On Tuchachevsky - Trotsky Conspiracy Collaboration - Transcripts

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Transcripts of The meeting of The Military Council under the People's Commissar of Defense of the USSR June 1-4, 1937

(Morning session June 4, 1937)

Archive: RGASPI. F. 17. Op. 165.D. 61.L. 1‐191.


Meeting of the Military Council with the participation of invited comrade commanders and political workers on June 4, 1937 (morning session) [1]

Voroshilov . I give the floor to Comrade Belov, the commander of the troops of the Moscow Military District.

Belov . Comrades, some of the speakers here said that it was difficult for them to speak because they were in very close relations with some enemies of the people. Others said that they worshiped the halo with which some enemies of the people were surrounded, such that these enemies of the people often referred to the authority of Comrade Stalin, the authority of Comrade Molotov, and the authority of Comrade Voroshilov; like the fact that they often said that they were at Comrade Stalinʹs easily and that they almost consulted with him about all the events that took place in the country. I cannot refer to anything, I can only refer to my own stupidity, thanks to which I had something to do with the enemies of the people.

I, comrades, from an early age fell out of favor with the Trotskyist gang. If not for the personal intervention of Comrade Stalin in 1920, I would have simply been shot, and I would have been shot at Trotskyʹs direct orders. I was in Central Asia at one time, 4 years ‐ whether it was bad or good ‐ I fought, and Trotsky hated me only through telegrams and radio lines for some of my direct refusals to carry out his orders.

If not for Comrade Stalin, not Comrade Voroshilov and not Comrade Molotov, I would not have been in the army long ago, because I was demobilized from the army twice. And all this was done by the Trotskyist gang. Quite naturally, I hated this whole Trotskyist gang as much as a man could hate. And Tukhachevsky, Uborevich, and Yakir, of course, did not enjoy what is called any authority. Whether my reasoning is right or wrong, I must report to you that I never believed in their military authority. I must tell you frankly that I also had conversations with everyone about this. Of course, I did not go to the Central Committee, I did not go for a simple reason: I could talk to the Peopleʹs Commissar whenever and how much I wanted. I cannot say that the Peopleʹs Commissar did not speak to me. The Peopleʹs Commissar talked to me and talked as much as I demanded.

But, comrades, in recent years I have literally stopped talking with the Peopleʹs Commissar. The Peopleʹs Commissar has already said here that there were no real signals, no fundamental signals from anyone, but signals of a quarrelsome order. In this regard, I say directly that I have reached an agreement to the point that it seemed to me: then conversations of a literally quarrelsome order begin. I could be suspected of competing with someone. I cannot say that I did not compete with regard to the advanced districts and the second‐class districts, operative‐thinking people and non‐operative‐thinking people. I tried all the time to prove that we are not worse than the Uborevichs, not worse than the Tukhachevs, not worse than the Yakirs. I do not think that we worked worse, and for all my modesty I, for example, consider it necessary to state here that we worked not worse, but better. But the trouble is.

Stalin . They did not know how to show the goods with their face. Budyonny . They could not rub glasses. (Laughter.)

Belov . For example, I am shy. How many times have I performed and every time I perform I feel like Iʹm performing for the first time. When I catch the eye of Comrade Stalin or Voroshilov, I am always shy, I sweat and, frankly speaking, probably how many times I looked like a fool in front of Comrade Stalin. They will ask me ‐ I need five minutes to swing; and Comrade Stalin did not listen for more than five minutes. And it turned out that all these Tukhachevskys, Yakirs and Uborevichs, all this bastard, she was not ashamed of anything and felt better than us.

Stalin . Waste‐ta, rata‐ta‐ta!


Belov . Yes Yes. Therefore, they represented the army, commanders, and political workers in whatever form.

Stalin . They studied military affairs after all.


Belov . I now consider it necessary to report to you that they studied military affairs in a fraudulent manner.

Stalin . For themselves, they still knew military affairs.


Belov . Iʹll tell you now. I began to study in 1919. They began to study from childhood. The difference, of course, is huge, and, undoubtedly, before [19] 24‐1925. they were taller than us. But from the moment they felt like nobles ‐ and everyone could see this ‐ they stopped studying, and we ‐ myself and a number of other comrades: Fedko, Uritsky, Dybenko literally suffered over our studies. After all, how did this son of a bitch Uborevich work? At 2‐3 oʹclock in the morning he calls his subordinates, and these subordinates are idiots, then they complain that he did not sleep at night, works around the clock. I havenʹt slept many nights in my life.

Stalin . But didnʹt you call anyone?


Belov . No. And to be honest, I must say that sometimes you work at night and you want it to go unnoticed, because it’s unpleasant to say: you don’t have time to work during the day, which means there’s some imperfection in the structure. I don’t know who I can compete with in terms of my lack of sleep. I did not compete with anyone, but I never called a single subordinate after 12 at night.

Voroshilov . They also called; people complained!


Belov . Well, there are subordinates who complain if you call them at 10 oʹclock. And the subordinates are idiots, not all are good. (General laughter.) So, these people very skillfully rubbed their glasses on both subordinates and leaders. After all, their general development was great.

Stalin . Not really. Belov . The gloss was.


Stalin . If they had a military development, then the general development of Tukhachevsky, Uborevich, and Yakir was small.

Belov . It seemed to me that they had a gloss. Stalin . Gloss is another matter.

Belov . They knew how and could talk. For example, I canʹt smile when I donʹt want to. (General laughter.) The Peopleʹs Commissar often scolded me: that you are like a biruk. And I cannot do otherwise. I cannot. And they, for example, hated me. Hated for what?

Stalin . They thought you were retarded.


Belov . Yes, they believed that I was retarded, they believed that I was a lackey.

Voroshilov . Kholui?


Belov . Yes, Voroshilovʹs lackey.


Voice . Thatʹs right, there were such conversations.


Belov . They praised you, Comrade Stalin, from time to time — thatʹs right; but how they used my crazy wife to make me ...

Stalin . They were careful about their faces; they did not say a single word to me. In front of me, they were careful.

Belov . They acted through their wives. How Uborevich used his, this madam. I had a crazy wife, but this, comrades, is a misfortune.

Voroshilov . It is said to be a misfortune. Belov . No doctor, no idiot could confirm this. She was crazy.

Voroshilov . Some of your friends said that she should be put in an insane asylum.

Belov . And then they would say: ʺBelov put his wife in an insane asylum.ʺ In short, this bastard used everything. And, by the way, I must report on what the system was. They beat me in Turkestan, beat me to death, beat me to madness, beat me in Moscow, beat me in Berlin, and beat me with the same weapon. And this is where I am leading:I wassuch [2] an idiot, what a politically underdeveloped person I was ‐ I was ashamed to report to the same Comrade Voroshilov regarding the bullying in Berlin. Now, of course, all this is simple, but even then, it was simple and clear, but I did not give a detailed report to Comrade Voroshilov.

I came to Berlin. Suppose I am an undeveloped person according to the representation of a number of people. I came to Berlin to study, and I needed more assistance than anyone else. Comrade Voroshilov said that everything would be done, and Berzin wrote to his military attaché and said that everything would be secured. I come to Berlin. Putna begins to mock me from start to finish. Representative. You all know that representatives in a bourgeois state are of great importance. Uborevich and Yakir were given $ 150 a month for entertainment expenses, and I was immediately put on $ 50.

Stalin . Who arranged it? Belov . Putna.

Stalin . And did you put up with it?


Belov . I didnʹt even write to Comrade Voroshilov, I endured it. Stalin . Serves you right! (Laughter.)

Voroshilov . He came to one representative meeting, where he was supposed to treat, greet, and he talked for five minutes and swung his fist in the face of the German.

Voice . And he smiled at the same time.


Belov . Uborevich and Yakir ‐ this is perhaps insignificant, but typical for our behavior ‐ Uborevich and Yakir lived in the building of the embassy, and I was not even allowed to look into this embassy.

Stalin . And did you put up with it?


Belov . I endured. I was sent to a hotel for which I was paying $ 100 a month. I had a conversation with Krestinsky as a plenipotentiary, where is he now?

Stalin . He is arrested.


Belov . Well, thatʹs good. I had a big conversation with him. I say:

ʺNikolai Nikolaevich, you are a former great party worker, how can you allow such a situation?ʺ He says: ʺWe have no rooms.ʺ

I say this, for example, that I tolerated it. And so, starting with the Berlin affairs [and] ending with the Moscow affairs, I have never made a detailed report. And what is my falsehood as a Bolshevik? Comrade Stalin scolded me several times for this case and said that you would be lost. I cannot say that I was not brought up, they did not talk to me. Much was said to me back in 1917, and it was confirmed over the years that if you are such an idiot, you will ultimately be an idiot. (Laughter.) I did not give a detailed report. Why? I was all shy, I thought that how can I talk about myself, because I would have to talk about myself. If it had been about something else, I would have spoken, but I did not consider it possible to talk about myself. And now it came to what.

With regard to signals. Correctly Comrade Voroshilov raises the question that there were no real, Bolshevik signals. I go straight to the issue of combat training. I arrived at SKVO. Uborevich was there. Bubnov, as the head of the PUR, sent me to the North Caucasus Military District. She takes the handle and says: ʺI am very glad that you are going to SKVO.ʺ ʺWhy?ʺ ‐ I ask. ʺIn the North Caucasus Military District,ʺ he says, ʺa brilliant condition.ʺ I am a person who never believes in a brilliant state, and even more so in 1927. I say: ʺAndrei Sergeevich, have you been to the North Caucasus Military District?ʺ I know that he has never been there, he flew by plane from Kislovodsk by the North Caucasus Military District.

Stalin . Well, thatʹs enough. (Laughter.)


Belov . I tell him that there is hardly a brilliant state there, I said that I am very dissatisfied with your conclusion. ʺWhy?ʺ ‐ asks. “Firstly, the furnishings are not in a brilliant state, and in another year, when I sit there for a year, the furnishings will not be in a brilliant state at all. Then your inspection will come and see that the situation is not at all in a brilliant state, which means I will be an idiot. ʺ We talked. I come to SKVO. Here is a description of our command and political staff. Everyone from Uborevich is literally delighted. I have never been in awe of this gang.

Stalin . Though [not] a little overwhelmed?


Belov .No. Iʹm starting to clarify why Iʹm delighted. “Here,” they say, “we held a training camp.” Iʹm starting to clarify what we did at the training camp. They start to report to me. It turns out that they were engaged in all sorts of rubbish. So, they took a group out onto a hill and immediately, on a hill, solved an army problem. True, I did not command the old army, it is true, I commanded the Turkestan troops during the Civil War, but nevertheless the scale was sufficient, and there was a lot of time for reflection, some tasks were being solved. Well, I wondered: how could you solve an army task from a hillock for 5‐6 minutes. Well, it turned out, everything worked out great, everyone is happy. What are you satisfied with? The satisfaction was caused by the following: the fees were furnished materially like a resort. They were not shy about serving cognac or beer. They beat me to death for this unfortunate glass,(Laughter.)

Voroshilov . His norm is high. (Laughter.)


Belov . The norm is high, but keep in mind what you portrayed, you yourself told me.

Stalin . And even now they portray?


Belov . They depicted and depicted a lot. Clement Efremovich often asked me the question: “Do you drink for 7 days? We will expel from the army, expel from the party ”. I say: “Klimenty Efremovich, maybe I’m doing the wrong thing, but every time I end up getting very drunk, I come to the service the second day earlier than usual. I have never had absenteeism at work. ʺ

This gang, which often portrayed me as a very drunk person, in 1927 literally soldered both commanders and political workers into a meeting. They were satisfied with one exception. What am I talking about? The percentage of good Bolsheviks, commanders and political workers in our Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ [Red] Army was as low in 1927 and remains today. This is evident from a number of presentations here. So, they portrayed here in such a way that he is, in fact, a teacher and leader, even in 1927.

In 1927, however, I set myself the following task. Here, in the Moscow Military District, under the direct leadership of Comrade Voroshilov, we were engaged in very strenuous combat training. I think we were doing better than anywhere else at the time. And our Moscow military district literally jumped ahead in comparison with all the districts. We were doing very hard fire training here. We had one percent of fire training in the Moscow military district; I come to the North Caucasus Military District the percentage of fire training there is about 2.5 times more than in the Moscow Military District. Whatʹs the matter? I start to analyze. Could it really be that in the end the former artillery lieutenant, who was not trained in anything, could achieve greater results than we achieved in the Moscow military district together with Comrade Voroshilov, who stood up, when was the commander of the Moscow military district, at 5 oʹclock and immediately went to the shooting range? Now Comrade Apanasenko is sitting here. Is he here?

Apanasenko . Here.


Belov .The percentage of hits on the Apanasenko division is large. I donʹt remember, it seems, for machine guns 75%, and 85% for rifles. Checking food, being Uborevichʹs assistant. With me, during a random check, the percentage turned out to be terrible: 2.5‐3 times less than it was shown in the report. Apanasenko, by the way, is a good commander, from my point of view, and Apanasenko deserves every confidence. I am not criticizing him. I ask: ʺWhatʹs the matter?ʺ Apanasenko says: ʺThe composition is different.ʺ Well, there is such a situation, if the composition changes, the results are different, but still there can be no such difference. I didnʹt start big conversations with Apanasenko, so as not to discredit the command. I come to Uborevich and say: “I checked 1‐2‐3 divisions. The percentage shown in the report is incorrect. ʺ He says: ʺYou know, Comrade Belov, I do not understand what you want, but this act is, in fact, despicable.ʺ

Stalin . From your side?


Belov .Yes. “You took the parts when they are upset, and you are checking. I didn’t entrust you and I don’t recognize your recheck ”. I thought about it. But he brought the matter to the end. I made a noise in the neighborhood. I made a suggestion to the commanders as a deputy. commander. Well, so I thought: what am I going to Moscow with? With what will I go to Comrade Voroshilov? Comrade Voroshilov never once suspected me (maybe he did, but I donʹt know) that I was lying. Well, Iʹll come to Comrade Voroshilov. Comrade Voroshilov knew my attitude to Uborevich. It’s as if I’m dying Uborevich. I decided to do it differently. I took over the command of the North [ero] ‐Caucasian district and thought that I would prove to the whole apparatus and the Peopleʹs Commissariat that this was a bastard. And now the proof begins. Comrade Smirnov was a member of the Revolutionary Military Council. No one can accuse us of having conspired with him, because we fought hard with him. No one fought him as hard as I did, and he didn’t fight anyone as hard as me. We fought on issues of principle, because we were both Bolsheviks.

Stalin . Well, a couple of Bolsheviks are fighting all the time.


Belov . Then there was a very difficult period, the period of the formation of points of view on a number of issues: one‐man management, and others. Comrade Smirnov is a man who loves power

-  I will not say that I do not love power. (Laughter.) Put us in a different environment, we are the best friends.

Stalin . Friends from afar, but closer ...


Belov . You see, it was very difficult for us. He doesnʹt like to walk behind me, and I donʹt like to walk behind him.

Voroshilov . And the road is narrow nearby. (Laughter.)


Belov . And it doesnʹt come out next to it, the road is narrow, we are both fat. (Laughter) I click on combat training, click on fire training.


Nobody can doubt me that I do not know combat training. I, as a former non‐commissioned officer, know combat training. So, I, together with

[o] Smirnov, without changing commanders (then there was no such turnover), pressed on combat training in a way that neither Uborevich nor anyone else did. Suitable year [3], summing up the results and give, compared to last year, the percentage is two times lower. I think: well, now the central apparatus and the Headquarters of the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army and the Combat Training Directorate will draw the appropriate conclusions. Sent this report. In this report I did not stir up any squabbles. I do not know how the Peopleʹs Commissar read this report, but the Headquarters of the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army, the Combat Training Directorate were obliged to work out this report, were obliged to give an analysis to the Peopleʹs Commissar. They brought it together and did not do any reflection in their reports on the North [ero] ‐Caucasian [th] district. And comrade Sedyakin (I do not want to offend him in any way, I am a kind person in this respect) to my question: “How did it happen, Uborevich had such a percentage of combat training last year, such?ʺ ‐ there was no more squabbling, I approached here in a businesslike manner, to my question: ʺHow do you assess our work?ʺ Comrade Sedyakin says to me: ʺYou know, you did less work.ʺ I say that Alexander Ignatievich could not consider me an operatively thinking person, but in regard to fire training, I am still a former non‐commissioned officer, no one can deny me this. I work, I try, nobody can refuse me either. And so, Sedyakin makes such a conclusion. Here is the analysis, here is the hard and hard work. It seems to me that these were by no means a quarrelsome motive. I thought that this was the only way to prove that people do not work as well as they rub glasses well, but neither the central office and the Directorate of Combat Training did not do the necessary analysis

Stalin . About whom did Comrade Sedyakin say that they did not work well? About you or Uborevich?

Belov . About me. ʺLess,ʺ he says, ʺthey did, less work.ʺ I had very frank conversations with the Commissar (some secrets need to be revealed here). The Peopleʹs Commissar also once said to me: ʺListen, Belov, no doubt they work better.ʺ I was not just boasting, but I once told the Peopleʹs Commissar that all this bastard was moving illegally. I myself did not believe in the halo of Uborevich, Yakir, Tukhachevsky, but I believed in their education.

Voroshilov . Did you believe that they worked? You cannot portray the matter so that they did nothing, and you do a lot. Since I will have the opportunity to speak again, I will say so.

Voice from the place . Thatʹs right, the commander is not self‐critical.


Belov . Iʹm not that naive person to say that they didnʹt work at all. Somehow, they were deceiving us. They cheated with work that they knew how to show.

Voroshilov . Say so.


Belov .Since I came to this rostrum, I consider it necessary to say how the matter was in individual points. I do not present myself as a hero, I do not want to say that I foresaw everything. I imagine myself as a person who could not, even with the facts, prove his case. I cannot say, as Meretskov said here, that he is sure. Maybe this is his plus. And I didnʹt even believe. I say bluntly: I worked for a year to prove that Uborevich worked worse than me. I worked honestly and conscientiously. If I tried to get shu‐shu‐shu, they could blame me. But I do not know how to do these ʺshu‐shushuʺ. And if we talk about the shortcomings of Comrade Voroshilov, then there is only one drawback: that he is terribly picky about words. If you tell him ten percent of the truth, it means a lost person. To come to the Peopleʹs Commissar and make a mistake, say ten percent of a lie is very bad.

Just yesterday Comrade Blucher spoke about maneuvers; maneuvers, which were only called maneuvers, but in fact, it was an ostentatious exercise for foreigners. I do not argue here with Comrade Voroshilov that, perhaps, at some stages of the growth of our combat training, such ostentatious exercises are needed, sometimes, roughly speaking, we need to rub glasses on to foreigners, who are also far from being honest with us. And we would be idiots if we showed them everything we have. Nonsense! Nonsense! And the Germans, when I had the opportunity to see it myself, without any accompaniment, they had no less bazaar than we did. I didnʹt act like a good boy when I was in Berlin to be praised by the German officers. They told me: ʺGo to bed.ʺ I pretended to lie down and sleep, and as soon as they leave, I get up, take a taxi and go to night maneuvers. I have seen, how they maneuver at night, and I must say that the market is on their maneuvers ‐ I am afraid to compare, but I must say without self‐praise that their market is no less than the one I saw at home. And the maneuvers that we showed foreigners often served as an assessment of the combat training of one or another district. This is nonsense, of course. Nonsense! And it turns out that through foreigners who knew that we were showing them not what it really is, we rubbed our glasses on ourselves, and then it turned out that at the plenary sessions of the Military Councils ‐ like that Belarus and Ukraine are in excellent condition in regarding combat training. Nonsense! often served as an assessment of the combat training of one or another district.

