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Review of the political state of the USSR
Review of the political and economic state of the RSFSR in August 1922
The internal situation of the Republic in August was presented in the following form.
Compared to last month, when a wave of strikes swept most enterprises in industrial regions (Moscow, Petrogradsky, Bryansk, South‐West, partly Donetsk and Siberia), the current reporting month can be considered calmer. The absence of mass strikes is due mainly to the liquidation of the workersʹ debts in these regions in the past months and to a slight drop in prices for bread and other essential products that has begun in places. In part, the calming down of the workers observed today is explained by the decrease, compared with the previous month, in the work of anti‐Soviet parties.
However, strong discontent still existed in August. The reasons are the same: late payment of salaries and rations and low tariff rates.
In the Petrograd industrial region, some discontent of the workers continues at all enterprises supplied by the state, because the supply there is much weaker than in private or self‐supporting enterprises. In the western provinces, the strikes stopped. The debt of the month of July is liquidated everywhere. The attitude of workers towards the Soviet regime is generally satisfactory, with the exception of the Klintsy factories of the Gomel province. The regionʹs industry is in crisis due to lack of raw materials and fuel. In the Gomel province. closed for this reason seven factories in the Smolensk province. the lack of fuel at 5 Roslavl glass factories caused staff reductions by 50%, many factories in Minsk and Bryansk provinces were closed.
In Ukraine, the situation has definitely improved. Strikes are observed only in the Odessa province. (1st shipyard ‐ loaders, railway workers, water workers and other workers). Not without the influence of the Mensheviks and partly the SocialistRevolutionaries, of course. Complete calm is observed in Poltava, Kharkov and Kiev provinces, where supplies of workers in August were carried out regularly. In the rest of the provinces, although there were no strikes, there was still discontent among the workers (at the factories of the Cherkassk u. Of the Kremenchug province, at the ship repair plants of the Nikolaev province, partly in the Crimea and at the mines of the Taganrog section of the Donetsk province).
In the Volga region, there are no sharp changes in the mood of workers. The supply was relatively normal. Only the position of water workers in the Astrakhan and Saratov regions requires improvement; desertion from work is still observed here due to material insecurity.
Some excitement occurred in the Perm lips. at the Motovilikhinsky plant, where the workers, under the influence of SocialistRevolutionary agitation, went on strike. The mood of the workers at Osinsky deteriorated. due to the delay in salary since May. In the Sarapulskiy tannery region, workersʹ debts amount to 450 billion rubles, which, naturally, has an unfavorable effect on the mood of the workers.
Irregular supply of workers in the Yekaterinburg province; and only a good harvest and lower prices on the market make them feel good.
For the same reasons, discontent is observed among workers in Siberia. There were even partial strikes at some enterprises (in Mariinsk, Tomsk province, among the leaders of the Omsk water country, at plant No. 3 and 5, the Kozhkombinat in Biysk).
The industrial crisis in Turkestan has greatly increased the number of unemployed, who are selling their last belongings and leaving the region. There is strong resentment among them.
The Moscow industrial region is a sharp exception this month compared to the rest of the regions. In the region where NEP has developed most widely, where the very conditions of life increase the needs of the workers, there is a striving of the latter by all means to increase wages and more often than in other parts of the Republic, they resort to strike.
The largest strike of the Nikolsk factories in the Orekhovo‐Zuevsky district, which involved 19 thousand workers, was the largest strike during the reporting period. The reason is a collective agreement drawn up by the Union of Textile Workers, with the board of a trust, which the workers considered unacceptable for themselves, demanding an increase in tariff rates. Only the dismissal of workers by the decision of the Central Committee of the trade union, which workers were considered to have left the trade union, and, finally, the clarification of the clause of the agreement on the supply of families forced the workers to return to work. Anger and discontent, however, continues to be observed.
On questions about tariff rates and production rates, as well as due to salary delays, a number of strikes are observed at other enterprises: Textile factory of Bogorodsky u., Kozhzavod No. 23, Supplier, 5th, 11th and 33rd printing houses of Mospechat , f‐ka former Belova; Zhiro, factories ʺMetalʺ, ʺGeofizikaʺ, Goznak, former Malenkova; factory former Nyrkova, former Osipova, Shustrova, AMO factories, 3rd car repair shop, Ozerkovsky cloth factories, Gas plant, fine cloth factories former Ginzburg, etc.
