Like all things, it's much more complicated than that. Between 1934 and 1938 the government of the Soviet Union was anxious to gain the support of the Western states, and was therefore concerned to prove to them that it had ceased to be "revolutionary" and would no longer support revolutionary movements in other countries. Because of this, the U.S.S.R. only supported the Spanish Republican government's fight against fascism reluctantly and moderately. In order to reinforce the position of the Soviet Union the Spanish Communist Party allied itself with groups generally opposed to all forms of revolutionary change. It opposed expropriation of the landed estates and the factories by those who worked in them, and it was hostile to the popular militias. The Soviet Union clearly directed the assistance it gave to the Spanish Republic toward the International Brigades and the loyal regular Spanish army. It made sure that arms, equipment, and other assistance were withheld from the militias and regions dominated by anarchists. At the same time, it sent secret police agents to Spain to kidnap, imprison and murder known opponents of Stalinism, especially, as Richards notes, ex-Communists who "knew too much.” The Soviet government also aimed to destroy the anarchist revolutionary movement in Spain which had proved such a formidable barrier to the Spanish Communist Party's attempts at political hegemony. These goals were far from secret, and were even published in various CP papers throughout the world. For example, on December 16, 1936, the Soviet party paper Pravda published an article which proclaimed, "As for Catalonia, the purging of the Trotskyists and the anarchosyndicalists has begun; it will be conducted with the same energy with which it was conducted in the U.S.S.R.” At the same time, the Spanish Communist Party supported the re-constitution of a regular police force, political police, and a regular army to replace the militias. In short, Russia helped the Republicans lose the war, by controlling their own brigade that was loyal to Stalin. They were supplied with state of the art weapons while the other units were denied such things. They focused on controlling the international brigade, and forced others to join them and follow their orders, or be killed. Killing even those that wanted to leave after voluntarily joining (while the Anarchists let anyone leave freely at any time.) Russia wasn't concerned about making money, they were concerned about controlling the Revolution and co-opting it. They, along with the countless other countries who turned their back on the republic helped lose the war for the republic. Not win it. Approximately 40,000 men from all over the world fought in the International Brigades. About one-third were killed, and many were permanently injured. Unfortunately, political repression of those who expressed criticism of Stalinism was a reality of daily life in the brigades. Jason Gurney, in Crusade in Spain [Faber & Faber, Ltd., London, 1974], who discusses the International Brigades from the point of view of the British volunteers, notes that André Marty, chief political commissar of the International Brigades, and a member of the Central Committee of the French Communist Party, admitted to having ordered the execution of 500 men belonging to the brigades for little or no reason except their political views. Gurney discusses some of the many decisions which were made by the brigade leaders for political reasons, with little regard for the disasters these caused. Cecil Eby, in Between the Bullet and the Lie: American volunteers in the Spanish Civil War [Holt Reinhart & Winston, New York, 1969], discusses the desertions from the International Brigades which occurred from their inception and throughout their entire existence. The brigades were far from well trained, and were often not well equipped. Nevertheless, they had an authoritarian military officer structure, including political commissars for each battalion, and, despite populist rhetoric, discipline was often enforced harshly. Many volunteers felt this to be both inappropriate and wrong treatment for people who had freely chosen to come to fight. The political commissars were also often resented by volunteers from the Western countries, such as the U.S., Britain and France, who didn't want indoctrination, but information and discussion. Desertions and poor morale were due primarily to volunteers' growing distrust of the brigades' political and military hierarchy and resentment of the arbitrary (and, some felt, incompetent) behavior of the officers.