This unheard of attack upon our country is perfidy unparalleled in
the history of civilized nations. The attack on our country was
perpetrated despite the fact that a treaty of non-aggression had
been signed between the U. S. S. R. and Germany and that the Soviet
Government most faithfully abided by all provisions of this treaty.
The attack upon our country was perpetrated despite the fact that
during the entire period of operation of this treaty, the German
Government could not find grounds for a single complaint against the
U.S.S.R. as regards observance of this treaty.
Entire responsibility for this predatory attack upon the Soviet
Union falls fully and completely upon the German Fascist rulers.
At 5:30 a.m. -- that is, after the attack had already been
perpetrated, Von der Schulenburg, the German Ambassador in Moscow,
on behalf of his government made the statement to me as People's
Commissar of Foreign Affairs to the effect that the German
Government had decided to launch war against the U.S.S.R. in
connection with the concentration of Red Army units near the eastern
In reply to this I stated on behalf of the Soviet Government that,
until the very last moment, the German Government had not presented
any claims to the Soviet Government, that Germany attacked the
U.S.S.R. despite the peaceable position of the Soviet Union, and
that for this reason Fascist Germany is the aggressor.
On instruction of the government of the Soviet Union I also stated
that at no point had our troops or our air force committed a
violation of the frontier and therefore the statement made this
morning by the Rumanian radio to the effect that Soviet aircraft
allegedly had fired on Rumanian airdromes is a sheer lie and
Likewise a lie and provocation is the whole declaration made today
by Hitler, who is trying belatedly to concoct accusations charging
the Soviet Union with failure to observe the Soviet-German pact.
Now that the attack on the Soviet Union has already been committed,
the Soviet Government has ordered our troops to repulse the
predatory assault and to drive German troops from the territory of
This war has been forced upon us, not by the German people, not by
German workers, peasants and intellectuals, whose sufferings we well
understand, but by the clique of bloodthirsty Fascist rulers of
Germany who have enslaved Frenchmen, Czechs, Poles, Serbians,
Norway, Belgium, Denmark, Holland, Greece and other nations.
The government of the Soviet Union expresses its unshakable
confidence that our valiant army and navy and brave falcons of the
Soviet Air Force will acquit themselves with honor in performing
their duty to the fatherland and to the Soviet people, and will
inflict a crushing blow upon the aggressor.
This is not the first time that our people have had to deal with an
attack of an arrogant foe. At the time of Napoleon's invasion of
Russia our people's reply was war for the fatherland, and Napoleon
suffered defeat and met his doom.
It will be the same with Hitler, who in his arrogance has proclaimed
a new crusade against our country. The Red Army and our whole people
will again wage victorious war for the fatherland, for our country,
for honor, for liberty.
The government of the Soviet Union expresses the firm conviction
that the whole population of our country, all workers, peasants and
intellectuals, men and women, will conscientiously perform their
duties and do their work. Our entire people must now stand solid and
united as never before.
Each one of us must demand of himself and of others discipline,
organization and self-denial worthy of real Soviet patriots, in
order to provide for all the needs of the Red Army, Navy and Air
Force, to insure victory over the enemy.
The government calls upon you, citizens of the Soviet Union, to
rally still more closely around our glorious Bolshevist party,
around our Soviet Government, around our great leader and comrade,
Stalin. Ours is a righteous cause. The enemy shall be defeated.
Victory will be ours.
Vyacheslav Molotov - June 22, 1941