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REVIEW OF ANARCHISTS 1922 to 1927 – P170

REVIEW OF MENSHEVIKS 1922 to 1927 – P220

Extracts From the Book



This article is a thematic and chronological selection of the monthly political overviews prepared by the information department of the OGPU. The source is a collection of documents: ʺTop secretʺ: Lubyanka‐Stalin on the situation in the country (1922‐1934). The years from 1922 to 1927 are posted.

For February 1922

Monarchists [1]

The revival of the work of the monarchists, noted in the January review of the Cheka, continues in February. In particular, this revival is observed in foreign monarchist groups and organizations.

In January, a congress of the most prominent monarchists took place in Wiesbaden (Germany). The congress was attended by Kokovtsev [2], Urusov [3], Guchkov [4] and others. It was decided to present Poincaré [5] a memorandum on behalf of the entire united Russian emigration (up to the Social Revolutionaries inclusive) protesting against the participation of Soviet Russia in the Genoa Conference [6] ... At the time of the conference, the presence of the largest monarchist figures in Genoa was deemed necessary. The mood of foreign monarchist groups in connection with the opening of a Russian department under the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, headed by the former Russian ambassador Palaeologus [7], is cheerful and confident. The activity of monarchist groups in Bulgaria revived, where they organized the ʺSalvation of the Motherlandʺ military squad, which aims to organize terror in all forms. Special courses have been opened for training vigilantes. The first batch of vigilantes who graduated from the courses have already gone to Soviet Russia to organize uprisings and prepare the ground for the expected landing of the Wrangel army [8] in the regions of Odessa and the Caucasian coast. The German group of monarchists contacted Stinnes [9], who created a special Russian department at his firm in charge of political and economic issues related to Russia. The department is headed by the former Vilna prosecutor, the monarchist Ackerman. All over Germany, Russian counterintelligence cells have been organized, headed mainly by monarchists. The cells are subsidized by the German General Staff, as well as by Russian and German monarchical circles. It is necessary to note the change in the tactics of the German‐Russian monarchist groups. Hopes for a quick restoration [of the monarchy in] Germany are not justified; therefore, it was decided to make Russia the center of attention. Wrangel moved his headquarters to Sofia, where his units were being pulled together. It is assumed that the command of his army will pass to the former Don chieftain Krasnov [10].

For March 1922


Over the past month, the work of the monarchists in Russia was expressed mainly in the distribution of leaflets and proclamations of the Union of the Russian People. Numerous cases were noted when these leaflets and proclamations were read by peasants at gatherings and meetings. Agitation is conducted mainly among wealthy peasants. According to local reports, there is an increased desire of the monarchists to subordinate the parish councils to their influence, which in some places they succeed.

The growth of monarchist groups in Siberia has been noted. The groups consist mainly of officers, clergy and kulaks and are preparing an uprising. Siberian organizations of monarchists printed in 70 thousand copies. appeals to the Russian people, which are clearly pogrom‐monarchical in nature.

The revival of the work of the trans cordon groups, noted in the February survey, continues in March. Monarchists of all stripes, from the pogrom Supreme Monarchist Council to the ʺDemocratic Groupʺ headed by Efimovsky [11], are feverishly preparing for the Genoa Conference. The Supreme Monarchist Council decided to speak at the conference in protest [against] the recognition of Soviet Russia. To give credibility to the speech, it was decided to involve one of the old members of the former imperial family in this ʺenterpriseʺ. The intention of a group of officers to assassinate the Soviet delegation caused panic in the right‐wing groups, who consider this intention insane, because it will not disrupt negotiations with Russia, but will only cause a new wave of Red Terror, which can destroy the well‐organized work of monarchist groups in Ukraine and other regions of Russia.

