The Southern Front

The Fight Against Wrangel

Wrangel’s Landing

Talk with a Representative of the Soviet Press

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

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There is no need to explain to you the reports in the foreign press of Wrangel’s capture of Yekaterinodar and Novorossiisk, of the rallying of the Don and Kuban Cossacks to him, and of the evacuation of Baku by Soviet units – all of that is so much invention, from beginning to end. But this does not prevent me from mentioning that the stupidity of this invention is capable of causing amazement even among us, people who are familiar enough with the maliciously senseless mendacity of the organs of bourgeois public opinion. It is, after all, quite obvious that, a day or two sooner or later, readers in Europe and America will learn that Wrangel has suffered a very serious fiasco in Caucasia. Wrangel really did hope that the Kuban and Don Cossacks would rally to him, and he sent sufficient military stores there to equip the formations he expected. These stores filled no fewer than 50 trucks. I can speak with some precision about this matter, because we succeeded in removing those stores from the coast at Akhtari, in trucks, after we had captured the expedition’s base. Neither the Kuban nor the Don Cossacks rallied to the landing-force. By means of a well-conceived and excellently performed manoeuvre a mortal blow was struck at it, while we suffered hardly any casualties. Soviet power is rooted ever more deeply in the Kuban, the Soviet apparatus is becoming ever stronger, grain-procurement is being carried out ever more systematically. As regards Azerbaijan, Soviet power there is distinguished by unshakable stability. The report about the evacuation of Baku was evidently based on the vigorous export of oil from Baku to Soviet Russia. In fact, about 150,000,000 poods of oil have already been despatched from Baku, yet stocks held in that city have not decreased, because production is going ahead at full blast. The oilfields are quite satisfactorily supplied with food. Work in the Grozny oilfields is also developing absolutely normally. We have in Grozny, besides other products, about ten million poods of excellent benzine. Production can be considerably increased, and will be increased when trade is functioning in the Black Sea ports.

In short, if the Wrangel landing has shown anything, then it is precisely the unshakability of our position in North Caucasia. Thereby, Wrangel’s empire has been reduced to the confines of a part of the former Khanate of the Crimea. But we confidently reckon that Monsieur Millerand will soon have to renounce his dream of having in the Crimea a Russo-German Khan as his vassal.

September 1, 1920

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Last updated on: 26.12.2006