Talk:Vyacheslav Molotov

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Good article Vyacheslav Molotov has been listed as one of the History good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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Talk:Vyacheslav Molotov/archive1

This article[edit]

This is the first time I have visited this article, and as I expected it is very poor, a strange mix of pro-Communist euphemism and omission, with a few quite contradictory bits thrown in by the Polish comrades (who for all their faults take an admirably firm line against Communists).

  • Molotov was not a very important figure in 1917. He was briefly the senior Bolshevik in Petrograd but that was only because all the others were elsewhere. In general he was a minor figure until his bureaucratic talents earned him promotion under Stalin after 1922.
  • It is a serious distortion to refer to Molotov's role in the collectivisation crisis while making no mention of what actually happened at that time - ie, millions of people starved to death and Russian agriculture was permanently crippled.
  • There is no mention of the Purges, in which Molotov was a leading participant, and of which he was a leading beneficiary. This is an astonishing omission, and tells me that serious Stalinist apologists such as Ruy Lopez have been at work here.
  • The section on the Hitler-Stalin pact and the period 1939-41 is a mess of anecdote and distortion, without any proper narrative or context.

I might have a go at rewriting this when I have time. Dosvidanya. Adam 01:01, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

Molotov was an important figure (and the article should reflect that) Adam. Natually Stalin out-ranked him; nonetheless you historians don't understand that without the bureaucrats (like Molotov) willing to do Stalin's bidding, he would have never raisen to power.--198 23:07, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

Please read what I wrote. I said he wasn't important in 1917. Of course he was important later. In 1917 he wasn't a bureaucrat, he was middle-class 27-year-old Bolshevik who was too junior for the police to bother with, and thus happened to be at large in Petrograd when the revolution broke out. Adam 00:55, 21 May 2005 (UTC)

As promised, I have rewritten this article. Adam 06:24, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Even if he was a senior bolshevik in 1917 only because no-one else was there, he was senior nevertheless. You should not omit that. He really was one of the last senior bolsheviks of the revolution alive.

Adam Carr's massive POV additions[edit]

Adam Carr went through this article and added POV all over a revision or two ago

One problem is Carr's basic view of history. In his mind "great men" like Stalin, Hitler and whatnot decide everything, and everyone marches in line. If Stalin or Hitler had never been born, history would have been completely different. Consequently, the world revolved around Stalin and his personal quirks and foibles - the Politburo didn't matter, the Central Committee doesn't matter, the party doesn't matter, the RFSFR doesn't matter, the USSR doesn't matter, Europe and the world doesn't matter, what is going on in Stalin's head is what matters. Carr continually refers to historians and what they think, most modern historians think this type of thinking is naive. They would think that if Hitler hadn't been in charge, perhaps architecture would have been designed by someone other than Albert Speer, but Germany would continue to have friction with its neighbors, within itself between workers in the SPD and KPD and the captains of industry and so forth. this has been discussed before. Example: "Under the terms of the Pact, Stalin was authorised to annex Estonia, Latvia and Bessarabia". The USSR didn't annex Estonia (or reincorporate it really, it had been Russia's in 1918), "Stalin" did. Adam Carr seems to get fixated on something and then attribute everything to that group or person. In the Khmer Rouge article, he says the army, the government, anmd the political coalition which contained the Khmer Rouge should all be called "Khmer Rouge". In this article, everything revolves around Stalin, Molotov is just a puppet of Stalin. He contradicts himself though, he says Molotov was a Stalin puppet but then he says Stalin considered purging him in the 1950's. Well which is it, is he a puppet or someone who needs purging?

Also Carr brings in lots of things. He claims there was a famine in the early 1930's caused by the USSR. The New York Times heard about this from Goebbels at the time, sent reporters and they reported that there was no famine. Not until the beginning of the Cold War did the US begin picking up this old story from Nazi propaganda which the US had previously said was false. As far as the purge, some people who were purged confessed to various things publically and in front of the international media, yet Carr uses the word "fabricated" for the charges brought against them. That's not to say EVERYONE purged was guilty, but as we see in the news, prisoners in the US are sometimes locked up by accident as well. Carr also says "the purges of the Red Army leadership, in which Molotov participated, gravely weakened the Soviet Union's defence capacity and led directly to the military disasters of 1941 and 1942". My question would be: did any officer leave a bomb under the desk of Stalin and his top generals during the war as happened in Germany? Stalin knew his generals were loyal, Hitler did not and was almost killed by his own generals in the July 20 Plot. And what did it do for war morale knowing that the Germany army high command had tried to kill their own chief?

I see others agree with some of this, such as that it is unclear whether Kirov was killed by Stalin and so forth. Ruy Lopez 18:43, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

For the most part I agree with RL's changes; Adam writes well but his writing often is lacking in the NPOV department, at least when it comes to anything relating to communism. Everyking 21:20, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

