First published in part in 1942 in Lenin Miscellany XXXIV.
Published in full in 1956 in the book: V. I. Lenin, Voyennaya perepiska (War Correspondence), Moscow.
Sent to Astrakhan.
Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1975, Moscow, Volume 44, pages 170c-171a.
Translated: Clemens Dutt
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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12. XII. 1918
Dear Comrade Shlyapnikov,
I am taking this opportunity to send you greetings and materials for the investigation. Think it over thoroughly in advance and discuss it with 2 or 3 of the most reliable members of the Cheka, and catch the scoundrels named here without fail. Spare no effort to catch and shoot the Astrakhan profiteers and bribe-takers. This riffraff must be dealt with in such a way that everyone will remember it for years to come.
The materials, I have been told, come from an honest tradesman who has remained here.
Regarding your requests and commissions, I have phoned, asked and repeated them. I hope that part—and the most substantial part—will be met. The whole, of course, is beyond our resources.
Telegraph what items among those outstanding are most urgently required.
Do your utmost to carry out repairs and increase the carrying capacity of the Astrakhan railway line.
What success has been achieved at sea? With our fleet? With the base near Kizlyar?
 This refers to the speeding up of deliveries of arms and munitions to Astrakhan.—Ed.
 This refers to materials concerning a gang of profiteers and bribe-takers, who had wormed their way into Soviet bodies in Astrakhan and disrupted the work of supplying the Soviet troops.
 This apparently refers to the operation of a squadron of ships of the Astrakhan-Caspian Naval Flotilla for landing troops at Staroterechnaya in the Kizlyar sector of the Caspian-Caucasian Front.