V. I.   Lenin

Draft Decision for the Politbureau of the C.C., R.C.P.(B.) on
The Tasks of the R.C.P.(B.) in Localities Inhabited by Eastern Peoples[1]

Written: Written October 13 or 14, 1920
Published: First published in 1958 in the journal Voprosi Istorii KPSS No. 2. Printed from the manuscript.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, 2nd English Printing, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 42, pages 218-219a.
Translated: Bernard Isaacs
Transcription\Markup: D. Walters
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Having discussed the reports and communications made at a meeting of the Politbureau of the Central Committee with 27 delegates from the Baku Congress of the Peoples of the East,[2] on 13.X.1920, the Politbureau of the C.C. has decided:

1. To extend the work of the Council of Nationalities under the People’s Commissariat for Nationalities; a report on this work to be made at the next meeting of the Council of People’s Commissars.

2. To institute the strictest investigations into abuses and acts of violence committed by the local Russian population towards the Eastern peoples (especially the Kalmyks, Buryat-Mongols and so on) and to punish the offenders.

3. To issue in the name of the supreme Soviet authority a manifesto confirming the principles of the T.S.F.S.R.’s national policy and establishing more effective control over its lull application.

4. To consider it necessary to carry out autonomy, in forms appropriate to the concrete conditions, for those Eastern nationalities which do not yet possess autonomous institutions, first and foremost for the Kalmyks and Buryat-Mongols. The Commissariat for Nationalities to be charged with this task.

5. On the agrarian question, to consider it necessary to restore to the mountaineers of the Northern Caucasus the lands they were deprived of by the Great Russians, at the expense of the kulak elements of the Cossack population, and to direct the C.P.C. immediately to prepare appropriate decrees.

6. To draw up instructions for all agents of the C.C. and the central Soviet authorities sent from Moscow to regions inhabited by Eastern peoples. The weight of emphasis   in these instructions to be made on clarifying the duty of the agents to act only through the local bodies consisting of representatives of the local working population, and to consider their chief task to be to fight against the bourgeois and pseudo-communist groups among the local population while at the same time giving support to the really communist groups and elements.


[1] Lenin’s draft, with amendments, was adopted by the Politbureau at its meeting on October 14, 1920.

[2] The Baku Congress of the Peoples of the East (the First Congress of the Peoples of the East) was held in Baku between September 1 and 7, 1920. It was attended by 1,891 delegates representing 37 nationalities (of the Caucasus, Central Asia, Afghanistan, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Japan, Korea, Syria, Turkey and other countries). Two-thirds of the delegates (1,273) were Communists.

The congress discussed the following questions: 1) The international situation and the tasks of the working peoples of the East; 2) the national and colonial question; 3) the agrarian question; 4) the Soviets in the East; 5) the organisational question and others. Four sections were formed to prepare the material for the congress: the agrarian, the national and colonial, the Soviet activities, and the organisational sections.

The congress supported the decisions of the Second Congress of the Communist International and drew up a number of resolutions based on these decisions. To implement these decisions the congress organised a Council of Propaganda and Action of the Peoples of the East as a permanent body under the Executive Committee of the Comintern. Speaking of the Second Congress of the Communist International and the First Congress of the Peoples of the East, Lenin pointed out: “These were international congresses which united the Communists and showed that in all civilised countries and in all the backward countries of the East, the banner of Bolshevism, the programme of Bolshevism, the line of Bolshevik action are an emblem of salvation, an emblem of struggle to the workers of all civilised countries and the peasants o all the backward colonial countries. They showed that, during the past three years, Soviet Russia not only beat off those who fell upon her in order to throttle her, but won the sympathy of the working people of the whole world ...” (see present edition, Vol. 31, pp. 329-30),

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