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Review of the political state of the USSR
Review of the political economy of the USSR for the month of December 1924
January 29, 1925
During the reporting period, the mood of the workers did not change compared to November. The number of strikes has slightly increased in comparison with November (November 10, December 21), without exceeding, however, the level usual for recent months. Most of the strikes (13) are due to lower rates and higher rates, delayed wages, one from staff cuts and one from New Style Christmas celebrations.
In certain branches of industry, conflicts on economic grounds were caused by the following reasons (see Appendix No. 1).
There are still many conflicts over wage arrears. However, by the end of December there has been a noticeable improvement ‐ for the first time in recent years, salaries have been paid on time at the
GOMZ plants (Sormovsky and Profintern in Bryansk province). Along with this, there has been a slight increase in the number of conflicts due to higher production rates and lower prices due to the fact that wages at a number of enterprises have decreased. In some places, this causes a strike mood and a deliberate decrease in labor productivity by workers. In December, 6 strikes took place in the metal industry, of which 4 were due to higher production rates and lower prices, and 2 were due to delayed wages. Mining
Most conflicts are caused by a delay in wages (in Ukraine and Siberia up to a month, in the Far Eastern Military District ‐ more than a month). In the Donbass, more than 22 thousand workers were laid off in a serious discontent. In the Anzhero‐Sudzhensky region (Siberia) 1,167 workers were laid off. In December, there were 4 strikes among miners, which were caused by: two ‐ delayed wages, one ‐ a decrease in wages and one ‐ a layoff.
Most of the conflicts are noted in the textile industry of the Central region on the basis of the implementation of increased production rates and new prices. In some places, due to high rates and poor quality of raw materials, the earnings of workers fell slightly. In the cloth factories, a number of conflicts over wage arrears continued. There were 7 economic strikes among textile workers in December due to: 5 ‐ high production rates and low prices, 2 ‐ delayed wages, in addition, there was a strike on the basis of celebrating Christmas in a new style (Novotkatskaya factory of the Serpukhov cotton trust).
In the forestry, chemical and food industries, there are still a lot of conflicts over wage arrears (from 2 weeks to 2 months). In the leather industry, conflicts have been noted on the basis of higher production rates and lower prices. There were strikes: one in the timber industry and two at Tabaktrestʹs cardboard‐box factories in Leningrad, all on the basis of low prices.
Mismanagement and abuse
In connection with the ongoing campaign to increase labor productivity, a number of abnormalities are revealed, which are the result of a lack of administrative apparatus (plant management, lower technical apparatus). A significant number of facts of mismanagement, neglect of production issues, abuse, etc., are noted, which in total cause an increase in overhead costs and thereby an increase in the cost of products. The identification of these facts is facilitated by the fact that all these shortcomings, ultimately affecting the position of workers (lower prices, downtime during piecework, staff reduction, etc.), worry workers, exacerbating their attitude towards an incapable or abusive administration. A number of the most characteristic facts presented below, in large part, relate to the industry of local importance, where control is much weaker than in large enterprises. However, this material makes it possible to establish the characteristic types of various kinds of shortcomings in the activities of the industrial administration.
Management flaws. The increase in overhead costs is primarily due to a significant increase in comparison with the pre‐war states, administration and employees. At the same time, many ʺspecialistsʺ have little understanding of their business. Special salaries, ʺovertimeʺ work, unproductive management costs, and, finally, advance payments to employees are all highly criticized by workers.
Technical flaws. A number of shortcomings in technical management at enterprises have a significant impact on the cost of production. As a result, there are many cases of damage to material, machinery and equipment, a huge amount of rejects, irrational distribution of work, untimely supply of raw materials, as well as unsatisfactory organization of equipment repair. All this causes long downtime of machines and forced absenteeism of workers (see Appendix No. 13).
The political mood of the village
Voter passivity and its reasons. The political state of the village in December was revealed very clearly during the past re‐elections to the Soviets. The re‐elections revealed in a number of districts the passive attitude of the broad mass of the poor and middle peasants towards the elections (5‐10% of voters were seats in the electoral meetings). This phenomenon is primarily due to the coincidence of re‐elections with pressure to collect a single agricultural tax. Along with this, the reason for it was in most cases the persistent holding of candidate lists prepared in advance by election commissions. On this basis, a number of speeches were noted, such as: ʺWe have nothing to choose, the communists have already chosen without usʺ, ʺthe candidates have already been prepared in envelopesʺ, ʺlet the authorities simply appoint the Soviets.ʺ The passivity and dissatisfaction of voters with the appointees in the Center and the
Western District were especially pronounced.
