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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 16, 1945

TASS REPORT DISTRIBUTED TO CDES. I.V. STALIN, V.M. MOLOTOV, A.I. MIKOYAN, L.P. BERIA, G.M. MALENKOV, AND A. YA. VYSHINSKY, 'THE SWEDISH PRESS CONTINUES TO SPREAD RUMORS'

This document was made possible with support from the Blavatnik Family Foundation

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    TASS reports on Swedish news stories on Stalin's rumored illness and the Soviet Union's isolation.
    "TASS Report Distributed to Cdes. I.V. Stalin, V.M. Molotov, A.I. Mikoyan, L.P. Beria, G.M. Malenkov, and A. Ya. Vyshinsky, 'The Swedish Press Continues to Spread Rumors'," November 16, 1945, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGASPI, f. 558, op. 11, d. 98, ll. 0147-0149. Contributed by Sergey Radchenko and translated by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/208927
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[stamp: the Secret

Department of TASS]

Top Secret

THE SWEDISH PRESS CONTINUES TO SPREAD RUMORS

STOCKHOLM, 14 November (TASS). The Swedish press continues to pay great attention to rumors about an illness of Cde. Stalin. Newspapers reprint the reports of Anglo-American, French, and Swiss sources, and also publish their own commentaries.

Yesterday the newspaper Aftonbladet placed a large article of political commentator Gunnar Mullern, who writes: “Rumors about an illness of Stalin have a considerable portion of concealed wishes. The bourgeois world, which enthusiastically greeted the heroic defense of the Russians against the Nazi armies, feels disoriented when it turned out that this defense was not an end in itself. There suddenly appeared a horror when it turned out that Russia, which had previously been ignored everywhere, was declaring its claims and not allowing itself to be ignored.

Stalin is a symbol of the new Russia which is conscious of itself. For the majority of West Europeans Russia is a great [scary] secret. Few believe simple explanations. Such content is given to Russian words which is not there at all. The hopes of some circles that Russia would put an end to its isolation were completely unjustified. After the unsuccessful London conference is it clear that Russia will continue its previous policy of isolation. Russian mistrust of the bourgeois Allies is manifest in all areas. This is notable not only in connection with the secret of the atom bomb.

The Russians desire to participate in control over Japan. They fear that the large island off the Asian coast can serve the same goals that the Western bloc in Europe [serves] the new encirclement of the Soviet Union. The fact that the Russian leadership considers the possibility of conflict with its previous comrades-in-arms is also evident from an entire number of domestic political events.

After the end of the War it could be established that the Soviet government had turned the officer corps into a privileged caste which enjoys still greater advantages than in Czarist times. It is very strange that the Communist Party allows the formation of a state within a state in spite of the fact that the majority of the senior officers are Party members.

Some circles wanted to interpret this fact, which contradicts the previous practice of the Russian Communists, as evidence that the Russian Revolution is on its way to its own Thermidor.

But a simple explanation is more probable. In spite of the victory over Hitler, the Communist Party thinks that its existence is under threat from without, under threat from foreign forces. The Russian Communists continue to rely on the military

The formation of the privileged military caste is a domestic political addition to the foreign policy trend”.


The Social-Democratic newspaper “Ny Tid wrote on 13 November:  “Stalin’s illness, real or diplomatic, is an impediment for those who are trying to establish the foundation of a durable peace on the threshold of the atomic age. Of course, there are questions which need to be resolved between the Americans and the British. But for the future of the world, relations between the Western powers and the Soviet Union have decisive importance.

When meeting with the American President, Attlee said that he wishes for a universal policy promoting the interests of all peoples. This is an excellent thought. But if one of the great powers stands apart from such a policy then the latter will remain only a good wish”.

Seven copies printed

1 – to Cde. I. V. Stalin

2 – to Cde. V. M. Molotov

3 – to Cde. A. I. Mikoyan

4 – to Cde. L. P. Beria  

5 – to Cde. G. M. Malenkov

6 – to Cde. A. Ya. Vyshinsky

7 – to file

Outgoing Nº 540ss

16 November 1945

M. Nº 442

   zp  [handwritten: PR]