936. Soviet-German relations are gradually weakening. Not the last role was played by the statements of Hitler that "Germany will attain completeness only when Europe becomes Germany. Not a single European state has no complete borders from now on."
In the autumn of 1937, a real "consular war" unfolded between Germany and the USSR, as a result of which 5 German consulates out of 7 were closed in the USSR and 2 out of 4 in Germany — 4 years before, in November 1936, after The 15-month negotiations between Germany and Japan was concluded "Anti-Minternovsky Pact". Its signatories pledged to fight the Comin. In the event of war by one of the negotiating powers with the USSR, another country pledged not to render any assistance to our country. In November 1937, Italy joined the "Anti-Comintern Pact". This is how the "Berlin-Rome-Tokyo triangle" emerged, aimed at fighting the communist movement within each country and in the international arena. For Hitler, however, this was only the beginning. The main task that he formulated was the desire "to turn the continent into a single space, where we and we alone will rule. And we will take the burden of this struggle on our shoulders. It will open the door for us to long domination of the world."
In early 1939, Soviet-German relations were actually frozen. In an effort to overcome the foreign policy isolation of the USSR, Stalin was forced in the spring of 1939 to begin a diplomatic game in order to determine Hitler’s immediate plans. The fascist dictator in a circle of close people said that he would not shy away from an alliance with Russia. Moreover, he stated that "this alliance is the main trump card that I will save until the end of the game. Perhaps this will be the most crucial game in my life."
In April 1939, the Soviet leadership turned to Great Britain and France with a proposal to conclude with them the Tripartite Mutual Assistance Pact, an appropriate military convention and provide guarantees of independence to all powers bordering on the USSR from the Baltic to the Black Sea. London and Paris in every way delayed the start of negotiations on a military alliance, on which Moscow insisted. They began in the Soviet capital only on August 12, but quickly reached an impasse.
Since the end of July, Soviet-German contacts have resumed at various levels. Having learned about the Anglo-French military mission in the USSR and the talks that began in Moscow, the German leadership made it clear to Stalin and Molotov (the latter replaced M. Litvinov as Commissar for Foreign Affairs in May 1939) that he wanted to conclude a profitable for the Soviet Union agreement. Convinced of the futility of negotiations with the Anglo-French military mission, on the evening of August 19, the Soviet leadership agreed to the arrival in Moscow of German Foreign Minister I. Ribbentrop. On the same day, a trade and credit agreement was signed in Berlin, which provided for the USSR to grant a 200 million loan for five years at 4.5% per annum. The agreement of August 19 was a turning point in the development of Soviet-German economic and political ties. The economic agreements between the two countries of February 11, 1940 and January 10, 1941 stipulated the further development of relations.
August 23, 1939 I. Ribbentrop arrived in Moscow. On the night of August 24, the Soviet-German non-aggression pact for 10 years was published the next day. Both contracting parties committed themselves to refrain from any violence and aggressive actions against each other. In the event of disputes or conflicts between the USSR and Germany, both powers were to resolve them "exclusively by peaceful means and in a friendly exchange of views." With the final editing of the Soviet draft treaty, Stalin rejected Ribbentrop's wording about "German-Soviet friendship." The peculiarity of the signed agreement was that it entered into force immediately, and not after its ratification.
The content of the non-aggression pact did not disagree with the norms of international law and the treaty practice of states adopted for such settlements. However, both at the conclusion of the treaty and in the process of its ratification (August 31, 1939), the fact was hidden that simultaneously with the treaty a secret additional protocol was signed containing the distinction between the “spheres of interests” of the Soviet Union and Germany and which was from a legal point of view of view in contradiction with the sovereignty and independence of a number of third countries. So, in the Soviet sphere of influence were Esto-Niya, Latvia, Finland and Bessarabia; in German - Lithuania.
The secret additional protocol to the Soviet-German non-aggression pact has long been the object of heated debates. In the USSR, until 1989, its existence was denied - the Soviet side either declared the text to be fake or referred to the absence of the original protocol in both the non-German and the Soviet archives. Changes in this regard became possible only in the course of the work of the commission of the Congress of People's Deputies of the USSR on the political and legal assessment of the treaty of August 23, 1939. In December 1989, the II Congress of People's Deputies adopted a resolution in which it condemned the conclusion of a secret additional protocol and other secret agreements with Germany. This recognized that the secret protocols were legally untenable and invalid from the moment of their signing.
The decision of the Soviet government to conclude a non-aggression pact with Germany was, under those circumstances, forced, but quite natural and justified, since it was not possible to achieve the creation of an effective Anglo-French-Soviet coalition. It also says a lot about the fact that if Moscow did not agree to Ribbentrop coming to the USSR, then, in all likelihood, Goering would go to England, about which an agreement had already been reached between London and Berlin. The British Prime Minister N. Chamberlain in August 1939 declared at a government meeting: "If Great Britain leaves Mr. Hitler alone in his sphere (Eastern Europe), then he will leave us alone." Thus, the purpose of England and France in the current situation was to strive to remain a hundred from the imminent Second World War.
The policy of "appeasing the aggressor", which was carried out by the leaders of the Western states, untied the hands of Hitler in Europe. In turn, Stalin, having signed the non-aggression pact and the secret supplementary protocol to it, quite deliberately provided Germany with the opportunity to attack Poland. September 1, 1939 without a declaration of war on the orders of the Führer, the Wehrmacht embarked on the implementation of the Weiss (White Plan) plan. The Second World War began.
On September 28, 1939, in Moscow, Molotov and Ribbentrop signed another document. This was a pre-talk about friendship and the border, which, like the non-aggression pact, was accompanied by a secret additional protocol. In accordance with it, the territory of the Lithuanian state was included in the sphere of interests of the USSR, and in exchange for Germany Lublin and part of the Warsaw Voivodeship received. Thus, in the autumn of 1939, the spheres of state interests of the Soviet Union and Germany were clearly defined.
History of the Soviet Union and Russia in the 20th Century