This is Vyacheslav Molotov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs under Joseph Stalin, and the principle Soviet signatory of the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, aka the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact. He did not invent the Molotov cocktail.
Actually, Molotov cocktails were invented by Spaniards, before they were called ‘Molotov cocktails,’ for use in the Spanish Civil War, in 1936. Then they were just called ‘petrol bombs,’ and were nothing more than a jam jar full of petrol with a sheet wound around the top. The much more advanced ‘Molotov cocktail’—made of a mixture of gasoline, kerosine, tar, and potassium chlorate—was invented by the Finns during the Winter War, but the part of this story that I really like is the name.
The Soviet Union had invaded Finland after years of trying to convince it nicely (nicely compared to ‘tank columns,’ at least) to join up with them, and Finland laughing in their faces and spitting in their soup. But Molotov, I guess just because he could since this was after the Great Purge and it wasn’t like Stalin or his administration NEEDED to explain anything they were doing to anyone anymore, claimed in a radio broadcast that no, what are you even talking about, we’re not dropping cluster-bombs on the Finns! We’re dropping food on them. We’re feeding them! The poor, starving, bedraggled urchins.
Tongues grimly held in cheek, the Finns took to calling the bombs ‘Molotov bread baskets.’
And then, when they started setting fire to thousands and thousands of Soviet tanks using mass-produced petrol explosives, they called them ‘Molotov cocktails:’ “A drink to go with the meal.”