The Military Writings of
Leon Trotsky

Volume 2, 1919

How the Revolution Armed

The Eastern Front

Kolchak’s Offensive (March-April 1919)

To All Citizens Of Vyatka Province

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

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Counting on the bourgeoisie of Vyatka and the kulaks of the countryside, Kolchak has scattered his agents all over Vyatka province. They have been given the task: (1) to disrupt railway lines, blow up bridges, and destroy telegraph and telephone communications: (2) to stir up kulak revolts in the rear of the Red forces: and (3) to bring confusion and disintegration into the ranks of the Red regiments.

In places in the town of Vyatka where certain units are quartered, White-Guard Kolchakite appeals have been found which bear such false signatures as ‘Peasant’, ‘Uralian’, and so on. A similar agitation is being carried on among the railway staffs and in the villages. Kolchak’s agents – hirelings of the Russian and American imperialists – do not stop at anything in their struggle against the workers and the working peasants. In turn the Soviet power will not shrink from using the severest measures in combating the counter-revolutionary traitors and their accomplices.

It is hereby announced that:

(1) All citizens who are caught giving aid, whether direct or indirect, to Kolchak’s agents – by providing them with lodging or helping them to move about, by concealing their presence, or by not reporting their activities to the nearest military or civil authority – will be treated as traitors and tried under martial law.

(2) Responsibility for the inviolability of the railways, telegraph lines and, in general, of all installations possessing military importance, is laid upon the soviets and upon the population generally of those villages and volosts through which the railway and telegraph lines pass. The assignment of responsibility for particular lines will be specially announced through the local authorities. In the event of malicious damage to lines, posts, wires or bridges, those kulaks and White-Guards who have been taken as hostages will be shot.

(3) Commandments of barracks, commissars and commanders are to investigate unremittingly the appearance of suspicious persons in places where Red Army units are quartered. All honourable Red-Army men comrades are to co-operate in this task in every way. Kolchak’s hired agents must be caught and exterminated.

(4) Help, direct of indirect, given to the evasion of military service, either by incitement to desertion or by concealment of deserters, will be punished, in Vyatka province, as an act of treason, with the full severity of martial law.

(5) Bourgeois and kulak elements must remember that they are living in a socialist republic which is waging a struggle to the death against the enemies of the working class: in the event of the slightest attempt being made to help Kolchak , the ruthless fist of Red terror will descend upon the urban and rural bourgeoisie of Vyatka province.

This announcement is to be posted up in all Soviet institutions and in all public places, and is to be signed personally by the chairmen of the volost and village executive committees of Vyatka province.

En Route
April 24, 1919, No.35

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Last updated on: 23.12.2006