V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written on January 29 (February 11), 1918
Published: First published in 1904 in the book: A. L. Fraiman, Revolyutsionnaya zashchita Petrograda v fevrale-marte 1918 (The Revolutionary Defence of Petrograd in February-March 1918), Moscow-Leningrad. Printed from the text of the telegraph tape.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1975, Moscow, Volume 44, page 60c.
Translated: Clemens Dutt
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Use all methods available to you to cancel today’s telegram on peace and general demobilisation of the armies on all fronts. By order of Lenin.[2]


[1] Transmitted by direct line by Lenin’s secretary.—Ed.

[2] On January 28 (February 10), 1918, at the Brest-Litovsk peace conference—contrary to Lenin’s directive that a peace treaty should be signed if the Germans presented an ultimatum demanding it—Trotsky declared that the Soviet Government refused to sign a peace treaty on the terms put forward by Germany, but that it considered the war at an end and was demobilising the army. The same day, without informing the Central Committee of the R.C.P.(B.) and the Council of People’s Commissars, Trotsky sent to the Headquarters of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief what was tantamount to a provocative telegram instructing him to issue an order on the night of the same day ending the state of war with Germany and her allies and demobilising the Russian army. The telegram did not mention that the peace negotiations in Brest had been broken off, the inference from its text being that the conference had culminated in the conclusion of peace. In the early morning on January 29 (February 11), Supreme Commander-in-Chief N. V. Krylenko, on the basis of Trotsky’s telegram, issued an order which announced that peace had been concluded and called for the cessation of military operations on all fronts and demobilisation of the army. It was in consequence of Krylenko’s order that Lenin sent this telegram and the one following it.

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