Moscow, 17 September 1939
The Polish-German war has revealed the internal
bankruptcy of the Polish state. After ten days of military operations,
Poland has lost all its industrial areas and cultural centres. Warsaw,
as the capital of Poland, no longer exists. The Polish government has
collapsed and shows no sign of life. This indicates that the Polish
state and government have, in effect, ceased to exist. In view of this
state of affairs, the treaties concluded between Poland and the Soviet
Union have no validity. Abandoned to its fate and deserted by its
leaders, Poland has become a fertile field for all sorts of acts and
surprises which could become a danger to the USSR. This is why, having
preserved its neutrality until the present, the Soviet government can
longer remain neutral in the face of these facts.
Neither can the Soviet government remain indifferent
when its Ukrainian and Byelorussian blood-brothers, inhabiting Polish
territory, abandoned to their fate, are left without defence.
Taking this situation into consideration, the Soviet
government has given instructions to the Supreme Command of the Red
to order its troops to cross the frontier and take under their
protection the lives and property of the population of the Western
Ukraine and Western Byelorussia.
At the same time, the Soviet government intends to do
everything it can to deliver the Polish people from the disastrous war
into which it has been plunged by its senseless rulers and to give them
the possibility of living a peaceful life.
People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the USSR V.