It seems like there's a revert war going on and someone even used rollback against Ruy Lopez, which I think is completely out of line. Why not discuss the points here on talk, cite sources, etc.? There's no sense in going straight into revert warring. Everyking 01:15, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Ruy Lopez is both a notorious Stalinist apologist and a complete fool. Any self-respecting encyclopaedia would have banned him long ago. I therefore have no intention of "debating" anything with him, anymore than I would "debate" the Adolf Hitler article with a Nazi. I put famine-denial and purge-denial in the same moral toilet as Holocaust-denial. I am happy to discuss points of fact and interpretation with reasonable users but not with people whose sole purpose here is the spreading of ridiculous (and offensive) propaganda. Adam 01:53, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Anyone reading this can see who is hurling invective and "propaganda" and who isn't. I'm accused of "famine denial" but this is a supposed manufactured famine that the New York Times denied at the time was happening and which only Goebbels was talking about. As far as the purge, my version contained the sentence "The assassination of Kirov in 1934 triggered a second crisis, the Great Purge, which gathered pace through 1935 and 1936 and culminated in 1937-38 in the trial and execution (see Moscow Trials) of many of the early Bolshevik leaders on charges of treason and espionage, and the deportation to labour camps of one million more people.", so I'm not really sure where this "purge-denial" comes into play. I know Carr is trying to paint me with brushes such as "a notorious Stalinist apologist and a complete fool" and in "purge-denial", however, aside from my article-wide removal of every error made in the USSR being blamed on Stalin (which if it makes me a Stalinist, makes him a USSR loyalist trying to cast Stalin as a bad apple in a good bunch - I would make the same changes in an article blaming everything in Nazi Germany on Hitler), the primary thing I changed is his point of view that the army purge weakened the USSR. He's free to have that point of view of course, but I believe the exact opposite is true, as noted above.
So what has happened with this article? Adam Carr makes drastic article-wide changes, some of which people other than me dispute (e.g. blaming Kirov's murder on Stalin). I change some of them and discuss it, and he decides to just revert and call me names and says he won't discuss it. Well, that's that. I would agree that Wikipedia does not handle these types of things to my liking, which is why I work more now on other wikis. Ruy Lopez 02:51, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Like this one, perhaps. Adam 07:42, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I just made a little correction, the conference that created the U.N. happened in 1945, not 1952. Molotov attended and spoke at the 1945 conference. There's coverage of the conference in the Time article cited on the United Nations page, including a picture of the chairman speaking. Todd 19 Jun 2005

The article didn't say it was in 1952. Adam 00:41, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

--- How can anyone in this day and time deny the Ukrainian and Kazahstan famine Holocausts. They were intentional. Just read the article and look at the pictures at Holodomor. There certainly is a SOVIET apologist at work at wikipedia. I noticed that on the work on Stalin the REHABITILIATED Soviet Marshall Tukhachevsky was outright called a Nazi spy even though Heydrich had fabricated the docs and planted them with the Czechs and then the article speculated that the purge of the generals had actually resulted in the victory of World War II by preventing a coup d'etat during the war. I sanitized it. "Most notably in the case of "alleged" Nazi collaborator Tukhachevsky, many military leaders were convicted of treason. The shakeup in command may have cost the Soviet Union dearly during the German invasion of 22 June 1941, and its aftermath. On the other hand, "it is possible" that a coup was avoided." The Stalin article needs a major rewrite. Getting back to Molotov, he participated in mass murder and was a slimeball. Will314159--Will314159 10:07, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

The three previous contributors all need to work on their objectivity. I mean, what the hell?

None of you should be contributing on wikipedia.

Adam: You are subjective, immature, and you are ignorant of point of viewsw other then your own (and revionism).

Ruy Lopez: For christs sake, after reading your trotsky page...I do not have to go into detail. If you are not a stalinist, then what is a stalinist. Back away; this is an encyclopeadia which people use dearly.

The last contributor who is anonymous: If you were in constant personal contact with stalin, would you purge, or die are horrible death. The intellectual Goerge Orwell certainly believes everyone would take the first option. Molotov was smart, cunning and practical in the way that he sucked up to Stalin. He did not actually orchestrate or begin the purges, and though he orchestrated the collectivisation, he did it because he knew he had to, or he would eventually be victimised. Your subjectivity is the worse. He is a mass-murderor, but their is little evidence to support his belief in such 'nessasary murder'. You want to call him a 'slimeball', keep it to yourself. 07:46, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Transliteration of patronymic[edit]

To Adam Carr:

  • I made an edit on 8 December 2003, with an edit summary explaining that I was changing the transliteration of the patronymic from "Mikhailovich" to "Mikhaylovich".
    • Jose Ramos changed it back on 19 February 2004, with the summary "minor tweaks".
  • On 3 March 2004, I changed it back, and again with a clear edit summary.
    • That stayed until 12 June 2005, when you supplied "as promised, a new article". In amongst a large number of changes, the patronymic was changed.
  • Now, you say "we've been over this many times", when in fact we've never been over it at all. This is the first time anybody has bothered to even draw to my attention the fact that my edit has been reverted. I am still waiting for somebody to explain to me why it was inappropriate. "Mikhaylovich" was there for 15 months (!!) between March '04 and June '05, and nobody seemed to have a problem. I would appreciate a withdrawal and an explanation. JackofOz 13:04, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Well I have been over it many times, tho perhaps it was at another article. If it wasn't here I apologise. However, Mikhail is the standard English transliteration and the one that Wikipedia should use, and mostly does. See for example Mikhail Gorbachev. Adam 13:11, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Hi. You're correct that Mikhailovich is the transliteration we mostly use. But for once I thought I'd go and check out our rules. Wikipedia:Romanization of Russian says:

  • И (и) becomes I (i) - examples: Иркутск = Irkutsk; Владивосток = Vladivostok
  • Й (й) becomes Y (y) - examples: Йошкар-Ола = Yoshkar-Ola; Буйск = Buysk.

The name Михаи́л (Mikhail) is not pronounced mick-HAIL but mi-kha-IL, containing three distinct syllables (not two), and with the accent on the third one.

When it becomes a patronymic, four things happen: (a) the stress changes to the second vowel а, (b) the stressed vowel и is replaced by the unstressed semi-vowel й, (c) й becomes a diphthong with the 'a' thus reducing the number of syllables by one, and (d) -ович (-ovich) is added to the end. Thus, Михаи́л becomes Миха́йлович: mi-kha-IL becomes mi-KHAYL-ov-ich (not mi-kha-IL-ov-ich). (btw, your Mikhail Gorbachev example was irrelevant - Mikhail there is not a patronymic).

