V. I. Lenin

Directives To The Vladivostok Soviet[1]

Written:April 7, 1918
First Published:Published in 1934 in the collection: V. I. Lenin, From the Epoch of the Civil War; Published according to the manuscript
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972 Volume 27, page 226.
Translated: Clemens Dutt; Edited by Robert Daglish
Transcription/HTML Markup: David Walters & Robert Cymbala
Online Version: Lenin Internet Archive March, 2002

The following telegram must be sent by the direct line to Irkutsk (for Vladivostok):

We consider the situation very serious and issue the most categorical warning to the comrades. Do not harbour any illusions: the Japanese will certainly attack. That is inevitable. Probably all the Allies without exception will help them. Hence it is necessary to begin preparations without the least delay and to prepare seriously, exerting every effort. Above all, attention must be devoted to correct withdrawal retreat, and removal of stores and railway materials. Do not set yourselves unrealisable aims. Prepare to sap and blow up railway lines, and to remove rolling stock and locomotives; prepare minefields around Irkutsk or in the Transbaikal area. Twice every week inform us exactly how many locomotives and how much rolling stock have been removed, and how much remains. Otherwise we do not and shall not believe anything. We have no currency notes now, but we shall have plenty as from the second half of April, but our help is conditional on your practical success in removing rolling stock and locomotives from Vladivostok, in preparing to blow up bridges and so forth.

April 7


[1] Immediately after the Japanese landing in Vladivostok a plenary meeting of the Central Executive Committee of the Soviets of Siberia (Tsentrosibir) passed a resolution protesting against the illegal action taken by the Japanese Government; military law was declared throughout Siberia and all local Soviets undertook to redouble their efforts to organise a Red Army. On April 5 Lenin sent a telegram to Tsentrosibir approving this decision and particularly stressed that "no assurances can now be believed and the only serious guarantee is substantial military preparation on our part" (Lenin Miscellany XXXIV, p. 22). In some localities, however, hopes were entertained of settling the conflict with the aid of commissions from the Entente countries. Lenin sent the telegram published here to discourage these illusions.