In the Supreme Monarchical Council, a split occurred between the group of Markov [12] and Efimovsky. The split occurred due to the nomination by the council of the former Grand Duke Kirill as a candidate for the Russian throne [13]. The council of elders, convened at the initiative of Markov, only increased the differences between the groups. By the end of March, following an open letter from the famous monarchist Nazhivin, who announced his refusal to work with the current leaders of monarchism, articles by many participants in the Reichengall Congress [14] began to appear in print, discussing the current tactics of the Navy. Contrary to the legitimacy of the council, which makes Prince Cyril a legitimate challenger, the leftist group of monarchists considers it necessary to conduct a popular election of a tsar. This requires rapprochement with the peasantry. A radical revision of the monarchist program in the direction of ʺgenuine democracyʺ is inevitable, without which the monarchy in Russia after the experience of the socialist revolution is impossible. The activity of propaganda schools, sending propagandists to Russia, continues. The London group of monarchists recruits terrorists to be sent to Genoa. The monarchist league in Paris received permission from the French government to infuse its agents into the French secret and overt police to monitor the Soviet delegation. The Supreme Council of Monarchies tries to use Poincaré to change French policy towards the Soviet government; in particular, it was possible to obtain from France a promise of a subsidy of several billion francs to support counterrevolutionary organizations pursuing the task of economic destruction of Soviet Russia. In Berlin, a ʺspring offensive organizationʺ was created, headed by Shirinsky‐Shikhmatov. The organization has ties to Bavaria, where they recruit volunteers for Wrangelʹs army. Preparations for the spring offensive are proceeding at an accelerated pace. The offensive is supposed to begin along the entire front from Finland to the Black Sea. The former Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich [15] is expected to lead the army. In Berlin, however, intensive work is underway to organize the United Russian‐German monarchist circle headed by Markov and Ravantlov.

Recently, the activity of the group, uniting around the publishing house ʺNational Revivalʺ, has intensified, working mainly in Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Austria. The group is in very sharp opposition to the Navy.

In Bulgaria, work is underway to form an anti‐Bolshevik army, supported and subsidized by the Americans (who promise unlimited financial support if a popular leader is elected). The creation of regiments from the natives of the Kuban and other localities of Russia is being planned. The groups [decided] to supply agricultural implements and send them under the guise of ʺrepentant Wrangelitesʺ to Soviet Russia. A delegation was sent to the former Grand Duke Boris with a request to support the movement. In Constantinople, an alliance of monarchist terrorists was formed under the auspices of the priest Vostokov.


For April ‐ May 1923


Applicants. Disease comrade Lenin, the aggressive policy of France towards Russia and Fochʹs trip to Poland caused a stir among foreign monarchists. Among these groups stand out: 1) Kirillovites, grouping around the ʺguardian of the Russian throneʺ Kirill Vladimirovich,

2)                  the Navy (Supreme Monarchical Council), headed by Markov, and, finally,

3)                  grouping around Nikolai Nikolaevich and his nephew Roman Petrovich, a pretender to the Russian throne. The activities of Cyrilʹs supporters after his unsuccessful trip to Maria Feodorovna in England (he was not received by her) died down. At the same time, Roman Petrovich went to see Maria Feodorovna.

United National Front. The change in the political situation prompted the desire to create a united national front. The Navy has developed a platform for national unification. This platform recognizes the possibility of unification only on the condition that Nikolai Nikolaevich becomes the head, and the parties are supposed to be admitted to the union, including the Cadets and Savinkovites, while at the same time not allowing elements that recognize the revolution and its conquests. The peasantry are given promises, in the event of the restoration of the monarchy, to observe its land interests and to grant forgiveness for the crimes they committed against the motherland and the throne. Intervention plans. The navy reacted negatively to the intervention plan worked out by the French commercial and military circles, which consisted in attracting Poland (Lithuania, Memel and Mitava was transferred to it) and Romania (part of Podolia was transferred to it) for active actions against Soviet power (Livonia was transferred to Russia according to the same plan and Estland.) The plan of intervention, worked out by the Russian monarchists, provides for a demonstration of the offensive of Poland, Romania and Latvia and Wrangelʹs landing in Odessa and Novorossiya; at the same time, volunteer detachments of the French, Swedes and Czechs are moving towards Petrograd, and the bases are guarded by several ʺblackʺ corps. By the same time, Wrangel promises an uprising within Russia. Operations are expected to be completed by Christmas.

