Today might be the birthday of former Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov. I say “might be”, because while most sources tell us that he was born today in 1890, there does seem to be some disagreement, with several others insisting that he came into the world on February 26th that year.

Vyacheslav popped his clogs on the 8th of November 1986 so we can’t ask him. And, by most accounts, that was no great loss to the world, given that he didn’t appear to be a very nice man. Although he had many roles throughout his political career, he will be best remembered (politically, at least) for his negotiating and signing the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact (aka the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact) with Nazi Germany in August 1939, which was one of the major precursors to the outbreak of World War II.

Soon after the war started, Soviet Russia invaded Finland. During their occupation, they dropped bombs and incendiaries on Helsinki. When challenged, Molotov is credited with countering that this was incorrect, and that the Russians were merely dropping food and drink to their comrades. This was fake news misinformation on the scale of Saddam’s “Comical Ali” or anyone in the Zuma government might give us.

Molotov’s equation of incendiary bombs with drink quickly resulted in the coinage of the black-humorous term ”Molotov breadbasket” to describe a multiple incendiary bomb, and then ”Molotov cocktail” to describe an incendiary bomb based on gasoline. The Finns used these weapons effectively against Soviet tanks then invading their country.

Since then, the easy-to-make firebombs have been used in protests and conflicts all over the world.

And to make astounding slo-mo videos

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