V. I. Lenin


An Appeal to the Red Army

Recorded: End of March 1919;
First Published: Published according to the gramophone records; Organization of these speeches was accomplished by Tsentropechat the central agency of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee for the Supply and Distribution of Periodicals between 1919 and 1921. 13 of Lenin’s speeches were recorded.
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972 Volume 29, pages 244-245
Translated: George Hanna
Transcription/HTML Markup: David Walters & Robert Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marx.org) 2002; Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

Comrades, Red Army men! The capitalists of Britain, America and France are waging war against Russia. They are taking revenge on the Soviet workers’ and peasants’ republic for having overthrown the power of the landowners and capitalists and thereby set an example to all the nations of the globe. The capitalists of Britain, France and America are helping with money and munitions the Russian landowners who are bringing troops from Siberia, the Don and North Caucasus against Soviet power for the purpose of restoring the rule of the tsar and the power of the landowners and capitalists. But this will not happen. The Red Army has closed its ranks, has risen up and driven the landowners’ troops and whiteguard officers from the Volga, has recaptured Riga and almost the whole of the Ukraine, and is marching towards Odessa and Rostov. A little more effort, a few more months of fighting the enemy, and victory will be ours. The Red Army is strong because it is consciously and unitedly marching into battle for the peasants’ land, for the rule of the workers and peasants, for Soviet power.

The Red Army is invincible because it has united millions of working peasants with the workers who have now learned to fight, have acquired comradely discipline, who do not lose heart, who become steeled after slight reverses, and are more and more boldly marching against the enemy, convinced he will soon be defeated.

Comrades, Red Army men! The alliance of the workers and peasants of the Red Army is firm, close and insoluble. The kulaks, the very rich peasants, are trying to foment revolts against Soviet power, but they constitute an insignificant minority. They rarely succeed in fooling the peasants, and then not for long. The peasants know that only in alliance with the workers can they vanquish the landowners. Sometimes, in the rural districts people call themselves Communists who are actually the worst enemies of the working people, bullies who hang on to the authorities in pursuit of their own selfish aims, and who resort to deception, commit acts of injustice and wrong the middle peasant. The workers’ and peasants’ government has firmly decided to fight against these people and clear them out of the countryside. The middle peasants are not enemies but friends of the workers, friends of Soviet power. The class-conscious workers and genuine Soviet people treat the middle peasants as comrades. The middle peasants do not exploit the labour of others, they do not grow rich at other people’s expense, as the kulaks do; the middle peasants work themselves, they live by their own labour. The Soviet government will crush the kulaks, will comb out of the villages those who treat the middle peasants unjustly and, come what may, will pursue the policy of alliance between the workers and all the working peasants-both poor and middle peasants.

This alliance is growing all over the world. The revolution is drawing nigh, it is everywhere maturing. A few days ago it was victorious in Hungary. In Hungary, Soviet power, workers’ government, has been established. This is what all nations will inevitably do.

Comrades, Red Army men! Be staunch, firm and united. March boldly forward against the enemy. Victory will be ours. The power of the landowners and the capitalists, broken in Russia, will be defeated throughout the world.

March 29