In conclusion, some data on private capital and trade unions.
It is extremely interesting to note that private capital is already making its first forays [against] the working class.
Here are some typical facts. In Moscow, the owner of the former Belovʹs sausage factory fired a worker, a permanent union representative, claiming that the worker was a harmful element for him. In response, the workers went on strike, sealed the factory, and the case was handed over to the union and the peopleʹs court. In Kamyshlov, Yekaterinburg province. The tenant of the brewery, in response to the workers joining the union, reduced the tariff rates in an attempt to provoke workers to strike, close the plant and fire workers. The trade union has transferred the tenant to the court. There are many such facts, but the above facts sufficiently illustrate the attempts of private capital to go on the offensive. Workers find protection in trade unions and in government. This explains the favorable attitude of the workers of private enterprises towards the Soviet government and the RCP, despite the fact that for the most part there are not even RCP cells in private enterprises. This is evidenced by information from the Petrograd region, the Urals, the Volga region and other places.
Trade unions in August were busy with a voluntary membership campaign, which was mostly successful (dropout rates range from 5 to 10%), drafting and enforcing collective agreements, negotiating tariff rates and resolving conflicts. Cultural work is weak due to the lack of funds and experienced workers.
The mood of the peasantry is much more stable and even throughout the Republic. The ghosts of hunger have finally passed the village, grain has been removed from the fields, and the peasantry now faces the question of improving their economy and increasing the sown area for 1923.
The tax in kind, the collection of which has already begun, nowhere, with the exception of partly in the North‐Western Territory and some provinces of Siberia, does not cause anger among the peasants, because, firstly, its rates are low, and secondly, an attempt to compile lists of taxpayers, proceeding from the welfare of each farm separately, and, thirdly, the agitation campaigns undertaken by the peasantry, as far as possible, explained the meaning of the tax in kind.
The measures of the Soviet government aimed at the revival of the peasant economy: benefits for the return of the semester, the decree on the cancellation of enslaving transactions, assistance provided to some starving people, in some places for the acquisition of equipment and horses ‐ all this already and now did not hesitate to affect the general mood of the peasants, which can be recognized quite satisfactory. The reports indicate that the political significance of the decree on the dissolution of enslaving deals is great, but it should be noted that this decree is far from being fully used locally, for the economic dependence of the poor on the kulak element is too great.
Any taxes other than a single natalogue cause some discontent, for a heavy burden falls on the countryside, and mainly on the rural poor. That is why the mood of the latter is almost universally suppressed, although politically, the poor are still the most sympathetic towards Soviet power. Partial dissatisfaction of the peasants is also noted by the lowering of prices for grain and their increase in the products of factory production.
The most difficult situation of the peasant economy has to be noted in the Northwest Territory, which is caused by an unsatisfactory harvest. This is the reason that forces the peasants to evade the tax.
In some provinces of Siberia, which suffered from crop failure and under‐sowing last year (Chelyabinsk and Tyumen), this yearʹs harvest does not cover the needs of the population in the amount of 50%, which condemns the population of these provinces to malnutrition this year as well. In the Tyumen province. famine forces the peasantry to harvest unripe grain. In some districts of Irkutsk province. the poor peasants, not hoping for support from the Soviet government, are selling bread on the vine for next to nothing in exchange for the assistance provided. Naturally, in such a situation, the question of the tax in kind occupies all the attention of the peasantry in these places, and the agitation of the kulaks against its introduction falls on favorable soil.
The hostile attitude of the kulaks to Soviet power is also observed in the South‐East of Russia ‐ in the Stavropol and Black Sea provinces, where this anger is still supported by all sorts of ʺformer peopleʺ: white officers, officials, monarchists and other counter‐
revolutionaries. These provinces are still the nest of monarchists in Russia. In the rest of the republic, the mood of the peasantry, as already indicated above, is quite favorable for the Soviet regime.
The state of the Red Army still remains generally at the proper height. The demobilization of 1900 was almost universally completed, in connection with it, there is a withdrawal from the party of the Red Army men born in 1901 in order to free themselves from military service. As a result of demobilization, the remaining Red Army soldiers are overloaded with detachments, which prevents the correct conduct of political work. The latter in many provinces (Pskov, Arkhangelsk, Vologda and on the outskirts of Siberia and Turkestan) is generally poorly conducted due to the lack of experienced political workers.