So it seems every instance of Mikhailovich throughout WP should be changed to Mikhaylovich. I don't propose to do that until this can be sorted out. JackofOz 14:53, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia should follow standard usages. Adam 01:30, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Google has 57,000 hits for Mikhaylovich, as against 325,000 for Mikhailovich. While the latter is more frequent, the former clearly has a strong following. And our romanization policy supports it (which is appropriate, since it more accurately reflects the sound of the Russian word). So what defines "standard"? Wikipedia diverts from "standard" usage in a myriad of ways. Who else but Wikipedia titles an article on the late Queen Mother as "Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon"? JackofOz 01:47, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

There are an additional 147,000 hits for "Mikhailovitch" but only 186 for "Mikhaylovitch". The spelling with "vitch" is obviously common. The totals are thus 472,000 for Mikhail and 57,000 for Mikhayl. I think the Mikhail spelling is therefore the standard spelling, and therefore the one Wikipedia should use. (Just I have always opposed calling the Queen Mother's article "Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon"). Adam 01:55, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Actually my Google gives 606,000 for Mikhailovich and 110,000 for Mikhaylovich. That would give totals of 753,000 versus 110,000. Adam 01:58, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

I thought Google worked the same for everybody, but apparently not. I get Mikhailovich 325,000, Mikhailovitch 68,100, Mikhaylovich 57,200, and Mikhaylovitch 103. Whatever, this doesn't resolve the issue that our romanization policy and our practice are out of kilter. I'd better go and get a debate started over there. Cheers. JackofOz 02:24, 11 February 2006 (UTC)


The article states the following: "In 1939, following the Munich agreement of 1938 by which Britain and France surrendered Czechoslovakia to Hitler [...]". Can that be affirmed so absolutely? I believe that the Munich agreement was relatively reasonable compared with what really happened. As far as I know, the problem was that Hitler didn't respect it at all and simply invaded the country instead of holding the plebiscite and so on the agreement ordered. I'm going to change the sentence to: "in 1939, following the Munich agreement and the subsequent Hitler's invasion of Czechoslovakia..." MJGR 08:07, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Animal Farm[edit]

Molotov inspired the character of Squealer in George Orwell's Animal Farm.

That's nonsense! Molotov was a laconic apparatchik, and Squealer was a propaganda master

Molotov was a suck-up to stalin because he was practical and cunning, and knew he would last that way; and he did much of the bureacratic work. Squeeler is the same to napoleon.

anti-Jewish plot[edit]

" This was part of the anti-Semitic campaign, orchestrated by Beria, which broke out in 1947 and culminated in the Doctors' Plot of 1952." this should be changed to "orchestrated against Beria" see the article Anti-Fascist Jewish Committee or the Beria article. Beria was a great supporter of the Jews. Installed them in the secret services of the East European sattelites and sent arms to Israel through the Czechs. I"ll edit it in a few days.--Will314159 23:09, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Although I am unaware of any evidence that Stalin's anti-Semitic campaign of the late 1940s and early 1950s was "orchestrated by Beria", what is the evidence that it was "orchestrated against Beria"? Like Molotov and other top Soviet officials that Stalin's machinations appeared to be directed against, he too may have been purged in 1953 if Stalin hadn't died, but why single him out? Ahasuerus 23:23, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

"These Soviet articles can't be read in isolation, they have to harmonize. O.K. here's a massive quote from the Wikipedia article about Beria " Abakumov then moved expeditiously to replace the security apparatus leadership with new people outside of Beria's inner circle, such that very soon Deputy Minister of MVD Stepan Mamulov represented the only remnant of it outside of foreign intelligence on which Beria kept a grip. In the following months, Abakumov started carrying out important operations without consulting Beria, often working in tandem with Zhdanov, and sometimes on Stalin's direct orders. Some observers argue that these operations were aimed---initially tangentially, but with time more directly---at Beria.

One of the first such moves was the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee affair that commenced in October of 1946 and eventually led to the murder of Solomon Mikhoels and the arrest of many other members. The reason this campaign had negatively reflected on Beria was that not only did he champion creation of the committee in 1942, but his own entourage included a substantial number of Jews.

Zhdanov died suddenly in August 1948, and Beria and Malenkov then moved to consolidate their power with a purge of Zhdanov's associates known as the "Leningrad Affair". Among the more than 2,000 people executed were Zhdanov's deputy Aleksei Kuznetsov, the economic chief Nikolai Voznesensky, the Leningrad Party head Pyotr Popkov and the Prime Minister of the Russian Republic, Mikhail Rodionov. It was only after Zhdanov's death that Nikita Khrushchev---a staunch anti-semite himself---began to be considered as a possible alternative to the Beria-Malenkov axis.

Zhdanov's death did not, however, stop the anti-semitic campaign. During the postwar years Beria supervised the establishment of Soviet-style systems of secret police, and hand-picked the leaders, in the countries of the Eastern Europe. Again, a substantial number of these leaders were Jews. Starting in 1948, Abakumov initiated several investigations against these leaders, which culminated with the arrest in November of 1951 of Rudolf Slánský, Bedřich Geminder, and others in Prague, who were generally accused of Zionism and cosmopolitanism, but, more specifically, of using Czechoslovakia to funnel weapons to Israel. From Beria's standpoint, this charge was extremely explosive, because massive help to Israel was provided on his direct orders. Altogether, 14 leaders of Czechoslovakia, 11 of them Jewish, were tried, convicted, and executed in Prague (see Prague Trials). Similar investigations have concurrently proceeded in Poland and other Soviet satellite countries.

