On Tuchachevsky - Trotsky Conspiracy Collaboration - Transcripts

Marx-Engels |  Lenin  | Stalin |  Home Page

  On Tukhachevsky - Trotsky Conspiracy Collaboration - Transcripts

  Download PDF

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

(Evening session on June 2, 1937)

Archive: RGASPI. F. 17. Op. 165.D 59.L. 77‐212. June 2, 1937

Voroshilov . The meeting continues. Comrade Shestakov has the floor.


Shestakov . We, political workers, bear, of course, the greatest responsibility for all this heinous counter‐revolutionary activity of the enemies. The party put us in charge of party‐political work in the army. And we must say frankly that we have not fully fulfilled this great role that the Party has entrusted to us. If we, as party political workers, who saw something, raised the questions properly, really, and, if necessary, reached the Central Committee of the party, something, perhaps, would be warned. But we did not fulfill the task entrusted to us by the Party.

Have we seen anything? I think we have to admit that we have certainly seen something. We didn’t see espionage, sabotage, but didn’t we see that this group of people ‐ Yakir, Uborevich, Tukhachevsky ‐ was very often, not deservedly exalted to the highest heights? Didnʹt we see at the meetings of the military councils that they did a whole series of wrong things, but they did it together, and we didnʹt have the courage to speak out against them? Why we behaved so indecisively, Smirnov said very well. The fact is that we did not have enough and did not have enough courage to raise these questions in the Central Committee of the Party. After all, everyone was struck by the military councils, when summing up what was best in Ukraine, best in Belarus. We did not ask ourselves the question that the cadres of the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army are almost the same in all districts. Differences in frames, who decide   the   case   ‐   both   middle   and   senior   ‐   are    almost  none. Nevertheless, these districts have always come out on top. Now I cannot cite concrete facts, but it is absolutely indisputable that there was a lot of eyewash here.

Stalin . Where is it?

Shestakov . In Ukraine and Belarus.

 Stalin . Do you work in Ukraine?

Shestakov . I work in the Trans‐Baikal Military District, Comrade Stalin.

Stalin . Maybe you can talk about your district?


Shestakov . Iʹll tell you now. Last year, at the Military Council, these enemies directly and openly opposed the partyʹs policy in the army when it came to the release of commanders from political activities, etc. We, political workers, had to first of all oppose this in the most resolute manner.

Voice from the place . They spoke. Voroshilov intervened. 

Shestakov . They did, but not enough. Sheborshili, but did not complete the matter. After all, the Military Council consists of almost 100% party members, but did at least one commander speak at the Military Council against these proposals to release the commanders from mass political work, political studies,  etc.? Nobody  spoke  at  all. Therefore, there is nothing to say that there were signals. The point is not in the signals, but in the fact that we all suffered from this disease

-  political blindness, which Comrade Stalin spoke of in his report at the plenum of the Central Committee. After all, it is a fact that none of the commanders, 15 party members, spoke at the plenum of the Military Council last year against these proposals.

Dybenko says that he signaled, but after all, someone else, like Dybenko, spoke at the last Military Council and said that no one teaches commanders, and the only time he was taught well at the war game by Uborevich. After all, it happened, everyone heard it, and spoke very strongly and vividly about it, how Uborevich taught him the only time at a war game somewhere in  Belarus,  Ieronim  Petrovich  taught  him. Was that so, Comrade Dybenko? And now we start talking about signals. You said that I didn’t make it up. Our eyes were closed with a veil, this is an unconditional fact that we would needlessly deny. The whole question is to quickly remove this veil and immediately get rid of this idiotic disease, then things will go differently.


Now all the questions arise in a different way. I, too, in 1932, partly in 1933, worked with Gorbachev for a year and a half as his pomp. I shouldn’t say now that I saw sabotage and espionage tendencies in Gorbachev. I have not seen anything. But it turns out that he was already a bandit then, and I did not see any of this. Gorbachev was in the Trans‐Baikal group of troops, Putna ‐ in the Primorskaya; a terrible opposition was formed against Comrade Blucher. Then we did not understand this matter ‐ either disagreements or squabbles. Comrade Mezis and I have spoken about this many times. But did it ever occur to us that this is being done under guidance, in an  organized  manner? Now all the scandals that were there at that time, and this whole united front of Gorbachev with Putna ‐ it all looks different, but then it was not at all like that.

Molotov . You have not seen, but did Gorbachev work well, or average, or bad?

Shestakov . He worked very hard. He was considered a bad military man, he was just a poorly educated person, but he worked very diligently, day and night.

Molotov . Worked? And the case came out?


Shestakov . Then it was found out that the case did not work out for him, although he diligently worked day and night.

Voice . And his attitude to the fortified area? Found him doing  wrong. Gorbachev did not help the fortified area.

Shestakov . We have one fortified area, he was engaged in this fortified area, but it turned out that this area was subordinated to the army, subordinated to the center, and Gorbachev could not stand such things; since this is not his subordinate business, he did not help him and often slowed down, thwarted. Comrade Blucher knows this, he was in Transbaikalia, in Chita. Since he, in addition to the commander, was listed as an assistant, he ordered the arrest of the head of the department. He took and arrested; he had a lot of impudence.

Molotov . Maybe he should have been arrested. But tell me, did it work well or badly?


Shestakov . In those days he worked very diligently, itʹs hard for me to judge ...

Molotov . How long have you worked as a Pompolite? 

Shestakov . Year and a half. 

Molotov . Something could be noticed whether it worked badly or well.


Shestakov . He did not succeed in military affairs. I remember at two games he was criticized to smithereens.

Voice . And at the big training in Borz?


Shestakov . I meant it. At two exercises and two big games, he was criticized to smithereens.

Molotov . Did he care about defense or not?


Shestakov . He cared about people. I will tell you frankly, in all honesty, that I did not notice anything in him, either espionage or sabotage.

Voice . How did he take care of the cavalry regiment at the 74th verst?


[ Shestakov .]Now about the district. In our neighborhood, we also have a lot of questions ‐ and very important ones. And also, because they did not examine everything properly, as expected. We recently discovered such a case. At county headquarters, the cloakroom attendant standing by the hanger turned out to be a Japanese spy. True, she was with us for a short time only a month, but still she turned out to be a spy. And since the commanders come to the headquarters, take off their greatcoats, hang them up and often, due to our carelessness, leave all sorts of papers, then she used it. And then, further, after the investigation of this case, it turned out that this spy had also recruited the commandant of the headquarters a lieutenant. Well, for this it was poured into us very firmly and fairly. We were specially summoned here, even in spite of our distant distance, about this cleaner, when it was not known about the commandant yet, and our brains were adjusted very thoroughly. After that, we ourselves began to deal with cleaners, stokers, doormen and any other public, which we had never done before. Now, without my permission, they do not accept any cleaners, or doormen, or janitors ‐ no one. And before, I must say, we did not deal with cleaning ladies, doormen or janitors. But it turns out that the spies turned out to be in this link, which we considered trifling. After that, they checked all the civilians  and  kicked  them out. And we got a very characteristic figure about how the whole apparatus was clogged. When we checked all the civilians, we had from 600 people. immediately expel 100 people. They turned out to be people, though not spies and saboteurs, but connected with any socially alien environment, with all sorts of suspicious relatives. This fact speaks to how easily we approached this matter. But it turns out that our spies are mainly put in these positions ‐ doormen, cleaners, canteens, etc. etc. I must honestly say that if we were not called here for this and our brains were not properly adjusted, then we ourselves would not have guessed. It turns out that we ‐ the big bosses of the district scale ‐ should be engaged in cleaning women, firemen, and doormen. And only now it is clear. Now we have done a great job, checked every one of them, kicked out a lot. But there is no guarantee that someone else is not in prison. And he probably does, because the Japanese are interested in Transbaikalia first of all. then we ourselves would not have guessed. It turns out that we ‐ the big bosses of the district scale ‐ should be engaged in cleaning women, firemen, and doormen.

Further. In our district there was such a brigade commander, Marchenko, who in 1934, when Dreitser was deputy. director of the Petrovozovsky plant, and the brigade was not far away, this Marchenko turned out to be familiar with him and gave him flight uniforms and 100 pieces of cartridges. When this issue was raised and investigated, this Marchenko is still walking around. The head of the political department was pressed in a party manner and fired from the army, and Marchenko is still walking in Moscow. True, he is not appointed to the post, is at the disposal, but nevertheless, the investigation did not get to the reasons for how these cartridges were issued, and the person, although not appointed to the post, is in Moscow and is still walking, although the place him in prison for giving Dreitzer a flight uniform and 100 pieces of cartridge under the guise of testing refractory  bricks. See what kind of person was found!

Further. Our chief of staff Rubinov turned out to be an enemy. We looked at him for a long time. We had no data that he was a Trotskyist, but his whole behavior,  his  whole  being,  inspired  fear  and  distrust. Then I caught him by accident while exchanging party documents. I accidentally hooked him to one document in a book. I refused to issue him a membership card. I report this to the chief of staff, I report to Gamarnik: so, and so. I am setting out all the details that I will not give him a party card and cannot issue him. A week later, I received an order to issue a party card with the membership record indicated in the party card, and we are conducting the investigation. I knew that a man was specially sent from PUR to Syzran, who investigated everything. We got the impression that it was possible to issue a party card while the investigation and all sorts of things were going on, but in the end, no results. And Gamarnikʹs decision was indisputable authority. Davydovsky, the corps commander, was with us. I received information that in 1923 he vacillated in the direction of Trotskyism, etc. I posed this question. But when I came to report to the Peopleʹs Commissar, Gamarnik and Feldman came, and we turned out to be eccentrics. Gamarnik said that Tukhachevsky considers him a talented person, that he allegedly built a fortified area in the district and built it the best. We ended up in eccentrics. We had to go further, but for all the reasons we did not have the spirit. that he supposedly built a fortified area in the district and built it better than anyone else. We ended up in eccentrics. We had to go further, but for all the reasons we did not have the spirit. that he supposedly built a fortified area in the district and built it better than anyone else. We ended up  in eccentrics. We had to go further, but for all the reasons we did not have the spirit.

Stalin . Was Ufimtsev at your place?


Shestakov . I was in the regional center, in Irkutsk.

Stalin . Have you ever met him? 

Shestakov . No, I didnʹt know him.

Stalin . Not at Gryaznovʹs? 

Shestakov . No. I learned about it when I was passing through Irkutsk.


Stalin . What kind of relationship did you have with Razumov?


Shestakov . There was an acquaintance, as with the secretary of the district committee.

Stalin . How does it work ‐ good or bad? 

Shestakov . May I tell you? 

Stalin . I have to tell. 

Shestakov .Once we wrote a letter about this to you, Comrade Voroshilov, Comrade Molotov. We believe that the issue of defense by the Irkutsk Regional Committee is not given any attention. Moreover, as soon as any question of defense arose, now something began to slow down. Wherever I work. As soon as the territorial fees, now a thousand telegrams, all sorts of complaints. They got to the point that today they were throwing a telegram about not assembling the division. We say: “Give it up. We will not talk anymore, because this is a direct breakdown and this is every year: as soon as the fees are territorial, new recruits, so a lot of telegrams to release such and such ”. We didnʹt release. But somehow Razumov managed to postpone the collection. If I am not mistaken, it was in 1935, he achieved what he received from Moscow an order to reduce the collection by 15 days. What does it mean to reduce the collection by 15 days? This is a clear breakdown. But then what are you going to do? And this is every year.

About border areas. We have an infinite number of times raised the question of border areas and their lack of staffing. The staff there is bad, the areas are on the border and just like a wall! When after the plenum of the Central Committee Razumov returned and made a report at the plenum of the regional committee, he did not say anything about the region, although he spoke in detail about the Kiev regional committee, the Azov‐Black Sea regional committee and made a report for 9  hours. Meanwhile, the situation in the region is absolutely threatening. Three deputies the chairman of the regional executive committee turned out to be alien people: one ‐ Denikinʹs counterintelligence officer, was a judge under Denikin, hanged in the Civil War. Two turned out to be rightists and Trotskyists. The second secretary turned out to be either right or a Trotskyist. A huge number of people, obvious enemies, were arrested there. And when I spoke at the regional committee ...

Stalin . Are you entering the bureau?


Shestakov . I come in. I spoke at the regional committee with all these matters, then found myself in a position that I had never been in. Then the head of the NKVD Directorate was Gai. Before me 20 people spoke, I spoke 21st. They did not touch anyone, and they bombarded me with replicas like hail. This Guy stood next to me and literally did not let me speak. I could not be at the plenum of the regional committee until the end, because we were summoned to Moscow, and on the next day of the meeting of the regional committee I left for Moscow.

Stalin . You want to say that you were not allowed to speak at the regional committee?

Shestakov . Yes, they almost didnʹt. 

Stalin . Bad regional committee? 

Shestakov . I cannot say this about the entire regional committee. 

Stalin . Razumov was arrested. Shestakov . I did not know that. Stalin . Here I am telling you.

Shestakov . Now everything becomes clear. Then it could not come to mind.

Voice from the place . Now Lavrenty is next in line. 

Shestakov . The same story was repeated in Chita. A man came, made a report, and then said that I was not obliged to report to you, the secretary of the city committee Elkin would report, so give him the first word, then you will talk about city affairs. I again performed on this asset and again came under attack. They worked for me in a local newspaper.

Stalin . Where are you from? 

Shestakov . I am from the Trans‐Baikal Military District. 

Voroshilov . No, where is your homeland? 

Shestakov . Yaroslavl. This was the case in the region; and Gryaznov and I, having considered the situation, decided to write a letter. True, we raised the question not only of not paying attention to defense issues, but we also raised the issue of restoring the Trans‐Baikal region. The region is located in Irkutsk, thousands of kilometers from us. It is impossible even to agree on the issues, the distance is too great. Therefore, we raised this issue as well, but this is already different. Iʹm finishing. I have to touch one more question here.