Fascism. At the heart of its activities in Russia, the Navy seeks to use the idea and practice of fascism in Italy, to which France sympathizes. Wrangel introduces his units to the ideas of fascism. A group of fascists was created in Shanghai, headed by General Skalon [38].

Work in Russia. There is no serious work of monarchists in Russia. Due to the lack of means of communication between monarchist organizations and Russia, it is weak and is supported only by irregular correspondence.

Monarchist organizations were found in Khabarovsk and Tyumen. The organization liquidated in Khabarovsk numbered 40 people.

For June 1923


United National Front. At the suggestion of France and the insistence of a number of monarchist groups, Nikolai Nikolayevich undertook the mission of leading the Russian national movement in exile. Tensions between monarchist groups, however, are far from eliminated. The Parisian groups against the union with the Navy (Supreme Monarchical Council), headed by Markov II, and Nikolai Nikolaevich, who stands for the alliance with the Navy, is staging a refusal to accept Markov II, who came to him in Paris. At the same time, Kirill Vladimirovich does not agree with Nikolai Nikolaevich.

Nikolai Nikolaevich created a Military Council in Paris consisting of Wrangel, outlined by the commander of all forces, and generals Shatilov [39], Miller [40], Bogaevsky [41], Prince Dolgorukov and Foch (the latter, on his trip to Romania, got acquainted with the state of Russian units) ... An agreement was also reached with Petliura, subordinating his troops to the Military Council. Nikolai Nikolayevich left for Belgrade, where the officer corps swore allegiance to him, which marked the beginning of his succession to the Russian throne. Recruiting points are being organized, and it is planned to attract German officers and soldiers to the army. Nikolai Nikolaevich is financed by France, Maria Fedorovna and   financial          circles, which voluntarily besieged themselves. Wrangel publishes Russkaya Pravda for distribution in Russia.

Cyrillists. In Russian monarchist circles in Germany, grouping around     Kirill    Vladimirovich, friction            is          occurring. Kirill Vladimirovichʹs henchmen, taking advantage of the favorable attitude of the government circles of Bavaria towards them, often seek the expulsion of the opposition. Despite such methods, the opposition succeeded in holding re‐elections of the ʺUnification Committeeʺ under Kirill Vladimirovich, thereby deepening the split.

Kirill Vladimirovich focuses on German monarchist circles and enjoys the support of Ludendorff and the Bavarian government; this finally undermines his soil in France. Right‐wing German industrial circles granted him 5‐6 million gold marks on the security of jewelry.

The activity of Kirill Vladimirovich is mainly in the great proclamation of himself in Russia as a pretender to the throne. At the expense of the Bavarian monarchists, the newspaper ʺRusskaya Tribunaʺ is published, the last issue was published in the amount of 75 thousand copies. and is distributed through the offices of Kirill Vladimirovich in Europe and North America.

Far East. Monarchist groups in Harbin are discussing the issue of performing in Primorye. Formation of regular Cossack units is expected. Japan is indifferent to the plans of the monarchists.

For July, August and half of September 1923

Monarchist groups in Russia

The existence of monarchist groups is established in the Saratov province. (former policemen and officers, wealthy inhabitants), Perm province. (in the districts there are groups of the organization ʺSalvation of Russia from the Communistsʺ, which include former Kolchak officers, railway foremen and major traders; at the meetings of the organization, the idea of unquestioning fulfillment of all resolutions, up to ʺBartholomewʹs Nightsʺ and terror, was held; the organization consists of 60 person; the organization is headed by a former officer). In the city of Kostroma there is a White Guard group headed by a former officer; the organization does not show any noticeable activity. In Kursk there are two religiousmonarchist organizations associated with abroad. In Vitebsk, the activities of a well‐secret White Guard organization, which has connections with other western provinces, are noted.

