The Russian Democratic Federative Republic (Russian: Российская Демократическая Федеративная Республика), known informally as the Russian Republic (Russian: Российская Республика), was a client state of Nazi Germany formed after their victory at the Battle of Moscow in World War II. After their victory, several units of the Russian Liberation Army, commanded by General Andrei Vlasov, were transported to Moscow. There, after negotiating and planning with German officers and surrendered Soviet officials, the Russian Republic was declared (29 July 1941). It was a puppet regime of Germany, though Vlasov, the President, did have considerable power. Hitler declared that all Russian territory captured from the crumbling Soviet Union would become part of the Republic, though parts were given to other puppet states created by Germany (Belarus, Ukraine, Finland and Norway received some parts).
Government and politics
The unit did not officially exist until April 1941. Several thousand Soviet prisoners of war were serving in the Germany Army by that point as volunteers, though were under exclusive German command. After the defection of Soviet general Andrei Vlasov, the idea of an exclusive Russian unit in the German military began to come to fruition. Vlasov claimed the Nazis would need the support of the Russian people in some way, otherwise they would face the largest guerrilla movement in history. Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister, and Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS, both agreed to the idea and tried to convince Hitler to make it a real unit.
The high command refused to due so, and did not even consider it until April of 1941. The German armies had advanced far into Soviet territory in Operation Barbarossa, and were nearing Moscow. However, they were plagued by mass resistance in the conquered territory. Finally, after a meeting between the four in Berlin, Hitler agreed to create the first ten divisions of the Russian Liberation Army. Vlasov went to POW camps and recruited from there by giving speeches, and appealed to Soviet citizens in German occupied territory in Russia. Thousands joined, mainly to stay out of the Axis POW camps.