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 

[11]    Transcript of the meeting of the Military Council under the Peopleʹs Commissar of Defense of the USSR on June 1‐4, 1937 (Evening meeting on June 3, 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, pp. 250‐297

Archive: RGASPI. F. 17. Op. 165.D. 60. L. 140‐279.

Meeting of the Military Council with the participation of invited comrades commanders and political workers (evening meeting) from

3. VI. 37 g. [1]

Voroshilov. Comrade Budyonny has the floor.

Budyonny. Comrades, of course, the question that we are discussing at the Military Council, and the report of Comrade Voroshilov, Peopleʹs Commissar of Defense, and the materials that we have read, and the speech of Comrade Stalin clearly emphasize the fact that somehow it really becomes only ashamed, but simply not at ease, because we ‐ the Bolsheviks ‐ worked for almost two decades and now did not notice these people who worked with us, advanced to high positions, participated in the construction of our Armed Forces.

Did we know about these people, who are they by business? They certainly knew. Tukhachevsky as I know. In the operations near Rostov, after the shock of Denikin, Kliment Efremovich and I saw that the First Cavalry Army was being misused. A scandal was raised that the Cavalry, which split Denikinʹs front, was dying here in the Bataysk swamps. They raised a scandal against Shorin, the commander. Tukhachevsky came instead of Shorin. This is where I know Tukhachevsky. Tukhachevsky seems to make it easier for the Cavalry, he rises 50 km higher along the Manych. But this position is not interesting in any way. We asked to throw the Cavalry into the junction of two armies, the army of the Kuban and the Don, and we were transferred to fight across the Manych River. They said, ʺForce it.ʺ One way or another, Tukhachevsky gives a directive to surround Denikin in Yeisk, as if Denikin was sitting with his army in Yeisk. For this, the Cavalry is thrown through Bogaevskaya. We did not obey this directive. We are moving into the joint of the army 100 kilometers from the Bataiskiye swamps above Bogaev, contrary to the directive. We beat Pavlov, then General Kryzhanovsky, then we beat Pavlov again and thus finally defeated Denikin. Denikin retreats, runs. At this time, our rifle army comes. True, the 10th Army participated in three divisions. The Ninth Army goes on the offensive. Uborevich is in command of the 9th Army. Thus, Klimenty Efremovich and I should have been shot for not following the order of the front commander, defeating the enemy not according to his order in the Yeisk district, defeating him where necessary. But the enemy is defeated, and since the enemy is defeated, the winners are not judged.

What does Tukhachevsky have to do with it? The order was not executed, and the enemy was defeated. Tukhachevsky ascribes this to himself that he came to the Sevkavkazsk front and defeated the enemy. And the one who smashed the enemy did not carry out his order. Did they know that this man was not even able to write an order that would defeat the enemy? They knew. After that, Tukhachevsky was appointed commander of the Western Front against the Poles.

Where did Tukhachevsky come from before the Sevkavkaz front? He unsuccessfully commanded against Kolchak, he was removed, and he was in reserve, so he replaced Shorin. Failed there, and then was in reserve. I came here, gave the order; his order was not carried out, and the enemy was defeated. But he still has a victory over Denikin. Uborevich right there in the 9th Army also credits himself with the victory, while he, after defeating the enemy, went and picked up trophies. Fixed it.

Voice. I didnʹt even pick‐up trophies, but walked behind.

Budyonny. I didnʹt even pick‐up trophies. I want to characterize what kind of people they are in their business. Then Tukhachevsky was appointed commander of the Western Front, and failed the entire Soviet‐Polish campaign. So?

Voices. Right.

[ Budyonny.] For this it was necessary to hang a man, at least.

(Animation in the hall.) Of course.

Voices. Right.

Budyonny. No, Tukhachevsky is starting to progress in our country: he writes a book ʺA Campaign to the Vistulaʺ and by doing this he disguises his dastardly deeds. Moreover, he deliberately does these things.

Voice. With Guy together.

Budyonny. Why deliberately? Who is Tukhachevsky? He came from captivity to make a social revolution for us. He gets to Leningrad, there, in Smolny, the Red Guard detachments were formed. He appeared and introduced himself to Lenin: ʺI want to take part in the revolution, although I am an officer of the Semenovsky regiment.ʺ Then, as he said, a resolution was imposed by Lenin himself: to enroll in the Red Guard so that he would participate there. Hence now it becomes clear to me that this is not a spy [19] in 27, but a spy sent by the Germans here, to us, to participate not in the revolution, but in spying on us. Now this is becoming clear.

[ Voice.] Uborevich also came from captivity.

Budyonny. In my opinion, Aronshtam is also of this brand: ʺFrom captivity, you see, he fled, they beat me there, escapedʺ, etc. In a word, this is also a brand spy of 1917. So, these are natural spies, indigenous German spies. Next is Tukhachevsky. Recently commanded the Leningrad district, before being appointed deputy. Peopleʹs Commissar. Everyone knew the county had failed. The circumstances were such that it was necessary to appoint him. We put it forward ourselves and we all knew about it, but put up with this matter, engaged in conciliation. They treated these people conciliatoryly, who could be seen from beginning to end that they were enemies. Who is Uborevich, judging by his military affairs? I have already said that in the 9th Army, he picked up trophies.

Dybenko. And I didnʹt pick up any trophies. He approached Apsheronskaya when the entire enemy was defeated, and everything was already over.

Budyonny. Then he commands the 14th Army against the Poles. Yakir on his flank commanded the so‐called group. They fled not only from the Poles, but they were driven by the rebels of Petliura. When Kliment Efremovich and I approached on the Polish front, we saw that before meeting the Poles, we met the veil of the Petliura insurgents. And from them he flew away. He then commands the 13th Army. By chance or not by accident, the entire Wrangel army consisted of the 13th Army.

Voice. And the chief of staff, Alafuso, had a straight wire.

Budyonny. Now this Uborevich is in Dnepropetrovsk; the whole army knows that he ran around the city in his pants, without pants he ran around the city. I learned this when the entire army, after the defeat of Wrangel,         stopped in            Yekaterinoslav, all           the          inhabitants          of Yekaterinoslav told about Uborevich: he ran through the streets without pants. (Laughter.) Then this ʺheroʺ Uborevich is appointed by us, with our assistance. Peopleʹs Commissar, Chief of Armaments. Then, frightened by these big questions, or as is now evident, by conspiracy, on the advice, he was removed from this post. He asked to be sent to the district, but when this issue was discussed, there was a tendency to put him in chief of Staff [of the Red Army]. This manifested itself on the part of Tukhachevsky and others.

So, these people gradually, with our help and our assistance, occupied the appropriate positions, achieved these positions. We looked at this matter modestly, as if it should be so. It seemed that it was in the order of things. But in general, what happened? Doesnʹt anyone know what kind of people they are? Who is Yakir? This is such a worm, this was Trotskyʹs closest person, a Trotskyist himself. During the war, he never showed himself in any way. He commanded the group. It seemed to Kliment Efremovich and I that he was a good commander. That is, in what sense? He followed the army, did not lag behind much. (General laughter.) If you give an order, it will carry it out. So, he moved to Lviv


Stalin. With a group?

Budyonny. Yes.

Stalin. He did something after all. Not much, but I did.

Budyonny. Kotovskyʹs brigade was his group all the time.

Stalin. He tried, moved.

Budyonny. I say that he was the most mobile in comparison with other commanders.

Voroshilov. Kotovskyʹs group fought great.

Budyonny. Kotovsky fought both for the 45th division and for himself. We know this, which is why Yakir moved behind this brigade, because he had it in his division. It was a group. We approached Lviv. We rushed to occupy Lviv and then wanted to go to Lublin.

Stalin. It would be better.

Budyonny. And what they did to us, to the Cavalry Army, is a betrayal. Trotskyʹs betrayal, of course. We left 6 kilometers from Lviv. Here are all Yakirʹs ʺexploitsʺ, if not to count the fact that he gave, together with Garkavy to the disarmed Cossacks in the Gunderovskaya stanitsa, a detachment of partisans who were armed. They called them to the village to have lunch, put them in prison, disarmed them, killed the partisans, and Garkavy and Yakir fled.

Voice. It was in the Kazan village.

Budyonny. Yes, it was in Kazanskaya stanitsa, not in Gunderovskaya, as I said. This is also a ʺfeatʺ. Here are two ʺfeatsʺ for a man, the rest is counter‐revolution.

Voice. Hike Odessa, Mishka Yaponchik.

Budyonny. Thatʹs all this epic ‐ Jan ‐ known to everyone. In short, people who are famous for their business. How did it happen that we overlooked all this? Clement Efremovich and Comrade Stalin correctly said: ʺCarelessness on the one hand, successes on the other.ʺ We just lost our Bolshevik edge. Who does not know how these people persecuted the same Dybenko, the same Lewandovsky, the same Velikanov, the same Kulik? There is no such person who would not get into their mill.

Voice. There is.

Budyonny. Few people have not been involved in such a turnover. These people were directly persecuted at every step. I will not talk about myself; you all know that the whole army knows how they mocked. Are these people militarily literate or illiterate? Of course, they have something that cannot be taken away from them.

Stalin. They worked on themselves, studied.

Budyonny. Quite right, they did, Comrade Stalin, but I must say: those from whom they demanded, and they also studied, also read a lot in order not to be fools in front of these idiots. (Laughter.) How did they react to all this? Not the way the Bolsheviks should react, but they reacted ‐ itʹs a shame to call it ‐ not in a Bolshevik way. And if not in a Bolshevik way, then this is very bad. This is so bad that not only is it a shame, but the body is trembling, unpleasant.

Then someone spoke out and said that the population treats the army in such a way that the army is an unquestionable thing. Comrade Stalin and Kliment Efremovich, if we now have this vile picture of a conspiracy in the army, then when you figure it all out, it couldnʹt have been otherwise.

Stalin. It is necessary to cleanse as soon as possible, as the NKPS is cleansed, and it works well; The GPU has cleared up, and it works great.

Budyonny. We will do this, I swear, Comrade Stalin. I swear, Comrade Stalin, that it will, it will permeate every soldier. We will do this. But the army is such an object that if there was nothing here, it would not be enemies, but some kind of junk. If they penetrated all the economic organs, how could they let the army go? This is an object that attracts the enemy like a magnet.

Only we did not consider that the enemy could penetrate us. And if we took into account, then, as soon as he entered, we would have thrown him out immediately. It was necessary to create this situation. Now, comrades, allow me to dwell at least for one minute on the certification procedure and the conferring of titles. We certify a person like this. Anyone who is a good commander, we just say ʺgoodʺ because he prepares the part. We are talking about a commander: such and such a regiment commander or a division commander, over the past year of combat training his regiment or division looks so or so good. Well, there, it is also indicated, in addition to this, that it is good in shooting, satisfactory in tactical training, in drill, in physical ‐ this and that. All in all, good. Why canʹt we certify this person, whether he is ours or not, whether he is loyal to the party or not? This must be said, about the person himself. We say today that he is politically literate. Is he devoted to the party, is he devoted to the country or not? And since we do not speak, it means that we do not know who he is, what person.

Stalin. Right.

Budyonny. We are only talking about a part. And we do not say about the commander, who he is, for whom he will fight, we do not know.

Stalin. There must be both a business approach and a political one.

Budyonny. Yes sir. There must be both a business approach and a political one. When I sign about this commander, who he is ‐ ours or not ‐ this is how I answer. And since I do not answer, then I write ʺgoodʺ even about the one whom I want to get rid of from the district, which as a commander is not suitable. He comes to another district and fails there.

Stalin. Are they giving fake certification? It wonʹt do.

Budyonny. Yes Yes. Such a person has been traveling for decades, he does not get along anywhere in any place of work. I arrived at one, then they drive me on. What to do? The question is clear. Here the comrades revealed a great many shortcomings of the wrecking order. Iʹve been listening carefully. Well, all the people sitting here know about this, and now they know that these are indeed sabotage cases. Where have we been? So, why can anyone here make excuses for any of the people sitting here? You canʹt. You and I are all to blame, we all flapped, we knew about it. This means that they put up with this sabotage, there was no such alarm, as Comrade Stalin says, since it is bad ‐ speak in a bass voice so that you can be heard. And we talk among ourselves not only in a bass, in a whisper. They knew, but in fact it is not visible.

I conclude, Kliment Efremovich, by the fact that there are many more people about whom I will send you lists, people who need to be checked both from your point of view and along our own line we will check. There are such people. Not a single person should be left if he raises doubts and suspicions. Then, if he turns out to be innocent, he must be worked on so that he is not in doubt. Here, comrades, some of my comrades came up to me in connection with the speech of Comrade Stalin, or rather in connection with the fact that Comrade Stalin had made a recommendation to Abashidze [3]. I was asked: ʺA recommendation to the party?ʺ No.

Stalin. A recommendation as a commander.

Budyonny. I gave a recommendation for entering the academy. It was at a meeting of the Revolutionary Military Council. Eliava comes up to me, being a member of the Revolutionary Military Council, and says: ʺSign the recommendation of Abashidze, you know him, he was the commandant of the city, he needs to learn.ʺ I’m like an idiot ‐ which I don’t recommend you do either: don’t sign the recommendation, since you don’t know the person, ‐ I signed the recommendation, for which you now have to blush. But, Comrade Stalin, this will not happen again. Stalin. This is the most important thing that will not happen again.

