V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written on February 17, 1920
Published: First published in 1042 in Lenin Miscellany XXXIV. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1975, Moscow, Volume 44, pages 341b-342a.
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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All in code

Smilga and Orjonikidze

Am deeply concerned about the state of our troops on the Caucasian Front, the complete demoralisation among Budyonny’s forces, the weakening of all our troops, the weakness of the general command, the discord between the armies, the strengthening of the enemy.[1] It is essential to exert   all efforts and put through a number of emergency measures with revolutionary energy. Telegraph fully in code what exactly you are undertaking.



[1] In the beginning of February 1920 preparations were made for a new offensive of the Red Army on the Caucasian Front. At the same time there was a lack of co-ordination between the armies of the front. The Mounted Army had been weakened in previous engagements; exhaustion of the troops and shortage of supplies were acutely felt. Owing to a relaxation of political and educational work, instances of infringement of military discipline began to occur in the units.

The Composite Cavalry Corps, which co-operated with the 1st Mounted Army, was seriously affected. Counter-revolutionary elements were active at Corps Headquarters. On the night of February 2, Corps Commissar, V. N. Mikeladze, was murdered by counter-revolutionaries. All these circumstances in conjunction with the extremely complex military situation caused Lenin great anxiety, since they jeopardised the Red Army’s offensive in the Northern Caucasus, the aim of which was the final defeat of the enemy.

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