Voroshilov . You probably still have a lot of questions?


Shestakov . Comrade Although Stalin said that the vacillations are old, etc. ‐ it is not so important, if the work is going well, then some things should be clearer. (Call from the chairman.)

Here I want to say about one comrade. Comrade Slavin is a responsible person. I once worked under his command, when he was the head of the PUARM in the Far East in 1923. During the hottest time of the fight with  the  Trotskyists,  we  were  sitting  almost  on   the   very   border. Comrade Slavin, being the head of the PUARM, not only did not lead us in this fight with the Trotskyists, but he himself did not speak anywhere and, moreover, sent us an inspection, clearly Trotskyist, headed by his assistant Schmidt. Such things can hardly be forgotten. (Call from the chairman.)

The troops of the Trans‐Baikal Military District, they are completely devoted to the party, to the last drop of blood, but we need to cleanse ourselves of all the bastards that we have, that climbs to us, they send us all kinds of rubbish to the border, and we need to get rid of it urgently ...

Voroshilov . Comrade Shchadenko.


Shchadenko . We had enough signals from above and signals from below, but, in my opinion, we did not have a system, we did not have the ability to listen to these signals. If we recall Comrade Stalinʹs repeated warnings about increasing class vigilance, so that we would not understand that the class struggle in conditions of continuous collectivization, in the conditions of industrialization of our country, in conditions of building socialism, will decrease, that it will constantly intensify. The Rights and Trotskyists interpreted these questions differently. The rightists said that the class struggle would fade. Here Comrade Stalin said that practically, in words, we adopted good resolutions. We sent greetings such that even the pickiest lackeys could not find fault with our greetings. (Laughter.) You see, what a thing, but in reality, it turned out that, obviously, the right‐wing propaganda on fading had a certain influence in our work.

Signals from below. There were definitely signals from below, comrades. They were expressed in the fact that among the mass of the party, at our party meetings, party members raised questions, sometimes acute questions of principle, but such an order was that we did not particularly listen to this voice of the masses, sometimes completely did not pay attention to this matter. That is why it turned out that you and I, comrades, are experiencing this shame and shame.

So, I don’t know how everyone thinks, but when I read these vile volumes of testimony yesterday, I was literally stunned, because everyone assumed, they thought, “I’m not one of those slow‐witted, and not one of the too backward people in political terms. ‐ but nevertheless, for me, this material had a stunning effect, as well as on other comrades. Why, strictly speaking, did we lose this class vigilance and why did we not have that boldness, that decisive Bolshevik boldness   that   Comrade   Lenin   and   Comrade    Stalin    taught   us? Obviously, organizational forms are still ...

Budyonny . That said, there are no teeth, but now the form.


Shchadenko . Teeth, Semyon Mikhailovich, knocked out, thatʹs right; I am now saying what I think.

Budyonny . I thought your teeth were in your way.


Shchadenko . Maybe you can talk about teeth later, if you are interested. You see ‐ exactly the form.

Budyonny . Form is not a being. 

Shchadenko . I understand what a form is and what a being is, Semyon Mikhailovich. I  did  happen  to  teach  you  at  the  Military   Academy (laughter), and I think you learned something at the academy [2] .

Budyonny . And I thought we taught you  how  to  lead  the  academy. Say [at least] thank you for that.

Shchadenko . Thank you. I have said this many times. (Laughter.) 

Budyonny . And rightly so. 

Shchadenko . So, I think in this way that we are building a new socialist state.

Stalin . Will we build it? 

Shchadenko . Letʹs build. And now everything new that we are building seems to us all beautiful, everything magnificent because our form of state is different from the bourgeois one. And everything seems fine to us. We sometimes do not approach this issue critically and do not compare when we slip from the correct instructions so that the form would correspond to the Bolshevik content in question. Form, Semyon Mikhailovich, organization plays a large, sometimes decisive role. And so, Semyon Mikhailovich, when you and I were identical members of the council, members of the Revolutionary Military Council, we resolved issues, so to speak, together. When I became your political assistant, this is where the teeth were knocked out (laughter), because I was put in a position subordinate to you. And this, you know, is a definite form.(Laughter.) And in our military organization, comrades, this is an important issue.

Budyonny . This means that he became a communist, a Bolshevik in form, essentially toothless.


Shchadenko . Come on, Semyon Mikhailovich. I told you about this White Guard, how much we argued and swore. Take your client whom you defended recently at the Politburo.

Budyonny . Whom? 

Shchadenko . Kosovo. You did not hesitate to say that he was with the whites one day, and the next day we took him.

Budyonny . I told you: ʺWe know that the whites had it.ʺ


Shchadenko . He commanded a volunteer company among the whites.


Budyonny . At least he commanded not a company, but another place, I say that we knew that he was with the whites, but whether he had any connection with this organization is unknown; and you do not care: voted then, but today the enemy. Comrade Stalin explained, but you still do not understand.

Shchadenko . He was with any suspicious audience. Budyonny . And if you know about it, why didnʹt you tell? Shchadenko . Spoke.

Budyonny . Who? 

Shchadenko . Semyon Mikhailovich, his boss. 

Budyonny . To me? 

Shchadenko . In short, Semyon Mikhailovich, letʹs talk about this elsewhere.

Budyonny . He no longer has a topic. 

Shchadenko . No, I want to say something completely different. I donʹt understand why you are against me. I don’t understand, Semyon Mikhailovich.

Budyonny . You hurt me ‐ I answer. 

Shchadenko . No, I donʹt hurt you in the least.


Stalin . Things are bad with Kosov, from his testimony it is clear that he shot people.

Shchadenko . I talked about this a long time ago. And how he dragged him, dragged him to the corps commander; and Tymoshenko and Apanasenko are watching and indignant.

Voroshilov . He was also the chief of staff of the division.


Budyonny . And not bad. And you voted. Why do you lie to me? I have read this brochure. What did you find there? You havenʹt read it.

Shchadenko . Read. 

Budyonny . You never read. 

Shchadenko . I, anyway, read more than you, of course. 

Budyonny . Why is he attacking me? Let him tell you that I am an enemy or something, that I supported the bastard or what?

Voroshilov . Semyon Mikhailovich, you are registered and in due time you will have the floor.

Shchadenko . Comrade Stalin said that we believed. The Central Committee believed Gamarnik, Tukhachevsky, Uborevich, Yakir and many others. We saw this confidence in the Central Committee of the Party quite clearly. They were trusted.

Stalin . Especially Yakir and Gamarnik.


Shchadenko . Especially Yakir and Gamarnik. Quite understandably, they confused people. They dulled class vigilance.

Stalin . I believed Dubov more. On the one hand, he characterized Tukhachevsky as an enemy.

Voroshilov . This was in 1929‐30 [g]. 

Stalin . Yes. At the confrontation, he said that Tukhachevsky was associated with hostile elements. Two arrested persons testified about it.

Shchadenko . Yes, in the Troitsky protocol. 

Stalin . We turned to tt. Dubov, Yakir and ... [3] : ʺIs it correct to arrest Tukhachevsky as an enemy?ʺ All three said, ʺNo, this must be some kind of misunderstanding, wrong.ʺ

Voroshilov . We made a confrontation. 

Stalin . We made a confrontation and decided to cross it out. Now it turns out that the two military men who pointed at Tukhachevsky were showing correctly.

Shchadenko . They were arrested by 15 people at that time. in Academy.

Voroshilov . This is not about them, but about Tukhachevsky. 

Shchadenko . Okay, Iʹll talk about Tukhachevsky. 

Voroshilov . Check your watch. We cannot talk endlessly. We need to finish as soon as possible and leave, get down to business, and you are quarreling here; be so kind as to keep within 10 minutes. Enough talking.

Shchadenko . I am listening. So, I say that at the last conferences at the Kharkov and especially at the conference of the Kiev district ‐ this was clearly shown. That halo, the trust that was created around Yakir, they did not allow the masses to turn to criticism. For example, at the district conference of the Kiev district (at the Kharkov conference, Dubovoy was already worked on for Turovsky, and for everything else) Yakir spoke. He acted as a leader: he was greeted with applause, carried off with applause. This is now after the February plenum of the Central Committee.

Stalin . Now no halo on our side was created for him. Itʹs old.


Shchadenko . Itʹs old. I say, now after it was known that he had received a new appointment, he was greeted and escorted with applause. And only Comrade Kosiorʹs intervention at the conference gave the right direction to self‐criticism.


Stalin . And we spoke with Kosior from here.


Shchadenko . Proceeding from your instructions, Comrade Kosior spoke, sharpened the question, and self‐criticism went more correctly and rather critically, which is the most important thing. It seems to me that here are class enemies, they dressed up in a toga of genius, in a toga of ability, in a toga of talent. So, it seemed to a mere mortal that they were special, some especially gifted people.

Budyonny . Where are we before them. 

Shchadenko . They speculated on this, and here Comrade Stalin is right when he says that the enemy sometimes works well. It would be wrong to say that they did not know how to work or did not know this  work. The enemy not only works well at times, but he shows examples of work in order to gain trust, to gain even more trust, and then to organize his work in such a way as to combine the organization of a combat Red Army with [o] spying and passing information to the enemy.

Recently it was especially visible, I do not know how in other districts, obviously in many districts, but this was especially evident at the conference, when eyewash was revealed in the Kiev district, when it was revealed that eyewash was the main method in combat training work in many subdivisions and  parts. This  method  was  encouraged. Take such a fact as the eyewitcher Schmidt, he was also presented for the order for combat training. And now you can clearly see that ...

Voice . And Turovsky, and Orlov ?!


Voice . And Landa praised in the newspaper ?!


Voice . Landa never praised Turovsky and Schmidt.


Shchadenko . Do you want me to collect and show you all the ʺRed Starʺ? This led the masses astray from the correct party path. The point now is that we must quickly, in a Bolshevik fashion, reorganize and help the masses to rebuild. We must sharpen our Bolshevik vigilance, start working in a new way, be able to reveal all the methods of work  of the enemies. Keep in mind that in the Kiev and other districts, the enemies put their people in different areas of work; they have their own staff, their favorites. Therefore, check the certification materials, check their biographical information, their links, and so on. You will then expose a lot; you will largely help Nikolai Ivanovich to root out enemies to the end. (Call from the chairman.)

Stalin . We must give him more, otherwise he will complain that we are pinching. (Laughter.)

Budyonny . He will not. 

Shchadenko . Iʹm finishing up now. I must tell you, a simple flipping of materials, comparison of biographical data and track records already reveals a lot of contradictions. People write at different times and forget about what they wrote before.

Yezhov . The material you sent me is very interesting.


Shchadenko . I come across this question. Twice the GPU organs dealt with this person.

Stalin . By whom? 

Shchadenko . Colonel Ovcharenko commanded by the 123rd Nikopol division. Who    is   Ovcharenko? Ovcharenko   volunteer Skoropadsky. When Skoropadsky was driven out of here, he asked the German command to be taken back to Berlin. These data already show that this is a punisher and a scout, because there was no point in running away for an ordinary officer.

Stalin . And they wouldnʹt have taken him.


Shchadenko . And they wouldnʹt have taken him, why the hell is he needed? I looked through this data, asked to call this person and talked to him. After a two‐hour conversation, it turned out that he was, and he himself confirmed all this. Hereʹs a fact. This shows, comrades, that we are not dealing specifically with people. Therefore, now it is necessary to look through all our political apparatus. In the Kharkiv political apparatus, five political workers were arrested, two of them have already been shot. This is an outrageous business!

Voice from the place . And the Savko case? 

Shchadenko . Savko was excluded from the PUR, but I think that there is more than an exception.

Budyonny . Do not you know? This is the enemy.


Shchadenko . In my opinion, this is the enemy, but so far it has not been transferred to the proper place.

Voice from the place . He is still walking.


Shchadenko . Thus, our primary task is the selection of personnel, review of personnel, their correct placement, bold and decisive promotion. On the other hand, I want to ask you, Comrade Stalin, and you, Peopleʹs Commissar, about the following: we will not have enough cadres at the lower level. There are not enough 500 people in the Kiev district. company links.

Stalin . You have to take from schools.


Shchadenko . From schools. Is it possible, Iosif Vissarionovich, to hire good secretaries of Komsomol cells, good secretaries of factory cells?

Stalin . Can. 

Shchadenko . So that fresh party workers among these people would grow faster.

Stalin . They just need to go through military school. It is possible and necessary.

Shchadenko . They   would   be   wonderful   people. (Chairmanʹs call.) Two words on a personal matter. Comrade Neronov performed here, this one, with a beard that looks like a Gamarnikovsky beard, under Gamarnik he wears a beard.

Voices . He always wore a beard, even before Gamarnik. 

Shchadenko . You are also a nominee, I know you. 

Voice . Where is the nominee?


Shchadenko . And     you     have     many     friends     from hamarniks. (Laughter.) Berezkin was called at the conference that he was Yakirʹs pocket political officer, that he was his nominee. It was directly said about Orlov that this man was a vulture, where Yakir directed him, he rubbed over, smeared over and so on.

Voices . Right. 

Shchadenko . This is what I want to say. Here Neronov spoke, took the old list, demonstrated it, and as if he made a discovery. Itʹs all nonsense, nonsense. He made no discovery. After all, all of us sitting here know the central PUR apparatus; Neronov represented Osepyan and the lackey Gamarnik there.

Stalin . Cannot be so. 

Shchadenko . Excuse me, please. And now he comes out and says that he specially approached this pest Cork.

Budyonny . He was with you. 

Shchadenko . Semyon Mikhailovich, do not attribute to me what I did not have. I think that all this was known to Gamarnik and Feldman, and to the Peopleʹs Commissar it reached. Orlov was the head of the political department. It was Gamarnikʹs sycophant. He was his secretary for a long time, then he began to nominate him for leadership positions. I know that in PUR the Trotskyists sat one on top of the other, like lice in a bad casing. (Laughter.)

