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  • Print publication year: 2006
  • Online publication date: March 2008

23 - Comintern and Soviet foreign policy, 1919–1941

from Part II - Russia and the Soviet Union: Themes and Trends


The Bolsheviks had been conducting a fierce campaign to spread the revolution among invading Allied troops since the autumn of 1918 under the Central Executive Committee's Department of Propaganda, which was then moved over into the Communist International (Comintern) on 25 March 1919. The failure of the Allied war of intervention, signalled by the British decision to pull out by the end of 1919, effectively ensured the survival of Bolshevik rule in Russia and the greater part of its former empire. The Janus faces of Soviet foreign policy emerged: on the one side the face of appeasement and statecraft, the policy of accommodation to the capitalist world; on the other the contrasting face of violence and revolution to uproot and supplant capitalism in its entirety. The legitimacy of the October Revolution in Russia never depended exclusively on what it could do for Russia. France was on the front line against Fascism in 1934.
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