The Military Writings of
Leon Trotsky

Volume 2, 1919

How the Revolution Armed

The Eastern Front

Kolchak’s Offensive (March-April 1919)


Transcribed and HTML markup for the Trotsky Internet Archive by David Walters

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What is Kolchak fighting for? What does he want? For the sake what is he mobilising the Siberian peasants? For what is he forcing them to shed their blood?

At first, Kolchak said that he did not want to let Russia be execrated by the Germans. He called for the Soviet power to be overthrown so that the war against Germany might be con nued. But what do we see now? At the same time as Kolchak is attacking Soviet Russia from the East, Hindenburg, in the West, having assembled the White-Guard remnants of the former German army, is trying to advance on Vilna and Riga. What Kolchak said about a struggle against the Germans was therefore a lie. In his war against Soviet Russia Kolchak is now acting in concert with the most devoted general of the former German Kaiser.

Kolchak explained that his task was to unite Russia. But what do we actually see? Russia, beaten in the imperialist war and torn in pieces by vultures, is now being united to an ever greater extent by the Soviet power. Today Russia is one from Petrograd to Odessa, and from Orenburg to Riga. Great Russia, the Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania and Byelorussia have voluntar ily united under the banner of Soviet power. Kolchak rules only over a part of the Urals and Siberia. In order to unite Russia in accordance with his plan, Kolchak would now have to conquer the Volga, Petrograd, Moscow, Kiev and Kharkov, Lithuania and Riga – in other words, the whole of Russia. Kolchak wants to unite Great Russia, the Ukraine, Latvia, Byelorussia and Lithuania with the Urals and Siberia. But it would be very much simpler to unite Siberia with all Russia: and, to do that, all that is needed is to get rid of Kolchak himself.

Kolchak says, further, that he wants to free Russia from the Jews, whom he calls the Yids. But that is not true. Kolchak is closely allied with the American bourgeoisie. It would be more correct to say that Kolchak is the hireling of the American bourgeoisie. Before starting his campaign, Kolchak went to New York and Washington. There he received promises of support: from there he was sent money and war materials. But the American bourgeoisie is the most racially-diverse bourgeoisie in the world. Among the American capitalists there are Anglo-Americans, Germans and Jews. Nowhere are there such rich Jewish capitalists, bankers and usurers as in America. Over there they shamelessly exploit and oppress the American workers – Anglo-American, German and Jewish alike. On the American stock exchange, in the American banking world, in American war industry, in the American press, Jews, in the capacity of capitalists, bankers, lawyers and bourgeois journalists, play an immense role. There can be no doubt that of every 100 roubles that Kolchak gets from America, not less than 25 are Jewish, that is, they have been plundered by the Jewish bourgeoisie from the American workers and handed over to Kolchak for his fight against the Russian workers and peasants.

When, last autumn, the Red regiments entered Kazan, Simbirsk, Syzran and Saniara, the bourgeoisie left their homes, but the workers and the poor stayed put. Where did the bourgeoisie flee to? They fled to Kolchak’s kingdom. Russian merchants and nobles, Jewish merchants, rich Tatars, all as one ran off to seek Kolchak’s protection. All the workers, without distinction of nationality received the Red soldiers as liberators. That is how matters really stand ...

Thus, Kolchak lied when he said he was fighting against the Soviet power so as to begin war with Germany: in fact, Kolchak is at one with the German bourgeoisie.

Kolchak lied when he said that he wants to unite Russia: Russia has already been united against Kolchak, and Kolchak is trying to divide her. Finally, Kolchak lied and is lying when he says that he wants to free Russia from the Jews: Kolchak is shooting down Russian workers and peasants along with Jewish workers, in order to establish in Russia the power of the international bourgeoisie, including the Jewish bourgeoisie.

But Kolchak cannot admit frankly that this is his aim. He is forced to lie and to deceive. He keeps putting forward ever new reasons for his war, throwing dust in the eyes of the ignorant workers and peasants of Siberia, deluding them and selling them to the American, German, British, French and Jewish bourgeoisie.

For a long time Kolchak declared that he was fighting for the rights of the Constituent Assembly. The capitalists and land lords cunningly connived with him in this, although they knew well what he was really up to. Blockheads (Mensheviks and SRs) believed him and supported him. When the SRs had helped Kolchak to form an army, he chased them away, so that they would not get under his feet, and no trace remained of the Constituent Assembly! Kolchak now talks openly of bringing back the Tsar’s throne, though he does not say which dynasty is to reign over us – the Romanovs or the Kolchaks.

The bourgeoisie would be overjoyed to see the crown on Kolchak’s head. The Orthodox priest, the Catholic priest, the Tatar mullah, the Jewish rabbi would all equally bless Kolchak as Tsar, just as previously they blessed the Romanovs. Kolchak’s victory would mean restoration of the rule of a tiny minority over the immense majority of the working people. The Tsarist generals and landlords would recover their ranks, titles and privileges. The nobles would again gather in a greedy throng around the imperial court. The capitalists would coin golden profits from the workers’ blood. The land-captains, the gendarmes, the policemen would protect the sacred property of the landlord, and the priests, supporting the police, would again be enabled to delude the people. And at the whim of the ruling gang the Russian workers and peasants would again be drawn into another imperialist war.

That is what Kolchak wants. That is the reason why he is waging a war against the Soviet power, conscripting the workers and peasants of the Urals and Siberia and shedding their blood.

Kolchak is now the leader of all the oppressors, exploiters and vultures, of all who hate the working class. On Kolchak’s banner is inscribed – death to the working masses of Russia. If Kolchak were to win, he would drown in blood hundreds of the best workers and peasants, taking vengeance on them for the ‘humiliations’ they inflicted on the rich classes.

Kolchak has gathered everything that is sinister and dishonest around himself. On one side of the Urals stands Kolchak, on the other stands Workers’ and Peasants’ Russia. The bourgeois hireling Kolchak has thrown down a challenge to all Russia. Workers’ and Peasants’ Russia has taken up that challenge. It knows that its salvation lies in destroying Kolchak. The Urals range has now become the principal barricade of Workers’ and Peasants’ Russia. We must capture this barricade, at any cost.

Soldiers of the Red Army! To the Urals barricades! Forward!

April 10, 1919
Simbirsk-Nizhny Novgorod
En Route, No.30

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Last updated on: 23.12.2006