V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written on August 26, 1921
Published: First published in 1965 in Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Ed., Vol. 53. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 268b-270a.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
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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Comrade Stalin:

Nansen’s most brazen proposal (to appoint a Cadet from the Relief Committee),[1] the behaviour of these “Kukishi” and the enclosed telegram clearly reveal that we have made a mistake, or if we did not make one earlier, we are going to blunder badly unless we keep our eyes peeled.

You will recall that Rykov, shortly before he left, came and told me that someone called Runov, one of our men,   had informed him about a meeting at which Prokopovich had held forth against the government. The meeting had been arranged by Prokopovich, who had used the Famine Relief Committee as a screen.

What else is there to wait for now? Are we going to tolerate their obvious preparations?

This is absolutely inconceivable.

I propose: this very day, Friday, 26/8, “Kukishi” should be dissolved by a decision of the All-Russia C.E.C. —motive: their refusal to work and their resolution. Appoint one man from the All-Russia Cheka to take over the money and to supervise the liquidation.

Prokopovich should be arrested this very day on a charge of anti-government speech-making (at a meeting attended by Runov) and detained for about three months, while we make a thorough investigation of the meeting.

The other members of “Kukishi” should be expelled from Moscow at once, this very day, and settled singly in uyezd towns, preferably without railways, under surveillance.

Really and truly it would be a bad mistake to wait any longer. The whole thing will be done before Nansen leaves. Nansen will be faced with a clear “ultimatum”. That will be an end to this playing (with fire).

Not later than tomorrow we shall publish five lines of a short dry “government communiqué”: dissolved because of unwillingness to work.[2]

We shall issue an order to the newspapers: the same day, tomorrow, start ridiculing “Kukishi” in a hundred ways. These whiteguards and sons of the landed gentry wanted to take a trip abroad and refused to go and work in the localities. Kalinin has gone, but the Cadets find it “unbefitting”. They should be ridiculed and harassed in every possible way at least once a week in the course of two months.

The sore tooth will be extracted right away, and with great benefit in every respect.

There must be no wavering. I suggest that we get this thing over and done with at the Politbureau today.

Foreigners will start arriving, and Moscow should be “cleared” of the “Kukishi”, and their playing (with fire)   should be stopped. Show this to the members of the Politbureau.




[1] About Fridtjof Nansen’s proposal see Notes 227 and 229.

The “Kukishi” were members of the All-Russia Famine Relief Committee. “Kukish” is the Russian for fig, and is an acronym coined from the names of Yelena Kuskova and N. M. Kishkin, two of its members.

[2] The government communique on the dissolution of the All-Russia Famine Relief Committee was published in Pravda No. 191, on August 30, 1921.

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