Provisions for the units are generally quite satisfactory, and only in places in the Severo‐Dvinskaya province. and Turkestan was set up very badly, which affected both the combat capability of the units and the mood of the Red Army soldiers, among whom there was a demobilization mood. Recently, reports have become more frequent, indicating the lack of uniforms.
In the southwestern provinces of the Republic (Ukraine), the Red Army units fighting the bandits, with their unacceptable actions (sometimes ordinary robberies), anger the civilian population. There is no improvement in the supply of units located in Turkestan. Begging is developing among the Red Army soldiers. The poor financial situation noticeably demoralizes the Red Army soldiers. Borders are extremely weakly guarded. This situation has been going on for several months.
ACTIVITIES OF ANTI‐SOVIET PARTIES
Data on the activities of the RSDLP abroad for the reporting month are very scarce.
The organizational activity of the Mensheviks in Russia was mainly aimed at organizing aid in Moscow to those expelled with their families. In addition, she expressed herself: 1) in the production of elections to the Bureau of the Central Committee
RSDLP instead of the previously existing Central Committee, 2) in the breakdown of organizations into regional tens and the approval of authorized regional tens, 3) in the issue of the second issue of the circular letter to organizations, 4) in organizing an active four to manage the work of the youth union, and 5) in the resumption of organizational activities circles for discussing the party program and the current moment.
In the Ukraine, the activity of the Mensheviks after the rout was carried out revived only in Kharkov. The Kharkiv organization has again constructed a sponge and a city committee. The conspiracy in the organization has intensified. Issued No. 1 ʺSocial Democratʺ and No. 12 ʺBulletin of the City Committeeʺ. The city committee organized a troika in order to clear it of questionable elements. The cleaning is done behind the scenes. The Kharkov organization is divided into three districts: 1) Social Democratic, 2) professional, and 3) Bundist. Each district has its own liaison officer. The district is divided into dozens, headed in turn by the delegates. In other provinces of Ukraine, due to this defeat, the Mensheviks did not show vigorous activity.
From other regions of the Republic, Gomel can be noted, where the work of the Mensheviks covers the unions of printers, tanners, garment workers and Soviet workers, there are even factions. The Mensheviks are pursuing a course towards exemplary democracy. There is a connection with a local organization, with the Central Committee of the Bund in Minsk and the Central Committee of the RSDLP in Moscow, from where the instructional material is obtained.
In Vyatka, due to the presence of a large group of prominent members of the RSDLP in exile, revival is noticed. They speak at meetings in non‐party conferences, propose resolutions in the spirit of their party tactics. They have no connection with the working masses and are not popular.
In Tyumen there is a large group of Mensheviks ‐ 73 people. The latter has a connection with the center, receiving literature and instructions from there. The most significant group of Mensheviks is in the Tyumen EPO, where they enjoy some influence.
In Arkhangelsk, members of the RSDLP, together with the Social Revolutionaries, managed to provoke the workers of the shipyard to a strike.
In Siberia, the activity of the Mensheviks is concentrated in the workersʹ centers. Their work is aimed at gaining influence in cooperative bodies.
In Moscow, in connection with the arrest of members of the RSDLP, the organization does not show particular activity for fear of further arrests. Prominent members of the party are strictly conspiratorial and hide. From the daily work of the Mensheviks among the workers of Moscow, we note the work among the printers in connection with the ongoing Gubernia Conference and the work of the Mensheviks in the Mosprodkom.
During the reporting period, over 150 searches were carried out. A number of Social Revolutionary workers were arrested. A search of a member of the Central Bank of the AKP Chistoserdov found: the seal of the party, subscription lists in favor of the prisoners of the Social Revolutionaries, materials for the II Congress of the AKP, letters from the Foreign delegation of the AKP. Now the SocialistRevolutionaries are engaged in organizational work to restore the considerably battered Central Bank, the Moscow organization and ties with the provinces; organizational activities are also underway to convene the II Congress of the Party. The publishing activity of the Moscow bureau of the AKP has intensified for the period from August 15 to September 1: the newspaper Trud No. 5 and the leaflet ʺWho was triedʺ, and also intensively distributed illegal literature in the workersʹ districts of Moscow.
