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The Yalta Conference

Russian Imperialism

If, in 1918, the words and deeds of the Bolsheviks inside Russia stirred the imaginations of workers everywhere, so also did their abrupt reversal of their foreign policy. They preached “no annexations, no indemnities,” called on all workers to repudiate the aggressive policies of their governments, and demanded the ending of the war. They published the sordid treatise in which the Allied Governments had secretly agreed to dismember Turkey and divide up the rest of the spoils of war. They renounced Czarist Russia’s century-old aim of controlling the Dardanelles, and voluntarily gave up the Russian “spheres of interest” in China and Persia extorted by force from governments too weak to resist. They proclaimed the right of “self-determination” and allowed Finns, Poles, Esthonians, Latvians and Lithuanians to secede and become independent states.

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