Budyonny. Let me assure Comrade Stalin and the Politburo as a whole that this school that we have passed through is a piece, a responsible piece of our proletarian revolution, and we, the sons of the revolution, must correct these mistakes.

Voroshilov (presiding). Comrade Meretskov has the floor.

Meretskov. Comrades, it is especially difficult for me for two reasons. The first reason. Yesterday I rode from the Spanish battlefields as a proud man, I wanted to show off ...

Stalin. You behaved well there.

Meretskov. How our people know how to die at the direction of the party.

Voroshilov. Fight and win.

Meretskov. This is the first thing. And second, for two years I was the chief of staff with Uborevich.

Stalin. What?

Meretskov. I believe that I was close to him, and in this respect my fault was most of all, because I slept peacefully next to the enemy. And I must say: not only overslept, but there were many cases that I was blindly working for his authority.

Voice. He was engaged in politicking.

[ Meretskov.] Wait, Iʹll tell you about you in due time. Uborevich was an authority in my eyes. I worked extremely hard under his leadership. I worked with the same intensity under the guidance of other commanders. They are here. I believed Uborevich, I believed Yakir even more. And he was always jealous. I said that Uborevich is a very great gentleman in relation to people; if he was the way his comrades from the Ukraine characterize Yakir, Uborevich would be an irreplaceable person.

Stalin. Yakir was simpler, thatʹs right.

Meretskov. The tenants here, by the way, said poorly, he could say more. We have always worked together and both were fools. We talked about these cases together. Letʹs take a case like this now. How could I, from which end to approach, how could I not believe Uborevich? Before my eyes, I first got acquainted with him in the Moscow district, in front of my eyes he was appointed commander of the Moscow capital military district, in front of my eyes he was appointed deputy. Peopleʹs Commissar, Chief of Armaments, before my eyes he was appointed commander of a particularly important Belorussian district, before my eyes he was chosen as a candidate member of the Party Central Committee, before my eyes he was approved as a member of the Rev [military] council ...

Isaenko. What follows from this?

Meretskov. What follows from this, Comrade Isaenko? It was a veil, just like yours when you sat under the wing of two pests. We must also demand an answer from you. Cork was not such a great leader; you will have to ask: why did you not see him as an enemy? Iʹll tell you later in what a stupid position I found myself when I became a buffer for him. Zhiltsov and I talked more than once on this topic, and even when he attacked the Peopleʹs Commissar, we decided not to do anything even then, because believed that relations between Voroshilov and Uborevich should not be aggravated. Now I understand that it was a big mistake, that we did not pose the question in a Bolshevik way, in a party way. I talked to Smirnov. Smirnov often warned me: ʺLook, behave more solidly, be more careful.ʺ Smirnov warned me, I am honest. Belov, (Laughter.) He did not call him otherwise. I could always speak frankly with him on this issue, but we spoke to each other, but we did not raise the issue of the party, slept through. And when I was leaving, I said to Smirnov: “Here, Pyotr Alexandrovich, you were angry with me, now I am leaving. Tell me I was a buffer. ʺ And there, on the spot, among whom did I see Uborevich? Rumyantsev, Gikalo, Goloded. Voice. Wrong about Gikalo.

Meretskov. I speak as it was. He was not only with Goloded, but also with Gikalo.

Stalin. He visited everyone.

Voices. Gikalo met him very little.

Meretskov. Why do you say when I myself was and saw him among these people, among the party activists, among the members of the Central Committee? All this made to treat him with respect. I overslept this case, worked, let them say that I slept more hours a day, but overslept this case. What was he doing? He comes from Moscow (let Zhiltsov say), says: ʺI was at Stalinʹs, was at Ordzhonikidzeʹs, talked to Mikoyan.ʺ Sometimes he only referred to Voroshilov. You sit and listen: ʺI was at Stalinʹs dacha.ʺ

Stalin. Once in a lifetime.

Meretskov. Itʹs clear now. Itʹs good to be smart in hindsight.

Stalin. Have you noticed that he is a little braggart?

Meretskov. I noticed. Heʹs a big braggart.

Voroshilov. Why didnʹt you ask: ʺWas he at Stalinʹs?ʺ

Meretskov. How could I ask, I blindly believed him?

Voroshilov. On the one hand, you knew that he was a braggart, but on the other hand, you blindly believed him.

Meretskov. Let Zhiltsov confirm. He came and stated that [that] he had seen Mikoyan, talked with Ordzhonikidze, you have in mind this and that. Here Khrulev spoke, he also called him a bastard. When I worked in the Moscow district, I wanted to write about my relationship with Shilovsky, who treated me like a pig and often tricked me. Even how he cheered, to tears! I endured and believed that I should work with this person. Then I decided to write a statement to the Peopleʹs Commissar, saying: ʺThere is no more strength.ʺ Khrulev is sitting here, he will tell you how it was. ʺFor you,ʺ he says, ʺweʹll pour it in.ʺ Maybe this is the main fault of all of us. We practically worked, we could not help but see a lot, but did not finish it, we thought: how will I go, how will I say? Khrulev can confirm this. The scribe sits here, he also knows. Iʹve seen Uborevichʹs entire personal life. I know a lot.

Voroshilov. Bastard life.

Meretskov. Intriguer.

Voroshilov. Why were you silent?

Meretskov. Two‐faced person. Dirty person. In my opinion, all this was known. A coward and a gentleman in relation to the commanding staff. He called the commanders fools, and they all endured it. Smirnov often talked to him, said that it was impossible. Their fight reached the devil knows what extremes.

Voice from the place. Smirnov rolled up his sleeves and fought with him.

Meretskov. But I tell you honestly that I believed in Smirnov as a proletarian. True, I sometimes believed Uborevich more than Smirnov. Voice from the place. And not only sometimes, but always.

Meretskov. No, Iʹm sorry. Let Smirnov say that, with whom I worked, not you.

Voice from the place. And what kind of friend were you Veklichev? Tell me.

Meretskov. Iʹve never been his friend. I always came across him and raised the question that I could not work. I considered Veklichev an adventurer, a man completely unprepared either militarily or politically. Veklichev did not use any authority, I know this for sure.

And if Veklichev has even a little conscience, he will say it.

What line was the sabotage going? Now that I have checked all this, it would be possible to catch on to some questions and raise them seriously, in principle, in a party‐like manner. Here is the first point, I put it as the main one, because there was some push. I took measures, it is true, bad measures, but still took. Kliment Efremovich arrived and brought the Kutyakov book, which he gave under great secret to Uborevich.

Stalin. Who!

Meretskov. Peopleʹs Commissar.

Voroshilov. Nothing like this.

Meretskov. I say what I was told. As you know, I was sick then. Uborevich gave this book to me and said: ʺRead and give your opinion.ʺ I read Kutyakovʹs letter to the editor, read Comrade Sedyakinʹs preface, looked through thirty pages, came to Uborevich and said: ʺI absolutely do not understand what the matter is.ʺ Incidentally, I fought a lot with Sedyakin over the fundamental issues of combat training. He tested me, I conducted exercises in front of him. I said that the book is exceptional, here it is against everyone, against Stalin, against Voroshilov, against the Cavalry Army. I myself am a cavalry soldier, if you remember, Semyon Mikhailovich.

Budyonny. I know I know.

Meretskov. I fought honestly in the 4th Cavalry Division. Kliment Efremovich appointed him a deadline for this book, the time has come. Voroshilov. Did you give this book to him?

Meretskov. Maybe Khmelnitsky gave it to him. I also asked Khmelnitsky to read this book, when I was in Sochi, I was there for a long time.

Budyonny. Uborevich received a separate copy from Kutyakov. Khmelnitsky is sitting here; you have to ask him.

Meretskov. We decided that this issue would be discussed in Moscow. I came to Moscow, came to Comrade Klochko, and began to ask him to give me an independent copy of this book. Klochko explained that he was protesting against this book, that he gave it to the Peopleʹs Commissar, that all the members of the Military Council would be given all the actual documents, that the archives were being checked and it would be proved that what was written in this book was nonsense. Keep in mind that I am a cavalry soldier, I can speak on this issue. I meet Uborevich again in Moscow and ask: ʺWhat about Kutyakovʹs book, for which you ordered me to write a conclusion?ʺ ‐ “Do you know that Voroshilov, Yakir and the whole company are being butchered there, how they fought in the war? Let them print it, the people will look. ʺ So literally it was said.

Voroshilov. Who said that?

Meretskov. Uborevich. {Noise.)

Voices. What did you do?

[ Meretskov.] I didnʹt do anything. This book mentioned Comrade Stalin, a member of the Revolutionary Military Council. The Peopleʹs Commissar said that this book would be transferred to the Military Council, and I was getting ready. You can see all the presentation cards for this book. Since I was not engaged in anything, this business was handy for me. This is a political signal. 1935, competition with the Ukrainian Military District.

Voices. 1933 g.

Voices. 1934 g.

Meretskov. This competition played an extremely harmful role. What was there? There was also eyewash, Iʹm sure of that. I donʹt believe there was 150 [%].

Voice. Sedyakin was checking the 4th division.

Meretskov. I can say everything, and I will continue to oppose Comrade Sedyakin. There are mushrooms here. Sedyakin checked the 4th division in good faith. We knew that the Ukrainian Military District had great success. I was worried after checking every shooter. When the results were announced, then only Smirnov arrived. There were such speeches that the Peopleʹs Commissar always covers Yakir, the Peopleʹs Commissar ‐ a friend is given [4]. And when this issue was discussed, Comrade Fedko, then I said: “Why are you worried, go deputy. commander ʺ.

Voice. Tell us how you offered Lapin to the Primorskaya border [5].

Meretskov. You asked: ʺWho will be at the Primorsky group?ʺ I said:

“Lapin. He is a man who has four orders. ʺ

Stalin. In Manchuria, he fought well.

Meretskov. Yes, he fought well. I didnʹt know he was a spy. He was not a bad communist; he fought on the barricades. I didnʹt know he was a spy. I said that he knows the East, he knows this business. Thatʹs right, I told you. This is absolutely certain. Now I have to be completely frank. Blucher was ill, everyone knows that, but at the same time, despite any telegrams from Moscow that we were delaying operational plans, Blucher looked through everything himself to the last point. I went after him. Sometimes he was even embarrassed because the chief of staff was new, but I always told him: ʺVasily Konstantinovich, a revised document always has great value.ʺ And until he himself made a decision on each issue; he did not let go of this matter. Why am I saying this? In order to respond to those who have made statements here such as, in particular,

Here Comrade Fedko knows that we offered to build two lines of concrete, but we were cut off funds. Of course, two lines are better than one, but when the funds are cut, two lines will not be built. I want to say by this that it was not sabotage here, it was not by malicious intent that we did not build two lines, but because we either missed, or were forced by circumstances. The same applies to the fact that the Slutsk direction is not closed.

Voice. There is no need to talk about it.

Meretskov. Then I finish. In terms of operational issues. Comrade Egorov must confirm, I repeat, that now it is very difficult, not entirely bad. Here they were working out a plan for Belarus, there was Cherny ‐ a most wonderful comrade, a good communist; now died. I sat with him day and night. Marshal Egorov and Obysov, we worked day and night. But you know how the plans were approved. Usually, Uborevich and Egorov sat with a pen, and now they usually crossed out, crossed out, corrected, supplemented. But our main task was to get the plan approved.

Of course, I must say that if I had approached in a party‐like manner, I would have given more signals. I didnʹt give it, I slept. Itʹs very hard for me. This is especially difficult for me because I now see how our young cadres, senior lieutenants are fighting in Spain. Here is Comrade ..., [6] senior lieutenant, he is now leading the best Liser [7] division. Keep in mind that it was with them that we defeated the Guadalajara Italian Corps, with our wonderful people we won the Battle of Haram. Many people still know little about this battle, the battle on the Haram parade ground. Cooper is sitting here, he can confirm, and Berezin can also confirm [8] ... There are our wonderful people at the head of the international brigade: whether they are fighting in the Spanish troops or on airplanes ‐ everywhere they are fighting well. On Guadalajara, 4 tankers went crazy from fatigue, but none of the tankers thought to say that they were tired. This is under such conditions, when during the day they fight, and at night they are under the air enemy. This pleasure is not particularly pleasant: when you sleep at night, and bombs are placed nearby; and you do not know which house is destroyed ‐ yours or the neighboring one.

It is especially hard for me to experience all this because I was traveling here in a different mood. I repeat for the second time that it is very difficult for me, because I was close to these enemies. But I fought honestly all my adult life. Many people know that when the party demanded, I went on the attack in front of everyone under machinegun fire. If they send tomorrow, I will also go as I went 7 attacks into battle, and if they tell me that tomorrow I need to return and go on the attack again, I will go. Comrades, I am absolutely sure that this wound will be healed very quickly. The Red Army will show that it is strong not because it had a group of bosses, but because it was brought up in its entirety by the Communist Party. The army itself is a great force; it was not individuals who played a role in it. Under the leadership of our Central Committee, we are now ready to carry out any combat mission. That, that I saw how people fought gives me confidence to say that any of our districts is ready to carry out combat missions. It was in vain that some thought and still think that there was only one Uborevich in the Belorussian district. Excellent Red Army men, commanders, Bolsheviks worked and are working there. And the Belorussian district, and the Far Eastern army, and all other districts from where this bastard was taken, they can now actively work in battle. Slept, nothing can be done.

Voroshilov. Comrade Stepanov has the floor.