Decrease in the mood of the poor in connection with the strengthening of the kulaks. The elections revealed a certain deterioration in the mood of the poorest strata of the peasantry both as a result of the tax campaign and the growing dominance of the kulaks. Among the poor, there is a noticeable increase in the mood of antagonism with the city. In one of the letters to the Red Army, the author, pointing to the ruin of the economy as a result of crop failure and heavy taxes, writes: “We are in the balance of the 1921 famine. A certain correction of power unties the hands of the fists. We have a kulak dominance, often supported by Soviet workers. There is a new economic crisis, fists grow like filthy mushrooms after rain. The percentage of the poor is increasing. ʺ In the posted during the elections in one of the villages of the Terek region. a proclamation signed by a former Red Army soldier ʺwho whipped the belly of the bourgeoisieʺ states: ʺThe Communists derive only benefit for themselves. The dictatorship of the proletariat must be understood in the spirit that the Communist Party only gives advice to the government. Communists must not flirt with their fists. It is necessary to lower the rates of responsible workers and improve the situation of the peasants. ʺ
Increased antagonism to the city. Along with this, an intensification of antagonistic sentiments towards the city (especially in the Central Region and the West) was revealed at the election gatherings. There are many statements like that ʺthe worker lives well, although he only works 8 hoursʺ, ʺonly the communists live wellʺ, ʺThe Soviet government protects only the workers.ʺ Typical is the demand for equal rights for workers and peasants (Kaluga Gubernia) and lower wages for workers (at congresses in Tambov Gubernia).
The activity of the kulaks during the elections to the Soviets. In parallel with this, the kulaks took an active part in the elections, trying to strengthen their influence on the Soviet apparatus in them. Along with the passivity of the broad mass of voters, the kulaks in many regions are seeking to restore their electoral rights. A particularly increased activity of the kulaks was noted in the West, Ukraine, South‐East and Siberia. In the Ukraine, the kulaks during the reelections were closely associated with the clergy, part of the teachers and former bandits. In the Southeast, the kulaks act together with former re‐emigrants. In Siberia, the kulaks declare: ʺWe are the people, we have the right not only to elect, but also to rethink the entire Communist Party.ʺ
The desire of the kulaks to seize the grassroots co‐apparatus. The kulaks in a number of regions carry out special, political, preparatory work (they organize a campaign against the communists, outlining their lists of candidates, etc.), subordinating to their influence some of the middle peasants, and often the poor peasants. At the same time, it uses the general dissatisfaction with the ʺappointeesʺ and is campaigning for ʺSoviets without communistsʺ (in the South‐East a former Wrangelite says: ʺCommunists are not needed in the Soviets, but we have nothing against the Sovietsʺ), against the poor (ʺwhere can you be leaders, you yourself do not know how to run your own farm ”), against the“ Soviets of the Beardless ”(Komsomol members), sends his henchmen from the poor and middle peasants to the Soviets or disrupts meetings when their proposals are not accepted. In a number of cases, the kulaks terrorize voters with threats up to and including murder if her candidacy fails (Belarus).
Strengthening the positions of the kulaks in the grassroots coapparatus. As a result of the past elections, the grassroots government in certain regions (West, Ukraine, South‐East and partly the Center) turned out to be more polluted by the kulak and sometimes anti‐Soviet element. At the same time, part of the middle peasants and poor peasants often followed the kulaks, helping them to defeat the candidacies of the communists (in Belarus, in the Bobruisk district, none of the lists put forward by the election commissions completely passed) (see Appendix 3).
The exacerbation of the sentiments of antagonism towards the city by the kulaks. Against the background of a decline in the mood of the peasantry, the kulaks are striving to carry out their political tendencies among them. In the agitation developed during the reelection of the Soviets, the kulaks seeks to exacerbate the discontent of the peasants with the city and the Soviet regime, playing on discontent with taxes. The kulaks are developing intensive agitation against the communists, workers and Soviet power. This agitation is noted in all regions and is especially strong in Ukraine and the South‐East. In their speeches, the kulaks carry out the idea that ʺthe communists only gave the NEPmen a chance to cash in, but they did not improve the situation of the peasants,ʺ that ʺSoviet power robbing and oppressing the peasants,ʺ cannot ʺ,ʺ a working boot crushes the peasant bast shoes. ʺ
Anti‐tax campaigning. The kulaks are using the tax campaign to develop the fiercest anti‐Soviet agitation. Anti‐tax agitation boils down to the fact that ʺthe tax goes to the communists and to pay large salaries to employeesʺ, ʺthe government strangles the peasants with taxesʺ, ʺthey stifle the merchants with taxes, and this makes it even more difficult for the peasantsʺ, ʺthe peasantry under Soviet rule exists only to pay taxes.”, ʺWe achieved a tax, not freedomʺ, ʺthe peasants will not get rid of taxes until they revolt.ʺ In the Far East, the kulaks are putting forward the slogan: ʺComplete exemption from tax.ʺ
Trends towards the political organization of the peasantry. Along with the aggravation of the antagonistic mood towards the city, the kulaks in some places put forward the idea of the need for a political organization of the peasantry in the form of peasant unions. The tendency is most typical for Moscow Gubernia, Western Region (Smolensk and Gomel Gubernias and Belarus) and Siberia (Tomsk and Irkutsk Gubernias). Everywhere peasant unions are being promoted as organizations for the defense of the peasantry. In the Smolensk province. it was supposed to expand the rights of the KKOV, in Poltava province. ‐ the creation of a union modeled on American farmersʹ unions. In the Irkutsk province. noted a tendency towards the organization of the kulaks on an all‐Russian scale with the aim of putting pressure on Soviet power. In the Tomsk province. a proposal to organize a union was put forward by a local communist in the Moscow province. these proposals often come from workers who come to the village.
