V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written on June 3, 1919
Published: First published in 1942 in Lenin Miscellany XXXIV. Printed from the text in Sklyansky’s handwriting, added to and signed by Lenin.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1975, Moscow, Volume 44, page 242.
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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Zinoviev for Stalin

Okulov points to the isolation of the 7th Army from the Revolutionary Military Council of the Western Front, which causes confusion, relieves front workers of responsibility, and deprives them of energy in their work. Petrograd Military District, subordinated to the Western Front, is giving all its reserves to the 7th Army, not giving them to the front for the remaining armies. Pozern stays in Petrograd all the time, has poor connections with the Council of the front, and sets up parallel supply bodies instead of utilising the front-line bodies already existing. Okulov proposes either the complete subordination of the 7th Army to the command of the front, or giving it a special status of direct subordination to the General Headquarters.

Knowing Petrograd’s constant tendency towards independent activity, I think you should help the Revolutionary Military Council of the front to unite all the armies. The other Western armies besides the 7th should be taken care of, too. Report what you have done.

The conflict with Okulov must not be allowed to grow. Think it over well, for it is impossible simply to recall him.

Today I learned of the desertion to the enemy of yet another Petrograd regiment and of the refusal of two regiments to attack. Supervision should be strengthened and more workers added.

Regarding foreigners, I advise not to hurry with deportation. Would not a concentration camp be better, so that they can afterwards be exchanged?[1]



[1] The text of the telegram from the words “The conflict with Okulov” is in Lenin’s handwriting.—Ed.

[2] This telegram concerns the situation on the Western Front and the conflict between A. I. Okulov, a member of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Western Front, on the one hand, and J. V. Stalin, G. Y. Zinoviev and the leadership of the 7th Army, on the other. In the Central Party Archives of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the C.C., C.P.S.U., there are notes on this question which were exchanged between Lenin and Sklyansky at a meeting. Lenin wrote to Sklyansky: “Stalin demands the recall of Okulov, whom he accuses of intrigues and disorganisation.” In answer to a note of Sklyansky’s giving a favourable testimonial of Okulov, Lenin gave the following directive to Sklyansky: “Then draft the text of a telegram (a precise statement of what the 7th Army is accused by Okulov) and I will send a code message to Stalin and Zinoviev to keep the conflict within bounds and channel it in the right direction.” The draft of the telegram published here was drawn up in accordance with this directive and afterwards supplemented and signed by Lenin.

On the subject of the recall of Okulov, see also this volume, Document 354.

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