Draft Resolution on Soviet Rule in the Ukraine

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V. I. Lenin

OF THE C.C., R.C.P.(B.)


    (1) The C.C., R.C.P.(B.), having discussed the question of relations with the working people of the Ukraine now being liberated from the temporary conquest of Denikin's bands, is pursuing persistently the principle of the self-determination of nations and deems it essential to again affirm that the R.C.P. holds consistently to the view that the independence of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic be recognised.

    (2) The R.C.P. will work to establish federal relations between the R.S.F.S.R. and the Ukrainian S.S.R., basing<"p163a"> itself on the decisions of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee of June 1, 1919, and the Ukrainian Central Executive Committee of May 18, 1919[53] (resolution attached).

    (3) In view of the fact that Ukrainian culture (language, school, etc.) has been suppressed for centuries by Russian tsarism and the exploiting classes, the C.C., R.C.P. makes it incumbent upon all Party members to use every means to help remove all barriers in the way of the free development of the Ukrainian language and culture. Since the many centuries of oppression have given rise to nationalist tendencies among the backward sections of the population, R.C.P. members must exercise the greatest caution in respect of those tendencies and must oppose them with words of comradely explanation concerning the identity of interests of the working people of the Ukraine and Russia. R.C.P. members on Ukrainian territory must put into practice the right of the working people to study in the Ukrainian language and to speak their native language in all Soviet institutions; they

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must in every way counteract attempts at Russification that push the Ukrainian language into the background and must convert that language into an instrument for the communist education of the working people. Steps must be taken immediately to ensure that in all Soviet institutions there are sufficient Ukrainian-speaking employees and that in future all employees are able to speak Ukrainian.

    (4) It is essential to ensure the closest contact between Soviet institutions and the native peasant population of the country, for which purpose it must be made the rule, even at the earliest stages, that when revolutionary committees and Soviets are being established the labouring peasants must have a majority in them with the poor peasants exercising a decisive influence.

    (5) Since the population of the Ukraine is predominantly peasant to an even greater extent than that of Russia, it is the task of the Soviet government in the Ukraine to win the confidence, not only of the poor peasants, but also of the broad sections of the middle peasantry whose real interests link them very closely with Soviet power. In particular, while retaining the food policy in principle (the state procurement of grain at fixed prices) the methods of its application must be changed.

    The immediate purpose of the food policy in the Ukraine must be the requisitioning of grain surpluses to the strictly limited extent necessary to supply the Ukrainian rural poor, the workers and the Red Army. When requisitioning surpluses, special attention must be paid to the interests of the middle peasants, who must be carefully distinguished from kulak elements. It is essential to expose to the Ukrainian peasantry the counter-revolutionary demagogy that tries to impress on them that the purpose of Soviet Russia is to channel grain and other food products from the Ukraine into Russia.

    It must be made incumbent on all agents of the central authorities, all Party officials, Party instructors, etc, to draw the poor and middle peasantry extensively into the work of government.

    For the same purpose (the establishment of the real power of the working people) measures must be immediately taken to prevent Soviet institutions from being flooded

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with Ukrainian urban petty bourgeoisie, who have no conception of the living conditions of the peasant masses and who frequently masquerade as Communists.

    A condition for the admission of such elements into the ranks of the Party and into Soviet institutions must be a preliminary practical verification of their competence and their loyalty to the interests of the working people, primarily at the front, in the ranks of the army. Everywhere and under all circumstances such elements must be placed under the strict class control of the proletariat.

    We know from experience that due to the unorganised state of the poor the large number of weapons in the hands of the Ukrainian rural population is inevitably being concentrated in the hands of the kulaks and counter-revolutionaries which actually leads to the domination of kulak bandits instead of the dictatorship of the working people; in view of this a primary task in organising Soviet Ukraine is to withdraw all weapons and concentrate them in the hands of the workers' and peasants' Red Army.

    (6) In the same way, the land policy must be effected with special attention paid to the farming of the poor and middle peasantry.

    The tasks of the land policy in the Ukraine are:

    (1) The complete abolition of the landed proprietorship re-established by Denikin and the transfer of the landed estates to peasants possessing little or no land.

    (2) State farms to be organised in strictly limited numbers and of limited size and in each case in conformity with the interests of the surrounding peasantry.

    (3) In organising peasants in communes, artels, etc., the Party policy must be strictly adhered to, which in this respect does not permit any coercion, leaving it to the peasants to decide freely for themselves and penalising all attempts to introduce the principle of coercion.

*     *

    2. Regarding it as beyond dispute for every Communist and for every politically-conscious worker that the closest alliance of all Soviet republics in their struggle against


the menacing forces of world imperialism is essential, the R.C.P. maintains that the form of that alliance must be finally determined by the Ukrainian workers and labouring peasants themselves.


  <"en52">[52] This resolution was based on theses written by Lenin. On November 21, 1910, the Political Bureau of the C.C., R.C.P.(B.) discussed the theses and submitted them to a commission for final editing. On the basis of the theses the commission drafted the resolution which, with the addition of Clause 2 introduced by Lenin, was adopted by the plenary meeting of the C.C., R.C.P.(B.) on November 29, 1919 and later endorsed by the Eighth All-Russia Party Conference.    [p. 163]

  <"en53">[53] On May 18, 1819 the joint meeting of the Ukrainian Central Executive Committee and the Kiev Soviet of Workers' Deputies, trade unions, factory committees and the Kiev Uyezd Congress of Peasant Deputies passed a resolution which stressed the necessity of uniting all the forces of the Soviet Republics for the armed struggle against the enemies of Soviet power and of concentrating material resources at a single centre. The Ukrainian C.E.C. instructed its Presidium to submit a proposal to the All-Russia C.E.C. "to work out concrete forms for the organisation of a united front of revolutionary struggle". Similar proposals were submitted by the Soviet governments of Latvia, Lithuania and Byelorussia.
    In compliance with the wishes expressed by the supreme bodies of Soviet Republics the All-Russia Central Executive Committee adopted a decree on June 1, 1919 "On the Union of the Soviet Republics of Russia, the Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania and Byelorussia for the Struggle Against World Imperialism". The decree said that, while fully recognising the independence, freedom and self-determination of the working people of the Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Byelorussia and the Crimea . . . the All-Russia Central Executive Committee of Soviets considers it necessary to effect a close amalgamation of (1) military organisation and army command, (2) economic councils, (3) railways, (4) finances and (5) commissariats of labour of the Soviet Socialist Republics of Russia, the Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Byelorussia and the Crimea so as to concentrate the management of these branches in single bodies."
    This military and political alliance of the Soviet Socialist Republics was of tremendous significance in promoting victory over the interventionists and the internal counter-revolution.    [p. 163]