October 9, 1944

Churchill took many controversial actions during his lifetime, but this was one to top the list. Meeting with Russian ally Joseph Stalin at a conference in Moscow, and purposely excluding Roosevelt’s representative from the discussion, they agreed to carve up Eastern Europe by percentages of influence.

Immediately after discussing Poland, Churchill said to Stalin, ‘Let us settle about our affairs in the Balkans’.

Churchill proposed splitting by percentages Romania, Greece, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Hungary with the Russians. As this was being translated to Stalin, Churchill proceeded to jot down the figures on a half-sheet of paper. He then pushed the paper across the table to Stalin, who read it, and then with a blue pencil, he made a large tick on it and passed it back to Churchill. In moments, all was done. Churchill later referred to this as the ‘naughty agreement’.

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