Stepanov. Comrades, it seems to me that apart from the fact that we have lost our political edge, it seems to me that we have begun to forget the glorious traditions of the Red Army during the Civil War. When among us, the old commanders, there was deep faith in ourselves, when we strongly believed in each other, when we met each other with great joy, shared everything, and how we subsequently fought for the general line of the party. Then came a more difficult period for us, and in this period we to some extent weakened our political acuteness, Bolshevik vigilance, showed carelessness. Comrades, I served in the Belarusian Military District twice. Once, when Alexander Ilyich was in command, and another time when Uborevich was in command. No matter how the commanders of the Belarusian Military District say that Uborevich did not enjoy authority, no matter how they talk about

Voice from the place. Rubbed glasses.

Stepanov. We have seen this. We all know that he rubbed glasses in and knew how to rub glasses.

Voice from the place. Thatʹs it.

Stepanov. The comrades have already spoken from this rostrum that we did not have the courage and courage to firmly raise these questions. But, comrades, when the issues of combat training, the results or tasks of combat training were discussed, the following words appeared: Commander of the troops, Comrade Uborevich demands. As if there were no orders from the Peopleʹs Commissar, as if there were no directives and instructions from the General Staff. Everything was covered by the commander. We all, of course, felt it. There was especially deep fermentation among the political workers, but we did not have enough full voice to loudly declare this.

Now, comrades, a few words about operational training. Having appeared in the Belorussian district from the central office, I was warned by the old command that at the very first military game, and this war game should have been very difficult, with the use of aviation among the masses and its use on the battlefield, keep in mind: you there will be an exam, and if you only fail at this very first game, then you will generally be questioned in the Belarusian district. Well, I realized that immediately, I prepared accordingly during the night, and I saw how this cultured commander, as they call him, how he wiped out the best command staff, how this cultured commander wiped out old commanders. Comrade Belarusians remember the question asked by Skuld ... [9]: “Comrade. Skuld ..., give Heinkelʹs data N‐70. Skuld ... as before the old corps commander jumps up, incoherently reports on speed and flight data. He is forced to stand for 20 minutes in front of the cultural commander, and then they say: ʺThis is not for you to beat your thumbs in the Leningrad district, here you have to work, think with your head, etc.ʺ There was indignation, there was a dull ferment, but there was no willpower to say and put it on for real.

Voices. Right.

Stepanov. I don’t know if there was a serious attempt at this matter, I personally don’t know such attempts, but we had conversations among ourselves. Comrade Goryachev here did not talk about how he was forced to play the game so that he could overcome the fortified area with his cavalry. I commanded this fortified area on the Polish side. I put up against the cavalry in the fortified area ... [10] I managed to give the first command. This was cultivated in the Belorussian district: the corps advances, you find yourself in a difficult situation, and you can say: the corps stand still, and it stops. (Laughter.) This was cultivated, the commanders of the Belarusian Military District know this. There was a team to pick up, to the left ... How does this fit with the operational calculation? I had only had time to give a command when Goryachev attacked me with his cavalry, and nothing remained of the fortified area. It must be said openly that we think that such a situation is quite possible; if we observe surprise, we can take a well‐fortified area.

When comrade Dybenko was in charge of the game, I also commanded the side that was beaten, the blue ones are supposed to be beaten. I remember this game very well now. We have consolidated at BrestLitovsk. Comrade Dybenko possesses sufficient forces and, according to all the rules, plays the game, forces them to knock out, blow up the front, and then only gives a certain operational opportunity. And he is accused of slowness of action. Comrade Dybenko, do you remember that? Why didnʹt you say here?

Dybenko. Say that you openly opposed the corps commander. Because he made me start this game.

Stepanov. When the analysis was carried out, it was announced on behalf of the General Staff that there are three types of command personnel: the highest type or the best people ‐ this is under the leadership of Uborevich. I am including, I then belonged to this group. The second category of command personnel is the Moscow Military District. And the third category is Belarusians.

Voice. This Levichev said.

Stalin. And what did he do, this Levichev?

Voice. Illiterate bully.

Stepanov. When we left after this analysis, there was indignation among us. I remember there is a group of commanders ...

Scribe. Why did he say at the banquet that Uborevichʹs school is the best school?

Stepanov. Pavel Efimovich came up and said, he told us rather firmly, the command staff: ʺIf at the moment of difficult trials something like that happens, then I, in any case, will break my throat.ʺ I declare how it was. Little of. Comrades commanders, we need to report this, because we need to know about it. If there is a commander of the troops or a lieutenant, captain, major, colonel at an exercise, then he can safely give the command to run, regardless of any situation, and he can certainly receive praise. This is how combat training was conducted.

How much money has been handed out for this, how much praise has been handed out for it! Indeed, in one attempt, a timid attempt to object, the commander was erased. I want to connect this with the fact that it is necessary to expose this high culture, these low and nasty people. It is not true that these are people of high culture. It is not right. I was listening to Semyon Mikhailovich Budyonny here. Didnʹt we work on ourselves, didnʹt we, the commanders who came from the lower classes, sat and did nothing, didnʹt work on ourselves? No, we also worked.

Comrades, a question concerning my personal terms of reference. Yes, comrades, I must say, I remember the 16th Party Congress, when we ‐ 4 delegates to the Congress ‐ were persuaded to vote for Uborevich. Do you remember, Comrade Peopleʹs Commissar?

Voices. Everyone remembers, the late Sergo ...

Stepanov. I remember this case. But, comrades, love, as many say, was not for Uborevich. There was a fear of a cruel, strong, strong and, I would say, an armed hand. Here, many say that he very often mentioned the name of the leader, Comrade Stalin. Comrades, every time you try to oppose something else, you are opposed to authority. After all, we are disciplined people, this authority has always been given to us.

Comrades, in the range of my activities, I have been entrusted with such a work that I must first understand. Must be a trained commander, must be literate first of all. And this is a matter on which I am set, a chemical matter, comrades. Let me tell you bluntly, I am convinced of this, this business is being redeemed. A theory was carried out ‐ why did I know this matter so little in the army? ‐ a practical theory was carried out into practice that, apart from a certain circle of people, no one knows or can know anything about this matter. If you raised a question, you were bombarded with such formulas that are extremely difficult to digest in your own head and figure out this matter. I am obliged to justify the trust that has been entrusted to me in this matter. I must say bluntly that I could not for a short period of time when I went to the Peopleʹs Commissar, report back to him in the affirmative. And because of this, the peopleʹs commissar had a doubt against me. This doubt will be dispelled by deed. I accept that. We need to convince. It is necessary to show by deeds, but I had no data. But now, after having worked for 10 months, now I also have convictions, Comrade Peopleʹs Commissar.

But let me tell you, comrade commanders, here Commander

Mezheninov asks a           question, when  we presented insufficiently processed gas masks, that your gas mask is prepared for offensive or defense. It used to be that we [put on] the gas mask and sit. It is true that a gas mask is not meant to act, maneuver, or beat in a gas mask. Our gas mask is not adapted for this.

Fedko. Keep in mind that our army is disarmed in this respect.

Stepanov. I know that she is not sufficiently armed. Here Comrade Kulik said that very often the government is misled. Comrade Molotov, I must report to you that there is a resolution on the part in which I work, which is written in such a way that it is impossible to fulfill it, and to date it has not been fulfilled. Molotov. What ruling?

Stepanov. No. 156 in chemistry.

Molotov. Was the chemical department objected or not?

Stepanov. No.

Molotov. Peopleʹs Commissar objected?

Stepanov. I do not know.

Molotov. Nothing was done against their wishes.

Stepanov. I say that I present this case to the government in this form, because this case was at the mercy. I said that this case is impossible. And they told me: ʺThink about it, you yourself are not convinced.ʺ Now I am convinced that this car will not come out. We need to reorganize, ask the government again and say that we did not understand this matter. There is a government decision, but the industry does nothing. This is the easiest. But one must be able to put it in such a way that it can be done. Comrades, the navy threw papers on the issue of degassing, on the issue of protective equipment.

Voice. This is poorly delivered.

[ Stepanov] Right. Your letter is correct, but let me report that this is a big business and cannot be immediately corrected. Alexander Ilyich immediately understood and ordered to work. Comrades commanders, who knows how degassing is carried out, the material part ‐ horses, people on a military field? Where will the horses go, where are the machine guns to go, where are the cannons so that the battle will not be stopped? There is no organization, registration of this in the army. You cannot do it this way. We must prepare peacefully so as not to be caught unawares.

Once again, I conclude that the matter is difficult, difficult, and I do not think that we have failed, but I must report that we need to learn. In general, I thought that one should be careful with commanders; it turns out, no, the matter is big, complicated, but nevertheless it cannot be outsourced. This deed can be done and it will be proven.

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

Blucher. I will have to answer some of the questions posed by Comrade Fedko. Iʹll start with them. Comrade Fedko, with [o] his characteristic simplicity, in my opinion, did comrade Gryaznov a disservice by reproaching him for allegedly conducting a wrong policy towards the commander of the Trans‐Baikal group, comrade Gryaznov. What, in fact, is the grain of truth expressed by Comrade Fedko? I really shared my impressions with him after a trip to Transbaikalia in 1935 about business, combat training, and that a lot of people in the Transbaikal district were shouting that they had mastered the form of conducting troops in mountainous conditions [11] that is actually not true. That they have mastered, I would say, the ostentatious side, the form of this battle, but in reality this form of conducting troops in mountainous taiga or mountainous terrain has not been worked out. An example of this was the teaching near Chita, the corps teaching, which was carried out and led by Gryaznov himself. Moreover, I would say, a shameful exercise, when a corps deployed at a front of 30 kilometers, a corps that had unwound only one communications for 60 kilometers, at the decisive moment of the battle brought up to the enemy, had no connection. The corps commander did not know where the division was. The division did not know what the forward units were doing. And I remember a very colorful assessment here by one of the signalmen to the leadership itself. A long‐term employee, apparently an old communications commander, walks knee‐deep in snow and swears. I follow this very trail and ask: ʺWhy are you swearing?ʺ ‐ ʺHere are our bosses, damn them, the third day without sleep, without food, then give me a connection to this height, wait an hour or two ‐ no, they are not, then to another height.ʺ ‐ ʺWhat do you think is going on?ʺ “I don’t understand anything in this matter.”

Comrade Gryaznov knows that I made a very harsh assessment of these teachings, so harsh that Comrade Gryaznov did not appear at the May 1, 1935 parade held in Chita; he fell ill and rested at home. I remember we returned to this once again at the Military Council in 1936, and there I emphasized a certain appearance [12]and as an example of this appearance the Trans‐Baikal Military District cited. We then analyzed the indicators of this appearance, analyzed both the corps exercises and the exercises conducted in Chita. Comrades probably remember that I was out of order then, the Peopleʹs Commissar made me speak, literally forced me. Then he came up to me and said: ʺWell, that turned out well, but you didnʹt want to perform.ʺ Indeed, I did not want to perform because I got a lot there then for my sins, and for the sins of others, and most importantly, for the sins of the army for which I am responsible.

I think, Comrade Gryaznov, you were not quite right at that time oriented by people who wanted to use both you and me. And not only Lapin, but also Gamarnik. In order to answer some questions, I was looking for Gamarnikʹs report. Would you like me to read this document to you? Only today reading this document led me to the fact that he was engaged in a greater share [13] and double‐dealing. This is what he writes to me: ʺVasily Konstantinovich, you see, it turned out well, your performance is correct and very good.ʺ This is an assessment of your work in the Trans‐Baikal District. What was I talking about when I was talking about Gryaznov? I also spoke about Gryaznov as a commander, as a communist.

Stalin. About whom?

Blucher. About Gryaznov. I said I will not hide it. We all know Gryaznov, and I wonʹt make a big mistake if I say the following about him, what I said then to Fedko. ʺGryaznov is a good commander, a capable commander, but it seems to me that he has two shortcomings.ʺ Here Kashirin smiles, because we both know these shortcomings, because Gryaznov commanded in the 30th brigade. Its first flaw is extreme ambition.

Fedko. In my opinion, he is a modest person.

Blucher. You, Comrade Fedko, in your simplicity ...

Fedko. Gamarnik and everyone else always considered me a simpleton who could be influenced, who could be attracted.

Blucher. If you object to this, I take back the characterization [of] you as an ordinary person. Hardly any of the members of the Council will disagree with me about Gryaznovʹs ambition.

Voices. Right.

Blucher. Is this a bad quality or not? Of course not. Why not be ambitious when youʹre right. Ambition drives good work. But ambition is a good quality as long as it does not cross the line, as long as it is healthy, correct, as long as it does not cross the line and turns into a shaher‐maher, up to squabbles.

Does Comrade Gryaznov have this quality? There is. I told Fedko about this. Here I would like to give one reference. In 1925, on the fifth anniversary of the capture of Perekop [14], Pravda or Izvestia — I don’t remember, then I was abroad — published an article by the late Comrade Frunze. There these qualities are very well shown at one point, which, etc. Gryaznov knows.

And, finally, the last, which testifies to a certain inclination of Comrade Gryaznov to squabbles, if one may call it that. Let Klimenty Efremovich not scold me. I think that maybe now it will be possible to make a certain reassessment of values ‐ the relationship of Klimenty Efremovich to me, but I want to give one example that characterizes Comrade Gryaznov. Klimenty Efremovich, everyone in the army knew that you dislike me, or rather, you do not dislike me, but that you are extremely critical of me. Is that so?

Voroshilov. Not certainly in that way.

