Banditry and Famine


Order No.268

By the Chairman of the Revolutionary War Council of the Republic to the Red Army and the Red Navy, December 11, 1921, No.268, Moscow

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

* * *

In the Far East General Kappel’s troops have begun operations against the Far-Eastern Republic, which is closely linked with US. [1] The Kappel units are the remains of the former army of Kolchak. Today the Kappelites are in the service of the Japanese Government, which has predatorily seized the Far Eastern coastal area and does not want to let go of it.

In their fight against the Soviet Republic the world predators often allude to the fact that Russia does not have a ‘democratic’ government, elected on the basis of so-called universal suffrage. But the Far-Eastern Republic is not a republic of soviets, it is a democracy. Its government is organised on the principles of universal suffrage. Private property has not been abolished in the Far-Eastern Republic. The working masses of this republic know the advantages of the Soviet order and want complete unification with the Soviet federation as a whole. But, precisely so as not to give the Japanese and other predators an excuse for attack, they tolerate in their country both private property and the ‘democratic republic’ which is closely bound up with it. However, this is not helping them, either. Against the democratic republic the imperialists are advancing the Black-Hundred Monarchist forces which have organised a coup d’etat with the help of Japanese money and Japanese weapons.

In the Far East we see the same picture as in the West. On the one hand, the working masses of our country, in order to obtain tranquillity and peace, are making very big concessions, even going so far as to recognise the Tsarist debts, and are at the same time reducing the Red Army to one-third of its previous size. On the other hand, armed attacks upon us are not ceasing. With the aid of gold and arms from French, Japanese and other sources, the inviolability of our territory and the development of our economy are being ceaselessly disrupted by perfidious blows struck from across the Polish, Romanian and Finnish frontiers and from the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Beneath the hypocritical speeches of the capitalist diplomats in Washington on the theme of disarmament, alarming signs are multiplying.

The conclusion is clear. If we are to uphold our indepen-dence, it is not enough for us to be compliant – we have to be strong. For the Red Army there is only one answer to recent events: to redouble our efforts in the sphere of training, and to close up our ranks. War industry and the country as a whole will not be slow to come to the aid of our army.


1. On the general situation in the Maritime region, see above, note 38. The Kappelites’ offensive was organised with all-round support from Japan, which set up a ‘Maritime buffer state’ in the form of Merkulov’s government. At the end of November 1921 the Kappelite bands, supported by Japanese armoured cars and artillery, attacked along the Ussuri Railway and, pushing back the scanty units of the People’s Revolutionary army of the FER, occupied Khabarovsk on December 22. Throughout January 1922 a stubborn struggle was waged for the fortified positions on the river In. After capturing these, units of the People’s Revolutionary Army went over to the offensive, and on February 14, Khabarovsk was again in the hands of Red units. The subsequent course of events, up to the occupation of Vladivostok, can be followed from note 38 (See Map No.6).

1 1

Last updated on: 28.12.2006