As Transcribed and Translated by Novosti Press Agency, June, 1941
Citizens of the Soviet Union! The Soviet Government and its head, Comrade Stalin, have instructed me to make the following announcement:
Today, at 4:00 a.m., without presenting any claims against the Soviet Union or issuing a declaration of war, German troops have attacked our country, assaulting our borders in many places and subjecting our cities of Zhitomir, Kiev, Sevastopol, Kaunas, and other of our towns to bombing by their aircraft. Air raids by enemy planes and artillery bombardment were also made from bases in Rumania and Finland.
This perfidious aggression against our country is a treachery without precedent in the history of civilized nations. The attack on our country has been made despite the fact of the Non- Aggression Pact between the U.S.S.R. and Germany, and despite the conscientious fulfillment by the Soviet Government of all the terms of this Pact. The attack on our country has been made despite the fact that the German Government had not submitted a single claim against the U.S.S.R. regarding observance of the Pact during the entire time it has been in force.
The full responsibility for this robber attack on the Soviet Union falls entirely on the German fascist rulers.
At 5:30 a.m., after the attack had already taken place, the German Ambassador in Moscow, von Schulenburg, handed me in my capacity as People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs a statement to the effect that the German Government had decided to declare war on the U.S.S.R. because of the concentration of Red Army troops at the eastern German border.
I replied on behalf of the Soviet Government that up to the last minute the German Government had not submitted any claims against the Soviet Government, that Germany had attacked the U.S.S.R. in spite of the peaceful posture of the Soviet Union, and that therefore fascist Germany indisputably is the aggressor in this affair.
I must also emphasize, as spokesman for the Government of the Soviet Union, that our troops and our aircraft have committed no violation of the border at any point, and that therefore the announcement made this morning over Rumanian radio, alleging that Soviet aircraft had fired at Rumanian airports, is a complete lie and a provocation, attempting retroactively to cook up incriminating evidence against the Soviet Union for alleged non observance of the terms of the Soviet-German Pact.
Now, however, that the attack against the Soviet Union has already taken place, the Soviet Government has issued an order to our troops to repulse the robber attack and to drive the German troops from our Motherland.
This war has not been imposed on us by the German people, nor by the German workers, peasants, or intellectuals whose suffering we can well understand, but by the clique of bloodthirsty German leaders who have enslaved the French, the Czechs, the Poles, the Serbs, Norway, Belgium, Denmark, Holland, Greece, and other nations.
The Government of the Soviet Union expresses its unshakable conviction that our valiant Army and Navy and the daring hawks of the Soviet Air Force will discharge with honor their duties towards the Motherland and the Soviet people and will deal a crushing blow to the aggressor. This is not the first time that our nation has had to deal with an arrogant, aggressive enemy. In its time our nation has risen to the challenge of Napoleon's campaign into Russian in the Patriotic War, and Napoleon suffered defeat and came to his undoing. The same fate will befall the arrogant Hitler, who has proclaimed a new campaign of aggression against our country. The Red Army and our entire nation will once again conduct a victorious Patriotic War for the Motherland, for honor, for freedom.
The Government of the Soviet Union expresses its firm conviction that the entire population of our country, the workers, the peasants and the intelligentsia, every individual man and woman, will regard their obligations and their work with full awareness. The whole country must now be joined and united as never before. Each one of us must demand from himself or herself and from each other the discipline, the organization, and the selflessness worthy of a real Soviet patriot in order to supply the Red Army, the Red Fleet, and the Air Force with the means necessary to assure %victory over the enemy.
The Government appeals to you, citizens of the Soviet Union, to rally your ranks ever closer around our glorious Bolshevik Party and our Soviet Government.
Our cause is just. The enemy will be defeated. Victory will be ours.
Go to:Hitler's Declaration of War Against the Soviet Union. 22 June 1941
Go to:Stalin's Speech to the People of the Soviet Union. 3 July 1941
Go to:Stalin's Military Order #227 "Not a Step Back." 28 July 1942
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© 2001 by Neil Mishalov