Blucher. So, they interpreted. And so, Comrade Gryaznov, being an employee of the ABT [U] of the Red Army, comes to instruct the units of the OKDVA, which were then just emerging. He spent the night with me, dined twice. I am not distinguished by great hospitality, but we ‐ old comrades in the division, drank 2‐3 glasses each. I remember that I drank less than he did. And then they started talking about human moods. I tell him that Klimenty Efremovich does not always, in my opinion, correctly assess my requests, sometimes my proposals, seeing something wrong in this. Comrade Gryaznov letʹs be honest. What did you answer me? Thatʹs right, thatʹs right, Klimenty Efremovich doesnʹt like you.

Gryaznov. This is not true. I affirm.

Blucher. This is a new quality that I did not know about you before. (General laughter.) Iʹll tell you exactly where you were sitting. You told me that Klimenty Efremovich is not entirely friendly to me, but that I have great support in the person of Comrade Stalin, whom I had never visited on OKDVA affairs, and that a letter should be written to Comrade Stalin.

Gryaznov. It is right.

Blucher. If the second part is correct, then it is called by the first part. (General laughter.) This is the logic of things. You did him a disservice, Ivan Fedorovich.

Fedko. What, I don’t understand?

Blucher. I don’t know what. Comrade Fedko raised a number of questions. I would not answer them if they did not somewhat obscure the correct state of affairs that was created in the army, and most importantly the huge facts of sabotage, espionage, sabotage that were being prepared in the Far East and which we had in OKDVA. I affirm that not a single district, despite all the dimensions of this sabotage ... Comrade. Okunev, donʹt look at me like that. You have no end. According to the materials of the army, there are very many paths leading to you, and you are not diverted from this great misfortune and shame for us. Thus, a number of questions posed by Comrade Fedko require an answer. Otherwise, it would be wrong.

Stalin. Comrade Blucher, I apologize, you talked about two shortcomings of Comrade Gryaznov, but you said only one ‐ ambition.

Blucher. And the second drawback is quarrelsomeness. He doesnʹt quite want to admit it. Thirdly, this is no longer a disadvantage, it is a common human disadvantage ‐ we all think that we are smarter than we really are. (Laughter) Isnʹt it the same? Which of us will agree if they tell him that he is a fool? Everyone suffers from this deficiency, and especially Comrade Gryaznov. Comrade Fedko said that he was met with hostility in the army.

Fedko. I spoke from whom.

Blucher. You cannot complain about my meeting you.

Fedko. I cannot.

Blucher. You cannot complain with a single sound about Comrade Tairov.

Fedko. I cannot.

Blucher. And this determined your position in the army. Aronshtam arrived. I may be wrong, but I have not seen any such sharp clashes between you and Aronshtam. On the contrary, I reproached Aronshtam at the end of 1936 ‐ I did not know about his real role then ‐ and when I had to account for my deeds, which were 70% correct, but squared, I then could not to explain a lot, but said that Aronshtam is a typical representative of the League of Nations. Is that so, Comrade Stalin?

Stalin. So.

Blucher. I remember Gamarnik when he left he said to me: ʺWhat kind of expression?ʺ I say: “Looks like? First, to quarrel people, ‐ I then took Abyssinia as an example, ‐ when one side was beaten, it is necessary that they beat them to the end, and when they beat them, what to do? ʺ Aronshtam quarreled people with each other. But I know you had a good relationship with him. With Sangursky ‐ yes, you often fought.

Second. You said: ʺIn these matters in the huge affairs of the army, I did not find support from Blucher.ʺ Wrong, Comrade Fedko. Letʹs gather everyone and say: is it so or not. Wrong. The fact is that I did not give you a forest, but you know very well that the edge did not give us any forest at all. You know that after your demand, I raised the issue with the Peopleʹs Commissar, and Kliment Efremovich raised the issue with the government. I donʹt know if Comrade Stalin had this question, but Comrade Molotov inevitably had it.

Molotov. Was.


100 thousand cubic meters of wood was taken from the stock of sawmills, but you got them.

Fedko. After Gamarnik arrived, you clicked on it.

Blucher. What did Gamarnik do while in Moscow? You received this forest before his arrival, and the decree was before his arrival. You received these 100 thousand cubic meters. I am giving this factual reference ...

Molotov. Gamarnik did not raise this question when Comrade Blucher was here. He raised this question, and we in the Central Committee decided in favor of the Far Eastern Army.

Blucher. Gamarnik had a completely different tactic. I remember, I told him about this more than once, and somehow even Kliment Efremovich said in irritation that Gamarnik had a consumer point of view on the Far East. I said this to Gamarnik about the need to increase the army, and Gamarnik says: “Excuse me, where are you going to deploy? When it comes to building, you, he says, don’t build.” And it came out as the old proverb is: there is a wandering in the yard, on a wading ‐ wetting, start over. After all, this was his tactics.

The story with the corps and the group. I must bring this matter to the attention of the War Council. After all, this, in my opinion, became the cornerstone of our relations between me and Fedko, behind which were hiding sabotage, espionage, sabotage, and all counter‐revolutionary work in the army. I want to bring this issue to the attention of everyone. You say that Blucher proposed corps and abolish the group, right?

Fedko. So.

Blucher. Not this way. Blucher for 3 years and before the Peopleʹs Commissar raised the question of what is necessary in Primorye for mobilization readiness to have a ready‐made corps administration in order not to waste time organizing them during the war.

Fedko. I am for it.

Blucher. Excuse me, Fedko, Iʹll catch you. For some reason it occurred to you: it means that he wants a body; means he wants to disband the group. By its simplicity, everything is confused in your head. Then Kliment Efremovich refused me several times, I think he refused it 2 or 3 times. And I even remember, without his approval, I transferred this issue to one of the Politburo meetings. Remember when I asked for the case?

Fedko. And you said there that I am for the liquidation of groups.

Blucher. Excuse me, I did not say so there. And although I was accused of unrestrained drunkenness and a medical certificate was drawn up under the leadership of Aronshtam, literally a medical certificate about my incurability, it was not enough to put me in an insane asylum. Kliment Efremovich says: ʺThere are no big states, there are no people.ʺ I said: ʺI am in favor of disbanding the group in the interests of the corps organization.ʺ Why? There is nothing to hide. The Japanese know our operational plan 100%, they know our training, they know our army disposition. During the war, Comrade Fedko will have at least 4 independent operational areas of responsibility. These 4 responsible operational directions include at least units equal to the division. I believed that for all Fedkoʹs talent, for all his talent to take on, manage in 4 operational directions, and in each of them there are 2‐3 formations, ‐ it means you have to be a little bigger than Napoleon. After all, I told you so then. After all, this is a picture, equivalent in its assessment to the one when the tsarist government fought in the Russo‐Japanese war. Accidentally collected 2‐3 divisions, united by some Kaulbars [15], who without communication tried to contact some of the neighbors. We, according to our assignments entrusted by the Peopleʹs Commissar to our army of the Far Eastern Front, have no right to waste a single hour with you.

So, I said, ʺFirst of all, the corps.ʺ If it is impossible to give people per group at the same time, I was ready to curtail the group. That was the question. I want to clarify here, because I am afraid that Klimenty Efremovich had the impression that I want to cut Fedko off on this issue somehow. Was it so or not? After all, when I reported to Comrade Stalin [about] that we had a corps in the presence of a group, under Comrade Stalin Comrade Voroshilov turned to you. ʺBut Fedko says that the corps is not needed.ʺ You reported to the Peopleʹs Commissar on the eve of this meeting.

Voroshilov. He did not report, even wrote.

Even wrote!

Voroshilov. On the other hand, you reported not once, but several times that you can and should do without a group.

Blucher. Thatʹs right, I still stand on this.

Voroshilov. Thatʹs the point!

Blucher. One cannot proceed from objective facts; I proceed from operational requirements.

Fedko. I said that the building is needed.

Blucher. You then said at the meeting that the corps is not needed.

Fedko. No, ask Comrade Stalin, I said, on the contrary, that the corps is needed. I wanted to work with Blucher and did not want to enter into an argument with Comrade Blucher under Comrade Stalin.

Blucher. I want to answer the facts. The next question is about picadors and bullfighters. It is interesting. Aronshtam then said that it was the League of Nations, but now it is clear that the leadership has quarreled. I was then undergoing treatment in Barvikha, and now I receive a letter that a huge scandal is taking place in the army, which boils down to the fact that the picadors and bullfighters from the Primorsky group turned to the army bulls, and the bullfighters and picadors from the army directorate turned to the headquarters group. Such a fight. Comrades, I remember how Aronshtam had this case, when Sangursky wrote about it, what to do next. I literally answered: “Take the picadors away and take the bullfighters away, without complicating one iota of the relationship until I arrive. Give in to the group, but not to the detriment of the authority of the army department on the issues raised. ʺ Here is my answer. I come and find out that Lapin and Meretskov were bullfighters and picadors. {Laughter.) They pounced, among other things, on the Primorskaya group that it does not follow orders, that it does not report that it is independent. This sin was. Sangursky went to Aronshtam.

Voice. Yes, I did.

[ Blucher.] What did Aronshtam say? He influenced Sangursky, and

Sangursky did not want to take action.

Voice. Aronshtam wanted to deflect the blow from Fedko.

[ Blucher.] Aronshtam was in charge of this business.

Voice. And Sangursky.

[ Blucher.] I donʹt know about Sangursky. You see, in this fight of the Spanish bulls ...

Voice. Secrets of the Madrid court.

[ Blucher.] I, in my opinion, took an absolutely correct position. Fifth. I offered you to be my deputy and twice I talked to you about this. I felt that we were being pitted against you and that the work in the army was going badly. I told you then that in our personal relationships people are pushing open doors, creating cracks into which all the mice climb ‐ the mice of shortcomings and problems. Did I tell you this?

Fedko. They talked.

Blucher. I told you then: ʺIn order to prevent us from getting any filth in these cracks, go to work as my deputy.ʺ I proceeded from objective conditions. Why you saw in this proposal my desire to kill you, I do not know.

What would such cooperation actually lead to? It would lead to the fact that for 6 months you would command the army, tk. I leave very often, and for 6 months I would command the army. By the way, we complement each other quite well. I would be useful to him in matters of political, theoretical and party issues, as he himself gave a description of me, he would be useful to me in matters of training the regiment. (Laughter.) You went through a very good school with Tukhachevsky in Leningrad.

Fedko. What does Tukhachevsky have to do with it?

Blucher. It is in this spirit that I suggested that you work with me. I suggested this to Kliment Efremovich when he also suspected me ...

Voroshilov. Just do not forget that our commanders are divided into highly educated and uncultured. See, donʹt get lost on this road.

This is what I was talking about. Now the same can be established by documents. I think, and Comrade Stalin will tell you what assessment I gave Fedko when my personal question was being examined. I didnʹt say anything bad about him then, I said only good things. I said that tactically he knows the matter better than I do; the troops know how to teach tactics better than me, and in operational training you were a backward person. Why? Is it because your head is so built, or because you did not have to work on these questions? It is clear that you did not have to deal with them, being in the Volga District. Immediately I said that in two years Fedko would be unrecognizable in these matters.

Egorov. In 1934 I played in OKDVA and in the Pacific Fleet, and I must report that this performance was extremely valuable and met all the requirements that we then presented. This was in 1934.

Blucher. Iʹm not denigrating.

Egorov. But that was in 1934.

Blucher. I do not dispute; I only say that now he has become even stronger in operational matters. Where did he get such a point of view that I defame him? All the time you proceeded from the wrong installation that I want to eat you. In this case, many have tried.

Then you said that I had not fulfilled the winter study plan, but I was not sick this year, and no one can say that I did not work much during the winter. I conducted all the army exercises that you planned, plus I played a front‐line game, which I had to conduct unexpectedly. What have I canceled for you? Great winter maneuvers. This is a big question of principle, and I want to report my point of view on this issue today. In these maneuvers, 5 divisions, 1 mechanized brigade were supposed to participate. Such a large number of troops requires, firstly, a lot of money, secondly, the diversion of resources and, thirdly, the separation of troops. The training of troops from the company to the battalion itself could not be called decent. After all, you and I were late in the sole training of a fighter, we were late in the development of a company and a battalion, and with such a flaw, I considered it frivolous and harmful to pull out for winter maneuvers, all the more harmful because the troops were specially trained for these maneuvers. I believe that it is necessary to put an end to the practice when maneuvers are not a test of troops, but maneuvers were such an event for which the troops were specially prepared.

Voice. Coached.

[ Blucher.] Let Belarusians and Ukrainians say, is this so?

Voices. Right.

Blucher. The training of the troops reminds me of the training of a lagging external student who wants to graduate from a secondary educational institution and goes to the teacher. He knows that in mathematics he can be asked so and so, in the Russian language so and so, and almost all of these super‐tutors had acquaintances with teachers. And so, he says that in five days he undertakes to prepare for the exam. This ignorant bastard, having memorized ten or twelve examples, went to the exam, and very often he managed to pass the exam for the certificate of maturity. I was also promised at 9 months to prepare me for a normal course in a classical gymnasium. Nothing worked out for me, I stabbed myself in the Russian language, although a typical Russian person.

We had such a system of coaching to maneuvers. Maneuvers will only be maneuvers when they are carried out in any conditions, and not so that a month before this, the leadership would use the entire terrain, so that later on to correctly control the maneuvers. And we know that in some maneuvers they not only study the terrain, but also rehearse future maneuvers.

