V. I. Lenin

Letter To G. K. Orjonikidze On

The Strengthening Of The Georgian Red Army[1]

Written: 13 February, 1922
First Published: First published in 1925 In N, D. Orakhelashvjli. Lenin i Z.S.F.S.R. (Maieilaly) (Lenin and the Transcaucasian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic [Documents]), Tiflis, Sovetsky Kavkaz Publishing House; Published according to a typewritten copy supplemented and signed by Lenin
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 2nd English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965, Volume 33, pages 200-201
Translated: David Skvirsky and George Hanna
Transcription\HTML Markup: David Walters & R. Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marx.org) 2002. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

Comrade Sergo,

It is absolutely essential that the Congress of Soviets of Georgia should adopt a decision to strengthen the Georgian Red Army without fail, and that the decision is really carried out.

In the last resort, if the peasants are opposed to this, a decision, couched in the most general terms, should be adopted, such as it is deemed essential "without fail to strengthen the Georgian Red Army and to call upon all government bodies and all the working people to work to secure this", etc.

Actually, however, it is necessary, at all costs, and immediately, to develop and strengthen the Georgian Red Army. As a beginning let it consist only of one brigade or even less; two or three thousand Red cadets-of whom 1,500 should be Communists-who (as cadres) could serve as the nucleus of an army when the contingency arises. This is absolutely essential.

Perhaps Stalin will enlarge on the military and technical methods of carrying this out.

I am confining myself to the political aspect of the matter: those who fail to carry this out will be expelled from the Party without compunction. This is not a matter to be trifled with. It is absolutely essential politically; and you personally, and the entire Georgian Central Committee, will be held responsible to the whole Party for this.

I await your reply.



February 13

This is for Comrade Sergo and for all the members of the Central Committee of the Georgian Communist Party.


[1] This letter was written on the eve of the First Congress of Soviets of Georgia, which was held on February 25-March 3, 1922.

Lenin’s suggestion to strengthen the Georgian Red Army was called forth by the aggressive stand of the British imperialists and by the campaign of slander started against the Soviet Republic by the reactionary imperialist press together with the leaders of the Second and Two-and-a-Half Internationals and the Georgian Mensheviks. They demanded the withdrawal of the Red Army from Georgia with the objective of wresting that territory away from Soviet Russia.

The First Congress of Soviets of Georgia adopted statement "On the Red Army", which declared that the strengthening of the existing nucleus of the Georgian Red Army was the cardinal task and requested the Government of the fraternal Russian Soviet Republic not to withdraw the Red Army from Georgian territory.

Lenin’s suggestion on strengthening the Georgian Red Army was accepted by the Political Bureau on February 25, 1922.