Citizens of the Soviet Union:
The Soviet Government and its head, Comrade Stalin, have authorized me
to make the following statement:
Today at 4 o'clock a.m., without any claims having been presented
to the Soviet Union, without a declaration of war, German troops attacked
our country, attacked our borders at many points and bombed from their
airplanes our cities; Zhitomir, Kiev, Sevastopol, Kaunas and some others,
killing and wounding over two hundred persons.
There were also enemy air raids and artillery shelling from Rumanian
and Finnish territory.
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 German frontier.
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 provocation.
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 our country.
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,
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 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