Voices from the field. Right, right.

Blucher. What is the price of this kind of maneuver? This is either deliberate fraud, or deceiving ourselves.

Voice from the place. In other words, debauchery.

Blucher. For these very reasons, Comrade Fedko, I canceled the winter maneuvers for you.

Fedko. But I never had any rehearsals.

But you wanted to raise such a huge colossus of troops! What you planned for the winter maneuvers is more than all the troops available in the Ural and Siberian districts. And I canceled it in the month of March. What have I left for you? The teachings of the mechanized cavalry group, and he said that I was interested in this group from the point of view of the experimental teaching on the patency of cavalry and motorized combat troops, in a kind of theater of the Far East, in conditions of taiga and swampy terrain. I said that you will lead the teaching, you have two connections. Maybe Iʹll come. You came and solved this problem in your own way. You have moved this task to June.

Fedko. After you have rescheduled the term.

Blucher. I did not postpone any deadlines, especially since I did not cancel your order. I canceled it for you because I considered this teaching unnecessary and unhelpful. About whom presented to the orders. I did not introduce Lapin to the order; he chose different paths. I put my hand to Dzyza, I confess, I am a sinner. You say that everything would be fine if not for Dzyza. Is this the point now? Dzyza was arrested. But you have a second Dzyza ‐ Becker. Which one is cleaner, I donʹt know? And here you had to not only list those who were arrested in the army, but also those who needed to be arrested in the group. You didnʹt say anything about this.

Big question about the report. I believe that I must raise this issue, even to the detriment of military affairs. I must report the following: on March 17, Comrade Fedko submitted a letter of resignation to me, demanding that I immediately bring this to the attention of the Peopleʹs Commissar. I didnʹt finish. I think that I will come myself and I will report. What was the reason for filing this report? In addition to sabotage, espionage and sabotage, we also proclaimed clearly defeatist operational‐tactical views in the army. It was cultivated by everyone, little by little, but its ideological exponent, as it turned out from subsequent documents, was Lapin. What was this thought? To negate a tough defense. The troops of the Far East should be taught rigidly, i.e., to be guided by the order only on pre‐prepared fortified areas, in other cases, be guided by mobile defense. According to the foreign charter, mobile defense is recommended as active defense. They say what it means ‐ to force the enemy to turn around, jump out of his environment and surround him.

Chinaʹs political underestimation that China cannot help us in less than 10 years. This is nonsense. I canʹt help but stop at these operational views that have been walking around the army for a year and a half. Here Comrade Viktorov will say it. Why does Comrade Fedko think that my analysis ‐ in my opinion, a good analysis ‐ was directed against him? Why he took it personally, I donʹt know. On the second day, I had a long conversation with him about this. Truly demands to read out his own assessment of this conversation: “However, you have decisively dissuaded me ...” (reads). This means that I was able to prove to you that I did not mean you. I want to report this order to the Peopleʹs Commissar. This issue is a major principled issue in the army, and some are talking about it. Extract from the order of the troops of the Primorsky group, I read out exactly the paragraph: ʺTo raise the quality of command training, for this in February and in the first half of March, allocate 80% to tactics ...ʺ (reads).

Voices. Is this a technical minimum to liquidate?

Blucher. Yes, technical minimum.

Fedko. Read on.

Blucher. ʺFrom February 15 to March 20, do not hold ...ʺ (reads). What are we suffering from? Literacy. Ignorance of the technical minimum, and now it turns out that most of all we suffer from political illiteracy. This was before the plenum of the Central Committee. I did not know then what decisions would be made, how Comrade Stalin would speak. What happened next? We decided to talk to the group so that they themselves would cancel. Do not cancel. Skvortsov was summoned, negotiations are underway. I cite this order as a misunderstanding of the rights of a one‐man leader. I will talk about this as a separate item. I believe that in our army many comrades have misunderstood the decision on one‐man management. This led to the belittling of the role of the party apparatus and to the decline, if you will, to some extent of mass political work and political work on the command staff. Let the comrades political workers tell me in good conscience whether it was so or not in some places? And the commanders will not deny this.


Voices. Well, well.

Blucher. This question is of fundamental relevance [16]. Finally, what made me cancel this order immediately? We have such a Firsov, the commander. He received this order and said: ʺWell, now politics is on the side, now, finally, we will be engaged in combat training.ʺ

Fedko. These are all Yakirovʹs henchmen.

Blucher. I donʹt know whose henchman. This shows how objectively your order is understood.

Fedko. You are all juggling.

Blucher. I am speaking correctly. Here is Comrade Khakhanyan sitting here, he knows.

Hahanyan. They realized that Marxist‐Leninist training was being canceled. You, Comrade Fedko, were criticized in your presence at the party conference.

Blucher. I want to report to the Military Council, the Peopleʹs Commissar and Comrade Stalin that the actions of this militarypolitical conspiracy, this group of saboteurs and spies, have undoubtedly found their strongest expression in the Far East. The testimony of this group directly states: when Zinoviev learned about the decision of the Politburo to take decisive measures to strengthen the situation in the Far East, then Zinoviev gave instructions to consolidate all Trotskyite‐Zinovievist forces in the Far East. And they completed this task. In our Far East, in my opinion, as nowhere else it is littered with these elements. Take the railways. From the director to fifty percent of the leadership, they were Trotskyists. Take our highway construction. Comrade Stalin, you gave us a large amount of money, sit on our necks, beat us for these roads, but today we have no roads. They are so built that after a rain, two weeks later, after a month there are no roads. And if you let a division on the roads, nothing will be left of the roads except jelly. If you take in the area of the national economy of the region, it has already been said. If we take on defense construction projects, now the plenum has already pushed us, we have begun to deal with all defense construction projects, we see everywhere the wellplaced hand of pests and our general rotozyism. In the army, these spies and saboteurs have no supporters, with the exception of certain small groups. There is a small group there, seized in the 32nd division, among the commanders brought from Saratov, it seems, in the Turovsky corps. Voice. There Karpel recruited.

Blucher. Yes, Karpel, training battalion commander. We found a group there in the flotilla. I have no doubt, Comrade Fedko, Trotskyists, spies and saboteurs acted in your 72nd battalion in the same way as they acted on the White Mountains: they deliberately stole hay that no one needed in order to embitter the peasants. This is the work of saboteurs. But, Comrade Stalin, I must report to you that if these spies did not have a mass base in other places, then in the Far East they have such a base. And the materials show that the Japanese have taken this base into account. There are 340,000 political prisoners working on defense construction sites, on strategic roads, highways and railways. At large defense facilities there are about 30 thousand home‐militias, among whom there is also a certain percentage of politically [x] prisoners who are not entirely trustworthy. And thatʹs what the arrested saboteurs say? That they have already agreed with the Japanese: if they fail to seize weapons in our Red Army, then the Japanese will undertake 300 thousand people. arm with your own weapons. This means that the saboteurs have ready‐made personnel in the Far East in the composition of 300 thousand, i.e., more than the male Far Eastern population.

How did the sabotage go? Here he did not reproach us quite legally, but directly shamed Comrade Molotov when he spoke of the ovens. We found saboteurs with the stoves. As they say: there would be no happiness, but misfortune helped. After all, the first one who got hooked was on the stoves. It was the commandant, he did not confess for six months, and then confessed that such overlaps were deliberately made. They made a beam in the chimney, this beam burned out, and the cover of the lower floor collapsed.

Who is to blame? Here, in a remark, someone wanted to make it clear that Khrulev, the head of the Construction Department, was to blame. Wrong. If everyone makes excuses, then they can find all sorts of excuses. But there is no way to make excuses. Even if these were obvious pests, where were we? This is our fault. We missed it. Letʹs take the fires in Nikolaevsk‐on‐Amur, for which you, Klimenty Efremovich, scolded us. What has been found out? A group of saboteurs was discovered, which decided to set fire to the commanderʹs house in order to burn the children and wives. And they did it, they burned it. 5 people died in the fire. They failed to do anything else. The Red Army soldier just guessed. There is a special room there for fumigating the Red Army soldiers. The Red Army soldier was ordered to disinfect the walls of the room with gasoline. And, as you know, when starting this OM, a primus is kindled. The Red Army soldier thought and suddenly it flares up, and did not pour gasoline on the walls. Only thanks to this the platoon was saved.

The system of decomposition through drunkenness was practiced thoroughly. As a result, thanks to this system of decomposition, the posts were burned. This evil was not really fought. Here you, Comrade Molotov, reproached us for the fact that the mechanized corps was not ready, and we did not punish anyone for this. I must tell you that we are so accustomed to emergencies (emergencies) that we stopped paying attention to them. I made a report on the asset and specifically drew attention to these emergencies. Why are they happening? On the one hand, because we have a lot of sloppiness, and on the other hand, thanks to the brutal hand of saboteurs and spies. How many we have not yet discovered all these emergencies and their reasons! Take the 78th Battalion. We acted liberally. We stop responding correctly to all these emergencies. We are all engaged in soul education. I think this system of political education is necessary,

(Comrade Molotovʹs remark was not captured).

[ Blucher.] For two years, we trained the troops so that they would gather up quickly, on alert, and in such a state that they could engage in battle on command, then we lowered the requirements. And when Fedko raised the alarm for the troops, they jumped out quickly, but without a convoy ...

Fedko. Because I was engaged in construction.

Blucher. Of course, this was partly the fault of the army command. They gathered without a train, without uniforms, as a result, people suffered, went into the rain, into the cold, without warm clothes, turned into icicles and fell on the road.

(Comrade Molotovʹs remark was not captured).

[ Blucher.] Comrade. Molotov, now it has been absolutely proven that this was a deliberate act. Then Gamarnik and Orlov were engaged in this business.

Yezhov. There is evidence that they organized this case.

Blucher. It was deliberately organized. All funds were used.

Molotov. They acted in a straightforward manner.

Blucher. We are fully responsible for this. How was the placement of personnel in OKDVA? The army deployed and formed two groups from the army. They put Putna on one, and Gorbachev on the other. From the very beginning of the organization of the army they began their brutal work. I don’t think that Shestakov, who spoke here, worried his heart for his political rotozy. We also have a second one, Comrade Skvortsov, who cannot offend a fly. But, unfortunately, he cannot offend, apparently, the class enemy either. It is unlikely that such a member of the Military Council is good. What happened next? We were severely scolded according to the law for combat training in [19] 33, and in [19] 34, after this legal upsetting of the entire army, the Varangians were sent to help.

Please do not take it personally, Comrade Fedko. I never thought to include you among these Varangians, but I say this because you are a terribly suspicious person. Iʹm talking about the raid that was made from the Belarusian Military District to OKDVA. I deliberately say: counter‐revolutionary sabotage and espionage raid. Lapin came with Novikov, with a whole group of people, with tails from the Belorussian Military District, with a lackey pilot who had grown to squadron commander, received the Order of Lenin, then was arrested for drunkenness and corruption, but not for politics. Derevtsov, the head of the armored forces, came to us as such a Varangian. This is the kind of troops that we havenʹt really turned over; you need to look there; many people have already found it.

Voices from the field. Right.

Blucher. Then Aronshtam arrived almost simultaneously with special emissary plenipotentiaries. He brought Mirin, Rabinovich, and before him there was Suslov. Here is the poarma guide head. Plus Korobochkin. They brought in pieces: Kogan and two Xʹs, which I donʹt want to talk about now, but which, of course, will get. Thus, the people were assigned to the artillery, the armored forces, the aviation, the political apparatus arrived, linked up with the existing group, and this group was headed by Kashcheev, who played the same role for Zinoviev that Dreitser played for Trotsky. We, out of our inexperience, believed that this Kashcheev was building bad buildings, and this was a major political figure in Zinovievʹs work. And work started! They placed people in the fortified areas: Kruglov ‐ Blagoveshchensky, Rzhevsky ‐ Ussuriysky fortified area, Koshelev ‐ Nikolayevsk‐on‐Amur and two Xʹs, very dubious. Who inspected the army? For defensive construction ‐ Petin, Maksimov. For non‐defensive ‐ Gorshkov, for the fleet ‐ Muklevich, for general military affairs ‐ Vasilenko.

And you and I, Ivan Fedorovich, filmed everyone, each separately for something. I also removed Kashcheev, but for what? For lack of organization, for obvious deceit. This is the whole trouble. Who were we filming for political sabotage? For espionage, for sabotage? Nobody. We have all overlooked this political side. I took it off, saw that it was a lackey, not a builder. Gamarnik came to the Far East, came to his office and began by saying: ʺThe Peopleʹs Commissar draws your attention to the need to put an end to your partisan actions against Kashcheev.ʺ Kliment Efremovich, did you give such an instruction? I thought, when you start to annoy us ‐ the devil only knows ‐ I will call him, maybe give him some kind of shock construction, I wanted to offer him ... [17], where there is already a lot of sabotage.

Yezhov. The fact that Gamarnik Kashcheeva defended is a fact.

Blucher. When Kashcheevʹs membership card was taken away, Aronshtam defended him. He was expelled from the party and then reinstated; the whole group defended him. And in the order of selfcriticism, Kliment Efremovich. First, with Khakhanyan, then, together with Mironov, we asked to arrest this bastard, but he was in Chelyabinsk and was doing responsible work. We were all wrong here, but this in no way relieves any of us of responsibility.