Around that time, Abakumov was replaced by Semyon Ignatiev, who further intensified the anti-semitic campaign. On January 13, 1953, the widest anti-semitic affair in the Soviet Union—that later came to be known as Doctors' plot—was initiated with an article in Pravda. A number of the country's prominent Jewish doctors were accused of poisoning top Soviet leaders and arrested. Concurrently, hysterical anti-semitic propaganda campaign sprang in the mass-media. Altogether, 37 doctors (most of them non-Jewish, 17 of them were Jewish) were arrested, and MGB, on Stalin's orders, started to prepare for deportation of the entire Jewish population to Russia's far east.

Days after Stalin's death, Beria freed all the arrested doctors, announced that the entire matter was fabricated, and indeed arrested the MGB functionaries directly involved. "--Will314159 21:49, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Well, that's all very interesting, although controversial, as you can see on that article's Talk page, but do we need to cover Beria's problems in an article dedicated to Molotov? We can simply change "This was part of the anti-Semitic campaign, orchestrated against Beria, which broke out in 1947 and culminated in the Doctors' Plot of 1952 [January 1953, actually]" to "This was part of the anti-Semitic campaign, which broke out in 1947 and culminated in the Doctors' Plot of 1953" and let the folks on the Beria page sort the rest of it out. Ahasuerus 22:22, 18 April

2006 (UTC)

I must be missing something. What was wrong with the way I changed it. The anti-semitic campaign was orchestrated not "by" but "against" Beria. Can't we agree on that? Personally, I don't like any of the Soviet dirtballs. I just like the articles to harmonize and be consistent. Will314159--Will314159 23:44, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

The current version (which I haven't changed except for correcting a sentence about 1939-1941, a different period) is better than the old one. However, if you check the Talk page for Lavrenty Beria, you'll notice that it's full of NPOV disputes and source-warring. We can harmonize Molotov and Beria now, but then Beria may change again, and where will that leave this article? Besides, the main article about Beria is poorly attributed and the struggles within Stalin's entourage in the late 1940s-early 1950s were very complicated, with shifting alliances and all that fun stuff. The anti-semitic campaign may have been directed against Molotov at one point, against Beria at another point, etc. Professional historians are still arguing about it and you would need to do a lot of research to document the current state of that debate. That's why I am suggesting that the easiest way to handle is to drop the Beria reference altogether and simply state that Molotov's wife was arrested as part of Stalin's anti-semitic campaign. Does it make sense? :) Ahasuerus 00:08, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Agree. That would harmonize with the facts I know. Beria freed the arrested because he knew that their incarceration could harm him, so it is irrelevant. ←Humus sapiens ну? 01:33, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
The discussion on the Beria page is NOT about the jewish plot. It's about bones found at the Tunisian embassy, him picking up girls and other b.s. there is no controversy about him being a great friend of the Jews, arming Israel through the Czechs, or liberating Molotov's wife. You guys were perfectly satisfied to leave the article just as it was when the word "for" was in there. And that clearly was inaccurate. Now you are upset because the word "against" is in there. What gives? Are you trying to sanitize Soviet history so Jews are always the good guys and never associated with bad people.
There must be some kind of misunderstanding here. First of all, I wasn't "perfectly satisfied" with the wording of the old version of the article. I had it on my Watch list (along with hundreds of other articles) as yet another poorly written and unsourced article, with lots of errors and omissions, e.g. Molotov's crucial role in undermining Georgy Malenkov in 1953-1955. It was one of those things that I planned to address at a later point -- like I did when I wrote an article about Molotov's successor, Dmitry Shepilov, some time ago.
Second, I don't see how mentioning (or not mentioning) Beria in this context "sanitizes Soviet history". If you want proof that I don't single out ethnic Jews for whitewashing, you can look up V. Volodarsky, an article that I unstubbed. It includes the following Lunacharsky quote:
And he was ruthless. He was imbued not only with the full menace of the October Revolution, but with a foretaste of the outbursts of Red terror which were to come after his death. There is no sense in concealing the fact that Volodarsky was a terrorist. He was profoundly convinced that if we were to falter in lashing out at the hydra of counter-revolution it would devour not only us but along with us the hopes that October had raised all over the world.
The problem here is not that Beria's role in the murky world of Soviet politics ca. 1950 makes some Jews look good or bad. The problem is that his role is still unclear and every new peer reviewed book on the subject uncovers something new. The latest (2004) account of the Zhemchuzhina affair and Molotov's subsequent demotion (Gorlizki and Khlevniuk, Cold Peace: Stalin and the Soviet Ruling Circle, 1945-1953, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0195165810, p.75-77), suggests that it was directed by Stalin against Molotov personally and had little to do with Beria. So instead of opening this can of worms in a barely related article, I am suggesting that we leave Beria out of this passage altogether. However, it's not that big a deal since the article will have to be rewritten at some point anyway. Ahasuerus 18:10, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Like any other race, they have good individuals and bad. The bad include individuals guilty of mass murder and genocide in the Soviet system. I don't have to name them. Kaganovich would be one. But if you feel that strongly about taking out the reference to Beria, and it's clear that you do, go right ahead.--Will314159 16:25, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

After reading the "Zhemchuzhina" article it is clear that Stalin had no use for her. She had a succesfful brother in the U.S. and a sister in Israel and she was suspect in his eyes. He had tried to get Molotov to divorce her. So Stalin needed no excuse to go after her directly. In a rewrite of the article, there is no need to mention Beria at all. --Will314159 21:51, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

