Transcripts from the Soviet Archives VOLUME XIV SECRET REVIEWS 1934

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

Transcript of the meeting of the Military Council June 1‐4, 1937 (Morning session on June 2, 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. 111‐155, Source. 1994. No. 3. P. 72‐85

Archive: RGASPI. F. 17. Op. 165.D. 59. L. 1‐76. AP RF. F. 45. Op. 1.D. 1120. L. 48‐81. A typewritten copy of the uncorrected transcript.

Meeting of the Military Council with the participation of invited comrade commanders and political workers on June 2, 1937 (Morning session) [1]

Voroshilov. I declare the meeting open. The floor is given to Comrade Petrovsky.

Petrovsky. The reproach of the Peopleʹs Commissar comrade Voroshilov that we did not give him sufficient signals is the correct reproach. We still had sufficient data to firmly pose these questions.

Budyonny. Certainly.

Petrovsky. I will give some cases. Tyulenev is sitting here. For a long time ago, we talked about the fact that something was amiss with us, that the matter rests not only on a handful of some people, but goes further, that it rests on Yakir and even Gamarnik. We found the courage to discuss these issues among ourselves, but did not raise them further. With Ivan Panfilovich Belov, we also frankly talked about the fact that the question obviously rests not only on Turovsky, but goes much further, because we observed the life of these people, saw who was connected with whom. Ivan Panfilovich even said that he directly hates, cannot look at Uborevich with indifference, and I told him that the issue in Ukraine also affects Yakir. But we did not take further this case. There was not enough Bolshevik courage to go and pose the question where it should be.

Take Ukraine. I commanded the 14th Cavalry Division there, and therefore I will dare say about the cavalry. The cavalry is not united in Ukraine. There are chervonets there, they seem to have their own organization, where no one is allowed.

Budyonny. Ukrainian.

Petrovsky. Yes Yes. There are Kotovites and there were Kotovites, and there are Budennovites. I came to the Ukraine in the 14th division as a Budennovist and felt disgusting. Comrade Voroshilov knows my anticavalry sentiments, not in the sense that I donʹt like cavalry ...

Stalin. It is unprofitable for the Budennovites there.

Petrovsky. I am a Budyonnovist, and so on. Budyonny considers me a


Stalin. In Ukraine, it is unprofitable to be a Budennovist.

Petrovsky. Quite right, unprofitable. I came to Yakir and told him: ʺIona Emmanuilovich, you canʹt continue to work like this, the cavalry is divided into 3 different groups, which are at enmity with each other and which are set against each other.ʺ After a while I managed to leave the cavalry for the Moscow Proletarian Division, and I did not bring this matter to the end. This is my fault.

Stalin. This is the worst part.

Petrovsky. That’s right, itʹs my fault. Sergeev is sitting here, beginning. podiv. Proletarian. I want to say about Gamarnik. The Moscow Proletarian Division must go to the camps, must gather the second regular division for the collection, and at this time Sergeev is taken and imprisoned for 3 months as chairman of the attestation commission of the reserve command staff, all commissars of the regiments and almost the entire political staff are removed. What is it? Is it possible at such a moment, when a division goes to the camps, to behead it? Is it our business or not? Why is such an event being held at such a moment? And we did not go beyond our internal conversations. We felt that this was not a good thing; we understood that this was not our business, but some comrades here tried to say that Gamarnik did not enjoy authority. Comrades political workers,

Voices. And not only here.

Petrovsky. Everyone has.

Voice. And you.

Petrovsky. I donʹt argue with everyone, but you were closer.

Voice. And you stood far away!

Petrovsky. We will talk separately; we are old acquaintances.

Stalin. And in the world?

Petrovsky. It is possible in the world. We talked with him in the House of the Red Army, and he remembers this conversation. And as soon as the name of Gamarnik was pronounced, all conversations ended.

Voice. I don’t deny it.

Stalin. Were you afraid?

Petrovsky. Not that they were afraid ...

Voice. Didnʹt know that the enemy.

Petrovsky. We believed him.

Voice. Once ordered, it must be obeyed.

Molotov. They believed, believed.

Petrovsky. And the third question from this group of questions. I want to say about the squabble that was between the commanders and political workers. We know that someone has driven a wedge between the one‐man leaders and the pompoly. Sometimes we didnʹt want to look at each other.

Voice. And sometimes more.

Petrovsky. And sometimes more ‐ they put spokes in the wheels.

Voice. Especially you, in terms of disrupting political work.

Petrovsky. We are about disrupting political work, and you are about disrupting combat training. (Noise.)

Voices. Drop it. It is not right. Sorry.

Voice. Remember your speech at the War Council.

Voice. You read the transcript of your speech.

Petrovsky. I remember very well my speech at the Military Council.

Voice. You smashed the political workers.

Molotov. There are such rumors about Petrovsky that he did not look particularly well at political work.

Petrovsky. It is right. Iʹll tell you why, Comrade Molotov. Do you know why? I commanded a division for 8.5 years, was the one‐man, and I, as the one‐man, none of the early. PUOKR did not bring up, they did not work for me. I was a commander, and they demanded of me as a commander, but as a commissar no one demanded from me.

Molotov. The party demanded.

Petrovsky. The party demanded, but our party had its delegates represented by the appropriate people who were obliged to work on us and educate us.

Voice. It means turning away from responsibility.

Petrovsky. And vice versa, I can say, in my opinion, a line was drawn to delay, to drive a wedge between commanders and pompolites, and we fought.

Voice. This is wrong.

Petrovsky. Here is what Uborevich said. I am now in command of the 5th corps. I only recently visited Uborevich, so to speak, I went to introduce myself, he told me this ‐ he explained the decisions of the Central Committee of the party. This decision, he says, is a good, correct one, but this is what caused it ‐ I have the right to explain it and explained it on the asset: the commanders have their own duties, their business is to teach the troops; the commissars have their own business ‐ responsibility for party political issues. See how he put the question? He again separated this matter, and in the Belorussian district this explanation went to the masses.

Voice. Nothing of the kind, he only invited the commanders separately and explained, but he did not speak anywhere.

Petrovsky. He told me himself whether he was present at this or later came up to Comrade Apanasenko. This explanation was given in Minsk at a meeting that was held. A harmful clarification that leads not to unity but to disunity.

Let me move on to the next question ‐ about the 5th Rifle Corps. Not because I accepted it, but because it seems to me that the enemy had a hand here. Why Slutsk direction remains open, and the way to Bobruisk and the way bypassing the Minsk region remains open? Amosovskoe direction, on the contrary, is closed by the fortified area. Why are the Slutsk Gates, where most of the cavalry is concentrated, open? And where do they run into? In the Baranovichi fortified area. You canʹt go anywhere from Baranovichi. What covers the Slutsk bridgehead, which leads, firstly, to the rear to the Minsk fortified region, and secondly, to Bobruisk and further to Orsha‐Smolensk? I was surprised when I came and started asking who you have fortified areas [building], what are they doing, I began to get to know each other, to accept business. It turns out that they were a completely unexpected discovery for me. The fourth division, stationed in Slutsk, is an extremely small division. They certainly have a wicked plan. A division that acts in two echelons ... First, the small first echelon, and then the second. In fact, they will beat her in parts. And the 55th corps artillery regiment. This is the new formation of B‐4[2] and other tools. They are now, these weapons, removed. The regiment is practically unfit for action, it has nothing.

8th division, I donʹt understand her. This is a mixed organization. Part of the territorial, part of the personnel. This organization does not justify itself in any way, from any side. One division is an artillery personnel division, and the rest are territorial or something else. This organization, which was deliberately brought to Bobruisk [3], in order to have an incapable part here.

Voice. After all, he took Kazansky for himself.

Petrovsky. I will talk about Kazansky.

Bobruisk is an extremely large, important operational center, and at the same time Bobruisk serves as a place where everything that is unfit, anti‐Soviet is sent from the border strip and other places; and Bobruisk actually turns into a cloaca.

Now, regarding what I was immediately pleased with in the 5th building. If there is mobilization, the corps will not be able to mobilize on horseback and will not be able to raise the hulls.

Voice. This is all over Belarus.

Petrovsky. I donʹt know how it is all over Belarus, but something must be done with the horse. The first question that was raised was that we will not be able to raise the corps, all formations on a knight.

Now some tactical and operational questions. I stayed in Belarus because it was necessary to conduct a corps assembly, and therefore I wanted to study the command staff of the corps at the corps assembly. There was a breakthrough of the fortified strip. Comrade Mezheninov has an instruction there. I studied this instruction in detail. What I state from the way this corps gathering was prepared and carried out, Bobrov was supposed to conduct it. First, the fact that there is an instruction is a certain norm of the General Staff that no one knows. The headquarters of Belarus have their own norms, completely different from those of the General Staff. I do not know why it is necessary to carry out such a line in the Belorussian district on the training of higher and senior command personnel. First, here Goryachev spoke about the cavalry composition of the UR. This means losing cavalry in the first battle.

But here the standard of artillery preparation is one, here you offer 60 guns and 50% of the high‐power saturation of the General Staff [4] and at least 6 hours of artillery preparation. In the Belorussian district, a maximum of 4 hours is offered for artillery preparation and there may be a breakthrough, i.e., the first echelon to be reinforced [5] the region will die, the troops will die, and there will be a breakthrough, the cavalry and mechanical parts will land in this area. This was prepared from year to year, perhaps because such people were sitting there. But people argued that this norm was adopted in the Belarusian district, and they carried out it in all places. I had to give up this case, and after breaking through the UR, I opened the eyes of people on this case. Why, in the end, both operational responsibility and principal responsibility are not taken into account.

About defense. This is a serious matter. We were building a fire system in front of the front line at a distance of 400 meters ‐ rifles and machine guns. In Belarus, they installed not 400 meters, but 800 meters and they are doing it. The rise is projected at a distance of 200 meters, and the enemy can take a break, there is dead space, and he rushes into the attack. Is it sabotage or not? Who gave the right to the Belarusian district to revise the norm? And here the Spanish experience is also presented, falsified. The Spanish experience should be used. It is necessary to publish a book so that it is impossible to hide the Spanish experience, it is necessary to point out what we can use in the Spanish experience. And here is Yakir and Uborevich, who speak well, where they can and where they cannot stick this Spanish experience.

Now about the Proletarian Division. Gorbachev tried to persuade me for a very long time from the first days of accepting the division in order to withdraw the Proletarian Division from Moscow, to build barracks 50 kilometers outside Moscow. Whatʹs the matter? I said that I do not agree with this case. The commander of a cavalry division is present here, he persuaded him to transfer the 1,5‐2 regiments to Podolsk. I am not talking about the Stalin division, maybe this is necessary, but the Proletarian division can be kept in Moscow. Why Gorbachev wanted to withdraw the division from Moscow, I donʹt know. I spoke about this with Comrade Voroshilov and argued that this was impossible. I spoke in a private conversation with Comrade Khrushchev that there are such conversations that Nikita Sergeevich would support this. I could not understand why it was necessary to withdraw the Proletarian Division.

Voice. It is now clear.

[ Petrovsky.] Yes, now itʹs clear.

Second question. Gorbachev gave the order to the certification commission. He said that you have a short command staff in your division, you need to replace it with a high‐speed one. (Laughter.) Where can you find the taller ones? Therefore, an order is given: henceforth, the Moscow Proletarian Division will be recruited from commanders graduated from the All‐Russian Central Executive Committee school [6]. And such an order began to be carried out.

The third question is about the Proletarian Division. Sometimes it boiled so much that I went to see Klimenty Efremovich and Ivan Panfilovich. In pulling apart the division, Tukhachevsky made an exclusively wrecking hand. If it was not possible to withdraw the Proletarian division, then they decided to tear it apart, then it is necessary to send a combined detachment as part of the regiment to Innoʹs disposal [7], then some other detachment. Accidental coincidence or not accidental, but there is such an order within the Proletarian division: to form such a division and send it to Innoʹs disposal. Orders for the dispatch of detachments poured in from all sides. That comrade Oshley fell asleep on business trips. Here sits here the chief of staff, with whom we have quarreled more than once, there was exceptional abuse. They saw me, I donʹt know what kind of enemy, they said that you could not see anything further than your division ‐ this is because I defended the interests of the army, defending my division. The ripping up of the Proletarian Division took place before everyoneʹs eyes.

Stalin. And from the school of the All‐Russian Central Executive Committee, the commanders were transferred to the Proletarian Division?

Petrovsky. It was impossible to immediately appoint all the lieutenants from the All‐Russian Central Executive Committee school to the Proletarian Division. But after this order, 25‐30 people were appointed. In general, a program was drawn up for several years, according to which it was supposed to transfer all commanders from the All‐Russian Central Executive Committee school to the Proletarian Division.

Stalin. The head of the All‐Russian Central Executive Committee school, Yegorov, was arrested. You know?

Petrovsky. Yes I know.

Stalin. Before him there was Gorbachev, you know.

Petrovsky. I know.

Stalin. Then there was Trekolnikov.

Voices. Imyinninnikov.

Stalin. Imyinninnikov. This was their plan. We need to see what kind of people were transferred. Maybe they translated the good ones.

Petrovsky. Comrade Sergeev and I have already spoken. We need to check what kind of people they are. There are some good ones among them. I know one or two from work, they work well.

Voice. They will work pretty well.

Petrovsky. Need to check.

Stalin. What kind of order? Who gave this order?

Voroshilov. The school of the Central Executive Committee was considered the best.

