V. I.   Lenin


Written: Written on July 20, 1913
Published: First published in 1930 in Lenin Miscellany XIII. Sent from Berne to Zurich. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, page 262.
Translated: Andrew Rothstein
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive.   You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work, as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
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Dear Comrade,

I very much enjoyed your article, as the article of a centralist fighting the Dontsovs and Co. It is extremely important to fight nationalists of this brand (and the Ukrainian Social-Democrats), who are more subtle!

I will insist that the editorial board of Pravda insert your article. But in my view the readers—40,000 Russian (and for the most part Great-Russian) workers—will not understand it.

My advice, if you don’t mind my giving it, is that you should write one more article, which is to go in first. An introduction, a brief general sketch of the question of “ centralism” and “separatism” (you have chosen the terms very well and correctly) among Social-Democrats of the Ukraine. Give the reader an introduction to the question. Describe the general trends, what they are and what their history is (briefly).

Then there is one more question: Basok, it is said, has turned towards nationalism and separatism. That’s what I have heard; is it true? Could you get me his “famous” article (1910 or 1911 or 1912) with the turn in question?[1] Then recently, they say, someone or other “united” at a conference in Lvov: the Spilka[2] group with the Ukrainian Social-Democrats, or with the Dontsovs? I was promised the joint resolutions from Lvov, but haven’t had them yet. What do you know about this?[3] Should not a couple of lines be added to say that even among the Spilka group there are some who are, unfortunately, sliding down to nationalism and separatism?

Greetings and best wishes,
N. Lenin


[1] Basok-Melenevsky (M. M.)—a member of the Ukrainian Social-Democratic organisation, Spilka (Union). His nationalism was fully revealed during the war. The article by Basok referred to has not been identified.

[2] Spilka—the Ukrainian Social-Democratic Union, an organisation close to the Mensheviks. It was formed in late 1904 after its breakaway from the petty-bourgeois, nationalist Revolutionary Ukrainian Party, and dissolved during the period of reaction. For a number of years only small Spilka groups continued to exist.

[3] The Second All-Ukraine Student Congress, held in Lvov on June 19–22 (July 2–5), 1913, was timed for the celebration of an anniversary of Ivan Franko, the great Ukrainian revolutionary democrat, writer, scholar and public figure. Representatives of Ukrainian students from Russia also attended. The Congress heard a report, “Ukrainian Youth and the Present Condition of the Nation”, by the Ukrainian Social-Democrat Dontsov, who   propounded the “independence” of the Ukraine, a slogan backed by the National Democrats but opposed by a group of Ukrainian Social-Democrats who had emigrated from Russia. However, the protest was not supported by the Congress and following the debate it adopted Dontsov’s resolution setting forth the programme of the Ukrainian separatists.

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