Transcripts from the Soviet Archives VOLUME XIV SECRET REVIEWS 1934

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  Transcripts from the Soviet Archives VOLUME 3 SECRET REVIEWS 1930-1951 

Transcript of the meeting of the Military Council. Evening meeting on June 1, 1937.

Archive source:  Military Council under the Peopleʹs Commissar of Defense of the USSR. June 1‐4, 1937: Documents and materials. ‐ M.: Russian political encyclopedia (ROSSPEN), 2008, p. 61‐111

Archive:               RGASPI. F. 17. Op. 165.D. 158. L. 1‐134.

Evening session 1 June 1937 [1]

Voroshilov. I declare the meeting of the Military Council with the participation of invited comrades commanders and political workers from the districts open. There is one question on the agenda of todayʹs meeting: a report on the counter‐revolutionary fascist, Pravotrotskyist organization in the ranks of our army, revealed by the organs of the Peopleʹs Commissariat of Internal Affairs. Comrade Egorov, come here, I will give a report.

Stalin. And give him the floor.

Voroshilov. Comrades, the organs of the Peopleʹs Commissariat of Internal Affairs revealed in the army a long‐existing and operating with impunity,      strictly conspiratorial,    counter‐revolutionary    fascist organization headed by people who stood at the head of the army.

From the materials that you read today, you are mostly already aware of those vile methods, of the vile work that these enemies of the people did, being side by side with us, working with us, living, breathing the same air with our honest commanders and political workers.

Three months ago, the Central Committee of our Communist Party met in this hall [2]; and here, on the basis of the enormous material obtained by the investigative bodies of the Peopleʹs Commissariat for Internal Affairs, in the analytical reports of comrades Molotov, Kaganovich, Yezhov and Stalin, the dastardly penetration of the enemy into the bowels of our national economy, the state apparatus and even the party itself, which lasted for quite a long time, was revealed. has dire consequences for our socialist homeland.

Three months ago, what we now know was not known either for the Central Committee or for all of us ‐ individual workers. Here, at the plenum of the Central Committee, many scoundrels, corrupt spies, saboteurs, saboteurs, and murderers were exposed. They were also opened in our ranks, but nothing similar to what has now become known was not visible then. I am now ashamed, ‐ here Lazar Moiseevich Kaganovich just came in, ‐ now I am ashamed to look into his eyes. From this rostrum, with boasting ‐ it seemed to me then that with pride, now I should qualify it differently, ‐ with boastfulness I declared here that my position was not like his position, that only a few were revealed in our country, and then we are half‐known scoundrels; we know that these are former counter‐revolutionaries who, together with Trotsky, fought against our party, against our country, against our people. We thought to re‐educate them, but now they turned out to be enemies and they were promptly grabbed by the hand, caught redhanded. I then proudly declared that we have few counter‐

revolutionaries, and he ‐ Kaganovich ‐ has a lot of them. I was glad that all these counter‐revolutionaries had been exposed. True, I corrected myself then and said that I think that not all of our scoundrels have been exposed; one had to think that in the ranks of our army these gentlemen, this trash should have existed. The enemy is not so simple, the enemy is not so stupid as not to throw his dastardly tentacles into this most delicate, most effective, most important apparatus necessary for any state, which is the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army.

But I repeat, comrades, I did not admit, I could not believe that we could reveal so many and such scoundrels, we could find in the ranks of the highest command staff, in the ranks of our glorious, our valiant Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army.

In the three months that have elapsed since the plenum of the Central Committee, a great deal has been uncovered. In particular, during this time, the right‐wing counter‐revolutionary organization operating in our country was revealed, that right‐wing organization, whose representatives and leaders here at the last plenum, from this rostrum, shed crocodile tears, proving their innocence, their innocence to those crimes in which then they were already exposed by their numerous associates and supporters. Now it turned out that these gentlemen were not only involved, that they were not only together with these friends of theirs, who were put where they should be on time, but they were at the same time with all other counter‐revolutionary groups and organizations. This gang, headed by Rykov, Bukharin, Tomsky — who at one time and by the way committed suicide — Uglanov and a number of other scoundrels;

All these counterrevolutionary elements and groups embittered against our state, against our party, flaming with anger against socialism, they groped for each other, promptly contacted their work [3]and then they acted as a whole; performed in all fields of their malicious subversive, base counter‐revolutionary work. They are all the same ‐ both the ʺrightʺ and the so‐called ʺleftʺ Trotskyite‐Zinoviev gangs in their time, and all others, including right and left Socialist‐Revolutionaries, up to anarchists and socialist‐revolutionaries. All of them united on one thing ‐ to destroy by all means and means the workers ʹand peasantsʹ country, to destroy power, Soviet power, to bring the country to a position where capitalism, as an inevitable, from their point of view, form, must reign in our country, come to the restoration of capitalism ... And in this direction all these gentlemen worked, who did not disdain, I repeat, by any means in their actions ‐ not by preparing murders and murdering, where possible, the leaders of the party and government. And they killed Stakhanovite workers, shock workers by arranging disasters on the railways, in mines, factories and factories by organizing sabotage in all areas of our national economy, in all parts, in all periods of our socialist life. Literally everywhere, including in the ranks of the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army, in all areas, not only material equipment, not only material preparation for the defense of our country, but also in the field of combat training, in the field of political training, etc. Everything was taken into account by the enemy, everything was done in order to harm, to frustrate, to prepare the death of our state.

These gentlemen, one and all, ‐ I will quote to you the words of all these gentlemen later, ‐ all these gentlemen were ultimately preparing for our army, if so they are all ʺrightʺ and ʺleftʺ, all this rubbish ‐ declared that if they failed to overthrow, put an end to the current government, the current regime, as they say, socialist, if they did not succeed in ending before the war, then in the war they had to liquidate, ditch first the army, stabbing it with everyone in advance, strictly thought out ways, and then make a coup within the country. For this, of course, those owners were also involved, people for whose sake and in whose interests these gentlemen worked ‐ the Germans, the Japanese, and the Poles, and it is still unknown who. In a word, the entire international capitalist scum world ‐ they were all the owners of these venal skins,

Counterrevolutionary elements in our country were cleverly used by spies and intelligence services in their time, they cleverly launched them into our very core, one might say. On the other hand, these gentlemen, having embarked on the path of treason, betrayal, on the path of struggle, were looking for these masters by all means and ways, looking for opportunities to contact their work [4] with gentlemen Germans, Japanese, Poles. So far, we know for sure about them. Obviously, it is not excluded that these gentlemen closed their work, and contacted it with other intelligence services.

At the head of all this work, as it should, of course, was Trotsky. All threads stretch to him. He is the soul, the inspirer and that ideological, if we can talk about the ideological attitude towards these gentlemen, the ideological core around which this whole set [5] of all these gentlemen is tied.

What do the facts say about this?

The testimony of Batis, the former naval attaché in Turkey, Putna, Feldman, Tukhachevsky and a whole series of others, which I cannot cite here due to lack of time, because I will have to quote a lot here, is also established with irrefutable accuracy., and ways of linking all counter‐revolutionary activities with Trotsky. I repeat, all the threads are drawn to him.

Thatʹs what Batis says. Back in 1930, when he was sent to Turkey as a naval attaché, he contacted Trotsky there and received instructions from Trotsky personally, saw him personally several times and received all the necessary instructions and instructions several times.

About the second meeting with Trotsky, he says the following: ʺTrotsky met me at the pier.ʺ This was the second time, once he met with him and gave him information, Trotsky gave all the necessary directives, then agreed to meet a second time. And so, he met him, invited him to go with him, accompanied by his other person, for a walk to the island. Trotsky asked him a question: “Do I wish to be useful to him in his struggle against Trotsky? [6] ʺʺ I said that I always considered him a leader, never betrayed him and will not betray him. ʺ After these words, Trotsky offered to tell him what the GPU workers were doing at the embassy against him. He said what the OGPU workers think of him. The latter thanked him, and then they again agreed to meet again. And so, we met for the third time. “Having greeted me, Trotsky asked ...(reads) ... giving me these instructions, Trotsky said the following: ʺA legal struggle against Stalin is impossible.ʺ This was all in 1930. ʺThe time has come for other methods of struggle ... (reads) ... and in the rest of the Soviet apparatus.ʺ Etc. like that.

Putna about Trotsky: ʺWhen I learned that I was being summoned in the last days of September 1935 to Moscow ‐ this happens after 5 years ‐ I reported this to Sedov, Trotskyʹs son ... (reads) ... I personally to Tukhachevskyʺ ... The question is asked to him: ʺWere and when the directives were given to you by Tukhachevsky?ʺ His answer: ʺIt was in early October 1935. Tukhachevsky, having received the letter and familiarized himself with it, asked me if I was familiar with the content ... (reads) ... that Trotsky could count on him.ʺ

Here is what Feldman says about this. He is already talking about what he knew from Tukhachevsky. The investigator asks Feldman a question: ʺDid Tukhachevsky tell you that he has a connection with Trotsky ...ʺ (reads). So, as you can see, Putna was the transmitter of one of the letters. Tukhachevskyʹs connection with Trotsky dates back to an earlier period.

Tukhachevsky himself, what does he say about this? He says the following: ʺ... (reads) ... and be prepared for action, especially in the event of a war that is approaching.ʺ Here is what Tukhachevsky says on this matter further. ʺWhen did you establish contact with Trotsky and what directives did you receive from him?ʺ ‐ they ask Tukhachevsky. Answer: ʺI established contact with Trotsky through Romm ... (reads) ... against the Soviet regime.ʺ Well, etc. You read the rest.

You see that these gentlemen, having contacted Trotsky, were working on the alignment of forces, recruiting people and consolidating, as they themselves say, all counter‐revolutionary elements to work against our state, against our Party. The goals and objectives of these gentlemen at different stages were different. At first they got in touch with Trotsky, Trotsky linked them with counter‐revolutionary elements of all kinds of intelligence; then they begin to gather forces and create a large military organization created according to all the rules of organizational art.

Hereʹs what Feldman reveals about how their work has evolved. ʺWhat instructions did you personally receive from Tukhachevsky [on] antiSoviet work and what did you do?ʺ ‐ the investigator asks. Answer: ʺTukhachevsky personally gave me ... (reads) ... to outline and involve them in the organization, which was thenʺ quite cleverly ʺand consistently implemented for them.ʺ The next question is asked by the investigator: ʺTell the investigation in detail what Tukhachevsky told you about Yakir and Kork?ʺ ʺTukhachevsky told me about Yakir ... (reads) ... and had no experience in construction.ʺ Unfortunately, itʹs true. “I would like to inform the investigation that in one of the conversations with Tukhachevsky ...” (reads) By the way, Ushakov is also a Trotskyist and a scoundrel.

Budyonny. Yes Yes.

Voroshilov. Tukhachevsky declined to answer. Savitsky, who at one time was the head of the Command Directorate, says about the same: ʺIn order to preserve in the bowels of the Red Army ...ʺ (reads).

What Primakov says about the same period and about the tasks that faced them: ʺFrom all that has been stated from the words of Pyatakov, Feldman, Kork, I learned that in 1934 Tukhachevsky was the organizer and leader of the anti‐Soviet conspiracy.ʺ

It must be said that for a long time not only Primakov, but also none of the other arrested persons named Tukhachevsky. For a long time, Primakov categorically denied his guilt, denied it for more than 8 months, declared, beating his chest, that he was an honest Bolshevik. He was not ashamed, looking into the eyes of the entire Politburo, at the confrontation between him, Primakov and Garkav, to declare that he was an honest Bolshevik and was not guilty of anything. And after 3‐4 days, he not only talked about all his vile activities, not only told that he had been given special instructions to be conspiratorial and hold out to the end, to make money in the army, to prepare for a big role in case of war, in case the need to stab our army in the back, but he revealed all his accomplices, including his ʺleaderʺ Tukhachevsky.

Here is what Primakov says: “Having contacted the participants in the conspiracy, I learned that the main, businesslike, practical setting for the near future is the gathering of forces and their distribution within the army ...” (reads). Further Primakov says: “The main directives received during this time from abroad are known to me from the words of Dreitser and Putna. They consisted in the fact that Trotsky demanded the creation of a military organization, its strengthening in the army, taking advantage of the exacerbation of the class struggle ... (reads) ... In accordance with these directives, the work was going on until 1933. ʺ

The same was said by one of these scoundrels, Eideman: “The main stake was on organizing an armed uprising in the country during the war under appropriate conditions ...” (reads).

I have already told you that these gentlemen acted together with all the counter‐revolutionary organizations that existed in our country and, perhaps, unfortunately, partly existing and now counter‐revolutionary organizations, in particular with the right. Here is what Tukhachevsky says about this: “The Anti‐Soviet military organization in the army was associated with the Trotskyite‐Zinovievist center and the right‐wing conspirators, and in its plan outlined the seizure of power through a palace coup, that is, seizure of the government and the Central Committee in the Kremlin ...” (reads).

From what you read today, you saw that Kork was also a ʺleaderʺ, was in close contact, in the same organization with the right, and thus united the military counter‐revolutionary organization with the right, in particular with Bukharin, Rykov and others, and a gang that called itself an organization of the Kremlin and set as its task a ʺpalace coupʺ. Here is what Peterson says in his testimony: ʺCork, Putna and Gorbachev were present at one meeting ...ʺ (reads).

The military organization, together with all the others, as I have already said, set as its task the preparation of the defeat of our Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army during the war. Counterrevolutionary bandits tell about this quite eloquently. Here is what Efimov says: “At a later time,

i.e., in 1935, during a conversation ... ʺ (reads, ending with the words: ʺ the countryʹs defense ʺ). This is how Tukhachevsky spoke to Efimov, this is how they solved the problem of routing our Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army among themselves, sitting at the head of this army.

What Primakov said about this: ʺThe purpose of the created conspiratorial group was ...ʺ (he reads, ending with the words: ʺwhy did we agree on a personal connectionʺ). Pyatakov was associated with them. Pyatakov was aware of all these matters, he helped them in every possible way, not only by word, but also by black, vile deeds.

Cork says roughly the same thing. To the question: ʺTell us what exactly the right‐Trotskyist counter‐revolutionary organization was doing in this direction ‐ in the direction of counter‐revolution?ʺ ‐ he replies: “The main task that our right‐Trotskyist counter‐revolutionary organization set itself in this direction was to ...” (he reads, ending with the words: “ensured the victory for the enemy”). Here comments, comrades, are superfluous, everything is insolently clear.