A bloc of the kulaks with the rural intelligentsia. The kulaks in their struggle and in their political form unite with the anti‐Soviet part of the rural intelligentsia (clergy, part of the teachers, etc.). Blocking with the Tikhonov clergy, the kulaks help the latter in strengthening the religion. Under the flag of church councils, kulak‐monarchist groups are being organized in a number of provinces. Together with the clergy and anti‐Soviet rural intelligentsia, the struggle against the PJIKCM is also being waged. The bloc of the kulaks with the anti‐Soviet part of the rural intelligentsia manifested itself especially during the re‐election of the Soviets (Ukraine), when the latter was preparing, together with the kulaks, the failure of communist candidates and the promotion of kulak candidates (see Appendix No. 5).
Intimidation of the poorest peasantry. In an effort to exert pressure on the poorest strata of the countryside during the re‐elections, the kulaks are spreading all kinds of provocative rumors, creating a mood of uncertainty about the strength of Soviet power among the broad masses of the peasantry. These rumors largely boil down to the popularization of the ideas of the monarchy (the return of Nikolai Nikolaevich with the support of foreign powers). The campaign aims to intimidate the Soviet‐minded part of the village with threats of brutal reprisals against it. Any international position of the Soviet power is interpreted as an imminent war and an early death of the Soviet power.
The struggle of the kulaks against the cultural organization in the countryside. The kulaks are also fighting the cultural organizations of the countryside. An active struggle is being waged against the Komsomol and the organization of pioneers (Siberia). There have been many cases of kulaks taking their children from Soviet schools.
Terror of the kulaks. In December, the terror as a method of active action by the kulaks against the Soviet‐minded part of the countryside takes on more serious proportions than in previous months. Terror in most cases is of a political nature and is aimed at paralyzing active Soviet‐minded elements in the countryside and all political cultural work in the countryside; terror manifests itself most of all where there is a strong class stratification (Siberia) or there are special group strata (gentry‐kulak element in the West). In December, 59 cases of individual terror were registered (murders ‐
13, beatings and injuries ‐ 21, attempts and threats ‐ 17, arson ‐ 8). Along with individual terror, there is also the use of mass terror in the form of arson of neat taxpayers (Saratov province), newly elected to village councils (Podolsk province), attempts on the life of local party and cultural workers (Ukraine and Siberia) and the poor on the basis of land management (Volga region, Yugvost, Siberia). In its movement, the terror in December, following the Central Region, covers, in addition to Siberia, which is in the first place (22 cases), and the Western Region, where 15 cases were registered in a month. Terror is directed against the communists ‐ 9, members of the KSM ‐ 6, chairmen of the village council ‐ 12, other workers of the grassroots soviet ‐ 11, village correspondents ‐ 8 and the poor ‐ 11 cases. In the Omsk province. there were even cases of terror against pioneers (see Appendix No. 6).
The economic stratification of the village
The aforementioned political sentiments in the countryside are based on the accelerated rate of economic stratification in the countryside in the reporting period as a result of the tax campaign, and for a significant area ‐ and the consequences of crop failure that are beginning to manifest themselves.
The severity of the tax for the poor. As in previous months, the overall burden of the tax continues to be felt, especially for the poor. A slight increase in bread prices in the reporting period in most of the Union smoothed out to a large extent the previously observed dissatisfaction with low limits. Strong dissatisfaction on this basis is still noted in the Far Eastern Military District, where state grain procurers found themselves without sufficient funds by the time the tax was collected, which greatly irritates the peasants. The rise in prices for agricultural products, making it easier for more powerful farms to pass the tax, did not improve the situation of small farms. The absence of a class line in the distribution of the tax. The severity of the tax on the poor is further exacerbated by the uneven distribution in some areas of the tax among peasant groups, with the result that the tax is often unenforceable for the poor. In a number of cases, the absence of a class line is noted in the taxation of low‐capacity farms, which is not to a small extent facilitated by abuses in the lower Soviet and tax apparatus. Privileges for the poor and families of the Red Army were sometimes not provided at all (Ukraine, Siberia and part of the West and the Volga region), and sometimes they were used by more powerful farms with the assistance of the grassroots apparatus (especially the Central Region and the North‐West). As a result, in a number of regions the overwhelming majority of tax evaders are poor.
Repression. Tax execution push has taken on some of the most unacceptable forms in the current campaign. Widespread discontent in the village is causing the appointment of shorter deadlines than those indicated on the salary sheets. On this basis, even direct refusals to surrender the tax earlier than the deadlines indicated in the salary sheets were noted (Central
District). Repressions, which boil down to mass arrests, inventories and confiscation of property (down to the last bread and clothing), overwhelmingly fall on the poor. Very often the smallest tax deferral is not allowed and the property of the poor is sold for a pittance. There are areas where repressions have hardly touched the kulaks. Massive use of repression is noted in the Central region, in Ukraine and the South‐East. In some places in this regard, there are indications that the tax of the current year resembles food appropriation. The Kuban District (Yugvost) stands out for the massive use of repression, where an inventory of the property of more than 5000 peasants was made, of which 2000 peasantsʹ property was sold at auction. Such pressure forces the poor to sell their property for next to nothing and accelerates the ruin of a lowpowered economy (see Appendix No. 7).
