V. I.   Lenin


Written: Written on July 11, 1918
Published: First published in 1927 in the Journal Krasnoarmeyets No. 21 (114). Sent from Moscow to Voronezh. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, page 488.
Translated: Andrew Rothstein
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Commissar Ivanov, Voronezh

The Left S.R. revolt and Muravyov’s betrayal have been completely liquidated. Strong aid to the Czechoslovak front is needed.[1] All efforts on the Kuban front should be concentrated on full and reliable protection of the line from Tikhoretskaya to Tsaritsyn and from Tsaritsyn to the north, not on further advance.[2] Mekhonoshin, Kobozev and Blagonravov are temporarily in command on the Czechoslovak front.

Chairman, Council of People’s Commissars


[1] A reference is to the mutiny of the Czechoslovak corps, which was formed in Russia before the October Revolution from among Czechs and Slovaks who had been taken prisoner as soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian army. Under an agreement of March 26, 1918, the Soviet Government allowed the corps to leave Russia via Vladivostok, provided the corps handed in its arms and removed Russian officers from its command posts. But in late May, on instructions from, and with the support of, the imperialists of the U.S.A., Britain and France, the counter-revolutionary command of the corps provoked mutiny against the Soviet power. They operated in close contact with the whiteguards and the kulaks and occupied a considerable part of the Urals, the Volga area, and Siberia, everywhere restoring the power of the bourgeoisie. Whiteguard governments, with the participation of the Mensheviks and S.R.s, were set up in the areas occupied by the corps.

Many soldiers of the corps came to realise that they had been duped by their counter-revolutionary command and went over to the side of the Red Army, refusing to fight against Soviet Russia. About 12,000 Czechs and Slovaks fought in the ranks of the Red Army.

In the autumn of 1918 the Volga area was liberated by the Red Army; the whiteguard Czechs were routed in 1919 simultaneously with the rout of Kolchak.

[2] Lenin’s directive was to block the advance of the whiteguard army towards Tsaritsyn. In mid-July, Tikhoretskaya railway station was taken by the whiteguards, but their further advance was halted by the Red Army, which had swiftly re-formed and organised, on Lenin’s instructions, reliable protection of the road to Tsaritsyn.

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