Order by the Chairman of the Supreme Military Council and the People’s Commissar for Military and Naval Affairs (1918)

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To the Army and Navy Departments and to the Red Army and the Red Navy, June 13, 1918[edit source]

The revolt by the Czechoslovaks, which has disorganized transport and food-supplies and aroused false hopes in the hearts of the enemies of the Soviet Republic, at home and abroad, must be put down as soon as possible.

However, among the military specialists, the former officers who have entered the service of the Soviet Republic, together with examples of honest performance of military duty, there have been observed some instances of evasion of the fulfillment of orders arising from the tasks of combating the Czechoslovak mutiny. Those concerned try to claim they were not called up to wage ‘civil war’.

The majority of the Czechoslovaks are prisoners-of-war taken by us. While on the territory of the Soviet Republic they received pay from one of the foreign governments. Through deception they retained, and then through mutiny they seized, weapons which should not be in their possession. They are trying to get control of the Trans-Siberian railway, the country’s most important artery of food-supplies. They are trying to link up with Vladivostok, whence we are under threat from a landing by foreign imperialists. The Czechoslovak mutineers are thus an instrument of foreign occupation and of the enslavement of the Russian Republic. Under these conditions, only traitors and accomplices of foreign aggressors can hide behind the expression ‘civil war’.

I declare that the Soviet power will tolerate no evasion or argument on the part of military personnel in face of the enemy. AU scoundrelly and rotten elements who look without concern or indignation upon the mutiny by prisoners-of-war acting as mercenaries in foreign service, against the freedom and independence of Workers’ and Peasants’ Russia, will be struck down, and those guilty of resistance will be crushed.

This warning is the first and the last.