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Dear Mr Ambassador

Letter from the USSR People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs, V.M. Molotov, to the British Ambassador to the USSR, A. Kerr, 16 August 19441


Dear Mr Ambassador,
Confirming the receipt of your letter dated 15 August, in which you inform me of the telegram that you have received from Mr. Eden regarding the dropping of armament to Warsaw and the request for American aircrafts to land after that at Soviet bases, I need to inform you of the following. The Soviet Government cannot of course object to the English or American aircrafts dropping armament near Warsaw, believing that this is the Americans’ and the English own business. However, the Soviet Government does object to the American or English aircrafts that deliver armament to Warsaw region landing on the Soviet territory, as the Soviet Government does not want to be associated, directly or indirectly, with the reckless operation in Warsaw2.

Please accept, Mr Ambassador, assurances of my highest consideration.

[signature] (V. Molotov)
[FPA RF, f. 06, inv. 6, fold. 30, file 352, p. 14]

[Опубл. в: Русский архив: Великая Отечественная. Т. 14 (3-1). СССР и Польша. М., 1994. С. 231–232]

Keywords: Poland

1 Molotov’s reply to Kerr basically coincided with Vyshinsky’s reply to Harriman dated 15 August (Published in: Russkiy arkhiv: Velikaya Otechestvennaya. T. 14 (3-1). p. 230–231).

2 The Soviet position on the Warsaw Uprising, which Molotov outlined in a letter to Kerr, was prepared by Stalin and Molotov in previous statements. When meeting with Mikołajczyk on 3 August, Stalin assesed the chances of the success of the uprising with scepticism, but expressed it in a mild form, even answering Mikołajczyk’s statement that "Warsaw will soon be liberated" - with "God willing that it be so" (Sovetskiy faktor v Vostochnoy Evrope. T. 1. p. 70). In a letter to Churchill of 5 August, Stalin's scepticism was more pronounced ("I cannot imagine detachments like these taking over Warsaw ..."); at the meeting on 9 August, in light of the rebels going on the defensive and the increasing pressure of the Wehrmacht, Stalin was already calling the uprising an "unrealistic task" (Ibid, pp. 85). At a meeting with Harriman two days later, Molotov was harsher, speaking about the "perilous enterprise" and that "it is not clear to us how the Poles expected to accomplish this task" (SAMO. T. 2. p. 174). Subsequent Soviet evaluation became harsher, as expressed in Stalin’s letter to Churchill of 16 August: "... the Warsaw action is a reckless and terrible gamble ... '.[Source ?]