Letter to V.I. Lenin

First Published: In part, in Pravda No. 301, December 21,1929
Source: J. V. Stalin, Works, Volume 4, pages 120 - 121. Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1953
Transcription: Hari Kumar for Alliance-ML
HTML: Mike B. for MIA, 2005

To Comrade Lenin.

I am hurrying to the front, and writing only on business.

1) The railway south of Tsaritsyn has not yet been restored. I am firing or telling off all who deserve it, and I hope we shall have it restored soon. You may rest assured that we shall spare nobody, neither ourselves nor others, and shall deliver the grain in spite of everything. If our military "experts" (bunglers!) had not been asleep or loafing about the line would not have been cut, and if the line is restored it will not be thanks to, but in spite of, the military.

2) Large quantities of grain have accumulated on rail south of Tsaritsyn. As soon as the line is cleared we shall be sending you grain by through trains.

3) Have received your communication.(1) Everything will be done to forestall possible surprises. You may rest assured that our hand will not flinch...

4) I have sent a letter by messenger to Baku. (2)

5) Things in Turkestan are bad; Britain is operating through Afghanistan. Give somebody (or me) special authority (military) to take urgent measures in South Russia before it is too late.

Because of the bad communications between the border regions and the centre someone with broad powers is needed here on the spot so that urgent measures can be taken promptly. If you appoint someone (whoever it is) of: this purpose, let us know by direct wire, and send his credentials also by direct wire, otherwise we risk having another Murmansk. (3)

I send you a telegraphic tape on Turkestan.

That is all for the present.

Tsaritsyn, July 7, 1918

(1) On the night of July 6, 1918, Lenin informed Stalin of the revolt of the "left" Socialist Revolutionaries (SR) in Moscow. Lenin's note, which was received in Tsaritsyn over direct wire by Stalin personally, stated: " these wretched hysterical adventurers, who have become a tool of the counterrevolutionaries, must be ruthlessly suppressed everywhere..... Therefore show no mercy to the Left SR's and keep us regularly informed"; Lenin Pravda no. 21; January 26 1936.

(2) Addressed to S.G.Shaumyan, Chairman of the Baku Council of Peoples Commissars, see Documents on the History of the Civil War in the USSR Volume 2, 1940, p.280.

(3) The reference is to the occupation of Murmansk by British troops in 1918.