Friday, May 15, 2015

Molotov Cocktail

The name "Molotov cocktail" was coined by the Finns during the Winter War.[1] The name is an insulting reference to Soviet foreign ministerVyacheslav Molotov, who was responsible for the setting of "spheres of interest" in Eastern Europe under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact in August 1939. The pact with the Nazis bearing Molotov's name was widely mocked by the Finns, as was much of the propaganda Molotov produced to accompany the pact, including his declaration on Soviet state radio that bombing missions over Finland were actually airborne humanitarian food deliveries for their starving neighbours. The Finns sarcastically dubbed the Soviet cluster bombs "Molotov bread baskets" in reference to Molotov's propaganda broadcasts.[2] When the hand-held bottle firebomb was developed to attack Soviet tanks, the Finns called it the "Molotov cocktail", as "a drink to go with the food".[3] Molotov himself despised the name, particularly as the term became ubiquitous and generalised as Soviets faced increasing numbers of cocktail-throwing protesters in the Eastern Bloc in the years after World War II.[4]


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