As for the mass work of the Socialist‐Revolutionaries, it is expressed in the following:
In Moscow, groupings of Social Revolutionaries are observed: in the Petrovsko‐Razumov Agricultural Academy, the Institute of National Economy named after Karl Marx, 1st State University and Institute of Oriental Languages.
Recently, several separate supplements to the Voice of Russia No. 119 of July 30 under the title ʺWorld Response to the Moscow Trialʺ have been received from abroad in the name of trusts, factory committees and other organizations. The Socialist‐Revolutionary newspaper Trud No. 3 was found in many factories and plants.
In the provinces: in the Southeast, the revival of the SR work is noticed only on the Black Sea coast. In the Sochi region there is the Liberation Committee ‐ an underground organization of the Social Revolutionaries.
In the Ostroh workshops, the Socialist‐Revolutionaries succeeded in holding several ʺItalianʺ strikes.
In Donbass, Stavropol province. the SRs are inactive. The Vladikavkaz Socialist‐Revolutionary group has ties with foreign
Socialist‐Revolutionaries. In general, the work of the SocialistRevolutionaries here is reduced to agitation against Soviet power and the preparation of the ground for strikes. But I must say that the work is not successful.
The work of the Social Revolutionaries in the Ukraine is not particularly significant. In Kharkov, bulletin No. 1 ʺVoice of the Socialist‐Revolutionaryʺ was issued with the article ʺTo the trialʺ. A connection has been established between the Kharkov organization and the organization of the Crimea and Kursk. It is possible that there is an all‐Ukrainian organization of Right SRs.
In the Western Territory, the work of the Social Revolutionaries was limited to mastering agricultural cooperation, which to some extent they succeeded. In Sychevsky, Volsky, Gzhatsky and Elninsky y. Smolensk lips. they managed to seize the trade and instructor departments of cooperative organizations. The base of the Social Revolutionaries is the local zemstvo organs with all their small ramifications, where they penetrate even as technical employees. A great revival in the work of the Social Revolutionaries is expected with the beginning of studies in higher educational institutions of Belarus.
In Turkestan, in Tashkent, there is a Socialist‐Revolutionary organization that conducts work in circles, fives, and has connections with the workers, but is not popular [with] the workers.
The work of the Social Revolutionaries in Siberia is mainly focused on cooperation. In this respect, the All‐Siberian Congress of Agricultural Cooperatives is indicative, where the SocialistRevolutionaries, together with the Cadets, presented a strong opposition. The appearance at st. Taishet SR literature and the newspaper ʺKrestyanskaya Volyaʺ, published in Chita, and the establishment of communication in Siberia through train controllers.
In Tyumen there is a group of Social Revolutionaries of about 20 people, most of whom have been members of the party since 1905.
In early August Potekhin and Klyuchnikov 198 returned from a trip to the South. Were in Kharkov, Poltava and Kiev. The lectures they gave were a great success, especially among the students.
The question of transferring the center of change to Moscow remains open until it is resolved by the Central Committee in Berlin, where Klyuchnikov and Potekhin went to report.
As for the organization of a cell of changeover here, they consider it so far impossible, due to the distrust and suspicion of the Soviet government to all undertakings, even with a minimal content of political tendencies.
In a month and a half, they intend to organize something like a literary scientific circle at the local department ʺOn the Eveʺ, which will have to unite all those who sympathize with change.
Recently, some members of the Society of Ukrainian Progressives, acting in full agreement with the Petliura government, have decided to organize a group of Ukrainian Smenovekhites. The organization of this direction is in the hands of the famous Petliura Foreign Minister Pikovsky. The negotiations with our Ukrainian office in Warsaw, however, were not successful.
The editorial board of Nakanune agreed to give a place in its organ for articles by Ukrainian Smenovekhites.
Now, instead of the previously published domestic magazine ʺNew
Russiaʺ, Smenovekhovites are publishing the magazine ʺRussiaʺ.
Of the activities of the cadets abroad, one can only note what is expected in September of this year. in Czechoslovakia, a meeting of members of the interim main committee of the All‐Russian Union of Cities.