Stalin. The All‐Russian Central Executive Committee school was considered the best in our country. And what nonsense ‐ the age principle of the transfer of commanders? We have Gryaznov ‐ the commander is undersized, so he needs to be transferred? Who gives you such orders?

Voroshilov. Who signed the order?

Petrovsky. This was a narrow order from the head of the military district [8]. They had a definite plan.

Voice. The cavalry division was also selected by height.

Petrovsky. I attended many classes, and I was able to watch a number of classes in the 5th building. I spoke with the Red Army men; I spoke with the command staff. They already knew some of the published solutions.

I think, firstly, I must assure with all honesty and sincerity that the troops of the Red Army love Klimenty Efremovich Voroshilov. I consider it necessary to declare that I saw in the troops (both in the Proletarian division and in the 5th corps), the troops are devoted to the cause of the party, and if we cleanse ourselves of the abomination that has jumped out of us, which we have uncovered, then we will improve our Red Army and we will strengthen it.

Voroshilov. Comrade Neronov has the floor [9].

Neronov. Comrades, I want to report to the leaders of our party and the Military Council on the state of the Academy. Frunze. About how the enemies of our party, the enemies of the people, selected their cadres at the Academy. Frunze.

I recently began working with Comrade Bunin to drive out the unworthy people who were selected by Tukhachevsky and Kork. I want to focus on the characteristics of these people. These are former colonels, former Trotskyists, who actively opposed the party: Timoshkov, a former Trotskyist; Kadyshev, a former Trotskyist, used to write a textbook on the history of the party, heading a Trotskyist group, and now he wrote the history of the Civil War, in other words, a huge piece of the history of our Bolshevik party. Fedoseev is a former Trotskyist. Efimov, an active Trotskyist, opposed the general line of the party in 1927, was expelled from the party, and after that he was sent to the Frunze Academy. Kuzmin is a former Trotskyist, an active participant in the struggle against the general line of the party in 1923.

Voice from the place. And you let him into the bureau.

Neronov. Now the question has been raised of his expulsion from the party and his dismissal from the ranks of the Red Army. Krymov, a former Trotskyist, was expelled from the party, his father was shot. Active Trotskyists ‐ Ziberov, Kononenko. Toroshchansky is a former

Trotskyist, expelled from the Chemical Academy, transferred to the Frunze Academy in order to teach our young cadres. Panov was expelled from the Intelligence Directorate of the Red Army as an exposed Trotskyist, after which he was sent to a special intelligence department at our Academy. Shafranyuk, Admin, Colonel Novikov worked for a long time with Putna in the Far East.

Voice from the place. Is this the permanent staff of the Academy?

Neronov. These are personnel who train and educate our people. Tsalkovich, expelled from the party, expelled from the Engineering Academy, goes to the Frunze Academy. Pavlov is a well‐known close associate of Tukhachevsky. Ermolin is the former chief of staff of Tukhachevsky on the Western Front. Nikonov, a Trotskyist with 4 years of experience in prison in the case of the Industrial Party, also ended up at the Frunze Academy. Gormychenko, whose wife some time ago, as a spy, was imprisoned by the organs of the Peopleʹs Commissariat for Internal Affairs. He was transferred from the motorized mechanic division to the Frunze Academy. The son of the former Khan of Nakhichevan in Azerbaijan was arrested for counter‐revolutionary affairs, and then sent to the Frunze Academy.

Voice from the place. Have you asked a question about it?

Neronov. I must say that these questions have been raised. Now they have been installed again, and Comrade Bulin told me that the Peopleʹs Commissar had made a decision that all these people, who even in the slightest degree of doubt, should be driven out. In addition, it must be said that Yakir, until recently, conducted his dastardly counterrevolutionary work. Butyrsky was kept as the chief of staff of the Kiev military district. All measures were taken through Tukhachevsky and Gamarnik ...

Stalin. No no. We ordered to remove this Butyrsky.

Neronov. The Central Committee ordered this enemy to remove Butyrsky, and he was appointed deputy. Head of the Academy Frunze. When I found out about this, I wrote a memo to comrade Voroshilov. Comrade Voroshilov, having understood this material, immediately canceled the appointment of Butyrsky. This suggests how skillfully this gang from all sides bypassed our individual links and selected their people.

Hereʹs another example. Ventsov is removed, undoubtedly for political reasons, from the post of military attaché in France. And it turns out that he is not going to Blucher ...

Blucher. Thank you, I have enough of mine.

Neronov. He goes to Yakir, and Yakir takes him as division commander.

Stalin. He did not appoint himself.

Neronov. I am presenting this as a characterization in order to show how these enemies selected their shots and placed them in their respective areas. In addition, I must report on what happened at the Academy. There is no program at the Academy, we were in a fever ‐ listeners, wonderful people who were out of order, we were in fever, people were outraged. This indignation was especially poured out when people began to speak at the top of their voice after the decisions of the plenum of the Central Committee, after the report of Comrade Stalin, after the closing words of Comrade Stalin, after Comrade Voroshilov spoke in full voice to the assets of the Peopleʹs Commissariat of Defense about these outrages, about these intolerable, absolutely unacceptable phenomena.

What else was, how did they conduct their policy? The state academy should have a thousand students. As of today, we have only 540 academicians. The Academy is designed for a thousand people, we need highly qualified personnel for our Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army, we still have a shortage. Recently, Comrade Voroshilov found out about this and ordered to find out why it was, and ordered to fully staff the Academy. This is the malicious, hostile work that these enemies were doing.

Besides, I must report. Recently, the question arose about the appointment of the head of the department of tactics, it seems, the already exposed henchman of Uborevich, the chief of staff of Bobrov, just now the question arose of taking this representative of Uborevichʹs gang.

Voice. Comrade Yezhov has already taken him.

Neronov. If Nikolai Ivanovich took it, we will all be terribly happy with it. In this connection, I would like to pose a second question about the Academy. Comrade Stalin, we have a lot of wonderful people, ordinary people, dissatisfied with their military rank. Iʹm sure there was a counter‐revolutionary hand here.

Shouts. Right!

Neronov. Soldiers, commanders for 15‐17 years, and they are given the rank of senior lieutenant, people are outraged.

Voice. They gave it on purpose.

Neronov. I think they gave it on purpose. Now I can read out a long list of these wonderful people whom this counter‐revolutionary hand has driven away.

Voice. The commanders were made quartermasters.

Neronov. I am now talking about our militants, commanders who are out of action, who took part in the Civil War, and they are given the rank of senior lieutenant.

Budyonny. They presented the lists themselves. (Noise.)

Voice. This is Feldmanʹs commission.

Budyonny. And where have you been?

Neronov. With regard to a number of people, I think that this is the case at the Academy as well.

Budyonny. You are not responsible for anything, you only talk, you signed these people, represented them.

Neronov. Semyon Mikhailovich, it is likely that a presentation of this order was also from Belorussky, and from Kiev, and from other districts.

Efimov. Yakir has all the corps corps.

Neronov. We clapped and did such performances.

Budyonny. Review all materials.

[ Neronov.] Now I want to say how we signaled to the Peopleʹs Commissar. I think that Comrade Smirnov on this question is absolutely correct, he said it firmly. We started timidly, but where it was necessary to say in a party style, firmly, we did not have enough real Bolshevik vigor in these matters. I have to say to the Peopleʹs Commissariat of Defense when I worked until 1925. We put it, tried to talk about Primakov. Here is Misha Simonov sitting here. We wanted to play, but we were told not to. And that would alert the organization.

Voice. And I told you, but you did not bring this matter to Gamarnik.

Neronov. Absolutely correct. Osepyan and Gamarnik were informed that when I worked in the party bureau of the Peopleʹs Commissariat of Defense, I was deputy. secretary together with Simonov, I say that I, including, made attempts, but these were timid, non‐party, nonBolshevik attempts. Could it have been done for real? It could be. I believe that we had a lot of shortcomings just because we really, in a Bolshevik way, did not work, because we did not have sufficient vigilance, and in me, in particular, in the Peopleʹs Commissariat of Defense, when I worked there and in the North Caucasian District.

Voroshilov. And the Academy.

Neronov... And now I add that in the Academy, I have been sitting there for more than 4 months. Quite right, I am deeply, deeply worried about it. Even recently I reported on a number of persons who have now been imprisoned by Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov. I reported to Osepian and Gamarnik, reported enemies to enemies. I spoke about a number of people, I said that the listeners indignantly declare that these reptiles must be destroyed as soon as possible, crushed, and shot. And Gamarnik asked me: ʺDo you have such excitement or something like that?ʺ ʺNo,ʺ I say, ʺI didnʹt notice the excitement, there is a demand to crush the reptiles to the end.ʺ And this fanatic, an ally of this gang of Yakir and Tukhachevsky, asks about the excitement! We know that there is indignation with these bastards, but there is no hesitation and excitement that dozens of these bastards will be shot, no excitement.

I am sure that the army will rally even more tightly around our leader of the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army, whom it loves with brotherly love, Comrade Voroshilov, a comrade‐in‐arms of the Party leader, loves our Party, the Central Committee, loves Comrade Stalin, and I am especially confident that we will crush this reptile and letʹs go to further victorious successes in the field of our army building.

Voroshilov. Comrade Zhiltsov has the floor.

Zhiltsov. Comrades, I had to work with Uborevich from 1932 to mid1935, and I am now especially hard and especially deeply worried that, being personally a party comrade, I had to unravel this traitor and this enemy of our revolution like no one else. Moreover, I believe that, obviously, this is not only my fault. Many of those present here are to blame for the fact that such conditions were created around the personalities of Uborevich, Yakir, Tukhachevsky, people created a halo. Here, I must say frankly that the situation was so that people did harm in every possible way. In particular, I remember on organizational matters, for the same Byelorussian district, people came here to the Military Council.

Voice. Tell me about your work.

[ Zhiltsov.] I, comrades, worked honestly, did everything that was connected with strengthening this district.

Voice. And he helped to develop sycophant in the district on the material side, did completely illegal things.

[ Residents.] I emphasize that I have worked honestly and conscientiously. And thatʹs what I want to say. What were the lines of sabotage? It is my deep conviction that Uborevich and Yakir carried out this sabotage according to organizational measures. Why donʹt the comrades talk about it? Organizational measures were taken, as a rule, in the same year, and in the same year people were recruited. The result was such a picture: the building program was obviously not carried out, and already people were drafted into the army. In particular, I remember about the 4th cavalry division named after. Voroshilov, about the 3rd mechanized brigade, which is in Old Roads, about the 4th brigade, which is stationed in Bobruisk. I remember a case that Comrade Smirnov can confirm this, when in 1933 a directive was given to accept more than a thousand pilots. It was necessary to prepare apartments and all sorts of other things, and this could only be ready in 1934. accept people, but they can provide them with apartments only in 1934. What was the purpose of this event? I believe to compromise and undermine peopleʹs faith, to compromise all measures, to undermine the authority of our party and the Soviet government. This, comrades, must be said directly. Moreover, this work was directed towards the General Staff. I remember that the entire line was aimed at undermining the authority of the General Staff.

Voice. Levichev all the time went to meetings with Uborevich.

[ Zhiltsov.] I remember one meeting of the commission chaired by Yegorov, the commanders should know about this, when Uborevich and Yakir did not take into account any opinion of comrade Yegorov, ignored the opinion of the chief of the General Staff, carried out everything that these two people needed.

Voices. It is right.

[ Zhiltsov.] Why was there such an indulgence from here? After all, it was a fact that no one can deny. I will give another example. When we already went here, to the central office, after the decision of the Central Committee. The Central Committee and the government, then the Peopleʹs Commissar, approve a large program of warehouse construction ‐ for 30 million or 29 million. We need a warehouse, there is a solution. The government approved it and the peopleʹs commissar too. Yakir and Uborevich come and take off 7 million rubles. from warehouse construction in the line of food and feed rations. Moreover, Comrade Voroshilov was not there at that time. They shoot and no one will reread them.

Voice. And Gamarnik claims.

Zhiltsov. Moreover, I established for sure that both Gamarnik and Tukhachevsky knew about this. It was only after the arrival of the Peopleʹs Commissar, Comrade Voroshilov, that I came to him, and it was restored again. That is, it turns out that these people ‐ enemies of the people ‐ did what they wanted in such conditions of their work, which we witnessed.

The second question I want to talk about here. I believe that in action along the line of the Command Control, along the line of appropriating military knowledge, a certain, very delicate work was carried out to disperse the entire commanding staff, and an environment was created in which enmity, deep enmity developed, and there was a stake on dissatisfaction, deep discontent. For example, I know that we have a number of quartermaster cadres who are definitely dissatisfied. There are a number of facts, here Comrade Bulin must say, there are a number of facts of violation of the law on conferring ranks, when, in order to send to the troops, the commissaryʹs rank is removed, and it is obligatory to be removed by 1‐2 ranks.

(Comrade Voroshilovʹs remark was not captured).

Zhiltsov. With Streltsov, Comrade Peopleʹs Commissar, there was such a thing. Gludin [10]‐ same. There are people who at one time received a special reduction. Therefore, I believe that an immediate amendment is needed here in the line of conferring titles. Why did this whole thing happen? I believe that the main reason is that we have lost the Bolshevik compass for recognizing enemies. In particular, I think that the fact that the revolutionary military councils were liquidated in their time was one of the biggest mistakes, which entailed the creation of rights for these people, unlimited rights to dispose and rule. Moreover, with the blessing of Gamarnik, the party‐political apparatus was, as Comrade Smirnov correctly put it yesterday, so tame, not sharp, that he did not even signal on a whole series of directly hostile things. Now, in connection with the establishment of military councils in the districts, this will be one of the most important measures,

Dybenko. Tell me how you signaled when you worked in Central Asia regarding Ippo [11].

