The Comintern (Communist International, also known as the Third International) was an international Communist organisation founded in Moscow in March 1919. The International intended to fight "by all available means, including armed force, for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie and for the creation of an international Soviet republic as a transition stage to the complete abolition of the State." The Comintern was founded after the dissolution of the Second International in 1916, following the 1915 Zimmerwald Conference in which Vladimir Lenin had led the "Zimmerwald Left" against those who supported the "national union" governments in war with each other.
The Comintern held seven World Congresses, the first in March 1919 and the last in 1935. As of 1928 it was estimated that the organisation had 583,105 members, excluding its Soviet membership.
At the start of World War II, the Comintern supported a policy of non-intervention, arguing that this was an imperialist war between various national ruling classes, much as World War I had been. However, when the Soviet Union itself was invaded on June 22, 1941, during Operation Barbarossa, the Comintern switched its position to one of active support for the Allies. The Comintern was subsequently officially dissolved in 1943.