Voice . 150%.


Belov . I must say frankly, I have never seen our Peopleʹs Commissar at exercises, at maneuvers, so that he does not criticize errors of an operational and tactical nature. Is always. Perhaps he expressed his mood more sharply towards me, often calling me a fool.

Voroshilov . What is calling? Belov . A fool.

Voroshilov . Nothing like this. (Laughter.)


Belov . I can hardly slander myself. (Laughter.) You called me at the last teachings. Remember when I got you started ...

Voroshilov . I may have said: ʺStupid teaching.ʺ


Belov . You said, ʺWhat is this teaching, what is this nonsense, what a fool has organized them!ʺ

Voroshilov . Indeed, there was a lot of idiocy.


Belov . I’m saying that the Peopleʹs Commissar has never ...


Voroshilov . Do you think I only admired Uborevich?


Belov .I carried out maneuvers both in Leningrad and in the Moscow Military District, and I must report: The Peopleʹs Commissar always took, as they say, the bull by the horns, and it was completely in vain that this bastard, this gang represented ‐ what a sin to conceal ‐ the Peopleʹs Commissar as a person , in general, well, you know, not quite literate in military affairs. I must here without any sycophancy ‐ and Comrade Voroshilov, and Comrade Stalin know that I have never engaged in sycophancy, ‐ I must here quite honestly and honestly say: what natural talents comrade Voroshilov was awarded with everyone knows that, both the party and the country; but I often thought and talked with my comrades: where did Comrade Voroshilov get such vast military knowledge, where did it come from? Comrade Voroshilov scolded me more than anyone else, but I never could say that I scolded in vain, always scolded me for the cause,

Voice . Right.


Belov .But hereʹs the whole trouble. Here is Comrade Voroshilov on maneuvers, Comrade Voroshilov on exercises, gives instructions on thousands of pages. It was clear to everyone that he would come to Moscow, there are current affairs, life that is in full swing ‐ what a sin to conceal our Politburo is engaged not only in our country, we would be idiots if we did not know that the Politburo is doing colossal world work ... And Comrade Voroshilov takes an active part in all this. After all, everyone knows the role of Comrade Voroshilov in joint work with Comrade Stalin. So, the Headquarters of the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army in the past, the General Staff in the present, to what extent did it help Comrade Voroshilov? After all, you know, so in good faith, not a single instruction, i.e. I apologize, it would be rude to say, ʺnot a single instructionʺ, but all the same, most of the instructions that Comrade Voroshilov made in all these exercises, in all these maneuvers, they literally flew into the tube, they were not implemented. Take, for example, the big question ‐ the organization of mechanized formations and tank units. After all, from the very first day of the birth of the tank, when we, in fact, learned on other peopleʹs tanks, Comrade Voroshilov gave such instructions that we can give today. What do you think? In the test, in the test, what was after all these tests? After all, Uborevich rubbed his glasses and even rubbed it in! Uborevich found that tanks were moving ... what happened after all these tests?

Voroshilov . And, in your opinion, the commander has nothing to do with it? The instructions were given not by the headquarters, but by the commander.

Belov . The army is an organization that is controlled from above and more than any other organization needs certain guidelines. And it is no coincidence that it is completely ‐ there is no need to conceal a sin here

-  after all, when the charter was written, the last charter, who wrote it? It is no coincidence that if the army is allowed to live without a charter, without a direction ...

Voroshilov . Bad charter? Voice . Good charter.

Belov . Comrades, you are in vain throwing phrases, the charter has not been worked out.

Voroshilov . The charter is temporary. The charter was revised 5 times. The first basic provisions were developed by me.

Stalin . Anyway, there may be errors.


Belov . Maybe there are mistakes. The charter is such a thing that must, of course, be worked out in a practical way. No military genius can create a charter without practical revision.

Stalin . Are you talking about the new Field Manual? I must say that the Germans, according to some illegal information, praise him very much, Field Manual. A suspicious case. I must also tell you that Tukhachevsky popularized him very much, this charter, and wrote articles under his own name and under the pseudonym of Mikhailov. Mikhailov is Tukhachevsky. So, you have to look at the charter. Why do the Germans praise him?

Voice . There are a number of gross fundamental mistakes there.


Belov . I say this to the point that everything needs to be reviewed now.

Stalin . Verify.

Belov . In general, it was necessary to check everything without any disaster, but now more than ever before. I have no words to say about the army leadership of Comrade Voroshilov. But it is impossible for a single peopleʹs commissar to carry on all this titanic work without an apparatus, and I, criticizing the central apparatus, criticizing the Headquarters of the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army, the General Staff, do not stand aside. I was the 1st rank army commander. I have been at all meetings, at all plenums of the [Military] councils, but I am fully responsible for everything.

What, comrades, is our trouble with the commanders of the troops and the chiefs of the PUOKR? You canʹt speak out and talk like that ‐ like the fact that Gamarnik fooled them all over, like the fact that nothing could be seen behind Gamarnik. Behind Gamarnik the Central Committee was visible, behind Gamarnik the Peopleʹs Commissar was visible, behind Gamarnik everything was open. And if we did not see the meanness that was going on in the Red Army, it was only because we blindly watched what Comrade Stalin was beating us for, and that we need to understand that we are really a Bolshevik instinct, a spearhead of Bolshevik perception, we, in fact, are lost. Every year we make more and more progress, changing from car to car, from one apartment to another, better apartment, we forget that we are Bolsheviks. I donʹt know how to speak more clearly. Comrade What did Stalin say? We have self‐criticism. We have now opened a new era, when Comrade Stalin said that there was no self‐criticism, when Comrade Stalin reminded that there was no self‐criticism. Since 1917 I remember every word of Comrade Stalin; wake me up at night and I will say everything that Comrade Stalin said. We must admit that we are bad Bolsheviks, we have lost our Bolshevik instinct [for], hence we get that we did not see what our class enemies are doing. It is difficult to see a spy in such a usual order, and Comrade Stalin will not beat us for this. They are being recruited; Comrade Stalin told us clearly in what way they are being recruited. that we have not seen what our class enemies are doing. It is difficult to see a spy in such a usual order, and Comrade Stalin will not beat us for this.

Stalin . And in the old days, we could not always see the spy. Have you heard that in 1912 there was a Prague conference [4] , where we kicked out the Mensheviks and organized our party? Of 18 people 6 turned out to be provocateurs.

Belov . So, I say that we are not being beaten for this by Comrade Stalin and Comrade Voroshilov, but because we saw and did not pose the question in a Bolshevik way. If the political workers say that they saw nothing behind Gamarnik, that is nonsense. The vilest scoundrel is Gamarnik, because the vilest scoundrel can do it by shooting himself. And what is he a villain? Didnʹt solve the issue. I was also a coward at our last meeting.

Stalin . Formally treated.


Belov . I was a coward, thinking: how can I accuse the leadership of not doing the housework? In fact, today I must say, and as sharply as possible, that no one was involved in our household. Comrade Voroshilov did it from time to time, but this beard, a bastard swindler, he only imagined before you that he was engaged in farming. It is no coincidence, Comrade Stalin, that you took up this business. Nothing comes out of this economy now.

Stalin . What kind of farm are you talking about? Belov . About the military.

Voroshilov . About the farm they are obliged to do.


Belov . I cannot say that I worked, and nothing came of it ‐ that would be wrong. But what do I mean? I am the last letter in the alphabet. Itʹs not about me, but the same Uborevich, look how he raised the commanders? If your pants rot, itʹs okay, if your potatoes disappear, it doesnʹt matter; but if your tactics are bad, then we will show you, then you will be bad.

We are bad Bolsheviks. Comrade Stalin scolded me, and you scolded me, but in this bad business I am not alone. I was a coward ‐ how else to call this case? I report to the Central Committee of the Party, Comrade Stalin and you, that we have many cowards. Cowards, on the one hand, must be driven away, on the other hand, must be educated.

Stalin . It is necessary to educate.


Belov . It is necessary to educate, but the Peopleʹs Commissar does not educate. At one time Frunze called me a coward, a civilian coward. I spoke to him, I spoke, and then hesitated and did not finish everything.

Voroshilov . Why am I bringing up cowardice in you?


Stalin . It happens, people of great physical courage are political cowards. Political courage and physical courage are not the same thing.

Belov . Kliment Efremovich knows me, I am not a coward, but here I am a coward. This is the same gang I could bring to you. There are no commanders here whom I would believe and not talk about this gang. When they came to me and said: “Oooh, leader,” I said: “Shut up. He bought you. ʺ How did you buy it? I come to Uborevich, I begin to speak, and he told me: ʺComrade Belov, you are speaking golden words.ʺ But I know that I did not say any golden words. He starts talking to me like this: you are a talent. And then I thought, thought and thought: here is a bastard. (Laughter.)And he bought others. Comrade Apanasenko will say, for example. ʺYou are an excellent commander, I am bringing you into the group of operative thinkers.ʺ And he (ashamed to say it) was sweating from this happiness. What did he have to say to Apanasenko, but he came up to me and said: ʺThey sent such mediocrity!ʺ And in relation to money, I also bought with money. Here we must also look at some of the civilian workers.

Stalin . Be direct, donʹt be afraid.


Belov. Who Uborevich worked with is a must‐see. In the North Caucasus, Tolmachev was arrested, with whom he was friends. There are probably people in Belarus who gave him money. We need to see these people ‐ Golodeda, Gikalo, Rumyantsev.

Voice from the place . Gikalo was not with him.


Belov . Comrade Voroshilov does not give us an extra kopeck, and as regards money, I must report directly that we live not stealing, not stealing, not doing dirty deeds, we live very modestly. Now we have representative offices, but then we didnʹt. Ten years ago, I told a group of commanders: “Letʹs ask the Peopleʹs Commissar for representatives. You canʹt do that, because you canʹt accept a person. ʺ Once I went to the market myself to shop. True, I walked in civilian clothes, and then the Peopleʹs Commissar said to me: ʺDamn fool!ʺ (General laughter.)

Stalin . Again, not so! (Laughter.)


Belov . Yes, he scolded me for a fool. Why not tell the party and the government what is not coming out with us?

Stalin . I must say. It is imperative.


Belov . But this bastard Uborevich says to me: ʺWell, what are you?ʺ I hooked him and said: ʺTell me, how do you live?ʺ And I know how he lived. He gave me and Ivan Fyodorovich coffee, there was a master in general an office, coffee and even cigars. What cigars are there! Where did he get it, so fragrant! (General laughter.) He started counting and counted to the point that there was nothing left for food. I say: ʺListen, Uborevich, you are lying!ʺ

Stalin . Starving, in a word.


Belov . And he always lived gorgeous, I know that. Voice from the place . Artists come ‐ always accepted.

Belov . I am not speaking here from the point of view of being a monk. We know monks too! Gamarnik lived as a monk, Cork was a monk ‐ they served him tea for three kopecks, so he defiantly took out money and paid, but Gamarnik did not have an extra chair in his apartment. What a chair is there, God forbid!

But when there is such an overflow, it is clear that money is being stolen. It is clear that the money was given to him by civilian workers, and who gave it ‐ this must be established. From the North Caucasus Military District, I know that this is Tolmachev, but in Belarus and Moscow it is necessary to establish with whom he worked. Because I repeat again, you can ask Comrade Voroshilov for a monthly salary for yourself, but even then once a year, because if you ask twice, he wonʹt give you. (General laughter.)

Voice from the place . But in Ukraine they gave a lot of money.


Belov . Two words about the districts. I believe that the question that Comrade Dybenko raised here, regarding the unbundling of the districts, is a correct question. But, in my opinion, this should be done within the districts, because it is almost impossible to train troops in small districts. If the districts are crushed into independent organisms, without a front‐line association, they will be placed at a very disadvantageous position.

We know that the Volga District, the Ural Military District, these districts cannot engage in large‐scale operational work. In the areas of large districts, it is necessary to create these army directorates, full‐ fledged army directorates, but with subordination to the future commander ‐ maybe someone else will be appointed, but preparation should be carried out on a large scale, because any fragmentation creates such conditions under which we we cannot train the troops properly.

About the central office. It is not enough to criticize them. It is necessary, Comrade Stalin, to introduce very major changes in the attitude of the leadership.

Stalin . What kind?


Belov . We need a deputy. create a peopleʹs commissar for material support. This is the second time I report this to you. I believe that this must be done. Our construction was criticized here. We need to improve this matter. But we, comrades, are sometimes ready to portray everything, no matter how damn good. I built, I built a lot, more than anyone else, because I was a construction worker even earlier; I think that not everything is bad, there are good facilities, well‐built, but we need a deputy. Peopleʹs Commissar and supervised military development. I said nothing about sanitary and veterinary matters. I donʹt want to offend anyone, but this case is very poorly organized.


Voices . Thatʹs right, thatʹs right.


Belov . They live by themselves, stew in their own juice, it is necessary to be dug up by an authoritative person.

Now with regard to the Inspection. I also reported to Comrade Stalin and I want to repeat here once again: it is necessary to create such an Inspectorate that could really inspect any district, any commander, regardless of the person, which could inspect the work of the Peopleʹs Commissar himself. It is necessary to create such an inspection. It is no coincidence that all these Inspectorates did not do a damn thing, they saw that they were eyewash, and were silent. I donʹt know how many people can be beaten ...

Voice . Who is this inspector who inspects the entire Peopleʹs Commissariat ?!

Voice . Who will this Inspectorate be with?


Belov . The inspection must be authoritative, which could inspect any district, any fleet. You also cook in your own juice; your boss will go to inspect you. It is necessary to create an independent authoritative Inspectorate, which could control and make objective reports.

Molotov . Not clear, not clear. Stalin . By type of troops?

Belov . But with someone ‐ with the government. Molotov . What are you, what are you!

Voice . Under the peopleʹs commissar.


Voice . The second peopleʹs commissar will be.


Belov . No, I donʹt want another Peopleʹs Commissar, you know that. It should be an authoritative Inspectorate for anyone. (Noise.)

Voice . There is a General Staff.


Voroshilov . You say that the Inspection is imperfect. People are needed here. These Inspections will not pardon you and issue the best certificates. Itʹs not about the name ʺInspectionʺ. You are not happy with not being inspected, but with finding fault.

Belov . Didnʹt Uborevich and Yakir get their certificates?


Voroshilov . There are divisions that are considered both in Belarus and in Ukraine to be worthless and unprepared to hell. You here portrayed so that we have nothing.

Budyonny . An army is an army, an army is wonderful, there are only drawbacks.

Stalin . Everyone now says that Schmidtʹs brigade is not worth a damn thing, and recently it was praised. Where is the Inspectorate?

Budyonny . Separate ...


Stalin . What are separate? She was considered the Yakirʹs guard, she had to make a coup. Everyone praised her and presented her to the Order of Lenin.

Belov . From this rostrum, of course, it is not easy to make proposals, you are in a great hurry, but I must here report to Comrade Stalin that, of course, our Inspection, which was ...

Stalin . It can only be under the Peopleʹs Commissariat: either under the General Staff, or under the Peopleʹs Commissar. It should check the implementation of decisions of the Peopleʹs Commissariat on the ground. This will be the Inspection; this will be a weapon in the hands of the Peopleʹs Commissar for verification. Such an Inspection is needed. It is there, but it is weak. Itʹs about people. It needs to be completed.

Voroshilov . I give the floor to Comrade Viktorov.


Viktorov .Comrades, outright betrayal and vile sabotage of a number of major leaders of the Red Army is a dark spot and a shameful phenomenon for the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army. We all need to resolutely reorganize our work on the basis of the February decision of the plenum of the Central Committee of our party, without a trace to root out enemies from the ranks of the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army. By our work we must quickly wash away this dirty stain before the Central Committee of our Party, before the workers ʹand peasantsʹ government and before the peoples of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Were there signals from the field and did we perceive these signals correctly? I believe that there were still signals, but they were perceived not sharply, without a Bolshevik and political assessment, but often in a philistine, complacent manner, which I believe.

Here is an example with the same Putna, the enemy of the people. When I was appointed commander of the Pacific Fleet and arrived in the Far East in 1932, I had not seen Putna in person before. But he was my neighbor, the commander of the Primorsky group. It is clear that I was interested in what kind of neighbor I have. When I got to know him in detail, visited him at the teachings, once invited him to my teachings, it was clear to me that Putna was pursuing a defeatist policy. Letʹs take an anecdote that went around OKDVA from the mouth of Putna. This is about hunting tigers. How did he speak? The tiger hunt is organized like this: they put a piglet, pull its legs, it squeaks. And the hunters sit in the bushes and wait for the tiger to come. And usually the tiger came up, sometimes they killed him, sometimes they didnʹt kill him. But the pig was always killed, i.e., the tiger always ate the piglet. Those. unknown whether we defeat the Japanese or not, the Primorsky group will always be eaten. I asked him: ʺHow can you help me?ʺ ‐ since you know yourself, so Comrade Bulochkin knows, I arrived at an empty place, there was no battery, nothing. ʺWhat help can you provide?ʺ ‐ I ask. He directly tells me: ʺI cannot provide you with any help, I do not have enough troops of my own.ʺ

I must say bluntly: I immediately raised a number of questions. Comrade Blucher knows these questions it is about securing his flank, about securing his rear. It was related to these questions.

I must say that with the arrival of Comrade Fedko at the Primorskaya group, the work immediately began to improve, and we immediately saw that his own man had begun to work. And as the closest neighbor of Comrade Fedko, I must say that under Fedko I felt better. And when Fedko is now leaving for another district, I ask you to appoint another person who would work the same way as Comrade Fedko did.


With regard to Gamarnik. Here Comrade Okunev did not quite correctly speak out to the approving cries of the commanders that Gamarnik was harming the Pacific Fleet, which deliberately exaggerated the successes of the Pacific Fleet. Now that I have familiarized myself with the whole picture of the planned sabotage, it seems to me that there was a wider double‐dealing here than the narrow task that Comrade Okunev spoke about. Gamarnik was several times with an inspection in the Pacific Fleet, as deputy. Peopleʹs Commissar. It seems to me that the task here was broader.

Blucher . Why?


Viktorov . What was Gamarnik looking for when inspecting the Pacific Fleet? It was important for him that he make any proposal, which was immediately drawn up with gusto, passed on to Comrade Stalin, Comrade Molotov. He wanted to be noticed that he was the one making such a proposal. As always, the proposals were quickly promoted by the government and its authority increased.

Blucher . That you have been praised a little is correct. Both are correct.


Viktorov . I want to say that Gamarnik in the Far East won his authority in order to harm in the West. He had a disguise in the Far East.

Blucher . There was a solid disguise in the Far East.


Viktorov . I agree. I also agree that his authority was very high in this respect.

Concerning the fact that we were praised. There were reasons to praise us. But it is also correct that we had to be held back at one time, especially after the reception of junior commanders by Comrade Stalin, when they were so delighted that they had to hold back, and already in 1935‐1936, after the maneuvers, the question was resolutely posed, that we should not talk about successes, but about our shortcomings, because we had a lot of these shortcomings. We came from a party conference of the Pacific Fleet, where, on the basis of the decision of the plenum of the Central Committee, it was said about the restructuring of our work, and the shortcomings in the work of the Pacific Fleet were sharply criticized. I must say bluntly that it is now quite clear how much criticism of the masses helps. We have raised a number of questions that were raised at this party conference and at the asset. A direct statement about sabotage in some areas of our work now clearly shows us where it comes from, and where we overlooked. Here I have to say directly that the criticism and self‐criticism that has developed is extremely useful.