Zhiltsov. I was working as Ippoʹs deputy and he had nothing to signal about.

Dybenko. Is it? And why did Bulin shoot him for the decomposition of parts?

Zhiltsov. Further, comrades, I would like to dwell on the question of material security in the area of food. I think that with the issue of providing food and fodder [12] for wartime, we are not doing well. Moreover, I believe that this is again connected with the names of Yakir and Uborevich, especially Yakir. This representative of the counterrevolution should have known that the district was the most important operational direction. Just a year and a half ago, the okrug had meat provision for 5‐6 days. I think that Yakir could not but know.

Dybenko. And you do it so that you donʹt get meat at all.

Zhiltsov. It is not right. I believe that people like Yakir and Uborevich had such a great opportunity to uncontrollably dispose of also because they had great connections with civil organizations, in particular with regional committees, and in Belarus ‐ with the Central Committee of Belarus.

Voice from the place. Wrong, with the Council of Peopleʹs Commissars, specifically with Goloded.

Zhiltsov. I believe that through the regional committee, in particular with Rumyantsev, Uborevich was very closely connected, and he always and everywhere met only with him.

Stalin. With whom?

Zhiltsov. With Rumyantsev.

Voice from the place. Suspicious!

Zhiltsov. At work in Belarus, old bosom friends, so to speak, Uborevich and Goloded, decided on their own almost all matters.

Voice from the place. What are you doing?

Zhiltsov. For example, for the allotment of airfields, for the allotment of plots, for cutting grass, etc. I was sometimes amazed at the ease, the agreement that they had in dealing with large and large issues. All these matters were resolved very easily, and Uborevichʹs opinion in these matters was decisive. I believe that many issues that were hidden and invisible to everyone, they should be known to Rumyantsev, and Goloded, and Gikalo, who, as secretary of the Central Committee of Belarus, collided and met with Uborevich. The same picture was observed along the line of Ukraine. What can be said as a conclusion? I believe that now, along with rooting out all the traitors in the army, it is necessary to launch a particularly large amount of work to screen all the cadres of our Red Army, to promote young cadres, and to strengthen the party‐political apparatus.

Voroshilov. Comrade Mesis.

Mesis. It is true that we are all responsible to the party for what happened; and we all slept through this business together, and slept soundly, but at the same time it must be said that we were not taught much. Not from the point of view of the school, but little generalized experience in order to show what phenomena take place, to which attention should be paid. Now everything is clear, this happened because the Political Administration of the Red Army was headed by enemies. During Gamarnikʹs stay at the RKKA PU, not a single business meeting of the chiefs of the PUOKR was convened. Our workers were summoned to the Central Committee in order to listen to them personally.

Voices. And that is rare.

Mesis. In general, there were no meetings after the first arrests of Schmidt and Turovsky were made. We came to Kliment Efremovich in order to find out what was the matter, but Gamarnik did not tell us anything. What conclusions follow from this?

Voice. What could he say?

Mesis. Now everything becomes clear. Take a trip to the Far East. A man came with such a mandate that you can’t say anything except “quietly”.

Stalin. Who came?

Mesis. Gamarnik. After the meeting, he retired with Putna, and spent many hours together. What were they talking about? Not on a business topic, because it was after the meeting, it is now clear that their business was dark.

Stalin. From here, from Moscow, not everything is visible, if you do not help on the ground, we will not be able to find out anything.

Mesis. Right, right. They trusted. It never occurred to us that it was an enemy; came, gave orders ‐ we obeyed. With regard to signals. Of course, we had signals, but we did not generalize these signals. Take, for example, the Belarusian Military District. I take the period of work vols. Smirnov and Bulina. How many facts were there about the relationship of political workers with the command staff! It was necessary to see why this was happening, why such a struggle was taking place, i.e., not a struggle, but deliberately infringed on the rights of political workers in mutual relations. Workers of the PU of the Red Army came, but these phenomena were not generalized, no one was told what had happened.

Why is this situation in the Belarusian military district? Comrade Goryachev and the new Belarusian, Comrade Petrovsky, were great heroes here. Wrong. Toadying in the Belorussian district was very developed. Do not forget that when our district party conference began, the commanders spoke and said after my speech that it was wrong, it did not happen, it didn’t happen. Is it a fact?

Voice. Right.

Mesis. That was the case. Look at the practice that was: how he bribed you, Comrade Goryachev, financially ‐ on May 1 he gave you 700 rubles. for a drink.

Stalin. Where does this money come from? Supposed?

Mesis. Zhiltsov performed here, pretended to be very naive, but Zhiltsov acted incorrectly. Zhiltsov is the one who helped Uborevich to illegally spend funds and hide these illegal expenses from the party organization, from the Political Administration. He had an N‐th amount of money, which he disposed of, which he gave out to the people he needed.

Stalin. Maybe you need help, but to whom?

Mesis. There is money, but it must be given legally.

Voroshilov. A very small amount.

Mesis. The amount is very decent; say, for 1935 ...

Voice. They receive money from local authorities.

Mesis. No, they are not receiving it from the local authorities now.

Voices. Get it.

Mesis. I say, comrades, about [19] 36 g. Maybe he personally received.

In 1936 they were not given.

Voice. The hungry man gave.

Mesis. He did only personally to a certain circle of people in order to keep close to him. Take a look at the Belarusian District. Here they said ‐ itʹs wrong to push their heads together. Here you are, cultured and uncivilized commanders. Here Sazontov is uncultured, Pokras is uncultured. Such and such cultured, such and such uncultured. Here Tolkachev is cultured, and Sazontov, Pokras, Shakhtar, an honored commander, are uncivilized. This was the case. When they speak here and say: ʺWe are all torn here ‐ both Petrovsky and others.ʺ And if Petrovsky received a sabotage explanation, why didnʹt you say that you received a sabotage explanation? Could you go somewhere to Kotlas and give these sabotage instructions? Why are you avoiding the district political department? Here Uborevich avoided. He called to his office and gave explanations there. He acted very cunningly. He came from Moscow, where he was at Mikoyanʹs, at Stalinʹs, gathered two or three workers and told: such and such news. Nobody else knew anything. They talked about the letter to the Central Committee. I didnʹt know anything. And when I come to the Belarusian district, they know that there was a letter to the Central Committee. Stalin collected.

Stalin. These are the people who wrote to the Central Committee, but you did not.

Mesis. Thatʹs right, we didn’t write, we didn’t have enough to pose a number of questions to the Central Committee.

Stalin. Put before the Peopleʹs Commissar.

Mesis. The question was raised before the peopleʹs commissar. We received a proper answer to a number of questions that we posed to the Peopleʹs Commissar. And in 1928, when Kliment Efremovich was with us, we then reproached him and asked: do not give us over to the PUR alone, gather us, listen. He promised, said: ʺI will gather you, listen.ʺ But in recent years, Kliment Efremovich left us and gave us entirely to the PUR. He didn’t listen to us, didn’t collect, didn’t scold sometimes properly in order to raise and solve these questions correctly.

What practical proposals for the Belarusian Okrug are asking for? Specifically, I will tell you about combat training. In terms of combat training, the issue of ostentatiousness, the ceremonial side is widely enough developed for the ostentatious side to be, but in essence, combat training in very many divisions is bad. Hereʹs a part of the Prussian step, which a number of close people tried to promote among the units. On the line of operational training, especially with the mobilization of horse personnel. As a matter of fact, all our proposals for the equestrian stock are thwarted, because sabotage and a large decrease in the equine population took place there in 1935‐1936.

There were many signals regarding the construction. And here, too, Comrade Zhiltsov spoke and talked about orga [13]. I wonder how Comrade Zhiltsov practically carried out work in this direction? Is it correct that this is the case with the org? Take, for example, the 11th division, it could have been carried out in 1936, and not that it was in the winter of 1936. It is clear from this that we didn’t manage to deliver this division. The division was inoperable as a combat unit. At the head of the construction was Kozlovsky, a Trotskyist. Everyone was against the awarding of Kozlovsky, but somehow it was done so that he was awarded, and now he was arrested. Comrade Zhiltsov knew him well, he worked with you, undoubtedly, there were signals about him, but they could not get the withdrawal.

Two words about the title. I believe that Comrade Budyonnyʹs remarks were correct regarding the rank. We drew up a draft, and we could raise this question. Of course, they hurt. This matter was in the hands of Feldman, but we could fix it by approaching each living person carefully, having complaints that we did the wrong thing when we were given the title.

With regard to personnel in the Belorussian district. There is a lot of work ahead. If you take Bobrov, the chief of staff, and his arrested wife, I asked what she was. Comrades say that we have a couple of real spies here. I think that we will have to do a lot of work in the Belarusian district. In 6 years, he managed to recruit someone and set up his people.

How did the command staff and the political staff react when they learned about Uborevichʹs arrest? Command and political personnel reacted calmly. It is necessary to carry out cleaning in the Belarusian district. There is a lot of debris in the Belarusian District. In the Belarusian district there are many forces, young commanders who can be promoted and freed from the unusable staff that exists in the Belarusian district.

Voroshilov (presiding). Comrade Stalin has the floor [14].

Stalin. Comrades, I hope that no one doubts that a military‐political conspiracy existed against the Soviet regime now. The fact is that there is such a lot of testimony from the criminals themselves and supervision by comrades who work in the field, such a mass of them that, undoubtedly, there is a military‐political conspiracy against the

Soviet regime, stimulated and financed by the German fascists.

They scold people: some are scoundrels, others are eccentrics, and still others are landowners. But swearing by itself does nothing. In order to uproot this evil by the roots and put an end to it, it is necessary to study it, calmly study it, study its roots, reveal and outline the means so that such outrageous behavior will not be repeated either in our country or around us in the future.

I just wanted to say a few words on questions of this kind. First of all, notice what kind of people stood at the head of the military‐political conspiracy. I do not take those who have already been shot, I take those who have recently been at large. Trotsky, Rykov, Bukharin — these are political leaders, so to speak. Among them I also include Rudzutak, who also stood at the head and worked very cunningly, confused everything, but only turned out to be a German spy, Karakhan, Yenukidze. Then there are: Yagoda, Tukhachevsky ‐ along the military line, Yakir, Uborevich, Kork, Eideman, Gamarnik ‐ 13 people. Who are these people? This is very interesting to know. This is the core of the military‐political conspiracy, the core that had systematic relations with the German fascists, especially with the German Reichswehr, and which adapted all its work to the tastes and orders of the German fascists.

They say that Tukhachev is a landowner, someone else is a priest. This approach, comrades, does not solve anything, absolutely does not solve it. When they speak of the nobles as a hostile class of the working people, they mean the class, estate, stratum, but this does not mean that some individuals from the nobility cannot serve the working class. Lenin was of noble origin ‐ do you know that?

Voice. It is known.

Stalin. Engels was the son of a manufacturer — non‐proletarian elements, as you wish. Engels himself ran his factory and fed Marx with it. Chernyshevsky was the son of a priest ‐ he was not a bad person. And vice versa. Serebryakov was a worker, and you know what a scoundrel he turned out to be. Livshits was a worker, an illiterate worker, but turned out to be a spy.

When they talk about hostile forces, they mean a class, estate, stratum, but not every person from a given class can harm. Individuals from the nobility, from the bourgeoisie worked for the benefit of the working class and worked well. From such a stratum as lawyers, for example, there were many revolutionaries. Marx was the son of a lawyer, not the son of a farm laborer or the son of a worker. Of these strata there can always be persons who can serve the cause of the working class, no worse, but better than pure blood proletarians. Therefore, the general yardstick that he is not the son of a farm laborer is an old yardstick that is not applicable to individuals. This is not a Marxist approach.

This is not a Marxist approach. This is, I would say, a biological approach, not a Marxist one. We consider Marxism not a biological science, but a sociological science. So, this general measure, which is completely correct in relation to estates, groups, strata, is not applicable to all individuals of non‐proletarian or non‐peasant origin. I will not analyze these people from this side.

You still have another, also incorrect, walking point of view. It is often said: in 1922 such and such voted for Trotsky. Also, wrong. The man could be young, he simply did not understand, he was a bully. Dzerzhinsky voted for Trotsky, not only voted, but openly supported Trotsky under Lenin against Lenin. You know that? He was not a person who could remain passive about anything. He was a very active Trotskyist and he wanted to raise the entire GPU to defend Trotsky.

This he failed. Andreev was a very active Trotskyist in 1921.

Voice from the place. Which Andreev?

Stalin. Secretary of the Central Committee, Andrei Andreevich Andreev. So, you see, the general opinion that such‐and‐such voted then or such‐and‐such then hesitated is also not absolutely and not always correct.

So, this second point of view, which is widespread among you and in the party in general, is also wrong. I would say that it is not always correct, and very often it fails. This means that when characterizing this nucleus and its members, I also will not use this point of view as incorrect.