These gentlemen were engaged in sabotage very much, very seriously and in all areas of our work. Feldman says, ʺTukhachevsky told me that rate is taken to reduce the rate of reversal of the arms [7] in the army, mainly artillery ...ʺ (read, ending with the words: ʺThey leaned and operated at allʺ), Eideman says ʺ Practically in front of me, Tukhachevsky set the task of recruiting new participants in the conspiracy and their appropriate placement ... ʺ (he reads, ending with the words: ʺ training insurgent cadres ʺ),

Lapin, a former corps commander and chief of the Air Force of the Far East, shows: ʺPutna set before me the following task: to recruit new members into the counter‐revolutionary organization ...ʺ (reads, ending with words: ʺCarry out sabotage in defense constructionʺ). All this this gentleman did; we only, unfortunately, did not admit the thought that these were conscious counter‐revolutionary actions. We thought that Comrade Blucher, it was a mere coincidence or insufficient experience of this man when he was in charge of your combat training, but we saw that not everything was going well there. When we called him here for a report, to report why he has such a large accident rate, he made a report here, and on all of us, including Comrade Stalin, he made a very strange impression. For example, he admitted the statement that our pilots are afraid to fly in high‐speed cars and as a result ‐ this is one of the main and serious motives in his argumentation ‐ in his proofs of the inevitability of an accident, it was that our pilots are afraid to fly in high‐speed cars. Then he developed strange thoughts there, and for the commander of the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army, completely incomprehensible, which led to very sad thoughts of all of us, in particular me. I just could not understand, I ask: ʺWhatʹs the matter here?ʺ I thought that a person was afraid of responsibility, I was at a loss, but I did not think that this is an enemy. It turned out there was no confusion, there was a conscious counter‐revolution, which, unfortunately, your humble servant (I am more to blame for this than anyone else) overlooked in the most shameful way.

These gentlemen organized sabotage and about this in detail, being backed against the wall, are forced to talk.

Efimov shows: ʺTukhachevsky, in my presence in 1935, gave Olshevsky an assignment ...ʺ (reads). The investigator asks him to tell you more. Answers: ʺIn my presence, Tukhachevsky instructs Olshevsky to organize ...ʺ (he reads, ending with the words: ʺto start preparing these sabotagesʺ), Tukhachevsky says about this: ʺIn 1935 I set the task for Olshevsky to produce acts of various artillery depots ... ʺ (reads). That is, just at the moment when we most of all would need artillery supplies, these gentlemen were going to burn and blow up our artillery depots.

This is what Efimov and Tukhachevsky say, but what Olshevsky himself, who was given these assignments, says. The question to him: ʺGive testimony about your practical sabotage work.ʺ Answer: “In conversations with Efimov about my practical sabotage activities ...” (he reads, ending with the words: “blow up these warehouses and thereby deprive the Red Army of food ‐ weapons and ammunition”). And then he talks about who he attracted, in what warehouses he created these saboteur groups, what tasks he gave, and so on, and so on.

These gentlemen were not content with the work that I have just reported to them in words; they were concerned at the same time to ensure that there was an appropriate environment from which they could further draw their resources and recruit their ranks. And so, they very skillfully worked to organize the disaffected.

Voice. Recruitment.

Voroshilov. No, on call, to provoke discontent among the higher commanding staff. This is what the former head of the air defense of the Belarusian Military District Lavrov says: “Concerning the general principles of the organization ... (reads) ... and the seizure of power.” Savitsky says the same: ʺIn order to cause discontent among the command [and] commanding staff ... (reads) ... about the legitimate promotion.ʺ That is, people are very skillful, very dexterous, true, meanly ‐ but what, since we were such simpletons, since we hung our ears, these gentlemen very skillfully, deftly, impudently, openly and for a long time, for a number of years, used the highest position and acted as the most notorious, vile enemies.

Well, sir, I could still quote you a lot of all sorts of things. But I think that something will need to be skipped, because it will take a very long time. However, it will be necessary to touch upon the question of how these gentlemen carried out work on weakening the armament of our Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army, mainly in the area of artillery equipment.

Efimov shows that the man who sat with us on the artillery, who was supposed to be sick of the soul, to work to arm our army with artillery. He is asked the question: ʺYou showed above that, on the instructions of Tukhachevsky, you carried out sabotage in the Artillery Control system, tell us in detail about [more] all the sabotage work you did.ʺ Answer: ʺMy sabotage work in the Artillery Control system ... (reads) ... affected the work of the entire industry.ʺ And then there is everything like that. Here are a lot of all kinds of acts of this dastardly sabotage, which delayed, slowed down and disrupted the artillery armament of our Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army. Efimov goes on to say the same thing, continuation of the same testimony. They are very bulky and disgusting.

Preobrazhensky, an engineer of Ostekhbyuro [8], who was arrested in the case of this counter‐revolutionary military organization, also testifies that he gave various instructions, did everything in order to harm in the line of his work: “First of all, I systematically allowed production ... (reads) ... but also engineering and technical composition, ʺetc. This is in terms of inventions and those events that interested us most in terms of communications, in terms of any new technology.

Olshevsky gives his testimony for the warehouses: ʺMost of the money spent on the warehouse ... (reads) ... for the elements of the highest category.ʺ And again, he gives the facts, how it was all done by them, etc.

There was not a single sector, as I have already said, not a single sector of defense work, where these gentlemen did not operate in the most unpunished, vile manner. In particular, they carried out their subversive work in air defense. Tukhachevsky shows: ʺThe struggle and sabotage were carried out by Kamenev, Lavrov, Shcheglov ...ʺ (reads). Lavrov, the head of the air defense shows: “... (reads). We thought that it was so necessary, all this was discussed, accepted, but in reality it turned out that the counter‐revolutionaries were doing their vile deed, and we, like fools, signed all sorts of papers. ʺ From the testimony of one of the political workers of the air defense, Moscow. He says roughly the same thing as Lavrov: ʺThanks to a discrepancy, it was possible to create any counter‐revolution, any disgrace, they could not be noticed, because in this chaos everything was covered up, in this chaos it was impossible to make out anything.ʺ

A very great outrage of a counter‐revolutionary character has been done in our civil construction, and most of all these outrages have been done in you, Comrade Blucher. They not only disrupted construction, not only delayed, not only disfigured in the vilest way, made from damp forest, did all sorts of incredible things ...

Voice. There was no supply of timber, so they had to release raw timber.

Voroshilov. Letʹs not dive here. We must work differently. There they deliberately made such stoves that these stoves could not help but fire. As soon as they began to drown, they immediately set off a colossal number of fires. Moreover, during the fires, human casualties were obtained. From here, with all my myopia and blindness, I realized that outrageous things were happening there, they began to search and really discovered that the stoves were built so that there must be fires. How can there be a fire here when there is a stove on one side, and naphtha on the other [9] ... The lack of organization and vigilance among people created this situation. Blucher burned for a month and a half. And many living people were burnt ‐ children, women, commanders, Red Army men. Now all this bastard confesses, they tell how the whole thing was built, how they organized this business.

Even the combat training, which we all seemed to keep under our personal supervision, which we all praise and love so much, even the combat training was conducted to a large extent, to a large extent sabotage. Even combat training! Feldman, Lapin, Kork, and a number of other scoundrels who had a hand in this case talk about this. ʺTukhachevsky said,ʺ Feldman reported, ʺthat he was strenuously trying to push through ...ʺ ‐ by the way, not for combat training, but for organizing the army, in this matter the counter‐revolutionaries also had their hand: they tried, and not without luck, tried to impose and some of them imposed on us such forms of organization of divisions, artillery and other types of troops, which, of course, cannot present anything serious in a combat sense now. In particular,

Voice. And without regiments and battalions.

Voroshilov. You all know that at the same time he preached intensely the organization of two‐gun batteries; I believed, I personally proved that the ideal battery is one weapon, with one gun, then you can act easily and simply, and with a small number of people. With this 7‐8thousandth division of his, he rushed so stubbornly and impudently that the Politburo knew about it, Comrade Stalin knew about it. Comrade Stalin repeatedly cut off Tukhachevsky, asked him how he imagined this division in battle, how it would cope with artillery, with all the numerous equipment, etc. And he cheekily muttered that such a division was the most mobile, the most needed.

He has been in combat training for a number of years, and you, dear comrade commanders, supported, now, thank God, these people are absent, and some are present here. For example, he preached the necessity of training both command and command personnel and soldiers in such a way that in battle, whole units ‐ a regiment, a division ‐ would move at a pace of 4.5‐5 kilometers per hour. When he was told that a person could hardly walk 5 kilometers per hour on foot, he insisted on his own.

Voice. 5 kilometers of walking and the last throw was 10 kilometers.

Voroshilov. Last year he wanted to prove his case and walked 1.5 kilometers per hour, and artificially, walked for 2 hours. Some people make 14 kilometers here. A Red Army soldier can run 14 kilometers. But this was not about that, but about the average pace of the combat offensive when the enemy was shot down. But to shoot down the enemy, like a real military experience, in particular, Comrade Kulik, who did this experiment, shows that not only 1.5 kilometers, but even 100 meters in such an environment a Red Army soldier cannot do. The enemy needs to be picked out. Kulik says that it is not enough to pick it out, it must be burned out. It was direct, most real sabotage.

Lapin says, and Tukhachevsky says about it, that they gave special assignments to speed up combat training both in the aviation and tank units and in other branches of the armed forces; to force, without fixing the result for the result, but to force, on the one hand, to show that everything is brilliant, and on the other hand, to disrupt combat training, distort everything and have troops that are not good for hell.

A lot of sabotage work was carried out along the line of Osoaviakhim [10], since Mr. Eideman ‐ this rubbish, Comrade Berezin, Eideman turned out to be an enemy, a scoundrel ‐ and since he was sitting there, he accepted all Tukhachevskyʹs instructions regarding sabotage as in the field of training the population, and in the field of supply with weapons, in the supply of all kinds of anti‐chemical devices, clothing, etc., and so on [it]. All of this has been done quite successfully for a long time.

These gentlemen did not leave their attention to our defense industry, especially the artillery industry. Tukhachevsky talks quite a lot on this issue. I will read only a short list of the acts of sabotage he is talking about here. “Tell us in detail what sabotage and sabotage work you carried out,” the investigator asks him. “... (reads) ... the necessary access roads, etc. Then the slowdown in the construction of optical factories ... (reads) ... the failure of the material part ʺand so on. ʺThey carried out sabotage work along the line of the Chemical Department

...ʺ (reads), etc., etc.

In a nutshell, I want to dwell on the testimony of not a military man, but a former military man, a former deputy. Head of the Artillery Directorate of the Peopleʹs Commissariat of the Defense Industry Artamonov. Together with Tukhachevsky, together with Tukhachevskyʹs employees, when he was the chief of armaments, he did a very large sabotage work. Very big! I think there is no need to read this large volume of testimony to you, because, apart from gravity and besides troubles, they cannot cause anything else in you. I think that you will take my word for it that this scoundrel was the clerk of his counter‐revolutionary masters. They did everything to disrupt orders for artillery, did everything to make our orders from low‐quality products and thereby weaken the artillery power of our Red Army.

And finally, in conclusion, comrades, these gentlemen were, among other things, also direct spies. They were connected, as I said, with foreign intelligence services and general staffs. Tukhachevsky, Lapin, Vasilenko speak about this completely unambiguously and directly. Hereʹs what they show. Question: ʺWhen did you establish contact with

German intelligence?ʺ The question is posed to Tukhachevsky. Tukhachevsky replies: ʺWhen I was in training and maneuvers in Germany in 1925ʺ In 1925, this man was already associated with the counter‐revolutionary bastard.

Stalin. Which one?

Voroshilov. From the German.

Stalin. Spies?

Voroshilov. Spies.

Stalin. So, it should be said.

Voroshilov. Thatʹs what I said.

Stalin. Had a connection with spies, recruited a spy.

Voroshilov. Here is what he says: “Then all the time I was accompanied on these maneuvers by General von [11] ... (reads) ... through him I transferred to German intelligence ... in 1936, when I met with him, I transferred to him the deployment of troops ... and data on the timing of the concentration. ʺ Then he shows the following: ʺAround 1925, my acquaintance with the Polish spy Dombal also belongs ...ʺ (reads).

Stalin. And he worked for the Poles.

Voroshilov. In order not to be offended by the neighbors, he served them.

Budyonny. He served everyone.

Voroshilov. Then he shows further how he envisioned providing direct assistance to those masters whom he served: “Meanwhile, on the Ukrainian front, the picture should be quite the opposite. The invading army [12], breaking through to Lviv ...” Well, it’s not that important. Here is what he says next: ʺUnder these conditions,ʺ says Tukhachevsky, ʺthe sabotage surrender of the Letychiv fortified region by the conspiracy participants would create a situation ...ʺ (reads).

And here is what Lapin shows in terms of espionage: ʺAs Putna told me, espionage ties with the Japanese were established when he was a military attaché in Germany in 1927‐28 ...ʺ (reads).

This is what Vasilenko says. He is asked the question: ʺWhat kind of espionage information did you transfer to Japanese intelligence?ʺ He replies: ʺSometime after my conversation with Fieldgels, they called me at home ...ʺ (reads).

And finally, in order to show you how people can fall, I want to read

Karakhanʹs testimony. Can I read this testimony here?

Stalin. Why not?

Voroshilov. Karakhan was a member of a group that was organized by the former head of the Peopleʹs Commissariat of Internal Affairs Yagoda. He gives detailed, if I may say so, testimony about his espionage: ʺUnder what circumstances were you recruited into German intelligence and what kind of espionage work did you do?ʺ ‐ the investigator asks a question to this scoundrel. Here is what he replies: ʺIn 1927, in Moscow, I was recruited by the secret German military attaché in the USSR, Niedermeil [13] and since then I have been an intelligence agent of the Reichswehrʺ [14] ... He further says: “The program of the counter‐revolutionary conspiracy was the seizure of power by any means. Therefore, the establishment of contact with the German government circles was aimed at finding out what kind of help from Germany the conspirators can count on ...” (reads). Then the investigator asks: ʺWith whom of the representatives of the government circles in Germany are you connected as a participant in the conspiracy?ʺ Answer: ʺGeneral Milch is a very close person to Goering and, as he told me, conducted his negotiations on behalf of Goering and Hitler on their direct instructions ...ʺ (reads).

Stalin. Is this all Karakhan?

Voroshilov. Karakhan with Yagoda.

Stalin. Great!

Voroshilov. (He continues to read out Karakhanʹs testimony.) That was the end of the first conversation. Then a second meeting took place. Your fellow countryman, Comrade Khakhanyan. ʺDid your second meeting with Milch take place?ʺ What bastards! ʺYes, I had a meeting with him in the same 1936, also in Budapest ...ʺ (reads, ending with the words: ʺto come to the aid of the USSRʺ), That is, in other words, it was about going along a well‐trodden path so that this experience, which is very successful in Spain, can be applied to our country. ʺDuring the negotiations, the question was raised before Milch about the financial support of the conspiracy from Germany ...ʺ (he reads, ending with the words: ʺespecially about fightersʺ), And then he did not forget to receive spy news from him.

Stalin. From ... [15] he received and wants to receive from him.

Voroshilov. (Reads out Karakhanʹs testimony, ending with the words: “about the armaments of our army,” etc.). Of course, in what connection it does not matter, but Milch was fully aware of what was happening in our Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army and, so to speak, very well operated with these data, otherwise he might not have started talking with this fool ...

