Vladimir Ilyich Lenin


To:   A. I. RYKOV[2]

Dictated: Dictated by phone on April 5, 1922
Published: First published in 1959 in Lenin Miscellany XXXVI. Printed from a typewritten copy.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 523b-524a.
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.

Comrade Rykov
Copy to Comrade Tsyurupa
Copy to the C.P.C. Managing Department

I draw your attention to the exceptional importance of the work of exploring the Kursk Magnetic Anomaly. Comrade Krzhizhanovsky has informed me, that, according to the engineers with whom he has talked, it has been Virtually proved that we have there an incredibly rich reserve of pure iron. Comrade Martens believes that it has been proved already. He intends to go there within three weeks. We must discuss whether we should send along with him some engineer from the State Planning Commission with a better   knowledge of Russian conditions and who is capable of checking up whether there is no exaggeration of any sort there.

I think we should not let the press have any information about this and should take steps to see that nothing is said about this in the press, because otherwise we may expect that the interventionist plans may very well be intensified. For the same reason, perhaps, it would be better not to have Martens’s report made either to the C.P.C. or the C.L.D., but to have it heard only by both deputies, Bogdanov and some C.C. members.

If the report of Martens and the engineer who is to go with him on behalf of the S.P.C. confirms that the matter is serious, we must get the work going as fast as possible, without in any case stinting the necessary gold appropriations, and establishing special supervision to have the necessary equipment received from abroad (diamond, drilling, etc.) with the maximum speed. I very much fear that this business will be carried out without sufficient energy. But the fact is, according to Krzhizhanovsky and Martens, that we have there almost surely a stock of wealth unequalled anywhere in the world, and capable of revolutionising the whole of metallurgy.[1]



[1] See Document 726 of this volume; present edition, Vol. 35, Doc. 316; and Fifth (Russian) Edition, Vol. 54, Doc. 365.—Ed.

[2] This letter deals with the exploration of the Kursk Magnetic Anomaly (KMA).

Lenin displayed great interest in this work. His attention to the KMA and his help in its exploration can be seen from these documents and from the reminiscences of contemporaries, among them I. M. Gubkin and V. N. Rozanov (see Vospominaniya o V. I. Lenine, Part 2, Moscow, 1957, pp. 357–79, 402–04).

The C.P.S.U. Programme adopted by the Twenty-Second Party Congress provided for the establishment of a metallurgical base in the central European part of the U.S.S.R. using the ores of the KMA.

< backward   forward >
Works Index   |   Volume 45 | Collected Works   |   L.I.A. Index