The best thing is to judge people by their deeds, by their work. There were people who hesitated, then withdrew, withdrew openly, honestly and in the same ranks with us they fight very well with the Trotskyists. Dzerzhinsky fought very well, and Comrade Andreev fights very well. There are also such people. I could count two or three dozen people who have abandoned Trotskyism, who have moved away firmly and are fighting very well with him. It could not be otherwise, because throughout the history of our party facts have shown that Leninʹs line, since the Trotskyists began an open war with him, turned out to be correct. The facts have shown that subsequently after Lenin the line of the Central Committee of our party, the line of the party as a whole, turned out to be correct. This could not but affect some of the former Trotskyists. And it is not surprising that people like Dzerzhinsky, Andreev and a dozen or so two or three former Trotskyists figured out, saw

I will say more. I know some non‐Trotskyists, they were not Trotskyists, but they were not of much use to us either. They voted for the party in an official manner. Is it a big price for such a Leninist? And vice versa, there were people who bristled up, doubted, did not recognize everything as correct and did not have enough cowardice to hide their hesitation, they voted against the party line, and then went over to our side. Consequently, I reject this second point of view, which is current and widespread among you, as absolute.

A third point of view is needed when characterizing the leaders of this core of the conspiracy. This is the point of view of characterizing people by their deeds over a number of years. I pass on to this. I counted 13 people. I repeat: Trotsky, Rykov, Bukharin, Yenukidze, Karakhan, Rudzutak, Yagoda, Tukhachevsky, Yakir, Uborevich, Kork, Eideman, Gamarnik. Of these, 10 people. spies.

Trotsky I organized a group, which I directly trained, instructed: give information to the Germans so that they believe that I, Trotsky, have people. Do sabotage, derailments, so that I, Trotsky, the Japanese and the Germans believe that I have strength. A man who preached among his people the need to engage in espionage, because we, they say, Trotskyists, must have a bloc with the German fascists, therefore, we must have cooperation, therefore, we must help in the same way as they help us in case needs. Now they are required to help with information, give information. You remember the testimony of Radek, you remember the testimony of Livshits, you remember the testimony of Sokolnikov ‐ you gave information. This is espionage. Trotsky ‐ the organizer of spies from people who were either members of our party, or those around our party ‐ chief spy.

Rykov. We have no information that he himself informed the Germans, but he encouraged this information through his people. Yenukidze and Karakhan were very closely associated with him, both turned out to be spies. Karakhan since 1927 and since 1927 Yenukidze. We know through whom they delivered secret information, through whom they delivered this information ‐ through such and such a person from the German embassy in Moscow. We know. Rykov knew all this. We have no evidence that he is a spy himself.

Bukharin. We have no information that he himself informed, but Yenukidze, Karakhan, and Rudzutak were very closely connected with him, they advised them, inform them, they did not deliver them themselves.

Gamarnik. We have no data that he himself informed, but all his friends, closest friends ‐ Uborevich, especially Yakir, Tukhachevsky were engaged in systematic information of the German General Staff.

The rest ‐ Yenukidze, Karakhan, I have already said. Yagoda is a spy, and in his GPU he bred spies. He informed the Germans which of the employees of the GPU had such and such vices. He sent such Chekists abroad for rest. For these vices, the German intelligence seized these people and recruited, they returned recruited. Yagoda told them: I know that the Germans recruited you as you want, or you are my people, personal and work as I want, blindly, or I convey to the Central Committee that you are German spies. They were recruited and submitted to Yagoda as his personal people. This is what he did to Guy, a German‐Japanese spy. He admitted it himself. These people are recognized. So, he did with Volovich ‐ a German spy, he himself admits. So, he did with Pauker ‐ a German spy, long‐standing, since 1923. So


Further, Tukhachevsky. You read his testimony.

Voices. Yes, you did.

Stalin. He was our operational plan, our operational plan ‐ our holy of holies, passed on to the German Reichswehr. Had a meeting with representatives of the German Reichswehr. Spy? Spy. For plausibility in the West, these swindlers from Western European civilized countries are called informers, but we know in Russian that he is just a spy.

akir ‐ systematically ‐ informed the German headquarters. He made up this liver disease for himself. Maybe he invented this disease for himself, or maybe he really had it. He went there to be treated. Uborevich ‐ not only with friends, with comrades, but he personally personally informed. Karakhan is a German spy. Eidemann is a German spy. Karakhan ‐ informed the German headquarters, starting from the time when he was their military attaché in Germany. Rudzutak. Ialready said that he does not admit that he is a spy, but we have all the data. We know to whom he passed the information. There is one experienced scout in Germany, in Berlin. Thatʹs when you might have to visit Berlin, Josephine Genzi, maybe some of you know. She is a beautiful woman. The scout is old. She recruited Karakhan. She recruited on the basis of the women’s unit. She recruited Yenukidze. She helped recruit Tukhachevsky. She also holds in her hands Rudzutaka. This is a very experienced scout ‐ Josephine Genzi. As if she herself is a Danish woman in the service of the German Reichswehr. Beautiful, very willingly goes to all kinds of offers from men, and then ruins. You may have read the article in Pravda [15] about some of the cunning techniques of recruiters. Here she is one of the scouts of the German Reichswehr who distinguished themselves in this field. Here are the people. Ten designated spies and three organizers and connivors of espionage for the German Reichswehr. Here they are, these people.

Naturally, one may ask such a question ‐ how is this so, these people, who were communists yesterday, suddenly became themselves rabid weapons in the hands of German espionage? And so that they are recruited. Today they are required to give information. Do not give, we already have your receipt that you are recruited, we will publish it. On pain of exposure, they provide information. Tomorrow they demand: no, this is not enough, give more and get money, give me a receipt. After that, they demand ‐ start a conspiracy, sabotage. First, sabotage, sabotage, show that you are acting on our side. If you don’t show it, we will expose it, tomorrow we will hand it over to the agents of the Soviet regime and your heads will fly. They start sabotage. After that, they say ‐ no, you somehow try to arrange something in the Kremlin, or in the Moscow garrison and generally take command posts. And these begin to try as best they can. Further, this is not enough. Give real facts worth something. And they kill Kirov. Here, get it, they say. And they are told: move on, cannot the entire government be removed? And they organize through Yenukidze, through Gorbachev, Yegorov, who was then the head of the All‐Russian Central Executive Committee school, and the school was in the Kremlin, Peterson. They are told to organize a group to arrest the government. Reports are flying that there is a group, we will do everything, arrest and so on. But this is not enough, to arrest, kill several people, and the people, and the army. Well, that means they report that we have such and such command posts occupied, we ourselves occupy large command posts, I, Tukhachevsky, and he is Uborevich, and here is Yakir. They demand ‐ but what about Japan, the Far East, how? And so, a campaign begins, a very serious campaign. They want to remove Blucher. And there is also a candidate. Well, of course, Tukhachevsky. If not him, then whom. Why take off? Agitation is being conducted by Gamarnik, and by Aronshtam. So, they deftly lead that they raised almost all of Blucherʹs entourage against him. Moreover, they convinced the leadership of the military center that they needed to be removed. Why is it asked, explain what is the matter? Here he is drinking. Oh well. Well, what else? Here he does not get up early in the morning, does not go to the troops. What else? Outdated, does not understand new methods of work. Well, today he does not understand, tomorrow he will understand, the experience of the old fighter does not disappear. Look, the Central Committee is faced with the fact of all the nasty things they say about Blucher. Putna bombards, Aronshtam bombards us in Moscow, Gamarnik bombards. Finally, we are calling a meeting. When he arrives, we see him. A man like a man, not bad. We do not know him, what is the matter here. We give him a speech ‐ great. We check it in this order.

He, of course, is wiser, more experienced than any Tukhachevsky, than any Uborevich, who is an alarmist and then any Yakir, who is no different in military affairs. There was a small group. Take Kotovsky, he never commanded either the army or the front. If people do not know their business, we scold them ‐ go to hell, we do not have a monastery. Put people in a command position who donʹt drink and donʹt know how to fight ‐ itʹs not good. There are people with 10 years of experience in command, really sand is pouring out of them, but they are not appeased, on the contrary, they are being held. We then scolded Gamarnik, and Tukhachevsky supported him. This is the only case of conspiracy. The Germans must have reported, took all measures. They wanted to put another one, but it doesnʹt work.

A core of 10 proprietary spies and 3 proprietary spy instigators. It is clear that the very logic of these people depends on the German Reichswehr. If they follow the orders of the German Reichswehr, it is clear that the Reichswehr will push these people here. This is the rationale behind the conspiracy. This is a military‐political conspiracy. This is a handwritten work of the German Reichswehr. I think these people are puppets and puppets in the hands of the Reichswehr. The Reichswehr wants us to have a conspiracy and these gentlemen take up the conspiracy. The Reichswehr wants these gentlemen to systematically deliver military secrets to them and these gentlemen to communicate military secrets to them. The Reichswehr wants the existing government to be removed, killed, and they took up this business, but failed. The Reichswehr wanted everything to be ready in case of war, so that the army went over to sabotage in order to so that the army was not ready for defense, this was what the Reichswehr wanted, and they were preparing it. They are agents, leading the nucleus of the military‐political conspiracy in the USSR, consisting of 10 patented spies and 3 patented instigators ‐ spies. These are agents of the German Reichswehr. Hereʹs the basics. This conspiracy has, therefore, not so much internal soil as external conditions, not so much a policy on the internal line in our country as the policy of the German Reichswehr. The USSR wanted to make a second Spain and found themselves and recruited spies who were working in this matter. Here is the setting.

Tukhachevsky especially, who played a noble man, for the petty dirty tricks of an incapable, educated person. We considered him not a bad military man, I considered him not a bad military man. I asked him how you could increase the size of the division to 7 thousand people within 3 months. What is it? A layman, not a military man. What a division of 7 thousand people. It is either a division without artillery, or it is a division with artillery without cover. In general, this is not a division, this is a disgrace. How can there be such a division? I asked Tukhachevsky how you, a person who calls himself an expert in this matter, how can you insist that the size of the division be increased to 7 thousand people. and at the same time demand that we have a division of 60 ... 40 howitzers and 20 cannons, that we have so much tank armament, such and such artillery, and so many mortars? Here is one of two things, either you have to take all this technique to hell and put some shooters on, or you just have to put on the technique. He says to me: “Comrade. Stalin, this is a hobby. ʺ This is not a hobby; this is sabotage carried out by the orders of the German Reichswehr.

Here is the core, and what is it? Did they vote for Trotsky? Rudzutak never voted for Trotsky, but turned out to be a spy. Yenukidze never voted for Trotsky, but turned out to be a spy. Here is your point of view ‐ who voted for whom.

Landowner origin. I do not know who else is there from the landlordʹs family, it seems, only one Tukhachevsky. Class origin doesnʹt change matters. Each individual case must be judged by deeds. For a number of years people had a connection with the German Reichswehr, they went as spies. They must have often hesitated and did not always carry out their work. I think very few of them ran their business from start to finish. I see them crying when they were taken to prison.

Here is the same Gamarnik. You see, if he was a counterrevolutionary from start to finish, he would not have done that, because in his place, being a consistent counterrevolutionary, I would first ask for a meeting with Stalin, first put him to bed, and then would kill myself. This is how counter‐revolutionaries do. These same people were nothing more than slaves of the German Reichswehr, recruited spies and these slaves had to roll along the path of a conspiracy, along the path of espionage, along the path of giving up Leningrad, Ukraine, etc. The Reichswehr, as a powerful force, takes weak people as slaves, as slaves, and weak people must act as ordered. A slave is a slave. This is what it means to get into the orbit of espionage. If you got into this wheel, whether you like it or not, it will turn you around and roll along an inclined plane. Hereʹs the basics. Not that that they have a policy and so on, no one asked them about politics. Itʹs just people who are at mercy.

Collective farms. What do they care about collective farms? You see, they felt sorry for the peasants. This bastard Yenukidze, who in 1918 drove out the peasants and restored the landlordʹs economy, now felt sorry for the peasants. But since he could pretend to be a simpleton and cry, this big guy (laughter), then they believed him.

The second time, in the Crimea, when some women came to him, wives, just like in Belarus, came and cried, then he drove the peasants, this bastard drove the peasants and restored some nobleman. Even then, I represented him for expulsion from the party, they did not believe me, they believed that I, as a Georgian, had a very strict attitude towards Georgians. And the Russians, you see, set themselves the task of protecting ʺthis Georgian.ʺ What does he care, this bastard who restored the landowners, what does he care about the peasants?

This is not about politics, no one asked him about politics. They were slaves in the hands of the German Reichswehr. Those commanded, gave orders, and these were carried out by the sweat of their brow. These fools [thought] that we were so blind that we could not see anything. You see, they want to arrest the government in the Kremlin. It turned out that we saw something. They want to have their own people in the Moscow garrison and generally raise troops. They believed that no one would notice anything, that we have the Sahara Desert, and not a country where there is a population, where there are workers, peasants, intelligentsia, where there is a government and a party. It turned out that we saw something. And now these slaves of the German Reichswehr are now sitting in prison and crying.

Politicians! Leaders!

The second question is why these gentlemen managed to recruit people so easily. Here we are, 300‐400 people were arrested on the military line. There are good people among them. How were they recruited? I cannot say that these are capable, talented people. How many times have they raised an open struggle against Lenin, against the party under Lenin and after Lenin, and each time they were beaten? And now they put up a big campaign and failed too. Not very talented people who failed every now and then, from 1921 to 1937. Not very talented, not very brilliant.

How did they manage to recruit people so easily? This is a very serious question. I think they acted this way here. A person is dissatisfied with something, for example, he is dissatisfied with the fact that he is a former Trotskyist or Zinovievite and he is not so freely nominated, or he is dissatisfied with the fact that he is an incapable person, does not manage his affairs and is demoted for this, and he considers himself very capable. Sometimes it is very difficult for a person to understand the measure of his strength, the measure of his pros and cons. Sometimes a person thinks that he is a genius and therefore resentful when he is not nominated.