What other questions would I consider necessary to sharpen here?


First. How we fought the enemies of the people. Here Comrade Okunev has already reported that in two years we have removed a considerable number of people from the Pacific Fleet. 32 people commanding staff and 54 Red Navy men. I must say that the picture of sabotage in the Pacific Fleet is not fully disclosed. Correctly Comrade Blucher pointed out here that we must dig even more at ourselves. I must say that we felt Feldmanʹs hand thoroughly. It was not by chance that it turned out that our chiefs of fortified areas were Trotskyists, who have now been arrested and removed from the army. It turned out especially badly in our construction [5]... Now we have a complete failure on the line of the STR, to which Comrade Khrulev will have to pay serious attention. The first was a drunkard, the second was a crook, a scoundrel, who was then arrested; then they gave us Bazhenov, now they took him off. We asked: ʺGive us a decent person.ʺ Lapin has been sent to us the brother of this Trotskyist Lapin, he has probably already been arrested. After all, we are in the Far East. I say to comrade Khrulev: ʺWhy are you giving me all the Trotskyists, you will send him to us, they will work with us right away.ʺ

Khrulev . I told you: ʺGamarnik and Feldman ordered to send there.ʺ You answered: ʺWell, weʹll see.ʺ It was like this?

Viktorov . It was like this, I asked Fomenko ...


Khrulev . I categorically object to the fact that I sent you only Trotskyists to build.


Viktorov . Iʹm talking about the fact that our construction works without a head. I believe that not all enemies of the people, especially in construction, have been exposed. We have a lot of work to do in this respect.

I want to note one more fact: Comrade Stalinʹs instructions about the capitalist encirclement, about the fight against [o] spies and saboteurs in the Pacific Fleet are poorly fulfilled. When the first units arrived in the Far East, I personally went to them, talked about the situation, pointed out that there are a lot of spies in the Far East, that the Japanese know how to organize espionage very well, and the first years we were all right ... But now, when we have many tens of thousands of people in our composition, now these instructions are forgotten. Now we are enveloping individual commanders. Here women also play a role, here also the lack of vigilance, etc. But we have a number of major facts about the enveloping of commanders, which occurs mainly along the line of submarines and along the line of the Air Force, i.e., the most important areas for us. Comrade Okunev and I[6] identified a number of such cases, severely punished, brought to justice and gave a tough directive for the future. But I must pay attention to the fact that the order of the Peopleʹs Commissar, prohibiting communication with foreigners, is not being carried out by the command personnel. We have had such cases when a person, to buy a typewriter, goes to the Japanese consulate on an ad. When they took him by the sides (the man turned out to be simple), he says: ʺI did not know this order.ʺ We receive personnel from all districts, from all seas, and the comrades do not know this order of the Peopleʹs Commissar of Defense. I must say that the introduction of military councils and the institution of commissars should be welcomed in every possible way, because it will strengthen the partyʹs political influence in all our work.

Budyonny . Right.


Viktorov . This will improve our work, it will help us to fulfill all the serious tasks of restructuring, of the political turn of our party organizations; in a word, it will help to fulfill all the tasks facing the RKKA.


What wishes do I have? I take this opportunity to state some of them, since all the central offices are present here.

With regard to the General Staff. We are growing very rapidly, we are faced with a number of major tasks, and I am now raising a number of issues related to the construction of the Pacific Fleet. We need now to speed up the resolution of a whole series of major issues. I will not name them; they are of an extremely large and secret nature. I can only say one thing, that delaying their permission means holding back the development of the Pacific Fleet. Especially a lot of questions came up as a result of the game, which was conducted by the Marshal of the Soviet Union, Comrade Blucher. Once I touched on this issue, and in particular touched on Comrade Blucher, I must directly say: at this game, as Commander of the Pacific Fleet, and the team that participated in the game, learned a lot from Comrade Blucher. Comrade Blucher knows that after this game I expressed to him my impressions of this game.

With regard to the management of the Navy. I believe, Comrade Orlov, that the main issue is that now the supply is lagging behind our growth in almost all respects. Now we need a lot of work so that both from the point of view of strengthening our combat capability and from the point of view of resolving a number of organizational issues, they need to be resolved as soon as possible. First of all ‐ I have already made this request here ‐ for you to get acquainted in more detail with our Far Eastern theater. It is not normal that the Pacific Fleet has existed for six years, and the Chief of the Naval Forces has never been with us. So, I am already making a direct request. If Comrade Orlov faced a number of questions, it would be easier for me. I received, maybe, scolding and support.

Orlov . Certainly. It is right.


Viktorov . And Comrade Stalinʹs instructions correspond to this. Comrade Stalin said that it was necessary to control, instruct and help the commanders. And I ask that Comrade Orlov take this into account as soon as possible.


What are the main questions about personnel? First, there is a colossal undershoot. We have 77% for submarines, 67 [%] for surface guards, 71 [%] for coastal guards, and 300 people understaffed in the Air Force. some aviation specialists. Comrade Khripin correctly raised the question that there is a lot of sabotage in the rear and aviation fleets. I have a number of signals from our pilots that the organization of aviation fleets is useless. This undoubtedly needs to be reconsidered. This is not about the number of rations, because the number of rations is sufficient. But you can reduce here and there, add here and there, they are composed in such a way that it is very difficult to use them.

We are clearly lagging behind in warehousing. I cannot name the numbers of the Pacific Fleet, but we have a colossal army, we need to supply it, and loans for storage facilities are withdrawn from year to year, hence the massive damage to food, we spend a lot of money on food that perishes. Comrade Molotov strongly scolds when ten or a thousand tons of flour disappears, and we lose thousands of tons of the most valuable food, because it is not stored properly. Warehouse construction issues must be posed extremely acutely. Repair base issues. We threw a lot of weapons on the Pacific Fleet. Here is the aviation, here and the fleet, here and the ground forces, I have a lot of ground forces, here and the coastal defense; all this has its own reserves, its material values, etc. But the development of repair shops was wreckingly delayed, loans for repair shops were withdrawn, not released in the required amount. In part, perhaps, there was not always sabotage, but I think that there was also sabotage.

must here raise the question of the Directorate of the Naval Forces. We are in Vladivostok, I myself do not always have the opportunity to be present when discussing the issue of loans, I send my chief engineer here he is working here with Petyin, he is reducing on the basis of this limit, ‐ and it turns out that we are starting many objects [to build] but we donʹt end anything. We begin to ask the Peopleʹs Commissar, after which a loan of 60‐70 million, 12‐13 million needs to be transferred, so that it is expedient. The Department of the Navy must have a vested interest in giving the Pacific Fleet what it needs. But I have to say that the Directorate of the Naval Forces does not participate well in protecting our vital needs. Allocations for bases and batteries are passed without any participation of the Directorate of the Naval Forces. In this respect, the situation is even worse, I would say, in the North Kazakhstan region.

I must say frankly that the housing issue in our Pacific Fleet is developing into a political issue, because housing construction is clearly lagging behind.

Voice : This question is extremely acute.


Viktorov : Especially now the issue is becoming more complicated due to the fact that we have developed the largest movement that we took over in OKDVA ‐ leaving for lifelong long service. We have about a thousand people have expressed a desire to serve for life in the Pacific Fleet.

Voice : In the Navy or in general?


Viktorov : In the Pacific Fleet. This is a colossal undertaking ‐ leaving us in a lifelong service imposes great obligations on us. We need to have different courses, we must give them apartments, houses, so that they remain in the Pacific Fleet for life and be arranged. This campaign went very well, and then, in the order of criticism and self‐criticism, the questions began to be asked: what are you doing for the lifers? There is nothing we can do; we have no credit in order to provide lifespan. I will ask the Peopleʹs Commissar to ensure that this is somehow ensured, so that we will be given additional credit for comrades who have remained for lifelong long‐term service.

By arms. We feel the consequences of sabotage. I cannot say that our main battery is operational, complete, etc. But still, the spot on the eye is that, say, a 100‐mm battery has been installed in one area, installed since last year, and it has personnel, but we do not have a single projectile from this battery. I can imagine the politico‐moral state of this personnel, who have been living at the cannon for about a month, but there is not a single combat shell on the battery yet. Now, after the telegram that I gave to the Peopleʹs Commissar, etc., they are to ship to us in May.


Flak. We are armed with the latest cannons, but we do not have anti‐ aircraft shells. There is clear sabotage here. Here Comrade Okunev pointed out about the anti‐aircraft artillery, about our ʺShchukʺ. There are grenade shells, but no shrapnel shells. ʺLeninistsʺ are sailing, beautiful boats, again there are 100‐mm cannons, but we still do not have a single shell. These are exactly the consequences of sabotage that we are experiencing now.

Itʹs the same with the Air Force. Here Comrade Khripin was absolutely correct in speaking of these links. Itʹs the same with planes: there are machine guns, there are cartridges, but you canʹt shoot. As regards the Air Force, Comrade Okunev correctly pointed out that it is necessary to resolutely reorganize our torpedo aircraft, and in general it is necessary to raise the whole matter to the proper height.

Nobody spoke here about the Sanitary Department. I must say frankly that with us, Comrade Baranov, in our development we have far outstripped the network of sanitary establishments. Now it is sharply felt that in our country, in essence, the development of hospitals and all kinds of resort establishments lags behind our powerful development and the prospects that we face. And if we consider that such major organizations as the railway corps and the corps of the Peopleʹs Commissariat for Heavy Industry are entrusted to our hospital bodies, then literally 2 huge armies were defeated on our weak medical network [7]... So, the development of the medical network is the largest undertaking in the work of the Sanitary Department. The main thing is in the sense of the resort business. It is necessary to help the establishment of resorts on the ground, in particular, at the locations of individual regions and at the locations of the largest aviation units.

Regarding storage and clothing management. I ask you to draw the attention of the head of the Logistics Department to the following things. Regarding the growth. Now some kind of mockery is taking place, which develops into a political moment. Every year small items accumulate in warehouses. I myself saw when a Red Navy man in a unit is like that, and his trousers are half, when he is wide himself, and everything is tied up with him and climbs in the appropriate places.


Voice . How is the quality? Viktorov . And the quality is weak.

Voice . Ugly, not weak. Caps, for example.


Viktorov . Iʹm not talking about caps. So, this is a serious question. This, perhaps, is also a sabotage business: not to sew according to the height of people and systematically accumulate small stature.

By the Office of the Food Supply. For example, the order of the Peopleʹs Commissar to supply pilots with additional rations from January 1 was of great political importance. How is this order carried out in our country? Here is the order issued, we receive it. But only in April, they begin to ship products that were reported to the pilots. This means that 3 months [ago] the pilot read the order and receives nothing. The result is an anti‐moral mood. And I canʹt do anything. I believe that the wrong food supply is doing, which gives a common ration for the entire army. If we canʹt get pressed caviar [8]in the Far East, we can replace it with canned crab. Let them produce rations on the spot, because we have canned things; otherwise, they indicate in the ration what can be obtained in Moscow or in the Primorsky District, but cannot be obtained in the Far East, and they are discouraged by giving money. And what can he buy with money! And the pilot read that he was entitled to caviar and greens but could not get it. So, in this respect it is necessary to bring the work closer in practical terms. And then I ask the chief of food supply that for remote areas where we do not have refrigerators, it is necessary to supply remote areas with live cattle, better than they supply. Such regions as Kamchatka, Sovetskaya Gavan, where they eat fresh meat for 3 months, and live on corned beef for 9 months.

Voice . And the food supply is good.


[ Viktorov .] The food supply is good. In Sovetskaya Gavan, the food supply is not entirely good, in the Vladimir region there is a poor food supply. It is necessary to pay attention to the supply of live cattle, plus build a refrigerator.


I must say that Fishmanʹs sabotage is felt in the supply. We do not have gas masks, the situation is even worse with the supply of chemical clothing, we are not supplied with protective clothing; we have an incomplete supply for the entire combat strength.

These are the questions about which I wanted to speak, taking advantage of the fact that I speak to the government, to the Central Committee at the Military Council. Comrade Molotov repeatedly interrupted the commanders and pointed out that we, the commanders, should be required to work more responsible, that we should work more widely on the ground and take on greater responsibility to eliminate these big shortcomings that exist in our work, and not send everything to the center for permission.

In conclusion, I must say, despite the disclosure of a vile military‐ political conspiracy, treason and betrayal, I report to the Central Committee of the Party, the government, and Comrade Voroshilov that the Pacific Fleet is generally healthy, it is a strong, morally sound organization , which will fulfill any task that will be set by the party and government.

Voroshilov ( presiding ). A break is announced for 10 minutes. Voroshilov . Comrade Egorov has the floor.

Egorov .Comrades, the military‐political conspiracy of a handful of fascist bandits headed by Gamarnik, Yakir, Tukhachevsky, Kork and Eideman, exceptional in its meanness, turned out to be a fact. You and I, Bolshevik‐Leninist‐Stalinists, cannot help but experience this most heinous atrocity with a pain in our hearts, for all this took place in the ranks of our Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army, where these scoundrels worked side by side with us. With all frankness and sincerity, at this responsible Military Council, in the face of the party and government and the peopleʹs commissar, I must accept the enormous guilt that in the entire period of my work with these scoundrels I have lost my political acuteness and vigilance. At the last stage of my work as Chief of the General Staff, I was the closest assistant to the Peopleʹs Commissar, and, naturally, I have never lied, especially in front of the party, and I will be frank here. First of all, self‐criticism. I must inform you that in the entire period of my work with them, from a business, practical point of view, I did not notice what could give rise to suspicion of the most serious sabotage, especially espionage, treason. I did not notice this with this whole gang of bandits, and I had to meet with them quite often on many occasions of work. In my hands and in the work environment, I did not have those facts, according to which I could conclude about the facts of sabotage, espionage and treason. It is also hard for me to know that directly within the General Staff, these bandits had their agents already arrested, and, obviously, there are still a number of agents who worked hand in hand with this vile bandit group and harmed our army and our country.

Here I must briefly dwell on the speeches of a number of comrades who do not quite clearly and truthfully raise the question of the identity of these people. The party trusted them politically. From the point of view of the political, we did not have any moment that would give us the opportunity to suspect these people of treason, espionage or of any sabotage. Letʹs say with all frankness: this was not.

Iʹll tell you about the operational side of the matter. I accept this question entirely. I turned him upside down with my assistants, but I did not see any obvious crimes on the part of these people. In terms of operational play, in terms of methods of play. As Chief of the General Staff, I am accused of not covering all commanders in full.

Stalin . Didnʹt even answer the questions; it kills local workers: when they write, but they are not answered.

Egorov . In this, Comrade Stalin, I accept responsibility.


Stalin . Not a single request, not a single letter from local people should be left unanswered. If we learn this, then we will win, and you will have less red tape.

Egorov . Absolutely correct. I attribute this entirely to myself. I am referring to myself that my subordinates did not report to me. I do not disclaim responsibility. We did not find anything in the methods of operational play that would lead us to any thoughts that they were harmful. I think no.

Voice from the place . On the contrary, you thought that they lead well?


Egorov .The point is that the development of the operational solution was consistent with our general approach to these issues. I didnʹt see any difference. I played the game in Leningrad, Belarus, the Far East, in the absence of Vasily Konstantinovich, in Kharkov, in Moscow. In short, I did not see any particular difference in the general arrangement of operational ideas, decisions, etc. And therefore, I had no data to demand that appropriate measures be taken against these traitors or to put them under the line of pests. Our system is such in the sense of the organization methodology that we divided our entire operational situation into frontal zones, and hence the question of the coverage of the games went along these links. Therefore, the reproach that was made to me, I recognized and recognize it as correct. Perhaps, in addition to this, it was necessary to bear in mind the main cadres of commanders directly in Moscow, but there was not enough time even for these major sectoral front‐line exercises. Therefore, the only reason, perhaps, was that we did not concentrate operational training with the involvement of all commanders.

We have established, as you know, the method of so‐called strategy games on a central scale, as you already know about. These games were held with the participation of all commanders. I must say frankly that operational thinking on a front‐line and army scale, i.e., what was presented to me as a definite decision of the front commanders, it was distinguished by sufficient literacy.

In some moments, there were, of course, violations, not only of these people, but also of other commanders. Now about the personality of these people. I met with Gamarnik at work, only at the moment when I was the commander of the troops of the Belarusian district, and he was the secretary of the Central Committee of Belarus, and then later, during the time that we worked together in the central office. I considered him an absolutely trusted person in the party, and I had no suspicion that Gamarnik could be a traitor to our Motherland, the party nd the revolution. My relationship with him was of a purely business nature.

Blucher . In the Far East.


Egorov . Iʹll tell you about the Far East. I did what I needed and made such decisions that I considered obligatory for myself, regardless of Gamarnik, because I was not subordinate to him, and operational issues lay entirely on me.

Uborevich, Tukhachevsky, Yakir ‐ these people passed in the common zone of our joint actions during the Civil War. I will say frankly about the following: Comrade Stalin and I regarded Uborevich as a person energetic and at certain stages of work capable of solving certain questions, but by his nature ‐ a coward; and now we can say, if by that time we turn, during the period of command of his 13th Army on Wrangel, all this massive replenishment that he received, who went over to Wrangelʹs side for completely incomprehensible reasons ...

Stalin . Iʹve always called him cockerel, cock.


Egorov . We worked side by side with him during 1920. Yakir went through separate episodes with us, commanding a division and a group. I personally did not see in him any special qualities of a great operative at that time. Have not seen. I attribute this to that time, to the period of the Civil War. Tukhachevsky went through our hands with Comrade Stalin, in what respect? He came to our front ...

Stalin . I came from the east. Voice . From the 5th Army.

Egorov........ to replace the 13th Army. The 13th Army marched on the

coast of the Azov and Black Seas, we thought there would be a passive role. At that time, Shorin was relieved of his work, in his place we offered Tukhachevsky to the South‐Eastern Front. His Caucasian work was assessed by Comrade Budyonny absolutely correctly. His further command  of  the  Western  Front  during  this  period.  D       [9]from

Moscow was transferred by the front commander. We did not have such data that the person did nothing. The Polish campaign came up.


Comrade Stalin and I believed that a war with the Poles was inevitable, the Commander‐in‐Chief replies to us: ʺFor us this is doubtful, and if there is, the easiest front will be.ʺ Such was the cipher telegram from Commander‐in‐Chief Kamenev. Gittis sat to my right on the Western Front. Tukhachevsky went to the Western Front; its specificity is in ramming tactics, on the one hand; on the other hand, maybe his sabotage pretense, maybe, also refers to that time ‐ I donʹt know, from the testimony I did not see this.

Stalin . He fought well in the 5th Army. Voice . In the 1st Army.

Stalin . In the 5th I went well.


[ Egorov .]But here I think — Comrade Stalin and I have repeatedly examined this question from the point of view of the concept of the entire Western Front — what is the matter? Why did Tukhachevsky accept such a grouping, rammed with his right flank, leaving the left flank completely open? We discussed the issue, and I, as an operational person, summon the commander‐in‐chief and declare: ʺThe critical moment of the war with the Poles is coming.ʺ They asked us. I say: ʺOur consideration is such and such, and I consider it necessary that we be summoned to establish contact.ʺ The commander‐in‐chief replied: ʺI have no time.ʺ To summon the commanders and decide on the most important task, he says: “I donʹt have time. You put it right in your theaters, but for the rest I will give instructions on interaction. ʺ This indication of engagement was such that the war on the Western Front led to disaster. I spoke with Kliment Efremovich: why not arrange a military court for such leadership of the front? Either he was a traitor and a traitor at that time, or not knowing operational matters, or prepared frivolously. The commander‐in‐chief approved this, and both must be judged.

