At this time when the Polish gentry are threatening to seize Gomel Province, there are within the borders of this province a large number of persons who have avoided presenting themselves at the appointed time for military service, and also outright deserters.
The Polish gentry want to take the land from the peasants and give it back to the landlords, to hand the factories over to the capitalists, and to subject the working people to the rich and to the Catholic priests.
A deserter from the Red Army is a direct helper of the Polish gentry. Those who, inside the Soviet land and inside the Red Army, harbour deserters are also helping the invasion by the foreign gentry.
The time has come for a stern showdown with the deserters in Gomel Province!
I order the military authorities in the field and in the rear to undertake, with co-operation from the railway authorities and all civil authorities generally, a resolute campaign against desertion:
If the Polish gentry win, hundreds of thousands of the best workers and peasants will be shot or hanged. Slavery and tyranny will prevail throughout Russia.
Listen, peasants and workers!
Your Workers’ and Peasants’ Republic is threatened with mortal danger!
Whoever betrays the working people in the hour of danger can be shown no mercy!
Death to deserters and traitors!
Last updated on: 26.12.2006