The ruin of a low‐power economy. The tax was only one of the factors that accelerated the rate of economic stratification in the countryside in the reporting period. The poor for the most part sold bread and livestock, and in some places and inventory at low prices. In areas of crop failure (the Volga region and partly Ukraine and the Center), the process of ruining the poor is especially strong. A significant percentage of the population here already feeds on surrogates or in the near future will be left without bread. The development of begging is observed (Ukraine). In the Volga region, the number of hungry people begins to grow and there are isolated cases of starvation (see Appendix No. 8).
The economic strengthening of the kulaks. Along with the ruin of the poor, there is a further strengthening of the well‐to‐do part of the village. With the depletion of grain reserves, the poorest peasantry again develop enslaving deals (in the form of a loan with grain under the obligation to work, lease land, etc.). In a number of districts, an increase in allotments from the wealthy peasantry is noted, mainly due to leasing from the poor. Usury is developing in the Siberian countryside. In the Volga region, the kulaks are buying up grain and cattle on a large scale.
This rate of stratification in the countryside is favored not to a small degree by the abnormalities of the grassroots co‐apparatus and cooperatives, and especially the land apparatus.
Disadvantages of the grassroots co‐apparatus. With the increased rate of economic stratification in the countryside, the unsatisfactory state of the grassroots government is a factor contributing to the growth of the political activity of the kulaks and, in part, to the growth of their economic power. Its improvement is extremely slow in comparison with the process of the stratification of the countryside. Typical shortcomings of the grassroots co‐apparatus: its contamination by the kulak and anti‐Soviet elements, ties with the kulaks, bribery, bureaucracy, arbitrariness ‐ these phenomena are observed almost everywhere (see Appendix No. 10).
Land management. FROM these shortcomings have a particular effect on land use issues. The weakness of the zemorgans with regard to land management (lack of land surveyors, red tape, contamination of the grassroots apparatus of zemorgan, and especially the lack of a clear line in the work of the zemapparat on the periphery) determines the spontaneity of the land management process. To a large part, the peasantry is managing the land by their own means. A powerful farm expands its allotments by leasing, and in some places (Ukraine, Yugvost and Siberia) by unauthorized seizure of land (including from the state fund). As a result of this, in a number of cases, large tracts of land are concentrated in the hands of the kulaks (in the Center up to 30‐50, in the West up to 80, in the Ukraine even 150‐200 dess.). The struggle develops mainly along the line of the desire of certain groups of low‐power peasants (middle peasants and part of the poor) to expand their allotments by redistributing, switching to improved forms of land use and even reaching the cut (this latter applies to the middle peasants and is especially strong in the Central Region). The prosperous part of the village in those areas where its actual land use is higher than the norm, seeks to retain these large allotments and in every possible way opposes the conduct of land management (Center, Ukraine, Yugvost and Siberia). In the South‐East, there is a particularly acute struggle, which has the character of estate, for land between the Cossacks and nonresident (land‐poor). The aspirations of the peasantry to carry out land management often do not find support in the grassroots soviet, especially if they run counter to the tendencies of the well‐to‐do part of the village, which hinders the improvement of land use. In those cases, when the kulak part of the village is interested in the allocation of cuts, such allocation, as the facts say, often occurs with exceptional speed and at the same time, as a rule, it is disadvantageous for the rest of the village (the worst land) and exacerbates the discontent of the poor.
Cooperation. Against the background of the economic stratification of the countryside, with the rapid growth of the kulak economy and private capital and the no less rapid process of impoverishment of the broad poor peasant masses, their cooperation is proceeding at a very slow pace. In some places in some areas of the Union (the Urals, some provinces of the Center), the inability of the consumer cooperation to help the peasant in the sale of grain and other products during the tax period caused the outflow of members from the grassroots cooperation. In most regions of the Union, nevertheless, by the end of the reporting period, there is a slow increase in the number of members in consumer cooperation (Volga region, Yugvost, some provinces of the Center and other regions). In general, both main types of cooperation ‐ consumer and agricultural ‐ suffer from a lack of working capital (and the range of goods necessary for the peasant in consumer cooperation), mismanagement and abuse of management, very often littered with anti‐Soviet and kulak elements and a kulakmercantile bias (high share membership fees that close the doors to cooperation for the poor, work for a kulak and a merchant, lending to kulaks, etc.), while consumer cooperation continues to be noted for the high cost of goods and large markups. Special mention should be made of the squandering of public funds received by the cooperatives in the form of subsidies, grants and loans and the seizure of cooperative organizations by private capital, which is why they are often actually one of the forms of its unification. The squandering of the means of cooperation goes through extremely large expenditures on the maintenance of the boards and apparatus, irrecoverable debts of management boards and waste (in the Tersk district of the South‐East, the Priluksky agricultural partnership suffered a loss of 5,150 rubles due to excessive business trips and high salaries to members of the board ‐ the chairman received 120 rubles, members of 100 rubles a month; in Moscow province in Mytishchi agricultural partnership, the board owed 10,000 rubles; in the Volga region, the chairman of the EPO of one of the farms, together with a member of the board, spent up to 20,000 rubles). The seizure of cooperatives (consumer and agricultural) by private capital is mostly expressed in the fact that the private trader or kulak is supplied on the most favorable terms with goods or credit, and gradually the cooperative capital merges with the private trader, and the private trader begins through cooperation to work for himself and for the kulak, or fictitious cooperatives of private traders and kulaks are created. Sometimes kulaks, having seized the boards of cooperatives, block access to the poor and unite kulak and trade elements around them.
