Since 1924 Outer Mongolia, which from 1912 was an exclusive sphere of Russian influence, became, as the Mongolian People's Republic, the first satellite of the Soviet Union. Nonetheless, for many years it did not have any Red Army garrisons. The article discusses the first stage in the presence of the Red Army on Mongolian territory (1936-1938). In the summer of 1936, soon after signing the Soviet–Mongolian protocol on mutual assistance (March that year) the Soviet Union brought over a small contingent of its armed forces (some 5 8000 men). These events followed a series of armed incidents along the frontier between Mongolia and Manchuria, at the time under Japanese occupation, when there emerged a chance for an understanding between Japan and the Third Reich - the prime opponents of the Soviet Union on the international arena. The first stage in the year-long presence of the Soviet armed forces in the Mongolian People's Republic was predominantly a demonstration of Moscow's determination to defend Soviet interests in the Far East.