The role of Gamarnik in the Kruglov case. I have something to do with this. I knew that he was a Trotskyist and a Gloomyist in the past. Twice, when Gamarnik came, we dealt with the question of Kruglov, but Gamarnik said that there was nothing to say about his counterrevolutionary activities, we would go and report to the Peopleʹs Commissar. We came here ‐ Iʹm a fool too, ‐ I say to Gamarnik: ʺLetʹs solve the issue of Kruglov.ʺ He says: ʺReport to the Peopleʹs Commissar.ʺ I come to Feldman, to Osepyan, I donʹt remember who else was then. Guy, I think. Who examined the issue of Kruglov? Such political idiocy, they just mocked us. The case of Kruglov was examined by Feldman, Osepyan, and everyone declared: ʺThere is no reason to suspect him: pure as a lamb.ʺ I go to Gamarnik and talk about the results of the investigation of the Kruglov case. Gamarnik says: ʺGo to the Peopleʹs Commissar and report your point of view.ʺ You asked me: ʺIs there anything new after 1927‐1928?ʺ I say: ʺThere is nothing new.ʺ

The Peopleʹs Commissar says: ʺWhy should I take it from you?ʺ

Voroshilov. I asked: ʺWhere will I put him?ʺ

Blucher. The question about Zyuk. You asked me very little about the appointment of the command staff, but you did ask about Zyuk. Feldman went from me, I, being in Transbaikalia, on the teachings of Gryaznov, answered: ʺNo need, report this to the Peopleʹs Commissar.ʺ Here is Meretskov sitting here. I say that I do not know this Zyuk, what kind of person he is. He says: ʺIn my opinion, there is no need to take him into the army.ʺ But then they decided that, apparently, the Comrade Commissar had signed this order earlier. I wanted to say a few words about Lapin, but since there is no time, I will not. I would like to say a few more words about general army issues and about my attitude towards Gamarnik and Yakir.

Stalin. What can I say, your attitude was not good?

Blucher. I went to Yakir in January to celebrate the New Year. I will tell you for what reasons I went. There was a question about my withdrawal, I was interested in the candidacy. You would not tell me this, and Gamarnik would not say that. And there is an informed person in the army, a sly, a deceiver. I have always recognized these qualities for him. But I didnʹt think he was a counter‐revolutionary. Not stupid, but that a deceiver and a cunning ‐ for me it is clear. I came and found out. You had a meeting attended by Gamarnik, Alexey Ilyich [18], Tukhachevsky, Uborevich and Yakir, at which Gamarnik made a report on the general state of affairs of the OKDVA in the Far East.

Budyonny. Lies it. I was at that meeting too. It wasnʹt there. He reported, but there was no question of a candidacy.

Blucher. Well, apparently he said it wrong.

Stalin. Tukhachevsky himself said: ʺIf they shoot him, send me.ʺ

Blucher. Gamarnik said: ʺIf everything fell apart like that, I am ready to go to the Far East.ʺ He is ready to make sacrifices for the party and the Peopleʹs Commissariat.

Stalin. Did you hear that from Yakir?

Blucher. Unfortunately, from Yakir.

Voroshilov. So, this question stood at the meeting with Comrade Stalin.

Blucher. With Gamarnik. Everyone comes out here and wants to find something counter‐revolutionary at Gamarnik. It will not work. Tell the Central Committee directly, tell Comrade Stalin directly that Gamarnik enjoyed authority in the army.

Voices. Right.

Blucher. Say that there was a formula in the army: so, said Gamarnik.

So it was, Comrade Smirnov, are you the most irreconcilable?

Voice. So.

Blucher. They complained a little that there were no meetings with the head of the Political Directorate of the Red Army, as if there was no attention to the political staff and his authority in the army. But once Gamarnik said ‐ holy. I also trusted him politically so much, comrades, that only provincials can do this. We arrived on the 30th with Khakhanyan and called Khmelnitsky. We ask: ʺCan I get to the Peopleʹs Commissar?ʺ ‐ ʺNo, the Peopleʹs Commissar is busy.ʺ ‐ ʺTo whom for information?ʺ ‐ ʺTo the head of the Political Administration of the Red Army.ʺ Moreover, we were escorted out quickly so as not to bother him, and the next person who undertook to complete this information was Osepyan. Khakhanyan and I went to Osepyanʹs apartment. We left him

at 23 oʹclock [a] 30 minutes, it seems; and at 23 oʹclock [asa] 45 m [inut] he was gone.

Voroshilov. Your happiness. We would have sat longer, so we would have been together. (Laughter.)

Blucher. A completely different attitude was towards Uborevich. In vain are the comrades chattering that they did not recognize him as a tactical authority. Theyʹre talking about nonsense. They looked into his mouth and did not understand when he stuffs nonsense. Recognized his authority in the war games.

Voice. Especially in war games.

Blucher. It was cultivated from above. Take the meetings of the War Council. Everywhere they did military affairs and directed military training. Were they trusted politically? No, they didnʹt. It is no coincidence that there is an anecdote in the army about Uborevich.

Voroshilov. Tell me honestly, all our combat orders were the result of summing up the results of combat training. Did they do it or not? Nothing like this.

Blucher. I admit this with regard to the final orders, but they played the leading violin. It is no accident that there is an anecdote in the army that Uborevich has a portrait of Lenin on his desk on the left, and a portrait of Napoleon to the right. Maybe this is an anecdote, or maybe itʹs true. And when they tell him that somehow it doesnʹt fit, he usually answers: ʺHe was also an artillery lieutenant.ʺ Uborevich was also an artillery lieutenant. This determines his character. That is why, with great difficulty, at the 17th Congress he was promoted to membership in the Central Committee.

General army questions. I believe that some people have conversations about how we will explain the return of military commissars to the army, will this not be a loss of authority? I think this is wrong.

Voices. Right.

Blucher. Every commander must understand this, that the questions of one‐man command were misunderstood in our country. They have forgotten what task is assigned to the political agencies, that they have the party leadership and are led by the party. This last point has been forgotten. Hence, what happened was accomplished, in some parts the role and authority of the political apparatus was belittled, and in this regard, political work deteriorated. So, they all whimpered, walked around the bush, but they didnʹt say that. We need to straighten it out and straighten it out immediately.

Voroshilov. We will correct, only you are watching!

Blucher. Give the floor to Comrade Khakhanyan [y]; he will tell you how I understood unity of command. About the cultural commander. This has also come down to an anecdote with us. What does a cultural commander mean in the concept of the Belarusian district? I no longer approach the cultural commander in the stomach. Voice. Pockets must be sewn up.

lucher. Be sure to report without air and stopping, and once he stopped, this is already an uncivilized commander. It came to an anecdote. Here is the assistant to the chief Apanasenko. He was a cultural commander. Voice. It is not right.

Blucher. You were bought with the title of cultural commander. There is a joke about a cultural commander. He calls home ‐ 24.00 ‐ and says to his wife: “24.10 minutes get ready”.

Voice. This is discrediting.

Blucher. This culture was understood in a simplistic way, its content was emasculated.

Budyonny. It is the enemy who carries such anecdotes.

Voice. These anecdotes show once again that the aim was to oppose commanders to each other.

Blucher. Fedko reproached me for being to blame for everything. Right. I am to blame for what happened in the army. There can be no other situation. I am responsible for what happened in the army, just as you are fully responsible for what happened in your Primorsky group. We are responsible for the fact that we have politically missed the largest espionage and sabotage work.

I must report to the Peopleʹs Commissar, Comrade Stalin and Comrade Molotov, that our operational plans in the Far East have been revealed, that all your work, Comrade Berzin, with the help of your own workers has been opened and discovered, and that your apparatus has revealed itself, that the numerical the composition of the army is well known to the Japanese, they know very well our entire deployment of troops, that they even know the crossing points. The Far East is revealed.

Many comrades thought: how bad they are, but everything is so good with us. There are some who have such moods. Of course, ours is worse than others, and my fault is immeasurably greater than all your fault, but you are also restless: not everything is so well in the aviation, and in armored units, and in the navy. And we clap our ears and do not see. There is something there. We already have a certain approach in this matter on army affairs.

I am finishing my speech. I understand my responsibility. I consider myself guilty not only for the army, but also on a personal matter, I remain guilty. I do not want to look for an excuse for myself, either in the press from above, or in anything else. This is not an excuse. Our whole task is to make us disgrace more than any Peopleʹs Commissariat, more than any economic branch in our Soviet Union (a lot of bad things have been discovered there), we have more exposed, and the political role of our body is immeasurably higher, the proportion is more responsible, our task is is to fix it all as quickly as possible. You and I bear the responsibility, we owe the country, the party, etc. to Stalin so much that we now need to redo everything in such a way as to cleanse the army, and for this not to be afraid of the promotion of young cadres, among whom there are wonderful people, loyal and devoted. The only desire

Voroshilov. A break is announced for 10 minutes.

Voroshilov. I give the floor to Comrade Blucher.

Blucher. Comrades, I must apologize to Apanasenko. This joke really did go around. Unfortunately, the same Aronshtam told me about this. So, I ask Apanasenko to excuse me. I learned that Apanasenko was not there at that time and I think that in his speech he admitted the greatest tactlessness towards Apanasenko.

Voroshilov. I give the floor to Comrade Okunev.

Okunev. Comrades, we arrived in Moscow only yesterday and, unfortunately, did not hear the report of the Peopleʹs Commissar. I had to get acquainted with the materials. Yesterday we heard an assessment of Comrade Stalinʹs instructions regarding the roots and essence of this dastardly conspiracy. Here the comrades said that, they say, they saw, felt, but did not have the courage to give signals. I think that if in relation to Uborevich and Yakir one could still more or less feel that they were enemies, then in relation to people like Gamarnik it would be wrong to say that he did not have the courage to expose them as enemies. I thought it was wrong, and it wasnʹt about courage. The matter is much more serious and deeper. We did not see or feel the disguise of these people. Therefore, the question here is not courage or bravery, but what Comrade Stalin spoke about at the February plenum: we must master Bolshevism. Courage is part of this business. You need to master Bolshevism in order to be able to recognize the enemy. It is really staggering now that Yakir is a spy and Gamarnik is the instigator of spies. The point is that we need to be able to feel this matter with our heart and mind. The point is not that we failed to feel the transformation of the Trotskyists into spies, we forgot about the capitalist encirclement.

Now about the affairs of the Pacific Fleet. Blucher says we are calm; I don’t know where he got this conclusion. It must be said that the situation is all the more alarming because today we have heard the names that were called by Comrade Blucher and that an insignificant part has yet been opened. This is a very alarming situation for us, because there is no doubt that we have more of these types themselves. What have we revealed? We opened 22 people. Trotskyists and Trotskyites; among them ‐ three commissars of battalions, two chiefs of staff of fortified areas, one of them Balabanov ‐ nephew of Angelica Balabanova. A picture of their sabotage work. Here we have a very hard defeat, and in this sense we have especially launched disclosure. And I, and especially Viktorov.

The defeat of this sabotage in the direction of aviation, and they perfectly appreciated the importance of aviation. This year we did not receive a large number of aviation, which had to be received according to plan due to a deliberate disruption of construction. There is no doubt that they were hitting the aviation. They hit the aircraft torpedo weapons and significantly weakened us in this sector. Then along the line of people, our pilots. We are talking about a privileged position, but literally playing on our nerves, and in this sense, this is our biggest political breakthrough. Instead of probing people, we assumed that these were all problems, and also tried to reveal these problems.

On the line of OIVA construction. Here the picture also now becomes clear. They struck along the line of basing of Ulysses submarines in such a way that the personnel would not have a personal base on the shore and the boats would not have a base. At one of our points, it came to the point that the personnel of one of the boats lived in the boat for 125300 days, because the dwelling was not ready on the shore. The personnel were exhausted. Then, along the line of the roofs, a characteristic moment, which was also reported to Gamarnik. Roofs are leaking on a massive scale. We tried to check what was the matter. They say that nothing can be done, that thorns are leaking, that iron is not given, it is not worth covering with chips, etc. On the line of construction only recently began to disclose. The damage here is undoubtedly very great.

As for the fleet as a whole. There are two or three figures ‐ Batis and Kurkov. I know the Naval Forces Directorate a little, I worked there for seven months, and I must say that this should worry us very much, because there is no doubt that there are bison in the Naval Forces Directorate in this area, which we need to pick out. In this light, I would like to take a few questions that show the situation along the line of naval development. The position of Tukhachevsky is well known. There is no doubt that the entire history of the struggle against the construction of a large fleet was carried out by Tukhachevsky on the instructions of the German General Staff. The intervention of Comrade Stalin and the pressure of the Peopleʹs Commissar against the systematic struggle waged by Tukhachevsky were required. Then Tukhachevsky and Muklevich played out a struggle between themselves, when Muklevich allegedly supported the construction of a large fleet. I think, that for Blezir this case was being played out. The next question is about construction now, about the implementation of a large program. We must, comrades, to our shame, admit that we learned about this program, unfortunately, from Streltsov, who was with Muklevich. He came to us in the Far East. How is this big program progressing? It comes with an exceptional lag in terms of time and with large cases in terms of quality. We have this in relation to Komsomolsk and in relation to Dalzavod.

As for the staff. In this case, in my opinion, great damage was caused during the period of Muklevichʹs management. And during the period of our subsequent work, this question was not properly raised. I also sat on this case for 7 months. After all, we have a lot of submarines and all kinds of ships. It takes 8‐9 years to train a submarine commander. This should be put in place and on time. And in this regard, we do not have a wide deployment of the network and bookmark our frames.

