Written: Written on May 16, 1918
Published: First published in 1959 in Lenin Miscellany XXXVI. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1975, Moscow, Volume 44, page 88b.
Translated: Clemens Dutt
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive. You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work, as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
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In my opinion, the Brest treaty cannot forbid us to
combat, pirate-insurgents (armed merchant vessels),
and it is necessary to find a form for our naval forces to give an armed rebuff to the rebels.
 This note to G. V. Chicherin was written following the receipt of a report that troops of the Transcaucasian bourgeois government, supported by a flotilla of armed merchant vessels, were advancing on Sukhum, creating a threat to the entire Black Sea coast. In the draft of a telegram submitted to Lenin, which was addressed to Sablin, Chief of the Naval Forces of the Black Sea Fleet, the latter was instructed to arm a number of Soviet merchant ships and send them for the defence of Sukhum.
On May 20, 1918, the Soviet Government sent a Note to the German Government protesting against the German military authorities conniving at the actions of the armed merchant ships of “the so-called Transcaucasian government, which is recognised by absolutely nobody in Transcaucasia”.