Voroshilov . Everything seems different now. And Kronstadt too, when we had already taken Kronstadt, the commander killed us completely.

Voroshilov . And the 27th division. Putna came and began to beat Dybenko.


Egorov . There came a period of peacetime and well‐known measures for the organization of studies, the organization of studies and the development of methods. These people, as you know, were the first to be introduced to Western European culture. Tukhachevsky went abroad in 1925, Uborevich and Yakir went. Well, of course, from the point of view of us, who did not travel to this Western Europe, we treated like this: people visited Europe ...

Voice . Those who went to Europe for treatment can be taken away without a twinge of conscience.

Egorov . I also went to get medical treatment and carried out tasks of the party on known issues. This introduction to Western European culture, it gave some preference, preference for these persons in the field of new attitudes, in the field of comparison, etc. From here began a streak of some innovations. And yet this turns out to be a period not only of acquaintance with Europe, but of establishing certain ties with the German Reichswehr. This is quite obvious. Uborevich, having contacted the German Reichswehr and having learned from him about the organization of the chief of armaments, held the post of chief of armaments and worked for it. This is now very clear. His area of work was the firing table. When they immediately rolled up the shooting tables together with Rogovsky, he could not give a good‐quality shooting table.

Voroshilov . Alexander Ilyich, who was supposed to look after this?


Egorov . It was released before my arrival at the General Staff. I take responsibility for what I then started to slowly check, but it was released before me. Come on, cut my head off for this event.

Stalin . No, itʹs not worth chopping. (Laughter.)


Egorov . But I had no doubt that such traitors to the Motherland were sitting here. There was no doubt about it. Finally, it is practically revealed that the tables are incorrect and measures to eliminate them begin. I am not a supporter of looking at my fate from the point of view of its sad past, what connections we had with them, and so on. You know that Budyonny and I were the scapegoats.


Voices . It is right.


[ Egorov .] Me, Budyonny, Dybenko, Kozlovsky, Lewandovsky ‐ all that was left was considered scoundrels, second‐class workers. Letʹs take a note that has been discovered only now, but it testifies to Putnaʹs greatest crime; through Novikov Vasily Konstantinovich. Write about a specific plan that has been taught. He replies: ʺNo matter how we develop a plan, we will not fight on it ...ʺ (reads). This was at the beginning of 1934. I went in the spring and looked at the whole situation: both Novikov and Putna were filmed. They were removed because they practically did nothing on the spot.

Voice . What is this document?


[ Egorov .] This is a note from a witness to this conversation. ʺComrade. Yegorov does not represent authority in the eyes of the military people, and he accidentally occupies the post of Chief of Staff. ʺ It turns out that Yegorov surrounded himself with henchmen who raise Yegorovʹs authority for fear of losing a warm place. But, comrades, I have never had a tail, except for the secretary whom I brought from the Belarusian Military District. This note is from Novikovʹs words. ʺAnd no matter what you say, Yegorov will be removed from the post of chief of the General Staff, and you will see that I was right.ʺ Tsifirov and Dublensky, they wrote notes that they sent out, one of them they sent to their head of the First Directorate Obysov [10], and Obysov did not report this to me. The note went through Levichev to Gamarnik, and only now they brought it to my attention.

Voroshilov . It is strange why Obysov did not transfer it directly to his boss.

Egorov . He says: ʺSince such things are written about you, we did not dare to tell you.ʺ This is just a crime by Novikov and the persons sitting above him.

Voice . It says about the plan, not only about you. (Chairman call).


[ Egorov .] One more fact. It seems to me that the maneuvers of 1925, Semyon Andreevich, in the Ukraine are of exceptional interest. I commanded myself then, let Comrade Krivoruchko confirm. Free cavalry maneuvers played out in all normal, natural combat conditions. But this, you see, did not come within the established framework ‐ this is what Novikov writes: ʺBut I, Semyon Andreevich, did not meet with you on a number of such questions, but I can say that you are taking on the wrong things.ʺ

Second maneuvers in 1935 in the Belorussian district. The maneuvers were built on the basis of the mobilization of the 8th division, the mobilization of the horse personnel. The horse train is called up throughout the region, and against this background, the maneuvers of the two corps are going on. The picture was natural. Do you remember, Kliment Efremovich, the troops could not fight, but they were pushed? It so happened that with Egorov ... I wanted to say with the letter ʺbʺ, sorry.

Budyonny . A mess.


Egorov . A mess. (Laughter.) Kamenev and Triandafillov [11]‐ two characters who have brought under such a position that the troops in the Belarusian district are not trained. I can responsibly report to you, Comrade Stalin, and to you, Comrade Voroshilov, you saw how the troops acted, the question of mobilization was a question of verification. What conclusion was made from that? The conclusion is that Egorov cannot lead. All these things cannot now take place in the light of the preceding period otherwise than in the light of the streak of attacks through me on the leadership of the Red Army. Have we seen this? We saw it and we discussed it. But we politically trusted people, assumed that there could be various debates, etc. We argued a lot at military councils too; be sincere, comrades, and remember, we all argued, and the results that we adopted, the annual totals that we signed at the Military Council, they were accepted by all of us, all sitting here together. Take at least the same offensive question. What, we didnʹt know about it? They knew. But this novelty, it was not fully realized by us, and it carried us away and swept over us. This struggle was clear and obvious to everyone. All these questions were extremely acute. You remember, as soon as I am a speaker, this is how the corresponding contradictions, denials, infidelities and all the rest begin.

And there is nothing to hide, comrade Grigory Ivanovich Kulik, that at the last Military Council on the sidelines, after Tukhachevskyʹs speech about combat training, you said: ʺa brilliant speech!ʺ (General laughter.) And here you are silent about it. You need to have the courage of a Bolshevik, Grigory Ivanovich, to call a spade a spade. Here is Shchadenko, he can confirm.

I also want to tell Tyulenev. You sit and shake your head when someone talks about what happened; and I ask you: why did you say the same thing? We met three or four times with Tukhachevsky, drank ...

Tyulenev . Once only.


Egorov . What is there once! Didnʹt you talk about the brilliant leadership in the extinguishment of the Tambov uprising? (General laughter.) This is correct, I am not saying it in vain. These individual moments created the halo around Tukhachevsky.

And Meretskov! You are talking about your pride, about the events in Spain, the party will never take that away from you. But where have you been over the years of your work with Uborevich? As the chief of staff of the district, in service in the General Staff, subordinate to me, you have never been to me about this.

Voroshilov . And you never called him.


Egorov . I called. I say that he was not with me, so to speak, in the party order.

Meretskov . I have come to you more than once. And what did I tell you about Gamarnik? The document is available.

Egorov . The document is there. But I am not a bureaucrat. A lot of people come to me. I have said more than once that I do not have a passage yard. You donʹt even warn me, but come directly to the secretariat, and they report to me that such and such a commander has come. I cannot refuse they will say: ʺbureaucratʺ and I am obliged to accept everyone. I take responsibility, maybe I did not accept you, but I affirm that you have never addressed me personally, except for an official summons. Only once did you come and said that the work situation in the Far East was difficult. This was after your telegram, signed by you, Lapin and Sangursky, about the impossibility of working with Vasily Konstantinovich further.

Meretskov . I did not sign such a telegram. Blucher . I did not know that.

Egorov . There is your signature. Weʹll find it, donʹt worry!


Voice from the place . Meretskov, it is true that we ignored Alexander Ilyich, and I told him about it straight to his eyes.

Egorov . You said that the working conditions were unbearable. I say:

ʺIndeed, this situation is intolerable when the commander does not accept for months.ʺ I spoke to Comrade Stalin and to the Politburo about Vasily Konstantinovich. They say here that I was for the removal of Vasily Konstantinovich.

Stalin . All of you were in favor of the withdrawal. Egorov . I was not for withdrawal.

Voroshilov . Not for withdrawal, but for replacement. (General laughter.)

Egorov . No. I said that Vasily Konstantinovich needs to undergo medical treatment. (General laughter.) But, comrades, I said this in the simplicity of my heart, I did not put here any general stream of deliberate data from all these scoundrels.

Stalin . It is right.


Egorov . I could not imagine that they want to film Blucher under this pretext. I was sick at heart and I am obliged to root for this cause, because the state of affairs is too responsible. Vasily Konstantinovich was ill, he does not receive reports for months ...

Blucher . This was not the case.


Egorov . But the question boils down to this.


Stalin . Many people said that Blucher likes to solve all issues himself. This, they say, is good, but he cannot have time to consider all the issues himself.

Blucher . This, too, Comrade Stalin, is wrong, because I did decide the decisive questions myself, but on the other hand I solved a number of questions with the headquarters.

Egorov . Well, letʹs not argue. Why am I acutely worried about Meretskovʹs statement? Because you and I, Vasily Konstantinovich, had a lot of such moments before that.

Blucher . These are business moments; they will still be.


Egorov . But in no way personally did I want to interfere with the authority, especially the operational authority of Vasily Konstantinovich never!

Stalin . Itʹs right.


Egorov . Comrades, the Headquarters headed by me undoubtedly had many shortcomings during this period of time. Of course, I myself could raise the wrong questions; I could make various kinds of mistakes.

Blucher . We must be objective, and we, the commanders, also bear a certain amount of responsibility for this, how we pose questions, how we take on them.

Egorov . The situation at work was difficult, I had a lot of doubts: what they gave me, I did not weigh and reported to the Peopleʹs Commissar, and this could be harmful. I trusted many things, did not notice many things. The fact that there are still people in the Headquarters of the Red Army who carried out this work and are pests is beyond doubt.

Iʹll tell you about the Field Manual. I turned the Field Charter from head to toe. The Peopleʹs Commissar instructed me to review it from a general point of view. I sat for seven days from morning to night and turned over the entire charter.


Stalin . Did you ask the district commanders?


Blucher . Occasionally, including myself, I took part one evening. Budyonny . Everyone read it and gave their comments.

Voices . There were. Were not. (Noise.)


Egorov . What was presented to me in the first edition, it was a separate copy in print ‐ this is completely different. Building the entire battle. It was in vain here that Comrade Kulik spoke about the wrong formation of the battle.

(Comrade Kulikʹs remark was not captured.)


Voroshilov . What you say is not a mistake, but stupidity.


Egorov . It was in a hurry, seven nights and seven days to work ‐ it is extremely difficult. We will issue the Field Manual, give it for verification during the summer and eliminate the errors. In this case, the brand went to Tukhachevsky. He wrote in Zvezda [12] about the Field Manual, maybe he changed something from what I presented. I will find these places now. Since he was the chairman of the commission, he gave the final text. Perhaps Comrade Kulik is talking about these corrections by Tukhachevsky ‐ not what I edited.

Voroshilov . Kulik speaks from the point of view of his yesterdayʹs experience. This experience cannot be perceived by us without any criticism, because the conditions are different; and the organization of the army, and so on, and so on ‐ everything is completely different.

Stalin . You still need to check.


Egorov . Of course, we must check carefully. In this Charter, I personally put my hand to 99%. Everything is upside down here.

Voice . The infantry is the main force. Remember the dispute?


Egorov . The infantry is the backbone of the battle this is a completely fundamentally correct line. And in the light of these past times of sabotage activity, you can collect a colossal bunch of signals that can be given in order to take timely action, but the political nature of these people, built on a certain trust, it deprived us of the opportunity to present our demands. Hence the facts of treason.

Comrades, Comrade Stalin told us that we should not worry about this question, and even more so it is impossible to panic. We cannot do this as Leninists‐Stalinists. We must calmly open the root of this 100% and outline measures to eliminate everything that has been done by these dastardly pests. I think that we can safely say that 99.9% of the Bolsheviks and Leninists in the army are loyal to the party to the end and will fulfill any task set by the party and the government in the matter of war, wherever it may be.

Voroshilov . The floor is for 3 minutes. Comrade Kuchinsky on a personal question.

Kuchinsky .Comrades, I was 5 years and 3 months Chief of Staff of the Ukrainian Military District. Before that, I was for 2 years the chief of staff of the Kiev corps at Dubovoy, Levichev and Garkavy. And now, comrades, looking back at the work that I did and looking back at the leader under whose leadership I worked, I must say the following here. I considered Yakir to be a good, tactically competent commander, a very good methodologist, highly cultured in operational terms. We considered his methods, methods of conducting war games, methods of field trips, air trips, methods of training with troops to be the newest, perfect after he studied in Germany. We considered him a 100% Bolshevik and could not help but consider him a 100% Bolshevik. He sometimes talked about how he fought Trotsky, how Trotsky hated him.

Voices . Well, thatʹs a lie. It is important what he did. Young eagle.


Kuchinsky . Comrades, we have seen what a great influence he has on the affairs of the Peopleʹs Commissariat of Defense. He often said that a number of major issues ‐ issues of the Armed Forces, issues of operational plans are resolved only when they consult with Uborevich and Yakir. He recounted, for example, a whole series of intimate scenes that took place in him when Comrade Stalin spoke to him. He said that when there was a question about 86 or 10,000 rifle divisions, they discussed this issue, and then Comrade Stalin bent down to his daughter and asked: ʺWhich division are you for?ʺ And then he says:

ʺShe said that she is for the 10,000th division.ʺ This jarred me. He often told me, almost every visit from Moscow, how he spoke with Comrade Stalin.

Voices . What a bastard, what a bastard!


Molotov . How did you understand such things: as a duck or did you take it seriously?

Kuchinsky . I was jarred.


Molotov . So, you took these things seriously?


Voice . Kuchinsky, tell me how you organized the maneuvers.


Kuchinsky . Comrades, how was it in the Ukrainian Military District? I have to say that it was the whole Duban [13] , the most real Duban, and what else. After all, all the most important issues ‐ operational, mobilization, issues of building the Armed Forces ‐ were solved the way Yakir wanted. And the questions of personnel! If you think about how the staff were selected, then they can be divided into 3 categories. One category knew what Yakir was. Another category of people he could rely on if there was a coup.

Voices . What are the surnames?


[ Kuchinsky .] I can name the names. According to the first category, who might have known him, here they talked about Grigoriev. For example, I do not believe Grigoriev, the head of the [headquarters] corps.

Second category. Letʹs take the Kiev mechanized brigade. Ultimately, 5 mechanized brigades were to be concentrated in Kiev, including those that were to come from Kharkov. We know two surnames. Letʹs take the names of the other three of the mechanized brigades. We know: Karev (drunkard), Evdokimov, Bogdanov. And finally, there was a third category of people who believed Yakir, who flapped, who did not know and honestly served the cause.

Voice . Was the Yakir honestly served?


[ Kuchinsky .] They served the cause honestly. Voice . Yakiru?

Molotov . In fact, it is not the same thing: they served the cause and in practice they served.

Kuchinsky . Now I want to report on how Yakir treated various people. For example, he never allowed to say anything about the Peopleʹs Commissar. He only said: ʺHe is picky, that sometimes he made me cry to tears, that sometimes he would take a minor case and could ruin the entire combat training of the division.ʺ And he said: ʺWhen Voroshilov is on maneuvers, I must always go with him in a car.ʺ (Indignation in the hall.)

Molotov . But is this discrediting ?!


Kuchinsky . How did he feel about Budyonny? He treated Budyonny very badly.

Voice . He went with the Peopleʹs Commissar to correct the Peopleʹs Commissar?

Kuchinsky . Thatʹs what he said.


Voroshilov . You, the chief of staff, the most responsible person, you see that the person is talking counter‐revolution. If you have a Peopleʹs Commissar of the Red Army who, out of his savagery and stupidity, out of his thoughtlessness, can ruin a division because of nagging, then it is better to try to drive out such a Peopleʹs Commissar with all your efforts. If this is not the case, then the commander has no right to say so.

Kuchinsky . Comrade Peopleʹs Commissar, I say what happened.


Voroshilov . You had to react to it, which means that you confirmed it and fawned.

Kuchinsky . Iʹve never been a sneak. I always spoke to everyoneʹs eyes.


Voroshilov . You didnʹt tell me that. You would say to him: ʺWe are official people, I will tell Voroshilov about you, do not go and do not do stupid things, because my commander cannot let you go alone.ʺ

Stalin . Can I ask you one question? This is the first time I see you and I want to respect you. I see that you are a person who could be very useful to the army.

Voroshilov . Until now, we thought he was helpful.


Stalin . Here is Uborevichʹs testimony: “Returning to the conversation with Tukhachevsky in March 1935, I consider it necessary to show what he named to me at the same time as Yakir, Gamarnik, Eideman and Kork who took an active part in the conspiracy and as participants in this conspiracy Rogovsky, Favitsky [14] , Olshansky, Appogu [15] , Kuchinsky and, it seems, Levichev ”. What can you say?

Kuchinsky . I can say that I have never been involved in a conspiracy. Voices . Heʹs lying.

Stalin . I apologize, I interrupted you, but if you give me permission, I would like to allow a little break. You will not always see the people who are sitting here, and so I want to ask you in front of them. This is what Uborevich says about Comrade Meretskov ‐ you, of course, are not responsible for him. Uborevich writes: ʺI involved Meretskov in May 1936, when I was on vacation with him in Sochi.ʺ Donʹt worry, Comrade Meretskov. Our business is to disassemble and check. I, as a communist, report to the communists: “I have always had close relations with him ... ( reads ) ... and that I take a very active part in this work. I suggested to Meretskov ... ʺ

Meretskov . Itʹs a lie. I declare with full responsibility that this is a lie.


Stalin . May be. God forbid it was a lie. He may have slandered you, but this is what he says. (Noise, many lines.)

Kuchinsky . Comrades, what was Yakirʹs attitude to the staff, what was Yakirʹs attitude to the General Staff? He was dismissive.

Voices . Essentially it is necessary to answer.


Kuchinsky . Comrade Stalin, I have already reported to you that I did not participate in any conspiracy and that no one involved me. (Many remarks.) Comrades, what was my attitude to the Chief of the General Staff? I didn’t care about Comrade Yegorov, and I said this to Comrade Yegorov personally in his own office. I told the Peopleʹs Commissar about this personally when he ordered me to come to the General Staff. Why did I feel this way? Because it seemed to me that if I was the chief [of staff] of the Kiev [military] district, then I was doing more than I would have been in the General Staff.

Voice . Why did you treat it badly? Explain.


Kuchinsky . Why was I treated like that? For two reasons: on the one hand, because I was set on ...

Voice . Who set it on?


Kuchinsky . On the other hand, the General Staff, Comrade Stalin, did not work satisfactorily.

Voice . Who set it on? Kuchinsky          (is silent).

Voice . Comrade Kuchinsky, why, when I was in Ukraine, you, as the chief of staff, never wanted to greet the commanders?

Kuchinsky . Not true.


Voice from the place . Who set you against the Chief of the General Staff? Be specific.

Voroshilov . It is clear that Yakir.


Kuchinsky . Yakir, of course. He told me directly ...


Voice from the place . Better tell us how you courted Sidorenko? Voice from the place . How did you prepare the teaching, say.

Kuchinsky . I can tell you anything. How did I feel about Yakir? Voice from the place . It is clear.


Kuchinsky . Iʹve seen his private life. He was a very humble man, he never drank. In his personal life, he was almost a holy man. (Noise in the hall, exclamations of indignation.)

Voice from the place . Why are you lying?


