Review of the political state of the USSR

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Review of the political state of the USSR


A brief overview of the political and economic state of the RSFSR in October ‐ November 1922

        Archive:               GRASP. F. 17. Op. 84.D. 296. L. 66‐79. Script.

November 27, 1922

General deterioration in October.  A preview of the materials in the State Information Agency, received from November 2 to 23, fully confirms all the conclusions and forecasts that were given in the full October review of the GPU, and which stated the failure of the summer improvement in the mood of both the workers and the peasant masses, and the very rapid and widespread economic discontent of all groups of the population: in the city, due to the rapid rise in prices, which resulted in insufficient tariff rates, and in the countryside, due to the compulsory collection of the tax in kind, at the end of the term a 10% discount.

The purely economic nature of the crisis.  The same full October review indicated that the crisis is almost completely non‐political either in the city or in the countryside, and vice versa: the political pacification of the country continues, which is very vividly illustrated by the rapidly progressing weakening of the counterrevolutionary masses on the outskirts of the Republic, which are getting rid of the consequences of the intervention period. and in connection with the new economic policy of the Soviet government, finally going over to the side of the Soviet government.

Centre.  As for the central regions of the Republic, here, as a result of the new economic policy, by October 1922, a complete pacification of all groups of the population had already been achieved, no less vividly illustrated by the almost complete cleansing of these regions not only from banditry, but also from the active counter‐revolutionary underground.

The rudiments of political deterioration.  However, in the October economic unrest and strikes of Moscow and Kiev railway workers and other workers, the influence of counterrevolutionary elements was revealed so much that it became necessary to talk about the possibility of the emergence of the first political crisis during the NEP, unless the further deepening of the economic crisis in the city stops, the possibility of which, as was indicated in the October full review is at least not ruled out.

The general final elimination in November of the crisis in the countryside and its stopping in the city.  Now, since a cursory preview of the November materials of the State Information Agency allows us to judge, it becomes largely probable that the economic crisis of peasant sentiments, as the end of the food campaign approaches,  is completely eliminated , while in most regions the economic discontent of workers, whose financial situation, according to information coming from everywhere, it is beginning to improve rapidly again, which involuntarily suggests that there is more or less direct connection between the food campaign and the growing economic crisis of mood in the countryside, with the rise in market prices in the city.

True, in November, the liquidation of enterprisesʹ debts to workers and the increase in tariff rates took place in a very intensified degree, but without slowing down the rapid rise in prices that was observed in October, these measures alone could hardly have achieved a significant improvement in their material situation, so reflected in the mood of workers. ...


In particular, the mood has improved in the central region. In October, it was unsuccessful everywhere, with the exception of the Vladimir province. In November, Rybinsk, Kostroma, Nizhny Novgorod, Ivanovo‐Voznesenskaya, Ryazan, Voronezh, Tambov, Oryol, Kursk, Kaluga, partly Vyatka, Yaroslavl and Tula, were transferred to the category of quite prosperous provinces. As before, Moscow, Tverskaya and Penza provinces remain dysfunctional. In the Volga region, only the Tatrespublika remains partially unfavorable. Discontent completely disappeared in the South‐East and Transcaucasia (with the exception of Kabarda and Armenia). In Kyrgyzstan, discontent remains only in Akmola and partially in Aktobe province; in the Orenburg, Kostanay and Ural provinces. and Semipalatinsk region. the situation is quite satisfactory. The situation is also improving in Omsk and Krasnoyarsk provinces. Siberia. Even in Turkestan, despite the complete collapse of industry, only the Syrdarya region remains partially unfavorable. The improvement process is less stable in the North‐West Territory. In St. Petersburg and the province, the situation continues to definitely improve. Even in the lean Pskov lips. noticeably the same. But at the sawmills of the Arkhangelsk province. and in another hungry province of Novgorod, the situation continues to deteriorate, and in the neighboring Vitebsk province. In the Western Territory, the strike movement begins to develop rather quickly, mainly among railway workers, whose position in the Western Territory, by the way, is everywhere much better on the line than in large junctions where they do not have the opportunity to support themselves by gardening or easily accessible communication with the countryside. In particular, the discontent of the railway workers at the Gomel and Bryansk junctions is strong.

Further, in the Urals the situation, although very slowly, albeit with great tension, is undoubtedly improving. The Yekaterinburg region in November became completely prosperous. The struggle against the crisis in the industry of Perm province is extremely intense. At the Motovilikhinsky plant, which was on strike in October, everything returned to normal in November, but the Botkin plant, which continued to strike, was closed, and an ʺItalianʺ strike took place at the Nytvensky plant.