Stalin . This is crude naturalism. 

Shchadenko . When we came to PUR, they mocked us. I think that there were many Trotskyists there, and they still are; here we need to thoroughly comb this very casing.

Voroshilov . Comrade Slavin. 

Shchadenko . Here is Slavin ‐ also my friend, let him say.


Slavin . Comrades, first of all I want to elucidate the question raised by Comrade Shestakov, about what I did not collect, when I was early. in the army of the 5th Army in 1923‐1924, political personnel during the struggle against Trotskyism. Here I want to tell you everything, how it was. I am at the end of November, now I do not remember the details of the dates, 1923 or at the beginning of December it was appointed the beginning. Poarma 5th in the Far East. At the same time, I received a notice of this decree while on vacation in Kislovodsk. Until that time, I worked as a provincial prosecutor in Yekaterinoslavl, was a member of the provincial committee. Two weeks after my arrival, I went to the 13th party conference.

Voice . Wrong, you were there more.


Slavin . I donʹt know, maybe two or three weeks before the conference. During this period, I went to the conference. I must tell you that on the way to the conference, where there were the secretaries of the provincial committees who were going to the conference, in a conversation with them, I said that the discussion began extremely sharply. I had no doubts about the party line, the party policy. And at the 13th party conference I voted for the line of the Central Committee. As you know, two early. Poarma then voted against. It was early. poarm Moscow and early. poarm Transcaucasian.

Voice . Was it in the month of May?


Slavin . No, it was at the 13th party conference in January. After the 13th party conference, I returned to the Far East and at the party meeting of the garrison in Chita, where Comrade Sedyakin was then chaired, I made a report on the state of the party organization and on the party conference in the spirit of party decisions. After that, in the very near future, approximately in March‐April, there was an army party conference, at which there was my report on the work for the end of 1923 and the beginning of 1924. In March or April.

Voice . No, it was in the month of June.


Slavin .No, in May. There was a congress in June, I made a report before the congress. It was in the month of April, when I made a report on the work of the political department of the army. Comrade Shestakov also attended this conference and took part in the work of this conference. Comrade Shestakov voted at this conference, did not oppose the Poarma line. I then presented the materials to Comrade Sidorov to the PUR party committee. At this conference, among a number of resolutions, a resolution was passed stating that the political and party line that I pursued in the army for 1923‐24  [g. ]  was  correct. There were  many  Bolsheviks,  including  Comrade Shestakov. At the same time, comrades, there was also a regional, regional party conference, at which I made a report after the secretary of the regional committee, or rather, a co‐report then it was accepted ‐ as early. poarma. And at this conference I was elected a member of the 13th party congress, the lists of which were worked out by the Dalbureau, the delegation and the Signoren Convention. He was elected to the congress and was elected a member of the regional committee and a member of the regional committee bureau. At the 14th Congress, as everyone knows, I think, I voted for the resolution of the Central Committee. Thus, comrades, I must here with all honesty declare that my only profound mistake lies in my conversation ...

Voice . With Feldman. 

Slavin . No, not with Feldman, there were regional committee secretaries, Kisis was there. This is the only mistake, a grave mistake, that I thought that the discussion had started very sharp. But I assure you all, and this can be traced, that I voted for the decision of the Central Committee, for the proposals of the Central Committee. I was promoted to the PUR, I was elected to the congress both in the regional committee and in the Dalburo. After that I worked in Turkestan, in PUR.

Voice . And how did you go to Radekʹs apartment and get feedback from him?

[ Slavin .] I worked as deputy. head of PUR, assistant head [al] ka PUR. I worked in the Leningrad region for 6 years. I assure you, comrades, that I worked honestly, spotlessly, steadfastly, devotedly to the end fought for the party line and drove many enemies out of there.

Voice . They double‐dealing a lot.


[ Slavin .] You have no right to say this. You have no data. 

Voice . No, there is data. 

Voice . Tell me, how are the Trotskyists surrounding you now — Artemin and his friend?

Slavin . Iʹll tell you now. About Radek. I give you my honest Bolshevik word that Radek and I did not say a single word about the book. Please prove it to me. Let Comrade Yezhov investigate the matter, that Radek and I never said a single word about it.

Voice . It is not right. 

Yezhov . It was not known with the Tolmachevites ‐ whether you are with them, or you are against them [4] .

Voices . Right. In 1923‐1924. in the Far East there was Gamarnik, Feldman, Uborevich and the party members in the army did not feel where Slavin was going: for the Trotskyists or against the Trotskyists.

Slavin . I will state the facts. 

Voice . Gamarnikʹs position on Vladivostok was the most incomprehensible.

Molotov . And Yakira. 

Voice . I met you very often in the dining room. And so, he wrote a book ʺQuestions of Military Affairsʺ in the light of Marxism‐ Leninism. We analyzed this book at the Military Academy, Comrade Gray gave a response to it and noticed many mistakes. He then met me in the dining room and asked: ʺHow was my book taken apart?ʺ I told him that there are many comments there. ʺWhat do I need your comments, I gave Radek a book for review, he gives a brilliant description that you and your Feldman weave nonsense.ʺ

Slavin . I ask the Peopleʹs Commissar of Internal Affairs, Comrade Yezhov, to establish this fact. If Iʹm lying that I didnʹt talk to Radek about the book, then I need to be punished more than I deserve.

Voice . Fact.


Slavin . About Deputy Artemin. I must say, and the Peopleʹs Commissar must confirm that when a deputy was being selected, I did not know that Artemin was appointed. I have repeatedly raised the question of removing him not only as a former Trotskyist, but the fact that he is militarily very limited. This, comrades, is the state  of  affairs. As for the Belarusian‐Tolmachev opposition ‐ I fought against it.

Voices . Wrong. 

Slavin . Wait, comrades. The Peopleʹs Commissar must confirm that I fought the Tolmachev opposition and at one time I fought with Bulin.

Voice . Fought! ʺSoldiers, freezeʺ ‐ is called.


Slavin . I assure you, comrades, what I am saying is correct. I have no right to pretend to be believed at a time when there are such numerous facts of betrayal of people who were so strongly trusted.

Voice . And with whom you were connected. 

Voice . Tell us about White. 

Slavin . Regarding White, I will tell you. When Bely [5] was appointed to Moscow ...

Voice . How many telegrams he sent?


Slavin . I have not sent a single telegram; this can be verified by the documents. I recognized Bely only when I became the head of the GUVUZ, from March‐April 1936 ...

Voice . When Yakir recommended you.


Slavin . I recognized White there. He was already the head of the artillery school. I raised the question that he could not be in the artillery school. Yakir said that it  was  impossible  to  take  it  off  now,  because There is a lot of construction going on there, and he is carrying it out. In early 1936, Feldman presented him ‐ a checklist can be found

-  and certified him as an excellent commander and business executive. I wrote on the checklist: Bely is certified as a good commander and business executive, and so on. in the Kiev district schools have good premises and equipment and are financially safe there, then it must be transferred to the Moscow school, where the school is in extremely poor condition. Until March 1936, I had no idea of Bely.

Dybenko . How long have you been in white territory?


Slavin . In 1917, in November, I returned from Austrian captivity. 

Voice . Like Tukhachevsky! 

Dybenko . Not together with Komarovsky? 

Slavin . No. In 1917 I returned from the Austrian captivity, there, in captivity (I have materials), I was the chairman of the Bolshevik organization in Brix, in Bohemia. I was exchanged as a disabled person because fell ill with pulmonary tuberculosis. Came to Leningrad. Upon arrival in Leningrad, I was arrested by counterintelligence officers and was in prison until the October coup. I was accused of agitation for the separation of Ukraine from the Soviet Union, which was completely wrong. After that, after returning there, I immediately contacted the Bolshevik organization and until 1919 worked underground. I can point to a number of people who know me underground.

Voice from the place . Where? 

Slavin . In the White Church. Until 1913, I worked for a Bolshevik organization in Belaya Tserkov. The secretary of the Tula City Committee, Yakov Soifer, worked with me. Together we issued a leaflet on the day of the Lena massacre and on May 1, 1913.

Voice from the place . Soifer seems to be Yakirʹs son‐in‐law? 

Slavin .I do not know. I must tell you that I feel very hard with all this black pack of traitors who have opened up, because I really trusted Gamarnik. I considered him a good Bolshevik. He always presented himself as a man devoted to the party, the Central Committee and Comrade Stalin. He has repeatedly stressed that he is trusted and that his work in the Far East is fully and fully approved. This trust in Gamarnik  was  not  only  with  me,  but   also   with   other   comrades. Comrade Smirnov, talking to me a few months ago, also said that he respected Gamarnik as a good Bolshevik. Comrade Mezis also spoke of him as a conscientious, honest and modest Bolshevik. We were all wrong. It was a mask. And now, after I was hit on the head with a butt, a whole series of questions appear in a different light.

Before Primakovʹs appointment, I received a telephone call from Gamarnik that the Politburo had appointed [o] Primakov. Gamarnik told me  that  I  must  create  appropriate  working  conditions  for him. After a while Primakov arrives and two weeks later, he puts before me the question that conditions have not been created for him to work. He asks me to put before the bureau the question of co‐opting him into the regional committee. I said that I would not raise this question. After a while, Comrade Grinberg, who was then my assistant, comes to me and says that Primakov complains that Slavin has clamped down on everything, does not let him into the regional committee,  etc. Isnʹt that true, Comrade Greenberg? Now this story with Primakov is emerging in a different light.

As for Zyuk, Belov and I tried to get him out. He wrote memoranda to the Peopleʹs Commissar at me, pointing out that  I  was  poisoning him. The Peopleʹs Commissar showed me this note when I was at his place with a report on another matter and said: ʺCall him and tell him that if he still writes such vile letters, I will expel him  from  the  army.ʺ After the Kirov days, we achieved that he was removed from the Leningrad district and the question  of  demobilization  was  raised. He did hang out in Moscow for several days, waiting for the appointment. Suddenly we learn that he was assigned to the  Far  East. But after a few months he was kicked out from the Far East, he hung out in Moscow again, and then was assigned to the Kharkov military district.

Voice from the place . These are all your friends. 

Slavin . I must say that along with the question about Zyuk, we also raised the question about Tomilov, who was Zyukʹs friend and was the regiment commander of the 4th division. We managed to get Tomilov out, sent him to Comrade Dybenko as regiment commander. Several months ago, in Feldmanʹs office, in the presence of Comrade Dybenko,


I heard a conversation about the appointment of Tomilov as the head of the Kazan school. I resolutely rejected this case.

Regarding Egorov. And here this case opens in a different light. In March 1936 I was at the All‐Russian Central Executive Committee school. I saw the disgusting state of the division, the disgusting state of the school. I have repeatedly posed the question to Feldman about removing Yegorov; I did not raise the political question, it was not clear to me, but Yegorov was in prison for 8 years, and I saw that the school was in an ugly state. Feldman explained by the fact that he had a stomach or intestinal ulcer.

Voice . You all have stomach ulcers.


Slavin . And so, he was brought to the last time, to arrest. After the arrest, when we agreed to remove the division chief, Sokolov, I was presented with a visa for the Peopleʹs Commissar to appoint this Sokolov to the division commander in the Artillery Directorate of the Red Army. Feldman agreed with Efimov. You will find on this document, which was submitted to the Peopleʹs Commissar for a visa, my indication that I object to Sokolov entering the Red Army Artillery Directorate.

I have to end now, but I declare to you here, from this rostrum, in the face of the Politburo of our party, that I honestly, conscientiously, to the end and without a trace up to the present day (I worked for a year and a half at the GUVUZ), that I am completely devoted to our party and its Central Committee and worked flawlessly in the sense of the struggle for the correct implementation of the party line.

Voice . In Ukrainian it is called ʺbreachʺ.


Voice . May I ask Slavin a question? Were you a provincial prosecutor? Who was the secretary of the provincial committee in Yekaterinodar?

Slavin . Simonov. 

Voice . Who was the editor of the newspaper in Yekaterinodar ʺChervona Zirkaʺ? 

Slavin . Raphael. 

Voice . Raphael Mikhail, who is now in Leningrad as chairman of the arts. I studied with the former secretary of the provincial committee Simonov in Marxism courses in 1930‐1931, and then Simonov told me that he had to wage a big fight with Slavin, because he had Trotskyist sentiments ‐ Slavin and Raphael.

Slavin . I presented the characteristics of the provincial committee. I fought with Simonov, Simonov was removed by the Central Committee of Ukraine for drunkenness and corruption of the entire organization and Vasily Ivanov was sent.

Voroshilov . Then weʹll figure it out. Comrade Mager [6] .


Mager . After we understand [7]With the materials that were provided to us by the Peopleʹs Commissar of Internal Affairs, each of the commanders and political workers who built our army and who built a good, and I must say, the best Red Army in the world, you involuntarily ask yourself the question: how could it have happened that Do we have such a major political betrayal in the ranks of the army today? All this could happen, on the one hand, because we excessively weakened, as was indicated here, the party‐political work, excessively weakened the control and education of people, we trusted people who formally had party cards in their pockets excessively and without a trace. These are the main points, which, it seems to me, and the commanderʹs instinct that haunts me today, that this was the main thing, why we did not see all this scum, all this counter‐revolutionary bastard. Can we say that this counter‐revolutionary bastard worked in such a way that it was impossible to notice? Not at all. There were a number of signals, there were a number of facts, there were a number of direct indications, even that there were wrongs. Take such a thing as training in our armored universities. They train commanders, send us commanders, but it turns out that they did not prepare, did not study the material part on which they would then work. These commanders come and they need to be retrained. did not study the material part on which they would then work. These commanders come and they need to be retrained. did not study the material part on which they would then work. These commanders come and they need to be retrained.

