V. I.   Lenin

Conspiracies of Reaction and Threats of the Pogrom-Mongers

Published: Ekho, No 14, July 1, 1906. Published according to the Ekho text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1965, Moscow, Volume 11, pages 105-108.
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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The newspaper Rossiya[1] is subsidised by the pogrom-mongers’ government as a vehicle for the views of this government.

In connection with the Duma’s draft appeal to the people this government newspaper is adopting a very threatening tone. It wants to intimidate the Duma by showing that the proposed course of action is illegal as well as “irrational”, “revolutionary”, etc. Today the Cadet Rech has completely changed front and is pronouncing against the appeal, obviously frightened by the threats emanating from the press that cringes before the government.

And there are threats in abundance. Rossiya today writes as follows on the subject of a Cadet Cabinet: “If it had been suggested to Vladimir Krasnoye Solnyshko that the administration of Rus should be entrusted to Solovei the Robber as a way of ensuring order, he would probably have proposed a simpler way—by putting an end to Solovei the Robber with the help of Ilya Muromets.[2] That, as is well known, proved ejective."

This Ilya Muromets who is preparing to “put an end” to the revolution in Russia turns out to be no other than the international army of counter-revolution. In an article “The Foreign Powers and the Situation in Russia” (Rossiya, No. 170) the government newspaper, not from naivety but with the same aim of intimidation, expounds the problem of active intervention by foreign powers in Russian internal affairs.

This exposition of the government sheet is highly instructive and useful. The international counter-revolution is   paying close attention to Russia, is rallying and preparing forces against her “in case of need”. “The imperial German Government,” writes Rossiya, “is fully aware of this situation [viz., that “the present state of affairs in Russia is primarily the result of the influence of revolutionary elements abroad"I and, consequently, it has taken a number of appropriate measures which will not fail to have the desired results.”

These measures consist in preparing the armed forces of Germany, together with Austria, for an invasion of Russia if the cause of freedom triumphs or is about to triumph. The Berlin Government has already communicated with the Austrian Government on this matter. Both of them have recognised that “under certain conditions active intervention in the internal affairs of Russia with the aim of suppressing or limiting this [i. e., the revolutionary] movement might be desirable and useful”. At the same time it was established that intervention required a direct and clearly expressed wish on the part of the Russian Government.

Three army corps have been concentrated in Austria, in Galicia, and on the Russian frontier, where it is feared that there is a possibility also of the spread of an agrarian movement of the Russian type. On June 26, the Governor of Galicia, who is also a Russian landlord, even issued a proclamation warning the population that all disturbances would be suppressed with the utmost severity.

Hence there can be no doubt about the conspiracy of the international counter-revolution. The Russian Government is calling on the aid of foreign troops against the Russian people. Negotiations about this have been conducted and will be conducted, and they have already led to a quite definite agreement.

Let the workers and peasants know then that the government is betraying the country in order to ensure the rule of the gang of pogrom-mongers. So it was and so it always will be. History teaches us that the ruling classes have always been ready to sacrifice everything, absolutely everything: religion, liberty and homeland, if it was a question of crushing a revolutionary movement of the oppressed classes.   There is not the slightest doubt that the Russian pogrom mongering rulers too will act in the same way and that they are already preparing to do so.

But the workers and peasants should not be afraid of such action. The Russian Government has its international reserve: the reactionary governments of Germany, Austria and other countries. But we too have our powerful international reserve: the socialist proletariat of Europe, organised in the three million-strong party in Germany, in the powerful parties of all the European countries. We welcome the appeal of our government to the international reserve of reaction: such an appeal will, in the first place, open the eyes of the most ignorant people in Russia and do us a valuable service by destroying faith in the monarchy, and, in the second place, such an appeal will better than anything else extend the basis and field of action of the Russian revolution by converting it into a world revolution.

All right, Mr. Trepov & Co.! Open fire! Call on your Austrian and German regiments against the Russian peasants and workers! We are for an extension of the struggle, we are for an international revolution!

*     *

But in appraising the general significance of the international conspiracy the petty, partial aims of the Russian pogrom-mongers should not be overlooked. We have already pointed out that the articles in Rossiya were not due to naivety. Mysl is mistaken in thinking so. It is not “naivety”, not “cynicism”, and not “garrulity”. It is a calculated threat to the Cadets. The pogrom-mongers’ government is afraid of a Duma manifesto to the people and threatens the Cadets: “Don’t dare to do it! If you do, I shall dissolve the Duma and call on the Austrian and German regiments! I have already made preparations.”

The Cadet simpletons have already shown the white feather and basely turned back, as today’s Rech has shown. It suffices to threaten the Cadets—and the Cadets are ready to retreat....

The proletariat is not frightened by the wretched threats of the pogrom-mongers’ government. The proletariat maintains its independent fighting position and does not allow itself to be scared by the bogey of a frightened Cadet.

Once more: Open fire, Mr. Trepov! Extend the revolutionary field of battle! The international proletariat will not be found wanting!


[1] Rossiya (Russia)—a daily newspaper of a reactionary Black-Hundred type published in St. Petersburg from November 1905 to April 1914. From 1906 it was the organ of the Ministry of the Interior. The newspaper was subsidised from the secret (“reptilian”) government fund put at the disposal of the Ministry of the In terior. Lenin called Rossiya a “venal police newspaper”.

[2] This refers to the heroes of a Russian saga: the Kiev Prince Vladimir Krasnoye Solnyshko (Bright Sun), whose historical prototype was the Grand Prince Vladimir Svyatoslavich (died 1015), the forest bandit Solovei the Robber and the epic hero “peasant son” llya Muromets, who vanquished Solovei the Bobber.

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