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The Comintern (short for Communist International) was an organization set up in March 1919 by Lenin and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union for the purpose of encouraging the growth of Bolshevism worldwide. It pledged to "fight by all available means, including armed struggle, to overthrow the bourgeoisie and for the creation of a global international Soviet republic as a transition stage to the complete abolition of the state." It was the successor to the Second International.

The organisation held seven World Congresses, all in Moscow, the first being in March 1919, the Founding Congress of the Comintern, and the last in 1935. Modern communist parties today generally only recognise the first two congresses as legitimate. The last congress in 1935 officially promoted the policy of a Anti-Fascist Popular Front, requiring that all member parties sought to form popular fronts with all parties who opposed fascism and not limit themselves only to those with leftist ideology. There was no significant opposition to this new policy orientation in any of the national sections of the Comintern.

For many years, the Soviet Union refused to establish a standard Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relied instead on the Comintern to 'represent' it abroad. This changed under Josef Stalin.



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