Banditry and Famine


Order No.262

By the Chairman of the Revolutionary War Council of the Republic, September 10, 1921, No.261, Odessa

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

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I report that a note has been sent by the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs to the Governments of the Entente concerning the appointment of Mr Noulens as chairman of the international commission which allegedly has the task of bringing aid to starving Russia.[1] The meaning of the appointment of Noulens, a sworn enemy of Russia’s working masses, as chairman of the relief commission, is understood by everyone. Noulens, a criminal whose place is in the dock in a criminal court, thought that the need of Russia’s working masses and the hunger of the Volga peasants would give him the possibility and the right to talk to the Republic of Labour in the tone of a master, to subject it to his inspection from on high, and to dictate to it the will of a clique of stock-exchange speculators. By Comrade Chicherin’s note the Workers’ and Peasants’ Government has put an end to these insolent pretensions. The Red Army must learn once more, from this example, how obdurately our irreconcilable enemies lie in wait for us at every difficult passage on our road. At the same time the Red Army can tell itself with satisfaction that, thanks to its heroism and its victories, the Soviet Government, supported by millions of working people, is now in a position to give a decisive rebuff to any imperialist attempt to interfere in our internal affairs.

The note of the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs, Comrade Chicherin, and the present order, are to be dissemi-nated and explained in all units of the Red Army and the Red Navy.


1. In the note of the People’s Commissar of Foreign Affairs addressed to the Entente powers, Comrade Chicherin said that the Soviet Government saw the appointment, as head of the international commission for famine relief, of Noulens, who had taken part in plots against the Soviet power, and the decision of the commission, instead of bringing immediate aid to the famine victims, to engage in collection of information about the state of Russia, as an unheard-of mockery of millions of people who were dying of hunger.

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Last updated on: 28.12.2006