Kuchinsky . I looked closely at his personal life and I will say frankly that he was a good man.

Voroshilov . You canʹt invent something that didnʹt exist. The fact that you were a great friend with him is also correct.

Kuchinsky . Yes sir. I will even say more. In September 1936, when Alexander Ilyich took me into the carriage at 3 or 4 am, when we were going to the Belorussian maneuvers, they talked about Schmidt, Comrade Budyonny was also there. Budyonny suddenly jumps up and says: ʺYakir is still a Trotskyist.ʺ And I answer: ʺThis is not true; this is a lie.ʺ (Noise in the hall.)

Voice from the place . He was also a Trotskyist. Stalin . But he didnʹt know that.

Kuchinsky . Budyonny says that he is now a Trotskyist.


Budyonny . I felt in my gut. There was no data, but I see that the enemy.


Kuchinsky . Now about strategic games. I participated in the last strategic game as the chief of staff at Hitlerʹs, at Tukhachevskyʹs ...

Voroshilov . He very cunningly allowed himself to be defeated. Uborevich completely defeated him.

Stalin . And the other was Goering?


Voroshilov . No. Uborevich commanded his Western Front, and he commanded the combined Polish‐German forces for Hitler. Uborevich completely crushed him. How could he let himself be smashed like that?

Voice from the place . It was not Uborevichʹs decision. Voroshilov . Everything was played out here. Rubbing glasses.


Kuchinsky . I must say that Tukhachevsky introduced extraordinary passion into this game. He said that the Germans should have more strength. He should have more than 30 reserve divisions, he demanded to give him 20 more divisions on the 20th day. It was about five mechanized [16] divisions ...

Stalin . And in his testimony, he says that they had three mechanized divisions.

Kuchinsky . No. I heard from Nikonov. Three mechanized divisions, the fourth is being formed and there is personnel for the fifth division. It was said that the Germans might have five tank divisions. This was in the presence of Mezheninov. Tukhachevsky insisted on giving the Germans as much strength as possible. I believe that this war game, which was conducted in 1936‐1937, should be well thought out and conclusions from it should be drawn not only directly, but also from the opposite.

Voroshilov . Right.


Kuchinsky . From the opposite it is necessary to draw conclusions. Stalin . On what line did the Germans attack?

Kuchinsky . I reported to Comrade Mezheninov that there could have been a completely different option, which was not envisaged. I have no right to talk about it here.

Stalin . On what line did Hitler go on the offensive at Tukhachevsky, donʹt you remember?

Kuchinsky . I remember well. Stalin . On the right flank?

Kuchinsky . I do not want to violate the neutrality of Lithuania. The Reds themselves cannot violate Lithuaniaʹs neutrality without great political consequences. A fortified area was made in the Grodno region. I hit his right flank. I direct the main force of the Nazis against Yakir ...

Voroshilov . His demonstrative actions are very serious.


Kuchinsky . I told Comrade Mezheninov that there is a third option, much more terrible and dangerous, for which we have no strength here. I have no right to report on this here, Comrade Mezheninov can confirm, I reported in his office.

Could we have noticed any sabotage in the Ukrainian or Kiev military district? They could not see sabotage, but they saw a lot of shortcomings, shortcomings; in particular, in the fortified area. Our fortified area is defenseless from the anti‐tank point of view, because firing points can be blocked by tanks ‐ three tanks, five tanks and three firing points, they are locked themselves. The point is that we do not have anti‐tank weapons. Our fortified area is defenseless in anti‐tank terms.

We wrote a lot of papers to the Central Committee. How did we write? Yakir says: “We must write a paper to the Central Committee, but we must write to Voroshilov as well. So that Voroshilov is not offended, write: to Voroshilov, and then the same thing to Stalin, but do not write a copy from a copy. ʺ You can see these materials in the first department of the [headquarters] of the Kiev military district, you took with you and took away to the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) comrade Stalin.

Stalin . I didnʹt get anything.


Kuchinsky . About the railway to Zhitomir. Voroshilov . It was relatively expensive.

Stalin . It was, I thought, something serious. Voroshilov . Finish.

Kuchinsky . I want to report my sick case ‐ on staff training, on our headquarters. Comrade Stalin, for me it is now clear why we still cannot get out of the breakthrough that exists in the preparation of our headquarters. These people were for the headquarters. During four sessions of the Revolutionary Military Council, I reported that we needed a General Staff. All this is in the transcript. As if these people were good about this business, but nothing came of it. Staff workers were ignored, staff workers were never encouraged. Often Yakir said:

ʺGlory to the commander, and work for the staff.ʺ Or he said: “More to be than to seem” [17] . We, staff workers, have never been awarded, staff workers, perhaps, are still fleeing from the General Staff.

Voroshilov . I give the floor to Comrade Sedyakin on a personal question, then to Comrade Gryaznov on a personal question, and the end.

Sedyakin . I must here, before the members of the Politburo and the Military Council, declare that since the time I wrote this most unfortunate preface, I sincerely say this before my conscience and before you, I must confess this, I have gone astray from the right path on which I must an honest Bolshevik, an honest commander of the Red Army. I am dissatisfied with my speech, which everyone has heard here, and I now take the liberty ‐ I already reported to Comrade Stalin

-  to address him with the following statement:


Comrade Stalin. You have given an unambiguous and fair assessment of my ill‐fated preface. I clearly see that my criticism and gullible attitude to the honesty of my former comrade in arms, Kutyakov, have brought me to the position of a vile double‐dealing. I have the courage to admit this. Until now, I had the honest name of a Bolshevik and a military commander of the Red Army. Now this name, the title of an honest Soviet citizen, has been tarnished. You have only yourself to blame. But I am not an enemy of my Motherland and the Bolshevik Party. I was always ready to give my life for them. I want to be once again an impeccably honest and humble fighter for our great cause. I ask you to give me the opportunity to rehabilitate my good name ‐ the most precious treasure for a person in the fight against the consequences of vile betrayal, in the most difficult and dangerous matter [18] .

Comrades, I, like all of you, clearly imagine that we are now in a period of desperate class struggle, when the enemy is using the most sophisticated methods and every person who wants to be a participant in this struggle, who wants to be considered a worthy participant in this fight against our class enemies, he must be clean as a piece of glass. I understand this very well and I understand therefore that after what I have done, there can be no trust in me. But I ask you, comrade members of the Politburo, the Military Council, and you, Comrade Stalin, to believe my sincerity.

Voroshilov . Comrade Gryaznov has the floor.


Dirty . We have been called here, comrades, on the most important political question of a vile counter‐revolutionary conspiracy. We all have a lot of serious gaps and shortcomings, which is why I did not consider it possible to divert the attention of the Military Council to questions of personal relationship with Comrade Blucher on joint work in OKDVA. Even now I have no opportunity to argue with Comrade Blucher. Our attitude is characterized by hatred of our enemies and our loyalty, our loyalty to our party and our Peopleʹs Commissar.

Stalin . The people.


Dirty . Quite right, people. But, comrades, if you reproach me with ambition, then some suffer from this and exaggerate their merits.

Blucher . Right.


Dirty . And Blucher suffers from this a little. But I protest against being called a squabbler. I do not have these character traits. And my comrades know me as a person who is not devoid of great modesty. I think that everyone knows me and cannot reproach me.

Concerning the Chongar assault. In the presence of Comrade Budyonny, they said there: “I informed Gryaznov about the Chongar assault. Look, Blucher has launched an assault. Gryaznov packed up and drove off, and a few hours later began the Chongar assault. What did the fools say?

Stalin . They have provoked you.


Voroshilov . At the same moment he sent a note to Blucher that the Chongar Peninsula was taken: look, Gryaznov is ahead of you.

Voroshilov (presiding). I give the floor to Comrade Tyulenev.

Tyulenev . Comrades, here on me, on a little man ... Voices . Nice little one.


[ Tyulenev ] I am small in stature. Here the Chief of the General Staff referred to me that in my speech at one evening, where Alexander Ilyich himself had invited me, for the only time in my life, I said with delight about the counter revolutionary Tukhachevsky. Why? To say about Klimenty Efremovich is a toady, to say about Budyonny is a toady, to say about Egorov ‐ he also worked for him. (Laughter.)I chose. I take these words back. I want to say something else. I told Alexander Ilyich:

ʺHere you have the chief of the General Staff.ʺ ‐ ʺWho?ʺ ‐ ʺIt was Yakir who planted, the one who ignores the orders of the Peopleʹs Commissar.ʺ He said, “No. This is my man. ʺ Is that correct, Alexander Ilyich? This is so, even Galina Antonovna knows. About Gamarnik I told Alexander Ilyich why Gamarnik would enroll himself as a supporter, but we were hurt.

Also, Comrade Stalin, I want to say that when Primakov was arrested, when Primakov was arrested, we gathered as two protesters from Shchadenko. He was removed from the Academy. He walks and does not know where to go. He says: ʺThey send me to Eideman, but I donʹt want to.ʺ ʺYou turn to Klimenty Efremovich.ʺ ʺDoesnʹt acceptʺ. I say:


ʺTurn to Stalin.ʺ ‐ ʺAnd to turn to Stalin, it means to complain about Klimenty Efremovich.ʺ Somehow, he agreed to address Klimenty Efremovich. I turned to Semyon Mikhailovich. Didnʹt do anything either. Before that, we said that Primakov was arrested and said that Tukhachevsky would be arrested. We said this 8 months ago.

Voice . Right.


[ Tyulenev .] Moreover, I told Budyonny, I thought he would tell you as a close friend. When I was sitting with Yegorov, dear Comrade Stalin, and so, in the light of conversations with Shchadenko, I then go up to Tukhachevsky, say: ʺMikhail Nikolaevich (mixed up his name, patronymic), ‐ I ask, ‐ how do you feel about the peopleʹs commissar?ʺ And he thought that I was set up, that tomorrow I would go and report to the Peopleʹs Commissar. And he says: ʺWhat are you, what are you, how can you talk about this?ʺ All suspicions were, well, so I said, and if not, I take back my words.

Egorov . I give the floor to Kliment Efremovich.


Voroshilov . Comrades, here in some detail, in their speeches, the comrades described the situation in which the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army found itself in connection with the treasonous, vile work of the enemies of the people. Many comrades here correctly noted our weakness in the sense of skill, in the sense of a healthy response to what was happening around us. All this, comrades, is correct, all very good. But the fact remains ugly. The fact remains very grave. Moreover, the worst, the most difficult of all that was said here and the worst of what is taking place here is that we ourselves, first of all, I, arranged these people, appointed them ourselves, moved them ourselves, reduced everything ourselves. this public, which is now, to some extent, one way or another, involved in these dastardly crimes.

How did all this happen? I am not in the order, so to speak, of seeking objective reasons, not in order to justify myself or you, but I just want to explain, for myself and the Politburo, how all this could have happened. I personally explain to myself that this whole process of the formation of dastardly criminal elements who were part of the commanding staff took place because we, being not only blinded by successes, not only people whose political instincts were gradually dulled day by day, being overloaded with work, being preoccupied with the enormous turn of our army, they forgot the most basic and important thing: they forgot to work on ourselves and on people subordinate to us, like communists. This is the basis of the basics. Everything that was said here about our enemies, everything that was recalled here in connection with various anecdotes, etc., all this could not be, if they treated themselves and those around them differently, they would treat them like Bolshevik‐Leninists, communists, they would treat them from the point of view of a person who swears to Stalin, but who at the same time does not fulfill the most elementary Stalinist provisions, about which we do not we have only heard it repeatedly at large meetings, from the rostrum of congresses and in the press, but which we knew personally. There is not a single person here who would not have heard Comrade Stalinʹs instructions in this or that situation. Comrade Stalin and I met frequently. Comrade Stalin taught us and teaches us to be constantly vigilant, to be truly attentive to people, to take care of people. What does it mean? To be Bolsheviks, in short, Bolshevik‐Leninists; on my own behalf ‐ the Stalinists. And nevertheless, we forgot this elementary commandment, lowered the reins a little, and in other cases, not a little, but a lot. Here Kuchinsky and other comrades spoke here. It must be said that all of them are Bolsheviks, and we ourselves turned out ‐ and to my shame, too, the old fool ‐ turned out to be a fake Bolshevik in this respect. They were not fake, but from a different material. They needed more than anyone else in constant Bolshevik education. We did not do this, and others began to educate them for us. You will say that we are honest people. The fact of the matter is that we, honest people, looked at dishonorable, vile enemies with foolish honest eyes. We didnʹt really educate our people and ourselves as Bolsheviks. Our instincts have dulled, our sense of understanding, the sense of recognizing enemies has dulled. Comrade Stalin recently told me: ʺYou were once sensitive enough, with a keen political instinct, knew how to recognize enemies.ʺ True, it was a long time ago when we worked together at Tsaritsyn and when we spotted enemies on the fly. Kulik, Budyonny and others present here know this.

And then gradually this feeling became dulled. Now, when I listen at this large, far from solemn, meeting of comrades who talk about what they did, why they did not notice, did not feel, I am afraid that even now the wrong course is being set towards now you need to uproot these scoundrels. Need to uproot, and then? Trash, it does not necessarily come from outside, it is born within us; and one and the same person can be rubbish and not rubbish ten times throughout the year. He can turn from rubbish into a good person, and from a good person to turn into rubbish, especially if we do not work well.

What were our commanding officers in general like? Who were those people whom you and I raised, brought up, brought up very poorly, as now you can see, the people whom we organized, to whom we entrusted the enormous task of educating other people.


What was our commanding staff like? These are, firstly, the former old officers, without whom we could not build the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army and did a good job in attracting them in due time. These are former soldiers, non‐commissioned officers, as Comrade Belov spoke about here. They are workers and peasants, a small group of old Bolshevik workers. All this public, heterogeneous in character, in its social position, in its, I would say, spiritual appearance (I will speak afterwards about this spirit of struggle for a person) gradually grew along with the army. And when we then rearranged these people from place to place, nominated them, what signs, what data, what characteristic did we use to evaluate this or that person? The one that this or that person deserved in practice, that characteristic,

We now have commanding personnel of more than two hundred thousand people, we have more than one hundred thousand people in command. Over the past five years, we have cleared more than 50 thousand from the army of all worthless trash. In recent years, we have thrown out thousands of people, including Trotskyists; nevertheless, in this conglomerate of humanity, many different people remained. And according to our order, which existed during the appointments, we could ‐ in part your humble servant ‐ use only one criterion ‐ this is the assessment of a given person, which is in his so‐called personal file, in his attestation materials. And I must say bluntly: you, comrade commanders, ‐ when we speak here, we all love to orate, show off and show ourselves better than we really are ‐ you, comrade commanders, and no one else, give an assessment to each commander, to every political worker. And when I appoint people, I have no other criterion other than the material that is available for this person; and this material is always signed by the commander, an employee of the Revolutionary Military Council in the past, or his political assistant at this time. And so, I must tell you, comrades, that our enormous fault lies in the fact that we not only did not educate these people for real, but I am talking about every small thing, there are many more criminals and corrupt people, spies and saboteurs there, than in the top ‐ the fault lies in the fact that we really did not educate people, but did not even know. We certified by ear and thus committed a crime, a crime because we are guided by these materials. and this material is always signed by the commander, an employee of the Revolutionary Military Council in the past, or his political assistant at this time.

How is the appointment kitchen organized? I appoint, as peopleʹs commissar, people, starting with the commander of the regiment and those corresponding to him, the commissar of the regiment and above. The commander of the division and above is already appointed by the Central Committee on my recommendation, but the Central Committee approves 99% of what I represent, and I affirm what the people in these posts represent to me, in the posts of chiefs of personnel; and then I am guided by the materials that are available for this person.

What role does the commander play in the appointment? Everyone is ready to say: ʺI am assigned a worker, I demand that he be removed, but he is not removed.ʺ Comrades commanders, tell me frankly that when you come to Moscow, bring with you or compose so many appointments, so many displacements here.

Voices . Right, right.


Voroshilov .And tell me honestly: that you do not confer with this same Mr. Feldman beforehand, do not argue, and only after that come to me

-     such and such regiment commander, such and such division headquarters commander, such and such commander at the division headquarters department, I ask to remove such and such chief of the 3rd corps headquarters, I ask to give such and such. We have already conspired, and they are conspiring not only with Feldman, but often conspire, if we are talking about the commander whom Yakir needs to get from Uborevich or Yakir from SAVO, then they are already conspiring with the commander of SAVO, etc. There are a huge number of such cases. So, to imagine that the appointment went in this order: Feldman, Voroshilov and the other are sitting. One of them picks at the nose out of stupidity, the other brings him a whole list, and we sign it ‐ this is not true. This was not the way it was. Therefore, bear more responsibility for the future. I think that if some head of the road or some head of the depot comes to Lazar Moiseevich and says: “Such and such a worker is not good, he must be replaced. There are better people, let me do it. ʺ Well, he is a saint, or I am a saint, if you yourself do not really know people. And if, for example, an appointment has taken place, then you need to keep these people under your supervision and the worse a person is, the more they need to be engaged. Are we doing? Bad. And that is why now in our warehouses there is a continuous bastard, saboteurs who only knew that precious property, which, perhaps, is more valuable than our life with you, because it should protect our Motherland, so that this precious property could be at any time ruin. After all, neither I, no one individually could know all people. All of us bosses should know people as they should know themselves. Do you think Feldman is like? He knew a lot of people and therefore did a lot of meanness. I was the final chord. I signed, but you my friends ...

Stalin . Does Bulin know people?


Voroshilov . Bulin will know better than people, because he knows our people, and not only enemies, but they knew more enemies. But let the commanders, I appeal to them, there are those who say: ʺWe are great in operational terms, but in all other respects we were humiliated.ʺ Excuse me, please, no one can say that I was more preferable to one than to another. Here Ivan Pavlovich [19]says ʺhe called me a fool.ʺ Comrades, I scolded everyone. But you think I loved these scoundrels. I knew they werenʹt communists. I exclude Yakir and Gamarnik, but I knew about Uborevich and Tukhachevsky; I am also about Kuchinsky, let him not be offended, I believe that he is a weak communist. And he demonstrated it here. Perhaps I also consider many to be weak communists, but this does not mean that Kuchinsky and anyone else like him cannot be a better communist than me or cannot be what every honest person, every communist should be. Perhaps, it should be and will be, if we take up this matter.

The enemy directed his dastardly work mainly to the most sensitive areas. He put his people in aviation, mechanized combat troops, in chemical units, in communications and in warehouses, as I said, in the naval forces keep in mind in the naval forces. In a word, where there are most difficulties, where there is the most equipment, where that is most important for future defense ‐ there I sent my people. From there you will have to remove most of all sorts of rubbish and really pick,  clean all this beer from there. But at the same time, comrades, I repeat: if you don’t turn your work in a slightly different way, if you don’t really take up the training of cadres, then a cleansed army, it may very soon be clogged. We have a huge army. We have doubled our army over the past 5 years. Do you understand this? And in terms of its technical equipment, in terms of technical significance, if you compare what was 5 years ago, it is impossible to compare. We have spoken many times. The situation has changed. Therefore, we need a lot of people, and intelligent, knowledgeable people. And this intelligence, this need to chase after knowledgeable people ‐ it played objectively into the hands of the enemy, because every intellectual, every literate person was worth its weight in gold ‐ and in one place he was needed, and in another. You criticize some good people who often give certification, for example, Budyonny ‐ gave a recommendation to Abashidze.

Budyonny. That was 1927, damn it.


Voroshilov. Why did this bastard find himself? I just blinked.