These gentlemen, as you can see, dreamed of a lot. Much looks ridiculous here ‐ and this ʺpalace coupʺ, which they chatted about here, and the organization of the uprising, and the quick victory in this uprising, and then the link with the counter‐revolutionary forces of Nazi Germany ‐ all this seems to be funny, absurd and wild. But if you take into account that these gentlemen had their own agents at all times of our state apparatus, when they had Yagoda as Peopleʹs Commissar of Internal Affairs, when they were deputy. Peopleʹs Commissar for Foreign Affairs sat Mr. Karakhan, in the army there were not only people next to me, but also in the districts ‐ those who governed the districts, interconnected by common counter‐revolutionary goals and tasks ‐ I have to think, comrades, that the situation was still quite enough unpleasant. And if all this has now been revealed, if this whole counter‐revolutionary hydra was caught and strangled in time, it is only because the might, the strength of our party, our great people, the working class is so great that this bastard only chatted among themselves, talked, whispered and prepared for something, not daring to really move. She moved once, in 1934: on December 1, they killed a member of the Politburo and secretary of the Central Committee, secretary of the Leningrad Regional Party Committee, Comrade Kirov.

They threw a test balloon, they thought to test out the strength of the partyʹs resistance and the strength of the peopleʹs hatred of themselves. They knew that such a bastard would destroy the people, they knew that the masses of workers and peasants could not sympathize with them, they would never go. They nevertheless wanted to feel it with blood and felt it, having received a very solid blow to the hands. As a matter of fact, with the blood of our wonderful comrade, the wonderful man Sergei Mironovich Kirov, we bought this opportunity, got the opportunity to discover all this muck. If they had not miscalculated, we could have entered the war with all this bastard, we could have come to war with all these gentlemen, and then it would have been very difficult. But this false step of the enemy, it made it possible for us first to unravel the whole knot of filth, disgust, crimes that reigned in the Peopleʹs Commissariat of Internal Affairs itself. Only thanks to this did the Politburo and Comrade Stalin personally intervene and began to unravel. They sent there one of our best workers, Comrade Yezhov, who began to unravel the case of the crimes committed in Leningrad, and thread by thread reached the gentlemen who sat and organized these crimes, and then through them, to other gentlemen, to these the very subjects that we are talking about here.

Comrades, how could all this happen? How could it happen that we ‐ workers of the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army ‐ missed such a huge number of enemies? How could it happen that we ‐ Bolsheviks, honest revolutionaries, people who were called to look around us, holding their eyes in their hands [16] in a real, Bolshevik way, ‐ missed all these abominations?

How did this all happen? Yesterday, you know, my first deputy shot himself. Why he shot himself, he did not say. He was removed from office for having close and overly close ties with the Yakir group. When Yakir was arrested and when he was exposed in his dastardly crimes, it was no longer possible to endure such a situation that a man exposed to such tremendous trust as the position of head of the Political Directorate and deputy. People’s Commissar of Defense could not be tolerated. He was removed from office. He, having received the order, immediately, without hesitation, shot himself. What does it mean? This is suggestive ‐ we donʹt have the data yet ‐ but it is very unfortunate.

Stalin. Osepyan reveals that he was recruited in 1932 by Gamarnik. We have evidence.

Voroshilov. Well, I donʹt know that yet. Now you can imagine the situation when I have one and the other deputy. ‐ enemies of the people, when in our army there is one, another, third, fourth ‐ endlessly, it is very difficult to even count them: commanders, assistants to commanders, are enemies, enemies of the people.

Voice. It was difficult to break through them.

Stalin. And what was the third?

Voice. And Kamenev?

Voroshilov. People are so disguised that I must honestly admit here that not only did I not see anything counter‐revolutionary in the actions of these people, but it simply never crossed my mind. I didn’t particularly like Tukhachevsky, you know that very well, I didn’t particularly like him. I had a strained relationship with him. I didn’t highly value Tukhachevsky as a worker, I knew that Tukhachevsky was talking more, fluttering.

Voice. And Yakir was nominated.

Stalin. Nominated, nominated, fact.

Voroshilov. You know, Yakir is in Ukraine. Here sits the chief of staff, let him say, a lot of people know, let them say: nominated? Has anyone said about Yakir? They never said anything.

Voice. In 1930, they told you and Comrade Stalin about Yakir and Tukhachevsky. He called Yakir, Uborevich, and Tukhachevsky by the exact name.

Stalin. What was their group?

Voice. No, not a group. I then called Tukhachevsky a bastard. I spoke to him personally.

Stalin. Was it fun?

Voice. No, I will show that there was enough evidence to expose him.

Voroshilov. Concerning the group, that these people are Tukhachevsky, Yakir ...

Voice. Uborevich ...

Voroshilov. Uborevich and a number of other people were close to each other. We knew this, it was not a secret. But from closeness, from such a group closeness to counter‐revolution is very far.

Voice. Nobody knew that.

Voroshilov. Not so long ago, when there was a meeting of the Politburo


Voice. In November or December.

Voroshilov. ... The meeting when we put on Tukhachevsky ...

Voice. May 7.

Voroshilov. No, last year, 8 months ago. This was after May 1, approximately in the month of July and August. In May, at my apartment, Tukhachevsky, in the presence of a large number of people, threw an accusation against me and Budyonny in the presence of Comrades. Stalin, Molotov and others, accused me and others that I am grouping a small group of people around me, that I am leading them, directing the whole policy, I am conducting this policy incorrectly, etc. Then, on the second day, he refused, said that he was drunk, etc. Comrade Stalin said that you stop bickering here, letʹs arrange a meeting and at the meeting you will tell what the matter is. And there we examined these issues and again came to this conclusion. I was there, Yegorov.

Stalin. They refused.

Voroshilov. Yes, they refused, although the group of Yakir, Uborevich, they behaved quite aggressively towards me. Uborevich was still silent, and Gamarnik and Yakir behaved very badly towards me. But all this was within the framework of the usual squabbles and unpleasant collisions of people who worked with each other for a long time, could get bored. None of us admitted that there was such a thing.

Of course, I cannot absolve myself of responsibility. I know, Vyacheslav Mikhailovich, you told me all the time: look. I looked, goggled, came, saw that a person works honestly, is also outraged by problems, like me, also works to eliminate these problems, also takes steps and measures to get rid of it, and thought that this is the way to do it ... Here, of course, it was necessary for someone to signal.

Stalin. At work, you need to check.

Voroshilov. It is right. At work I checked Tukhachevsky, at work he failed every time and was not needed at work. And we him, and you did not appreciate him highly as a practical worker. We thought that he knew the business, was interested in the business, and he could be a good advisor. And take Yakir, Uborevich. There was a top‐class and second‐class commanding staff, despite the fact that those who were looked down upon, they seemed to perform well.

Voice. They were engaged in spectacle cleaning.

Voroshilov. Now it turned out that they were doing eyewash.

Voice. They called us sergeant major, non‐commissioned officers.

Voroshilov. In short, the fact remains. We all, first of all, blinked, missed, turned out to be incapable of seeing the enemy, if he really, like an enemy, disguised himself. But, on the other hand, I must directly once again declare that from you, from those sitting here, I have never heard a single signal. Quarrels, misunderstandings, discontent ‐ I sorted it out, settled it. But none of you suggested, and meanwhile a huge number of people who worked with them, not only worked, but were also in close relationships. But I canʹt say anything here. A man like Smirnov, he fought with Uborevich and I reconciled him with Uborevich. He came and said that he was a scoundrel, that he was a bastard, that he was not a Bolshevik. I said: ʺI know that he is not a Bolshevik, that he cannot be trusted for a penny, but no one has ever said that he is a counter‐revolutionary.ʺ Smirnov belonged to the category of people who looked at him very carefully. He saw every bitch and hitch in him, and that he was a counter‐revolutionary, no one ever told me, because everything that becomes known to me through this line, I immediately report to the Politburo. But this is certainly not an excuse. For the future, we must organize our work in such a way that there are no excuses. We are not allowed to allow repetitions.[17], at least to the smallest degree, so that something similar to what happened in our country. How should this be done? I think that we have all the possibilities. It is necessary to immediately clean it up completely, with an iron broom sweep not only all this bastard, but everything that resembles such an abomination, no matter how high these gentlemen climb. The army must be cleaned literally to the very last cracks, the army must be clean, the army must be healthy.

Voices. Right.

Voroshilov. This will be quantitatively great damage, but qualitatively it will be a great recovery.

Voice. Young ones will do.

Voroshilov. Young ones will come up, new shoots will go, and in the coming year we will certainly come out rejuvenated.

I think, comrades, we made a big mistake at one time, and I must warn the commanders for the future that not only commanders, but also political workers misunderstood the reform carried out on the introduction of one‐man command [18] when it was perceived as such. Some thought: I am the one‐man commander, I am everything, and you are nothing. Others thought: you are the one‐man, you are the commander, you do, and I will look in your mouth. It was a wrong concept, a wrong assessment of the situation, and this, unfortunately, dulled the work of political workers. This provision made it impossible to follow each other at work in the process of the case itself. The political workers withdrew themselves, calmed down and began to look from the bottom up: the commander is everything, I am a little man. Including good Bolsheviks, they completely abandoned party and political work, began to neglect this matter, so they stopped growing for real themselves, and at the same time did not start working on subordinate people. This contributed a lot to

Comrade At the last plenum, Stalin warned the members of the Central Committee that all of us, the entire party and the Central Committee, in particular, we, intoxicated by the tremendous successes from victories in all sectors, on all fronts, were somewhat complacent, began to rest on our laurels, decided that the main and most important done, now you can rest. “They forgot,” Stalin said, “that we won only on one‐sixth of the land. One sixth! Five‐sixths have not yet been conquered. ʺ

On my own I must add that even on this one‐sixth of the earth we have not yet conquered much, and the main thing that has not yet been won is the human soul. You see how much filth, how many bastards exist, and not only among the enemies, but also among us, among ourselves, how much capitalist abomination exists, and we ourselves still have it. You need to win the soul of the organizer of socialism, you need to knock out from your own psyche, from your consciousness, all the filth of the capitalist past. This, comrades, has not yet been done. And taking into account that these five‐sixths live, act and, more than ever before, are busy with how to destroy us, and they think every day not about how we live and act, but about how we were more likely to be stuck. If you take all this into account, then it turns out that a suitable psychic environment and any other is operating ... [19]; the enemy recruits cadres and makes them scoundrels, puts them at his service. Methods for knitting the ranks of the enemy are very diverse, the most bizarre, but all of them, from the point of view of the enemy, are justified. If we are hats, we will have trouble again after cleaning the army, all scum will appear again. It is necessary for the future to really get down to business, for the mind, uproot from our consciousness, from our psyche, first of all, all the vilest remnants of the past. When you now remember all these Uborevichs and Tukhachevskys, you feel ashamed how they behaved in terms of what they were ‐ they were very dirty, mean people.

Budyonny. Thatʹs right, the people were low.

Voroshilov. And they did their vile deeds in front of everyone. They did things that, not only for a communist, but simply for any honest person, were matters that cannot be tolerated. We should not and cannot put up with such things, and if it is punishable not according to the civil code, but precisely in our view, then we can get rid of a lot, then we will get rid of such facts when people ... give [20] himself every abomination. With such nasty things, with such dirt, people quickly fall for the enemyʹs bait. For the future, we must root it all out and uproot it at all costs.

Comrades, I draw conclusions from what happened in the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army. In our Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army, numerous and malicious enemies of the people were found in the highest and most responsible positions. For a number of years, in the center and in the localities, they disguised themselves as honest communists and non‐party Bolsheviks, hid under masks of party members and Bolsheviks, hiding behind high ranks and titles, they wielded with impunity for a long time, being spies, traitors, fascists. This corrupt gang of criminals prepared the assassination of the leaders of the party and government, instilled espionage and sabotage in all defense work, organized conspiracies in order to strike a blow in the back of our country, in the back of the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army, through monstrous treason, at the moment of an attack by an external enemy.

All our great people give their best sons to the army. Our state does not spare funds for the countryʹs defense. We, everyone sitting here, and all the workers of the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army have been entrusted with the most important and most honorable work ‐ the defense of socialism, the defense against the enemies of the Soviet state. We had to sacredly fulfill these duties, as the apple of our eye had to guard the purity of our army. We were obliged to destroy all and all kinds of enemies, wherever they appeared and where they did not come to our army, exposing them and revealing their criminal acts. We, the Bolshevik communists, were obliged to do all this. But, unfortunately, we did not do this, and if we did, we did little, and if we did, then we did it in the wrong way. The class enemy sensed our weak point and launched his vile work.

As Peopleʹs Commissar, I am guilty of not having noticed for a number of years that the class enemy is doing his dirty work. Frankly, I must say that not only did I not notice the work of the class enemy, but even when some of them ‐ such as Gorbachev and Feldman ‐ were caught red‐handed, when they were grabbed by the hand, I did not want to believe it, I could not admit treason on their part and I defended them. I said bluntly that this was a mistake, that this could not be, that all this would soon become clear, and these people would soon be released, for it could not be that they were traitors. I am guilty of this.

But I must say, dear comrades, that I have not seen a single incident, not a single signal from your side, not a single signal, I repeat. I do not absolve myself of any guilt by this, but, as they say, I take you on business. You, together with me, were put in your posts by the party and the government. I know of cases of a number of complaints from individual workers when they had squabbles with each other, but I repeat, no one has ever signaled either to me or to the Central Committee that there are counterrevolutionary groups in the Workers

ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army, that there are peasant Red Army there is a conspiracy or something else. By this I do not want to shift my blame onto your shoulders, but I want to warn you that you should be a hundred times more vigilant, that you look around you more vigilantly, so that you raise questions politically more sharply.

The enemy is exposed, caught red‐handed and will be destroyed. We must cleanse the workers ʹand peasantsʹ [Red] army, and we will cleanse it. But the class struggle between the two worlds ‐ capitalist and socialist ‐ does not stop. As our country and international socialism advance, the class struggle will take on more and more diverse forms, will take on the most acute character. Therefore, we are obliged to organize all our work in such a way as to reserve our army with this work for the future from penetration into it not only of the class enemy, but also of that trash, among which the enemy finds food for himself, from where criminal elements arise, from where the malicious enemies of socialism emerge ...

The class enemy managed to inflict a strong blow on the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army, but despite all the numerous mistakes in our work, despite our blunders, the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army is fundamentally strong and powerful and capable of great deeds for the sake of the Lenin‐Stalin party ... I affirm, comrades, members of the Politburo, that if we had to take up arms today, then, despite the fact that there are probably many people among us who need to be removed from the army, nevertheless the army is combat‐ready, the army will separate our Motherland from every attack, wherever it comes from. Voices from the field. Right. (Applause from the entire audience.)

[ Voroshilov.] The enemy is caught by the hand. The enemy needs to be cut off along with his hand, his snake, vile head. The enemy must and will be swept off the face of the earth. The army of socialism must and will be clean and victorious. From now on we will work differently. Better and sooner, we will heal all the wounds inflicted on our army, make it even stronger, glorious and terrible for all enemies of our great Motherland and socialism.

It is hard, comrades, to go through everything that has happened in recent months in the country, in the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ [21] Red Army. But it is also good that all this has been revealed now, today, and not when the enemy would go to war against us. If the enemy managed to keep his numerous and vile agents in our army until the moment of the war, we would have to fight against both the external and [against] the internal enemy from the first day of the battle. The task is extremely difficult and especially serious in its consequences.