More on "Zhemchuzhina." It is clear from above that Stalin had no use for her and her arrest stands by itself and needs no context. The context is supplied by separate articles if the reader needs to pursue it. What is more relevant for Molotov is that outcome, that the arrest was nullified and the couple was re-united. Of further interest would be whether the couple had offspring. I couldn't find anything on that. I propose a rewrite from "A clear sign of Molotov's precarious position was the arrest of his Jewish wife, Polina Zhemchuzhina, in December 1948 for "treason" (she had been a supporter of the wartime Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee and a friend of the purged dramatist Solomon Mikhoels and of Golda Meir, the first Israeli ambassador to the Soviet Union). This was part of the anti-Semitic campaign, which broke out in 1947 and culminated in the Doctors' Plot of 1952. to "A clear sign of Molotov's precarious position was that he was unable to prevent the arrest of his Jewish wife, Polina Zhemchuzhina, in December 1948 for "treason." She had long been distrusted by Stalin for sundry reasons. The couple were reunited by Beria upon the death of Stalin."--Will314159 10:27, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Is it not significant that Molotov himself was born into a Jewish family? Simply the fact that he renounced Judaism is insignificant; the plethora of Jews in the Communist Party of the USSR did likewise. He simply refused to acknowledge his ancestry. However, what reallydrew my attention was the statement that Litvinov was removed as he was Jewish; being Jewish had nothing to do with his removal. Stalin removed him because of his failure to more closely align himself with the ideology of the era. Perhaps that entire statement should be removed? --Daniel 19:13, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

~~wait, according to the 'Jewish Bolshevism' entry - it is an anti-Semitic canard to claim that the Bolsheviks were disproportionately {if not largely or mostly} Jewish - how then, in a country where they were a tiny minority, could so many be removed from power? Was it an 'anti-semitic' plot, or a plot to remove powerful people which got a lot of jewish guys because, simply, they were very disproportionately represented? Didn't Stalin have many Jewish friends, allies, and wives?

there is an inconsistency here between this article/talk and what may be deliberate downplaying, to the point of inaccuracy, of the 'jewish bolshevism' article. (talk) 00:53, 2 April 2015 (UTC)jpt

This article MUST have a major rewrite...[edit]

This statement is not meant as an attack on its writer(s). I think the historical record clearly shows that this article is not up to snuff in providing a snap shot of this horrible man's life.

This bland, milquetoast article about one of the worst mass murderers and scumbags in history--a man whose diplomacy sealed a deal with Hitler that ultimately led to the deaths of 28M Soviet citizens and the devastation of European Russia.

The key episode of Molotov's career was not his diplomacy, it was his robotic execution of Stalin's every order. Even when Stalin had his wife arrested, tortured and sent to the hell-hole of a Labor Camp (the GULAG "Archipelago"), Molotov did not so much as utter a peep. He simply accepted it, even tho' it almost certainly was a harbinger of his own impending destruction.

In the end, Molotov survived Stalin by 37 years, dying in 1990 in Moscow at the age of 96 (his comrade-in-genocide, Kaganovich, lived to be 93!). He was said to have been "completely unrepentant to the end." Compare that to so many Nazis who attempt to dodge blame or place it on others. Obviously the fact that the Soviet regime Molotov served defeat National Socialist Germany and lasted 7 decades is the outstanding factor. Nothing exceeds like success.

__Need for new article__

This article simply will not do. It is not "POV" to call a mass murderer a mass murderer. It is not "POV" to label a sycophantic minion of Stalin's thusly. This man was an evil beast, that his life was in as much potential danger as the millions he helped to early graves, is no excuse. No court in the civilized world would acquit a man for murdering another man simply because the first man was afraid a third party would murder him!

As an example of what I have in mind, I am entering the following rewrite of the section entitled "Prime Minister."

Clearly a thorough revision of this biography is mandatory. I propose to write a new one. I would like help from any interested person to work it out. If no one responds, I will write my own and put it up on this Discussion page for a couple of weeks before replacing the existing article.

I have NO wish to get involved in a revert war. I would like the original author to contribute, if possible. My goal isn't controversy--tho' I do not shy from it--but rather an accurate entry on Molotov. A joint project is welcomed.

>>>Obviously, this is a "rough" draft, lacking the completeness such a rewrite would have, as well as the appropriate citations and bibliography; I didn't think an example would require all that work. A final article would, of course, include sourcing as many facts as possible. Robert Conquest's volumes are obviously the place to start.<<<

A Russian-speaker/reader familiar with the subject would be greatly desirable.

PainMan 12:46, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

__Example of Rewrite__

When Bukharin's ally, Alexei Rykov, was removed as Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars (the equivalent of a prime minister) in December 1930, Molotov succeeded him. In this post, he oversaw one of Stalin's greatest crimes, the collectivization of agriculture which forever changed the structure of Russian agricultural life. Molotov carried out Stalin's line of using maximum force to crush peasant resistance to collectivisation (said resistance being violent and futile). Tactics to force the peasant into the great farms included the deportation of millions of kulaks ("rich" peasants who allegedly exploited their neighbors) to labor camp. Most of the deportees died. He signed the draconian "Law of Spikelets" and personally led the Extraordinary Commission for Grain Delivery in Ukraine, which seized a reported 4.2 million tonnes of grain from the peasants, leading to what the leading expert on Stalinist atrocities, the British historian Robert Conquest, has called "The Terror-Famine" (known as Holodomor).

Some present day historians estimate that between four and six million, the majority Ukrainians, perished either of starvation, in labor camp, (where mortality ran as high as 30% a year), or were executed by the NKVD, in the move to collectivize farms (these farms being known in Russian as kolkhozy) and state farms (Russian, sovkhozy). Countless more were deported to desolate regions in the east (where many were to be repressed again in 1937-38). It must be noted that some Russian historians have criticized these estimates of victims as far too low. (See Conquest, Harvest of Sorrow: The Terror Famine 1985, and The Great Terror 1968, revised 1990, Oxford Press.)