Budyonny. Abashidze asked Beria from us in 1936 to appoint him to the Transcaucasian district. Abashidze worked as the commandant of the city, and Beria as a Chekist, they served nearby.

Stalin. Punishers.


Budyonny . There were punishers.


Voroshilov . Comrades, if they introduced him to me, I would appoint him, because such an attestation: under Sergo he was commandant in Tiflis for 8 years, Beria headed the Cheka. The man grew up before their eyes. How to avoid political confidence? But now it is clear that it is impossible to be guided by this criterion, this is not enough. Comrade Stalin said bluntly: ʺCheck at work.ʺ The first time it is listed here, to my shame. The man is big. In the old army, in the German army, if there was a Kaiser, he would have the right to shake hands with the Kaiser, and now the Fuhrer, once every three years. We must know this. I just found out that this man ‐ Abashidze ‐ was a colonel.

Voice . Major.


Egorov . Colonel.


Voroshilov . Thatʹs what Iʹm talking about. The tsar appointed colonels by his own hand. We knew that he was in Kaluga, where he failed as an employee. And after that he is again shoved and sent to the border.

Stalin . In Moscow they caught him drunk.


Voroshilov . So, it was unclean here. And so, the chief of the General Staff also had his hand, because he knew this gentleman. You canʹt play with such things, because thanks to this, every bastard crawls into our ranks. This needs to be hacked into the nose.

Stalin . You need to wind it on a mustache.


Voroshilov . I have already said that we took great care of people. We followed your line, Comrade Stalin, the correct line ‐ to protect people.

Stalin . We mobilized selected communists for the armored units for the Red Army. When we began to look at your commanding staff of tank units, we were amazed why your tank units were not headed by the ones we mobilized.

Voroshilov . We have a lot of tank units. Stalin . Still, not five thousand.

Voroshilov . Dozens.


Stalin . For dozens of units, you could ask the Central Committee, and the Central Committee will give you.

Voroshilov . They will not be able to command immediately, he still needs to be taught.

Stalin . Donʹt you teach people?


Voroshilov . They teach, but it takes quite a long time for the brigade commander to grow up.

Stalin . What, did you have great experts in tanking, these Abashidze and others? He is a former cavalryman of the tsarist army.


Voroshilov... He was a combined‐arms commander, completed a special one‐year course and was then appointed. We had a directive: take care of people. We took care of people and took care of every scum at the same time. Our tentacles turned out to be insufficiently adapted, the eye was not vigilant enough. For the future, we need to get rid of this practice somehow, work with people in a different way, then our scoundrels will be eliminated, and we will be able to prevent honest people from mistakes and educate them as real Bolsheviks. The question arises: how, besides all that I have already told you, how were Gamarnik, Tukhachevsky, Feldman, Yakir, Uborevich, all sorts of Garkavy, Savitsky, Volpe, Efimov sitting next to me, who at one time sat on the footage. Here you have to blame, as you all did here; did not notice, believed these people,

Voices . Right.


[ Voroshilov .] I entrusted so much practical work to him that he could say that due to practical work he could not engage in political work. Maybe it was good that he didnʹt do it. He was engaged in farming, construction, veterinary medicine and sanitation, and he did all these things very badly. I trusted him ...

Molotov . Gamarnik apparently contributed to the publication of fascist literature, fascist publications and fascist posters.

Voroshilov . This is not excluded.


Molotov . PUR consented to these publications.


Voroshilov . Digging you can find a lot. Maybe he agreed, or maybe it was his proposal.

Molotov . You saw those posters, remember the posters for the Polish and German army?

Voroshilov . Lovely posters, beautifully painted; both the Polish and German armies are shown a hundred times better than ours.

Concerning Tukhachevsky. I did not value Tukhachevsky highly politically, did not consider him a Bolshevik, considered him a barcheon, etc. But I considered him a connoisseur of military affairs, who loved and supported military affairs. True, sometimes he offered nonsense, as Comrade Stalin knew. For example, about 4 years ago he presented me (he was loyal to me) a large report and asked permission to transfer this report to Comrade Stalin. In this report, he suggested nothing more, no less, how to start immediately organizing aviation in such a quantity that it would have 40 thousand aircraft in peacetime. He proposed to deploy active tank units in such a size that they would have at least 50 thousand units of tanks in peacetime. When Comrade Stalin read this report, he told him in the face that it was nonsense. What surprised me the most here is that that Tukhachevsky took it for granted. He did not defend his position. But he did not lose heart. Along with this, he proposed and sought, and spoke to Comrade Stalin about 7‐8 thousand ...

Stalin . It would be nice to have that kind of power, but you had to give it up then.

Voroshilov .This is an unbearable, unnecessary thing. In order to have an Air Force in such a volume, it was necessary to have at least 2.5 million ground forces. The minimum is to keep a certain proportion, a certain ratio. It was a sabotage proposal, calculated on what Belov said, that we are simpletons, fools ‐ maybe they will bite. I want to tell, Comrade Stalin, about one more case. After the last military operational game, everyone gathered at the Chief of the General Staff and then the Chief of Staff, Uborevich, Yakir, Semyon Mikhailovich, Tukhachevsky and Gamarnik came to me and reported to me the results of the rally. I noticed a number of very strange things that were allowed during these maneuvers. I pointed out these strange things, in particular, the very mild success of the Belorussian Military District, commanded by Uborevich, and the desire of the Blue command,

Then another, very strange position, which, unfortunately, the Chief of the General Staff did not refute, but only said: ʺWe need to think it over.ʺ On the left flank, in the Ukrainian sector, in the Letichevsky direction, we were supposed, on their instructions, according to their plan, to invade with our corps, auto parts, cavalry units and rifle troops. Then, due to a number of reasons, due to the fact that we did not keep up with the delivery of our units, we, under the pressure of superior forces, not only leave the Polish territory of the enemy, but abandon our territory and rely on our fortified area, located 60‐70 kilometers from the border. It turns out, as you can see, a completely wild, uttermost thing. First, we invade with our troops, then we retreat, then the troops appear, which were not fired sufficiently, and these troops are given the task of crushing the main forces of the enemy. The thing is completely stupid, ill‐conceived. Nevertheless, Yakir says there is no other way out. After all these conversations, Tukhachevsky (I donʹt know where he had had a drink by this time), drunkenly, comes up to me and says in a semi‐official tone: “I ask you, Comrade Peopleʹs Commissar, to report to the government that if we are not given so many additional divisions, so many mechanized brigades, so many artillery means, we cannot fight in these conditions ”. Well, the comrades know what I answered. I called him to order and pointed out that I know and knows the government, what forces are at our disposal, what the enemy can have and that you have no right to dictate this to me. If you have your own point of view, if you are a responsible person, tell the government that, in your opinion, we are not strong enough. And in my opinion, it’s not about strength, but about organization, skill, belief in victory, which you don’t have. That was about my speech.

Budyonny . Quite right.


Voroshilov . Then I visited Egorov. I went to Egorov on purpose. All this made a very hard impression on me. At half an hour past eleven in the night I arrived at Yegorovʹs and saw this ʺMarshalʺ there. I did not say a word to Semyon Mikhailovich, but I saw how he watched him. It was evident that he wanted to give him in the face.

Stalin . Who?


Voroshilov . Tukhachevsky. Until that vile and despicable he held himself.

Budyonny . Such a scoundrel!


Voroshilov . I saw that this man is a drunkard, a subject, morally corrupted to the last degree, but politically he serves with faith and truth. I was even then such an idiot that I did not draw any other conclusions from this and did not think that moral decay had already grown into political treason and betrayal. All this, of course, cannot serve as any excuse. Only now, after the organs of the Peopleʹs Commissariat of Internal Affairs have opened these gentlemen, we become smart. We ourselves had enough signs. True, I repeat that I had no serious signals.

I have one document to which I showed vols. Stalin and Yezhov, a very original document. A document stating that one aircraft mechanic of the Vitebsk brigade in 1935, in March, demanded that he be dismissed from the Red Army. When asked, ʺWhy donʹt you want to serve?ʺ ‐ he said: “I don’t want to, I don’t believe,” he said, “to everything that is being done here. Please release me. ʺ A long work is underway with him, they persuade him, question him. “No,” he says, “I don’t want to serve.” They are taking him to Uborevich. Uborevich talks with him for a long time, then says: ʺGo to the brigade and tell them that a new Korolev has arrived.ʺ Korolyov arrives at the air brigade and again says: ʺI ask you to fire me immediatelyʺ ‐ ʺWhy?ʺ ‐ ʺI do not believeʺ. They consider him crazy, write about it to Troyanker. Comrade Trojanker probably forgot. The Trojanker reports to Gamarnik, they decided to remove the Queen ... No, first examine him. They testify, admit that he fell ill with schizophrenia a slight insanity. They find his diary, leaf through it and read it (written in his own hand): “I am trying to get fired from the army, because a new party has been formed in the army, because there are members of the new party, which dates back to

[19] 25‐26. This party sets as its task a betrayal of the Motherland and the country. The Vitebsk brigade has already been sold to the Poles ”.

Stalin . Air brigade.


Voroshilov . The Vitebsk air brigade was sold to the Poles. “This,” he says, “is headed by people: Gamarnik, Tukhachevsky, Yakir, Yagoda, Uborevich and a couple of other people, whom I don’t want to name now.” This was in 1935 in the month of March. 1935, 1936, half of 1937, two and a half years ago. This document was circulated through the office and was with Comrade Troyanker. Comrade Trojanker sent him to different places. This is a very serious matter.


Budyonny . Political [20] . Voroshilov . Politically serious. Stalin . In March 1935!

Voroshilov . This is the same as what is now available. Characteristics of this person, what is he like? The head of the Vitebsk political department writes: ʺA very smart, intelligent, thinking person.ʺ After some hospital stay, he was released for lack of reasons (laughter) of keeping him in the hospital, schizophrenia turned out to be weak. Hereʹs the thing.

Stalin . He was qualified as a counter revolutionary.


Voroshilov . Yes, as a counter‐revolutionary, and he was fired from the army. Now we need to find this Queen and ask him he is an educated person, knowledgeable and reasonable, judging by the response ...

Voice . Someone told him.


Voroshilov . I donʹt remember everything. There is an indication there that many people agitated him, they say: your business is lost anyway, you quickly come to us, otherwise you will fall into the clutches of those who come tomorrow, into the clutches of new owners. Therefore, he strove to leave the army. That was the signal, Comrade Trojanker, but since Tukhachevsky, and Gamarnik, and Yagoda, and Uborevich, and Yakir were mentioned there that means only a madman can speak like that ‐ so, obviously, they decided, and that was the end of the matter.

Budyonny . It is imperative to find him. It was a signal to us. This is a real signal.

Voroshilov . Separate questions, comrades. About construction. We have spoken about this a lot here, and our construction is very bad. But there we had more sabotage than anywhere else, because almost the entire engineering and technical staff of the release of 1927‐1928 and 1929 are former Trotskyists, former Zinovievites and all other other rubbish.


But all the same, to say that everything that we have built and we have built, comrades, in 5 years for 6 billion rubles ‐ to say that everything we have built is bad is not true, it is not true. We have separate cities, whole cities, which are superbly and beautifully built. But in these beautiful cities there is a lot of abomination, a lot of muck. Pests, of course, where they could do it, they did it. The fault here is not only pests, but also ours. Comrades commanders, political workers, this was done for you. The construction bodies that built this will not live in these houses, construction people have built and leave, and you live there. You must watch, watch this construction. It’s good to go out here and say: this is bad, then bad, we have signaled. The easiest thing is to signal, write notes and calm down. And the most difficult situation is to work and come out of a difficult situation with honor. Where was Spain at the beginning of the year? In the direst situation. There can be no secret here, I can say that when we met at Comrade Molotovʹs with the Spanish ambassador, he said: “Well, today you are drinking tea with me, and tomorrow you wonʹt shake hands with me, because maybe , there will be no Spain. ʺ We told him: ʺCalm down.ʺ Indeed, Spain came out with honor from the most difficult situation, because there are honest, courageous people there, and we helped. And isnʹt the whole country, all the people helping us? We are being given more help than we need. We are corrupted by help, corrupted by money, corrupted by attention. We were overwhelmed, and this is our fault, our misfortune. And we go and say: I wrote, I ordered, my note has already been given and therefore calmed down. But we did not live to see this situation, when you can give orders and know that everything will be done, everything is ground in, everything is arranged on the shelves, like a good clockwork. We do not have this yet; we are in the [e] period of construction. Therefore, it is necessary to bear more responsibility for the construction. And then no pest will be able to do his black deed. And if he does, he will quickly be caught. We will know not only because today we made a raid and saw that it was bad. And we will systematically observe, through our organizations, which you manage, then you will know that this should be done then, should be completed at such and such a time. And there will not be all the outrage that   is  happening.  And  there  will  not   be  all  the  outrage  that   is happening. must be completed at such and such a time. And there will not be all the outrage that is happening.

Fortified area. Are the fortified areas constructed in a harmful manner? I think they did something wrecking, but that everything was wrecking or mostly wrecking is not true. The direction was chosen very carefully and was checked many times. The head of the Western section of Ukraine drove through and looked several times ... There they looked and chose. And Yakir ultimately, he could establish one or two points, but there were commanders next to Yakir.

Blucher . And Putna shows: in spite of the fact that they wanted to push through operational sabotage installations in the formation of large, fortified areas, he failed to do this, so they transferred the sabotage to the nature of construction.

Voroshilov .Maybe. We must quickly get rid of this. Here is what Ivan Fedorovich says, that the situation with filters is bad, there are no masks for soldiers, dust collectors. It is possible. But we do not know that some areas lack adequate depth, that we do not have enough multi‐layer volumes per unit square. But nevertheless, we know that with appropriate fortification and additional work at the beginning of the war, we will make these areas a very serious means of not only resistance, but also a means from which we can conduct an offensive against the enemy. And, besides, no one bothers us to carry out additional work. Therefore, it is not recommended to say: they did harm, but we were idiots and did not know anything. This is both wrong and harmful, because it covers up all sorts of outrage ‐ it was sabotage and therefore it is a legacy. Nothing like this, we are responsible for everything, we must check and fix all the shortcomings, problems and work in a new way, without referring to the fact that yesterday there was sabotage, today the consequences of sabotage, and tomorrow we did not have time to do anything. Therefore, all this drags on, and it is not known when it will end.

About combat training and sabotage in combat training. I deny this almost entirely. They say: ʺSince they are enemies, why not harm them in combat training?ʺ If they were idiots, they would do it and fail a long time ago. Why were they respected people? Because they worked hard on operational work. They would not be worth a dime in the eyes of their masters as agents if they did not act so skillfully, if they did not earn credibility in the eyes of the army, which they wanted to lead against the party, against the people. They earned it with a hump. Yakir worked a lot, Uborevich worked a lot, and their districts were not ... [21]I saw your district, Pavel Efimovich, and saw the teachings at the Totsky training ground. Outrageous disgrace. I was ashamed. This is a complete mess. I saw the Belorussian district last year and the maneuvers. It was a disgrace. I went to report to the government, Vyacheslav Mikhailovich, that this is an outrage. They painted everything in advance, arranged and, in fact, did not carry out maneuvers, but engaged in eyewash, rehearsed the teaching in advance, demonstrated it in front of foreigners. If it were, it would be very good. But it was different: the pre‐rehearsed teaching failed. I gave permission to conduct such a rehearsed teaching, and then show it to foreigners ‐ Italians, British, French. This was my directive and that of the Chief of the General Staff. But the trouble is that this rehearsed teaching was carried out outrageously badly, badly; it was ripped off. Hence, he did not have enough skill.

Essentially, is such a rehearsed teaching permissible? It is acceptable and useful, because when you have five mechanized brigades, three cavalry divisions, three infantry divisions in a small area (and there will be such cases), when you just maneuver without doing such a big exercise, you will still be two or three years of maneuvering and you will not achieve that everything was harmonious with you. Too many troops in a small area. Whatʹs wrong with that? Sailors do this too. Iʹm not a big sailor, but I train them in this business. If you conduct a naval battle, first with submarines, then without submarines, then with the participation of the air forces, etc., if it does not come out once, it will not come out the second time, what’s wrong. And when you scatter a large number of troops on a large front, you do not find each other, you didnʹt get a damn thing out of it, what will you learn then? Do I need to constantly study like this? No, it is not necessary, it would be wrong. But doing one or two of these teachings is necessary and useful. The bad news is that even such a teaching they organized poorly. Ivan Panfilovich taught freely, freely, because he himself traveled, wrecked all his areas, because his commanders: Bagro, Kulik, Gorbachev studied their areas, and his free teaching came out better than Uborevichʹs. This means that the person either got a lift, or he is the best commander. I considered him the best, but not better than Uborevich. And no matter how much you brag ‐ ʺwe are betterʺ ‐ it was not, he was good. This is our trouble. that even such a teaching they organized badly.

Stalin . One thing is certain that they were conceited, we praised them a lot.

Voroshilov .Itʹs one thing that we created this halo for them ourselves, supported them at this high level ‐ thatʹs right. Another thing, I repeat, in combat training it was unprofitable and very difficult to harm them. What is combat training? What is needed in order to harm in combat training? It is necessary to involve a huge number of people in sabotage, starting not with the platoon commanders, but with the squad leader, because this organism lives, everyone thinks about his area, wants to do better so as not to lose face. Here it is necessary to carry out an entire operation if there are large exercises, or if a division needs to be ruined

-  if this sabotage should be on maneuvers in small areas. So, they didnʹt. If they did somewhere and some kind of trick, dirty trick, it is your fault; you were just hating. I think they didn’t. To pull by the hair what was not, what was not profitable for the enemy to do, is unnecessary. This is how we disorient ourselves.

Dybenko . Let me give you help. Tukhachevsky came to us, and then I asked him a question about the firing course for heavy machine guns. The course, which was clearly sabotage ‐ there is a corps commander who was there at that time, it was in the presence of all division commanders ‐ Tukhachevsky was forced to declare that the course of firing for heavy machine guns was absolutely wrong. I ask you to interrogate Tukhachevsky on this matter. This is what I say, that it was a sabotage installation ‐ in the course of firing on heavy machine guns.

Voroshilov .Thatʹs quite possible. Iʹm talking about maneuvers, big exercises. Two words about combat training in OKDVA. You say, comrades,  that  they  scolded  us  and  praised  those.  You  must  be objective. Vasily Konstantinovich, of course, they scolded you because your combat training was very bad. Better now, now organized, now people have learned. Now they stopped scolding you, and when you were scolded, it was very bad. You were ill, you were leaving, there you had a squabble between honest and dishonest people, such a mess that it is difficult to make out. Therefore, the combat training of units, formations and the entire district as a whole was abandoned. The situation was very bad. I understand that it is difficult for you to carry out the work, because the conditions are too difficult: deserted people, a huge turnaround in construction. But nevertheless, what is bad is bad.

Blucher . I also did not refer.


Voroshilov . Now you need to mobilize yourself and not think, Comrade Blucher, that you will clean it up and everything will go well. You will cleanse yourself of the scoundrels, the position will leave, only one will leave, and you must promote people from the bottom and constantly work with them. The defense of the Far East remains a very serious matter. The cause of defending the Far East must be in reliable strong Bolshevik hands. We need to work on this. You have been very bad so far, some improvement has begun in recent years, but the situation is not as good as in the European parts.