Undoubtedly, the situation is bad in the Tyumen province, but the blame for this is a significant collapse of power in the province.

The situation continues to be difficult in Ukraine. In the Donbass, the strike movement does not subside, sometimes capturing whole bushes of enterprises and spreading to neighboring regions (Berdyansk, Taganrog, Kharkov, Yekaterinoslav, Zaporozhye and Kremenchug provinces). In Kiev, the striking railroad workers, apparently satisfied in their demands, have now calmed down, but water workers and loaders began to strike, who were undoubtedly infected by the example of railroad workers, as well as railroad workers of the Zhytomyr and Proskurovsky nodes.

The discontent of workers in the Ukraine, therefore, occurs almost everywhere. The only exception is Podolskaya lip.

Its nature, like the strikes, is purely economic, which, incidentally, is true not only for Ukraine, but also for other regions of the RSFSR, where such discontent of the workers is noted.

Strengthening the activity of the counter‐revolutionary underground in the city.  But here we have to note an extremely interesting phenomenon: in November, the economic crisis subsides, workersʹ discontent begins to subside almost everywhere: even in Ukraine it disappears in many places after the strikes, but the activities of counter‐revolutionary parties and groups, although not quickly and everywhere, but undoubtedly increasing. At least in November, it is recorded in some areas where it was not recorded in October. There are reports of this not only in Kiev, Kharkov and Vitebsk provinces, where the situation tends to deteriorate, and not only from where it seems to continue to remain unchanged (Moscow and Belarus), but even from areas where it is undoubtedly improving (Petrograd and Vyatka province.).

During the November celebrations (which took place, by the way, among workers everywhere with tremendous enthusiasm), in some of the regions just listed, there were enterprises whose workers refused to take part in the demonstration on November 7, thus spitting in the face not only of the Russian, but of the whole the international revolutionary proletariat.

These enterprises are: the Lyubertsy plant (Moscow province), the 13th state printing house in Moscow and the Omutninsky plant in the Vyatka province.

Mensheviks.  Mainly the Mensheviks are working hard, in whose ranks the revival was inspired by the ʺconference of local organizationsʺ that took place in October, which, although it confirmed the decision of the Mensheviks ʺnot to overthrow Soviet powerʺ for fear of subsequent anarchy, but in order to influence this power, for its maximum ʺ democratization ʺ, decided:ʺ to rally the party ranks ʺand maximize work in Russia, rigorously using the economic discontent and unrest of the workers. conclusions

Summing up everything that has been said about the city in this way, it can be argued that while the economic crisis in the city, which is a reflection of the food‐tax crisis in the countryside, after the severity of the latter, begins to decline, the seed of the political crisis, sown on the basis of economic discontent workers, have already sprouted by inertia stretching upward, but inevitably doomed to decay, unless this last crisis resumes its forward movement in connection with some new circumstances in the course of the economic or political life of the Republic.


As already mentioned above, the tax crisis of peasant sentiments with the approach of the food campaign to the end, undoubtedly, is completely outlived, in all likelihood, up to the campaign of next year, if, however, we do not count the possible recurrence of discontent in connection with the upcoming labor tax period, about hostility to whom (and even active hostility) information is already available (Semipalatinsk province).

To illustrate the decline in the tax crisis in the province, it is necessary to give a brief comparison of the situation in the regions in October and now.

Central District. In October, only one Kursk province was prosperous, now Moscow, Tula, Oryol, Kaluga, Tambov, Penza, Vyatka, Nizhny Novgorod, Vladimirskaya have been added to it. The mood fluctuates in the Yaroslavl and Ivanovo‐Voznesensk lips. It is still bad in Kostroma Gubernia, where many villages refuse to surrender the tax in kind, and in Voronezh Gubernia, where the kulaks, who do not want to surrender the tax in kind, are embittered by the use of repression against them.

In            the          Western                Territory,              everything           is             still         quite      well everywhere. Only in the Smolensk lips. there are massive allegations from peasants about incorrect taxation.

In Ukraine, the tax in kind continues to flow with increasing intensity, but there is no information about the mood of the peasants. However, with the exception of the Zaporozhye, Kiev, Nikolaev and Podolsk provinces, where the peasants of some counties are suppressed by the excessive tax rates in kind, the situation in the rest of Ukraine can be considered safe.

In the South‐East and Transcaucasia, there is an undoubted improvement everywhere, with the exception of the City Republic and Armenia, where the instability of mood is noticeable.

In the Volga region, it is still safe everywhere.

