V. I.   Lenin

Interview Given to
Gregori Yarros, Correspondent of the Associated Press Agency

November 15 (28), 1917

Interviewed: November 15 (28), 1917
Published: First published in part in 1962 in the journal Istoria SSSR (History of the USSR) No. 2. First published in full in 1965 in the Fifth Russian Edition of the Collected Works, Vol. 54. Printed from the typewritten copy of the English original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, 2nd English Edition, Progress Publishers, 1965, Moscow, Volume 42, pages 36b-37a.
Translated: Bernard Isaacs
Transcription\Markup: D. Walters
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2002). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.README

In connection with the results of the elections in Petrograd in which the Bolsheviks won six seats,[1] the Associated Press correspondent interviewed Lenin, the President of the Council of National Commissioners, who was elated over the great victory of his party.

What do you think of the results of the elections to the Constituent Assembly?” the correspondent asked.

I think that these elections have proved a great victory for the Bolshevik Party. The number of votes cast for it in the elections in May, August and in September is constantly growing.[2] To get six seats out of twelve in a city in which the bourgeoisie (Cadets[3]) are strongest, means to win in Russia.”

Do you suppose that the Constituent Assembly of such composition as the results of the elections in Petrograd indicate will sanction all the measures of the Government of National Commissioners?”

Yes, it will sanction, because there will be no majority, according to your supposition, against us, and together with the left social revolutionists[4] we shall constitute a majority in Petrograd (seven out of twelve).”

What parties will enter into the new Council of National Commissioners?”

I do not know positively, but I think that only the left social revolutionists, besides the Bolsheviks.”


[1] This refers to the elections to the Constituent Assembly in the Petrograd Electoral Area held between November 42 (25) and 14 (27), 1917. These elections, the preliminary results of which became known on November 15 (28) and the final results the next day, gave the Bolshevik Party 424,000 votes and 6 seats in the Constituent Assembly (out of the twelve assigned to Petrograd); the Cadets received 247,000 votes (4 seats); the Socialist-Revolutionaries 152,000 votes (2 seats, one of them won by the Left S.R.s).

The terms “President of the Council of National Commissioners” and “Social Revolutionists” used by the correspondent are better known as “Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars” and “Socialist-Revolutionaries”.

[2] At the elections to the district councils of Petrograd held at the end of May and beginning of June 1917 the Bolshevik tickets received 20 per cent of the votes. At the elections to the City Council of Petrograd on August 20 (September 2) the Bolsheviks received 33 per cent of all the votes. In speaking of the September elections Lenin was probably referring to the elections to the district councils of Moscow (held on September 24 (October 71, 1917) at which the Bolsheviks received 51 per cent of all the votes. This voting, Lenin pointed out, “is in general one of the most striking symptoms of the profound change which has taken place in the mood of the whole nation” (see present edition, Vol. 26, p. 80).

[3] Cadets—members of the Constitutional-Democratic Party, the chief party of the big bourgeoisie in Russia. Founded in October 1905.

[4] Socialist-Revolutionaries (S.R.s)—a petty-bourgeois party formed in Russia at the end of 1901 and beginning of 1902. After the victory of the bourgeois-democratic revolution of February 1917 the S.R.s, together with the Mensheviks and Cadets, were the mainstay of the bourgeois Provisional Government.

At the end of November 1917 the Left wing of the party founded a separate Left Socialist-Revolutionary Party. The Left S.R.s formally recognised the Soviet Government and entered into an agreement with the Bolsheviks, but very soon turned against Soviet power.

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