Stalin . Who sends it like this? 

Mager . It turns out that the new material part that enters the army does not go to school.

Voice . And Comrade Mager knows this very well from the Volga District.

Slavin . Allow me, I wanted help. At the direction of the Peopleʹs Commissar, I reviewed several universities. What happens? Of the 480 hours of tactics, only 6 hours are taught in the field with the material part, and 474 hours are taught in the tank and in the classroom. In addition, 60% of these tanks are old brand tanks.

Voice . This is the situation in aviation schools.


Mager . What ultimately turns out? It turns out that we are releasing an obviously poor‐quality, obviously unprepared command staff.

Stalin . Who is guilty? 

Mager . The system is to blame, the sabotage to which the hands of the Olshansk were attached and, apparently ...

Stalin . Khalepsky? 

Mager . I cannot say ‐ Khalepsky, because in my view, Khalepsky was actively fighting.

Stalin . Khalepsky probably approved the program?


Mager . Approved. I believe that from this side, the tank forces have a very large drawback, and it is no coincidence that we have a lot of accidents. This is the first thing.

And the second question. The tank forces are now bare in terms of technical composition. No joke to say! For the entire tank brigade, two engineers, who only yesterday left the academy, are inexperienced, without practice, do not know the material part or know theoretically,but they cannot come to help a person. This is no coincidence. We pointed out this matter in a timely manner, that one fine period of time we will be left without  technical  leadership  in  mechanized  business. And this is starting to give its results today.

The next question is the regular order in the mechanical unit. Take our rear of the mechanized brigades. Outwardly, as if there are machines, and their number is decent, but look, when the mechanized unit will go into battle? This winter we tried it and saw that the cars were lagging behind. As a result, we have tanks and cannot use them effectively in a battle against the enemy. Air defense in mechanized units is ridiculous, not  air  defense. There  is  no  air   defense   in   the   mechanical   parts. Chemistry  in  mechanical  parts  is  extremely   poorly delivered. There is no artillery in mechanized brigades. Since we do not have artillery, it happened so, we say: letʹs study the tactics of artillery on these tanks, we will shoot instead of 67 mm from 40 mm, because today there is no, and tomorrow, maybe, will. Mechanized brigades are at a very low level.

Finally, the famous three‐tank platoon. What is done? What has been done is that our mechanized corps is weaker than a German tank division. I calculated the other day. Take this case: you can use it as a separate unit in battle, in the rare case ‐ in guarding anywhere and only. This is what a fighting organism is. This is not enough for today.

Stalin . What is needed? 

Mager . Five tanks. So, it used to be, then it was reduced. Five tanks in

[o] platoon, then it will be fine.


I would ask Comrade Peopleʹs Commissar to pay attention to this question. We now need to convene tank commanders, to talk with people, because there are a lot of issues that we were not able to report to you. We wrote, raised this question to the best of our ability.

Take a question like tank testing. Where the tanks are tested, I donʹt know. They send us tanks there were BT‐5, now BT‐7. How they were tested, we do not know.

Stalin . Didnʹt you send the instructions?


Mager . The instructor and instructions were not sent.


Stalin . Are you giving away new cars?


Mager . Yes. We do not know how to repair BT‐7, there are no technical conditions for repairs. Here we are fighting this case and do not get out of the situation.

Stalin . How are you doing? 

Mager . We raised this question, and we are raising it now ‐ they say: they are printing.

Budyonny . Instructions have not been published for six months.


Stalin . When they write instructions, do they not call people from their seats?

Mager . No. Only when completing a battle tank, now they are beginning to ask our opinion. Until now, they have not asked. I donʹt know, maybe people think that they all happened, but, in any case, the instruction would be better if we talked to people.

Voice . Tell me about the second task that has not been completed for two years.

Mager . On fire training. TKS‐2 is published ‐ a new course.


Budyonny . You donʹt even know what they are sending you. You donʹt know what TCS is.

Mager . Tank shooting course. I donʹt know what you want to say.


Budyonny . I want to say that you do not understand what is being sent to you.

Mager . Semyon Mikhailovich, this is not so. 

Budyonny . No, I know the army. 

Mager . We, too, did not fall from the moon. What you are sending is very good.

Budyonny . And what you donʹt read is very good too.


Mager . You sent TKS last year and say: give us a conclusion. 

Budyonny . And now the middle of 1937. 

Mager . We did not shoot this course this year. We move on to the second task.

Budyonny . And how many cartridges have you shot? 

Mager . It does not matter. 

Budyonny . No, it does. 

Mager . I was not going to speak on the tank course. 

Budyonny . Self‐criticism should be done. 

Mager . If you like, Semyon Mikhailovich, I can criticize you a little, then myself. You have reformed the hundredth regiment. We sent 100 cars to the material part. First, it was done ...

Budyonny . Well, will you be expected for a year in the war?


Mager . Not a year. But the car is not like a stick he took it and carried it.

Budyonny . You are a cavalry soldier; you know how we rebuild on the move.

Mager . You canʹt prepare a driver on the go. 

Stalin . Right. 

Budyonny . Here everyone is to blame, but not you.


Stalin . He says that little depends on him. More depends on the main departments.

Voroshilov . He is the chief of the district armored units.


Stalin . It depends more on the head office than on it. Voroshilov . Why doesnʹt he speak how he put the questions? Stalin . The speaker has the floor, let him speak.


Voice . Comrade People’s Commissar let me give you a certificate. He was the head of the department of universities of the Tank Directorate. Why did he not raise all these questions?

Mager . Iʹll answer now. Look at all the documents, a number of reports, a number of meetings at which I had the opportunity to speak, and you will see that I raised these questions. And if you gave me this business at the mercy, and no one was interested in this, then this is not my fault. I came to you as a bad tanker. I came to study, and you have given me the whole business at the mercy.

Voroshilov . If you were a bad tanker, then you worked in the army for several days. You better tell us how you worked.

Mager . As a self‐criticism, I admit that I may not have raised these questions firmly enough, not consistently enough, not persistently enough.

Budyonny . This was what had to be admitted. 

Mager . Two words about Slavin. Slavin is undoubtedly maneuvering here.

Voices . Right. 

Mager . Accidentally or not by chance, Genin worked for you, Arsh worked for you, Zeitlin, Zenek also worked for you, and, finally, with Garkavy you lived almost next door in an apartment, you were inseparable friends. How does all this look against the general background?

Voice . Tolmachevskoe nest. Mager . Tolmachevskoe nest. Voice . And Schmidt, and Zyuk?

Slavin . Arsh was there when I arrived; in addition, Arsh was a member of the party.

Mager . This is the whole point. You probably knew what kind of party member he is? Did you have any signals when Garkavy said that political workers are talkers, and political leaders are gendarmes? Were such statements? There were. At the district conference this was stated. And you bypassed these questions. Throughout his work, Garkavy discredited political workers and discredited party work. You were aware of this; you were aware of this. Have you taken any action? (Slavinʹs remark was not captured.)At the very least, you were liberal about this matter. I, as a commander, came to you once and repent of walking more, because you treated the way a political worker cannot. We are accustomed, in any case, to see the head of the political department as a party person, a party soul, but you were formal, bureaucratic: without listening to the person, did you impose your opinion on him.

Slavin . How long have you been in the Tank Directorate, launched the whole thing, have you raised at least one question? And I raised these questions, and now you are speaking in order to discredit Slavin.

Mager . I think that Slavinʹs statement is unsatisfactory. He made excuses, he dodged, gave explanations, but he did not answer the main question. How did it happen that all  these  brothers  surrounded  him? How? Garkavy was near him, Bakshi [8] was, Zenek was, Genin was. These are the people you knew directly.

Slavin . I donʹt remember Zenek, he was not with me; and you yourself removed Genin.

Mager . I think we have all the data to deal  with  this  bastard  quickly. The desire is there, the Bolshevik assertiveness is evident. We will be able to carry out the necessary work.

Voroshilov . Comrade Gryaznov has the floor. 

Gryaznov .I must report to Comrade Stalin that I never knew Ufimtsev, never met him. It is perfectly clear, comrades, that you and I proved to be insufficient support for the Central Committee of the Party and for the Peopleʹs Commissar in regard to vigilance, in relation to the selection of those people who turned out to be wreckers. Here we are talking not only about the group that included Tukhachevsky, Yakir, Uborevich and others. We had the same type of people in our ranks, in the Trans‐Baikal military district, people like Rubinov. In the last year, we very strongly raised the question of him, but he ran up against the wall of resistance in the person of Gamarnik and Feldman. It took two times to report this to the Peopleʹs Commissar. And even after the order of the peopleʹs commissar to remove Rubinov, two more months passed before he was removed. Only after the repeated order of the Peopleʹs Commissar to remove Rubinov was it really withdrawn. Before that, all our attempts to remove Rubinov were unsuccessful. Gamarnik was at our maneuvers in the fall. We took the opportunity and again raised the question of Rubinov and said that he was Primakovʹs squire, a dear friend of Schmidt, Zyuk and others.

Voice from the place . They went to the gymnasium together. 

Gryaznov . And they studied at the gymnasium together, and they know each other from the front, and they have the same ideology. In short, we couldnʹt get Rubinov removed for a very long time. We have learned about Davidovsky recently. Previously, no question was raised about him. For a year and a half, the commander of the mechanized corps, Tchaikovsky, served in the Trans‐Baikal district. Last year, we had a difficult case with this mechanized corps, which was supposed to serve as a signal for us and make us think more about the causes of this disaster. We were not looking for political reasons then.

Stalin . Who was in charge of the corps?

Gryaznov . Tchaikovsky, and then Davidovsky.

 Stalin . Dexterously they arranged people!

Gryaznov .It is no secret that last year circumstances demanded to send one battalion of the 32nd mechanized brigade to Mongolia, and imagine that out of 150 BT tanks, only 31 tanks had  to  be  taken away. Combat readiness at the border ‐ 4 hours for the entire mechanized corps. In four hours, he should go to the border and join the battle if need be. For the dispatch of the battalion, a period of two and a half days was given, i.e., such a period that is not realistic in terms of combat readiness. And in preparation, for two and a half days, not a single tank from the 31st reached our border at a distance of 110 kilometers. In order to bring  31  tanks,  the  entire  brigade  was raised. There was obvious, obvious sabotage. This battalion was led by the corps commander Tchaikovsky. In  essence,  it  was  clear sabotage. People,

We thought that people overslept, people turned out to be sloppy, bad organizers. Tchaikovsky was removed, but we did not draw political conclusions from this case. The case turned out to be much worse ‐ the brigade commander was a Trotskyist, he was expelled from the party, arrested. Tchaikovsky turned out to be a pest, but things turn out even worse. Tchaikovsky has just been removed from the building, three months have passed ‐ it turns out, a disaster of a  general  district scale. Feldman is not asking me to introduce people to the highest award of the Soviet Union to orders, but I am invited to present to the orders such and such: Tchaikovsky, Ikonostasov, Andreyev ‐ a Trotskyist, a saboteur, now arrested. Comrade Shestakov and I took a look.

Stalin . That he is your general commander, Feldman? His business is to arrange forces, but he had the right to give such instructions.

Gryaznov . No. And we sent a fierce protest against Tchaikovsky, Andreev, Ikonostasov and a number of other commanders who had just failed, who created a catastrophe, to present them for medals. And, apparently, the harshness of our protest influenced the fact that they were not presented, but an attempt was made to drag them to the award. For direct sabotage of people, they tried to present them to the highest award of the Soviet Union.

Now it is clear to us just as we were short‐sighted and did not see that Tchaikovsky not only tried to disintegrate the entire corps, which he successfully did in relation to the 32nd brigade, he brought many loyal cadres from the Leningrad Military District, but he tried to affect other troops as well. He tried to create a counter‐revolutionary grouping among other military units. He tried to solder the commanders of infantry divisions, he tried to create a counter‐revolutionary grouping and soldered a number of aviation commanders. We have not seen any of this. We thought that this was an old man who was tired and did not know how to work.

Stalin . Who is it? 

Gryaznov . Tchaikovsky. 

Voices . What an old man he is, he is 43 years old.


Gryaznov . Now it became clear to us that he was trying to affect all our cadres, he was trying to create a conspiratorial organization.

It is not clear to us now whether a number of people fell under his influence. We have already reported to Comrade Bulin that some of the division commanders have been transferred; one must look very hard and seriously.

This suggests that you and I yawned exceptionally strong, and our happiness lies in the fact that the Central Committee of our party appointed comrade Yezhov to the post of Peopleʹs Commissar of Internal Affairs. Comrade Yezhov revealed everything, and we showed complete myopia, oblivion of our political face.

Molotov . Comrade Gryaznov, but this Tchaikovsky was punished for having failed, in essence, a tank brigade?

Gryaznov . It was immediately removed.

Voice . And then they gave me a promotion.

Gryaznov . No, he received no punishment.

Molotov . It is convenient to work for this kind of bastards. 

Budyonny . He had no right to arrest. 

Molotov . To demand that his case be sent to court, that Tchaikovsky be brought to justice. You yourself encourage these things.

Budyonny . It was possible to draw up an act and immediately submit it to court.


Molotov . Myopia, myopia. You are being satisfied with all sorts of meanness in front of your eyes, what kind of myopia? This is a crime, not myopia. Commanding!

Stalin . He knows the armored business.


Molotov . Not a single tank reached the border. Why arenʹt you punished, dear comrade?

Voroshilov . And for the same Tchaikovsky, the 7th building was considered the best in Leningrad.

Molotov . Tchaikovsky should have been taken by the collar and put in jail, and you should have been punished. Your hands are all washed. It turns out that way. Any disgrace is happening, and you will report in a year. Great courage to report in a year. Not a single tank reached the border, it is said to report.