Relationships in a Muslim Village
The struggle of the natives with the Russians on the basis of land use. In Kyrgyzstan, land conflicts with the onset of the winter period have lost their acuteness. The largest percentage of collisions in an active form during the summer fell on the loss of Russian crops by the Kyrgyz, and in connection with the end of field work, those stopped. However, the lull is only seasonal and with the onset of spring a new aggravation of the issue should be expected. The latter is all the more possible since a strong development of antagonism between the Russian and Kyrgyz populations will take place in connection with the land management of the Kirghiz population. So far, the latter are noted in sharper forms in the Akmola and Semipalatinsk provinces, where, in fact, only the land management of the Kyrgyz was carried out.
In Turkestan, land conflicts are also noted on a much smaller scale (mainly in the Syr‐Darya region). Disputes focus on the use of irrigated areas and often spill over into fights between Russians and natives. The clashes are mainly caused by the demand of the natives to provide them with previously owned lands that are now in the exploitation of the Russian population.
In Bashkiria, the land issue was more acute in the fall. At the heart of the provoking clashes is the uneven distribution of land between the indigenous and alien populations. When sowing winter crops, there were numerous cases of lease by the Russian peasantry of unused (due to the weakness of their farms) lands by the Bashkirs and discontent on this basis among the Russian part of the population. The latter took on an especially acute character in connection with the unresolved old disputes and resulted in armed clashes.
Animal stealing. Affected in Akmola Gubernia, mainly on the Kyrgyz economy (as a weaker one), natural disasters in recent years cause the development of cattle theft. This is facilitated by the aggravation of relations in this province on the basis of land use between the Kyrgyz and the Russians. In this regard, among the Russians, a hostile attitude towards the Kyrgyz is growing, resulting in demands for the most severe measures in relation to the Kyrgyz cattle thieves and, in some cases, even in lynching the caught thieves.
National tribal struggle among the indigenous population. In Turkestan, in the Syr‐Darya and Dzhetysu regions, in the relationship between various groups of the indigenous population, there is an increase in cattle theft, which takes the form of armed raids, often ending in murders.
In Kyrgyzstan, similar facts are noted in Akmola province. On the part of the population, there is discontent with the soft measures against cattle stealers.
In the North Caucasus, numerous robberies and cattle thefts do not stop. The most acute issue is in Dagestan and Chechnya, where cases of blood feud and armed clashes join the noted phenomena. Almost every more or less major conflict ends in a shootout and entails a strong aggravation of relations in the future. In Chechnya, a new type of banditry has recently begun to develop ‐ taking people into captivity in order to obtain a ransom. On the border of Ingushetia and Georgia, as an echo of the Khevsur‐Ingush clash, two Ingush were killed.
National and tribal struggle for the authorities. In Turkestan in the Uzbek regions and the southern part of the Syr‐Darya region. the tribal and group struggle around the lower apparatus is developing especially strongly. Up to 70% of the population is drawn into the groupings formed on the basis of the struggle for the lower organs of power. The leaders of the groupings, in most cases, are often associated with representatives of the district authorities (UI K and UKOM), who also conduct constant squabbles and seek to ensure their popularity by attracting the leaders of lower groups to their side. The group struggle reaches especially strong development in tribal relationships within the Kirghiz population and in connection with the national demarcation in relations between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz.
In Kyrgyzstan, a similar phenomenon is noted in the Akmola, Ural and partially Kustanai provinces. Here, in most cases, groupings are formed according to genus and are headed either by clan aksakals or by the most prosperous individuals. In some cases (which also applies to Turkestan), in the election campaign, the groupings nominate not their leader, who is in most cases a well‐to‐do person, but some poor man under their influence as a candidate for the Soviets.
Stratification of a Muslim village. In Turkestan, the results of the past cotton campaign show the rise of the dekhkan economy at the expense of the more prosperous strata. The increasing activity of the bayism is most clearly manifested in relation to its reactionary part ‐ representatives of the former ʺclan and spiritual aristocracyʺ, which in a significant number of cases continues to enjoy the same influence on the population. The central moments in the activities of these strata (it is precisely from among which the leaders of the groupings often originate) are the seizure of grassroots power and agitation against new‐method schools.
The re‐elections of the grassroots Soviets in the former Basmak regions ended in most cases with the election of the Baysko‐Basmak elements or their supporters. This will strengthen the position of the reactionary baist, which is why the further development of the group struggle will greatly delay the final liquidation of the Basmachi. The movement of reactionary beating against Soviet schools also takes on a political character (there are facts of murder of supporters of teaching according to the new method).
In Kyrgyzstan, despite the relatively fast pace of proletarianization of the low‐power strata of the aul, the ideological formation of both the wealthy and the poor (in conditions of patriarchal clan survivals) is proceeding slowly. This process takes place most quickly in connection with the tax campaign. Discontent with taxes among the indigenous population is noted mainly on the part of the Bai elements, who oppose the granting of benefits to the poor. The reelections of the Soviets, which were held in the same direction, acted in the same direction, under which the bayism, deprived of voting rights, expressed sharp discontent.