Comrades, the entire people loved the Red Army, were proud of it and believed in its might, valor and devotion to their socialist homeland, devotion to the cause of Lenin‐Stalin. Today, this peopleʹs faith in their army will be somewhat shaken. This must be said directly. Itʹs hard to talk about it, but itʹs true. Only by honest, tireless Bolshevik work of the entire command staff can we regain the respect and love of the people, the trust and faith of the Lenin‐Stalin party and our Workers ʹand

Peasantsʹ Red Army.

We ‐ the Military Council ‐ on our own behalf and on behalf of all commanders, political workers and chiefs of the Red Army, swear an oath to our great party, to all people and our constant friend and leader, Comrade Stalin, to make every effort to improve the speed of our armyʹs ranks. We swear that from now on we will work as Lenin taught us, as Comrade Stalin teaches us constantly, every day, in practical work. We will win the trust and love of the people, party and government. We will bring your trust and love, great Stalin, back to ourselves again! (Loud, prolonged applause.)

Voroshilov. Allow me to take a break for 10 minutes.

Voroshilov (presiding). Letʹs start discussing the report. I give the floor to Comrade Dybenko.

Dybenko. I think, comrades, that from the report that was made by the Peopleʹs Commissar on the gang of our enemies, each of us will have to admit that we really are not enough, or more than not enough, have signaled all those outrages that have been happening in us in the army. But I think that there were signals, but they were apparently not sufficiently attentive.

I will allow myself to repeat what I said in 1931 about Tukhachevsky and Uborevich. Why was my suspicion in the first place against Tukhachevsky? In 1923, in Smolensk, I wrote a statement to the Central Committee of the party against Trotsky, about all his outrages and about what was going on in the army then. This statement was written at Tukhachevskyʹs apartment. When I wrote this application, I suggested that Tukhachevsky subscribe. For an hour Tukhachevsky proved to me that in many cases I was wrong, that the expulsion of the young command staff was going on, the imposition of old officers, who partly not only deserted from the Red Army, but who fought against us, he proved our illiteracy. I asked Tukhachevsky for the opportunity to go to Moscow. Tukhachevsky said that in two days he would allow me to do this. Now I understand that then he needed to inform Trotsky of this statement. I left for Moscow at night without his permission. In Moscow, first of all, this report was discussed together with Fedko and Uritsky. They fully and completely supported this report, at that time we were great friends ‐ me, Fedko and Uritsky. There are 14 people in Kashirinʹs apartment. signed this statement. I reported to Comrade Stalin first, then all 14 people. reported to Comrade Stalin. You, Comrade Stalin, are in your office, after which a commission of the

Party Central Committee was appointed.

This is the first time that Tukhachevsky refused to sign a document against Trotsky. The second case, I believe that today Fedko and Uritsky will be obliged to honestly declare here and report on this organization of Tukhachevsky, then it was under the guise of a socalled struggle against Comrade Bazilevich, but in fact the meeting in

1925 at Belitskyʹs apartment was against Kliment Efremovich.

Voice. This is not true.

Dybenko. Ivan Fedorovich, there are documents, there are facts, there are living witnesses. Then all 9 people. were at Tukhachevskyʹs apartment.

Voice. He made a career, he provoked it himself. Itʹs not true, prove it.

Dybenko. There are living witnesses. Iʹll prove it all. I believe that the Politburo will be obliged to interrogate me, Fedko and Uritsky. When Efimov came, he insisted that I participate in your meeting, I summoned Tukhachevsky and announced that a struggle was being waged against Comrade Voroshilov. I give an example that at Uritskyʹs apartment after Comrade Frunzeʹs funeral, we gathered, and there was only one Artemenko, when we began to say who to appoint now, then indeed Uritsky, and I said that the only candidate who could be appointed, ‐ this is Kliment Efremovich. And I declare that I called Tukhachevsky three times to inform Comrade Voroshilov. And on the second day I asked him if he reported to Kliment Efremovich. He says: I will report and still did not report. And in the evening, when there was a meeting of the Budget Commission, I reported to Kliment Efremovich and said,[22] Efremovich reported that for two comrades, for Fedko and Uritsky, I can guarantee with my head that they are devoted to the cause and to you.

Voice. Why do you say that I was against the statement?

Dybenko. No, I say that after that we gathered at the apartment, and the note has still been preserved to Bubnov, where they announce that I am a provocateur. There is a command staff who knows that this work has been carried out for 10 years, that I am a provocateur. In 1928, in Leningrad, at the Paris Hotel, in Tukhachevskyʹs room, when Tukhachevsky was chief of staff, I raised the issue in 1925. Kulikov will confirm that I called him a scoundrel, a scoundrel; I say that he organized a protest against Kliment Efremovich; I say that he is a provocateur himself. But they accused me, called me a provocateur. I told him then that you, a scoundrel, just need to be killed, that you were engaged in a provocation among the command staff.

These are the reasons that gave me the opportunity in 1931 for you, Comrade Stalin, to call Tukhachevsky a scoundrel, a scoundrel. I had a lot of data. I think that now the commanding staff knows what nickname they gave me. Why did things seem to be going worse with us, while Yakir and Uborevich were better? Because here, in the center, the enemies sat and exposed the work of Uborevich and Yakir in a colorful light. And what was Belov called? Voroshilov Feldwebel. What was the name of Kashirin? This, they say, is a Voroshilov noncommissioned officer. And what was Lewandowski called? Voroshilov non‐commissioned officer. What was Dybenko called? Voroshilov noncommissioned officer. I think that there is enough information about what kind of slander they have erected against us. They declared that we were illiterate. I declare to the Politburo that we are more literate than them in military affairs, but they did not believe us, they told us that you were fools, idiots.

The entire command staff of the Belarusian district played a war game last year. I argued about the inadmissibility of the methods in the war game, which were conducted by Uborevich. What did Uborevic say? He said: ʺDybenko is a soldier, Dybenko does not understand anything.ʺ Uborevich put the question: “You are friends with Belov, do you know who Belov is? Belov is an idiot. ʺ He tried to politically discredit him, saying that Belov did not know what kind of physiognomy. I said: ʺI was with Belov for 5 years in Central Asia and I know who Belov is.ʺ These are the nicknames they gave us.

I believe that the military operations this year, which Uborevich proposed, were wrong, let Comrade Yegorov confirm this. If we had adopted such a method ‐ direct one corps to the north, direct the other corps to the west and direct the third corps to the south ‐ this would have ruined the whole matter. Such a decision cannot be called [otherwise] as idiotic. I believe that it was an adventurer who confused the brains [23] ... I will refer to the theory of operational art. In the last two magazines, there was an article by Isserson, which was written under the dictation of Uborevich and Yakir. Where did Isserson come from? He offered an invading army consisting of 3 corps, motorized equipment, tank units, and five aviation brigades were taken. This is the invading army. Allocated 30 kilometers along the front and 100 kilometers inland. It will turn out that this army will be shot in this bag, the aircraft will be destroyed. We donʹt need this theory.

Take the war game. Egorov will confirm how Yakir and Uborevich proposed one invasion corps, a second invasion corps and a third invasion corps. What does this mean? They introduced and gave instructions that the best units of the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ [Red] Army on the first day of the announcement of mobilization would be destroyed. The invasion corps will be destroyed because it is located in separate parts. Didnʹt we talk to Comrade Belov that this is outrageous? We said it was crazy. And our heads were hammered that this was the highest achievement of military art. They didn’t know a damn thing, they just littered their minds, and now a whole series of theoretical justifications for operations should be thrown out entirely, because this is not our army, but the army of our enemies.

Were there any signals? I believe that there were many signals, but now it is not necessary to talk about signals. I can cite, Klimenty Efremovich, that I spoke at military councils for 3 years in a row, but they beat me down with remarks and did not allow me to speak. I said about military training that we had clear sabotage. I proved in 1932 that a well‐aimed shot [24], the theory about this is wrong. I also spoke about the scattered machine‐gun fire. These were clearly destructive methods of preparation. I can show the transcripts when I spoke about this, and they called me a soldier, that I know nothing, that I was hunting in Central Asia and that I think I learned how to shoot. I studied shooting in Central Asia very well. This is a complex operation that requires skill. Four months ago, I wrote a memo. I wrote a report to Gamarnik stating that today we do not have a single ambulance train. In this respect we have instructions as early as 1922, approved by Trotsky. This instruction is clearly wicked. It says that the ambulance train includes 4th class cars, and we do not have equipment for 4th class cars. Here, Comrade Stalin, look, what the operating carriage, which is part of the ambulance train, consists of. The table of this operating carriage is sewn to the wall according to the instructions, so that the patient can only be approached from one side. There is no light in this operating car. It says so ‐ have you, Comrade Baranov, checked? ‐ two nurses are holding candles. I affirm that there were signals, but it is another matter for you, Klimenty Efremovich, that these signals were not reported.

Voroshilov. You were obliged to report to me.

Dybenko. I wrote to your deputies.

Voroshilov. My deputies? I had to report.

Dybenko. I wrote, this can be checked. Organizational arrangements. Here Comrade Egorov can confirm. All these organizational measures were carried out by Levichev. Levichev, in essence, is disarming the regiments, the best regiments of the Red Army, Comrade Stalin, they are disarming. For example, the 106th regiment: ordered to hand over the materiel. I ask when will I receive the material part? ʺIn the month of June.ʺ August Ivanovich can confirm, I took my head. I go again, I ask when we get the material part. They say to me: ʺYou will receive one gun in November 1937ʺ. As in November 1937, when the directive was received. Breaking through this wall is very difficult. With the 12th corps regiment, I received contradictory directives 4 times: a proposal to rebuild it for mechtyagu, we will build garages ‐ they suggest switching it to horse traction. Here is Comrade Efremov can report to you.

I believe that the question now is not whether there were signals or not; You, Klimenty Efremovich, should have been told everything that Levichev did, and the point is to eliminate all this sabotage. You, Klimenty Efremovich, Levichev reported that I had written a report on the liquidation of the headquarters. I will allow myself to report to you tomorrow, having found all my reports, that I wrote not about the liquidation of headquarters, but about the states of the modern districts. These states are wrecking. Why, Comrade Stalin, have I been given the states for peacetime 2 people, and for wartime 19 people? Where will I get these 17 people? Out of stock. Of course, I cannot find such workers who fired operational workers into the reserve. Intelligence directorate for peacetime 2 people, for military ‐ 15 people. Where do we get 13 people who would be well versed in this matter?

Third. For two years I have been raising the question of the inspections created by the same Uborevich. I posed, Comrade Stalin, the question that the army apparatus that we are forming for wartime, we must have in place. None of us know what we will command during the war. This will cause additional difficulties in the course of the war that it will be difficult to cope with. The headquarters did not study all this.

I believe that we, Comrade Stalin, have a lot of questions that we need now to immediately resolve. I believe that we have a lot of issues that need to be resolved immediately in order to radically change everything that has existed so far. As for the issue of army apparatuses, the question is not raised about the disaggregation of such districts as Belorussky and Kiev, but the question is being raised about creating army apparatuses there on the spot. Call them what you want, let them be inspections, but not those bastard machines of 10 people, which were created by Yakir and Uborevich. This is completely wrong. In wartime, it is necessary to have an apparatus of 220 people. Suppose today is mobilization, and tomorrow he commands those troops that go directly into battle. In a word, now it is necessary to reconsider a number of issues in order to

Voroshilov. Comrade Kozhanov has the floor.

Kozhanov. The documents that were distributed to the Military Council for review do not mention the names of the sailors. Klimenty Efremovich in his report mentioned only the names of Kurkov and Batis. One might get the impression that all is well in the navy. In fact, I think that there is not only good, but, on the contrary, even worse. And thatʹs why. The fleet for a long time, for tens of years, was in the hands of the Trotskyists and Zinovievites. Until 1921, the Trotskyist Raskolnikov ruled there, from 1921 to 1925 Zof and Kurkov ruled, from 1926 to 1931 [the year] the fleet was led by Muklevich and Kurkov. It is quite natural that during this time they did a lot, and I believe that the greatest sabotage occurred during the period when Muklevich and Kurkov were in power, i.e., from 1926 to 1931. In 1926, against this leadership, i.e., against Muklevich and Kurkov, a number of comrades spoke, mainly from the last year of the Naval Academy. They spoke openly on the question of personnel, the building of the fleet, and also on organizational issues. As for the question of personnel, then Muklevich believed, even after he left the fleet, that the best people who can revive the fleet and manage the fleet are Petrov, Tashakov, Gervais and many others.

Stalin. Who are these people?

Kozhanov. These are professors of the Naval Academy, old specialists.

Voice from the place. Admirals.

Kozhanov. They were supported by Muklevich and even many party members sympathized with this. We believed, especially the last course, in 1926, that these people did not take any part in the Civil War, while the last course was composed mainly of participants in the Civil War. We fought on the issue of personnel, primarily on the issue of building the fleet. Some in 1926 considered it possible for our country to build battleships of a large fleet, put forward the theory of ʺdomination at sea.ʺ Another group of comrades, the latter course mainly, believed that in 1926 it would be more correct to focus on the small fleet, the torpedo boat fleet, the destroyer fleet, cruisers, and coastal defense.

These are the main questions facing the fleet. And on organizational issues, a number of comrades believed that it was necessary to secede from the army, form an independent naval commissariat, they believed that the army could not control the fleet at all. You need to leave. Whole books were compiled, especially Petrov got loose in this matter. Read his book War at Sea or about Trafalgar. This was all written against the army, education was in the spirit of separation from the army. It was in 1926. Moreover, this struggle went on from 1926 to 1931. All this people in 1930‐31, I donʹt remember, were dispersed, and from 1926 to 1931, I must say, the entire party organization of the Baltic Fleet then she supported us. Kurkov, Muklevich, Kireev, who were there at that time, did not support us, Duplitsky and many others opposed us, but Smirnov supported us, the commander of the Political Directorate, Okunev. In 1930‐31. Smirnov took off from the Baltic Fleet, and I, among other things, took off, and the entire last course was dispersed then. Upon my return from Japan, where I was sent by Muklevich, I spoke about it openly, and I was with Kliment Efremovich.

Voroshilov. And more than once.

Kozhanov. More than once he was and raised the question quite correctly that Muklevich should be removed.

Voroshilov. Orlov headed your group and came to power.

Kozhanov. Nothing like this. Orlov buffered. Moreover, he was against us.

Voroshilov. Didnʹt you visit me with Orlov?

Kozhanov. Personally, I was not with you with Orlov.

Voroshilov. Werenʹt you?

Kozhanov. Was not.

Voice. Orlov got into this case by accident, he was with you then, you summoned him and Muklevich, but he did not show the initiative to go to you, he pressed on Muklevich. You called him and Muklevich, but he didnʹt go.

Kozhanov. I have repeatedly argued and simply raised the question that Muklevich should be removed immediately, and Kliment

Efremovich said that it was inconvenient to raise this question.

Voroshilov. What are you telling a story there, you are sitting on the Black Sea, you are the master of the Black Sea, you tell us about it?