Collectivized agriculture, and the process which lead to its creation, left a legacy of chronic agricultural under-production from which the Soviet Union never fully recovered. The peasants, whom Lenin had promised his own land, became, in the words of the late Russian historan Lt. Gen. Dmitri Volkogonov, "20th century serfs."

(This probably deserves own section, imo) __The Great Terror__

Molotov also oversaw the implementation of the first Five-Year Plan for crash industrialisation. The failures of this pell-mell rush toward modernization would later provide a huge number of victims for Stalin's purges of the 1937-38 period, the so-called Yezhovschina(after the head of the NKVD during the period), in which Molotov, after a brief period of disgrace in 1936--when his name was excluded from the list of assassination victims in the first great "Show Trial" of ex-Party leaders (which the so-called block of "Rights and Trotskyites" were falsely accused of planning). After this, Molotov was an enthusiastic executive of Stalin's will. (See Conquest, The Great Terror 1968, revised 1990, Oxford Press; the citations are far too numerous to list here.)

The assassination of Sergei Kirov in 1934, a act perpetrated by Stalin to remove both a major obstacle to his path to absolute rule since Kirov had repeated led opposition to Stalin's most radical proposals and eliminate a man whose growing popularity Stalin apparently viewed as a threat (see Conquest, Stalin and the Kirov Murder). This murder, committed by the NKVD under Yagoda, would later be the basis for the convoluted "plots" and "conspiracies" of Great Terror that Stalin would use to "crush" the Party and make his rule of the Soviet Union beyond challenge.

Mass terror and purges had been used by Lenin during his brief rule, but against genuine opponents of the regime, never against those who merely opposed his plans. Stalin's purge would differ in that its primary target was the Communist Party itself. It began with the murder of Kirov, acquired momentum through 1935 and 1936 and culminated in 1937-38 in the great "Show Trials" of Zinoviev, Kamenev and Bukharin. However, it never really ended, continuing thru the war, albeit on a much reduced scale, but flaring up again after the victory. In 1950, the Leningrad cadres would again be purged, with some 3000 shot. At his death Stalin is thought, by some historians, to have been planning another vast purge.

A systematic destruction of the Lenin Bolshevik leadership (the so-called "Old Bolsheviks" who had joined the party before the 1917 coup), Stalin's own collaborators during the party's illegal days under Czarism and the early period of Soviet control, now took place. After the elimination of genuine rivals and opponents of Stalin, he would turn on his closest comrades. The purge would later extend down the mass or ordinary citizens. By 1938, the NKVD had "evidence" on 35% to 40% of the urban population. Often arrests and executions were carried out not on the basis of individual guilt or even categories of "enemies", but by demands from the "Center" (i.e. Yezhov in NKVD headquarters in Moscow) that x number of "enemies of the people" be executed. Thus large numbers of innocent people perished by a sort of quota system, when local NKVD bosses would simply round up hundreds or thousands of people and summarily shoot them. Millions more were sent to prison, labor camp and exile. When Khruschev came to power some 12 million people remained in Stalin's GULAG. Most were released before the former's "Secret Speech" in 1956.

Although the purges were carried out by Stalin's successive NKVD chiefs, Genrikh Yagoda, Nikolai Yezhov and Lavrenty Beria, together with his Chief Prosecutor, Andrei Vyshinksy, Molotov (acting as the new "Prime Minister") was intimately involved in these atrocities. .

There is no record of Molotov attempting to moderate the course of the purges or even to save individuals, as some other Soviet leaders did (almost to a man, these were shot on Stalin's orders), indeed, after his "scare" in 1936, Molotov always did what was required without question. As an example of Molotov's eager complicity, Robert Conquest quotes late Soviet accounts that on 12 December 1937, Stalin and Molotov signed off on 3167 death warrants and then went to the movies. (Conquest, ibid, page 235). Furthermore, Soviet archives show that Molotov, along with Stalin, Kaganovichand Malenkov signed off on the death warrants of approxiametly 230,000 (completely innocent) Soviet citizens.


<<<This section is quite jumbled together and needs to be worked out in a more rational manner.>>>

Despite the great human cost, workers often lived and worked in squalid and dangerous conditions and accidents were a daily occurence, the Soviet Union largely succeeded in achieving Stalin's desire to make the USSR a major industrial power. And, indeed, the nation made great strides in industrial development (See command economy). It must be emphasized that the goal, and the impetus behind it, were always Stalin's. Molotov and the other senior party members were not "leaders" in the conventional sense of the word, they were merely executants of Stalin's will. Molotov is unique largely because he survived so long so close to Stalin. And, unlike most, when he fell under suspicion it was brief and he had no trouble for nearly 12 years until the arrest of his wife by the then MGB (a name adopted for the NKVD in the 40s after a major reorganization of the "special organs", i.e. the secret police and intelligence agencies).

The rise of Hitler's Germany made the development of a modern armaments industry a major priority, and Molotov and the Commissar of Heavy Industry (this needs confirmation), Lazar Kaganovich, were primarily responsible for overseeing the success of the real leaders of the industrialization drive, such as Ordzhonikidze's nephew the liquidated Gvakharia. Ultimately, it was this arms industry, and massive aid from the United States and the United Kingdom, enabled the Soviet Union, with its Allies, to win World War II (termed by Russians as "The Great Patriotic War").