We started small ‐ with an ideological group, and then moved on. The conversations were like this: guys, what a deal. The GPU is in our hands, Yagoda is in our hands, the Kremlin is in our hands, because Peterson is with us, the Moscow District, Cork and Gorbachev are also with us. We have everything. Either come forward now, or tomorrow when we come to power, stay on the beans. And many weak, unstable people thought that this business was real, damn it, it seemed even profitable. You miss that way, during this time the government will be arrested, the Moscow garrison and all that sort of thing will be seized, and you will remain aground. (Animation in the hall.)

This is exactly what Peterson argues in his testimony. He throws up his hands and says ‐ this is a real thing; how can you not enlist here? (Cheerful animation in the hall.) It turned out that the case was not so real. But these weak people reasoned that way ‐ how the hell not to stay behind everyone. Letʹs get on with this business as soon as possible, or youʹll be stranded.

Of course, only a few people can be recruited this way. Of course, resilience is also a matter of gain, something depends on the character, but also on the upbringing itself. These unstable, I would say, comrades, they served as material for recruiting. That is why these scoundrels so easily managed to involve weak people. They were hypnotized ‐ tomorrow everything will be in our hands, the Germans are with us, the Kremlin is with us, we will act from the inside, they are from the outside. These people were recruited in this way.

The third question is why we screwed up this case so strangely? There were signals. In February there was a Plenum of the Central Committee [16] ... All the same, after all, the matter was turning around, but nevertheless they missed it, we ourselves discovered few of the military. Whatʹs the matter here? Maybe we are people of little capacity, or have already become completely blind? There is a common reason. Of course, the army is not cut off from the country, from the party, but in the party you know that these successes have turned your head a little, when every day successes, plans are overfulfilled, life is improving, the policy seems to be not bad, the international weight of our country is undoubtedly growing, the army itself is below and in the middle links, partly in the upper links, there is a very healthy and colossal force, the whole thing is moving forward, involuntarily loosened, visual acuity disappears, people begin to think, what the hell is still needed? What is missing? The policy is not bad, the Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army is for us, the international weight of our country is growing, the way is open for each of us to in order to move forward, under these conditions, would anyone think of counter‐revolution? There are such thoughts in their heads. We didn’t know that this nucleus had already been recruited by the Germans, and even if they wanted to deviate from the path of counter‐revolution, they could not leave, because they live under the fear that they would be exposed and they would lay down their heads. But the general situation, the growth of our forces, the progressive growth both in the army and in the country and in the party, so they have dulled our sense of political vigilance and somewhat weakened our acuity. And it was in this very area that we were defeated. It is necessary to check people, both strangers who come, and our own. This means it is necessary to have a widely ramified intelligence service, so that every party member and every non‐party Bolshevik, especially the OGPU organs, is next to the intelligence organs, so that they expand their network and watch more vigilantly. In all areas we defeated the bourgeoisie, only in the area of intelligence were we beaten like boys, like guys. This is our main weakness. There is no intelligence, real intelligence. I take this word in the broad sense of the word, in the sense of vigilance and in the narrow sense of the word also, in the sense of a good organization of intelligence. Our intelligence along the military line is bad, weak, it is littered with espionage. Our intelligence through the GPU was headed by spy Guy, and inside the KGB intelligence we found a whole group of owners of this business, working for Germany, Japan, Poland as much as they wanted, but not for us. Intelligence is an area where for the first time in 20 years we have suffered a severe defeat. And the task is to put intelligence on its feet. These are our eyes; these are our ears. Too big victories have been won, comrades, the USSR has become too tasty morsel for all predators. A huge country, magnificent railways, the navy is growing, grain production is growing, agriculture is flourishing and will flourish, industry is growing. It is such a tasty morsel for the imperialist predators that it obliges us to be vigilant. Fate, history entrusted this kind of wealth, this magnificent and great country, and we found ourselves sleeping, forgot that such wealth, like our country, cannot but cause greed, greed, envy and the desire to seize this country. Germany is the first to seriously lend a hand. Japan is the second, has its own intelligence officers, has its own rebel core. Those want to get Primorye, these want to get Leningrad. We missed it, did not understand. With these successes, we turned the USSR into the richest country and at the same time into a tidbit for all predators who will not rest until then, until they try all the measures to grab something from this piece. We missed this side. That is why our intelligence is poor, and in this area we were beaten like children, like boys.

But thatʹs not all, the intelligence is bad. Very well. Well, the calm has gone. Fact. Success alone. This is a very big business ‐ success, and we all strive for it. But these successes have their dark side ‐ complacency is blinding. But we have other such shortcomings, which, in addition to all successes or failures, exist and with which we must say goodbye. Here they talked about the alarm, signaled. I must say that the signaling was very bad from the field. Bad. If they had signaled more, if we had put things in the way Lenin wanted, then every communist, every nonparty person would consider himself obliged to write his own opinion about the shortcomings that he notices. He wanted so much. Ilyich strove for this, neither he nor his chicks managed to establish this business. It is necessary that not only look, observe, notice flaws and breakthroughs, noticed the enemy, but also all the other comrades to look at this matter. We canʹt see everything from here. They think that the center should know everything, see everything. No, the center does not see everything, nothing of the kind. The center sees only a part, the rest is seen on the ground. He sends people, but he does not know these people 100%, you have to check them. There is one means of real verification ‐ this is the verification of people at work, according to the results of their work. And this is only local people can see based on the results of their work. And this is only local people can see.

Here is Comrade Goryachev talking about the cases of dizzying practice. If we knew this business, of course, we would take action. We talked about this and that, that we have a bad deal with the rifle, that our combat rifle has a tendency to turn into a sports one.

Voice. Makhnovsky edge.

Stalin. Not only the sawn‐off edge, but the spring was also weakened so that no tension was required. One of the rank and file of the Red Army told me that things were bad, they instructed who should be considered. One defends Vasilenko, the other does not. In the end, it turned out that he was indeed a sinner. We could not know that this is sabotage. And who is he? It turns out heʹs a spy. He told it himself. From what year, Comrade Yezhov?

Yezhov. Since 1926

Stalin. Of course, he calls himself a Trotskyist, it is much better to go with Trotskyists than just spies.!!

You signal poorly, and without your signals neither the military commissar nor the Central Committee can know anything. People are not sent 100% sucked, there are few such people in the center. Send people who might come in handy. It is your duty to check people in practice, at work, and if there are any discrepancies, you report. Every member of the Party, an honest non‐Party citizen, a citizen of the USSR not only has the right, but is obliged to report on the shortcomings that he notices. If it is true, at least by 5%, then this is bread. Obliged to send letters to their Peopleʹs Commissar, a copy to the Central Committee. As you wish. Who said that only the Peopleʹs Commissar is obliged to write? Wrong.

I will tell you one incident that Ilyich had with Trotsky. This was when the Defense Council was being organized. It was, it seems, at the end of 1918 or 1919. Trotsky came to complain ‐ they receive letters from the Communists to the Central Committee, sometimes copies are sent to him as Peopleʹs Commissar, and sometimes not even copies are sent, and letters are sent to the Central Committee through his head. ʺIt wonʹt do.ʺ Lenin asks: why? ʺHow is it, I am a peopleʹs commissar, then I cannot answer.ʺ Lenin dismissed him as a boy and said: “Do not think that you alone have a concern for military affairs. War is the business of the whole country, the business of the party. ʺ

If a communist, out of forgetfulness or for some reason directly to the Central Committee, writes, then there is nothing special about it. He must complain to the Central Committee. What do you think that the Central Committee will cede its business to you? No. And you will take the trouble to sort out the essence of this complaint. You think the Central Committee will not tell you, it will. You should be interested in the essence of this letter ‐ whether it is correct or not. Even a copy cannot be sent to the Peopleʹs Commissar.

When did Voroshilov forbid you to write letters to the Central Committee? (Voices. No, never). How many of you can say that you were forbidden to write letters to the Central Committee? (Voices. No, nobody). Since you refuse to write to the Central Committee and even the Peopleʹs Commissar do not write about things that turn out to be bad, you are continuing the old Trotskyist line. The struggle against the remnants of Trotskyism in our heads must be waged even now, we must abandon this Trotskyist practice. A party member, I repeat, is a non‐party member whose heart hurts about disorder, and some nonparty members write better, more honestly than other communists, are obliged to write to their peopleʹs commissars, write to deputy peopleʹs commissars, write to the Central Committee about matters that seem threatening to them. Now, if this rule were fulfilled, and this Leninist rule ‐ you will not find a single person in the Politburo who would say anything against this ‐ if you had followed this rule, we would have exposed this case much earlier. This is about signals.

Another drawback in terms of checking people from above. Do not check. Why did we organize the General Staff? In order for him to check the commanders of the districts. And what does he do? I have not heard that the General Staff was checking people, so that the General Staff would find something at Uborevich and reveal all his machinations. Here one comrade spoke and talked about the cavalry, how the matter was put here, where was the General Staff. Do you think that there is a General Staff for decoration? No, he has to check people at work from above. The district commanders are not Zhang Zuolin [17], who was given the district at the mercy ...

Voices. And it was so.

Stalin. This practice is not good. Of course, they do not like it sometimes when stroking against the grain, but this is not Bolshevism. Of course, it sometimes happens that people go against the stream and stroke against the grain. But it also happens that they do not want to offend the commander of the district. This is wrong, this is a disastrous thing. The General Staff exists so that it checks people day in and day out, gives him advice, and corrects. Maybe some district commander has little experience, he just composed something himself, he needs to be corrected and come to his aid. Check it out properly.

So, all these arts could have happened, in the Ukraine ‐ Yakir, here in Belarus ‐ Uborevich. And in general, not all of their art is known to us, because these people were left to themselves, and God knows what they were doing there!

The General Staff must know all this if it really wants to practically run the case. I see no signs that the General Staff is at its best in terms of recruiting people.

Farther. They did not pay enough attention, in my opinion, to the appointment of the commanding staff to the posts. You see what happens. After all, a very important question is how to arrange shots. In military affairs it is accepted as follows ‐ there is an order, must obey. If a bastard is in charge of this case, he can confuse everything. He can send good soldiers, good Red Army men, excellent fighters to the wrong place, not bypassing, but towards the enemy. Military discipline is stricter than party discipline. The man was appointed to the post, he is in command, he is the main force, everyone must obey him. Here you have to be extra careful when assigning people.

I am an outsider and I noticed that recently. Somehow, the matter turned out so that in mechanized brigades, almost everywhere, there are people who are untested, unstable. Why is this, whatʹs the matter? Take, for example, Aboshidze: a bum, a big bastard ‐ I heard out of my ears about this. For some reason, it is imperative to give him a mechanized brigade. Am I right, Comrade Voroshilov?

Voroshilov. He is the head of the ABT corps troops.

Stalin. I donʹt know what ABT is.

Voice from the place. Chief of the armored corps troops.

Stalin. Congratulations! Congratulations! Very well! Why should he be there? What are his merits? They began to check. It turned out that he was expelled from the party several times, but then reinstated because someone was helping him. They sent a telegram to the Caucasus, checked, it turns out, a former punisher in Georgia, a drunkard, beats the Red Army soldiers. But with bearing! (Animation in the hall.)

They began to dig further. Who the hell recommended it! And just imagine, it turned out that Eliava, comrades Budyonny and Egorov recommended him. Both Budyonny and Egorov do not know him. A man, as you can see, is not a fool to drink, he knows how to be a toastmaster (laughter), but with bearing! Today he will make a declaration for Soviet power, tomorrow against Soviet power, whatever! How can you recommend such an unverified person? Well, they kicked him out, of course. They began to look further. It turned out that the situation is everywhere. In Moscow, for example, Olshansky.

Voice from the place. Rogue!

Voices from the field. Olshansky or Olshevsky?

Stalin. There is Olshansky and there is Olshevsky. Iʹm talking about Olshansky. I asked Gamarnik about him. I know Georgian princes; they are a big bastard. They have lost a lot and will never reconcile with the Soviet regime, especially this surname Aboshidze, bastard, how did you get it? They say: how so, Comrade Stalin? Cannot be. How can it not be when he commands? The former head of the armored department, Khalepsky, was caught by the tail. I don’t know how he got there, he’s a drunkard, not a good person, I kicked him out of Moscow, how did he get there? Then they got to the bottom of vols.

Egorov, Budyonny, Eliava, [they] say ‐ Sergo recommended. It turns out that he acted carefully ‐ he didnʹt sign.

Voice. He only asked.

[ Stalin.] I have no recommendation to read to you.

Egorov. During this period, I was at the Academy.

Stalin. He is recommended as a person with a clear mind, bearing, strong‐willed. (Laughter.) Thatʹs all, but they did not know who he was in politics, but tank units trust him. We looked at this case through our sleeves. They also did not pay due attention to the fact that Garkavy, Savitsky, Feldman, Efimov had been serving as head of the Command Directorate in a row for a number of years. Well, of course, they tried, but a lot does not depend on them, the Peopleʹs Commissar must sign. What trick did they practice? A military attaché is required, there are seven candidates, six fools and one of his own, he looks clever among the fools. (Laughter.) They return the papers for these six people ‐ they are not suitable, and the seventh is sent. They had many opportunities. When 16 fools and one smart one are nominated, you will inevitably sign him. Special attention should be paid to this matter.

Then they did not pay due attention to military schools, in my opinion, to good upbringing, they threw everyone there. This must be corrected, cleaned out.

