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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 26, 1957


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    Soviet Politburo member Shelepin accuses Molotov that he did not keep his wife, Polina Semenovna Zhemchuzhina, in line.
    "Transcript of a CC CPSU Plenum," June 26, 1957, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Istoricheskii arkhiv 3-6(1993) and 1-2 (1994) Translated by Benjamin Aldrich-Moodie
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Ustinov. I am convinced that this anti-party grouping had a platform on the issues of agriculture and foreign policy. Remember the plenum [in July 1955], when the issue of Yugoslavia was discussed. At that time I thought: why object to the establishment of friendly relations with any country, and in particular with Yugoslavia, which has a highly important strategic significance? It would seem, on the contrary, that we must win it at any cost. The Americans are throwing around colossal amounts of money in order to make the territory available for their bases. Com. Khrushchev made a reasonable proposal. Remember what he said: we must attract Yugoslavia to our side and try to isolate it [Yugoslavia] from the capitalists...

Shelepin. Since the steam bath was talked about, I want to bring up the following fact. There was a discussion in the plenum about cde. Molotov's wife and he was warned: "Take charge of her; bring her into line (Vos'mi ee v ruki, navedi poriadok)," - but he evidently did not draw conclusions from that. At one point I was sent together with cde. N. M. Pegov to accompany [North Vietnamese leader] com. Ho Chi Minh to a pioneer camp. We arrive there and suddenly see a woman who tells us that she is from a children's home under Molotov's wife, and that she had come in order to take cde. Ho Chi Minh and drive him to the children's home. We told her that cde. Ho Chi Minh was not going there. In reply to this, she stated: no, he will go, since Polina Semenovna [Zhemchuzhina] said that he would go.

If cde. Molotov had drawn conclusions from the criticism at the plenum, would she really have dared to act in that way?

Molotov. You must say the facts, and not what someone said.

Shelepin. And I'm telling facts. I myself was there and am not adding a word.