Written: 30 December, 1917
First Published: 31 December, 1917 in Pravda No. 264.
Source:Lenin’s Collected Works, Progress Publishers, Moscow, Volume 26, 1972, pp. 418-419
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov and George Hanna, Edited by George Hanna
Transcription & HTML Markup: Charles Farrell and David Walters
Online Version: Lenin Internet Archive November, 2000
The Council of People’s Commissars regards the Rada’s reply as so indefinite and evasive as to verge on mockery. The main source of difference with the Rada was the fact clearly indicated by the Council of People’s Commissars in its first message to the Rada containing the proposal for peace talks. The message said that we regarded the Rada’s direct or indirect support of the Kaledinites as unconditional ground for military operations against the Rada. Counterrevolutionary elements of landowners and the bourgeoisie from every part of Russia have rallied round Kaledin. He has against him a clear majority of the peasants and working Cossacks even in the Don area. It is obvious to everyone that Soviet power has been accepted by the majority of the population of Russia, above all by the working masses of all nations. The revolutionary movement of the Ukrainian working classes for the transfer of all power to the Soviets is assuming ever greater proportions in the Ukraine itself and holds out the prospect of an early victory over the Ukrainian bourgeoisie.
The Rada’s evasion of the question of whether it is prepared to stop giving direct and indirect support to the Kaledinites has wrecked the peace talks we had started and makes the Rada fully responsible for the continued civil war which the bourgeois classes of the various nations have launched and which is absolutely hopeless, because the over-whelming majority of the workers, peasants and soldiers have come down solidly on the side of the Soviet Socialist Republic.
As for the national demands of the Ukrainians, the independence of their people’s republic, and its right to federate, these are all recognised by the Council of People’s Commissars and are not in dispute at all.