Voice. The question was raised ten times, Comrade Stalin.

Stalin. It is not enough to pose questions; it is necessary to decide.

Voice. I have no right.

Stalin. They pose questions not for posing, but in order to solve them.

Also, no proper attention was paid to the military press organs. I read some magazines; sometimes very dubious things appear. Keep in mind that our military youth reads magazines and understands seriously. For us, perhaps, this is not a very serious thing ‐ magazines, but young people look at this matter sacredly, they read and want to learn, and if rubbish is allowed to go to print, this is not good.

There was such an incident, such a case. Sent by Khudyakov [18]do not print their brochure. Based on my experience and other things, I know that, since a person writes, a commander, a former partisan, you need to pay attention to him. I donʹt know if he is good or bad, but that he is confused, I knew that. I wrote to him that this case will not work, it will not work. I wrote to him that there are all sorts of people from Leningraders ‐ Denikin is also Leningrader, there is Milyukov ‐ also Leningrader. However, there will be a lot of people who are disappointed in the old and do not mind coming. We would have let them in, why should we do any kind of manifestation for this? We will write to our ambassadors and they will let them in. Only they do not want to, and even if they come, they are not fighters. They are tired of fussing; they just want to do the housework. They explained to him very calmly, he was satisfied. Then the second letter ‐ they overwrite me. I wrote a book about the experience of the Soviet‐Polish war.

Voices. ʺKiev stonesʺ [19].

Stalin. ʺKiev stonesʺ about 1920. And they donʹt print. Read it. I am very busy, asked the military. They say ‐ trashy. Klima asked ‐ a crappy thing. I read it all the same. Really crappy thing. (Laughter.) He praises the extremely Polish command, excessively vilifies our general command. And I see that the whole aim in the brochure is to expose the Cavalry Army, which decided the matter there, and then put the 28th division at the forefront.

Voice. 25th.

Stalin. He had many divisions there. I know one thing that the peasants there were happy that the Bashkirs came and carrion, they eat horses, there is no need to pick up. Here are the good guys. And that the division is especially different, this is not visible. And now it is interesting that Comrade Sidyakin [20] wrote the foreword to this book. I am comrade. I donʹt know much about Sidyakin. Maybe it’s bad that I know him little, but judging by this preface, it’s a very suspicious preface. I donʹt know, he is a military man, how he could not see through the nut of this brochure. A brochure is being printed where our commanders were stained, the command of Poland was raised to heaven. The purpose of the brochure is to discredit the Cavalry Army. I know that without her, not a single serious issue was resolved on the Southwestern Front. That he praised his 28th division, well, God bless him, it is forgivable, but that he undeservedly raised the Polish command to the skies and that he trampled our command in the mud, that he wants to debunk the Cavalry Army is wrong. How this comrade Sidyakin did not notice. The preface says ‐ there are flaws in general and all sorts of things, but in general, an interesting experience, he says. Voice. [ Sedyakin.] I agree.

Stalin. That I agree, did not pay attention to the press; the seal must be taken in hand.

Now one more question. These shortcomings must be eliminated, I will not repeat them. What is the main weakness of the conspirators and what is our main strength? These gentlemen were hired as slaves of German sabotage. Whether they like it or not, they are rolling along the path of a conspiracy, an exchange of the USSR. They are not asked, but ordered, and they must fulfill. What is their weakness? The fact that there is no connection with the people. They were afraid of the people, they tried to escort them from above ‐ to establish one point there, to seize one command post here, another there, to attach someone who was stuck there, to attach a dissatisfied person. They did not count on their own forces, but counted on the forces of the Germans, they believed that the Germans would support them, but the Germans did not want to support them. They thought ‐ well, make some porridge, and weʹll see. This is a difficult matter, they wanted to be shown success, they said [21], if only to the north, to Leningrad, there is a good thing. Moreover, they knew that in the north in Leningrad they were not so strong. They counted on the Germans, did not understand that the Germans were playing with them, flirting with them. They were afraid of the people. If [you] read the plan, how they wanted to seize the Kremlin, how they wanted to deceive the All‐Russian Central Executive Committee school. They wanted to deceive some, shove some in one place, others in another, and still others in a third, and tell them to guard the Kremlin, to defend the Kremlin, and inside they must arrest the government.

During the day, of course, it is better when they are going to arrest, but how to do it during the day? “You know what Stalin is! People will start shooting, which is dangerous. ʺ Therefore, we decided to better at night. (Laughter.) But at night it is also dangerous, they will start shooting again.

Weak, unhappy people, cut off from the masses, not counting on the support of the people, on the support of the army, afraid of the army and hiding from the army and from the people. They counted on the Germans and on all sorts of their own machinations ‐ how to blow up the All‐Russian Central Executive Committee school in the Kremlin, how to blow up the guards, make noise in the garrison. They did not count on the army, that is their weakness. This is also our strength.

They say how can such a mass of command personnel go out of action.

I see some confusion about how to replace them.

Voices. Nonsense, there are wonderful people.

Stalin. Our army has an endless land of talents. In our country, in our party, in our army, there is an endless land of talents. Donʹt be afraid to nominate people, push them boldly from below. Hereʹs a Spanish example.

Tukhachevsky and Uborevich asked to be released to Spain. We say: “No, we donʹt need names. We will send little‐known people to Spain. ʺ See what came of it? We told them if they send you, everyone will notice, itʹs not worth it. And they sent people inconspicuous, they do miracles there. Who was Pavlov? Was he famous?

Voice. Regiment commander.

Voice. Commander of the mechanized brigade.

Budyonny. Commander of the 6th Mech Regiment Division.

Voroshilov. There are two Pavlovs ‐ a senior lieutenant ...

Stalin. Pavlov especially distinguished himself.

Voroshilov. You wanted to say about young Pavlov?

Voice. There is Guryev and Captain Pavlov.

Stalin. Nobody thought, and I did not hear about the abilities of the commander at Berezin [22]. And look how he got things done? He did a great job. Do you know Stern? He was only Comrade Voroshilovʹs secretary. I think that Stern is not much worse than Berezin [23], maybe not only worse, but better. Thatʹs where our strength is ‐ people without names. ʺSend,ʺ they say, ʺus people with names to Spain.ʺ No, letʹs send people without a name, our lower and middle officers. This is the power, it is connected with the army, it will work wonders, I assure you. From these people put forward more boldly, they will redraw everything, they will not leave a stone unturned. Push people bolder from below. Be brave ‐ donʹt be afraid. (Prolonged applause.)

Voroshilov. We will work until 4 oʹclock.

Voices. Take a break to smoke.

Voroshilov. I announce a break for 10 minutes. [24]

Voroshilov. I give the floor to Comrade Apanasenko.

Apanasenko. It is not easy to speak from this rostrum, especially for us, the workers who, like me, for example, worked for a year and a half with this German spy. It is not easy to perform especially when you are working closely with such an enemy. Iʹll tell you frankly, Comrade Stalin, I fought an open enemy and was a very brave man ...

Stalin. An open enemy is easier to fight.

Apanasenko. But with such an enemy as Uborevich, it was terribly difficult for me to live and fight. To be honest, I did a lot of stupid things. He knew how to beat this enemy terribly and bring him close. We are all human, all human, and sometimes you do the wrong thing. Now, of course, we all can see their work very well.

About signals. A year ago (Comrade Budyonny can confirm) I wrote a letter to Comrade Budyonny with the following content: I have worked

‐ I just wrote it right ‐ with this bastard, thatʹs enough.

Budyonny. Right.

Apanasenko. Of course, it was scary to speak and speak like that ‐ they would call them a squabbler. “If you don’t take me from there,” I wrote in my letter, “then I will come on foot to Moscow, because there are two classes in the district: there are cultural ones, there are uncultured ones.” I also belonged to these uncivilized people; I wrote that ...

Budyonny. Right.

Apanasenko. Comrade Budyonny handed over my letter to the Peopleʹs Commissar. The Peopleʹs Commissar put a resolution on this letter: ʺSummon Apanasenko to Moscow at the first opportunity.ʺ But I, comrade. Peopleʹs Commissar was never summoned to Moscow: he disappeared in this stream. Second signal.

Voroshilov. Youʹve been to me.

Budyonny. He was not summoned for this letter.

Apanasenko. Second signal. I personally wrote a letter to Comrade Stalin. True, this was recently ‐ in the month of March. I wrote to

Comrade Stalin that the horses were literally destroyed in Belarus.

Stalin. Received.

Apanasenko. I wrote in this letter that there is real sabotage. Itʹs a shame, but I am a small person, and I could not cope with them. And I wrote this letter first to the Council of Peopleʹs Commissars, to the Central Committee and to the court. I thought maybe someone would find justice, they would take up this matter. Then he wrote a letter to Comrade Stalin. I write: ʺUnbearable, I ask you to intervene personally, Comrade Stalin.ʺ I do not know what the result of this letter is, but a fact. It turns out that in the Peopleʹs Commissariat of Belarus there were absolutely strangers: Benek turned out to be an enemy, and all his comrades‐in‐arms are real Polish spies.

Yezhov. And he himself is a Polish spy.

Apanasenko. At the plenum of the Central Committee of Belarus, whoever was there will confirm ...

Voice. Right.

Apanasenko. Honestly, I have never spoken as I did after the February plenum of the Central Committee. Of course, we all never performed like that. I went up to Benek and wanted to beat him there, at the plenum. I revealed the whole picture that half a million horses were killed. This son of a bitch Uborevich then turned to me: ʺWhy are you so pounced on?ʺ Again, I did not recognize the enemy here. He told me: ʺYou at least speak more cultured.ʺ

Stalin. Began to beat you with culture.

Apanasenko. Yes, I am uncivilized for exposing him. Then he says to me: ʺWhy did you write a letter to Stalin without my permission?ʺ Literally so he says to me: “Why did you write? Keep in mind that only with my permission can you send letters after I have read them. ʺ I said that I had written and will write letters to Comrade Stalin without your permission. ʺHow so?ʺ ‐ “Yes, like that. As you wish, but I will write. ʺ

We are all brave now. Comrades, I have already realized with all my might that I have done stupid things while working with this bastard. Why was I just promoted to this bastard? Did I ever think that I would work with Uborevich? Moreover, all the commanders, including Goryachev, told me that Uborevich would devour me.

Stalin. They say that you not only worked with him, but were friends.

Apanasenko. There was, Comrade Stalin, there was. Damn him. What was left for me to do? I say I did something stupid.

Voroshilov. Arenʹt you cheating like a hohlack? (Laughter.)

Apanasenko. Well no. Why should I cheat? Dybenko spoke here. He did not say that at the game in 1936 Dybenko also performed at the banquet and praised this ʺheroʺ Uborevich. (Laughter, noise in the hall.) Now, of course, we have revealed everything, we know everything, and then everyone did something stupid.

Now about operational preparation. I am destined for a large cavalry unit. I am developing an operational plan. What is the main thing for the cavalry army? X advances, and I have to approach the corresponding fortified area with one third, the rest will have to be layered. One part will do ‐ it should split, the other will do ‐ it should split, the third will do ‐ the same. What does aviation provide for the cavalry army? There is one fighter squadron, and it is characteristic that this squadron has only three aircraft. I call the squadron commander and say: ʺGet up in the air, land on such and such an airfield and ensure operational play.ʺ He asks: ʺHow, to perform now?ʺ ʺYes, in three hours get up and fly to such and such an airfield.ʺ And he only has three planes.

Before that, I reported to Uborevich about this situation, and he said: ʺItʹs none of your business, why are you attached to me?ʺ Or take the General Staff game. In 1936, for the first time, the General Staff decided to involve these ʺheroesʺ so that they would play the role of playing, and first of all, Uborevich. Probably, the organs of the Peopleʹs Commissariat for Internal Affairs also know this. It so happened that these ʺheroesʺ called from Kiev and Smolensk and resisted in every possible way so as not to go. Who, they say, will teach us there? We drove off. How did you prepare? He literally trembled with all his veins.

Budyonny. Fainted at a war game, Uborevich.

Voroshilov. And during the game I got sick.

Apanasenko. When Comrade Egorov took him into this very game, he got into a fight. The commanders were outraged that the chief of the General Staff would not hire him. He fought with you, Comrade Egorov. When he doesnʹt go out as he wants, he has a seizure, he stays at home. He said that he wouldn’t come out and didn’t come out. This is the second signal. After that, the three of us remained at Semyon Mikhailovichʹs dacha, together with Comrade Egorov. I am reporting. Comrade Egorov, do you remember? Report to the Peopleʹs Commissar who this front commander is! Hysterical, coward, etc. You need a front commander who would stand like a rock. Remember Semyon Mikhailovich? Report to the Peopleʹs Commissar that this is not a commander, this is nonsense. Frankly speaking, I was afraid to report it: they will say ‐ a squabbler. Now we can report it.

Stalin. I thought you were braver after all. Why be afraid? Speak directly, chop with an ax.

Apanasenko. They will say: a squabbler. At least they said: did you speak or did not speak with the Peopleʹs Commissar? Of course, I am guilty, Comrade Stalin, for not reporting to you. I just turned out to be a coward in this respect, right.

Further according to the operational plan. It doesnʹt work out for me with him. “Yes,” he turned and left because he would call him a bore. Iʹm going to the General Staff. This is in January 1937. I go straight to Comrade Yegorov and say: ʺAllow me to talk to you about the operational plan.ʺ “What is the operational plan? Go to Uborevich, to your commander. ʺ And he did not accept me, did not speak. I, literally killed, left Comrade Egorov. I say to Comrade Budyonny: ʺSemyon Mikhailovich, how do you receive us at the General Staff?ʺ I did not calm down, I wrote a document, it is top secret, it was being taken under escort. I am waiting, but there is no answer to this day. Is this a signal or not? What could you do next? Of course, now you can talk about a lot.

