Letter to the International Socialist Bureau, July 4, 1905

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Dear Citizens,

The editors of Proletary received a telegram today from Berlin. A comrade asks us to inform the International Socialist Bureau that, according to a private telegram to the Berliner Tageblatt, the Russian Government has requested the powers to dispatch their ships stationed at Constantinople to Odessa to help restore order in that city.

It is quite possible that the Russian Government, no longer trusting its own naval forces, will try to make the warships of European states fight against the Russian revolution under the pretext of defending the foreign residents of Odessa.

Thus, there is a great danger that the European peoples may be forced to play the part of executioners of Russian freedom. Therefore we request you, dear citizens, to consider this question and seek the means of preventing such an eventuality. Perhaps it would be advisable to publish in the name of the International Socialist Bureau an appeal to the workers of all countries. The appeal should emphasise that what is taking place in Russia is not mob rioting, but a revolution, a struggle for freedom, that this struggle has as its object the convocation of a Constituent Assembly, which is demanded by all progressive parties, in the first place by the Social-Democratic Labour Party of Russia. Perhaps such an appeal, translated into all languages, printed in the socialist press of the entire world and distributed by every means at our disposal, will be able to influence public opinion and frustrate the designs of the Russian Government—designs that would be fatal to freedom.

We hope that you will let us know your opinion on this matter.

Accept, dear citizens, our fraternal greetings.

On behalf of the Central Committee of the S.D.L.P. of Russia

N. Lenin (Vl. Ulyanov)