Vladimir Lenin

Speech At

A Meeting In Sokolniki District

August 9, 1918[1]

Brief Newspaper Report

Delivered: 9 August, 1918.
First Published: 11 August, 1918Izvestia No. 171; Published according to the Izvestia text
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, Progress Publishers, Moscow, Volume 28, 1965, pages 51-52
Translated (and edited): Jim Riordan
Transcription/HTML Markup: David Walters
Online Version: V.I.Lenin Internet Archive, 2002

(Prolonged applause.) The war is already in its fifth year, and by now everyone can see who wanted it. The rich have grown richer, and the poor are literally choking under the yoke of capitalism. This war has cost the poor people many a bloody sacrifice, and all they have received in return is hunger, unemployment and the noose drawn tighter than ever around their necks.

The war was started by the British and German vultures who found themselves too cramped living together, and so each of them decided to drown the other in the blood of the workers of the world. Each of these vultures assures us he is inspired by the people's interests, but in fact he is working in the interests of his own pocket.

Britain is plundering the German colonies she has seized, part of Palestine and Mesopotamia, while Germany, in turn, is plundering Poland, Courland, Lithuania and the Ukraine. The millionaires of these countries have grown ten times richer; but, all the same, they have miscalculated.

Locked in mortal combat, these vultures are on the edge of a precipice. They can no longer stop the war, which is inevitably driving the peoples to revolution.

The Russian revolution has cast sparks into every country of the world, and has pushed the imperialists, who have gone too far, nearer to the edge of the precipice.

Comrades, we are in a very difficult position, but we must overcome every difficulty and hold fast the banner of socialist revolution we have raised aloft.

The workers of the world are looking hopefully towards us. We can hear their cry: “hold on a little longer! You are surrounded by enemies, but we shall come to your aid, and by our joint effort we shall finally hurl the imperialist vultures over the precipice.”

We hear this cry, and we swear we shall hold on, we shall stick to our post fighting with all our strength and not lay down our arms in face of the onslaught of world counter-revolution!


[1] The rally at which Lenin spoke was held in Sokolniki Krug (now Sokolniki Park) in Moscow. On that day rallies were held on the subject “The Fifth Year of the World Slaughter”.