Radio-Telegram to Bela Kun, April 4, 1919

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Bela Kun


I am sending you a copy of our radio-telegram of today to Pichon on the question of the exchange with France.[1]

Our Red Cross Commission headed by Manuilsky left for France to organise repatriation of our men, but has been held up. We promised to repatriate the French servicemen still with us if repatriation of our men from France is organised and proceeds at full speed. The French Government prevented Manuilsky’s Commission from organising this work. Of the 35,000 Russian soldiers in France, Africa and Salonica, France wants to repatriate 900 men now and makes empty promises of repatriating our soldiers later on as opportunity offers, but in exchange for this, France demands that we should immediately let all the Frenchmen go home.

France wants to send Manuilsky’s mission back together with the 900 Russian soldiers, although nothing has been done to organise further repatriation. France wants to get everything and give almost nothing and get rid of Manuilsky.

Yet we are aware that our soldiers who remain in France and refuse to join the army are subjected to the most monstrous persecution and that Manuilsky has been forbidden to establish any sort of contact with them.

We refuse, on such conditions, to let the Frenchmen go home. This is the substance of my radio-telegram, a copy of which is being sent to you. The French will shout blue murder, and tell the Americans every sort of disgusting lie. Please hand a copy of our Note to the American representative for his government.


  1. This apparently refers to the radio-telegram on the subject of exchanging prisoners of war, sent on April 4, 1919, on behalf of G. V. Chicherin, People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs, to the French Foreign Minister, S. Pichon (see Dokumenty vneshnei politiki SSSR, Vol. II, 1958, pp. 112–15).