In May, the Kuban‐Black Sea department of the GPU liquidated 4 White Guard organizations: 1) the Wrangel organization of 170 people (54 officers, 50 intellectuals and 83 bandit kulaks headed by a white officer); 2) a united group headed by an independent former colonel (50 people, of which 10 are officers); 3) the group that drew up the project of the future Russia from the main 3 theses: ʺanarchism, socialism and monarchismʺ (headed by a committee consisting of a former gendarme colonel, doctor and teacher) and 4) organization of the ʺCommittee for the Salvation of the Don, Kuban and Ukraineʺ in Timoshevsky department (23 people were arrested, of whom 3 were officers, the rest were a kulak element; the leader was a colonel, a former agent of the White Army, disappeared). In Nikolsko‐Ussuriisk (Primorskaya

Gubernia), the monarchical youth union was liquidated.

Foreign monarchists

All the activities of monarchist groups abroad are centered around the organization of national unification among the emigration abroad. The most prominent figure in the association is Markov 2nd (head of the Navy). The leadership of the United National Front is offered to Nikolai Nikolayevich, who, however, does not agree to this until he announces his unquestioning obedience by all foreign organizations. In this regard, it is planned to organize, with the approval of Maria Feodorovna, a ʺmeeting of members of the imperial familyʺ with the aim of addressing Nikolai Nikolaevich with a request to head the ʺlegitimate throne of the Russian Emperor.ʺ Attempts in this direction are also being made by France (through Foch), which considers it expedient to use Nikolai Nikolayevich for the sole disposal of all the funds provided for the struggle against Soviet power. The only obstacle is Nikolai Nikolayevichʹs disagreement with Polandʹs participation in the Russian question, which the French insist on. Nikolai Nikolaevich intends to be based on the Baltic states. The French must put at his disposal technical means, mainly the air fleet, on which great hopes are pinned. In Wrangel circles, there were tendencies to recognize Wrangel as the leader of the army, even if Nikolai Nikolaevich spoke.

Kirill Vladimirovich, who until now declared himself ʺthe guardian of the Russian throne,ʺ also appealed to Nikolai Nikolaevich with a request to lead the army. With the move of the Navy (Supreme Monarchical Council, led by Markov II) from Berlin to Paris, Kirill Vladimirovich was deprived of his support. Among the Cyrillists, there has been a refusal to intervene and the need to prepare for an explosion of Soviet power from within through the transformation of communist Soviets into national ones and the uprisings of the Red Army against the commissars is recognized. Kirill Vladimirovichʹs rapprochement with London is noticeable.

Wrangel negotiated the admission of the Russian command staff to the Bulgarian service. Great concern of the Wrangelites and the French counterintelligence was caused by the flight of the head of the counterintelligence corps Muravyov with all the lists of agents working in Russia.


For July 1922


If we characterized the work of the Socialist‐Revolutionaries as having no influence on the masses, then to an even greater extent this can be said about the work of the anarchists.

The fate of the Mensheviks, Socialist‐Revolutionaries and other parties overtook the anarchists, and among them we observe a split into two parts. One is trying to legalize itself, while the other, on the contrary, is conspiratorial, going deep underground.

Among the legalized organizations, confusion and scattering are noted, which is mainly explained by a series of searches, arrests among all anti‐Soviet parties and, in particular, among anarchists.

Legal groups do not enjoy any influence and, thanks to their insecure semi‐legal position, eke out the most miserable condition.

Among the anarchists of the underground, especially among its prominent workers, there is a tendency to concentrate both the activists who remained at large and scattered anarchist groups for joint underground work.

But again, the disintegration to which the Anarchist party underwent, thanks to its inactivity during the existence of Soviet power, mistrust of each other, suspicion, provocation, finally paralyzes its work.

For September 1922


Relaxation and inactivity reign among anarchists. In view of the political situation, which does not allow the development of vigorous activity, the anarchists of the overground confine themselves to cultural and educational work, while the underground fighters close in small, strictly conspiratorial groups.

Over the past period, the work of the anarchists was expressed in the following: in Moscow, a small underground group of Nabatists and powerless people was discovered, who arrived here from Ukraine and Petrograd, dealing with exes.