Kozhanov. I will also tell you about the Black Sea. I have been there for six years, the seventh year. When I read the testimony of the enemy of the people Tukhachevsky, the question of the secession of Ukraine was raised there. Yakir headed the whole business there. The question before me is: it cannot be that no attention has been paid to the Black Sea Fleet, that a hand has penetrated here in order to take Ukraine and the Black Sea Fleet into their own hands. Pick up from one flank. Has this hand penetrated the Black Sea Fleet? I think it did. First of all, in the line of frames. There were appointed: Kurkov, who was in the Black Sea Fleet for 8 months. Kurkov is not my candidacy, and I did not support her. Batis was assigned there. Moreover, Kurkov, keep in mind, is the assistant commander for the material part, Batis is the assistant chief of staff. The chief of staff of the cruisers is Grigoriev, also from the former Zinovievites. This group is commanding. In addition, here, in the Black Sea Fleet, Mustafin was appointed for the political part ‐ deputy. Head of the Political Department. Then the head of the political department of the cruisers Subotsky [25] ... On submarines ‐ Kanapeikin. Thus, cruisers, submarines and others were captured by the people who, in fact, as it is now quite clear, was not only in the army group, but, of course, connected with the enemies of the people, and above all with those who operated in the Crimea ‐ with Levitin, Olkhov and others. Moreover, Gamarnikʹs analysis of this case immediately after the Politburo meeting is very strange. He summoned me, Comrade Gugin, Mustafin and Subotsky. I have not given a report to anyone on this issue. He himself began by saying: got caught ‐ the literal expression ʺgot caught.ʺ Then, well, this may be because Mustafin and Subotsky did not trust Gugin, hence it happened. He himself began the whole speech with this. Mustafin made a speech there exactly like Gamarnik. Gugin, Mustafin and Subotsky spoke out. That was the end of it. I didnʹt play there. Interrupted, perhaps, the call of Kliment Efremovich. This issue was transferred to the Peopleʹs Commissar of Defense. The Peopleʹs Commissar for Defense called me and Gugin. And here I raised the question of summoning Gamarnik because he held a special position on this issue. Kliment Yefremovich immediately called Gamarnik, but he was not there at that moment. In any case, these people ‐ Mustafin, Kanapeykin, Subotsky ‐ are all PUR workers, and they were strongly supported by Osepyan. He often traveled, Mustafin played with him. They were confident in the full support of PUR when they carried out their work there.

About our present situation. I think now our situation is serious. They did a lot of harm, in particular in shipbuilding, in the acceptance of ships. In fact, they built such as watchdogs ‐ ships neither one nor the other. Then the minesweepers were built and are taking over now that they are not minesweepers at all. Then they force the ships to accept now, when Muklevich is not present, they force to accept the ships that are not capable of fighting.

Stalin. Who!

Kozhanov. Here, from the Moscow office. I think that the situation here is the same in the Black Sea and in the Baltic. The Baltic accepted it in the fall, and the Black Sea has not yet accepted the minesweepers. In addition, submarines are taken unfinished in terms of both weapons and mechanization.

Voroshilov. How is it taken? Is the appointment for you?

Kozhanov. But I don’t accept. Orlov accepts, hands over commissions, and commission hands over to me.

Voroshilov. But how can you accept unprepared ships?

Kozhanov. I do not accept. I spoke about the ʺLeaderʺ, you do not believe that the ʺLeaderʺ is adopted in the Baltic, but in fact he floats [26]. They foist it on me.

Stalin. Anyway, there are many ambiguities here. He is right.

Voroshilov. He is right.

Kozhanov. This is one sabotage that continues to this day. In addition, spare parts are not given to submarines, and they are forced to accept submarines without spare parts. In addition, the entire battery economy is not good for hell. Here is the biggest sabotage.

Stalin. Was it or is it now?

Kozhanov. And now it is. The battery farm is in its worst condition. Moreover, I must say that the suppliers from the plant, who are in the Black Sea Fleet, say: there is sabotage at the plant, but they themselves give up and say [that] this sabotage is real.

Now the question of espionage. I believe that the Black Sea Fleet, mainly Sevastopol, is open to anyone. Moreover, there are no restrictions in Sevastopol, anyone can enter there. I believe that in Sevastopol, apart from the Black Sea Fleet, there is nothing but the Severomorsk plant, which works for the fleet; The 45th plant that works for the aviation and the military plant that works for the navy. There are no other businesses. Sevastopol lives only by the fleet. However, this is open to the entire population, everyone goes there, especially in summer, and from Sevastopol, everything is visible, absolutely. I believe that it is necessary to establish a limited decree for Sevastopol. In 1929 there was a decree to restrict the entry of tourists there. They can be sent from Simferopol to Yalta. There was such a resolution, but it is being held back. In addition, I believe that Odessa is not sufficiently fenced, there are Japanese, Italians. Recently there was a case when the Italian ambassador and the consul got stuck near the battery, and the Japanese and Italians followed him to pull out. Here, in Odessa, espionage is highly developed and works with might and main. We must know everything about the construction of ships, materiel, spare parts, and we must reconsider the question of personnel.

Voice. Z. and. R [27]., Who is in the NKVD, when the question was raised why he does not expose himself, he said: “Not only I do not expose; and Kozhanov was in Japan and was associated with Putna, worked with him and does not expose himself. ʺ I am interested in this question.

Kozhanov. I was in Japan from 1927 to 1930, I was there for 3 years as the secretary of the Party organization without interruption. Putna was there too, for a very short time, Berzin knows, for about a year. And I fought with Putna, and here they say that I had a connection with Putna. There is confusion here, he may say; besides, in 1931 I was in London, I was with Levichev. I had no connection with Putna, on the contrary, I fought with him in Japan.

Voroshilov. Comrade Goryachev has the floor.

Goryachev. I want to start by saying that the Peopleʹs Commissar, making a report about a big event, about a major conspiracy in our country, asks about the reasons, whether there were signals to open an essentially legal organization.

Voices. Right.

Goryachev. Legal, open organization. At the front, in the center, everywhere and everywhere. I remember about the Belarusian Military District. I got there in 1932, when I moved with the Academy. The Belarusian people told me: “You will be sent to Solovki during the first war game”. During the first war game, they felt that nothing had worked out here, their teeth were broken, and I did not go to Solovki. In 1933 we went to Gomel, we were collecting. I think that the Peopleʹs Commissar knows about such things that were revealed. When we carry out a collection in 1933 on a full scale, Uborevich ‐ the enemy of the people ‐ shows how to spoil weapons; as a soldier, I felt sick. We take the rifle, saw it, weaken the spring ‐ complete sabotage. The enemy of the people gave such an order that rifles should be carried in a hunting suitcase in the Byelorussian military district; this is sheer sabotage and damage to weapons. When I tried to openly say that it was weapon damage, I was told that you underestimate military training and did not want to do it.

The next signal was for the whole country ‐ 150% of the Red Army was shooting. Is there such a situation in nature? All newspapers wrote in 1934, when the Ukrainian District competed with the Belorussian District. I do not know how it can be 150%, but all the newspapers wrote about this in the divisions. When I tried to say that this was a gamble, that there is no such percentage in nature, they did not listen to me. This was a big signal for the district.

Next question. In the Belorussian district, the enemy of the people is carrying out such a thing in 1933. We were the first to receive BT tanks [28] and the first signal from the division commanders was to give these tanks. I leave with [o] my tanks, they ask me: ʺAre you for BT tanks?ʺ I say yesʺ. ʺDistrict against BT tanksʺ. This document is in the Inspectorate that everyone abandoned BT tanks. I say that before there were 96 power motors, and we change them to 420 power. But these tanks were given only to me, and they were taken from everyone. When they saw that nothing could be done, then they only began to give BT tanks to other units.

The next question is about the infantry. You need to be specific. Look, is there really no other way to approach the commanders of the troops, and [to] the commanders of the corps, and [to] the commanders of the divisions? I give five kilometers, which means the infantrymen are walking with a wide stride, neither lying nor standing. Isnʹt that a signal? This can only recall the Battle of Borodino: 3 cavalry divisions, 3 mechanized brigades at 4 kilometers. This is war. Now further, the tanks are allowed to break through, and the enemy of the people is letting in the infantry behind the tanks. This is a shooting. This is meat. And the Peopleʹs Commissar, it seemed, correctly revealed this outrage. And the enemy of the people comes up and says: “Comrade Peopleʹs Commissar, this is my order, I am convinced of this. This should be cut off. Who allows it and who feels this way in battle! ʺ So, I think this is a big, big principled signal.

Orders the cavalry corps to take the fortified area. I prove that this is impossible. Everyone in Belarus knows about this fact. Then I could not stand it anymore, my whole soul turned out and I told him: “Comrade commander (now he is an enemy of the people, then he was the commander), as long as I live, I will not agree with you, because this is the shooting of the cavalry. Without a single cannon, taking a fortified area means shooting all our cavalry. ʺ So, you see, it came to the Inspection. After we had done this, the Marshal gathered us, and when we came to the Peopleʹs Commissar, I submitted a remark in the same office in his office and asked: ʺCan you take the fortress with one cavalry?ʺ He says: ʺOnly crazy people can think so.ʺ But we are taught this way. Even then, I thought that such orders would lead us to shoot the cavalry created by Stalin and Voroshilov. Wasnʹt that a signal? That was enough signal to see his face. What does he do after that? On the third day, he sends a telegram: ʺI order you to carry out the test topic: the cavalry corps is taking the fortified area.ʺ Well, I spent. It was ordered before all the commanders. I said that it was not feasible but since I was ordered, I followed. And he showed that it was something other than a colossal execution of the cavalry. The fortified area has existed for 20 years and to take it without a single cannon, they will consider us just crazy people. This was a signal and I tried to report it to the Peopleʹs Commissar.

Now in the sense of the political physiognomy of the enemy of the people Uborevich. One thing surprises me. This same Smirnov, the same Uborevich in the Belorussian district, they not only did not enjoy any authority, but, Comrade Stalin, I also declare to you, Comrade Peopleʹs Commissar, that the command staff organically could not bear Uborevich, he simply hated him ... So, obviously, it was hard for him to work sometimes.

Stalin. Did everyone hate him?

Goryachev. Only a few could sympathize with him.

Voices. This is not true. They looked into his mouth.

Goryachev. We exchanged among ourselves; and I say with all responsibility that in this respect it was hard for him, he did not feel quite well. Heads of the Political Directorate Bulin and Bubnov can confirm that only a few sympathized with him.

Voice. This is not true.

Goryachev. I am surprised only by one thing, how he ignored political and party work. He told us in the presence of everyone thatno one would go to the8th Extraordinary Congress [29]. How it was? He called a meeting; after having held the meeting, speaks to the rostrum and declares: “I, the corps commander, forbid you to go to the congress. None of you have the right to travel without my permission. You have nothing to do there. ʺ This was an official order.

Second. After the historic Plenum, at which Comrade Stalin made his report on the results of the Plenum, the meeting made an extremely difficult impression on us. We suddenly gathered all the assets ‐ from the regiment commander to the commissar. And on such a historical report, he makes a report on the decisions of the Central Committee of Uborevich. I do not know, Comrade Bulin, he is sitting here, maybe it was a special instruction.

Bulin. I was in Smolensk.

Goryachev. I don’t know. You were present. It caught everyoneʹs eyes. How he gave this talk. He also quoted the resolution on horses. In conclusion he said that I forbid you to go to the congress. The enemy of the people spoke openly.

Last thing. This enemy of the people of the cavalry did not digest. At the same time, three months before his death [30], he goes round all the cavalry, starts from the north and goes south. In my corps, he captured two divisions. This detour struck everyoneʹs eyes. How he comes to the division, is it bad, is it good, 50 thousand, 20 thousand, 10 thousand, saw amateur performance ‐ to give out 20 thousand. He scattered money left and right.

Stalin. Did you give out money?

Goryachev. Scattered. It was a shame, Comrade Stalin. I just watched the regiment and found it bad. He came, looked at the first shift: ʺYou are assigned 5 thousand rubles, you are given a double salary, you are the best commander of the regiment.ʺ Well, is this the commander of the troops?

And how they created their own cadres! I will give the following example. In the 4th Cavalry Division named after Comrade Voroshilov, a historical division, there was academician Smirnov as chief of staff, who was opened only last year. It turned out that he served with the whites, that he was the son of a priest.

Budyonny. When cleaning a batch?

Goryachev. No, after cleaning.

Budyonny. Hence, during the exchange.

Goryachev. And he himself looks like a boor; it is clear that he is psychologically a priest. (Laughter.) But Uborevich does not allow him to be expelled from the party. From the 4th division, from Slutsk, he was transferred by the head of the 6th division named after Budyonny.

Stalin. And who is in command of the 6th division?

Goryachev. Weiner commanded the 6th division.

Stalin. And the 4th division?

Goryachev. And 4th Zhukov. Now this Smirnov sits at the district headquarters. This is how the enemy recruited an asset. It is now clear why the signals did not go where they needed to. Because there was a vicious circle. You write to the NKVD ‐ it gets to the enemies; write Uborevich ‐ the same thing. That is why, Comrade Peopleʹs Commissar, nothing reached you. Wherever you write, you will not get through anywhere. Gets to Gamarnik, Uborevich, Levichev; as you can see, a vicious circle. Our atmosphere was so electrified that at our conference in Belarus they almost called him an enemy of the people. How much sabotage, how much deceit, how much betrayal we had from such an enemy of the people as Uborevich. The chief of staff was Bobrov, a toady.

Comrade Peopleʹs Commissar, when you were in command of the Moscow District, you probably remember Filin, who was in the Moscow District and turned out to be a spy. Comrade Bazilevich knows him too. Bobrov was his clerk, a milk sucker. I come to the Belorussian district and see that he is in command of a division, after 3 months he will receive a corps, and after 6 months ‐ a chief of staff of a corps. This is how they nominated their people. And we, for our part, did not give them a fight.

Iʹm finishing. The fact has come to pass. Itʹs good that we have revealed all this now. What should be done now? It is necessary to uproot to the end all the remnants of this sabotage, but you need to do it calmly, without panic, so as not to get into a difficult situation. We must remember this hard lesson for the rest of our lives. We must remember that this happened as a result of forgetting self‐criticism, calming down, developing sycophancy, etc. After all, take this fact, comrades: in our army there is no struggle against drunkenness. Sometimes you talk about a person who is literally decomposed, drunk, who needs to be kicked out of the army. And Feldman says: ʺYou are overwriting it.ʺ And takes it to another part.

Voice from the place. Right.

[ Goryachev.] I declare this with full responsibility. And it turns out that this man, who has no place in the army and who needs to be kicked out, spits in your eyes and leaves for another unit with a promotion.

Voroshilov. Comrade Smirnov.

Smirnov. Here we are, when we were going to a meeting of the Military Council, here, in the Central Committee of the Party, the first thing that you really need to say, comrades, is: itʹs a shame that we really disgraced ourselves, missed. Did we know that these Tukhachevsky, Uborevich, that they, in fact, are not Bolsheviks, they are not our people?

Voices. They knew.

Smirnov. They knew, but nevertheless they put them on their own necks and obeyed, looked into their mouths, including Comrade Goryachev fawned over Uborevich. What is our trouble? We have undoubtedly weakened the party influence in the army.

Voice. Thatʹs right, this is the main thing.

Smirnov. Political agencies began to work worse.

Voice. They averted themselves.

Smirnov. Political workers ‐ the peopleʹs commissar often calls me a beast on any occasion ‐ but, unfortunately, we turned out to be tame animals.

Voice. Right.