Two words about the charter. The field manual of 1936 was written by the people who were appointed by Alexander Ilyich. These people ‐ Primakov, Putna, Turovsky, Peterson, Vakulich were all arrested, with the exception of two. But I must say that these people were, first of all, literate. Secondly, the charter is not a document that you can write and put in your pocket. And thirdly, I read it and said, ʺSend them to hell.ʺ

Stalin . Those are the literate ones!


Voroshilov . Yes, there everyone tried to impose their point of view. They began to redo the charter. They redid it, then started looking again and decided that it was necessary to write whole sections to new people.

Budyonny . And again.


Voroshilov . Yes, and rewrote 6‐7 sections.


Stalin . Who wrote?


Voroshilov . Stern wrote ‐ two or three sections; then I donʹt remember who else. Comrade Mezheninov, who wrote?

Mezheninov . The main sections were written by Abramovich and Bambulevich.

Voroshilov .Then this charter was again edited by a special large group of people, which included Tukhachevsky, representatives of all branches of the army were included, including the chief of the [General] Staff who looked through the charter. Comrade Mezheninov took part in the commission. After that, Tukhachevsky again reported to me, I again looked at this charter, and only after that did Tukhachevsky insist on issuing the charter as a charter. I did not agree to this, and we issued it as a Provisional Charter. Tukhachevsky was given the task, because the most underdeveloped side in the charter was the interaction of tank units with the cavalry and with the infantry troops, I was given the task of Tukhachevsky to work out a special teaching with the invitation of a significant number of commanders of corps, divisions and various types of troops. The task was given to check the role of the DD tank [22], NPP and interaction of tank units with cavalry. This question will now have to be entrusted to another, and it is said that this charter is temporary. At the end of this year, after the exercises and maneuvers of the All‐Union ‐ if any ‐ to revise the charter and correct the errors and all the shortcomings of this charter. There may be mistakes, of course. Is there direct sabotage there? I deny that. There can be no direct sabotage, because almost all the commanders read this charter, and not this one, but worse, they gave their inscriptions. True, Yakir and Uborevich, they mostly wrote: ʺAgreeʺ, ʺAgree.ʺ Comrade Belov, have you read?

Belov . Well, I worked.


Voroshilov . The charter was given for general army discussion. It will, of course, need to be reworked. It takes a very long time to work on it.

Dybenko . There is one point there, which refutes the entire charter: before the battle, you need to arrange a meeting. (Noise.)


Voices . This is not in the charter.


Voroshilov . When Comrade Dybenko speaks the charter does not say this he will certainly utter some dubious truth that can be refuted right away. There is nothing of the kind in the charter and cannot be ‐ it was not crazy people who wrote.

Voice . It does not answer the basic question of how to deal with a front‐ line attack.

Egorov . Let me give you help. A field manual is a large‐scale general military charter. We, Comrade Kulik, know the battle no less than you, except for the Spanish events. (Laughter.) All these details, which occur in various cases, cannot be told in the charter, it is determined during the battle.

Voroshilov . My order says that this charter is not a dead form, but only a guide for the commander to make a decision. The commander must be guided by general provisions. Even Peter the Great said: ʺDonʹt hold on to the charter like a wall.ʺ

Stalin . I would entrust this matter to practitioners. What is Sternʹs great practitioner? We have better practices.

Voroshilov . Stern did not write on his own accord. None of the head can write a charter. He expounded the tremendous material that we have. Statutes were used: Japanese, Italian, German, English, American. We have all these statutes, all this is a squeeze of what is being done not only in our country, but also in other countries.

Stalin . Shouldnʹt the experience of the struggle of the republics be taken into account?

Voroshilov . Of course, you do. Previously, we did not have this experience, now we are specifically releasing a book where Kulikʹs experience is recorded.

This book will play a major role, we will distribute it to comrade commanders, perhaps before the company commander.


Stalin . Is it possible that what Kulik wrote, can be distributed to your commanders and below, to the commanders of the division.

Voroshilov . We will distribute it all. Of course, this is the Provisional Charter.

Stalin . And Tukhachevsky analyzes it as a charter, and not as a temporary one.

Voroshilov . No, it says: Provisional charter for 1936.


Voice . There are a number of instructions for this statute, especially for combat.

Stalin . Itʹs not about fighting, itʹs about order.


Voroshilov .The question raised by Comrade Gryaznov also applies to the same questions. Comrade Gryaznov is indignant at the fact that he had counterrevolutionaries, demonstrated how these counterrevolutionaries worked poorly. Well, a counterrevolutionary exists to work badly. He told how Tchaikovsky was preparing a motorized equipment unit for transfer to 100 kilometers and discovered that this motorized equipment unit was completely non‐combatant. Comrade Gryaznov, you spoke directly about yourself. You gave evidence of your own, I would say, more than weaknesses in the leadership of the organization and management of the district. How many of these buildings do you have? One, and even then, incomplete. I spoke to you about this, remember? He said more than once: ʺLook after your Mech troops, for aviation.ʺ You worked very badly. Take a look and report to me. And you watched and reported, but still did not work well. And now he wants to blame everything on Tchaikovsky. Itʹs good that you told Tchaikovsky about this, but itʹs not good that you didnʹt say that you screwed up with this scoundrel.

Stalin . The main thing for him is the corps, how many divisions.


Voroshilov .Three divisions, this corps and aviation. Aviation in Transbaikalia was in the most difficult situation. With this motorized mechanic corps, he slipped. I even wrote telegrams to individual commanders if I found out that somewhere was bad; wrote telegrams:


ʺI ask you to report to me what kind of outrage you have.ʺ And if we approach this way, then we are no commanders, we must be driven to the devilʹs grandmother. Not because we deliberately harmed, but because we objectively helped the pests. So not only will Tchaikovsky sit on us, he is a smart man, a fool will ride us, an idiot, because we will walk and imagine: I am modest, not devoid of modesty. Well, modest, and if you have only one modesty, and nothing else, why the hell is it needed? In addition to modesty, you need a hand, a Bolshevik eye, and honesty ... Do not be arrogant. Everyone considered you and I know you as an excellent commander of the 30th division. He flew in 2 hours earlier than Vasily Konstantinovich, 2 hours earlier he broke into the Crimean Peninsula than you.

Voice . I do not mind.


[ Voroshilov .]Not your fault, of course. You had a fort, but it also followed a thread. He worked very well in the armored forces. This is how Khalepsky recommended it, whom I believed, and I still believe. Described him very well as a worker. I knew him from Central Asia, where he was an assistant commander, fought with the Basmachi, where Dybenko fought. You see, Pavel Efimovich, I donʹt forget you. And suddenly he turned into God knows what. I cannot understand. And here we have to very seriously reproach your political assistant ‐ Shestakov. He acted like a good lawyer. What an outrage this is! They somehow go back. We had political workers ‐ they were confidants, as well as commanders. The political worker is the confidant of the party, this is the partyʹs eye, because he is less loaded with the details of combat training, therefore he must look at all matters of combat training. Why doesnʹt he see a damn thing? Why isnʹt she screaming? Why doesnʹt he tell Gryaznov why they have such a disgrace? Comrade Shestov[23] why are you hiding there? If you treat this way, then why do we need a Military Council? We load Comrade Stalin; Comrade Stalin points out these little things to us. Stalin has many big things to do. He will speak on big issues, but we ourselves have to do on small things. Shestakov worked poorly together with Gryaznov, you need to work differently. Otherwise, excuse me, before they kicked me out, I’ll drive you out, but there will be no me another will drive you out. You canʹt work like that; it doesnʹt do a damn thing. 


About military rank. Here Zhiltsov spoke and said that the military rank was completely sabotage. This, Comrade Zhiltsov, is sheer nonsense to argue like that. You were also a great friend of Uborevich. I respect you, and you are talking nonsense. You know, there is no one who would not want to be a corps commander. All to one and all the women who served with Gamarnik. You look it has three rhombuses. And Dybenko was indignant: ʺDamn it, Iʹm ashamed to turn around at the womanʹs.ʺ A woman may be a general, but she must earn it. We have eliminated this disgrace, and, of course, continuous mistakes were made here, but I do not admit that there was sabotage. We did not sleep day and night. Viewed. Budyonny, who had nothing to do with this, had nothing to do with it, he worked a lot here, I overloaded his poor fellow so much that he did a tremendous job. Well done. I must say that Budyonny does everything like a peasant, well, if you instruct him, he will do so. I signed a colossal number of papers. 200 thousand people, it is impossible to study all of them. Some had to offend, from three diamonds they fell on two sleepers. They sat in my secretariat ‐ everyone had at least three rhombuses, and then came out with 2‐3 sleepers. Both the command and the political staff.

Voice . Everyone is good about titles.


Voroshilov . We have straightened out. If you groan this business, it will be bad, because this is an organizing business. He says: I have been in the army for 17 years. Yes, these bastards have all been in the army for at least 17‐18 years. This dazzled us, they were all with merit, with combat, with a large number of orders. There are offended people you need to reconsider, but nevertheless, you canʹt blame everything.

Stalin . Is this a fixed scale?


Voroshilov . No, that you, Comrade Stalin, this year a thousand people have received a promotion. They were given the rank of regiment commander with one year of service. Well, heʹs a good guy ...


Budyonny . And we must also take a closer look at him.


Voroshilov . Budyonny has one good quality ‐ to do everything to the end and thoroughly.

Budyonny . Donʹt overwhelm.


Voroshilov . When these people come to him, he thoroughly examines them. Now there are people who have come from Spain. If there is a good certification, we immediately give one rank higher, without waiting for a year. If he worked there for a general, when he was a senior lieutenant or captain, he worked well, we, without waiting for the deadline, give him a promotion. If you have specific facts of incorrect certification, then you need to bring them to our attention, and we will consider. How did the aviation certification go? Alksnis played the main violin here.

Stalin . He does not know everyone and cannot know.


Voroshilov . The brigade commanders, squadron commanders represent him. All this is cooked in ten boilers, then comes to him, he examines and after that goes to the Central Commission. The Central Commission confirms and then comes to me. I personally, up to the division commander ...

Budyonny . Until the regiment commander.


Voroshilov . No, I will not read regiment commanders here I confess ‐ I will not read, but before division commanders I read each person myself, I myself thought about them and changed, or decreased, or increased ranks, increased more than decreased, but there were cases when I decreased ... I believe that all this needs to be brought into the system. We have brought no need to find fault, but you need to correct the shortcomings.

The case in the Antonines, about which Comrade Dubovoy spoke here. Antonina is a place in our Western Ukraine where there were maneuvers in 1933. After these maneuvers, the command staff of 60‐70 people gathered. Some of the comrades present were there.

Budyonny . I was also under the Antonines.


Voroshilov . Well, you know, we Russian people love to have fun after a job well done. We ate, drank, and toasts began to big and small people. Demichev stands up, then the division commander, now the commander of the 1st corps.

Voice from the place . Then he was also a corps commander.


Voroshilov . So, I am wrong. So, he takes the floor and says: ʺComrades, I propose to raise glasses to our master, to the master of the Ukrainian Military District.ʺ It blew me up. They already raised me, drank for me, for all the great people. But I was outraged by the tone. I say: “For the owner? We have one boss — this is our people, our government, our party. What is this disgrace, what other master? ʺ

Stalin . Father.


Voroshilov . Yes, for Fatherland. There was great embarrassment, confusion, no toast came out. Krivoruchko, too, seems to have been there?

Krivoruchko . No, I was not invited.


Stalin . Now it is clear they drank without him. (General laughter.)


Budyonny . Klimenty Efremovich, he was not there. Instead of him there was Scheidemann, and he was at the academy at that time.

Voroshilov . Then they decided to sing a song to smooth out the impression. I scolded everyone and said: “Letʹs have a goodbye song”. Suddenly Yakir gets up and demonstratively leaves. Okay. I went to the carriage, there were Dubovoy, Semyon Mikhailovich and Yakir, and here I took him to work. If I knew he was an enemy, an opportunity would be for me! He cried.

Stalin . He cried in prison too.


Voroshilov . I started scolding him: ʺThis is what you do.ʺ I told him about his methods of command. True, it was good that he knew his people, but he overdid it. He called everyone by name: Vanechka, Petechka, like your kids, like your wife, etc. I even told the commanders: ʺLearn from Yakir, he knows his people down to the lowest echelon, he even knows their wives.ʺ I loved it, damn it! And everyone knows him. That was good, but familiarity is a disgrace, not a Bolshevik method, it is philistinism, this must be abandoned. He cried, shed crocodile tears, but in fact turned out to be a bastard, the vilest reptile, who wound on his mustache and changed the method of communicating with people. He began to behave like a commander, to command and even sometimes swear, which he never allowed with people.

If Demichev is not a direct enemy, then this is a person who can become an enemy at any time, because a person who respects himself could not say this. I would have spat in his face. He called him, to hell with him, maybe he is not to blame, but he was offended. Then it was clear that we were dealing with a scoundrel, but, unfortunately, did not realize that it was a scoundrel.

Two words on sabotage in the defense industry. The sabotage is very strong there. Now measures will be taken to eliminate all this outrage. But I think that Comrade Kulik was wrong when he spoke about the materials that passed through the Defense Committee, that all this was being carried by pests. This is not true. One shouldnʹt be so hasty about the Committee, which consists of people who think a little after all.

Stalin . And who are sometimes wrong.


Voroshilov . Thatʹs about the F‐22. Maybe a mistake, maybe some other gun is needed, but we discussed this issue this way and that. It seems that not a single question regarding this gun remained unanswered.

Stalin . Have the troops tested this gun?


Kulik . They deceived you and the government, I am reporting to you directly, and the test at the range was rigged. Tomorrow I will go to test this gun, maybe I will have to remove it from service. A raw cannon has been adopted ...

Voroshilov . We know that, 500 guns with such and such defects ...


Kulik . The line of fire is 12 mm. This means a new gun. They deceived you, received the signatures of the Labor and Defense Council, and there is not a single signature from the Technical Committee.

Voroshilov . This needs to be checked.


Stalin . We need to check; he knows the artillery well.


Voroshilov . He knows this business. I know him well. He will investigate in good faith. Where is he wrong? He would rather understand a gun than a piece of paper.

Stalin . The gun is easier to understand, I agree with him.


Voroshilov . But there are so many of these pieces of paper that Comrade Kulik got confused in them, did not read everything, and if he did, he did not understand everything. He understands the cannon, but there are a lot of documents on the F‐22, and he drowned in these papers. Letʹs really understand, this is an extremely important matter. We need to get down to this business.

Stalin . On the 7th we have a Defense Committee. Maybe we will have time to do something.

Voroshilov . On the 7th, the Defense Committee. TT. Bondar, Savchenko, together with Comrade Kulik, study the materials for real ‐ everything that relates to the F‐22: find out where they tested, how many shots were fired, from which system, what kind of people, it would be good to call directly the people who shot.

Voice . My people were shooting an artillery regiment [24] .


Voroshilov . It is necessary to call these commanders and then check who fired, so that they give all the data.

Voice . And check these people.


Voroshilov .So that they report this data to the Defense Committee. Iʹm finishing up now. Comrades, what are the tasks before us? The tasks we face are very difficult and serious. I have already spoken about this

-  and you all agree with this ‐ in the shortest possible time you need to cleanse yourself of all filth. You need to look around you in the most serious way. All worthless, all dubious, suspicious people must be expelled from our ranks. It is necessary at the same time now, without waiting for a single minute, to immediately start promoting new people, not to hope that from somewhere someone will give you ready‐ made people. They do not exist in nature. They can give people, but these people will be less prepared than those whom we can recruit from the stock. And, probably, we will have to resort to it. But they will, perhaps, be less trained than our young commanders. You need to boldly take the path of advancement, risking here, perhaps, some such things as lagging behind one or another part, inability to work, risking that a person will not be able to cope with the assigned task, etc. All this needs to be done. But you need to replace all the rubbish as soon as possible with your own, healthy, honest people. We cannot do this without you in the center.

Then it is imperative to tackle the issues of upbringing both these young, advanced people and the cadres of the Red Army as a whole. And it is necessary, comrades, to wage a struggle for the human soul. I am ready to surrender my soul to you, Vasily Konstantinovich. If not the soul, then the consciousness, the human mind. Soul is a priestly term, but it means the same, figurative expression. To fight for the consciousness of people, for their mind, for their soul, so that they are our people. This fight must be waged. And if you lead this work, then along the way a very serious issue is being resolved. The question of any quarrelsome relationship between commanders and political workers.

Comrade Stalin, they are all wonderful people, but you know from past experience and now you stand close to all our affairs, they are good people, real Bolsheviks, they really fight, brutally fight among themselves. And when they fight in the open, then you will correct, give direction. And then sometimes they quietly fight, sip each other. And the enemy only needs this. He takes this soul, Vasily Konstantinovich, into his own hands and begins to process, starts all kinds of conversations about you. And while you are fighting, people look at you with irony, your authority is lost. You need to really work on yourself. You have to be real Bolsheviks; this is a very serious matter.

When they said here “you need to be a real Leninist,” I will say on my own behalf: you need to be a real Stalinist. Do not think that Comrade Stalin is a great man, a real Leninist, that he is a Leninist only because he sits and reads Lenin all the time. He is a Leninist because he does Leninʹs work, of Marx and Engels, in the right way. Marx, Engels, Lenin wrote about what needs to be done in order to rebuild human society. And we started this restructuring. And so, Comrade Stalin as an architect, he rebuilds, directs this matter in all areas of work. And here we are obliged to be Bolsheviks in the process of work, to create the Bolshevik cause. We must always study, read Marx and Engels and Lenin and Stalin, otherwise we will not be real Bolsheviks. But while reading, at the same time one must do the Bolshevik cause honestly, in a Bolshevik way.

Otherwise, this science of yours, if you are filled with Marxist truths, Leninist truths, but in practical work you cannot show yourself as Bolsheviks, you cannot truly serve our socialist fatherland, what kind of Marxists will you be? You will be just a clerk, an unnecessary waste of time. And political workers often sin. Studying Marxism‐Leninism, they are ready to forget combat training and construction, and our accident rate, they just sit, study, study and give excellent marks, praise people who made very good reports, perfectly othikhivat their opponent, in fact, he does nothing ... It is necessary to appreciate the person in the aggregate, how he reads and what are the results of his practical work. What we do applies to our entire great economy: in the field of economy, and in the field of transport, and in the field of military construction. These, comrades, are the results, this is the confirmation of scientific socialism.

We are building socialism and what we are doing with you today ‐ for good, good, illiterate, or foolishly ‐ this generation of people in hundreds of years will study every day our work with you. Therefore, we are obliged to work well with you. People will study what is written down from documents, according to our all good and bad deeds, they will study the same way as we are studying ancient, middle and modern history, but they will study it with great attention, because this is a new and great business. So, you have to be real Bolsheviks, really working in a Bolshevik way, you have to be socialists indeed, not in words, not in form, but in essence.

The second question is about the War Council. The military council, now introduced for all work, in particular for the training of cadres, must play a decisive role. That means, comrade commanders, you must really work as members of the War Council. Yesterday we talked with Comrade Stalin, maybe we will have to close our Military Council with the local bodies of the party or government through one or two persons so that our military work would not be in isolation, so that it would not be a foreign matter for the local people, who they can signal in time, which can provide great all‐round assistance, and in particular in matters of personnel education. They are engaged in the field no less and often much better than ours.