In Russia, in connection with the ongoing Hague Conference, there was a great interest of the cadets in it. This is quite understandable for the reason that, in addition to the general political interest shown by the Cadets, there was also a material interest of many of them, former capitalists, because the Hague Conference resolved the issue of returning property to its former owners.
All the activities of the monarchists are still concentrated mainly abroad. The work of monarchists in Russia is insignificant if we talk about any kind of organized action. The most active place of work of monarchists in Russia is the South‐East, where the earlier societies “For a United Indivisible Russia” and “Union of the Russian People” continue their activities. The composition of these societies is the kulak strata of the peasantry, former bureaucrats, officers, professors and local intelligentsia. Their work is to support local banditry, disseminate various appeals, literature, anti‐Semitic brochures and rumors about the arrival of the landing force of
Wrangel, Nikolai Nikolaevich, etc.
In the last survey, a detailed description of all monarchist trends was given, of which the most significant are the German and French orientations, united by the Supreme Monarchical Council located in Berlin.
The Navy is currently in a serious crisis: it has split into a number of groups. The 1st group ‐ the absolutist legitimists led by Markov II, who has recently lost influence not only among monarchists, but even among French ruling circles (in general, Russian politics in France is based on Russian political circles headed by Milyukov 199 and the political groupings of the Social Revolutionaries and the Savinkov group standing closer to him); 2nd group ‐ ʺconstitutionalistsʺ, grouping around Maslennikov 200 and Efimovsky; 3rd group ‐ ʺThe Brotherhood of the White Crossʺ, or as they are called ʺkrestovikiʺ, with Pavlov and Kryzhanovsky at the head; the group is mainly joined by the military, all are ardent anti‐Semites. The group has closer ties to Russia than the rest and enjoys influence. 4th group ‐ ʺMunichʺ, ʺAufbauʺ, headed by Biskupsky, has the most funds and influence thanks on the support of the Bavarian government circles.
Currently, some of the members of the higher navy have moved to Munich, where the 2nd permanent center is being formed and where, as it is already known for certain, an international monarchist congress will take place on September 15. The move is due to the political situation in Germany and the move to Munich of Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich.
Now in Germany, another higher monarchist association has been formed ‐ the Supreme Monarchist Council. Its chairman is Nikolai Nikolaevich, the deputy chairman is Count Kokovtsev. Center ‐ Berlin ‐ Munich.
The funds of the Supreme Monarchist Council are very large and are allocated to members of the House of Romanov. The Navy is the supreme governing body of all monarchist organizations. The council has a military meeting headed by Biskupsky.
The Supreme Monarchical Council has close ties with the Supreme Monarchical Council and General Wrangel.
Particular influence is drawn on the organization of centers for underground work in Soviet Russia and Ukraine.
Russian monarchists in Germany work in close contact with the German monarchists and in some areas have political influence, however, significantly shaken after the assassination of Rathenau.
The statements of Markov II and Maslennikov in Paris are interesting, where both prove that only the tsar can save Russia. Markov II, pointing to the growth of monarchism in Russia, said that monarchists are now represented everywhere: in the Red Army and the foreign missions of Soviet power, where they work carefully and secure positions for the future. The statement about the growth of monarchism was supported by numbers: last year 23 organizations participated in the monarchist congress, in this one ‐ 120 announced their participation.
ʺNational Revivalʺ is closely associated with the Russian monarchist organizations of Yugoslavia.
In Paris, the activity of the ʺRussian National Unionʺ, which has branches in all the main points of Russian refugees, has begun to noticeably revive lately.
In view of the insignificant activity of other anti‐Soviet parties, the majority of whose organizations are scattered and do not show any activity, this time we do not give information about them.
The districts in which political banditry still takes place are Western, Ukraine, Caucasus, Turkestan and East Siberian.
In the Western Territory, gangs operate mainly in Minsk and Vitebsk provinces, where there are up to 750 active bandits, mainly members of the Savinka ʺNational Union of Defenders of the Motherland and Freedomʺ, led by good military strategists ‐ Colonel Brandt and the Pavlovsky brothers. All the attention of the leaders is directed to the joining of Belarus to Poland to create a ʺlegalʺ base for emigrants. Active and decisive measures to combat gangs are not being taken, despite the presence of rather large military forces.