In the line of submarines, which have received special attention in recent years. I believe that here we have a breakthrough not accidental, in my opinion, deliberate along the line of anti‐submarine defense. What is our trouble? We raised these questions, but we raised them everywhere in many cases separately. When now the whole thing comes up in a new light, it must be opened. About anti‐submarine defense. After all, it is a fact that our ʺPikeʺ [19], which give good results and about which they report to the government and the Central Committee, these ʺPikeʺ do not have shells.

Next question. With regard to torpedo aircraft. We have a torpedo brigade. She flies well, bombs well. Torpedo aircraft are our great trump card in the fight against the Japanese battalion fleet because they have an even greater advantage in this line. And I must say that we have this torpedo aircraft idle. And what happens? They give outdated TB‐1 instead of torpedo bombs [20]. TB‐1 was removed from service ‐ given to torpedo aircraft, R‐5 finally goes ‐ given to torpedo aircraft.

In the part of the sights. Just a few months ago, I observed sights for torpedo bombers. This is a 45 angle made of plywood and a nail in the middle.

Voice. What are their names?

Okunev. Sight for torpedo throwing. They are not specially adapted for maritime business, but they are used in this business. I think this should be revised.

Voice. Each fleet has its own scope.

Okunev. This is a characteristic phenomenon, and I absolutely took him into our squadron. On the issue of naval aviation, there was a government decree in 1933, which guided us on these issues with exceptional force. When there are fogs for 3 months, no less, and when reconnaissance actions of aviation can be used only by naval aviation, we see that in this regard we have a problem with the types of aircraft. We are lagging behind in this matter. I believe that this case was also deliberately done.

On the issue I‐16 [21]. I do not understand, comrades, I wrote to Gamarnik twice on this issue. I believe that the vilest breakthrough on this very front with the I‐16. What happens in our 28th squadron? Plaque instead of 240 ‐ 50‐55 per year. In another squadron instead of 180 ‐ 25‐30. Moreover, let Comrade Alksnis say that there were a number of telegrams to postpone flights, there was an instruction to postpone flights because the turns did not work, there was a hitch with compasses, the cables were not suitable, handles, etc. I believe that someone needs to be hanged for this case in order to fix this matter as soon as possible.

About batteries. Here sabotage is associated with Petya, when these batteries were quickly introduced, especially when a number of installations were given on the ground. There was sabotage along the line of collective chemical protection, extinguishing in cellars, with a heating system for boilers. I believe that it is necessary at all costs in 1937 to put an end to this matter.

On the issue of the Military Council and the composition of the commissioner, the decision was absolutely correct. They blame the commanders in charge of the military side of the matter. And I must say, if we talk about the Far East, then the further to the East, the further from the Central Committee and the Peopleʹs Commissar, the more sovereign they felt. But I mean, you canʹt just nod towards the commanders. The trouble is that we have political workers, we ourselves have withdrawn from party work. Most of what have we done?

Molotov. I wonder what you did yourself?

Okunev. 70‐80% were engaged in the elimination of problems in construction, were busy with the housework, on household issues, they were engaged in personnel, but not in the right way.

Molotov. Were you satisfied with the leadership of Gamarnik?

Okunev. No.

Molotov. Was he formally in charge?

Okunev. Certainly. I will not say what my attitude was to Gamarnik and Gamarnik to me. I disagree with Comrade Blucherʹs assessment of what Gamarnik says in the army is sacred. There was political trust, but it is not true that Gamarnik is loved. They didnʹt.

Blucher. But they recognized authority.

Molotov. Political workers knew that Gamarnik in 1921‐1923. hesitated?

Okunev.  The first time I hear it today.

Molotov. If you were interested, you might not know. And Yakira was rescued by Frunze in both cases. In an open vote for Trotsky. In 1921 we sent Frunze from Kharkov to Kiev. They groped for the majority and held on. In 1923 the same thing.

Voice. I must say that those in the Black Sea Fleet knew — the officials of the Black Sea Fleet — that in 1921 Gamarnik took part in the Trotskyist opposition. Gugin knew about this, Dushenov [22], knew about it from me in 1926 or in 1928. Then I personally was in 1923‐1924. a member of the provincial Party Committee in Vladivostok was with him for two years, and there we got a division during the Trotskyist opposition. Shestakov is here.

Molotov. Probably Gamarnik did not vote in 1923. He occupied the buffer platform in Vladivostok. They were divided into three parts. There were three: Gamarnik, Pshenitsyn and Trofimov; and four: Karpenko, Kozhanov, Nepomniachtchi and someone else. They knew about this in the Black Sea Fleet.

Molotov. Didnʹt you tell the political workers?

Voice. You couldnʹt tell everyone.

Okunev.  We, in any case, did not know this. For questions about the personnel of the political staff. I think that the situation is extremely difficult with the cadres of the political staff. I believe that the situation with personnel is extremely difficult, both in terms of quantity and quality. Many political workers left for teamwork. Preparation on the Tolmachevka line also made itself felt. We sat for years with a 30% undershoot.

Voice. Much more.

[ Okunev.] Iʹm talking about the Far East, and this is in the situation of extremely tight states. When calculating, we need 400 people. With the introduction of the current states, 400 people are required, and according to the old states, 285 people. What needs to be done in this regard? Of course, now we need to take a number of measures, primarily along the line of a more daring nomination, which was mentioned here. The second question is about the time for MarxistLeninist studies. Little is said about this fact either. There are 60 hours left.

Voice. Sedyakinsky.

[ Okunev.] What happens? The VIII Congress has passed, it needs to be studied. It is imperative to study the February plenum of the Central Committee. So, what happens? We have been sitting on the 7th topic for more than six months.

The third question is about political information. We have given instructions to conduct political information for 15‐20 minutes. So, what happens? Only the people will gather, wash their hands and go to bed.

I want to say about Gamarnik in the Far East. Gamarnik in the Far East tried to pretend to be a boss. Comrade Stalin already gave an example here: an attempt to remove Comrade Blucher according to the plans and assignments of the German fascist general staff. I want to add to this that he was wrong, obviously for the purpose, he informed the Central Committee.

The next question is about the position of the Pacific Fleet. I believe that

Gamarnik had a conscious intention to take over the Pacific Fleet.

Voice. And you supported him.

[ Okunev.] Sorry, please, we didn’t support him at all. He tried to overwhelm us in order to lull and hide the huge shortcomings that exist in the Pacific Fleet, he tried to lull us in part of the enormous work that still needs to be done, and in a certain sense, to show that he travels and happens to the Far East, so things are moving forward. Of course, apart from harm, it did nothing.

Then the question about the rear. Here Comrade Blucher has already mentioned about the Ulonovites [23] ... We know that Comrade Stalin raised the question of whether it would be expedient to turn Vladivostok into a closed port. This issue of closing the Vladivostok port requires, in my opinion, deepest attention. This must be done. Vladivostok is a city of late Sovietization. The residents work there thoroughly, the pollution is terrible there. Gamarnik tried to give a number of explanations for not doing this. Blucher cited the fact that these Ulonovs [were being taken] to our Far East. They swarm around Vladivostok. I have a document on the number of Ulonovs and their routes: they sit on one river, and they sit on the other ‐ thousands, tens of thousands of these Ulonovs. Their literal environment. There is no doubt that this is Yagodaʹs spy station. This case must be reconsidered. Take the Romanov Aviation Brigade. There are literally one and a half to two kilometers sitting these Ulonovites. This case should be reviewed in the same way as the issue with the Vladivostok port should be resolved. Moreover, an interesting thing happens, if a person wants to settle in Vozdvizhenka, he must obtain permission for this, and if a person wants to settle in Vladivostok, he does not need to receive any permits. He can settle in Vladivostok completely freely. Those who returned from Kolyma, after serving their sentences, also settled freely in Vladivostok. The question of the rear must be revised very sharply.

The last thing I want to say is about what Comrade Stalin said that the weakness of these traitors is that they are afraid of the people and the army. We have heard Comrade Stalinʹs remarkable assessment. Despite these great breakthroughs, our army is healthy. We have for lifelong service, after serving in the OKDVA, up to 1 thousand people remained. This speaks of the attitude towards our party, towards the Stalinist Central Committee, towards Klimenty Efremovich. The comrades said that we were ashamed to talk about these things. In my opinion, we are already ashamed to repent. We need to analyze our mistakes and go on an energetic offensive in order to eradicate these mistakes, in order to force these bastards to repent.

Voroshilov. Comrade Bokis has the floor.

Bokis. Comrades, before proceeding to an assessment of the situation that has developed in the tank forces of the Red Army, I would like to give a number of inquiries about Comrade Magerʹs speech. Comrade Stalin asked a question about the instructions, I must state that we do not have instructions from the Red Army for all types of machines. In the current [19] 36, we have issued a field park service manual so that each repair can be carried out by and supported by crews.

Stalin. Tell me about schools.

Bokis. With regard to schools, let me report the following. Mager, as chairman of the examination committee, checked the Ulyanovsk school. What did Mager not find in this school? He did not find BT‐7 tanks. You know that due to sabotage in the gearbox, we carried this tank until October, and the school received the tanks only in December. But I do not agree with Mager when he raises the question of the need to withdraw BT‐2 from the school. These tanks are armed with machine guns, have the same motors, the same gearboxes, and the same mechanisms. Preliminary training must be carried out on these tanks so as not to spoil the expensive materiel. Several times I spoke about this with Comrade Dybenko. He basically considers this to be correct for the first stage of combat training.

Stalin. Do schools generally get suitable cars or just junk?

Bokis. Iʹll tell you. There is an old material part. To pass the shooting courses in the same school there are: BT‐2 ‐ 43 tanks, BT‐5 ‐ 16 tanks, a whole company, there are BT‐7, chemical tanks, i.e., all types of tanks are available. This year we received tanks with anti‐aircraft weapons for the first time. These tanks will go to school first, so we made no mistake on that side.

Now, regarding a whole series of irregularities that Mager spoke about. He is absolutely correct in posing a number of questions. The first question I want to dwell on is regarding the organization of our Red Army motorized combat troops. I personally believe that a major mistake was made in [19] ʹ34, when, at the suggestion of Tukhachevsky, we abandoned the old organization of mechanized combat troops, abandoned the five‐tank platoon. I had a lot of conversations with commanders who returned from Spain: everyone insists on a five‐tank platoon, because one tank is out of action ‐ and there is no platoon. This issue needs to be reviewed immediately. Comrade Mager is absolutely right that today our rear is wheeled. Comrade Stalin, you also know that this question largely depends on the when we start up the Stalingrad Tractor Plant and the Kharkov Tractor Plant on the tracked tractor. This tractor was adapted for transportation in the rear. Caterpillar tractors in the winter exercises of the Moscow District confirmed that a lot of additional devices are needed for the wheel drive ‐ snow plows, in order to be able to move it. The question is how soon we will start up these transport tractors at KhTZ and at the Stalingrad winter conditions depends on this. how soon will we start up these transport tractors at KhTZ and at the Stalingrad Tractor Plant. The possibility of ensuring our rear for operations in winter conditions depends on this.

The third question is about all‐terrain vehicles. Today we have these machines on caterpillar tracks. I must report that we have been raising this issue before the industry for two years and only during this year we have achieved that we have accepted an order for 2000 machines. I must declare that GUTAP ‐ the Main Directorate of the Automotive and Tractor Industry ‐ does not want to deal with special machines that are needed for the army.

Stalin. How does it not want?

Bokis. Doesnʹt want to comply with government decree. I went to Comrade Mezhlauk on this question, and he forced Comrade Bruskin to look into this question. The question of making 2 thousand cars for us was just resolved.

Stalin. You need to force.

Bokis. Be sure to ask this question. These machines are needed not only by us, but also by Comrade Alksnis. One such machine worked in winter, during winter maneuvers, and showed itself perfectly. Another question to be asked is the question of motor resources. I especially carefully read the testimony of Tukhachevsky. Do you remember the conversation that was during the government meeting regarding motor resources? The government decided that we should keep a certain number of vehicles in order to preserve their combat effectiveness. This question was specially examined by Kliment Efremovich after Tukhachevskyʹs note, which was submitted to the government. We attended this meeting. Tukhachevsky and Yakir agreed to give each car 130 hours of service life. And this means ‐ in one year to use up all motor resources. When it came to government then our decision went down the drain. It was decided to give one group 36 hours instead of 25 hours, so that all battalion and divisional exercises should be conducted in such a way that all the materiel could be used. We carried out such a policy, now we need to reconsider this issue. I believe that we were mistaken in this matter. I have already reported to Comrade Yegorov, he gave a principled instruction to reconsider this issue and submit it to the government.

What happens? Tukhachevsky in his testimony says that it was important for us to put the tank units in such a position that by the time of decisive actions they would come out with less engine resources. This issue must be reconsidered, especially since today this issue requires a lot of pressure. It is necessary for the government to take up this issue. The industry is not engaged in the manufacture of spare parts and repair facilities, as the government decided. This poses a great threat today in terms of the combat effectiveness of our motorized equipment.

You can ask any commander who is present here from the tank unit. Everyone will say that it is precisely for a number of narrow details that we are bad.

Stalin. Tell me, were you wrong? We need to fix it.

Bokis. I believe that we have not completely eliminated the sabotage that was. The valves on the T‐26 engine began to rupture, especially in hot weather. We sat at the plant for three months, put our engineers there. We got it right. My engineers left the factory ‐ 12 machines stopped working again.