Smirnov. We didn’t educate personnel, but it’s all about people. After all, if you put your own people, and the submarine will be good, and the ship can be built good, and combat training will be good. The education of people, the Bolshevik education is weakened.

Voice. Right.

Smirnov. Didnʹt we approach the assessment of people exactly like a sergeant‐major, like a soldier: what kind of combatant he is, what bearing he has, how many percent he shot ...

Voice. Right.

Smirnov. But in a Bolshevik way, we didn’t really fit, education was weakened. After all, we are not really tame. We did not know Gamarnik that he was an enemy of the people, they told him, the circle was closed, apparently the people did not guess. I will say frankly that we ‐ political workers ‐ were not allowed to discuss big questions.

Voice. Right.

Smirnov. We were often unable to report to you.

Voice. Right. And they didnʹt talk to us.

Smirnov. They are also smart people, and surrounded the Peopleʹs Commissar in a very close, closed circle. We spoke to Gamarnik, and there the circle closed. We did not have enough courage to reach the

Central Committee.

Stalin. Who went ‐ came?

Smirnov. This is the first lesson that we should all learn ‐ we need to get it. I spoke to Comrade Gikalo. It became easier in Leningrad, when Zhdanov was at hand: you come running, tell me and you can be sure that things will reach the Central Committee. We weakened the upbringing of people, and these people knew that they were not Bolsheviks; they knew that Tukhachevsky was a gentleman, a landowner, his heart was not in Tukhachevskyʹs; but no one knew that he was a direct spy since 1925. We assumed that they began to determine policy in some way: in the building of the army, in discussions about political instructors, about military advice, about disciplinary practice; recently it was a question of taking away disciplinary rights from political workers. They determined the policy ‐ thatʹs our trouble.

Voice. Right.

Smirnov. The heroes are all now, when everything became clear, after having read the materials of comrade Yezhov; and Goryachev is making noise. We felt, saw that things were going wrong, fiddled around, there was a little fuss, but there was no sharp, political struggle, no sharp questions were raised. This is the first lesson ‐ to sharply raise questions, if necessary ‐ to go to the Central Committee, to put in a real, Bolshevik‐style education of cadres. This is the main thing now.

The main thing now is to uproot people. Well, what is it? If you take all these scoundrels, bring out all this espionage shantrap, it would be enough to have a good machine‐gun command to crush them, in this sense they are not scary, they did not make the gaps between the party and the people ‐ this forced them to dress up as the Bolsheviks and dig into the counter‐revolutionary underground, smelly and plotting vile plots against the Soviet regime. There is no gap. By themselves, they are not afraid of us among the people, but they are terrible when they are undercover, closed, when they are seated in large posts, when they give us orders, and we ourselves carry out this, we try to provide. You remember, Kliment Efremovich, our conversation with you, I meant Uborevich. We suffer a lot from these people because they were planted by the Soviet regime. Do you remember this conversation?

Voroshilov. I do remember.

Smirnov. I meant him too. We often endure a lot from them because we thought that a person had been imprisoned by the Soviet regime, we resigned ourselves. Hereʹs what we need to learn from this and how to educate. Well, just blink at us so that we would throw Tukhachevsky and Uborevich, we would have rolled them into a ramʹs horn long ago. Iʹll tell you about the fleet. When we were thrown from the 14th Congress of a group of people to the Leningrad garrison, after that I was left as the head of the political department of the Baltic Fleet. Who was there? Zof and others, Zinovievʹs spirit was in full swing. They relied on the old noble brethren. The nobility was all around. We then raised the question ‐ to break the neck of this ideology when we wanted to emancipate and have our own Peopleʹs Commissariat. Then the question of personnel was raised. So, what have I been told? Here is Smirnov, they let the goat into the garden. Indeed, the nobility was all around. It was necessary to promote a little. For example, Kozhanov, Ludri, we thought about them: young growing people, in 1926 they were progressive. They raised the question of personnel. Well, once you put a question, they poke you, put it a second time, and in the end you think, you are not smarter than everyone else. It was necessary to organize practical work in such a way that the Bolshevik line would advance.

Can we fix this? Of course, we can, because a lot of people have grown up now, both young, good people who have mastered military culture, and party people. We can certainly supply our people. Well, at first we will wait six months, a year, until they look around, in a year it will be imperceptible how our people will grow up. And now why is it so? Because they stood where people are trained, and where people are placed. They put their people as a tool, they put their people in certain decisive nodes. And I am convinced that the best people are sitting under them. It means that there are people, the task now is to really root out all this evil spirits, to appoint our own people. Maybe simpler, less, but our people. And besides, militarily growing up.

And then, to establish Bolshevik education. We must stop approaching the commanders the way it happens. The first thing that needs to be stated is that we cannot tolerate a commander in the Red Army who would not really be a Bolshevik, party or non‐party. And we condescend, courted and spoiled a person. It is necessary to keep a course for such a selection of commanders who would be believed, because the person will lead into battle. And we often let down mistakes, turned it into a system, into a rotten ideology. And for this, the enemy picked up people. There are a number of people who fought with us and who were picked up by the enemy. They are victims of our bad and wrong work with people. This means that Bolshevik upbringing must be truly organized in such a way that every commander, every political worker teaches his subordinate how to lead correctly. After all, now there are a lot of wrong things. Take our disciplinary practice ‐ you can be directly surprised. There are isolated cases that were not in the old army.

Voice. Yes, there are some.

Smirnov. And they do not find a harsh rebuff. Well, okay, the Soviet regime has put you in jail now, they believe you, but in battle, when you canʹt calm down the guardhouse, when death is in front of him, how will he treat such a commander? Why did they go to the Civil War like this? Because the commander was a leader morally and politically, they followed him. And we have such an attitude towards the Red Army man that is absolutely unacceptable. We started this business. So, I remember when I was in Leningrad, it becomes so embarrassing. And now you are guilty and ashamed. We need to change the situation so that we are again looked at as worthy sons of the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army.

Voice. Right. (Applause.)

Voroshilov. Comrade Ludry has the floor.

Ludry. I would like to draw the attention of both the Politburo and the Military Council to one very important link, which, in my opinion, has not yet been rooted out in the sense of sabotage. This is a question about research work, about a design bureau that is working, or rather, it has worked. It is known that Tukhachevskyʹs favorite pastime was his chatter with adventurers, who staggered with him in flocks. Among them, two or three inventors were found. A more specific question about the work of the Special Technical Bureau. This organization was essentially a monopoly organization for the Red Army, which invented, designed and supplied, tried, or rather, to supply all new inventions. However, in the sense of introducing new types of weapons, since this was Tukhachevskyʹs case, I believe that our case was, of course, sabotage. Pests have already been identified in this Ostechbyuro.

Stalin. Wrong?

Ludry. Not only wrong, but wicked. What is happening there? This organization gave a lot to the army. There can be no other position, she gave a lot, but she could give immeasurably more and better. Thanks to the huge number of people, the equipment and the high‐quality state funds that are allocated, this organization gives negligible and bad results. What system is there? First, this is the very Ostechbyuro. One gets the impression that people are inventing some kind of work, creating something that is not needed. For example, I personally consider these small submarines, with which everyone is busy, who enjoy great sympathy and respect, no one needs them.

Stalin. Seriously?

Ludry. This cannot win the war, but it met with a certain sympathy.

Stalin. Met and tried.

Ludry. I may be wrong, but I believe that although this is a purely practical question, it is of enormous theoretical importance. The same radio‐controlled torpedoes. After all, Tukhachevsky fiddled with this for a very long time. They were put forward 5 years ago, and now look what the system of work was.

Stalin. Not only Tukhachevsky, but everyone watched and approved.

Ludry. And so, Comrade Stalin, 5 years have passed, except for this model, the matter did not go further.

Voice. They are not in service.

Ludry. There is nothing in service. We give a plan for 30 million. Plan 1932, plan 1933, plan 1936 are actually the same plan. The plan remains the plan. Is the work in progress? Obviously not. The next more serious question is special technique.

Stalin. Who checks them?

Ludry. Everybody checks and [not] nobody checks. Customers are different. The main customer is the Department of Naval Forces. I believe that the issue of special technology is an extremely serious issue. Sea mines are made there, and torpedoes are fiddled with. The question is, how do we introduce this special technique into the Red Army. Our experts, party and non‐party, have been claiming for 2 years in a row what is now given is clearly unsuitable and will be knocked down in the very first days of the war. I demanded that our head of the Directorate, Comrade Berg, give me a memorandum as far as it was acceptable. Berg presented a note in which he writes: ʺEverything that is filed through the aircraft, through the Sea Forces, is nothing more than eyewash and, of course, sabotage.ʺ Tukhachevsky was then appointed a special commission, which was supposed to practically verify the correctness of these conclusions. The commission was appointed authoritative, with the involvement of Ostechbyuro. This commission drew the matter. To this day I am convinced that this was done with a purpose and that it now requires, at least in the shortest possible time, a thorough check. It is my personal belief that this is a sabotage business in the same way as for many other objects. And what was the system? Smirnov correctly says that there was not enough property, and the same Tukhachevsky used this opportunity, shifted everything to Ostekhbyuro, and we were accused of ignorance, inability, etc. In some cases, of course, it is correct, in some cases it is wrong.

Stalin. As for the boats, I remember boats that are propelled by an unknown force.

Ludry. Moreover, NKTyazhprom had their own, Ostekhbyuro had theirs. I must once again note that specialists believe, specialists are our people, that these radio‐controlled torpedoes in the very first days of the war will be decoded and shot down by the enemy. Their system is such that they cannot but be shot down. They wanted to check this in practice, but since Tukhachevsky was in charge of this, the case was drawn. At least there was no confirmation of this case. What do you need for this? It is necessary, in my opinion, now to carry out a real check, since these tools have been introduced on a massive scale.

I take this opportunity to say the following. Maybe this is not entirely relevant to this meeting. The Leningrad City Conference has ended. Muklevich is now in jail, but a few days ago this was not. The situation in the shipbuilding industry after the plenum of the Central Committee, which demanded the elimination of the consequences of sabotage, not only did not improve, but deteriorated at a number of factories, in particular at the Zhdanov shipyard, at the Bolshevik plant.

And the last question. Comrade Smirnov is right here talking about cadres. Again, I take this opportunity to say a few words in defense of the industry that is entrusted to me, namely the Naval Academy. It may be my fault here, but in the past years, not the best people were sent to the Naval Academy, but the worst people from the fleets. These people were not selected, but simply those who were not needed were sent. The commanders can confirm this. I have a fear that this year too, this most important link ‐ cadres ‐ will be ruined if the order of the Peopleʹs Commissar, which requires us to pay special attention to recruiting students for the Naval Academy, is not observed.

Voroshilov. Comrade has the floor. Greenberg.

Greenberg. Here, of course, there is no place for declarations and psychological analysis, but Comrade Smirnov is absolutely right. All of us are as damned ashamed of how we ‐ commanders, especially political workers ‐ could have reached such a situation when our people have every reason to tell us: what were they looking for? Of course, the Central Committee of the Party also has reason to ask us firmly. But thatʹs not the point now. The point, in my opinion, is to correctly determine what to do next.

I wanted to share a few thoughts on this issue. Comrade Peopleʹs Commissar said that no one had signaled to him that enemies were operating in the army. It seems to me, Klimenty Efremovich, that if we approach each of us with such a yardstick and organize things in such a way as to indicate: here is the enemy, I think that we will not achieve results.

Comrade Smirnov said that we did not apply to the Central Committee, that there was no courage. Itʹs right. But I think that if any of us saw that this is really an enemy and a spy, he would have the courage to turn anywhere. I think that the point is to establish a system in which the Peopleʹs Commissar and the Central Committee of the Party would receive a signal about the smallest shortcomings in our work, but that they would be the most valuable data for opening both large and small cases, and large ones. and small works.

I want to highlight some examples. We had such a scoundrel Zyuk. As a political worker, I tried my badly damaged teeth on it. He behaved in the most insolent manner, he pressed on political workers in an absolutely ugly manner. He had such facts when he committed an ugly thing to me, wrote a complaint to the Peopleʹs Commissar; but in 1935, shortly after the murder of Sergei Mironovich Kirov ‐ here the comrades can confirm, they wonʹt let them lie, ‐ he made such a trick, he said ‐ jokingly, half in jest, he actually went for a clown ‐ he made the following remark: If Trotsky were Minister of War, I would have four rhombuses. ʺ Remember this, Iosif Fadeevich [31]? It was a fact. What have we done? Slavin knew this, Gamarnik knew, but we didn’t put an end to this question. And if you take it by the tongue, you could unravel it a year earlier. Comrade Yezhov, it is true, came only now, and we had a certain people in the NKVD, but if we could grab hold of it, they would have opened it earlier. And we did not have the habit of going to the Peopleʹs Commissariat of Defense.

Another fact. I am the head of the political department of the aviation army ‐ a large, important unit, just beginning to form, and how much disgrace there is in this economy! Apparently invisible. Everything starts with little things. There is more than enough sabotage in our formation. But I cannot say now who is the pest, who is the spy, and I can name dozens of little things that testify to the evil hand. I don’t want to make excuses, but during almost a year of my work in this most important sector I visited the Peopleʹs Commissar of Defense once ‐ I introduced myself on the occasion of my appointment. Maybe the comrade peopleʹs commissar is to blame, maybe I am to blame, our system is to blame.

We, in aviation, have one such interesting fact ‐ navigators and pilots. Navigators are of great importance, but in our country the pilots and navigators quarreled on a rather trifling matter: with these dinners, not speaking to the mind or heart, with this money in high‐speed aviation.

They tell me that this is a government decision, but this proposal was not made by my own person. Maybe this is abrupt, but what should I do? Unfortunately, my signals were looping to whom? On Osepian ‐ and the devil knew that he was an enemy. There was no such habit: Osepyan by Osepyan, but inform the Central Committee. We didnʹt have that. This is bad.

Iʹll tell you directly another fact: itʹs not that Gamarnik is an enemy, but I learned quite by chance from a conversation with Comrade Ilyin, who is sitting here, that Gamarnik in 1923 did not fight for the general line of the party, but that dangled, and whenever possible, advocated for the Trotskyists. I must say frankly that this is an important fact in order to draw a big chain over this trifle, but there is no such habit to seek that both the Peopleʹs Commissar of Defense and the Central Committee become aware of this.

Hereʹs the next fact, maybe just a few touches. There is such a political worker Orlov. Well, who doesnʹt know Orlov! He was in Kiev deputy. early PUOKRa. I have not been to Kiev. But political workers come and tell about this Orlov that he is a great artist.

Voice. Right.

[ Greenberg.] It was said that in a secret ballot out of 600 votes, he received 34 votes in favor. Obviously ‐ Ivan Panfilovich will confirm this ‐ there were political workers with him.

Voice. Yes Yes.

[ Greenberg.] Obviously, this man has lost confidence, and he is appointed head of the political department [district] with a promotion. Voice. Yes.