In the Urals, there is an improvement in the Perm province, and unchanged badly in Yekaterinburg and Tyumen, where the tactless actions of local authorities are to blame.

In the Chuvash, Votsk, Mari regions. and the republic is well.

There is no information from the Republic of Tatarstan yet.

In Kyrgyzstan, it is safely in the Ural, Semipalatinsk, Aktobe and Bukeevsk provinces, worse in the Akmola and Orenburg regions.

Even in Basmach Turkestan, the situation in the Syrdarya and Turkmen regions. recognized as satisfactory (there is no other information yet).

Almost everywhere it is hard only in Siberia and the North‐West Territory. But there are signs of improvement here too: in Siberia, in Krasnoyarsk Gubernia, and in the North‐Western Region, partly in Pskov Gubernia. In both of these areas, the peasants are pressed by the excessive tax rates: in the North‐West due to a severe crop failure, and in Siberia, partly for the same reason, partly due to the complete unsuitability of the                local authorities, incorrectly calculating the tax in kind, and in some places still collecting it on the crop area of 1921.

Thus, the tax crisis of       peasant discontent           is undoubtedly declining. This conclusion can be made with the greater likelihood that the mood of the peasants is improving, despite the atrocities of food workers, which do not decrease in November, but rather grow (at least in number), which is, of course, explained by the intensification    of legal      repressions         against stubborn defaulters. However, in terms of quality, some of the atrocities of this month are not inferior to those of October: for example, in the Vologda province. there was a case when the inspector threw a lasso on a peasantʹs neck and dragged him around the village.

The contradiction between the fact of an increase in the atrocities of the food workers and the improvement in the mood of the peasants is, of course, explained by economic, not ethical reasons for the change in these moods: the majority of the peasants passed the tax in kind and calmed down, despite the atrocities of the workers in relation to the minority that didn’t.


The October economic crisis of peasant sentiments, which began in September, reached its highest degree of development in October and is due to its widespread distribution almost throughout the territory of the RSFSR, mainly by the fact that in October the 10% discount period ended almost everywhere and the campaign developed and ended compulsory collection of tax in kind. As soon as the majority of the peasants passed the tax in kind, the mood in the countryside began to change towards an improvement again, and at the moment we are undoubtedly facing the complete elimination of the October food crisis in the countryside.


Both in October and November, the position of the Red Army units and institutions is almost everywhere quite satisfactory. The exceptions are parts of the Orenburg province, Armenia, the border units of Belarus and the Arkhangelsk naval units.

In some units and garrisons, there is partial dissatisfaction, first of all, with the shortcomings of uniforms and footwear, to a lesser extent with the delay and poor quality of rations, as well as the lack of bedding and the lack of uniforms in the barracks. There are also frequent complaints about the weakness of political work and the inaction of the chief.

Outfit.  In terms of the lack of winter uniforms, Armenia is in first place, where this uniform is not at all, followed by Bryansk province (shortage ‐ 85%, Kostroma province ‐ 70%, Tsaritsyn province ‐ 50%, Pskov province ‐ 40%). To a lesser extent, the phenomena are noted in Smolensk, Kursk, Tula, Kaluga Provinces, Tatrespublika, Kuban, Siberia (Omsk and Irkutsk Provinces), in Orenburg, Bukeevskaya, Tyumenskaya Provinces, naval units of Arkhangelsk, in Gomel Provinces. and others.

Rations.  Complaints about the delay, inadequacy or poor quality of food supply are available in Belarus, Gomel province. (Bykhov), Tula province., Arkhangelsk (military [s]), in Pskov, Orenburg, Kusta‐nai and Akmola provinces.

Barracks.  There are indications about the unequipped barracks from the Smolensk province. (not heated), Armenia (unsanitary condition and lack of 50% of bedding), according to Tsaritsyn (most of the Red Army men sleep on naked bunks) and Vyatka province.

Chefs.  The inaction of the chiefs is especially noted in Armenia and the Kuban.

Political work.  Political work is weak in the Kustanai, Ural, Orenburg, Rybinsk, Kostroma and Smolensk provinces. and Zyryansk region, which is mainly due to the lack of experienced political workers and occasionally overloading of the Red Army soldiers.

Special mention should be made of: Syzran district [ny] military registration and enlistment office, where employees drink and bribe; Armenia, where mass desertions are still continuing due to lack of uniforms and terrible living conditions; morals in the units are characterized by the fact of widely practiced massacre, even in political courses; Belarus, where the collapse of food supplies led to the loss of combat capability of border units; Irkutsk, where the drunkenness of the command staff and political workers continues; Orenburg Gubernia, where both food and material supply of units, as well as political work, are badly decided; Tula artillery warehouse, where the storage of fire supplies due to lack of space is completely unsatisfactory; Arkhangelsk, where the dissatisfaction of the military men with the lack of uniforms and food supplies still continues; and Ryazan,

Desertion.  There are very few reports of desertions, and mainly concern recruits who defect due to lack of uniforms.