Gryaznov . Allow me to report, Comrade Peopleʹs Commissar, now we have received the commander of the aviation corps, a certain Kokhansky.

Voices . A bastard, definitely. A Polish spy, no doubt. Uborevichʹs protege. Who nominated it?

Gryaznov . I do not know. 

Stalin . He is arrested, Kokhansky.


Voices . At last. It was long ago. There were many signals about him.


Budyonny . Ah, he already got it, but I thought not yet.


Gryaznov . I would like Comrade Stalin and Comrade Molotov to know about such a fact, to which the wreckers undoubtedly had a hand. We have some strange relation to the  initial  period  of  the  war. The initial period of the war [9] will require the most intense combat operations, and instead of providing us with a sufficient amount of ammunition, we have a completely unsatisfactory amount of ammunition, which is given for the initial period of the war.


While we have excellent tanks, excellent equipment in other branches of the military, I cannot believe that we could not provide enough ammunition. It is not clear to me that I have a shortage of checkers in the district.

Voroshilov . Are you also short of cartridges?

Gryaznov . If you allow me, I can report to you.

Stalin . Is it the norm?

Gryaznov . They give at the rate, but the rate is very insufficient.


Stalin . This is an exceptional case for tanks. ( Turning to Comrade Egorov.) In your opinion, is the norm sufficient?

Egorov . The rate is small. 

Gryaznov . Comrades, I believe that in his concluding remarks Comrade Voroshilov will give us instructions on how, in what form, to what extent we will have to orient our troops against these vile scoundrels who have found themselves in our ranks, because rumors are spreading in the army. When we went from the Trans‐Baikal district, people there still did not know anything, but, apparently, there will be some rumors before our arrival. Therefore, apparently, the command staff, and perhaps the Red Army personnel, in this regard will need to be informed in order to enable them to firmly take on the improvement of the condition of our ranks.

What, comrades, can be said about these pests? It is indisputable that they had no roots in the masses. Our army is healthy, it is infinitely loyal to the Central Committee of the Party, to our workers ʹand peasantsʹ government. And I think that our Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army, cleared of these vile enemies, will become even stronger and will become the real bulwark of our workers ʹand peasantsʹ government.

Voice . I ask Comrade Gryaznov to answer the question. I consider it necessary that he answer in the presence of the Politburo. Before the Trans‐Baikal Okrug separated from the Far Eastern Territory [10], Marshal Blucher examined the troops and declared the mechanized corps unfit for action. Moreover, this case was presented in poor condition. In 1935, an order was drawn up on this matter and a report was drawn up. A copy of the order was sent to them. I am now interested, in connection with the fact that Gryaznov said that the corps turned out to be incapable of  combat,  what  he  did  on  this  order, tk. what was revealed there by Marshal Blucher and his staff, was it attributed to ill‐will? I want him to tell the Politburo how he, in a short time, establishes sabotage and why he did not comply with the order of Marshal Blucher. Marshal Blucher is here, and he can confirm.

Gryaznov . Of course, the inspection of Comrade Blucher revealed many flaws in the system of the mechanized corps.

Blucher . Including the inability of the corps to leave at the set 4 oʹclock, and this was the main thing ‐ both for the material part and for the entire organization.

Gryaznov . But I must say that Comrade Blucher was the only one who praised Tchaikovsky in our country.

Blucher . Yes, then I said that this commander was technically competent, but the brigade continued to be incapable of combat.

Gryaznov . The 36th mechanized brigade looked better, quite efficient.


Stalin . Does the corps consist of 2 brigades?


Gryaznov . Yes, from two brigades. We were working on the corps, but, apparently, Tchaikovsky turned out to be stronger at work.

Voroshilov . Comrade Krivoruchko has the floor. 

Krivoruchko . Comrades, Comrade Goryachev spoke here and outlined the situation in the Belorussian district. I thought about his words and I want to tell you here, because Dubov and I are old colleagues in the former [him] Ukrainian and now Kiev military districts and have worked together for a long time with our, today a clear pest, a clear traitor to all of you ...

If Comrade Goryachev said that Uborevich did not enjoy great sympathy among the commanding staff, then this alone is a plus, due to the fact that Uborevich could not mislead anyone, could not deceive the masses, but Yakir, I boldly declare that Yakir, if not 100%, then 70‐ 75% enjoyed great popularity and great sympathy among the commanding staff. This is much worse for us, because it harmed us even more, because at any moment it could lead us into the abyss, when we, hanging our ears, followed him and when we would wake up, it would be too late. I honestly say that I trusted Yakir, considered him my teacher, my commander, and not a bad commander, until I felt ‐ what I talked about with both Dubov and Khakhanyan ‐ until I felt in the last time, that Yakir bypasses me, whatever the games, whatever the outings in the field, Yakir took me with him least of all, and even if I was present, he would never ask me to express a decision for the commander. Once, when we were sitting with Dubov and Khakhanyan at the hotel, I put a question to him: “Comrade commander, why do you never ask me for a decision for the commander? Either you are afraid that I will let you down by saying some nonsense, or you know something about me then tell me in the face. If you think Iʹm painfully literate, then I still want to practice. ʺ He began to fill me in: “You have a big mistake in this matter. Do not think, the Peopleʹs Commissar knows you, all commanders know you, and if I do not ask you, it is only because I want to check before those commanders who come to us again. ʺ It was this, i.e., Dubov [oh]? It was. I talked and shared on this issue both with my Pompolite and with Comrade Amelin, although today I have no right to say ‐ Comrade Amelin.

Stalin . Unfortunately, he was arrested.


Krivoruchko .Exactly. If we had not foreseen yesterday, he would have shot himself. I believe that he is Yakirʹs real henchman. Iʹm not saying that he is politically highly literate and understands what Trotskyism is and where Trotskyism is leading, but because Yakir made him the head of the districtʹs political administration, he drew him to himself like a soldier. Yesterday, when he read this testimony, he was terribly agitated. Our head of the academy, Comrade Kuchinsky, gave us a lift by car. When we left the First House of Soviets, and Amelin was already sitting in the car, I began to ask Comrade Kuchinsky to give us a lift. I donʹt  want  to  walk,  and  I  donʹt  want  to  go  to  the   subway either. Kuchinsky took it, we got into the car, and on the way talked about Gamarnik. He says: ʺEva, I found when to shoot, you need to testify, and he committed suicide.ʺ When we got out of the car and went to his room, then he was terribly agitated and twirls the revolver in his hands. Rittel[11] immediately to him, says: ʺCome on, why do you need it?ʺ He threw the revolver on the suitcase, threw himself on the bed and roared. After that, we watched whether he would come to the meeting. He came to the evening meeting and I said, ʺIn all likelihood, he will not come back here.ʺ And so, it was.

I did not trust Yakir since I came to him after the arrest of Turovsky, Schmidt and others and asked him to tell him what the matter was. I specially came to the district twice, went to Yakir and asked: ʺInform me about this case, what Turovsky and Schmidt were.ʺ We knew that Turovsky was an old Trotskyist, and Schmidt was like a clown: both there and there. All my commissars are sitting here — comrade Yastrebov, comrade Mezis — they all know this. I began to question Yakir about this, and he said to me: ʺThere is nothing to be interested in this, these are sons of bitches, enemies, traitors, Trotskyists.ʺ I say that I want to know in more detail, because some commanders ask me about this. Yakir answers: ʺYou donʹt need to know, then you will find out.ʺ So, I never got any response. I received neither an instruction nor an explanation on this matter, but only used rumors.

In Zhitomir, a large Trotskyist organization was exposed along the civil line. We are 42 people. purged from the party. I, in particular, led a very fierce struggle against a certain Tabakmacher, director of the Pedagogical Institute. We expelled him from the party, but then we received a decision to reinstate him in the party and issue him a party card. I went to Kiev, went to the former secretary Ilyin, Postyshev and said that I did not agree with this decision, because Tabakmakhter was a real Trotskyist. I was told that I was wrong. At the plenum of the regional committee, I again spoke and demanded that Ilyin give an authorization for the arrest of Tabakmacher. After that they took me to work, and Amelin summoned me to his office, and Postyshev, and the NKVD dragged me: how, they say, could I speak out so openly and demand arrest when the person was already checked. It turned out Comrade Shchadenko will confirm that at the district party conference Yakir said to comrade Kosior the following sort of jokingly: ʺThis bastard bit us with his Tabakmacher.ʺ If I chewed, I chewed for the cause. I could not pass by this and was rooting for this cause as a member of the party. All this shows how blindly we believed these people, how overwhelmed we were by all this.

Comrade Stalin, I must tell you directly that Yakir, after almost every arrival from Moscow, at the first meeting with us, always mentioned your name. He even told us at a meeting once: “Comrade Stalin summoned me and even gave me such a tactical task: well, he says, take a piece of paper and sketch out a diagram of how Hannibalʹs troops were located [12] . It is good that I was really prepared: I immediately sketched out a diagram, and so on. Stalin liked it. ʺ

Stalin . He did not know this case. It has long been.


Krivoruchko . But the answer was given to us. This was a very dangerous feature for our Kiev military district. And today I want to say that in our Kiev district, like nowhere else, these same Yakirovites are planted.

Stalin . Are there many of them? 

Krivoruchko . I assure you that if we all really get down to work and help Comrade Yezhov, there will be good 4‐5 people. there are corps commanders. (Movement in the hall.)

Budyonny . He speaks correctly. Say Say. 

Krivoruchko .I will talk about them. At the district party conference, I was even told that we wonʹt give you the floor, you speak everywhere, you talk a lot. It was with Rittel. I said no, I will not go to it and will speak. I also spoke at the Ukrainian Party Congress, but I did not name names because I was still afraid, I must honestly declare this here, but I said that such and such people today are almost completely exposed as Trotskyists, as Schmidts, Turovs and today Yakirovtsy, which we have today Antonyuk ‐ the commander of the 8th Rifle Corps ‐ is not a Yakirovets. I declare that if the study  goes,  he  is  Turovskyʹs  protege. Maybe Yakir doesnʹt know about it. I am responsible for my words, Comrade Peopleʹs Commissar and Comrade Stalin, before you. In 1934 g. Primakov came to inspect the corps and conducted a tactical exercise ‐ a march of a cavalry regiment under the influence of aviation. After the 16th regiment finished its exercises, Primakov comes to me, and so patted me on the shoulder and says: “Nikolai Nikolaevich, do you think it is possible to gather the old Kotovites, there are also Primakovites ‐ old partisans, and spend the evening together , remember the old? ʺ TT. Mezis and Yastrebov know what my relationship with Primakov is from 1919‐1920. This is my legacy to this day.

Voice . It is right. 

Krivoruchko . I ask Primakov: “Is this really a part of your inspection program? I, ‐ I say, ‐ I myself have no right, but if this is an order from Moscow, show me that you have a prescription and then I will do everything. ʺ (Laughter.) He says: ʺI certainly do not impose, but it would be desirable to gather nearby.ʺ It was in 1936, I think, or in 1935. Comrade Kozlov is here, he should add. Primakov came to inspect the 44th division.

Stalin . And then it was not possible to collect?


Krivoruchko .No, I did not dare to do it then and did not collect it. He carried out an inspection in the 44th division and the chief of the garrison Antonyuk ‐ whether he worked it or out of old friendship ‐ he had lunch and dinner in his apartment, and some people went there all night. Even Schmidt came there from Kiev, to Antonyukʹs apartment. I donʹt know if Kozlov was there, participated or not, he should tell. This one Primakov and Antonyuk decided to convene a shorsovka. And Primakov said that Stalin had given special instructions. It was Primakov who brought in the old Primakov partisans. At the House of the Red Army, they appoint a meeting of the 44th division. Although I am a lousy partisan, I am still a partisan since 1917 ‐ not a word, not half a word. Four more people, also old partisans [s], also stand in Zhitomir ‐ neither on the phone, nor on a business card. And business cards were sent out 100 kilometers from Zhitomir, and even old Primakovites arrived from Shepetovka disguised as Shchors. Antonyuk and others perform there and are very elevated and presented as the leader of the Ukrainian cavalry of the past and future.

Voice . Whom? 

Krivoruchko . Primakov. The portrait of Primakov is two meters at the entrance, like to Nicholas in the palace.

Voices . Alexander III. 

Stalin . One hell, it doesnʹt matter.


Krivoruchko . The portrait is painted and signed below: such and such. There is a sentry on the door and passes through the passes. I got interested in this business, went. Asks: ʺDo you have a pass?ʺ ‐ ʺNoʺ.

ʺWe have just gathered here by special invitations, but you do not, so we will not miss it.ʺ

Budyonny . Is the corps commander not allowed in? 

Voroshilov . And who is the commandant? 

Krivoruchko . 8th corps commandant. I did not seek, but Shatov and I became  interested  in  this  case. We  were  later  told  what  was  there. About Shchors insofar as they talked about Primakov all the time. Kozlov was there, maybe he will tell.

Kozlov . I wasn’t, I wasn’t invited either.


Krivoruchko . After that Antonyuk takes a narrow group and leads them to his apartment. There, the visiting secretary of the party committee from Radomyshl, the director of the plant came from Korostynya alone. He takes 6‐7 people and takes them to the apartment. Dinner takes place at the apartment; Primakov stays at the apartment overnight. Antonyuk now rests, points to his zhinka ‐ she has been in the party since 1932. Says: she is a member of the party, and she can tell what the conversation was.

Stalin . And he himself is not a party member? Antonyuk?


