V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written on December 23, 1919
Published: First published in 1933 in Lenin Miscellany XXIV. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1975, Moscow, Volume 44, page 321a.
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.README


Comrade Zinoviev,

Your letter of 20/XII received.

About Petrograd, arrange everything with Trotsky. It is evidently necessary to preserve and restore all defence installations (I hear they are already stealing barbed wire, etc.), and to devise a system of weekly mobilisations ( either “alerts” or musters), in order to keep Petrograd in a state of preparedness. This must be carefully thought out.

Food supply is at a complete standstill because of transport. Repairs to locomotives and trucks!!

About shale, it is splendid that you have already started. But I was surprised at your writing about the transport of shale. Shale does not stand transport (unless it is for gas: shale is said to yield more gas than coal does), and electricity should be laid on locally and a distillation plant set up on the spot to obtain oil from shale. That is what I have been told here. And I thought that Petrograd with all its resources could cope both with the task of electrification and of distillation.


N.B. Cannot blockhouses be erected for the defence of Petrograd? I am sending you and Trotsky a report on this subject.

Why are there not more sleigh-cars? There are said to be over 100 tracks?


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