In Bashkiria and Tataria, a manifestation of the activity of a fully formed kulak stratum is noted. The tendencies of the kulaks are manifested in the desire to seize the lower organs of power (protests against candidates nominated by the communist faction and election commissions). In a significant number of cases, supporters of the kulaks were elected to village councils (see Appendix No. 14).
The mood of the Red Army
Reflection of peasant sentiments. This period can be characterized by an aggravation of tax sentiments, this is reflected in the numerous letters with which the Red Army men are thrown from the villages. On this basis, the activity of the anti‐Soviet element among the Red Army masses (kulaks, merchants, purged high school students) is intensifying. Cases of open anti‐Soviet actions of the Red Army at political hours and conversations are becoming more frequent, as before, there are cases of opposition between the city and the village. In addition, there are frequent cases of a fall in discipline, expressed in laxity and licentiousness (sleeping in posts and non‐observance of orders). Tax dissatisfaction can be illustrated by the following examples. The Red Army soldiers of the Kron [Stadt] fortress of the LVO express something like this: “You don’t feed us with fables, look ‐ they don’t give us anything in the village, donʹt even pay attention. ʺ 10th division of the Moscow Military District: “We are only promised here that there will be a discount on the tax in kind, but in reality there is no such thing, only injustices are happening everywhere”.
Discontent with the RCP and the Soviet regime affects political hours. The Red Army men use this opportunity to speak out. In the 79th regiment of the Western Military District, a Red Army soldier, having received a letter from home with tax complaints, introduced him to other Red Army soldiers, who reacted to this letter like this: “Why are political workers and commanders deceiving us, talking about order, and oppressing the poor locally?” Another Red Army soldier of the communications company said during political hours: ʺYou all sing well, but in reality it does not work out that way.ʺ A group of Red Army men was created in the artillery regiment of the 21st division of the SVO, seeking to use political hours to criticize the Soviet government and the RCP. These Red Army men, referring to the food detachments of 1920, say: ʺThey robbed and ruined the peasants, they rotted the selected grain, since the party and the Soviet government did not care about the peasants.ʺ In the 105th regiment of the SVO, some Red Army men said: “Soviet power is not power, but robbery. If there is a war, then we will send the communists to fight, and if they do not go, then we will kill them and will not fight. In the 3rd division of the KKA, a Red Army soldier, the son of a merchant, agitates among the masses against the ʺunjustʺ actions of the command staff: ʺWe do not serve in the Red Army, but in the red penal servitude.ʺ
The students purged from universities, who ended up in units with the autumn replenishment, have already managed to show their negative activities, instilling discontent in the Red Army with discipline in the Red Army, taxes, etc. (ZVO, LVO,
SKVO). Discontent on the basis of material and living conditions also occurs in all districts.
In the troop, dissatisfaction with the material and living conditions even increased, in particular, poor housing and sanitary conditions cause discontent among the cadre Red Army troopers (33, 2, 99, 12 divisions and most parts of the Moscow Military District).
The decline in discipline among the Red Army in this period can be characterized by the following figures for the reporting month.
1) Refusal to execute orders 181 cases
2) Simulation 238 .. ʺ..
3) Desertion 47 .. ʺ..
The mood of the command staff is still determined by material security and, in addition, by the strength of the position in the service. This period, like the previous ones, reveals dissatisfaction with the material conditions on the part of the command staff, since the increase in salary did not fully justify the hopes that had been placed. A particularly bad mood is noticed among the junior command personnel, the least well‐off. In close connection with this is the lack of attention to service on the part of the command staff, negligence and laxity (SKVO and KKA).
The ugly phenomena among the command staff did not diminish in comparison with last year, drunkenness even increased.
In addition, the growth of negative phenomena among political workers deserves attention. Here one can note the tactless attitude towards the party members and the Red Army men, drunkenness and even groveling, and sometimes abuse. During this period, 27 large responsible political workers, military commissars showed themselves from the negative side ‐ circumstances testifying to signs of some decay among the political staff, among these political workers ‐ one nachpodiv.
9 political workers were noticed in such misdeeds, and 18 political workers in the field. The most typical examples are given. In 34 divisions, the military commissar sows ethnic strife between Tatars and Russians. In the 1st division of the Privo Military District, the military commissar of the regiment is seeking from the bureau of the cell to reprimand comrades who opposed him at the meeting. In the 2nd division, the commissar of the artillery regiment uses the Red Army for personal purposes. In the 7th division of the UVO, the military commissar of artillery performed a number of abuses, including forgeries. The military commissar of the 84‐cavalry regiment of the 8th brigade, drunk to the point of being drunk, opened fire. Ottorg of the 35th regiment of the 6th division of the Western Military District at the evening of the railroad workersʹ soldering got drunk to the point of disgrace. All these phenomena appropriately set the Red Army men against the political workers.
Nutrition. As in the previous period, in parts there is an equally poor quality of products. This is observed in both field and territorial units (7, 6, 37 divisions, 4 cavalry brigades, 99, 80, 17, 81, 56 terdivisions). Here and poor‐quality meat, rotten flour with worms (1 and 2 concor), etc.