Krivoruchko .Party member, corps commander is old. What is Antonyuk? Iʹll give you some examples. You said that there really were people who in 1923‐1927. were in error, they voted for Trotskyʹs resolution Antonyuk was studying at the academy then, he then voted for the Trotskyist platform. Until 1937, he hid it. In 1937 he was only exposed that he had voted for the Trotskyist platform, he was exposed at the divisional party conference in the 44th division. He did not want to speak at the divisional party conference and express  how  he  voted. And then, when some party members talked about this, he spoke out and expressed the exact opposite in order to divert from himself that he had spontaneously got in: the whole academy voted, and he voted. But he did not say this at the party conference, we only forced him at the district civil conference to say that Primakov spent the night with him for 3 nights. They pulled him all the time at the regional party conference, forced him to say that Schmidt was his relative, that Schmidt was leaving for his apartment.

Stalin . So, he recently had a falling out with Yakir? Krivoruchko . Yakir persecuted Antonyuk all the time. Stalin . On purpose?

Voroshilov . He demanded to take it off. 

Stalin . Antonyuk was the first to write a letter to Yakir. It was 3 months ago.

Voroshilov . Two months. 

Krivoruchko . Schmidt came, we made him speak at the regional party conference. Further, at our district military conference, Shadenko said that he had submitted two notes for Antonyuk to speak out. When he did not want to speak, he asked him three questions so that Antonyuk would tell how Schmidt got to Antonyukʹs apartment and how Antonyuk got to Schmidtʹs apartment in Kiev. He twisted, hesitated and spoke, but did not give a specific answer.

Voice . No, I gave it. He said that there was Grigoriev, Demichev, Turovsky, Schmidt. When he entered the apartment, they had a noise, he entered the room, they immediately stopped talking. He sat for 10 minutes, felt uncomfortable that he was an uninvited guest and went back.

Krivoruchko .I donʹt know, but Schmidt was at Antonyukʹs apartment three times during 1936. Turovsky came and was at Antonyukʹs apartment twice. When Antonyuk went to Schmidt, they got confused. I can never believe it; you can’t believe it. It was a specially convened meeting on some subject and Antonyuk did not have any confusion. He  must  tell  what  Demichev   and   Grigoriev   are  today. Grigoriev in 1927 rode in a carriage, led Trotskyist agitation and argued to some people that Trotsky would show himself how to govern the country and how to be in the party. This is for Grigoriev. The fact that Grigoriev was truly connected, as with his own brother, with the deputy. the chief of the military district, Bzhizhovsky, who is now imprisoned as a spy is a fact. And Grigoriev and Demichev, arriving in Kiev on their own business and on official business, they never stayed at the hotel, but stayed with Bzhizhovsky and stayed with him for 3‐4‐ 5 days. This is the first thing. The second is that they have been treating Tymoshenko all the time in order to drag him into Bzhizhovskyʹs company. Bzhizhovsky was a bachelor, they offered Tymoshenko to gather at Bzhizhovskyʹs. I had the same treatment for almost a year.

Stalin . How did they involve Tymoshenko?


Krivoruchko . No, when Tymoshenko arrived, I told him: “Look, these are cunning people, they are bypassing you; you do not trust these two commanders, because in time you will find out who these people are.

" I was at Antonyukʹs apartment twice in two years. Antonyuk never invited me to his place. I worked with Yakir for 16 years, and I visited Yakirʹs apartment three times: once at a banquet, as you know, and twice on official business.

Voice . You were more at Yakirʹs apartment.


Krivoruchko . Three times ‐ both in Kiev and Kharkov ‐ in total.


Voice . You were more, but thatʹs not the point. 

Krivoruchko . What is the position in the body today?


It is now clear to me why I received 12 76 mm guns and why I did not receive these guns until May. For me today, the picture has become clear. I have raised this question many times, but things have not improved. In the 3rd mechanized regiment, 15 combat vehicles stand without engines. By the order of the district, we handed over the motors to the factory for repair. Almost a year has passed ‐ 8 months have passed, and the motors do not return. I sent a commander from the mechanized regiment to find out where the motors were. They brought me a certificate from the factory that the motors had been repaired and given to another unit. I put the question to the commander.

In the 5th regiment today ... [13] 37‐mm guns, but not a single shell. I raised the question, why I do not have equipment, what will I perform with, what will I teach. I received a regimental cannon and today I do not have a single charging box.

Mobilization plan. It was your directive to check the NZ and check our first echelons. I took up this business, worked for at least about eight days, studied everything in detail. It turns out that in the artillery regiments, due to the fact that this matter is not streamlined, they must remain in the second echelon; due to the lack of numbers, 36 gunners had to remain in the second echelon.

For the 14th division, due to the fact that there were no charging boxes, we had to leave the shells on those carts that we took from the population. I took responsibility and after the developed plan called the division commanders with the chiefs of staff and ordered in three days to change this matter, remove the harness and clamps from the machine‐gun carts. In addition, horses should be picked up from saber squadrons. After that, I went to the district and reported to the commander. The commander says: “You shouldnʹt have done this. It is necessary to ask Moscow on this matter whether or not Moscow will allow it to replenish its artillery regiments at the expense of saber squadrons. I said that I had already done that, so let me keep my decision in effect. I will be in Moscow, go to the Peopleʹs Commissar and report to him. And Yakir says after he wrote it all down in a notebook: “You donʹt go where you shouldnʹt. I will speak to the Peopleʹs Commissar myself and will highlight the state of affairs. ʺ I answer that I havenʹt been to the Peopleʹs Commissar for two years and I would like to report to him on the progress of our studies and on the state of the corps. He says: ʺLetʹs see what happens, I will also be at the Military Council.ʺ

Since when I began to distrust Yakir. When Kosior spoke and said that Tukhachevsky and Rudzutak were arrested, but this should remain among those present in the hall, I say to Rittel and Shatov: “It will not happen without Uborevich and Yakir following Tukhachevsky. They were always great friends, and at all military conferences only this trio was different. ʺ Shatov says to me: ʺFor now, keep quiet about this, along the way it will be seen.ʺ

Voroshilov . Did Semyon Mikhailovich know that you do not have an artillery harness? Why was it necessary to wait for the Council of War?

Budyonny . He took the mobplan, the second echelons. I knew about it.


Krivoruchko . It was very difficult for us in the corps to identify and remove any obvious Trotskyist saboteur. In particular, this grouping occurs today in the 3rd Cavalry Division. In the 3rd Cavalry Division from Tolmachevka [14] , two commissars were forced into their hands

- obvious Trotskyists. Until we succeeded in getting them to arrest and to approve their expulsion from the party, we had to talk for a very long time, we had to prove a lot, and even when I asked to be allowed to leave for Moscow or Rittel, I said that I would go to the Peopleʹs Commissar, because that I was least acquainted with Gamarnik and had little contact. These two commissars were arrested ‐ obvious Trotskyists.

Today in the corps there are expelled, at least for 1936‐1937. up to 45‐48 people of these, one colonel, two majors, 18 people. captains. Maybe we are really here and went too far, we will see and figure it out. Of these, only 3 people. excluded for hooliganism and drunkenness, the rest are excluded as an alien element. I do not know, Comrade Stalin, how we will continue to work with them. Here is a wonderful commander of the headquarters of the 3rd artillery regiment. He was a communist. A good specialist, competent, teaches people. But he hid that he was the son of a Rostov police chief. He bore not his fatherʹs surname, but his motherʹs maiden name. One of his brothers was shot by us in Rostov as a White Guard, another brother disappeared somewhere. Can he be kept in the army or not? I kept raising the question that he should be demobilized.

Stalin . Maybe he’s not a bad person himself? 

Krivoruchko . Good man. 

Stalin . Fair? 

Krivoruchko . As for honesty, what is his thought, I will not tell you today. {Laughter.) But he works to work, and the regiment lives only by his studies. The chief of the regiment, as an artilleryman, is weak, a communist since 1917. I can vouch for him that he is an honest man, that he is ours.

Stalin . Does he work with him? You can leave but follow.


Krivoruchko . I  am  listening. There  is  another,  Orlov  is  the captain. Former head of school.

Voice . He posed all his questions.


Stalin . For two years, once a person came to Moscow.


Krivoruchko . This Orlov kept saying to himself that he was a Don Cossack, he had a Cossack surname. And when they cleaned it with sand, it turned out that he was Kursk himself and not Orlov, and not a Cossack, but the son of a large kulak of the Kursk province, was in Denikinʹs captivity, never joined the party. He was captured with a political instructor; the political instructor was shot, and he used his party card and his name. His Denikinites nominated him as a senior non‐commissioned officer. He was with Denikin for  almost  8  months. After that, he voluntarily ran over to us from Denikin, when the horns and legs of this Denikin remained. To date, he is also not removed and is a deputy. chief of staff.

Voice . This is a bastard. 

Stalin . It is necessary to remove it.


Krivoruchko . I posed the question that he should really be kicked out and removed. An alien person and as introverted as an employee is worthless.

Stalin . That he is the son of a kulak does not matter — kulaks sometimes have good sons too; but that he served for 8 months [eggs] and hid it ‐ itʹs bad.

Krivoruchko . Today there is a commander of the 3rd division, he knows the division well, Mishuk. He was a Petliura member, even during the partisans he fought with me, but in 1919 he left Petliura with this Bail, who is now my chief of staff.

Voice . Nikolai Nikolaevich, tell me, who presented Mishuk to the order?

Krivoruchko .Presented Yakir to the order, not Krivoruchko. I just argued that about Mishuk there will be great friction and discontent if he is presented to the order. I was just representing Vedrashka. This very divisional commander, his father was dispossessed, a big kulak was somewhere near Kharkov; the brothers were dispossessed and even sentenced to exile. But since he is a commander, he went there, there he came to an agreement with the local authorities and took two brothers and a dad with him. The old man died already in Gaisin, almost immediately, as soon as he arrived; one brother hanged himself in his apartment, the other is today the guard of the shooting range. The wife of the hanged brother with children lives near him. How can you rely on this commander today if he sees crying children and took this bastard under his wing? If you want to break up with them, I must say so: They are being expelled to hell with you, I broke up with you. And in the 3rd division there are most of all tricks and groupings, and we have two Red Army men who were tried for kulak sentiments. But he has been in the Red Army since 1919, he was a good commander until his father was dispossessed and his brother hanged himself. Now, Comrade Stalin and the Peopleʹs Commissar, his hands are being hanged. There is no such order in the division, and the division must be kept out of sight and directed so that it does not decompose.

Stalin . Put another commander.


Krivoruchko .Scheidemann was sent to me as chief of staff. You, Comrade Peopleʹs Commissar, know him. So that, over the course of five years of working with him, I noticed that he is some kind of pest ‐ I cannot say this, but today this is not our person and a hidden, Feldmanʹs rate. I studied at the academy, and he replaced me. When I come from the academy, Scheideman, through Feldman, recruited five senior officials into the corps headquarters, all former gentlemen officers are those on which folders of 20 sheets of correspondence in the NKVD are located. I arrived and revealed this picture: the chief of the first unit, such and such, the chief of the corps unit, such and such, the chief of supply of the corps, such and such. No matter how much I talked to the commander, the commander kept telling me: ʺYou think so.ʺ Now the installation is this: although he is an old officer, he has been serving for a long time and you need to trust him. I said that I trust, but why such a bouquet. I come to Comrade Budyonny, Comrade Budyonny helped me to clear it. We kicked one out, put one on trial, and one went to work as a teacher. Others ‐ for another job.

Budyonny . In a word, he dispersed. 

Krivoruchko . When I dispersed this nest, Scheidemann began to show himself as a stranger. I posed a question to replace Scheidemann. I felt that he only works under my pressure, and he himself is cold about work. I raised the question to replace Scheidemann ‐ sawed, sawed, twice came to Budyonny. We began to select a candidate. I come to Moscow last year for the Military Council, Feldman suggested to Bylo.

Voice . We put it out with you, then you refused.


Budyonny . Then Krivoruchko came to me and said not to appoint him under any circumstances.

Krivoruchko .Yakir said: “Go to Guy and take a piece of paper. If Guy does not protest, then let them appoint. ʺ I went to Guy, with whom I studied in 1924. I say: ʺGive me any material that Baylo is credited with.ʺ He says: ʺI will present you with a mountain of cases.ʺ And he calls on the phone: ʺNothing is listed, only he was at Petlyuraʹs.ʺ And he spends it on me as chief of staff. I arrived, earned some time, all the honor is an honor and begins to offer me: “There is such and such a

teacher in Leningrad, letʹs take him to the head of the corps communications. There is such and such in Novocherkassk, letʹs take him as the head of the first building. ʺ Then I go to Shatov: ʺInquire about such and such, what they [are], what materials will be given about them.ʺ In a couple of weeks, we get that they are really in development today, a real sabotage bastard. I have no confidence in this Bylo. And I say: ʺ[Comrade] Peopleʹs Commissar, Bylo needs to be replaced, then he cannot be the boss.ʺ

Comrades, here Petrovsky spoke and declared. I completely disagree with this that today there are Primakovites, Kotovites, Budennovites. I declare openly, truly, in a simple way,  in  a  Bolshevik  way,  honestly. And they are accused of the fact that almost the entire district, especially the commanders, just as Yakir is engaged in eyewash and does not engage in business, does not train the army. Comrades, I declare: I am not preparing the corps for Yakir and not in order for Yakir to create authority.

About eyewash. Let those who have worked with me for many years say. Tyulenev visited me, inspected the shooting  business,  checked  it. Was he really such an illiterate person that he could not make out whether this was eyewash? I had other commissions, not sabotage commissions, but today they are sitting here, they also checked and did not see any fraud. I declare that if today I have hatred and distrust of the Primakovites, then not to everyone, but to individuals. Today, I cannot completely rely on the head who was closely associated with Primakov and had a connection with him for a long time. At least the same Nikulin, the same Trotskyist, they sent a secret delegation to Primakov, let them tell here what kind of delegation it was and why it went to Moscow.