[ Greenberg.] I say, if we had such an order that we could talk about all the perplexities in the Central Committee, we could reveal a big case behind the little things. What have I done? Iʹm a fool, ‐ sorry for the rude expression, ‐ I didn’t find anything better than to go and complain to Osepyan [y]; said that it was a disgrace that I was protesting against it. And he says to me: ʺDonʹt tell anyone else about this, youʹre talking nonsense.ʺ I say: ʺWhat nonsense this is, you discredit self‐criticism.ʺ

I think that now in construction, take here Comrade Mikhailov, secretary of the regional committee, he wrote to Comrade Stalin about the outrages in the Kalinin construction. You have received, Comrade Stalin, a message about this, and the car spun around quickly.

Stalin. No, it hasnʹt started yet.

Greenberg. And I must report to Comrade Stalin that we blew all the trumpets about these outrages, but we do not have the Bolshevik tradition, which Comrade Stalin teaches, in order to bring the matter to the end. Khrulev built hangars 5 ... [32] Aviation construction is in a disgusting state.

Stalin. Failed last year.

Voroshilov. The hangars were bad.

Voice. This is not true.

Voroshilov. This is true.

Voice. Not at all.

Voroshilov. No, thatʹs right.

Greenberg. What we need to uproot is as clear as an orange when we get down to business. Comrade Smirnov said correctly that we have strength. Comrade Stalin said that our shortcomings are not an organic vice, we will root them out. But I want to say that we need to root out those bad sides, which are as follows. We are a special organism; we must be approached differently. All the same, the Peopleʹs Commissariat, which will do something, is whipped in the newspaper. We are deprived of this pleasure; it must be said frankly. Therefore, it is necessary to establish such a procedure so that we often communicate directly with the Peopleʹs Commissar of Defense, and political workers, first of all, would gather and could tell about each shortcoming.

Secondly, I think we are Comrade Voroshilov ‐ perhaps it is not necessary to say this ‐ but our Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ [Red] army loves Klimenty Efremovich. Do not think that this is some kind of sycophancy, it is definitely true. But I must say what they say on the sidelines, how to write to the Central Committee, how to get around the peopleʹs commissar. This must be done with. We must get closer to the Central Committee. Why are we in a worse position than others who write to the Central Committee? We need to pay more attention than any other Peopleʹs Commissariat.

Voice. Right.

[ Greenberg.] In closing, I want to say the following. Big bosses are sitting here. I do not know how to approach this matter, whether it is possible to criticize our bosses for what they say and do not know what they are saying. We have a lot of big bosses in the army, who, speaking as they lead, then broke Emelya ‐ your week. Here is Comrade Sedyakin, he is sitting here, he spoke at the plenum of the Soviet. What did he say? Unfortunately, I have no transcripts. But, to roughly quote, he said that political work lowers the technical level. Here is Yakov Yanovich Alksnis [33], and it is necessary to criticize him. He is a very devoted person, he works a lot, but here he spoke at a meeting of the command staff of the MONI [34] ... He said: ʺThe charter of the German army says that in battle military will should be much more important than reason.ʺ He solidifies with this theory and begins to pronounce this theory from the tribune given to him. How would you do this in order to correct big people?

Kaganovich. So that the mind controls the will.

Greenberg. Yes sir. This is what I want to say. It is very difficult for us, political workers, to tears ‐ this is about the head of the Political Administration. I cannot say here as well as many others: the document was read and smart steel. I didnʹt think that [35]. It was then with Garkavy, then rumors spread, but I did not think about the head of the Political Administration.

Stalin. And we didnʹt think. We trusted him.

Greenberg. In any case, it is very difficult for us. What are we asking for? As soon as possible, give us an authoritative person from the Central Committee of our party and put him at the head of the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army. And the decision that has been made is more likely to be implemented. To organize political work and create a political apparatus ‐ to put the commissars in their places as soon as possible. Some say that the creation of an institute of commissars will undermine the authority of the commanders. This is not true.

Stalin. On the contrary, it will strengthen it.

Molotov. You donʹt rely on yourself much, again you need a new authority. You better hope for yourself.

Greenberg. This is correct, Comrade Molotov, but we need an authoritative leader whom we could criticize. (General movement in the hall.)

Voroshilov. Comrade Lewandowski has the floor.

Lewandowski. Comrades, the decision of the Central Committee, the report and the closing speech of the leader of our party, Comrade Stalin, the report of the Peopleʹs Commissar of Defense at this Council with the utmost clarity and depth revealed a picture of a particular intensification of the class struggle in the ranks of our Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army. It is especially difficult for me to endure the moment that the enemy of the people worked next to me ‐ Savitsky. It was very difficult to recognize in a person who wears the same shirt as me, also wears a party card, it was difficult to recognize a traitor and a traitor. It is especially painful to go through a time when the best heroes and commanders are now fighting at the fronts for the cause of progressive progressive humanity, dying without a name, sacrificing themselves in the interests of the proletarian international revolution. They die, and we will not know their names. It is difficult to experience this betrayal at a time when our entire country, under the leadership of our party, is engaged in socialist construction with colossal enthusiasm, when our country is developing the North Pole, at this moment it is very difficult to experience betrayal and betrayal in the ranks of our Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army. Why is all this happening? Mainly, I would say, due to our political carelessness, excessive political credulity towards the enemies with whom we once fought with arms in hand. Take the likes of Tukhaveli, Musidze, etc.

Voice from the place. And Savitsky too.

Lewandowski. Especially. It seems to me that this excessive political credulity has led us to political blindness, which we must also state. It seems to me that the question of studying people under the conditions of our Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ [Red] Army now requires a radical restructuring. I want to touch on the issue of certifications. When I started looking through these arrested people from the Transcaucasian army, I saw that many of them received good characteristics from our communists, including me. What does this mean? The question of documents has to be reorganized somehow, because behind this document lies a class enemy. For this certification, we see the formal face of the commander, but we do not see a living person.

I want to give you an example of how I personally, with the help of Klimenty Efremovich, just through him, managed, with colossal resistance, both on the spot and in the central office, to smoke people like Alafuzo from the Transcaucasian Military District. I managed to do this only with the help of the Peopleʹs Commissar. Or a person like Dragilev. I wrote to the Peopleʹs Commissar that I would not let this Dragilev into the division again, at least put me in prison.

Voice from the place. And then they sent him as deputy chief of staff of the district.

Lewandowski. Instead of Dragilev and Alafuso, new people begin to come to me: Vasilenko from the Schmidt brigade; Rook from the Schmidt brigade; Andreev, a former Trotskyist, who, with colossal resistance, was prevented from entering the 25th Sukhum regiment, after which he was stuck into the 60th regiment. To my telegram, Klimenty Efremovich replied about the need to expel Vasilenko from the army.

But I must tell you that the colossal pressure came along the line of Feldman and Gamarnik. Vasilenko comes to me as the commander of the mechanized brigade of the 17th cavalry division. As soon as he arrived in the Transcaucasian district, his treacherous spy face was immediately revealed. He began to popularize Schmidt, began to praise him, apparently, being sure that he was in special conditions where he would not be bitten. As soon as this picture came to light, I began to petition for his transfer from the Transcaucasian Military District and for his exclusion from the ranks of the Red Army. In response, I received three telegrams from the traitor Feldman: ʺTake the trouble to receive Vasilenko, receive him personally, provide him with better conditions in Tiflis and tell him that he will stay where he is, because he wrote about this repeatedly.ʺ I wrote in response to this: I ask to fire him. This is a Schmidt, pest, etc. In response to this I receive a telegram from Feldman: “For a report to Comrade Gamarnik. Please let me know what you took about Vasilenko. ʺ This telegram was received by me three hours after I received a telegram from Kliment Efremovich that this bastard must be expelled immediately. Thus, Feldman had to send a telegram that, on the basis of the telegram of the Peopleʹs Commissar, he was dismissed under Article 43[36]. Only this one kicked out ‐ with Rook the same story. With Rook finished, ‐ Andreev arrives. The picture turns out to be the following when this gang of bandits, enemies, traitors, spies has placed these networks very skillfully.

Voice. Especially in the Transcaucasus.

Lewandowski. Thanks to the quick responsiveness of the Peopleʹs

Commissar ‐ I have no offense in this regard towards Kliment Efremovich, I will have on another issue ‐ he made it possible to quickly remove some of the Transcaucasia ‐ people who were skillfully implanted, and this gang of spies and pests is now sitting in the appropriate place.

Another issue, which is a sore point for the entire defense and the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army, is Baku. In response to the reports and personal letters that worried me terribly ‐ I wrote to the Peopleʹs Commissar ‐ in part, he gave me an instruction here that not a single enemy aircraft should be allowed to approach Baku. And it is right. I presented myself the calculations when Baku can be attacked from Germany, Bulgaria, Romania.

Voice. From Persia.

Lewandowski. Persia and Turkey are close by. From there, it is enough to throw one plane with a thousand bombs on Baku, and it will set fire to those colossal reserves of oil and gasoline that are there; and this burning lava will flood the heart of the Soviet Union, which we defend there.

The question of Baku was reported to Kamenev more than once. It seemed to me that it was an old man who was out of his mind, but it turns out that he was a traitor who in every possible way hindered the question of Baku. To this day, Baku is not the defended heart of the Soviet Union. The question is open about the sea approach to Baku. If on the ground we have some means of fire ‐ artillery, then from the seaside it is completely free to approach Baku and bomb it. Here I want to once again report to the Peopleʹs Commissar of Defense on the following question: Baku is being defended or will be defended when active means are prepared to meet the enemyʹs aviation. Without means of warning at sea, of course, there is no need to think and talk about any kind of defense. And in this matter, we do not have clarity about what funds we get, what we don’t get on the 14th or 20th day after the announcement of mobilization, i.e., then, when they, perhaps, will not be needed at all, because Baku may not exist at all. I want to say something else: we are not guaranteed against sabotage of the enemy before the start of the war over Baku. The question of Baku should be posed in such a context and practically should be implemented by the central administrations, as Clement Efremovich put it here, so that everything becomes combat‐ready now, in peacetime, when there is no question of war; because the appearance of an aircraft over Baku can bring the heart of our country out of the corresponding combat, calm state.

I want to touch upon all the people who are involved in these most important cases. From the material I received here from Comrade Bulin, I see that Paufer is also implicated in the dirty Trotskyist affairs and is also a traitor; the head of the Baku headquarters, Vakhlamov, who at our last conference in Baku did not show sufficient sincerity and, I would say, behaved in the vilest manner. This is the fault of our party leadership in Baku. The best people, the best Bolsheviks, should sit on Baku.

A matter of routine. This question is not a technical one for Baku, because if we do not have observation posts for our anti‐aircraft artillery, we will lose 50% of its technical capabilities, i.e., we will shoot when the plane is bombed and leaves. Therefore, the issue of staffing is not a secondary issue. I reported several times to Kliment Efremovich about aviation and its quantity, I will not repeat this.

I would like to tell you about the reasons why the enemies of our Party, enemies of the people, traitors and traitors to the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army have been in our ranks for quite a long time. It was said here about the weakening of the role of the political apparatus in our units, in particular in the Transcaucasian military district. The political apparatus has turned, I would say, into an administrative apparatus, into a signaling apparatus. But we didn’t succeed in making it a combat‐ready, efficient apparatus for the leadership of the party organization. Hence, there was no effective, combat‐ready, party organization. I do not say after our party conferences. Our party conferences were held on the principle of widespread self‐criticism, and we got a lot there. Party conferences have certainly restructured our work now,

I want to dwell on one more issue, which is also a fundamental issue and is very characteristic. Take Savitsky. Comrade Stalin, in his report and in his concluding remarks at the plenum of the Central Committee, noted the theory of fire. I am citing new aspects of this theory of fire in our party practice. Savitsky speaks at our regional conference. He is a former Borotbist [37] ... He was in the ʺworkersʹ oppositionʺ for one day. When asked: ʺWere you in theʺ workersʹ opposition ʺ? he replies: ʺYes, there was only one day.ʺ And it usually goes away as one day. I remember one night of Zorin. In 1923 in Ukraine, during the struggle [against] Trotsky, Zorin was there. In the evening he stands for Trotsky, and in the morning he turned against Trotsky. As if it were a harmless thing. It turns out that he went to the Red Army PU and turned out to be a provocateur and spy since 1917, this Zorin.

The same picture is with this Savitsky. And so, it happened. Savitsky says that he was in the workersʹ opposition for one day. Apparently, the enemy unmasked himself, then immediately came to his senses and immediately went into his shell. This is a fact, too, of a rotten theory, when one day is not given importance, we are not looking for a reason. All these moments are such that we could pay attention to, but for some reason all this passes us by when we see an obvious enemy in front of us.

In the materials that were handed out, the names of some of the comrades who were called by the enemies appear there ‐ these are Veklichev, Todorsky [38]. It seems to me that we need to demand that they tell why their names appear in the mouths of the enemies of the people, why the enemy calls their names, why he relies on them.

Stalin. How do we resolve the issue of arrest? There are cases when surnames are called, but they can be called by chance. We are checking. For example, Efimov named Kulik. We asked: did he name it correctly? He said he was wrong. ʺWhy?ʺ ‐ ʺIt seemed to me that he could be recruited.ʺ You are talking about Veklichev. What did he call it? As a person who could be recruited.

Lewandowski. Todorsky.

Stalin. Right. They can name our people among the criminals. Many of them, sitting, continue to fight with us, not all of them betray. You know that Tukhachevsky gave out the unit, then he began to give out more. Feldman gave out a part, then began to name more. Cork was not immediately named. Therefore, we feel a great debt of responsibility, so as not to be mistaken. And we do not at all think that every line of the criminalʹs testimony is law for us. We check it crosswise, in every possible way, then we consult and after that we decide the issue.

Lewandowski. Comrade Stalin, I am not talking about arrest right now, I am talking because the enemies call their names, it is necessary that in their speech they make the situation easier for both the party and the Red Army and say it themselves. What confidence can there be in these people?! I think what I said is what most of us are experiencing.

Stalin. I ʹll tell you more, if some comrades make a one‐time statement, then this is not the law for us. We cross‐check everything.

Lewandowski. Comrade Stalin, at our district party conference I, among other things, were also heavily whipped for Savitsky, Uborevich and others. Quilted correctly. It clears the brain, it clears all the filth and filth, it makes every member of the party, party and non‐party Bolsheviks alarmed. But, Comrade Stalin, now, when you find yourself in this difficult situation, in an atmosphere not of single arrests, but of a large number of commanders, about 30 people, when you read materials in which the comrades who are sitting next to you appear, you have a doubt: maybe they are right, maybe they are wrong. Let these comrades come forward and say.

Voice. What will it matter?

Lewandowski. They will ease both their position and our attitude towards them. This is how the question must be put.

Stalin. Right.

Lewandowski. The last question is about military councils and commissars in units. I personally think that the present situation of heightened class struggle, the situation of treason in the army creates the need for our party and our government to return to the councils of commissars in units. Every Communist, every commander, every Bolshevik, party and non‐party, will perceive this measure as a measure necessary for the Bolshevik strengthening of leadership among the districts, divisions and units. We hope that we will cope with the tasks set by the leader of our party and which the Peopleʹs Commissar has set for us. We can certainly handle it. We will cope with honor, and the tasks that are entrusted to us, we will fulfill with honor.

Voroshilov. Allow me, comrades, to regard the meeting as over today. The meeting opens tomorrow at 12 noon.