Stalin. Which plant?

Bokis. In Leningrad, no ... [24] Many factories are now upset with the staff. There is no longer such a clear leadership. At a number of factories, the directors, including the director of the same Voroshilov plant, Dufour, apparently got so confused in this new situation that he was not able to manage the plant. It is necessary to draw some organizational conclusions in these matters immediately. The sooner the better.

About experimental constructions. It must be said directly here in terms of the party that despite the fact that I personally have great respect for Comrade Khalepsky, I consider him an excellent worker who worked great at nights, etc., but this man had one major drawback: to show before I actually have these successes. In this regard, we are now stranded. And so Sokolov from Sovkontrol is pressing especially hard now regarding the T‐46 tank. After all, we have just now planted new designers, a new design bureau. We have been doing this for a whole year. Why? Because the state test of this tank ‐ the order was signed by Tukhachevsky ‐ was carried out under the leadership of Primakov.

Stalin. Is Barikov working?

Bokis. Barikov is working. We tested it for 5 thousand kilometers and did not find all the defects. What have we done? I am also to blame for this matter, I was present at all these tests and did not tell you, Comrade Stalin, or anyone that these machines have many defects. We thought that we would quickly fix all the imperfections. And besides, there was also sabotage at this plant, and this business was further confused. If you want, I believe that today you cannot have political confidence in Barikov. He is a Trotskyist in the past, supported his brother‐in‐law, who was arrested.

Stalin. It works well.

Bokis. He used to work quite well, but after the arrest of his sisterʹs husband Sokolov, his brother‐in‐law, after that he somehow began to work worse.

Stalin. And if you release him?

Bokis. I think it wonʹt work any better.

Stalin. Good guy.

Voroshilov. Did you talk to him?

Bokis. I talked. He pointed out all sorts of objective reasons that there are no constructors, etc. He is a capable man, he can work.

Stalin. He put our tank business on the road.

Bokis. For example, rumors are starting to circulate in the army that the T‐28 has already become bad there, because we were damaged in the running gear when we switched to a high‐speed tank. I think this is wrong. The T‐28 is a good tank. It is only necessary to fix those defects that the pests have done, and the tank will be beautiful.

A few words about the personnel. I should especially dwell on this here because my deputy Olshansky was arrested at my place. Many commanders know Olshansky.

Voices. Everybody knows.

Bokis. Both in the Far East and in the North Caucasus they know what Olshansky was. This is the kind of person who was expelled from the party twice. The last time he was expelled from the party for ties with alien elements when he was deputy. head of the Academy of Chemicalization and Motorization [25]. After that, Olshansky was given for correction. We had hope. The first period Olshansky began to work, then, after a while, cases of drunkenness began to recur.

Stalin. Canʹt he drink?

Bokis. No, he drinks with strangers. He never met with commanders from the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army, always with strangers. I signaled this to the NKVD apparatus, but I did not know that it was an enemy. I signaled about his domestic decay, but I did not know that he was a political enemy. Klimenty Efremovich asked me: ʺHow is your Olshansky?ʺ I said, ʺIt works.ʺ

Voroshilov. Works well!

Bokis. I said, ʺOnly he drinks.ʺ The man is working. True, I did not tell you one thing, and that is my fault. We did not tell you that the party organization does not trust him. And when he was reinstated in the party, only Khalepsky gave him a recommendation. I didnʹt give him a recommendation. We did not inform you, Klimenty Efremovich, and in this respect we let you down. Olshansky turned out to be an enemy.

Now I want to dwell on the system for the advancement of people along the armored forces. Here I must, Comrade Stalin, tell you that in the auto‐armored forces we had a situation that we did not like in many respects. It is good when a person works, but this is not enough. What did we do with this famous Abashidze? I must report to you, I think that Khalepsky did not fully report to you how the facts were. Khalepsky sent him to the AKTUS Academy of Mechanization. He graduated from the course; he was appointed head of the school in Kaluga. There he invited artists, got them drunk and behaved badly. Politically, the devil knows what he is. They demanded to be removed. Voice. Comrade Bokis, it was removed on my inspection.

Bokis. Quite right. How did it happen that he got into the 17th corps?

The 17th Corps is a rifle corps, but it has 3 tank battalions.

Voroshilov. And stands on the border.

Bokis. I was interested, looked through the documents, looked at the order, what kind of visa is on the order. When appointing such persons, they usually give us a visa. Whose visa is on the order? Fakturovich and Feldman.

Stalin. Whose First?

Bokis. Fakturovich ‐ the head of the 4th Directorate ‐ and Feldman. Usually, whenever such persons are appointed, they give us a visa to the Armored Directorate, but here they were not given.

About Schmidt. This is also a typical case. What happened with Schmidt? Schmidt was appointed commander of the 8th Mechanized Brigade at Yakirʹs insistence. I was not involved in personnel then. (Call from the chairman.) Iʹm finishing up now, I want to say only about Schmidt. I don’t know, I don’t know who persuaded Khalepsky. But when I left for Leningrad last year, Khalepsky submits to the Peopleʹs Commissar the appointment of Schmidt as the head of the armored department of the Leningrad District. When I came from Leningrad, found out about this (I was told), I went to Khalepsky and said that this was a political mistake: Schmidt is a former Trotskyist, he cannot be sent to Leningrad. Comrade Khalepsky canceled this.

Further, another person of the same kind ‐ Bakshi I came to Kliment Efremovich and said: “Take off Bakshi”. Kliment Efremovich agreed. They took him off and said: ʺSend him to the Academy, let him learn.ʺ They sent, and after a while the deputy arrives. the commander of the Ukrainian district Garkavy, according to his list, appoints the commander of the armored reserve brigade Bakshi. Thus, contrary to the order of the Peopleʹs Commissar.

The next of the ʺleadersʺ is Derevtsov. Comrade Blucher has already spoken about him. I believe that a very big mistake was made in relation to this person. How was he assigned to such a responsible area? The worker, a partisan, fought all the time on civilian fronts, but they did not approach this matter politically. It must be admitted that we did not see Derevtsov politically. I then signaled to the Peopleʹs Commissariat of Internal Affairs that in December Derevtsov was here and with some civilian (you, Comrade Yezhov, have not yet found out which one?) Went to the 37th plant. This case was transferred to me. I believe that one more question needs to be asked about the party question. I refer this, Semyon Petrovich Uritsky, to you. You were asked a question about Bukhartsev. I want to tell you one case. When we were at the Kiev regional party conference, there we nominated deputy. chief of VOTI Nemov. He was not conducted, because it was established that he had a party penalty for his connection with Bukhartsev. Then it turned out that he got out some records through Bukhartsev. Now I learned that Semyon Petrovich had sent Nemov. After all, Nemov visited you, was considered your friend, I saw him once with you. It was necessary to mention this connection. I do not know how deep this connection is, but now in such a tense situation it is necessary to talk about it, especially since the person has been arrested. Greenberg and others asked you to lead questions.

Uritsky. I saw Bukhartsev once or twice, and Nemov was with me once. What kind of friend is this? In addition, he came on business, I mean the design work that he did.

Bokis. I visited you once and met him there. There was no design work, you had a lot of guests. This means that he was not once, but twice. What do we need to do today? We need to cleanse ourselves of all those hostile people who, undoubtedly, are in our tank troops. We must carefully check our troops, our units along all lines, in all directions. Only under this condition can we guarantee that we will get rid of our enemies. After this check, we are obliged to show one hundred percent vigilance so that in this matter we again win that trust ‐ especially we ‐ the tankers ‐ which until now have been enjoyed by the Peopleʹs Commissar, the government, and Comrade Stalin.

Voroshilov. The meeting is closed, a break is announced until 12 oʹclock in the morning.

[1]     Own title of the document. The transcript has a title page compiled in the Archives of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU: “Meeting of the Military Council with commanders and political workers. June 1‐4, 1937 Transcript ‐ uncorrected. The presiding officer is Voroshilov. Fifth meeting (June 3, 1937, evening). Continuation of the discussion of Voroshilovʹs report: ... Budyonny ‐ (fol. 140‐156), Meretskov ‐ (fol. 157‐180), Stepanov ‐ (fol. 181‐192), Blucher ‐ (fol. 193245), Okunev ‐ (l. 246‐262), Bokis ‐ (l. 263‐279). 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]     In May‐August 1920 I.E. Yakir commanded the Fastov, Zlochev and Lvov groups of troops (Military encyclopedia. T. 8. S. 555).

[3]     So in the transcript. Thatʹs right ‐ ʺsaid about the recommendation.ʺ In addition, here and below in the transcript the surname of Major V.A.

Abashidze (ʺAshidzeʺ).

[4]     So in the source.

[5]     So in the transcript. Should be ‐ ʺto the Primorskaya group.ʺ

[6]     So in the transcript.

[7]     So in the source.

[8]     Apparently, this means the corps commissar (since June 27, 1937 ‐ army commissar of the 2nd rank) Ya.K. Berzin, who took part in the Spanish Civil War as the chief military adviser to the Republican army.

[9]     Here and so on in the transcript. Apparently, we are talking about Colonel N.D. Skaldine.

[10]  So in the transcript., [11] So in the transcript.                                                             

[12]  So in the transcript.

[13]  So in the transcript.

[14Perekop was taken by units of the Red Army during the PerekopChongar strategic offensive operation of the Soviet troops of the Southern Front, carried out on November 7‐17, 1920 with the aim of destroying the White Guard Russian Army of General P.N. Wrangel and capture the Crimea. The plan for the defense of the Crimea was that, relying on the Perekop and Chongar fortifications, as well as on natural barriers (Sivash, Sivash, Chongar and Genichesky straits), with the support of the Black Sea Fleet (Vice‐Admiral M.A. Kedrov) and the French squadron (Rear Admiral Dumenil) repel the Soviet offensive and hold the Crimea as a springboard for the fight against the Soviet Republic. In November 1920, the Southern Front of Soviet troops (commanded by M.V. Frunze) consisted of three combined arms and two horse armies. In the first echelon were the 6th Army (A.I. Kork) and the 4th Army (BC Lazarevich); in reserve ‐ the 13th Army (I.P. Uborevich); The 1st Cavalry Army (S.M. Budyonny) and the 2nd Cavalry Army (F.K. Mironov) formed the frontʹs mobile groups. Therefore, the idea of the offensive operation of the Southern Front was to deliver two strikes: the main one ‐ by the forces of the 6th Army in the Perekop direction, and the auxiliary one ‐ by the forces of the 4th Army in the Chongar direction, to break through the enemyʹs defenses on the Perekop and Chongar isthmuses, defeat its main force and break into the Crimea; then, building on the achieved success, bring into battle the cavalry mobile groups, dismember the remnants of the Russian army, destroy them in parts and capture the Crimean peninsula. The Perekop‐Chongar strategic offensive operation ended with the complete victory of the Red Army. The remnants of the White Guard troops fled abroad.

[15]  A.V. Kaulbars ‐ General of the Russian Army, Commander of the

3rd Army (1904) during the Russo‐Japanese War.

[16]  So in the transcript Correctly ‐ ʺof fundamental importance.ʺ

[17]  So in the transcript.

[18]  So in the transcript. Apparently, we are talking about Alexander Ilyich (Egorov).

[19]ʺPikeʺ is the name of six series of medium diesel submarines of the USSR Navy, built in 1933‐1945. designed by B.M. Malinin. The project of the 3rd series of submarines was taken as a basis, which was distinguished by its simplicity of design, reliability, and the possibility of transportation by rail in disassembled form. The main tactical and technical elements of the submarine (series V bis2): surface displacement 585 tons, underwater 720 tons, respectively, the speed of 12.3 and 8.5 knots (22.8 and 15.7 km / h), the maximum immersion depth is 90 m. Armament: 4 bow and 2 aft torpedo tubes, 2 45‐mm guns. Crew 37 people. Submarines of the ʺShchʺ type during the Great Patriotic War actively participated in military operations at sea: 11 submarines became Red Banner, and 6 were awarded the Guards rank (ʺShch‐205ʺ, ʺShch‐303ʺ, ʺShch‐309ʺ, ʺShch‐402ʺ, ʺShch‐422ʺ, ʺShch‐215ʺ)

(Naval Encyclopedic Dictionary.

[20]  So in the text. Thatʹs right ‐ ʺtorpedo bombersʺ.

[21]  I‐16 ‐ high‐speed monoplane, which was the main pre‐war fighter of the Soviet Air Force. Serial production of this aircraft, created in the design bureau of N. Polikarpov, began in mid‐1934. The I‐16 was produced for seven years and had a number of modifications, characterized by a steady increase in mass with the same overall dimensions, an increase in engine power and improved armament. In the mid‐1930s. The I‐16 was the worldʹs first serial and mass fightermonoplane, which laid the foundation for the spread of such a scheme and had retractable landing gear. The aircraft was used in hostilities in Spain, on Khalkhin‐Gol, on the Karelian Isthmus and on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War (Andreev I.A. until 1938 M., 2002 S. 492).

[22]  Here in the transcript the names of the 2nd rank army commissar G.I. Gugin ‐ ʺGuguenʺ and the flagship of the 1st rank K.I. Dushenova ‐ Dubshinov.

[23]  Hereinafter, inmates of the Directorate of Special Purpose Camps are meant.

[24]  So in the transcript.

[25]  So in the transcript. Thatʹs right ‐ the ʺAcademy of Mechanization and Motorization of the Red Armyʺ.