I declare to you, comrade. Stalin, and to you, Peopleʹs Commissar, that at your first order, if it is necessary, I will not create glory for Yakir and not for anyone else, but I assure you that today I can take on any the task and fulfill it with the corps in the same way as we performed these tasks in the Civil War. In the corps I have people who did not work for Yakirovʹs authority. Yakir was, Yakir is not today he died for us. Yakir is a son of a bitch, and if necessary, despite the fact that I worked with him for 16 years, I myself will take him by the throat and strangle him like a toad.

Comrade Peopleʹs Commissar, let any commission come and check the condition of the corps. I myself traveled to the 30th regiment, checked up to one person myself, and we have 81% in shooting, 97% in machine‐ gun business. Yakir suggested that on the basis of your order by telegram, I pay attention to the shooting business in order to turn the whole study and put the shooting business at the proper height at the expense of other disciplines. I read the telegram, summoned Rittel, the head of the political department of the corps, and told him: “We cannot do this, because it would be one‐sided. We need to find lagging people, to improve them, but not at the expense of other disciplines. ʺ I did just that I came to the district and began to report to him. Yakir says: ʺRight or wrong, you need to think about why not it in such a way do as to improve shooting at the expense of other disciplines.ʺ And then I had a disagreement with him. I declare that there is no fraud in the corps and the corps is ready for war at any moment.

Voroshilov . We will announce a break, or we will sit without a break, because one hour left?

Voices . I have to smoke. 

Voroshilov . Then a break is announced for 5 minutes. 

Voroshilov . Comrade Gailit has the floor. 

Gailite . Comrade Peopleʹs Commissar, I would like to dwell on two main issues. The first question is about building our armed forces and the second is about my personal relations with individuals who have turned out to be enemies.

First, on the first question. Now, after the report of the Peopleʹs Commissar, after the documents read, a number of questions become clear, which, in particular, were unclear to me at the time. I am here, Comrade Peopleʹs Commissar, if you will allow me, I would like to dwell on the construction of the Minsk fortified region. In April 1932 I was sent to build the Minsk fortified region. I was tasked with surrendering the Minsk fortified region, which has a front of 120 kilometers, by the fall of 1932. There was nothing, not even the acceptance of the area on the map, not to mention preparation, reconnaissance, etc. In such conditions, I had to start working. I received a prompt decision from the commander of the troops ‐ now we know that it is the Uborevich saboteur. When I had to link this operational plan with the terrain on the spot, it turned out that that the fortified area is carried out on terrain clearly disadvantageous for defense. I made a number of changes, changed the line, and at the end of May, when a commission headed by Comrade Egorov arrived, with the chief of engineers Petin, and the head of the Operations Directorate Obysov[15] in the presence of Uborevich, I reported the reconnaissance data.

I had to have separate skirmishes with Uborevich, in particular in the Zaslavl  region,  where  I  turned  on  the   so‐called   machine‐gun  hill. Initially, according to Uborevichʹs project, this hill remained outside the fortified area, which meant that our position was below and not only could be shot through, but our rear was visible for more than ten kilometers. I included this area, which, in turn, brought in a number of changes and improved our position. When I led the commission to this machine‐gun hill, Uborevich told me: ʺWhy did you bring the leading edge here, why did you turn on this height?ʺ And on the way, I reported to him that I could not leave this hill outside the fortified area. I said: ʺLetʹs go to the place, you take a look and if I am wrong, punish me.ʺ When the commission examined this height, everyone agreed, that it should never be left outside the fortified area. I then turned to Uborevich and asked: ʺHow, comrade commander, did I decide correctly or not?ʺ ‐ ʺWell,ʺ he says, ʺright.ʺ

Further, with a great fight, I managed to include in the fortified area the neighboring mountainous forest, in the same way the commander over the area. Left in the hands of the enemy, i.e., in front of the fortified area, it would give a number of practical benefits for the attacker, who would instantly receive all the amenities for breaking through the fortified area. Then I had the intention ... [16]here the commission stopped work, stating that further the cutting edge would be additionally adopted. In the future, I asked to send a commission for the acceptance of a profitable leading edge, I made changes. In the same way, in my opinion, it was necessary to draw the front edge somewhat closer to the border in order to provide convenient conditions for shelling the terrain in order to leave in the rear a fortified forest, which is beneficial for organizing our artillery positions, etc. On this Uborevich did not go, ordered to conduct the fortified area along the eastern edge of the forest. Say, you clear, get here shelling in a forest area.

Further, the fortified area was completed north of Pleshnitsa, approximately 8‐7 kilometers or a little less, there were still 25‐30 kilometers of breakthrough left to the Berezina. I believe that this should not have been left. When the main work on the accepted area was completed, I went for reconnaissance. He made this reconnaissance and posed the question of what is necessary in order to cover this direction to Borisov, it seems ...

Egorov . Land direction. 

Gailite made this reconnaissance in order to prevent the possibility of bypassing the right flank in the event of an attack. I donʹt know if this issue has been resolved now. If this issue is not resolved, then it cannot be left in this position. When I received a new assignment ‐ this was at the beginning of January 1933, after 9 months of my work ‐ I handed over the fortified area according to the plan that had been made by 84 or 83%. I left a note to the new commandant, in which I quite openly raised questions about which areas of the fortified area were weak, what still needed to be improved, where and what corrections needed to be made. I left another note on the same occasion to the Chief of Staff of the Red Army. I do not know the fate of these proposals, but, in any case, there I raised the question that in the state in which I surrendered the fortified area,

Stalin . Where is it? 

Gailite .This is the Minsk fortified area. I was the chief of construction and commandant of this fortified area in 1932, acting under the leadership of Uborevich. I report that in defining the leading front of this fortified area, I raised a number of questions about the need to strengthen this fortified area, that the front edge needs to be changed. Uborevich didnʹt let me do it. I managed to carry out something in the sense of strengthening. After my new appointment as assistant commander of the Siberian Military District, I left a note where I put it in front of the new commandant, who did not arrive before my departure, left him a note about the weak points of the area. And I handed the second similar note to the Chief of Staff of the Red Army, indicating that the fortified area in the position in which I left it is extremely important for our Union, Minsk [the fortified area], that it has no depth, comrade Stalin, it is all in a thread. Meanwhile, there are a number of strongholds, which, when properly strengthened, have great resistance.

Stalin . Natural strengthening. 

Gailite .Yes sir. Around heights that view the entire front at about 80 kilometers. Individual heights literally overlap with each other and from them you can observe the area. An appropriate group defense can be organized on the slopes. I do not know, Comrade Stalin, what the solution of this question is after me. I made the tactical decision that the commander of the troops ordered me when I trusted him. But, if this decision has not been changed by now, then this fortified area needs very serious strengthening. I can vouch for each firing point that I personally chose, I climbed, as they say, on my belly, I studied each point myself, chose the terrain. When Marshal Comrade Voroshilov came in 1932, I showed a number of points and even during the construction process it was impossible to see how beneficial it was on the one hand,

Stalin . Where do you work now? 

Gailite . Assistant Commander of the Siberian Military District. After my departure, I left a note in Minsk to my successor that I believe that such and such issues should be given special attention during further strengthening, that I consider it necessary to push the right flank against the Berezina. I made a reconnaissance and left all reconnaissance there in place to strengthen the right flank.

Voice . Tell us about the connection with Putna.


Gailite . Iʹll get to that. I believe that we were gathered in order to report on everything.

Stalin . This is also an interesting question about fortified areas.


Voroshilov . You should be clear and concise in expressing your thoughts, and not stretch.

Gailite . I believe that the issue of fortified areas is of the utmost importance.

Stalin . Right. 

Gailite . I must report here that, before proceeding with the reconnaissance in the Minsk region, I asked for permission to visit the Polotsk fortified region. I reported that if no changes are made there, the points there are in an ugly position, do not have sufficient  shelling. They are planted all over the hollows.

Dybenko . I planted it myself. 

Gailite . I apologize, Comrade Dybenko, I did not work in these fortified areas. In Minsk, I did not make these mistakes, in the Minsk fortified region there are no such mistakes.

Now, I had the opportunity to get acquainted with one fortified area ‐ Blagoveshchensky. There is a similar character ‐ a continuous thread. I never bowed to foreign tactics, but we were given material. Opposite the Blagoveshchensk fortified area, the Japanese are building a fortified area, but it is built on nodes, the organization is circular. There are three main areas that occupy a front of 40 kilometers. As soon as the thread is broken, we have no rear. Our business is mainly based on frontal defense. I think this is wrong. Who introduced the organization of such fortified areas? Are these fortified areas that I know in Minsk and Polotsk and one fortified area near Blagoveshchensk typical?

Voice . A fence, not a fortified area. 

Voroshilov . Where is the fence?


Voice . This system of fortified areas is a fence in comparison to the fortified system that exists in France [17] . This is the fundamental difference between our fortified areas and France.

Stalin . The fence system is not good.


Gailite . Comrade Stalin, I want to take advantage of the presence of Comrade Peopleʹs Commissar and your presence here and say that such a system is unreliable when we only have the opportunity to defend ourselves from the front; and when the enemy breaks through our front, we are unable to continue the defense. See the fortified area system. These are not fortified areas in the full sense of the word, they are fortified zones. Now I understand this matter. When I was a new man, I took everything for granted about the fortified areas.

I will not dwell here on Uborevichʹs relationship to me personally, but I would consider it appropriate to say something. I was a stranger there. Uborevich mocked me. In a number of cases I tore out the material with my own hands, it came to Moscow inclusive. Uborevich did not help me in anything. At critical moments I had to write to the NKVD, the Soviet Control Commission, and the Peopleʹs Commissar in order to rip out the material. I was building a fortified area, Comrade Stalin, without prior preparation. In 1932, in April, I left, and in September I was given an order.

Stalin . Have you read about fortification works in the old days?


Gailite . I left Moscow in 1924. I asked to read it. I came to a new place, judge [for yourself]: did I act right or wrong? I am ready to answer for a tactical decision, here I did not allow anything wrong. Now it is clear to me why Uborevich followed this line.

Stalin . Perhaps he himself did not understand either? 

Gailite . I doubt it. 

Voroshilov . Our system is completely different compared to the French one: their one point is a real fortification, there is a small courtyard, and everything is completely open.


Gailite .There are both large and small points, but there is depth, which creates elasticity. The company is attacking, the front is hesitating ‐ but when we attack, will we not have such a position when the enemy hesitates? We cannot look so that everywhere we will go forward, somewhere we will surrender ‐ and this is inevitable ‐ and our fire, where I can fire at 220 degrees, I will still have about 100 degrees, which remains dead space. And if I can create interactions, then at some point I will not have any shelling and by this I can give the enemy the opportunity to take a lot, if he only has to penetrate back and no one can hit anyone from such a point. This is extremely important. And I consider it my duty to bring my doubts, my suspicions, to the attention of the Politburo.

The second question is about non‐defensive construction. This question, Comrade Peopleʹs Commissar, is no less fundamental and no less important.

Stalin . What is Non‐Defensive Building?


Gailite . This is the construction of barracks, hangars  [s],  airfields, etc. We are building, Comrade Stalin, by fire; We, the Peopleʹs Commissar, are building a fire department. We never know for sure what we will eventually build in the coming year. First, we usually find out about the construction plan in May or, at best, in April of the month. A decent builder knows about this at least before. You need to deliver materials ahead of time, prepare raw materials, etc. As you can see, we are deprived of all this. First, we get the plan late; secondly, there is maximum centralization. Usually, construction plans change several times.

Stalin . By whom? 

Gailite . Construction Directorate and General Staff. For example, the construction plan of 1937 I, the commander of the Ural district for only a few time [18] , I can act as the commander of the troops of the Siberian district, but this is typical for all districts ‐ I received the 1937 plan for 26 million rubles. This amount in the overall scale of construction, of course, is small, but for the Siberian region it is large. I received a plan and I hope that I need to take advantage of the wintertime and throw

materials on those objects that are planned for construction. After 2 m [esya] tsa I [y] know that the plan is cut for me ...

Stalin . By whom? 

Gailite . First, Levichev cut me by 2 million; then Khrulev informs me that my plan has been cut by another 2 million. Out of 26 million ‐ 4 million have been cut. Judge for yourself how you can organize construction with such a square dance. Naturally, this increases the cost, in addition to everything, of construction, and we are fighting to reduce the cost of production. I believe that in the construction department today there are pests that interfere with construction. In the General Staff, regarding the planning of funds, I feel that there is undoubtedly sabotage, otherwise nothing else can be explained to others, when the task is first to deploy construction work on such and such a scale, and then funds are withdrawn, then, of course, this is beneficial only to the enemies ... This confuses places and makes it impossible to work.

Comrade Stalin imagine a map: Ulan‐Ude is Verkhneudinsk; and imagine Tomsk. We are offered to import forest materials from Verkhneudinsk to Tomsk. Several telegrams were sent to the Directorate, I checked Comrade Khrulev, because this is absurd.

To Tomsk, from where timber materials are exported, to import timber from Transbaikalia. How can you plan like that! I believe that only the enemy can plan this way.

Comrade Peopleʹs Commissar, in addition, we sometimes have to stop the construction just because of the nails ‐ there are no nails. Now we are building in a hurry from a damp forest, this forest dries up, and the details are warped. Because of the screws, we often have interruptions. All the batteries are ready, and some fittings are holding us back, and there is nothing we can do. In fact, there is the whole box, but you cannot enter there, and all this supply is centralized, and we cannot buy these little things locally. We are bombarding Moscow; we receive messages from Moscow: the materials have been shipped. A month passes, then another ‐ and we get nothing. We receive some materials in quantities more than necessary, but we do not receive the necessary materials. As a result, we cannot give the pace that we can give under normal working conditions. We make the technical staff nervous we make the workers nervous the workers see that something is wrong here. We are loading the Construction  Board  with telegrams. We ourselves break away from combat training, spend the devil knows how much time, but there is no effect. Here, of course, the hand of the enemy is at work. Can we continue talking or not? The time is indicated to me.

