The Military Writings of
Leon Trotsky

Volume 2, 1919

How the Revolution Armed

The Fight for Petrograd


Talk with a representative of the Soviet press

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

* * *

Recent wireless messages have brought news that the bourgeoisie of the Entente has secured, in exchange for the Aaland Islands [The Aaland Islands were taken from Sweden along with Finland by Russia in 1809. When Finland became independent, the islanders expressed a desire to be reunited with Sweden. Eventually the islands were allotted by the League of Nations to Finland, on condition that they be demilitansed and the inhabitants allowed autonomy.]; agreement by the Finnish bourgeoisie to take part in the bandit campaign against Petrograd. Regarding this question, which is of exceptional interest not only to Petrograd but to the entire country, the following can be said:

(1) The report itself is unconfirmed and is even improbable. Yudenich is rapidly falling back from Petrograd, and the Red Army has been ordered to finish him off at any cost. The excellent situation on the other fronts makes it possible for the high command to assign sufficient forces to rout Yudenich. It seems extremely unlikely, at this moment, that the Finnish bourgeoisie would risk gambling its fate on the doubtful card represented by Yudenich.

(2) If, nevertheless, what seems unlikely were to prove correct, and the Finnish bourgeoisie were really to throw itself upon Petrograd, this attempt would cost it extremely dear. The local command has received all necessary instructions both for the further fortification of the Karelian Isthmus and for the required concentration of manpower. The Soviet Government, true to its fundamental, principled line of conduct, will take no steps and make no statements which might be seen as a challenge or a provocation to Finland. But for this very reason, in firm awareness of the justice of its cause, the Soviet Govern ment will answer an attack by Finland with a resolute counter offensive, making responsible for the attempt on Petrograd not merely the Finnish bourgeoisie as a whole but every Finnish bourgeois individually.

In conclusion, we consider it necessary to repeat once again that there is every reason to suppose that the Finnish bourgeoisie will not need to be given such a severe lesson.

return return

Last updated on: 24.12.2006