V. I. Lenin

Interview Granted To An Izvestia Correspondent In Connection With The Left Socialist-Revolutionary Revolt[1]

Brief Report

Interviewed: 8 July, 1918
First Published: 8 July, 1918, Izvestia VTsIK No. 141, July 8. 1918; Published according to the Izvestia text
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972 Volume 27, pages 534-535
Translated: Clemens Dutt; Edited by Robert Daglish
Transcription/HTML Markup: David Walters & Robert Cymbala
Online Version: Lenin Internet Archive March, 2002

Revolution with remarkable consistency drives every proposition to its logical conclusion and ruthlessly exposes the utter futility and criminality of all wrong tactics.

The Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, carried away by nigh-sounding phrases, have for several months now been screaming: "Down with the Brest peace! To arms against the Germans!"

We replied that under present conditions, in the present period of history, the Russian people cannot fight and do not want to fight.

Closing their eyes to the facts, they continued with insane obstinacy to persist in their own line, not sensing that they were drawing further and further away from the masses of the people, and determined at all costs, even by brute force, to impose their will on these masses, the will of their Central Committee, which included criminal adventurers, hysterical intellectuals, and so on.

And the further they drew away from the people, the more they earned the sympathies of the bourgeoisie, which was hoping to accomplish its designs by their hand.

Their criminal terrorist act and revolt have fully and completely opened the eyes of the broad masses to the abyss into which the criminal tactics of the Left Socialist-Revolutionary adventurers are dragging Soviet Russia, the Russia of the people.

On the day of the revolt, I myself and many other comrades had occasion to hear even the most backward sections of the people expressing their profound disgust of the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries.

One simple old woman said indignantly on hearing of the assassination of Mirbach:

"The devils, so they've driven us into war after all!"

It at once became perfectly clear and obvious to everybody that the Socialist-Revolutionaries' terroristic act had brought Russia to the brink of war. That, in fact, was what the masses thought of the action of the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries.

They are trying by underhand methods to embroil us in war with the Germans at a time when we cannot fight and do not want to fight. The masses will never forgive the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries for trampling so brutally on the will of the people and trying to force them into war.

And if anybody was well pleased with the action of the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries and rubbed his hands with glee, it was only the whiteguards and the servitors of the imperialist bourgeoisie; whereas the worker and peasant masses have been rallying ever closer and more solidly around the Communist-Bolshevik Party, the authentic spokesman of the will of the masses.


[1] The counter-revolutionary insurrection of the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries in Moscow (July 6-7, 1918) was organised in accordance with the decision of the C.C. of the Left S.R.s of June 24. It was part of a general attack by the internal counter-revolution and the imperialists of the Entente against Soviet Russia, and the insurrectionists were secretly supported by foreign diplomatic missions.

The insurrection was launched during the Fifth All-Russia Congress of Soviets, at which the anti-Soviet speeches of the Left S.R.s received no support from the overwhelming majority of delegates. Defeated at the Congress, the Lefb S.R.s pursued their aim of sabotaging the Brest Peace Treaty and dragging Soviet Russia into war with Germany by assassinating the German Ambassador inMoscow Count Mirbach on July 6. This was followed up by an insurrection. The main rebel force was a detachment commanded by D.I. Popov, a Left S.R. and member of the Cheka. About 1,800 people took part in the insurrection, bombarding the Kremlin with artillery and seizing the telephone exchange and telegraph office. During the two hours that they remained in control there, they sent out several provocatory manifestos, bulletins and telegrams in the name of the Left S.R. Central Committee alleging that the Left S.R.s had taken over power and that their action had been welcomed by the whole population.

The Fifth Congress of Soviets instructed the government to suppress the insurrection at once, and the group of Left S.R.s at the Congress was arrested. Thanks to the energetic measure taken by the Soviet Government and the united action of the Moscow workers and garrison the insurrection was put down within twenty four hours. By 2 p. m. on July 7 it was all over.

The Left S.R.s also tried to start insurrections in Petrograd, Vologda and other cities A telegram from the Left S . R. Central Committee stating that the Left S.R.s had seized power in Moscow, was sent to M. A. Muravyov, a Left S.B. and Commander of the Eastern Front. On the pretext of attacking the Germans, he tried to seize Simbirsk (now Ulyanovsk) and march his forces on Moscow in support of the insurrectionists. Like the other insurrections, Muravyov's reckless attempt was quickly supressed.

When the Fifth Congress of Soviets reassembled after the defeat of the insurrection, it passed a decision expelling from the Soviets the Left S.R.s who had supported the adventuristic line of their leadership. Numerous telegrams in which the workers and peasants expressed their approval of the suppression of the revolt and their readiness to take up arms to defend Soviet power reached the Congress from all parts of the country.