The call of 1901.  The conscription was very successful everywhere, but during the movement of the conscripts on the railways, there were several defeats of the station buffets, beatings of passengers, railway workers and the murder of an ODTCHK agent (the Kharkov‐Poltava line and the Donetsk railway).

A garrison bakery strike was noted in Kharkov, which was terminated by the satisfaction of the workersʹ demands. conclusions

In many units and garrisons, the activity of supply agencies, mainly clothing, should be strengthened. Particular attention should be paid to the military units of Armenia, the Orenburg province, Belarus, the Tula artillery warehouse. The clothing supply for the recruits should be urgently established.


During the reporting 1 1/2 months, banditry continues to weaken continuously. In the central regions, with the exception of Ukraine and the South‐East, it is almost nowhere to be found. On the outskirts, it also continues to decrease at a progressive rate. The movement in the number of banditry in Turkestan is very characteristic in this respect. In August there were 31 thousand bandits, in September already less than 13 thousand, by the end of October ‐ 7 thousand.

The areas affected by banditry should be considered: Ukraine, South‐East, Transcaucasia, Siberia and Turkestan. In Ukraine, banditry of domestic political origin is almost eliminated, but banditry ʺtransportʺ ‐ of a purely criminal nature, is beginning to take on rampant proportions. October and November were marked by extremely audacious gang attacks on trains. Of these attacks, the attack on the train in which the Italian delegation was traveling must be singled out as particularly characteristic and particularly audacious.

There is almost no banditry left in the Southeast. The remnants do not actively manifest themselves.

In Transcaucasia, only Georgia remains an alarming region. In October there was a massive uprising in the Khevsureti region. This uprising was led by the bandit Chelokaev, popular in Georgia. It took about 2 weeks to suppress it. In mid‐November, the situation in Transcaucasia improved significantly. In Siberia, with the defeat of the coastal counter‐revolution, the situation has improved considerably. The Pepeliaevsk expedition, having lost its base, changed its direction and began to hastily retreat to Kamchatka.

The situation in Turkestan is sufficiently characterized by the above figures.

Separately, we must talk about the so‐called border banditry, the latter takes place in Ukraine (Podolia and Volhynia), in the Transcaucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan) and in Turkestan (Bukhara and Afghan borders). In Ukraine, the invasion of gangs, which weakened somewhat by the end of October, is intensifying again by mid‐November. In Transcaucasia, the actions of the gangs invading from Persia are looming. In Turkestan, Bukhara banditry, as well as the general Basm movement, continues to weaken.


Monarchists and Cadets

The activity of the monarchists and cadets takes place exclusively abroad, and they have almost no ties with Russia, with the exception of the intellectual circles of Petrograd and partly Moscow.


In November and at the end of October there was a noticeable revival among the Mensheviks, which is undoubtedly due to the ʺConference of Local Organizationsʺ held in October. The latter, confirming the decision of the Mensheviks ʺnot to overthrow the Soviet power,ʺ decided to increase pressure on this power in order to maximize its democratization, making every possible use of the economic discontent of the workers. In Moscow, in the last days of the first half of November, Menshevik leaflets ʺTo all the studentsʺ were distributed. The work of the Mensheviks among the Moscow trams is noted.


Strengthening of the activities of the SRs is noted in Moscow, Kharkov and Odessa. A bulletin of the Trud newspaper and a leaflet for the October anniversary were published in Moscow. A lot of literature was published in Kharkov, including ʺThe Banner of Laborʺ, leaflets and brochures about the peasantry and about the trial of the Socialist‐Revolutionaries. Socialist‐Revolutionary organizations were arrested in Irkutsk and Penza.

Left SRs and anarchists

Neither the Left Socialist‐Revolutionaries, nor the anarchists show any activity. There is some excitement among the anarchists underground, connections are being established.


The work of the VTsU has recently intensified somewhat; lay renewal groups have begun to purge the old church councils. The connection between the VCU and the localities is being restored. The purge of Tikhonovʹs bishops continues.

The Baptists, having united with the evangelists, set out to unite with Orthodoxy as well, to create the so‐called ʺUnited Divine Peasant Frontʺ to fight unbelief and atheism.

 Deputy Chairman of the GPU Unshlikht

Head of Information Department [Ashmarin]