The work of the Golosites was temporarily slowed down. Anarcho‐communists are taking steps to authorize the publication of a monthly science propaganda art magazine called Future. The Golosists strive to make Moscow the center of their union of anarcho‐syndicalists, for which they move a printing house from St. Petersburg. In addition, they want to open publishing offices in the provinces to distribute anarchist literature locally, for which they recruit qualified syndicalist workers. Among the St. Petersburg anarchists, there is a desire to commit exes both for political purposes and for personal. St. Petersburg Golosists are thinking to speak at the tribunal in defense of a group of anarchists accused of raids and exes.

In the provinces, the anarchists do not go further than attempts to organize exs. Complete dispersion, confusion. Some groups are taking measures to legalize, because it is impossible to develop underground work under existing conditions.


For 1924 February 


In Moscow, there was no widespread mass activity of the Mensheviks; internal party, propaganda and organizational work is underway. The publishing activity, interrupted on the September leaflet ʺTo the Studentsʺ, is now being restored.

The activity of the Mensheviks in Leningrad is very significant, especially among the organization of Social‐Democratic youth who went underground after the arrests. At the end of December, an issue of the ʺWork sheetʺ was published here.

Their work is also highly developed in the South‐East and, in particular, in Rostov, on the Middle Volga and Ukraine (in particular, in Kiev), where after the September defeat [1923] by the January defeat the organization was completely restored.

Work on the elimination of the Menshevik Party through congresses of the ʺformerʺ is being carried out in the provinces: Vladimir, Yaroslavl, Smolensk, Nizhny Novgorod, Bryansk, Kuban‐Black Sea, Tomsk, Yenisei, Far East Military District and Ukraine (liquidation work is best done in Ukraine).

In the Ural province. a small group of Mensheviks are campaigning against self‐liquidation. In the Ufa province. the meeting of the former Mensheviks adopted a vague resolution stating that they cannot be held responsible for the ruling bodies of the RSDLP, from which they broke away from 1919, and their goal is to help the USSR in freeing the workers from the yoke of capital and to fight against reaction. By this resolution, the group dissociates itself from the Social Democrats.

For March 1924


In early March, an operation was carried out to confiscate active workers in the Moscow organization of the RSDLP, and leaflets from the Bureau of the RSDLP ʺTo all party membersʺ were seized. At the end of March, up to 700 copies of the Sotsial‐Demokrat magazine No. 1‐2 for January‐February 1924, issued by the Central Committee Bureau, were confiscated. The leaflets “To All Party Members” contain an acknowledgment of the ongoing collapse of the Menshevik Party and call for increased party energy. At the end of February, a leaflet ʺTo All Party Membersʺ was distributed in Leningrad; in addition, signed by the ʺPetrograd Committee of the RSDLP,ʺ a leaflet was issued here for the 7th anniversary of the February revolution.

The idea of calling congresses of former Mensheviks is spreading, but the results are poor. Conferences were held in the Nizhny Novgorod province. (90 people, mostly workers) and the Perm District. Declarative statements of groups of former Mensheviks in Ufa and Blagoveshchensk have been published.

On March 10, a group of 20‐25 Mensheviks was liquidated, which was conducting covert agitation at the Sormovo factories of the Nizhny Novgorod province, and illegal literature and correspondence were seized.

For April 1924


The significant publishing activity of the Menshevik organizations in Moscow and Leningrad continues to be noted. In Moscow, on the night before May 1, more than 200 proclamations were found under the title ʺMay 1stʺ, signed by the Bureau of the Central Committee of the RSDLP and the Central Committee of the Bund in Russia. Proclamations were found in the First Moscow State University and the Pokrovsky workersʹ faculty (50 each), in the area of factories and plants. On the day of the 7th anniversary of the February Revolution [1917] leaflets of the Bureau of the Central Committee of the RSDLP were distributed in Leningrad. Detained 4 students of the 1st Polytechnic Institute, who were pasting proclamations on the Vyborg side. In the same place, about 30 copies were seized by searches. magazine ʺVoice of a Social Democratʺ No. 3‐4 For March ‐ April 1924 (organ of the student bureau of the RSDLP). The magazine is printed on a glass‐recorder.