Against this stunning success, however, must be laid the purges of the Red Army leadership, in which Molotov participated, in particular the liquidation of the brilliant Tukhachevsky (and the cadre of bright, young officers around him, such as Yakir, who were developing a theory of mobile armoured warfare which would have greatly aided in the initial defense against the German attack in 1941; indeed in the autumn maneuvers of 1936 the Red Army greatly impressed foreign military observers). Some 40,000 officers were shot, imprisoned or sent to camps. This purge, part of the larger Great Terror, helped, along with the dislocation of Soviet border defenses by the territorial seizures Stalin received as his spoils from the Non-Agression Pact with Hitler, negotiated by Molotov in Berlin, gravely weakened the Soviet Union's defence capabilities and strategic posture. This led directly to the military disasters of 1941 and 1942, the losses of huge areas of the country and the slaughter of 28,000,000 Soviet citizens.

Following the purges, Molotov was generally regarded as Stalin's deputy and as his long-term successor (What's the source for this?) , although Molotov was careful not to encourage any such suggestion. As Robert Conquest succintly puts it, "Stalin demanded not only submission but complicity." (Conquest, The Great Terror", page 252) Molotov gave his master exactly that---not in life but after death. Molotov, for the rest of his life, defended Stalin and the methods of terrorism in which he participated.

PainMan 12:46, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Unnecessary quotation marks[edit]

What's with all the quotation marks throughout the text? Quotation marks are used to quote material or to suggest that something is another person's opinion rather than fact or the opinion of the article, or to show that a term is of an inappropriate register (slang, etc) in the context. In the last case, an alternative term should be found and used instead.


  • Pravda took a turn "left" - Either it took a turn left, or it didn't. Omit the quotation marks, or use a better phrase.
  • with Molotov as de facto "second" secretary - Either he was the second secretary or he wasn't; if "second secretary" is not the right term to use, then use another.
  • the "Stalinist centre" of the party - If this is a quote, give a citation. If it is fact, omit the quotation marks. If it is an inappropriate term, use a better one.
  • Trotsky called him "mediocrity personified" - Correct use of quotation marks.
  • He signed the draconian "Law of Spikelets" - Omit the quotation marks: titles should be italicised if appropriate, not enclosed in quotation marks.

There are more:

  • "second front"
  • "thaw"

etc. If these are in quotes because these are inappropriate terms, then replace with appropriate terms. — Paul G 15:39, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Surviving Old Bolsheviks[edit]

From the article: Molotov was one of only four of the leading Old Bolsheviks to survive the Great Purges. The other three were Kalinin (d. 1946), Alexandra Kollontai (d. 1952) and Stalin (d.1953) himself (Kliment Voroshilov - d.1969?). Actually, Voroshilov wasn't the only one missed here. Semyon Budyonny survived until 1973, and Maxim Litvinov lived until 1951. And Lazar Kaganovich lived to the ripe old age of 97, just missing seeing the end of the USSR itself by a few months. Andrei Zhdanov and Anastas Mikoyan, too, although they didn't play a major role in the events of 1917-18. Jsc1973 (talk) 07:15, 3 February 2010 (UTC)


The fact that he orchestrated the genocide of Ukrainians known as Holodomor should be mentioned in the first paragraph, it is the most infamous "work" in his biography.--Hatteras (talk) 18:17, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Vyacheslav Molotov/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Wustefuchs (talk) 15:07, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

  • It is reasonably well written.

Article has correct grammar.

Also, it could be more writen about this man, since he was very important to history of World War II, and also Russian and Soviet history. Also, there are many books that deal exclusively with biography of Molotov. I also need to say that this is not criterion for good article, but it would improve article's quality.

  • It is factually accurate and verifiable.

Truth is, article has neutral sources, and very reliable ones. But ther is one little problem at the section "Death and legacy" with No footnotes, as stated, since May 2010.

    • I've fixed it. I didn't think anyone would review this article as quickly as you did. However, I am grateful, now I don't need to wait for a very long period of time! :) --TIAYN (talk) 17:02, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
  • It is broad in its coverage

About this, the article is focused on Molotov's life. Good job ther, becouse topics like World War II and detals of consequences of Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact are avoided.

  • It follows the neutral point of view policy.

Like stated, article has neutral sources. Besides, ther is no cheering text in the article.

Article is neutral, also, I see that User:Trust Is All You Need expanded the article greatly, but he remained neutral, good job, btw. How stable article is, we'll see in few days.

  • Illustrated, if possible, by images.

I found that few relevant images were removed, it would be good to see them again on the article.--Wustefuchs (talk) 16:22, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Ok, all problems fixed.... article can pass as good article.--Wustefuchs (talk) 18:59, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Churchill's Commentary[edit]

Churchill's book, the Gathering Storm, contains a somewhat lengthy discussion of the relationship between Churchill and Molotov. It's quite telling and intended, I believe, to describe the type of men communism creates. It may be worth including in block quote form. Thoughts? Ocracoke72 (talk) 22:59, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Rel the Molotov cocktail and Molotov's cult of personality[edit]

Firstly, thanks to User:Peter Isotalo for improving this article AND to the author of the section of the IMO indispensible section in this art. on the Molotov cocktail. There's was still a problem of pronoun reference: In the same sentence, we're talking about both Molotov and Stalin-- "Molotov defended the policies and legacy of Stalin until his death in 1986..." so WHOM does the "HIS" refer to? We might all say don't be ridiculous: Everyone knows Stalin didn't die in 1986 AND also it just mentions Stalin's death in the last sentence. However, this is new ground to many readers, and IMO they shouldn't have to remember that level of detail in order to understand what follows, especially when it's so easy to clarify. Stalin is mentioned last B4 the pronoun "his," which IMO makes it even more important to give the antecedent. IMO clarity and understandability trump all else; redundancy is not a bad thing.