It will be necessary, comrades, to remember the good old days, you, comrades, members of the Military Council. Recently, we have recently had assistants or deputies for political affairs, they have really turned into henchmen ‐ no offense will be said ‐ into emasculated Bolsheviks. In the best case, they began to deal with a little issue of personnel, issues of political work, conduct general observation and represent at meetings of committees, at various meetings, and so on. And they donʹt do the real thing, as they did in the old days. I was also a member of the Revolutionary Military Council. Here is my commander, I was his political committee. Comrade Stalin was a member of the Revolutionary Military Council and a number of others. How did we work? We worked differently. We were also engaged in political work. We knew these questions. I myself was not directly involved in political work, and my people who did it, I was told either every other day or every day what was going on in this regiment, in another regiment. I dealt with all issues ‐ and boots, and combat training, and cartridges, and supplies ...

Budyonny . And he went on the attack.


Voroshilov .The cavalrymen know. They reckoned with me as well as with Budyonny. He respected me, I respected him. We worked together. The situation was very difficult, they worked. Egorov worked in exactly the same way with Comrade Stalin. Comrade Stalin dealt with all issues, of course, political work, or, as we put it, political support, it was in sight as the most important element of Comrade Stalinʹs work, but all other issues, including operational ones, who now do not know that Comrade Stalin dealt with them. And thank God that I studied together with Comrade Egorov. By this he did not in the least detract from the dignity of comrade Egorov, they worked together and there was no squabble between them, just as I did with Comrade Budyonny. The same, Sergo Ordzhonikidze worked as a member of the Military Council at Uborevich. Sergo was a restless man you know he could not but interfere in Uborevichʹs affairs and worked during the period of the 14th Army. This means that the work of the Military Council can be adjusted so that it would be of great benefit. If this is nonsense when they say that political workers are not considered military specialists. If he is not an expert, then the devil is he worth, you canʹt talk at all. Therefore, the members of the Military Council themselves allowed this to happen. They simply decided: Caesarʹs ‐ to Caesarʹs, God‐to‐God. I am God, I can do everything and nothing, and you are the commander, your business is all the work. You command, and if necessary, I can criticize you and say that you are a fool and worthless, and do not understand anything. For the future, we will consider ‐ I think the Central Committee will agree with me ‐ we will consider the work of a district, a division in aggregate. it is possible to arrange the work of the Military Council in such a way that it would be of great benefit. If this is nonsense when they say that political workers are not considered military specialists. If he is not an expert, then the devil is he worth, you canʹt talk at all. Therefore, the members of the Military Council themselves allowed this to happen.

Is there a confusion of functions here, is there a belittling of the commanderʹs dignity? No, the commander must be the sole boss. The commander, the chief of the troops, controls the whole. Command ʺon‐ right‐oh‐oh!ʺ can only be a platoon, a company. Then you need to manage. People, collectives should manage. Commander is the chief of troops directly with full responsibility, with the use of troops in a combat situation. The commander does this. By this, the one‐man command retains its strength. It remains unshakable. But we must work collectively. Sole chief ‐ chief of troops, corps, divisions, districts. The district is managed by a collective ‐ the Military Council, the commander and the military commissar. The role of the military commissar should be completely different from what it was up to now, when he was called political assistant. He must be responsible for the entire division, for the entire regiment, for all management, where he will be the commissioner. Only in this way, we will truly prepare for war and will not have such abominations that we are discussing with you here.

Stalin . It is necessary to restore the pods. Voroshilov . We have a punchline, Comrade Stalin.

Blucher . They must be separated from the military commissars and made heads of political departments.

Voroshilov . Gamarnik suggested me, because he was in charge of political personnel: due to a lack of personnel, it will be necessary for the first time ...

Stalin . This is not a motive.


Voroshilov . ... for the first time to combine in one person both the commissar and nachpodiv functions.

Blucher . There will be only one title.


Voroshilov . Donʹt worry, there are no advocates for this proposal. You just need to nominate worthy people for this job. Now, comrades, the last question is about self‐criticism. Until now, this element has been very little in our practice, if not to say that it was completely absent. Self‐criticism is an extremely necessary thing and with you, in our work, in military affairs, more than anywhere else. After all, take such comrades as Mikoyan, Kaganovich, Zhdanov, they are being criticized, criticized by an enormous number of people. The country criticizes them, our party criticizes them.


Stalin . Open.


Voroshilov . Yes, openly, in newspapers, at meetings, etc. You read how Legprom gets it. There is not a single issue of the newspaper not to be spoken about. True, there are still few results from this, but nevertheless, the results will be obtained if they beat for a long time.



Kaganovich . We have products every day. We have it under review.


Voroshilov . Right. The war will test us. Itʹs good that General Mola, who ditched yesterday, and Franco started a war. We took some part, checked the people and saw that we had good people; and the material part is also worth something. Our comrades Kulik, Meretskov and Berzin are the commander‐in‐chief ...

Stalin . Captain.


Voroshilov . They commanded really, very well. But comrades, commanders‐in‐chief and just commanders, do not think that you have now studied everything and know everything. Do not impose such a view on us, it will be wrong and harmful. The war will be the same, but not the same. First, because it will not be tomorrow, it means that by that time there will be new means of struggle. It will not be necessary in such conditions.

Voice from the place . And the scale is different.


Voroshilov .And the scales are different, and chemistry, and cholera, and plague can be applied. We do not know the background of the struggle that awaits us. We have just opened the curtain on the future war. We saw that she was very scary, very serious, but we do not know all this. Therefore, comrades, we need to really criticize ourselves in order to prepare as best as possible for a future war. We need self‐ criticism as a permanent means. You cannot conduct your work without being criticized, comradely, harsh, just, Bolshevik criticism at party meetings and at non‐party meetings ‐ necessarily at non‐party meetings with commanding officers and rank‐and‐file commanding staff. We must teach the rank and file and subordinate people and learn from them, as Lenin repeatedly said, and Stalin repeats this almost every day. We must learn from the people, from small people. Little people are representatives of a multimillion‐strong team, they often utter truths, they can say a lot. This does not mean that we must necessarily turn into talkers. It is necessary to resolve issues quickly, in a military manner, to allow 2‐3 minutes to speak, draw conclusions, make a decision, and then no conversation. This is what you need to use, what is the method of work. It will help, will help a lot.

And the last thing, comrades. In my report I have spoken and now I repeat. Everyone spoke here, and not a single person objected, did not refute what I said here, that our Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army, which suffered serious damage ‐ both moral and material, of course, material, human (people are material), nevertheless, our Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army, of course, is combat‐ready today. Not tomorrow it will be combat‐ready, but today. ( Applause .)

Shouts . Right.


[ Voroshilov .] If necessary, we can safely say: today, on the move, clearing ourselves of all abominations, of all scoundrels, spies, we will lead the army to victory. Certainly. And I am deeply convinced and you along with me believe in this and are convinced that the enemy, despite the fact that we are now crushing these scoundrels, traitors, spies, agents of our class enemies, the enemy will not dare to move his troops in order to probe the fortress of our Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army. It seems to me I think, maybe Iʹm not entirely right, but maybe, on the contrary, ‐ the enemy will be frightened after the loss of his agents in our ranks, the enemy will be more afraid of our army ( Applause.)

Shouts . Right.


[ Voroshilov .] Our Red Army will become Bolshevik to the end, will serve the great cause of our party, the party of Lenin‐Stalin, our army will truly serve the cause of world communism. Our army will be truly, in a Bolshevik, in a Stalinist way, combat ready.

(Stormy, long‐lasting applause. Everyone stands up.)


[ Voroshilov .] I declare the meeting of the Military Council closed.


Voroshilov . Comrades, now we need to have lunch, then I will ask the comrade commanders and members of the Military Councils present here to come to me: we will establish the order of the conversation. We have a lot to talk about. We will devote today and yesterday [25] to conversations in order to outline a work plan. And tomorrow it will be necessary to leave.

Comrades corps commanders, political workers, division commanders, who have any questions for me, come to my office at 8 pm today.

Voice . Comrade Voroshilov, a common question to the entire Military Council: how to explain all the changes that are taking place before the troops, before the Red Army men? This is already required of us. The form of this explanation.

Voroshilov . It will be necessary to distribute a transcript, as was customary for us.

Blucher . Now, having returned to the troops, we will have to start by collecting a small asset, because the troops say more and less, and not because. need to. In a word, the troops need to be told what the matter is.

Stalin . That is, to count who was arrested? Blucher . No, not really.

Stalin . If I were in your place, being the commander of the OKDVA, I would have done this: I would have assembled a higher staff and reported to them in detail. And then, too, in my presence, I would gather the command staff lower and explain in a shorter, but intelligible enough way for them to understand that the enemy had entered our army, he wanted to undermine our power, that these were the hired people of our enemies the Japanese and Germans. We are clearing our army of them, do not be afraid, we will crush everyone on the road into a cake. I would say so. The top would say wider.

Blucher . The Red Army men need to be told what is for a narrow circle? Stalin . What is for a wide range.


Voroshilov . Perhaps for the sake of relief, issue a special order stating that such and such a case was discovered in the army. And with this order, the commanding staff would go out and read it in all parts.

Stalin . Yes. And it is  necessary  to  explain.  And  in  order  for  the top [26] command staff and political leaders to know all the same, hand out the transcript.

Voroshilov . Yes, that will be very good. I quoted a lot in the transcript. There will be a complete presentation.

Stalin . It would be good if the comrades would take and designate two of their deputies in each specific organization and begin to train them both in the political part and in the command part.

Voroshilov . Letʹs take this. This is accepted by the party line. Stalin . This will give an opportunity to study people.

Voroshilov . This same mister Feldman, for a number of years I demanded from him: ʺGive me 150 people who can be targeted for promotion.ʺ He wrote to the commanders, waited for 2.5, almost 3 years. This list is somewhere. Need to find.

Budyonny . I saw him, all the Trotskyists were there, some had already been taken, others under suspicion.

Stalin . Since half of them were arrested, it means that there is nothing to watch here.

Budyonny . There is no need to publish this order, but simply say: it is not subject to publication.

Stalin . For the army only and then bring it back. Return the transcript too.

Stalin . Hereʹs whatʹs good. How are you going, two months at a time? Voroshilov . In 3 months’, time.


Stalin . Since you do not have open criticism, it would be good to develop criticism here within your Council, to have a person from the defense industry, which you will criticize.

Voices . Right.


Stalin . And there will be five representatives from you to the Defense Industry Council.

Voices . Right.


Stalin . Starting, perhaps, with the regiment commander, and it would be better to have a deputy even lower.

Voroshilov . I appoint the division commander or regiment commander as his deputy.

Voices . There is such an order.


Voroshilov . There is an order. But we must have the best people, everyone must find at home and then I will not touch them. I will know that Kozhanovʹs commander of submarine number 22 or the commander of the ʺChervona Ukrainyʺ is the chosen one whom he will raise. I will not touch him.

Voice . The same order has been given. Voroshilov . Not at all.

Stalin . Maybe you donʹt have people who can be substitutes?


Voroshilov . We have a well‐known growth grade. Commander Efimov [27] , he is the corps commander, he will look among the division commanders, but since there are few division commanders and he cannot designate from there, he will look for battalion commanders.

Stalin . There will be no fear of being canceled. Those that are outlined? Voice . This fear exists.

Stalin . Therefore, we must seek and grow if there are good people.


Voroshilov . This means that at 8 oʹclock I have a meeting in the hall.


Stalin . Indiscreet question. I think that among our people, both on the command line and on the political line, there are still such comrades who are accidentally hurt. They told him something, wanted to involve him, frightened him, took him with blackmail. It is good to introduce such a practice so that if such people come and tell everything themselves, forgive them. There are such people?

Voices . Certainly. Right.


Stalin . We worked for five years, accidentally hit someone. There are some of the waiters, so tell these waiters that the case is failing. These people need help in order to forgive them.

Shchadenko . As before, the bandits were promised forgiveness if he surrendered his weapon and came to confess.

Stalin . These have no weapons either. Maybe they only know about the enemies, but they donʹt report.

Voroshilov . Their position, by the way, is unsightly. When you tell and explain, then you need to tell that now not one, so another, not another, so the third will still tell, let it be better to come themselves.

Stalin . We must forgive, we give our word to forgive, we give our word of honor.

Shchadenko . We must begin with the Council of War. Kuchinsky and others.

Kuchinsky . Comrade Voroshilov, I do not belong to this group, to the group that Comrade Stalin spoke about. Iʹm honest to the end.

Voroshilov . Here is Meretskov. This proletarian, damn it.


Meretskov . Itʹs a lie. Moreover, I have never worked with Uborevich and have never met in Sochi.

Voroshilov . These people have a great affinity with them. So, at 8 oʹclock with me.


[1]  Own title of the document. The transcript has a title page compiled in the Archives of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee: “Meeting of the Military Council with commanders and political workers. June 1‐4, 1937 Transcript ‐ uncorrected. The presiding officer is Voroshilov. Session six (June 4, 1937, morning). Continued discussion of Voroshilovʹs report : (Belov (l 1‐44), Victoria (L 45‐65), Egorov (L 66‐89) Kuchinsky (l 90‐106) The statements on a personal matter .

Sedyakin (fol. 107‐108), Gryaznov (fol. 109‐110), Tyulenev (fol. 111‐ 113). Voroshilov ‐ Closing remarks ‐ (fol. 114‐183). Voroshilov, Stalin, Blucher, Budyonny, Shchadenko, etc. ‐ Discussion of the procedure for information on the results of the meeting (p. 184‐191). The transcript was not published. Note: The corrected transcript is in the documents received from the Office of the Ministry of War, case No. 6. ʺ

[2]  So in the text. Thatʹs right ‐ ʺwhatʺ.


[3]  So in the transcript. It must be ʺthe end of the year is comingʺ or ʺa year has passed.ʺ

[4]The Prague Conference of the RSDLP (January 1912) was convened on the initiative of the Russian Organizing Commission, which consisted of V.I. Lenin. All other groups and trends in the RSDLP, the national social democratic parties, as well as the Duma faction of social democrats refused to take part in it. 16 out of 18 delegates to the conference were Bolsheviks, 2 Mensheviks ʺparty membersʺ. All this, however, did not prevent the Leninists from constituting the conference as an all‐party one and declaring it the 6th All‐Russian Conference of the RSPLP. One of the most important issues on the agenda of this conference, at which the Central Committee of the party, consisting of

V.I. Lenin, G.E. Zinoviev, R.V. Malinovsky and others, the question of liquidationism arose. IN AND. Lenin demanded a decisive struggle against the group of Mensheviks ‐ “liquidators” (supporters of the rejection of revolutionary slogans and the transformation of the RSDLP into a reformist party of the Western European type). The resolution On Liquidationism and the Group of Liquidators stated that they had finally placed themselves outside the Party. The conference also stressed that foreign groups that are not subordinate to the Central Committee cannot use the name of the RSDLP. The decisions of the delegates of the conference, declared binding on all Russian Social Democrats, meant the aspiration of V.I. Lenin to transform the Bolshevik faction of the RSDLP into an independent party. Ultimately, the result of the work of the Prague Conference, as well as the Vienna Conference, convened at the initiative of the Mensheviks in August 1912, was the complete demarcation of the Bolsheviks from the Mensheviks and, as a result,

[5]  So in the text. It should be “in construction”.


[6]  Here in the transcript the surname of the 2nd rank army commissar

G.S. Okuneva (Perch).


[7]  So in the text.


[8]  So in the text. It should be “rationed caviar”.


[9]  So in the text.


[10]    Here and below in the transcript the surname of the brigade commander S.P. Obysov ‐ Obusov.

[11]  The surname of V.K. Triandafillova ‐ Trandophilov.


[12]  This refers to the newspaper ʺKrasnaya Zvezdaʺ.


[13]  So in the text.


[14]  Here the surname of Colonel V.V. Favitsky ‐ ʺFelitskyʺ.


[15]    Here the surname of the corps commander E.F. Appogee



[16]  So in the source.


[17]  So in the transcript. Thatʹs right ‐ ʺMore to be than to seem.ʺ This refers to the famous aphorism of the German Field Marshal A. von Schlieffen, who defined the role of an officer of the General Staff as follows: “Do more than act; to represent more than to seem ”(See: AA Zaitsov Service of the General Staff. Moscow, 2003, p. 61). I.E. Yakir in this case repeated the aphorism in an abridged version.


[18]A written version of A.I. Sedyakina: “Comrade Stalin! You have given an unambiguous and fair assessment of my ill‐fated ʺprefaceʺ. I clearly see that naked criticism and a gullible attitude to the honesty of my former comrade in arms, Kutyakov, have brought me to the position of a vile double‐dealing. I have the courage to admit this. Until now, I had the honest name of a Bolshevik and a military commander of the Red Army. Now this name, the title of an honest Soviet citizen, has been tarnished. You have only yourself to blame. But I am not an enemy of my Motherland and the Bolshevik Party. I was always ready to give my life for them. I want to be once again an impeccably honest and humble fighter for our great cause. I ask you to give me the opportunity, in the fight against the consequences of vile betrayal, in the most difficult and dangerous business, rehabilitating oneʹs good name is the most precious treasure. A. Sedyakin. June 4, 1937 ʺ (RGVA.

F. 4. Op. 14. D. 1871. L. 185‐185v. Original. Autograph).


[19]  I mean ‐ Ivan Pavlovich Belov.


[20]  So in the text. Thatʹs right ‐ ʺpoliticalʺ.


[21]  The word is illegible. Perhaps ‐ ʺnot worse.ʺ


[22]Long‐range tanks (DD) made up the 1st echelon of the infantry tank support group (CCI), which was in the 1930s. one of the elements of the battle formation of the Red Army rifle division. The official documents called a group of long‐range tanks, which was intended to break through the enemy defense to its entire tactical depth (15‐20 km), fight against enemy tanks and artillery, and develop the offensive in depth. It included, as a rule, heavy tanks. The creation of groups of DD tanks was first provided for by the 1929 Field Regulations of the Red Army and concretized by the 1936 Provisional Field Regulations of the Red Army. However, the experience of the Soviet‐Finnish war of 1939‐1940. showed that the division of the infantry tank support group into long‐ range tanks and infantry support tanks did not justify itself. It made it difficult to deliver a powerful simultaneous strike on the defending enemy, and the large separation of the DD tanks from the infantry in the depths of the enemy defense led to their unjustifiably high losses and negatively affected the fulfillment of their assigned tasks.


Therefore, on the eve of the Great Patriotic War, it was considered expedient to abolish the group of DD tanks. The draft of the Field Manual of the Red Army in 1941 no longer provided for the echeloning of the infantry tank support group (Military Encyclopedia. T. 8. P. 32). and the large gap between the DD tanks and the infantry in the depths of the enemy defense led to their unjustifiably high losses and negatively affected the performance of their assigned tasks. Therefore, on the eve of the Great Patriotic War, it was considered expedient to abolish the group of DD tanks. The draft Field Manual of the Red Army in 1941 no longer provided for the echeloning of the infantry tank support group (Military Encyclopedia. T. 8. P. 32). and the large gap between the DD tanks and the infantry in the depths of the enemy defense led to their unjustifiably high losses and negatively affected the performance of their assigned tasks. Therefore, on the eve of the Great Patriotic War, it was considered expedient to abolish the group of DD tanks. The draft Field Manual of the Red Army in 1941 no longer provided for the echeloning of the infantry tank support group (Military Encyclopedia. T. 8. P. 32).

[23]  So in the text. Thatʹs right ‐ Shestakov.


[24]  So in the text. Thatʹs right ‐ ʺthe people of my artillery regiment.ʺ


[25]  So in the text. Thatʹs right ‐ ʺtoday and tomorrow.ʺ


[26]  So in the text. Thatʹs right ‐ ʺthe highestʺ.


[27]  The commander of the 12th line of the corps M.G. Efremov.