The operations carried out seized in Moscow active workers of the Moscow and central organizations of the RSDLP and in Leningrad up to 100 active workers, most of them members of the Social Democratic Youth Union and active workers of the student bureau of the Leningrad Committee of the RSDLP.

In April, a regional conference on self‐liquidation of the RSDLP of Novgorod, Kanavin and Sormov was held. 81 people took part, of which 54 with pre‐revolutionary experience and 46 workers. The conference elected a bureau for the convocation of the provincial congress. The movement towards the self‐liquidation of the Mensheviks is deepening in Tomsk Gubernia, especially in connection with the Leninist appeal to the RCP. In the Urals, preparations are underway for the convocation of legal congresses by groups of former Mensheviks ‐ Yekaterinburg, Nevyansk, Neyvo‐Rudyansk, Nizhny Tagil. In the Yenisei province. a statement was published on the withdrawal from the RSDLP of a group of 10 people (9 workers and 1 intellectual).

For May 1924


Operations carried out in May seized active workers from Moscow and some local organizations and several active workers from the central party apparatus of the RSDLP. The right‐wing group (zarists), consisting of the Bureau, workers and student circles, has been completely eliminated in Moscow. The right‐wing group has been particularly active in recent years. After the April arrests, the Leningrad organization did not show any wide mass activity, except for the dissemination of the appeal “To the students of Petrograd, to the workers and to all citizens”, signed by “Stud. Bureau of the Central Committee of the RSDLP ʺ.

Conferences of former Mensheviks were held in the provinces of Saratov, Bryansk, Smolensk, and others. Preparations for the convocation of their provincial congresses are under way in the Nizhny Novgorod, Gomel, Vladimir provinces, in the Urals and in some other provinces.

For June 1924


No activity of the Mensheviks in Moscow was noted. It is quite characteristic that there were no Menshevik protests in connection with the purge of universities. In Leningrad, the open activity of the Mensheviks is not manifested, but the inner‐party work continues unabated. There were attempts by the Bureau of the Central Committee of the RSDLP to arrange work in the Urals. During the reporting month, a number of prominent workers of the right‐wing group of Social Democrats from the Bureau of the Central Committee of the RSDLP in Moscow, two workers in the Urals were arrested, and the Menshevik cell of the Kooperativnoe Publishing House (10 people), which was active among the workers of the printing house, was liquidated.

In June, provincial conferences of former Mensheviks were held in the Nizhny Novgorod and Vladimir provinces and a regional congress in the Urals. Preparatory work is underway to convene congresses in the Gomel province. and the regions of the KubanBlack Sea and Votskaya.

For July 1924


In Moscow the Mensheviks are busy putting together their defeated apparatus. No literature is published, only two or three people distribute by scattering the old issues of the Socialist Bulletin [8]. In Leningrad, the activity of the Mensheviks manifested itself among the students. A new program of the RSDLP was discussed. Two prominent Mensheviks were also arrested there. Illegal literature for 1924 was found in Kharkov.

At the end of June, a plenum of the RSDLP was held in Berlin, which was attended by representatives from the USSR and five people from the right opposition. A new program of the RSDLP was worked out, which was adopted by all with the opposition abstaining. Issues 14 and 15 of Sotsialisticheskiy Vestnik and No. 5‐6 of Zarya magazine, published by the right‐wing group (St. Ivanovich), were published. The efforts of the Mensheviks boil down to establishing ties with Russia. Dan undertakes informational trips to Western Europe. Danʹs invariable diagnosis is that ʺthe policy of the Bolsheviks leads to Thermidor and Bonapartism.ʺ

For August 1924


Issued abroad No. 16 of ʺSocialist Bulletinʺ, the content of which is not of particular interest. No information has been received on the activities of the Mensheviks abroad.

In Moscow, the organization of the RSDLP was not active. Internal organizational work continues to restore the destroyed apparatus. A similar condition exists in Leningrad.

In Ukraine, employees of local organizations of the RSDLP were additionally seized. In Rostov‐on‐Don, 15 people were seized.

During the period under review, statements by individual Mensheviks about their resignation from the party were published in the local and central press.