Banditry and Famine


Order No.265

By the Chairman of the Revolutionary War Council of the Republic to the Red Army, September 13, 1921, No.265, Kiev.

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

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To be read to all companies, batteries, squadrons and task-forces

A bloody crime has again been committed in the Ukraine – one of the most disgusting crimes, in its senseless cruelty. On September 7 in the Kozhanka-Fastov stage of the Kiev railway line, as a result of malicious tampering with the rails, a through-train carrying food destined for the workers of the Donets Basin suffered frightful disaster. The locomotive and the trucks were smashed up and 27 persons were killed and 31 wounded.

Who tampered with the rails? The answer is clear: those who have done the same thing dozens of times before – the Petlyurist bandits, the hirelings of the Romanian and Polish land-lords and capitalists. At whom was this blow struck? At the Ukrainian workers and peasants. Among those killed were representatives of the starving Donbas workers, who had been sent to escort the train. Sixty-one truckloads of grain collected by the peasants for the workers were destroyed, scattered and mixed with earth and human blood.

At first the Petlyurists hoped to deceive the working masses of the Ukraine by means of lying agitation. Their deception was exposed, and they lost political influence. They then decided to conquer the Ukraine by means of detachments armed with French, Romanian and Polish money. These detachments were smashed and broken up. The Petlyurists have no more hope of conquering the Ukraine. All that remains to them is to take revenge on the workers and peasants who have rejected them. The defeated Petlyurist detachments have become petty gangs. The bandits have become vermin. Their sole aim is to take revenge, to inflict damage, to shed the blood of the Ukrainian workers and peasants.

The Ukraine must be purged of vermin as soon as possible, so that it may devote all its strength to peaceful labour. The Ukraine must become a well-provided, rich, prosperous country.

The many victims of the senselessly bloody Petlyurist outrages demand of us that we put an end quickly to the Petlyurist vermin!

Red Army man! Crush the vermin under your boot!

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Last updated on: 28.12.2006