Stalin . I thought you wanted to name people.


Gailite . I consider it necessary to draw attention to the fact that we do not have a proper attitude towards the emergency stock of rifles. Last year, I found that our rifles have scopes that do not match the required distances. But this is an extremely important issue, because it concerns the mobilization of weapons. Since I cannot cover all the issues here, I will move on ...

Stalin . They ask you about Putna. Whatʹs the matter here?


Gailite . I must report the following with regard to Putna: when Comrade Vyshinsky declared at the trial that Putna was an enemy, I only then learned that he was an enemy. Until then, I believed that Putna was our devoted person. I knew that he signed the platform at one time.

Voice from the place . Did you know about his work in Primorye? The whole army knew about this.

Gailite .I don’t know how he worked in Primorye. I must say that Putna was a regiment commander during the Civil War. I rescued Putnu many times, saved him from battle, and since then we have established certain comradely relations, and this served as the basis for our further friendship. I quite frankly declare that I considered Putna my close friend, corresponded with him, met when he came and shared his opinion. I did not hide this from anyone. I spoke about my meetings with Putna to some comrades, in particular, Eikhe. But I did not know that he was an enemy. I am ready to be responsible for anything, for my friendship with him, but I cannot be responsible for what I did not know. As soon as I found out about this, I sent a telegram to the Peopleʹs Commissar, in which I wrote that my friendship turned out to be friendship with an enemy of the people. I sent a letter to Comrade Eikhe, where I also indicated that he was friends with the enemy of the people. I informed the party organization of the headquarters, wrote immediately to both the secretary and the deputy. the head of the PUOKR, because the head of the PUOKR was on vacation. Now it turned out that both the secretary of the party organization and the deputy. the chief of the PUOKR themselves turned out to be enemies ‐ Trotskyists. I did not know that.

In March, at a party meeting, I also reported on my ties with Putna, an enemy of the people. I posed the question from the point of view of what carelessness, dulling of class vigilance leads to, when practical friendship replaces party relations. There was nothing else  I  could do. At one time I informed Comrade Eikhe, the secretary of the West Siberian Regional Committee, about this connection. I have letters from Putn.

Voice . Did you drink tea or play chess?


Gailite . We didnʹt play chess. We exchanged photos. {Laughter.) It certainly seems ridiculous, but it is.

Voice . Were there political questions?


Gailite . We, Comrade Stalin, had no political questions.


Voice . What kind of person are you, how can you not talk about political topics?

Gailite . I did not discuss any political issues with Putna. The only thing was, when he was leaving for the Far East, I asked him the question: ʺHow are your old Trotskyist affairs?ʺ He says: ʺI stand entirely on the position of the Central Committee.ʺ

Voice . Comrade Gailit tell us about your special friendship with Eideman.

Voroshilov . You canʹt keep a person for two hours. Finish.


Stalin . Countrymen, well, what is it.


Gailite . I have no special friendship with Eideman. If you like, I can tell you.

Voroshilov . He sent some of the letters from Putna. 

Gailite . At the first moment there was a thought to break these letters. I reasoned: no one was present at my meetings and during my conversations with Putna, but I offered the Peopleʹs Commissar everything that I had preserved letters, photographs, his book ʺTo the Vistula and Backʺ ‐ everything that was, I presented to the Peopleʹs to the commissioner. I thought that I could not hide it and I did not hide it.

The next question is about Eideman. Eideman was my commander, I was his assistant in Siberia. They trusted him. I, frankly, trusted Putna in the same way. I saw that he was clothed with the appropriate trust.

Stalin . And we trusted, and Eideman was trusted.


Gailite . This is how I wrote to Comrade Eikhe: I am not asking for any special trust in myself. I believe that such questions are not taken on faith; Obviously, they will sort it out, the Central Committee and the NKVD will be interested ‐ they will find out our connections and establish what my connection with Putna was. I visited Eideman several times in his apartment during famous evenings, but I, Comrade Peopleʹs Commissar ...

Blucher . Let him say a few words about heavy aviation in the Far East, an interesting question.

Gailite . Last autumn I received a telegram from Lapin in Moscow. I donʹt remember literally, but this telegram is available at the headquarters of the Siberian Military District. By order of the Comrade Peopleʹs Commissar, it is necessary to inspect a number of airfields of the Siberian Military District to resolve certain aviation issues and asks to meet me.

When he arrived, he reported that he was in Moscow. He reported to the Peopleʹs Commissar, reported to Stalin that the issue of deploying

heavy aviation in the Far East does not correspond to operational readiness, which, they say, in the first period of the war in the Far East, first of all, there will be need for ground attack aircraft, which is available in the Siberian Military District. And since assault aviation in the sense of transferring is dependent on the weather, etc., then it will not have time to arrive on time, and that he reported and received the approval of the Peopleʹs Commissar that heavy aviation should be redeployed from the Far East to the Siberian Military District, and the attack aircraft should be transferred there, that heavy aircraft will be able to fly under any conditions. From this angle, he asked to get acquainted with the conditions of the military aviation camp.

Voice . Who gave you such a telegram?


Gailite . Lapin for his signature. I have this telegram at my headquarters. From this point of view, the military town was examined, and Lapin wrote the following report addressed to the Peopleʹs Commissar, a copy of Comrade Blucher.

Blucher . Not Lapin. Here is all the misfortune that Lapin wrote in this complex combination with the airlift of air assets in our situation, and Gailit also wrote.

Gailite . Lapin just wrote the report. 

Blucher . I have the impression that he got into this business like a chicken in a cabbage soup [19] .

Gailite . You can ask Lapin, probably he will not refuse it. I participated in this business from the point of view of the possibility of placing heavy aircraft in this town. And considering that heavy aircraft could be deployed there, I signed and did not make my reservation at this angle.

Stalin . Lapin let you down a little?


Gailite . Not that I let you down. I was not far‐sighted enough in this respect. So, this question can be parsed. I ask permission to speak only about the connection with Putna, there is one issue that I consider necessary to report.


Voroshilov . Weʹre not looking into your own business here. See how much time has passed ‐ 40 minutes.

Gailite . I think that here comrade Kozhanov was insincere and therefore I considered it my duty to report here. When I was in Barvikha, Kozhanov was also in Barvikha. Putna came to Barvikha. I donʹt know, to me or to Comrade Kozhanov. And when I asked Comrade Kozhanov what kind of relationship he had with Putna, he said that he had fought with him. When Putna was there, I did not notice that Kozhanov fought with him. I saw that Putna was a friend to him.

Voroshilov . I am announcing a break. Comrade Stalin, do you want to listen?

Stalin . You insult us. 

Voroshilov . Break until tomorrow at 12 oʹclock.  

[1]  Own title of the document. The transcript has a title page compiled in the Archives of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU: “Meeting of the Military Council with commanders and political workers on June 1‐4, 1937. The transcript is not edited. The presiding officer is Voroshilov. Third session (June 2, 1937, evening). Continuation of the discussion of Voroshilovʹs report: ... Shestakov ‐ (l. 77‐94), Shchadenko ‐ (l. 95‐112), Slavin ‐ (l. 113‐128), Mager ‐ (l. 129‐141), Gryaznov ‐ (l. 142‐154), Krivoruchko ‐ (fol. 155‐187), Gailit ‐ (fol. 188‐ 212). 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]  When in the early 1930s. CM. Budyonny studied at the Military Academy of the Red Army. M.V. Frunze, E.A. Shchadenko was deputy. head of this academy for political affairs.

[3]  So in the transcript.


[4]We are talking about a group of leaders, teachers and students of the Military Political Academy. N.G. Tolmachev and political workers of the BVO, accused in 1928 of anti‐party activities. The reason for this accusation was the resolution of the meeting of the APAT communists of  March  15,  1928  on  the  report  of  the  head  of  the  academy Ya.L. Berman ʺOn the state and immediate tasks of party work in the Red Armyʺ and the resolution of the meeting of the leading political staff of the BVO on May 23, 1928, adopted on the basis of the report of a member of the RVS and the head of the district political department MM Landa ʺResults of winter work and tasks for the  summer  period.ʺ These documents noted that along with certain achievements in the training and education of personnel, there were also serious omissions: in the course of the military reform of 1924‐1925. formalism, bureaucracy, fraud, etc. were allowed. Among the main reasons giving rise to negative phenomena, the difficult material and living conditions of servicemen, primarily command personnel, and the insufficiently clear and qualified leadership of the Armed Forces by the Revolutionary Military Council of the USSR and the PUR, the confusion of their leaders K.E. Voroshilov and A.S. Bubnov in the current situation, the desire to minimize the  danger  of  existing shortcomings. The ʺoppositionistsʺ proposed a set of measures aimed at improving the state of affairs in the Red Army. Among such events were called, for example, the revitalization of the activities of party members and political agencies, the development of specific documents regulating the relations of commanders, political agencies and party organizations, etc. At the 2nd All‐Army Conference of Party secretaries, both resolutions were canceled  and  banned  as  “politically  harmful”. The political agencies received a directive to condemn the ʺoppositionistsʺ everywhere. A number of heads of political departments of military districts, the head and many teachers of the VPAT, political workers of units and formations were dismissed from their posts. In 1938, members of the group were accused of Trotskyism, right deviation, counter‐revolutionary activities and repressed. In May 1990, they were rehabilitated in a judicial and party order (Military encyclopedia. Vol. 2. P. 112‐113).

[5]  Thatʹs right ‐ White.


[6]  The surname of the corps commander MP is incorrectly indicated in the transcript. Magera ‐ ʺMayerʺ, further it is corrected in the text.

[7]  So in the text. Thatʹs right ‐ ʺfigured it outʺ.


[8]  Here the surname of the division commander MM is incorrectly indicated in the transcript. Bakshi ‐ ʺVakshiʺ.

[9]  The term ʺinitial period of warʺ began to be used in the 1920s. while studying the experience of the First World War. In the 1920‐1940s. the initial period of the war meant the period of time from the actual start of the war to the entry into the battle of the bulk of the armed forces.

[10]  The Trans‐Baikal Military District (ZabVO) was formed by order of the NKO of the USSR No. 079 of May 17, 1935 on the basis of the Trans‐ Baikal Army Group of Forces of the Separate Red Banner Far Eastern Army (OKDVA). The district headquarters was located in Chita.

[11]  Here and below, the surname of the divisional commissar

G.I. Rittel ‐ ʺRitterʺ.


[12]Hannibal (Annibal) Barca (247 or 246 ‐ 183 BC) ‐ Carthaginian commander. In 218 BC, during the 2nd Punic War between Carthage and Rome, he undertook a campaign from Spain to Italy, making an unprecedented crossing of the Alps at that time. In 216 BC. in the battle of Cannes, the Carthaginian army under the command of Hannibal won a brilliant victory over the Roman legions of the consuls Emilius Paulus and Terence Varro. This battle went down in the history of military art as an example of the complete defeat of the enemy by surrounding him with smaller forces. Hannibal skillfully used the detour and coverage of the enemyʹs flanks, which were the most vulnerable places in battle formation, using selected cavalry and the best part of the Carthaginian infantry for this, which created a quantitative and qualitative superiority over the enemy in the sectors of the main strikes. Since then, the word ʺCannesʺ has become synonymous with successful combat operations to encircle and destroy enemy troops. To repeat Cannes in the subsequent aspired to many commanders (Military encyclopedia. T. 3. S. 475‐476).

[13]  So in the transcript.


[14]  This refers to the Military‐Political Academy. N.G. Tolmacheva.


[15]  Here the surname of the brigade commander S.P. Obysov (ʺDescriptionʺ), which in the early 1930s. in fact, he was not a chief, but a deputy. Chief of the 1st (Operational) Directorate of the Headquarters of the Red Army.

[16]  So in the transcript.


[17]We are talking about the ʺMaginot Lineʺ ‐ a system of French permanent fortifications and barriers on the border with Germany, Luxembourg and partly with Belgium, which was built at the suggestion of the former French Minister of War A. Maginot in 1929‐ 1936. and was improved until 1940. ʺMaginot Lineʺ (length along the front ‐ about 400 km; depth ‐ 6‐8 km) had three fortified areas: Metz (Lorraine), Lautersky (Alsace) and Belfort, as well as two fortified sectors ‐ to the west Arlona and Saar, which consisted of permanent defensive structures (DOS) and a flooding system. The defensive strip from Strasbourg to Belfort relied on natural obstacles, r. Rhine and the Rhine‐Rhine canal, and did not have particularly powerful fortifications. Construction of defensive structures along the border with Belgium, north‐west of the Maginot Line, began only in 1936 and by the beginning of the Second World War was not over. (In total, about 5,600 DOS were built, including 520 artillery and 3,200 machine‐gun ones.) In general, the Maginot Line had insufficient depth, weak anti‐ tank and air defense, was not prepared for maneuvering by field forces within it. In May and June 1940, the German armed forces broke through the defense of the French army on the northern flank, where the construction of the Maginot Line was not completed and went into its rear. Then, after the withdrawal of the French field troops from the

ʺMaginot Lineʺ, the Germans managed to overcome the strip of fortifications in a narrow section. However, many DOS garrisons continued to resist and laid down their arms only after the surrender of France (Military encyclopedia. Vol. 4. S. 516‐517). (In total, about 5,600 DOS were built, including 520 artillery and 3,200 machine‐gun ones.) In general, the Maginot Line had insufficient depth, weak anti‐tank and air defense, was not prepared for maneuvering by field forces within it. In May and June 1940, the German armed forces broke through the


defense of the French army on the northern flank, where the construction of the Maginot Line was not completed and went into its rear.

[18]  So in the transcript. It must be ʺjust for a while.ʺ


[19]  Thatʹs right: like chickens in the pluck.