About Yakir. Of course, we are at the highest levels, by God, they said. Here Comrade Tyulenev will confirm. We talked about a lot. How could it be that Yakir was in prison, everyone literally said that there was absolute Batkovism in Ukraine, that no one was allowed to go there, except for the Yakirovites, that Yakir did not allow to recall a single person from Ukraine? I was assigned to the First Cavalry Corps. As soon as Yakir found out ‐ how is Apanasenko? ‐ there he made such a high. Demichev was assigned to Leningrad ‐ on the 4th cd; but the things arrived, the horses arrived, but Demichev did not come. Everyone knew this about Yakir. In 1937, before the game, which was being played by Semyon Mikhailovich, I came to him, and he said to me: ʺWhat are you talking about?ʺ ʺHow am I chatting?ʺ ‐ ʺYou talk about Yakir, talk about a beard.ʺ I told him: “Comrade. Budyonny, take a pencil and start writing down the list. Zyuk, Schmidt, Trotsky, Primakov ‐ Iʹm talking about that. ʺ He says: “Okay, (Laughter.)

Stalin. What did you not talk about?

Apanasenko. So that I donʹt talk about Yakir and the beard.

Stalin. About whom?

Apanasenko. About Gamarnik. Everyone was talking about it. Well, what else could you say? Now it is clear, but then they still understood ‐ especially about Yakir. It was an icon. The other day it was announced [that] in Leningrad, a large portrait of Yakir was placed as the new commander of the troops.

Voice. But he did not get there.

Voroshilov. Which newspaper?

Voice. In Leningradskaya Pravda.

Apanasenko. We must say that we were all clapping our ears, and now we must take up our minds. The cavalry detour was only in 1937. There was never any cavalry.

Voice. Is this at Uborevichʹs?

Apanasenko. Yes. There was no cavalry, suddenly Uborevich was going to march in Lepel and Slutsk. And what does it do? He distributes a hundred thousand rubles, literally like that.

Voroshilov. What did you not write, you, a fan of writing to everyone? Apanasenko. I wrote to you a lot.

Voice. He failed to give out the money. He promised, but then they recognized the decision as illegal, so the cavalry units did not receive the money.

Apanasenko. The fact remains, he gave out money.

Voroshilov. In fact, or in words?

Apanasenko. Part distributed.

Voice. He gave money to only two regiments, and all the awards were 10 thousand rubles each. failed to give out.

Apanasenko. Part of them distributed this money. There was such a Lavrov in our headquarters, for whom I am also guilty. Lavrov came from the Sevkavkaz. I ask him: ʺWho are you, what are you?ʺ ‐ ʺOfficer, native of the Kuban, captainʺ ‐ ʺWhere have you been?ʺ ‐ ʺI have not been anywhere.ʺ I say: ʺYou were with the whites.ʺ He asks: ʺHow?ʺ I called Zhukov, the head of the military‐industrial complex: ʺYou will give Lavrov a party card, do not give him ‐ he has a dubious physiognomy.ʺ I called the secretary of the party organization and talked to him. What do you think? I spoke to Bulin, I spoke to this idiot too. What do you think? They gave a party card to this Lavrov.

Voroshilov. Did you have information about him?

Apanasenko. No, they werenʹt.

Voroshilov. Why not give him a party card?

Apanasenko. He is a Kuban citizen. When the Red Army fought, he was at home in the Kuban. He is a captain. I don’t know what? I myself fought in the Kuban. What a captain can sit at home at this time!



Apanasenko. At that time, I was fighting, and then suddenly the captain was sitting at home. Let me be stabbed to believe. However, they did not believe me and gave him a party card.

Stalin. Now he is sitting.

Apanasenko. Sits? Itʹs good that he is at least now sitting. Then Sereda is the chief of the economic part of the headquarters. All the Bolsheviks of this headquarters say that this is a bastard, that this is a son of a bitch. I report once, report a second time, go to Comrade Bulin. Remember Comrade Bulin?

Bulin. Nothing. When the headquarters was engaged in this matter, Uborevich and you did not help us, but did everything so that we could transfer him to a stud farm.

Apanasenko. This was sought and achieved by Uborevich. Comrade

Pismanik, do you remember that?

Scribe. You raised the question of transferring him to a stud farm.

Apanasenko. Well, yes, I raised the question of removing it somewhere. Why did I pose the question like that? Because Sereda is a bandit, he killed my brother. From my brother, there is a little boy who is being brought up by me. When he found out, he said that I would kill him. And they did not want to expel him from the headquarters.  

The last thing about personnel. When we began to deal with Comrade Pismanik in the personnel, it turns out that such a contamination is unimaginable. He directly called it: ʺMy second Belarusian rifle division ...ʺ

Stalin. Who!

Apanasenko. Uborevich. The 81st division, the 4th division in Slutsk ‐ heavily littered with both party and non‐party commanders. All offended. The division commander is horrified. Meanwhile, the commanders were divided into cultural and uncultured. So, the Belarusian Bolsheviks ‐ the commanding staff ‐ loyal to the Soviet power, need to work very, very hard.

About what Comrade Petrovsky reported here ‐ about the opened Slutsk direction. This is also no coincidence. What can of course be said here? The first is that we have now all opened our eyes: The Central Committee plenum opened his eyes, Comrade Stalin opened his eyes at this plenum, and we, of course, will open up to the end and uproot all this bastard from our Red Army. The people love our Red Army. We have young, mature commanders, you can give as many examples as you like. Talk to the same Arman, the same Chernykh ‐ Hero of the Soviet Union; he needs a little more work and he will be the commander.

Voroshilov. I give the floor to Comrade Dubovoy.

Dubovoy. Comrades, many of those who spoke here said that we are ashamed that we overlooked our enemies so shamefully. Here I have to say about myself. I have been working in Ukraine for a long time, since 1919, after Tsaritsyn. I commanded a corps for five years, when Yakir was in command of the district, and for five years I was his deputy. Have I noticed anything? I have to say frankly, I didnʹt notice anything at all. We all considered him, including me, the best representative of the party, the party commander. Yet we called him our best party commander.

Voice from the place. Ukraine called it.

Dubovoy. I donʹt know, maybe Ukraine. But I heard it from many.

Stalin. He was good at getting into the guts.

Dubovoy. After all, the fact is that at a number of meetings, at any analysis, we looked into Yakirʹs mouth when he spoke. (Noise in the hall.) Well, I was watching. Iʹm sorry, but I looked.

Stalin. He was considered one of the best commanders.

Dubovoy. Yes, Comrade Stalin, he was considered one of the best commanders. Much is becoming clear to me now. Remember, Kliment Efremovich, what you said to him in 1933 during the maneuvers near the Antonines? Remember, at the banquet Demichev made a toast to Yakir, and in the carriage where I, Khakhanyan, Yakir and Budyonny were traveling, did you work it out? After all, then Yakir cried and asked for your forgiveness.

Why did he cry?

Dubovoy. In 1933, after the maneuvers, at a banquet Demichev made a toast: ʺI propose to drink to the owner of our Ukrainian district, Comrade Yakir!ʺ

Voice from the place. In the presence of the Commissar?

Dubovoy. Yes, in the presence of the Peopleʹs Commissar and 100 people. command staff.

Voice from the place. Did you cultivate it yourself?

Voice from the place. Why did he cry?

Dubovoy. Because Kliment Efremovich from Kiev to Konotop beat him to death. He asked for forgiveness, said that it was a misunderstanding, that there was nothing like it, etc.

Voice from the place. Clement Efremovich not only scolded you for this, but for the fact that the whole practice was like this.

[ Dubovoy.] Thatʹs right. He scolded us for Batkovism, for the owner. I remember how Kliment Efremovich then said: ʺYes, yes, you also need the owner.ʺ So much was known in 1933. Were there any misunderstandings in the cavalry? Fact. The horsemen knew about them. Semyon Mikhailovich was also well aware of this.

Budyonny. And scolded you for it.

Dubovoy. Quite right, he scolded me in Shepetivka with his last words. But listen, comrades, I did not nominate these people, they are not my close people. All these people were nominated. After all, Yakir was against the division of the Ukrainian military district, categorically objected. They made him do it. Then they put forward a figure like Turovsky. I didnʹt resist. Then, however, a few months later he was taken by an army inspector to Kiev.

Kuibyshev. Is it true that, while commanding the district, you called Yakir in Kiev all the time before taking any action?

Dubovoy. It never happened. When they gave me a new deputy, Kvyatek, after Turovsky, Yakir objected. But I didnʹt call him at all. I was assigned to command one of the armies on the Ukrainian front. In the process of all development, war games, etc. I, naturally, took part in the work of the Kiev military district.

Voroshilov. You had to get along.

Dubovoy. Right. I went there and received all the instructions. Indeed, of course, he did, Comrade Kuibyshev, but what do you think? Being his subordinate, how could I not have consulted? I was obliged to consult.

Voroshilov. In addition to your subordinate, you were the most cordial friend ‐ both him and Gamarnik.

Voice. One family.

Voice. With Golubenko too.

Dubovoy. With Golubenko, no.

Voroshilov. Do you know Golubenko?

Dubovoy. I know. Characteristically, I remember now too; he said that he wanted to take Golubenko as an assistant, and Primakov as an assistant on horseback. He put this question to you, but you refused. This was before Tymoshenkoʹs appointment. He nominated Primakov.

He told me that he reported to you and you refused.

Budyonny. He spoke to me, but I refused.

Dubovoy. Yakir comes from Moscow, Yakir is aware of all organizational issues, he reports. And now, when you come to Kiev for any organizational measure, he says that Comrade Stalin consults with him, that Comrade Molotov consults with him, that Comrade Voroshilov consults with him. And we could not verify this. And now it is clear why he said this. Here the Ukrainian commanders are sitting, they can confirm that Yakir said that on any visit to Moscow he visits Comrade Stalin two or three times, talks to him.

Stalin. Wrong. I can tell you one fact. It was, I think, in 1933 or 1932.

Was he there, in 1932, in the Ukraine, Yakir?

Voice. He was there for 12 years.

He asked Sergo Ordzhonikidze to arrange a meeting with me, since Yakir has a very interesting case to tell me, but in such a way that Voroshilov does not know it. I overlaid Sergo Ordzhonikidze properly for brokerage; said he had to quit the broker stuff. He had taken upon himself any dubious aiding before. I told him: “Tell Yakir that if he wants to tell me something, he can come, but whatever he tells me, I will report to the Peopleʹs Commissar and the Politburo on the same day, nothing hidden from the Central Committee and the Peopleʹs Commissar of Defense should be. So, they say, tell him. ʺ He washed away, did not want it, and since then I have not seen him, thatʹs since when.

Petrovsky. Comrade Stalin, Yakir told us all about this.

Stalin. I lied. He was so scared that I did not want to have secrets with him from the Central Committee and from the Peopleʹs Commissar for Defense Affairs that he no longer bumped into me [25] ... It happened that either Gamarnik or Ordzhonikidze (he often visited him) would tell something, hoping that they would tell me. Well, they will say, and I spit, well, God bless him, whoever wants to talk must honestly come and talk. This is not a secret, the members of the Central Committee should know this, and if it is a military matter, the Peopleʹs Commissar should know. Never again did Yakir try to come to me. We met twice at meetings. He has the right to say that he was at my meeting. The only time after that he was with me, came to my office after the arrest of Garkavy ‐ that was in 1937 ‐ and said: “I am guilty, Comrade Stalin. We have, they say, wives ‐ sisters. I was close to him; I did not expect that he is such a person. Itʹs my faultʺ. Well then. From 1932 to 1937 he did not visit me.

Voice. So, he was lying.

Petrovsky. Comrade Stalin, I say, when I was in Ukraine, I often saw Yakir. I went to see him, when he arrived, he said that he was almost a welcome guest in your house, every time he visited you. The same is true for Comrade Molotov and Kaganovich. He told all sorts of conversations with you.

Stalin. Once it was he, Uborevich, me, Molotov. It seems like last year.

Voices. Uborevich said the same. This is a tactic, everything is clear. Dubovoy. Comrades, and therefore not only did we not have any suspicions, but even I am not responsible for others, but I did not have the slightest doubt about this man who turned out to be a spy.

Stalin. We also had no doubts.

Dubovoy. And why else did they look closely at him? He was against the division of the Ukrainian military district [26]. They forced him to share. Whether or not he is appointed chief of the General Staff, Yakir may refuse. Yakir does not want to go ‐ he does not go. In 1935, you and Kliment Efremovich in the Politburo decide to send Yakir to the aviation. Kliment Efremovich announces to me in the carriage, only says: ʺDonʹt talk to him.ʺ I donʹt talk at all, I say: ʺIʹm listening.ʺ Some commanders say: ʺYakir did not want to ‐ Yakir is not coming.ʺ He had some kind of power, Comrade Stalin.

Voroshilov. And you tremble before the force.

Dubovoy. But excuse me, there is a decision of the Politburo, there is a supreme body, and this person does not obey the decision of the Politburo. He is applying, he said that I would not go. And Turovsky was the first to say that we will see that if Yakir does not want, he will not go.

Voice. Thatʹs right, and Uborevich also spoke.