[1]  The   transcript has a title page compiled in the Archives of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee “Meeting of the Military Council with commanders and political workers on June 1‐4, 1937. The transcript is not edited. The presiding officer is Voroshilov. First meeting (June 1, 1937). Voroshilov ‐ Report on the military conspiracy in the country (fol. 1‐59). Discussion of Voroshilovʹs report: Dybenko ‐ (fol. 60‐72), Kozhanov ‐ (fol. 73‐84), Goryachev ‐ (fol. 85‐94), Smirnov ‐ (fol. 95‐102), Ludri ‐ (fol. 103 ‐109), Grinberg ‐ (fol. 110‐120), Lewandovsky ‐ (fol. 121‐134). No transcript has been issued. Note: The corrected transcript is in the documents received from the Office of the Ministry of War, case No. 6. ʺ

[2]  We are talking about the February‐March plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b), held in 1937. Stalin, Molotov, Kaganovich and Yezhov made reports at this plenum. Voroshilov and Gamarnik spoke at the plenum on the question of the situation with cadres in the army. According to them, the political and moral state of the army personnel did not cause alarm. “At the moment,” Voroshilov said, “the army is a combat‐ready armed force loyal to the party and the state ... the selection in the army is exceptional. The country gives us the best people. ʺ Repressions against party and Soviet workers began even before the February‐March plenum of the Central Committee, but after it they gained an unprecedented scale. The speeches at the plenum of Stalin, Molotov, Kaganovich and Yezhov heated up the situation in the country, directly directed the party and administrative bodies to seek out the party organizations,

[3]  So in the text.

[4]  So in the text.

[5]  Complot (French, Spanish) ‐ conspiracy.

[6]  So in the text. The meaning should be ‐ ʺwith Stalin.ʺ

[7]  So in the text.

[8]  Ostechbyuro (Special Technical Bureau for Special‐Purpose Military Inventions) ‐ a research and development organization for the development of advanced military equipment. Ostekhbyuro was created by a decree of the Council of Labor and Defense of January 18, 1921 on the basis of two departments of the State Scientific and Technical Institute (in 1914‐1920, the Central Scientific and Technical Laboratory of the military department). Until 1930, the Ostekhbyuro was in the system of the Supreme Economic Council, and then it was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Peopleʹs Commissariat for Military and Naval Affairs of the USSR (since 1934, the Peopleʹs Commissariat of Defense of the USSR). After the transfer in 1937 to the Peopleʹs Commissariat of the Defense Industry, Ostekhbyuro was renamed into Ostekhbureau. In the 1920‐1930s. in this research and development organization, a number of new models of torpedoes, sea mines and air bombs were developed, as well as radio‐controlled weapons (land mines, flamethrowers, torpedo boats, etc.). In 1939, as a result of repressions against the leaders and leading employees, the Ostekhdanagement of the Peopleʹs Commissariat of the Defense Industry was liquidated (Military encyclopedic dictionary: In 2 volumes.. 176).

[9]  Naphtha is a fraction of oil, a mixture of hydrocarbons obtained by distillation of oil or gas condensates. Naphtha was used as a motor fuel for tractors. In connection with the transition of the tractor fleet to diesel engines, naphtha has lost its significance as a motor fuel and is used mainly in instrument making as a filler for liquid devices and in some cases as a solvent (Great Soviet Encyclopedia. M., 1973. V. 14. P. 431; Soviet encyclopedic dictionary. 2nd ed. M.: Soviet encyclopedia, 1982.

S. 708; Chemical encyclopedia: In 5 volumes. M., 1990. T. 2. S. 592).

[10]  Osoaviakhim (Society for Assistance to Defense, Aviation and Chemical Construction) was a massive voluntary social‐patriotic organization that existed in the Soviet Union in 1927‐1948. The Society was created on January 23, 1927 by the merger of Aviakhim and the Society for Assistance to the Defense of the USSR. The tasks of Osoaviakhim included assistance to the aviation industry, the dissemination of military knowledge and the conduct of mass defense work. Since 1932, the chairman of the Central Council of Osoaviakhim was R.P. Eideman, arrested as a participant in the ʺmilitary‐fascist conspiracyʺ on May 22, 1937 (Military encyclopedic dictionary: In 2 volumes. M.: BRE, 2001. T. 2. S. 245).

[11]  So in the transcript.

[12]  ʺ The invasion army ʺ is a part of the armed forces of the state, which in the initial period of the war, with its active actions, was supposed to seize the strategic initiative, defeat the covering troops, disrupt the mobilization, concentration and deployment of the armed forces of the opposite side and thereby create favorable conditions for further conduct war. In the 1930s. both foreign and Soviet military theorists paid great attention to the actions of the ʺinvasion armyʺ in the initial period of the war. In 1934, in his work ʺThe Nature of Border Operationsʺ M.N. Tukhachevsky also outlined his views on the use of the ʺadvanced armyʺ, being an ardent supporter of the ideas of invading enemy territory with the beginning of the war (See: M.N. Tukhachevsky.Selected works: In 2 volumes. M., 1964. T. 2. S. 212‐221). However, during the processing of operational plans at the General Staff of the Red Army (after the execution of a group of Soviet military leaders led by M.N. Tukhachevsky), invasion operations carried out in the initial period of the war were recognized as sabotage and were excluded from Soviet strategic planning (See: Artsybashev V. A. 1937 and strategic planning in the General Staff of the Red Army // New Historical Bulletin. 2004. No. 1 (10). P. 89‐105).

[13]  So in the text. It must be Niedermeier.

[14]  Reichswehr‐ the armed forces of Germany in 1919‐1935. limited, according to the Versailles Peace Treaty of 1919, the number (ground forces ‐ 100 thousand people, the Navy ‐ 15 thousand people.) In addition, after the defeat in the First World War, Germany was prohibited from producing and being armed with aviation, armored vehicles, chemical weapons, anti‐aircraft guns and submarines; the general staff was to be disbanded. Nevertheless, in the 1920‐1930s. the efforts of the leadership of the German Reichswehr were directed at the illegal training of personnel, the gradual rearmament of the army and navy, and also at the development of a concept for the creation of massive armed forces. The Reichswehr had a hidden reserve, the socalled. ʺBlack Reichswehrʺ, consisting of units of local self‐defense (ʺHeimverʺ), soldiers and officersʹ unions, youth and sports unions and clubs, uniting several million people. Border guard units (100 thousand people) and police formations (200 thousand people) were also a reserve for the deployment of a mass army. After A. Hitler came to power (1933), plans to create massive armed forces began to be implemented in the Reichswehr. On March 16, 1935, Germany introduced universal military service, unilaterally canceling the restrictions on the military clauses of the Treaty of Versailles. On the basis of the Reichswehr, a mass army was formed ‐ by unilaterally canceling the limitations of the military articles of the Treaty of Versailles. On the basis of the Reichswehr, a mass army was formed ‐ by unilaterally canceling the limitations of the military articles of the Treaty of Versailles. On the basis of the Reichswehr, a mass army was formed ‐Wehrmacht.

[15]  So in the text.

[16]  So in the text.

[17]  So in the text.

[18]  One‐man management‐ the principle of military organizational development and centralized leadership of the army and navy, which consists in giving the commander (chief) full administrative power and appropriate rights in relation to subordinates, in imposing personal responsibility on him for all aspects of the life and activity of troops (naval forces). One‐man command is expressed in the right of the commander (chief) to make decisions, issue orders and ensure their implementation in strict accordance with the requirements of the laws of military regulations. In the course of the military reform, the Central Committee of the RCP (b) adopted on July 28, 1924 a resolution on the introduction of one‐man command in the army and navy, and the plenum of the Revolutionary Military Council of the USSR, which took place from November 24 to December 1, 1924, approved the instruction on its practical implementation. However, one‐man command did not apply to all commanders: if the commander was a communist, then he was the one‐man and carried out the functions of the drill, administrative and economic and party‐political leadership; the nonpartisan commander performed only operational‐combatant and administrative‐economic functions, and the commissar was responsible for the moral and political state of the unit, formation. The transition to full one‐man management was basically completed by 1928, and in some cases ‐ by 1931‐1933. (Military encyclopedia: In 8 volumes. M., 1994‐2003. T. 3. P. 157). and in some cases ‐ by 1931 ‐ 1933. (Military encyclopedia: In 8 volumes. M., 1994‐2003. T. 3. P. 157). and in some cases ‐ by 1931 ‐ 1933. (Military encyclopedia: In 8 volumes. M., 19942003. T. 3. P. 157).

[19]  So in the text.

[20]  So in the text.

[21]  So in the source.

[22]  So in the source.

[23]  So in the text.

[24]  So in the text.

[25]  Here and below in the transcript the surname of the brigade commissar M.M. Subotsky (Saturday).

[26]  Leader (English leader ‐ leading) ‐ a combat surface ship of the destroyer subclass, but with a larger displacement, with a higher speed of up to 43 knots (80 km / h) and reinforced artillery and torpedo armament. Appeared at the end of the First World War in Great Britain; were also used during the Second World War; by the early 1970s. excluded from all fleets. The leaders were intended to withdraw (lead) the destroyers into a group torpedo attack and their artillery cover. In the Soviet Navy, the leaders were the BF, Black Sea Fleet, Northern Fleet and Pacific Fleet. In this case, I.K. Kozhanov most likely means the leader ʺLeningradʺ, which was built at the Leningrad shipyard. A.A. Zhdanov and handed over to the fleet on December 5, 1936 (Military encyclopedic dictionary: In 2 volumes. M.: BRE, 2001. T. 1. P. 837; Dotsenko V.D. History of naval art: In 2 volumes. M., 2005. V. 1.

Armaments and theory. P. 216).

[27]  So in the transcript.

[28]  BT‐ a series of Soviet wheeled‐tracked tanks, adopted by the Red Army by order of the Revolutionary Military Council of the USSR dated May 23, 1931. The prototypes of BT tanks were two M.1940 Christie tanks, purchased without towers and weapons from the American designer John Walter Christie in April 1930. Light tanks BT, mainly BT7, were the main ones in the armored units of the Red Army and took part in the battles of the initial period of the Great Patriotic War. They were inferior to the German Pz‐III series E and F, Pz‐IV series D and E in armor and armament, but surpassed them in speed and power reserve. At the same time, the BT‐7 tanks successfully fought against the Pz‐II, 35 (t) and 38 (t), which made up about half of the Wehrmachtʹs tank fleet on the Soviet‐German front, surpassing them in firepower and maneuverability (see: Domestic armored vehicles XX century: In 4 volumes. M, 2002.Vol. 1. Domestic armored vehicles. 1905‐1941 S. 76‐

85; Shmelev I.P. The history of the tank (1916‐1996). M., 1996.S. 42).

[29]  Eighth Congress of the RCP (b)took place from 18 to 23 March 1919 in Moscow. At the congress, one of the main issues for discussion was the issue of martial law and military policy. In the report of the member of the Central Committee of the RCP (b) G. Ya. Sokolnikov, which was based on the theses of the Central Committee of the party ʺOur policy in the creation of an armyʺ, prepared by L.D. Trotsky, substantiated the need to put an end to volunteer methods in the Red Army, partisanship in the troops, create a regular Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army with iron discipline, confirmed the need to use old military specialists under the strict control of the Communist Party through a system of military commissars, it was proposed to strengthen the training of commanders from workers and peasants, to strengthen party and political organs and increase the communist influence in the Red Army. At the congress, a group of delegates from among military and party workers (the so‐called ʺmilitary oppositionʺ), the core of which were V.M., spoke out against the line of the Central Committee of the RCP (b) on certain issues of military development. Smirnov, G.I. Safarov, G.L. Pyatakov (the group also included A.S. Bubnov, K.E. Voroshilov, A.F.

Myasnikov, N.G. Tolmachev, E.M. Yaroslavsky and others). The ʺmilitary oppositionʺ expressed distrust of the old military specialists, proposed expanding the functions of military commissars in the operational command and control of troops and strengthening collegiality in the leadership of political work in the army, noted the extreme cumbersomeness of the central military institutions, considered strict centralization and strict discipline to be vestiges of the tsarist armed forces that contradicted the democratization of the army. Many delegates also criticized the chairman of the RVSR L.D. Trotsky for what, in their opinion, often ignored the rights of military commissars, allowed administration in relation to the army communists and worshiped the old military experts. The congress transferred the discussion of the military question to the military section. And then the military question was considered at a closed plenary session of the congress. V.I. Lenin, who criticized the mistakes of the ʺmilitary oppositionʺ and pointed out the need to attract military specialists to command positions, the strictest military discipline in the regular Red Army. To reach a unanimous decision on such an important issue as the military, the congress on March 22 elected a conciliation commission. As a result of the work of the conciliation commission, the resolution ʺOn the military questionʺ, which was based on the theses of the Central Committee of the RCP (b) with some amendments and editorial corrections, was adopted unanimously (with one abstention). Thus, in the course of a sharp and open discussion, based on the experience of armed struggle in the Civil War and an analysis of the military‐political situation around the RSFSR, the course towards building a regular Red Army was confirmed with an increase in party influence on the armed forces (Great Soviet Encyclopedia. Vol. 5. P. 415‐416; Military encyclopedia. T. 2. P. 134‐135). [30] So in the transcript.

[31] So in the text. Thatʹs right ‐ ʺJoseph Eremeevichʺ., [32] So in the text., 

[33]    So in the text. It should be ‐ Yakov Ivanovich Alksnis (head of the Red Army Air Force).

[34]    Possibly, we are talking about one of the Air Force agencies located in Monino.

[35]    So in the text. It must be ‐ ʺI didnʹt think about it.ʺ

[36]    This refers to the 43rd article of the ʺRegulations on the passage of service by the command and command personnel of the Red Armyʺ, announced by order of the NKO USSR No. 144 of September 26, 1935. This article ʺRegulations ...ʺ provided for the dismissal of the command and command staff from the staff Red Army: by length of service terms of active military service; for the impossibility of using due to staff reductions or reorganization and in the attestation procedure for service inconsistency. In addition, in the next, 44th article of the ʺRegulations ...ʺ it was indicated that in some cases the reasons for dismissal may be: a) personal desire; b) the verdict of the court; c) arrest by judicial or investigative authorities (RGVA. F. 4. Op. 15‐a. D. 412. L. 238‐238 rev.).

[37]    Borotbisty is a Ukrainian nationalist party of the Left Social Revolutionaries. It arose in May 1918 as a result of a split in the party of Ukrainian Socialist‐Revolutionaries. The Borotbists (from the name of the central organ of the party ‐ the newspaper Borotba) relied mainly on the nationalist intelligentsia and sought support from the middle peasantry. In 1918‐1920. the political platform of the Borotbists underwent evolution from bourgeois democracy to the recognition of the Soviet platform, however

IN AND. Lenin believed that in order to consolidate the Ukrainian people, the Borotbist party should be liquidated, and its best part should be admitted to the CP (b) U. On March 20, 1920, at the AllUkrainian Conference of Bortbists, the left side of the party achieved a decision on self‐dissolution and merger with the CP (b) U. The admission of former Borotbists to the CP (b) U was carried out on an individual basis (See: Great Soviet Encyclopedia. M., 1970. T. 3. S. 582.).

[38]    Hereinafter, the surname of the commander A.I. Todorsky ‐