Insufficient supply of parts. In addition, during the reporting period, abnormal phenomena in the field of self‐procurement deserve attention. Unprofitable contracts with state procurement bodies, which supply parts at prices more expensive than market ones (UVO, ZVO, PrivO, OKA). So, in the UVO, almost all supplies of the districtʹs high‐tech facilities are handed over to Tsupvoenpromkhoz, which fulfills its obligations not in good faith.
In OKKA, the price for meat supplied to the district is too high ‐ 7 rubles. The market price in the area of the 2nd division and partly OKKB is equal to 3‐4 rubles. 50 kopecks. and with the best quality meat. Unsuccessful contracts are also joined by poor quality products. Below are the most typical examples of failed contracts. In the 27th division of the Western Military District, an agreement was concluded for the supply of hay for parts with the Plushevsky Consumer Society at a price of 37 kopecks. per pood, while the market price is 28‐30 kopecks. In the 37th division, an agreement was signed with the okkomzap for hay at 48 kopecks. without transportation, while on the market ‐ 40 kopecks. with delivery to the place. The same disadvantageous contracts were concluded in a number of other divisions: 34, 2, 29 terdivisions. There are examples when the same organization sells products to parts at different prices. So, the 6th regiment of the 2nd Terdivision of the Western Military District signed an agreement with the SNKh of Belarus for the supply of meat at 4 rubles. 75 kopecks, and the 7th division entered into an agreement with the same organization for the same products at a price of 4 rubles. Small units of divisions, if they are not on the allowance of larger units, make blanks without any contracts (SVO, PrivO).
It is also necessary to point out that various intermediary and statetrading enterprises use the weakness of the army apparatus in order to make a profit and arrange various combinations. So, in the Western Military District, having supplied 7 cavalry divisions, he concluded an agreement with the invalid commission for 800,000 poods. hay, in the process of delivery the invalid commission waives the contract, and as a result they had to reload the hay to their own account, which caused unnecessary expenses in the amount of 8649 rubles.
It is also necessary to note the spoilage of products, due to poor storage in the KKA food base, 1500 poods rotted. buckwheat and 70,000 poods. the grain is piled in the open and is spoiled. In the Vinnitsa food store UVO 5000 poods. oats are considered unfit, and 28,000 require shoveling. The arrived 17 wagons of barley are infected with a weevil.
ANTI‐SOVIET PARTIES AND GROUPS
Lively work continues among the anarchists, especially among young people (Leningrad and Moscow provinces). In Moscow, the youth activists demand to go underground and re‐elect the WFA secretariat. In the Saratov, Smolensk and Tomsk provinces, the agitation of anarchists in the countryside, in the IvanovoVoznesensk province, was noted. and Poltava literature was distributed in the Yaroslavl province. work is underway among transport workers.
In Leningrad, the organization of the RSDLP issued in a small number of copies on a typewriter two appeals to the British delegation (from the Leningrad Committee of the RSDLP and on behalf of a group of workers). The operation carried out here confiscated literature and correspondence from factories and plants. In other areas, the Mensheviks were not noted. The publication of statements on disassociation from the RSDLP continues.
There was no active activity of the Right SRs. In Leningrad, during a partial operation, two prominent members of the AKP were arrested. In Vyatka, exiled Onipko and Brunshtein quit the party through the press. The student group has published the first issue of the art magazine ʺSvoyi Waysʺ.
The established information bureau is carefully making connections with localities and abroad. The Moscow student Left Socialist Revolutionary organization has contacted the Leningrad and Oryol groups, maintains contact and leads the Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Oryol, Kaluga and Novocherkassk groups. Regular correspondence has been established between the Moscow student organization and the Foreign delegation.
There has been a significant increase in the sending of monarchist leaflets and proclamations from abroad by mail. In December, 205 White Guard leaflets and proclamations and 7668 emigrant newspapers and magazines (mostly monarchist) were detained at the Moscow Post Office. On the day of the anniversary of October in the town of Kalach Bogucharsky u. handwritten appeals of the monarchical content ʺTo the oppressed peasantryʺ signed by the ʺDefense Headquarters of the South of Russiaʺ were pasted up. According to available information, such appeals appeared simultaneously in the town of Borisoglebsk, Tambov province. The connection between monarchical circles and Tikhonovʹs clergy is noted. In the Oryol province. the monarchists use church councils to unite. In the Bryansk province. in the town of Pochep an appeal of the anti‐tax content ʺMuzhichkiʺ was found. In the Far East, overseas monarchist groups are working through insurgent cells. The connection between the border kulaks and the overseas monarchist groups is noted.
Monarchist movement in the Russian emigration. Kirillovna. Kirillovna are carrying out intensive organizational work. An operational department was organized. Instead of one ʺSovereign Councilʺ, ʺconferences on the constitution of imperial Russiaʺ are organized in each country (ʺconferencesʺ in France, Germany and Yugoslavia have been approved). In Germany, the representative office of Kirill Vladimirovich was established in the form of ʺFerein of Friends of Russian Cultureʺ. Victoria Fyodorovna took a trip to America, where she hoped to receive a scholarship for 500‐600 students in Germany, in order to reinforce among them the Cyril mood and to establish ties with purged from universities in Russia. She received only 20 thousand dollars. In Paris, the Kirillovites are organizing ʺfightingʺ squads (5 people each) with the aim of organizing terrorist acts against the Bolsheviks. Those leaving for Russia are entrusted with a comprehensive acquaintance with local monarchist circles and the organization of triplets on the ground for terrorist acts. Kirillʹs representative office in Riga has a large amount of monarchist literature intended to be sent to Russia.