In Ukraine, the activity of banditry in August greatly increased and by half of the month reached the highest development. Here banditry is concentrated mainly in Podolsk, Kremenchug and Kiev provinces. The most active and largest is Galichevskyʹs gang, consisting of 9 detachments and numbering 500 people. The activities of the gang are expressed in raids on large towns, railway stations, in the destruction of telephone, telegraph and railway property and in the destruction of co‐institutions. She is also conducting agitation among the population for the overthrow of Soviet power and for the establishment of power by the UN R.
Galichevskyʹs gang has extensive ties with the rest of the gangs operating in Podolia and Volyn. The leadership of the gangʹs activities comes from the Petliura center beyond the cordon. According to the latest information, famous chieftains Khmara and Shepel arrived in the gangs from behind the cordon.
In the Kremenchug province. the most active is the gang of Zagorodny and Zheleznyak. Friction is observed between the latter. Groznyʹs gang (Cherkassky district) was disbanded by Grozny as a result of an internal split.
In the Kiev province. operates a large number of active Petliura gangs.
Our units are not vigorously fighting all the indicated gangs. In most cases, military units arrive late at the raid site. Due to the immobility and lethargy of our units, the gangs easily dodge our blows.
In the rest of the provinces of Ukraine, political banditry has finally been eliminated. Only a few criminal gangs are being observed.
The total number of gangs is as follows: Petliura color ‐ 47, fighters
1270 with 15 machine guns; criminal ‐ 33 gangs, fighters 275. Unidentified ‐ 6 gangs. Makhnovsky ‐ 1 gang, 12 fighters.
In the North Caucasian district, banditry increased in August. The reason for this is the beginning of the collection of the tax in kind. The attention of the gangs is directed here to disrupt this campaign, by which they have now won again the sympathy of the wealthy peasantry. Gang activity is negligible. The most active are the gangs of Bogomazov, Mordachev and Povozh (Terskaya province).
In total, by September 1, there were 7 gangs, 1121 fighters.
The bodies for the fight against bavditism (the troops of the GPU, ChON 201 and the field command) have developed extensive KGB and military‐operational work. Some of the surrendered bandits are used for reconnaissance purposes, while some are organized into conspiratorial units to conduct a direct fight against the bandits.
In the Transcaucasian District, political banditry, with the exception of Colonel Chelokaevʹs gang in Georgia, does not exist. Small criminal gangs operate. Recently, there has been an increase in the number of raids on our border strip by Persian bands.
In Turkestan, under the influence of a wide offensive and the success of our troops, among the Basmachi, there is ever‐growing disorganization and panic, increasing the loss of the main leaders ‐ Enver Pasha, Davlet‐Minvey and Alim‐Khoja, killed in battles, and Muetdin, captured by us. ... In addition to losses incurred in battles with our units, the number of gangs decreased due to the dispersion of many Basmachi in the homes of.
It is necessary, however, to point out that the rear of our army has not been completely cleared of bandits and, since this work has not yet been carried out, one can always expect a serious blow from the rear.
At the beginning of August, there were 90 gangs of 31,280 people in Turkestan, by the end of August there were 67 gangs of 22,140 people.
In Siberia, banditry has greatly subsided. In the western part, relatively small gangs (only 7 gangs with a total number of 700 people) operate, mostly of a kulak‐SR coloration with a strong touch of criminality. There is no steering center. The most significantly developed banditry in the Altai lips. (5 gangs of 500 people). The largest is the Karman Chekurakov gang, with 220 members. However, even in this province, there is strong corruption among the bandits, which is caused by overwork and the consciousness of the aimlessness of the struggle.
In the East Siberian District, the reporting period is marked by the fall and elimination of banditry. This is explained by the above reasons, as well as decisive military measures and the improvement of the national policy of the Soviet government, as a result of which the broad masses of the Yakuts split away from banditry, which is supported exclusively by the intrigues of the Russian White Guards.
At present, the structure of two groups, headed by Korobeinikov and Afanasyev, is becoming clearer, around which small detachments are grouped, in total numbers reaching 2500‐3000 people in this area. The gangs operate under their own slogans with poorly hidden monarchical desires. Vigorous struggle has not yet been waged with these gangs, which have emerged relatively recently.
Deputy Chairman of the GPU Unshlikht
Head of the Information Department of the GPU Ashmarin