When, beginning on June 22, 1941, German forces sliced through Soviet defenses, Soviet citizens severed their ties with the Stalinist state. In the Western Borderlands, annexed in 1939–1940 as a result of the Hitler-Stalin pact, locals welcomed the invaders with bread and salt as liberators from the Bolshevik yoke. Red Army men hailing from these regions left their posts and went home. Soldiers from the pre-1939 Soviet territories stationed in Ukraine deserted, too, reasoning that the Bolsheviks had “sucked our blood for twenty-five years, enough already!” A group of two hundred soldiers, including an outspoken Siberian, “decided to force our way back, at all cost, toward the Germans.” When army commissars tried to stop them, “[w]e killed them and moved on.” Further East, collective farmers in the pre-1939 territories greeted the German “liberators” in some localities, while displaying a “wait-and-see” attitude in others. One day after the start of the war an inhabitant of Leningrad region reacted to the news of his mobilization by threatening the official bearing the news with a revolver, exclaiming “I will not fight for Soviet Power, I will fight for Hitler!” Urban dwellers rejoiced at the arrival of the long-awaited apocalypse, believing that “the fascists kill Jews and Communists, but don't touch Russians.” As Moscow descended into panic in October 1941, crowds stopped functionaries leaving the city, pulled them out of their cars, assaulted them, and scattered the contents of their luggage on the ground. “Beat the Jews,” yelled the crowd, and protesting their non-Jewishness did not help the victims; to the mob, “Jew” and “functionary” were one and the same. On October 19, workers struck in Ivanovo, an industrial center with a long tradition of militancy. Excited by the spectacle of the advancing Germans and the apparent inability of the Stalinist leadership to stop them, rioters destroyed administrative and Party buildings and beat up state and Party activists, including the first secretary of the region. They demanded “Soviets without communists,” while discussing seriously whether life would be better under Hitler or Stalin. Meanwhile, back at the frontline, where news of the “massive beating up of Jews” in Moscow quickly spread, the state's enforcement agencies arrested soldiers voicing their discontent. They also ensured that both the confused and the hostile would fight. By October 10, People's Commissariat Internal Affairs (NKVD) forces had detained 657,364 soldiers separated from their units. The majority were returned to the front and thrown back into battle; 25,878 were arrested, 10,201 of them shot.