Our retreat from Warsaw has been depicted in the enemy press – that is, the bourgeois press of the whole world – as a complete debacle for us. The more terrified the international exploiters had been by the mighty march of the Red regiments on Warsaw and Lvov, the more loudly, the more shrilly did they squeal with joy, when they heard the first rumours of our setback. Still more acute was the turn that took place in the bourgeois-gentry clique in Poland: from panic and disarray, from howling and lamentation, the oppressors of the Polish people went over at once to absolute intoxication by the successes they had achieved. The Polish newspapers again recalled the frontiers of 1772. The Polish delegation at Minsk tried to talk the language of victors, just as in the days when Pilsudski and his Patek ‘ordered’ the Soviet Government to send their delegates to Borisov.
But the world bourgeoisie’s wave of rapture is now gradually subsiding. Matters are settling down and the true significance of events is becoming apparent.
What has happened? Who has suffered defeat?
When we urgently proposed peace to the Polish Government on very favourable terms for them, the headquarters of the Western front was in Smolensk. Polotsk was under fire from the Polish artillery. The front ran between Borisov and Orsha. Gomel was in danger, and the Polish and Petlyurist forces were only a few days’ march from Kiev. Pilsudski’s army took the offensive and seized the Kiev area. To this absolutely unprovoked and insolent blow we replied with a counter-blow. With incomparable élan our Red forces cleared the enemy out of the conquered regions of the Ukraine, liberated Byelorussia and Lithuania, and stabbed deep into Poland. In their ardent forward rush our divisions inevitably became overstretched and cut off from their bases: the apparatus of communication and administration was slackened, and thereby became more susceptible to the enemy’s blows. When, before Warsaw, they came up against a concentration of White Polish forces, the Red forces recoiled. This was, of course, a major setback. But such setbacks are inevitable in a big military campaign. War does not proceed like a chronometer, in which the movement of each wheel, each hand, is calculated to a second. War is a fierce struggle between two powerful forces, and is inevitably associated with unexpected events, and this is especially true of manoeuvring, revolutionary war.
But what is the general balance of operations up to now?
Such is the balance, such the result. We have dealt the Poland of the gentry a mighty blow. And today we feel more capable than ever before of dealing a second blow, mightier than the first.
We are stronger than we were. And we are growing stronger with every hour. Sound, harmonious work is going on all along the front. Not a single hour must be lost, and not a single hour will be lost.
The Western front will do its duty to workers’ and peasants’ Russia, its creator!
Last updated on: 27.12.2006