Next, rel the Molotov cocktail thing (IMO a cool addition to this article), I fixed the page number; it's 328, not 335. Also, IMO it's problematic the WAY it was cited. 4 now, I've quoted it verbatim from page 328. 2 me it reads like mere speculation by the book author, albeit REASONABLE speculation; so IMO it should not be stated as fact. Finally, from the context on page 328 (available 2 everybody on Amazon books) it's unclear who really disliked this term. It's certainly reasonable to infer that MOLOTOV disliked this term even more than Stalin. BUT... Molotov was only ever DEPUTY premier, and the discussion on that page and preceding page is primarily about STALIN. So could s.o. else look at this and see what you think. What is really being said here. It may all seem pretty trivial, but we should be faithful both in letter and spirit to our sources. Regards, Paavo273 (talk) 21:03, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

Looking at the quote from Montefiore again, I think we should remove it altogether. It's clearly worded as a form of tart and entirely speculative criticism from Montefiore personally. It's one of those sentences that is meant to spice up a text and express the author's personal views rather than to serve as information. And even if it actually is aimed at Molotov rather than Stalin (the meaning is rather unclear), the addition of "vain" is pretty odd. Aimed at Molotov, it's rather contradictory to other descriptions of his personality, and even if it's aimed at Stalin it's a tad too subjective as a generalization (and makes very little sense).
Peter Isotalo 12:15, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
It's sourced material. I don't think there are adequate grounds to remove it unless you establish that the book itself is not a valid source for the article. As between an author's personal views and information, those are semantic hairs that are difficult to split. If Montefiore is scholar of history, his impressions, speculation, personal views, and opinions still logically should carry some weight. I mean if he's a scholar who has researched the subject.
Rel the "vain" thing, there might be context in the previous 327 pages to establish vanity on Molotov's part, if that's even whom Montefiore is talking about there. It clearly was wrong to state it as a fact when it was ONLY Montefiore's opinion, impression, or speculation. IMO a reasonable compromise would be to make it even more explicit that this is just Montefiore's opinion, e.g., "M opined...", "...speculated", etc.
But what about the issue of who is being referred to here? Can we even be certain it's Molotov? Stalin (His title was Premier, correct?) would have grounds to dislike the term also, wouldn't he?
If anyone or all interested could review or HAS reviewed the pages surrounding 328 and 328 itself, or read the entire book and could give an opinion, that would be great. I will try to take another look also. If the author is actually talking about Stalin, THEN I would agree this has to go. Paavo273 (talk) 02:43, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
@Peter Isotalo:, @Paavo273: Sorry, since it was me who wrote the majority of this article (nom it for GA, and therefore also me who wrote that sentence....) ... In any case, what I was trying to say Molotov defended Stalin until he himself died in 1986, therefore Molotov defended Stalinism for the rest of his life. OK? --TIAYN (talk) 11:08, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
Do you you think this particular statement is necessary? Paavo points out that it's "sourced material", but then again, we always have to make choices about what to include or not. And this particular statement is not just rather unclear in who it actually refers to, but is pretty contradictory regarding how Molotov is described elsewhere in the book.
Peter Isotalo 13:35, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
If I understand correctly, User:Trust Is All You Need is referring to the pronoun reference issue and User:Peter Isotalo is asking for TIAYN's opinion on the material in the article that presently states, "According to Montefiore, the Molotov cocktail was one part of his [Molotov's or Stalin's?] cult of personality that the vain Premier surely did not appreciate."
QUESTION for TIAYN (since you have identified yourself as having written the majority of this article): Are you the original author of the article sentence under the legacy/Molotov cocktail section, "According to Montefiore, the Molotov cocktail was one part of Molotov's image that he highly disliked"?
For whatever it's worth, the book DOES use the term "cult of personality" elsewhere, mainly in reference to Stalin (Kruschev used that statement as part of his denunciation of Stalin, according to the book) and also refers to Stalin, I believe Molotov, and for sure one or more others as vain or having vanity. Regards, Paavo273 (talk) 19:27, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
'Nother question for you guys as you're probably more knowledgeable on this subject: Is there any question in either of your minds' whether it is even Molotov being referred to? Molotov was DEPUTY premier. DYK, was one of Stalin's titles premier? If not, then it has to refer to Molotov. If Stalin was known as premier, IDK, 'cuz Stalin is almost exclusively the one talked about on that and preceding page, and Stalin also w/n appreciate the Finns' primitive tank killer being named after his right-hand man especially when the allusion "cocktail" was to Soviet (Molotov's) propaganda about bombs being food. Paavo273 (talk) 19:39, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
I think you're getting a bit too focused on minor details here, Paavo. If there is testimony about what Molotov or any other leading Bolshevik thought of the term "Molotov cocktail", it's pretty interesting. What we have here, though, is merely Montefiore's passing comment about what he himself guesses they thought. That's pretty flimsy all things considered.
Peter Isotalo 06:08, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
@Peter Isotalo: @Paavo273: Its important to state that Molotov defended Stalin until his death.. Secondly, Molotov was premier in the 1930s, and was succeeded as premier by Stalin. Stalin ruled the country through the Communist Party until he became Premier in 1941, from then on he ruled the country through the office of the premier... Thirdly, do any of you have access to the book, Molotov: a Biography? It would probably be a better source than the Stalin centered sources used in this book. --TIAYN (talk) 11:30, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

Request for Comments[edit]

There is an RfC on the question of using "Religion: None" vs. "Religion: None (atheist)" in the infobox on this and other similar pages.

The RfC is at Template talk:Infobox person#RfC: Religion infobox entries for individuals that have no religion.

Please help us determine consensus on this issue. --Guy Macon (talk) 06:28, 24 April 2015 (UTC)