Nikolaevtsy. A complete reconciliation took place between Nikolai Nikolaevich and Wrangel. At the insistence of the National Committee of the Trade and Industrial Union and the Union of Officers‐Participants of the Great War, Nikolai Nikolayevich agreed to take on the title of ʺCommander‐in‐Chief of all Russian military forces abroadʺ, as well as ʺhead of the central military organization.ʺ People are being looked for to send them with the onset of spring to Soviet Russia. At the headquarters of Nikolai Nikolaevich, a plan is being developed for a spring landing on the
Caucasian coast. The weapon is supposed to be received from Romania or Bulgaria. The ʺrebelsʺ should be the mainstay of the landing. It will probably be headed by Ulagay.
The liveliest activity of Zionist organizations is noted in Belarus (especially among young people). Recently, they have begun infiltrating factories, where their attached members are working to draw Jewish working youth into the organization. They receive literature from Leningrad. The newspaper ʺVperyodʺ is published in Minsk in Hebrew, appeals and leaflets are printed.
There are also Zionist organizations and groupings in Gomel, Smolensk, Leningrad and almost all Ukrainian provinces. In Leningrad, a chapirograph newspaper ʺOur newsʺ, brochures and other materials are published. A number of active Zionists have been arrested in Gomel, Kiev, Odessa, Yekaterinoslav and Poltava provinces. After these operations, the activity of the Zionist organizations and groups dropped significantly.
The mood of the student body. For the most part, the non‐proletarian student body continues to be passive. The main issue that worries students is their financial situation. In some part of the students of Leningrad universities there is an opinion that they will have to quit education due to material needs. The completed purge dissipated the atmosphere that had thickened at the beginning of the purge, and the students began their academic work. There is a keen interest in the question of Trotskyism in all universities.
Groupings. In Moscow, a bandit group of expelled students was liquidated, trying to organize expropriation for the acquisition of material resources and move to Ukraine. In Leningrad, a rather close‐knit organization of expelled students was identified, connected with similar organizations in Moscow and other cities, with the goal of achieving full restoration of student rights or facilitating the conditions of externism, and at its core is hostile to the Soviet regime and ready to take an active part.
In the city of Pskov, a group of Mensheviks was identified among the students of the pedagogical technical school who were conducting anti‐Soviet agitation in the districts.
In most of the districts (Center, North‐West, Volga region) extremely petty criminal banditry is observed.
West. In the foreign region, there is intensive work on the organization of gangs. The Nesvizh headman Chernotsky organized a detachment of scouts. In the inner region, criminal banditry takes place, it is especially developed in the Gomel province. and some districts of Belarus.
Ukraine. The Polish headquarters of the border corps allocated large sums for the organization of ʺdancingʺ in the border zone with us for active reconnaissance actions. A raid by a foreign gang on a border hut was noted. Yamino.
Southeast. In the Cossack regions, banditry was temporarily eliminated.
Transcaucasia. The activity of both local and Turkish and Persian gangs is noted. One of the leading leaders of the August uprising, Oniani‐Malaki, was killed.
Turkestan. The leaders of the Basmachi gangs are trying to raise an uprising through agitation among the population; one of the famous ringleaders Anna Bela (Khorezm) contacted Dzhunaid and campaigns against the delivery of the tax, since he, allegedly, with the help of powers hostile to the USSR, will soon take power into his own hands. The gang of Kurbash Mustafa Kul, who crossed over from Eastern Bukhara, united with other gangs, in the amount of 800 people defeated our small cavalry detachment, Ibrahim‐bek is also expected to arrive in this detachment, the operation is aimed at pulling our forces away from Eastern Bukhara by conscription to the
Siberia. In the regions most affected by banditry (Yakutia, part of the Irkutsk and Yenisei provinces), there is corruption among the bandits, individual leaders and ordinary bandits leave the bands.
In the Yenisei province, in addition to the two newly emerging criminal gangs Molchanovs and Spirin, there is also a grouping of former red partisans under the slogan ʺDown with the bastardsʺ, ie. former Kolchak workers and kulaks working in the Soviet apparatus.
DVO. Colonel Shaposhnikov, who heads the white movement in the Manchurian‐Hailar region, has appointed recruiting commissioners in a number of large centers. Shaposhnikov is directly related to the former General Vishnevsky, who is in Harbin; assistance is provided by the Japanese, acting through Ataman Semyonov. Foreign gangs are preparing a raid on our territory (the Litvintsev and Ovechkin gang).
In the inner region, armed raids on populated areas have become more frequent, the activity of bandits is explained by the transfer of the Chinese railway to the USSR and the penetration of Soviet influence abroad in this connection. The White Guard has moved away from its familiar place and seeps into the Soviet territory for new adventures. The attitude of the population to the gangs is negative, as evidenced by the supply of fodder and horses to our units.
Deputy Chairman of the OGPU Yagoda
Head of the Information Department of the OGPU Prokofiev
With genuine true: Secretary of the Information Department