The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Smith) to the Secretary of State

No. 116

The Ambassador has the honor to report that the Soviet Government devoted considerable effort and attention to the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Ukrainian SSR on January 25. The event was preceded and accompanied by one of those propaganda campaigns at which the Soviet system is so efficient. The importance of the affair in the eyes of the local rulers was indicated by the fact that Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov himself went down to Kiev to give the speech which formed the high point of the celebration. A translation of Mr. Molotov’s remarks on this occasion is enclosed.1

The most important point of this speech appeared to the Embassy to be a reiterated emphasis on the Ukraine’s loyalty to and solidarity with the Soviet regime.2 In the light of the long history, extending right up to the present moment, of official criticism directed against the Ukraine for an alleged tendency to submit to “bourgeois influences,” it is interesting and probably significant that Molotov stated: “Ukrainian science and arts are successfully overcoming anti-popular bourgeois influences and are gaining ever wider recognition among the peoples of the Soviet Union and beyond its borders.”

[Page 801]

Moreover, Molotov emphasized that the Ukrainian people had proved their loyalty to the Soviet regime during the recent war, a statement obviously more distinguished by propaganda value than by objective truth. His actual words were as follows:

“The great difficulties and trials of our patriotic war served as a test of the firmness of the moral and political unity of the Ukrainian people, of their loyalty to the Soviet state and of the Bolshevik devotion of the Ukrainian Communists to principle. At present we know that the Ukrainian people and their vanguard—the Bolsheviks of the Ukraine—passed through all these trials with flying colors.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Nevertheless, the Soviet Government well knows that hostile manifestations in Ukrainian culture and political life are by no means completely suppressed and it will undoubtedly continue to struggle against them. Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev,3 present political boss of the Ukraine, who replied to Molotov’s speech, reemphasized that point:

“In strengthening the friendship of the Soviet peoples, we are obliged to wage a merciless struggle against all the enemies of Communism, and, first of all, against the Ukranian-German nationalists who, after the smashing of their German fascist masters, passed into the service of the Anglo-American imperialists—the most evil enemies of democracy and all progressive mankind. The Ukrainian people have destroyed the insignificant group of Ukrainian nationalists and will root out their remnants to the last one.”

In addition to the Jubilee Session of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet at which the above speeches were delivered, the celebration was marked by a host of other meetings, events, exhibits, congratulatory messages, and the usual devotional letter to Stalin. All the written material, including the editorials which followed, were highly congratulatory in tone and often similar to Molotov’s speech in content.

  1. Not printed.
  2. At another place in the translation of Molotov’s speech he remarked: “The thirty-year history of Soviet Ukraine has been filled with the persistent struggle of the Ukrainian people for the consolidation of Soviet power and at the same time for economic and cultural revival. The Ukrainian people have borne many sacrifices to uphold Soviet power in their Homeland and to repel the offensive of their internal class enemies from the camp of whiteguards and bourgeois nationalists, as well as their external enemies.”
  3. Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev was at this period the First Secretary of the Ukrainian Communist Party.