Stalin. I respected the request and also respected Uborevichʹs request. If they do not want to, nothing will come of it. Both Uborevich and Yakir ‐ they sent me telegrams, asked after this decision: ʺAccept.ʺ I said: ʺI will not accept; you have a peopleʹs commissar.ʺ I know what they want to come for: to ask if it is possible to override. I was in Sochi then and pointed out to them: ʺI will not accept.ʺ Because I wanted to know how the military thinks. If the military agree that the issue should be resolved, then it is another matter. But so that I can talk to them, so that I cancel the decisions of the Politburo. I have not canceled them.

Dubovoy. But we, Comrade Stalin, what an impression! Yakir wanted, and the decision of the Politburo changes for him. Hence, power, therefore, the force that is reckoned with. Everyone reckons with Yakir, and we also look into his mouth.

It happens with us: not Yakir, but a lower person is appointed, and he has the right to come and say: ʺI cannot or I do not want.ʺ And we cancel.

Dubovoy. Has the right to. But he did it several times, he systematically did not want to leave Ukraine. Now itʹs clear why he didnʹt want to.

Voroshilov. Comrade Stalin said that there was something serious here since he did not want to leave Ukraine. Now a lot of can be said. But I didnʹt want to have these people here in aviation.

Stalin. Here we could easily have exposed them. We would not look into the mouth like Comrade Dubovoy. (Laughter.)

Dubovoy. I have already said about the planting of Turovsky, who considered me a narrow‐minded person. Zyuk is brought in. And now it is clear to me why Gamarnik and Aronshtam spoke about this, that there Feldman and Blucher are fighting, and Zyuk falls out. If you remember, Klimenty Efremovich, you told me to take him to the last test.

Voroshilov. I spoke to you: “Take this scoundrel, half‐Trotskyist for the last time, watch him personally; if he is guilty of anything, drive him in three necks. ʺ

Dubovoy. Yes sir. And after 2 months I said that he was decomposing the division and that he should be expelled immediately. Yes sir. This is where it only becomes clear. They appointed me the head of the political department of the Shchadenko district. I said I will take it. I know that Afanasy [27] will work. The first one to meet me is Tukhachevsky and says: “He will eat you; he will eat a lamb like Cork.

Why donʹt you refuse? ʺ

Voroshilov. And you were afraid that he pronounced such a word.

Dubovoy. I said that I was not selecting the head of the districtʹs political department, but that he was appointed by the peopleʹs commissar. It’s not my business to choose a head of the political department.

Voroshilov. Would be smart enough, only there is no power.

Dubovoy. And power determines one and the other. Comrades, of course, now I have become smart. Of course, in the most shameful, most shameful way I overlooked, I saw nothing, absolutely nothing, comrades, I did not see.

Molotov. And how did Yakir work ‐ good, average or bad? Here they said that he was eyewash.

Dubovoy. Worked well. In 1935 he carried out the maneuvers when all the commanders, all the mediators traveled around the area, looked. The maneuvers were well coordinated [28].

Voroshilov. In 1935, the maneuvers were carried out well.

Dubovoy. To say that there was bad preparation, despite the fact that he is an enemy, a traitor, I cannot say.

Molotov. What about the faces he picked, they werenʹt in doubt?

Dubovoy. It was.

Budyonny. Were there any suspicions?

Dubovoy. About Gubenko and Primakov. He spoke with Budyonny. Here they talked about a 5‐kilometer offensive, in particular in Ukraine this case was not. We didnʹt drive people for 4‐5 kilometers. We considered 2‐3 kilometers as much as possible to go to the fortified strip. And when, during the Belarusian maneuvers [29] Kliment Efremovich asked me: ʺDo you also chase people?ʺ ‐ I answered him: ʺHere is a witness, Comrade Egorov, that I do not have this.ʺ And Uborevich reported then that this is how they teach us.

And lastly, comrades, the comrades who spoke here quite correctly, and especially Comrade Stalin, said [and] that all remnants of this sabotage should be rooted out. We have a huge number of talents and young personnel.

Voroshilov. Just do not hide them, but please make a list on a piece of paper and send it to us.

Dubovoy. Thatʹs right, I have your instructions. I think that most of all it is necessary to uproot the roots in Ukraine, where there are a lot of these Yakir roots.


Voice. And Primakovskys.

Dubovoy. Yakirovsky, that there are Primakovsky. Here it is necessary to uproot to the end; it is our sacred duty, just as it is our sacred duty to promote young cadres. Undoubtedly, the troops of both the Kharkov and Kiev districts, like the entire Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Red Army, will be worthy of the tasks assigned to them and will cope with these great tasks.

Voroshilov. Maybe take a lunch break?

Voices. Right.

Voroshilov. There is a lunch break until 6:00. Comrade Shestakov has the first word after the break.

[1]  Own title of the document. The transcript has a title page compiled in the Archives of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU: “Meeting of the Military Council with commanders and political workers on June 1‐4, 1937. The transcript is not edited. The presiding officer is Voroshilov. Session two (June 2, 1937, in the morning). Continuation of discussion of Voroshilovʹs report: Petrovsky ‐ (sheets 1‐17), Mironov [Neronov] ‐ (sheets 18‐27), Zhiltsov ‐ (sheets 28‐37), Mezis ‐ (fol. 38‐46), Stalin ‐ (see l / archive), Apanasenko ‐ (fol. 47‐61), Dubovoy ‐ (fol. 62‐76) ... The transcript was not published. Note: Corrected transcript is in the documents received from the Office of the Ministry of War, case No. 6 ʺ.

[2]  We are talking about a 203‐mm howitzer model 1931, which in the artillery of the Red Army was designated by the index B‐4.

[3]  So in the transcript.

[4]  So in the transcript.

[5]  So in the source.

[6]We are talking about the 1st Moscow machine gun school, created in December 1917 (from 1918 ‐ 1st machine gun courses; from 1921 ‐ 1st

Soviet United Military School of the Red Army named after the AllRussian Central Executive Committee; from 1937 ‐ Moscow Military School named after All‐Russian Central Executive Committee; since 1938 ‐ Moscow Infantry School named after the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR; since 1958 ‐ Moscow Higher Combined Arms Command School named after the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR). The first set of cadets was made in December 1917 and amounted to 150 people. During the Civil War, graduates were sent to the active army as chiefs of machinegun teams, as well as commanders of platoons, companies, etc. From December 1918, the cadets of the school carried out guard duty in the Kremlin, guarded the building where the Soviet government was located, the apartment of V.I. ... Lenin, and since 1924, after the death of Lenin, the Mausoleum (post No. 1), congresses and conferences of the CPSU (b), Congresses of Soviets and conferences of the ECCI. From January 1919 the school was located in the Kremlin. (Therefore, in the literature, servicemen of the All‐Russian Central Executive Committee are usually called “Kremlin cadets.”) In October 1935, by the decision of the Soviet government, the duty to protect objects in the Kremlin was removed from the Kremlin cadets and transferred to the NKVD of the USSR. that, the educational institution was located in the districts of Moscow: in Lefortovo (1935‐1945) and in Kuzminki (since 1945). Servicemen of the school. The All‐Russian Central Executive Committee took part in the Civil War, in the suppression of the Kronstadt uprising, in the Great Patriotic War (in 1941 ‐ as part of a consolidated regiment in the defense of Moscow). Many of them later became prominent military leaders (S.S. Biryuzov, K.P. Kazakov, P.A. Rotmistrov and others) (Military encyclopedia. T. 4. P. 277).

[7]      Hereinafter, we are talking about the division commander Alexander Alexandrovich Inno ‐ the head and military commissar of the RKKA courses ʺShotʺ.

[8]      So in the text.

[9]      Here and below, the surname of the corps commissar I.G. Neronov ‐ ʺMironovʺ.

[10]   Here in the transcript the surname of the brigintendant I.I. Gludin ‐ “Rudin”.

[11]   We are talking about the army commissar of the 2nd rank Boris Mikhailovich Ippo, who in the late 20s ‐ early 30s. was a member of the RVS and the head of the political department of the Central Asian Military District. A.I. Zhiltsov was deputy. head of the political department of SAVO since September 1928

[12]   So in the source.

[13]   So in the text.

[14]   Further in the text of the transcript it is stated: “The speech of I.V. Stalin is absent, see l / arch. ʺ.

[15]   On May 4, 1937, Pravda published an article by S. Uranov ʺOn some insidious methods of recruiting foreign intelligence services.ʺ On June 4, 1937 Pravda published a selection of readersʹ letters with responses to the article by S. Uranov.

[16]   We are talking about the February‐March plenum (1937) of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b).

[17]   Zhang Zuolin (1876‐1928) ‐ Chinese general, head of the Fyntian (Mukden) branch of the Chinese militarists, oriented towards Japan. During the Russo‐Japanese War in 1904‐1905. headed an armed detachment that operated against the Russian army in Manchuria. In 1906, with the assistance of the Japanese, he achieved the inclusion of his detachment in the Chinese army and received an officerʹs rank. In 1916, he was appointed governor of Fingtian province, and in 1918 ‐ governor general of the three Eastern provinces (Manchuria). He relied on the support of the Japanese military circles, who were granted broad rights and privileges in Manchuria. In 1920‐1921 (together with the Zhili branch), in 1924‐1925 and in 1926‐1928. kept the Beijing government under his control. In 1926‐1927. was the commander‐inchief of the so‐called. ʺArmy of pacification of the countryʺ, operating against the revolutionary army of the Guangzhous, and then the Wuhan government. In April 1927, on the orders of Zhang Zuolin, a police raid was carried out on the Soviet embassy in Beijing, and 20 Chinese communists were arrested and executed. In 1928, he tried to change his pro‐Japanese orientation and establish ties with the Kuomintang government. Killed in a Japanese train crash.

[18]   So in the text. We are talking about the corps commander I.S.

Kutyakov and his book ʺKiev Cannesʺ.

[19]   We are talking about the book of the corps commander I.S. Kutyakov ʺKiev Cannesʺ, dedicated to the Soviet‐Polish war of 1920. Despite the fact that in January 1937 this book was put in a set, it was never published. The ʺKiev Cannesʺ found many ill‐wishers, apparently because in this book many saw an attempt to denigrate and discredit a number of responsible leaders and commanders of the Red Army.

[20]   So in the text. Correct: Sedyakin A.I.

[21]   Limitrophs (from Late Latin limitrophus ‐ borderline), in the 1920s ‐ 1930s. this was the name given to the states that emerged on the western borders of the former Russian Empire after 1917: Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Finland.

[22]   So in the text. Thatʹs right: Berzin Y.K.

[23]   So in the text. Thatʹs right: Berzin Y.K.

[24]   In a journal publication in 1996, the transcripts of I.V. Stalin was inaccurate. The text that followed the words of K.E. Voroshilov, in fact, referred to the final part of the meeting of the Military Council on June 4. Most likely, this sheet of transcript with a discussion of a future order for the army on the exposed conspiracy was sent to Stalin, apparently at his request, along with his speech.

[25]   So in the text. It must be ‐ ʺdid not poke his head towards me.ʺ

[26]   By order of the NKO of the USSR No. 079 of May 17, 1935, the Ukrainian military district (commander ‐ IE Yakir) was divided into two military districts: Kiev (commander — IE Yakir) and Kharkov

(commander — I. N. Dubovoy).

[27]   So in the transcript.

[28]   This refers to the Great Kiev Maneuvers of 1935 ‐ a two‐way combined‐arms operational exercise of the KVO and KhVO troops, conducted in September 1935 on the territory of the Ukrainian SSR. The maneuvers, which were attended by the leadership of the NKO of the USSR, the leaders of the Ukrainian SSR, as well as the military delegations of Italy, France, Czechoslovakia and other countries, were led by the commander of the KVO troops, 1st rank army commander

I.E. Yakir. During the maneuvers, the following questions were worked out: the breakthrough of the fortifications of the defensive zone by a rifle corps, reinforced by a tank battalion and artillery of the RGK; development of a breakthrough by the cavalry corps; the use of large airborne assault forces in operational cooperation with the breakout group; a maneuver of a mechanized corps together with a cavalry division in order to encircle and destroy an enemy grouping that has broken through. The Great Kiev maneuvers confirmed the high level of development of the Soviet military art and the correctness of the main provisions of the theories of deep operation and deep combat. The experience of maneuvers was subsequently used in the course of combat and operational training and in the development of the Interim Field Manual of the Red Army in 1936 (Military Encyclopedia. T. 4. P. 557‐558).

This refers to the maneuvers of the Belarusian Military District in 1936 ‐ a two‐way operational‐tactical exercise of the BVO troops, held in September 1936 on the territory of the Belarusian SSR. The maneuvers, which were attended by the leadership of the NPO of the USSR, the leaders of the Byelorussian SSR, as well as the military delegations of Great Britain, France and Czechoslovakia, were led by the commander of the KVO troops, 1st rank army commander I.P. Uborevich. During the maneuvers, the following questions were worked out: a counter battle against the background of an army operation; attack and breakthrough of the defensive line with the subsequent introduction of the ERS; an air operation to destroy enemy aircraft at airfields; airborne assault landing; a counterattack by an army strike group against the enemy that had broken through. Like the Great Kiev maneuvers, the maneuvers of the Belarusian Military District also confirmed the correctness of the positions of the theories of deep operation and deep combat. Their experience was used in finalizing the draft of the Provisional Field Manual of the Red Army, put into effect by order of the USSR Peopleʹs Commissar of Defense dated December 30, 1936 (Military Encyclopedia. T. 4. P. 557).