Telegram to the Revolutionary Military Council of the 11th Army, February 14, 1921

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The text of the telegram proposed by Lenin was approved by the Politbureau of the RCP(b) Central Committee on February 14, 1921.

The CC is inclined to permit the 11th Army to give active support to the uprising in Georgia and to occupy Tiflis, provided international rules are observed and all members of the 11th Army R.M.C. after a serious examination of all the data, vouch for success.[1] We warn that we have been left without grain because of transport, and will therefore not give a single train or a single car. We are forced to carry only grain and oil from the Caucasus. We demand an immediate reply by direct wire signed by all the 11th Army R.M.C. members and also by Smilga, Gittis, Trifonov and Frumkin. Until our reply to the telegrams from all these persons, do nothing drastic.[2]


  1. The working people’s armed uprising, led by the Georgian Bolsheviks, against the Menshevik government of Georgia began on the night of February 11, 1921. At the request of the Georgian working people, Soviet Russia’s Government ordered units of the 11th Army to support the insurgents. Relying on the support of those units, the workers and peasants of Georgia fought a heroic struggle and routed the Menshevik forces, liberating Tiflis, the capital of Georgia, on February 25, and proclaiming Georgia a Soviet Socialist Republic. See this volume, Documents 66 and 86.
  2. Lenin then added the following: “On behalf of the CC, Krestinsky.” At the bottom of the telegram Lenin added this note, apparently addressed to the secretary: “No, better keep this top-secret for 2–3 months.”—Ed.