11 August [1932]

Greetings, Comrade Kaganovich:

I received your letter of 9 August.

1) The decree on the protection of property, of course, is good and it will soon have an impact. The decree against profiteers is also good and timely (it should be promulgated soon). But all of this is not enough. We still must issue separately a letter-directive from the CC to party and judicaiary and punitive organizations about the point of these decrees and the methods for implementing them. This is absolutely imperative. Tell the appropriate people to draft such a letter. I will be in Moscow and will review it.

2) We will discuss the plenum of the Executive Committee of the Comintern, the utilization of grain and fodder crops, and diesel locomotives when I arrive in Moscow.

3) The most important issue right now is Ukraine. Things in Ukraine have hit rock bottom. Things are bad with regard to the party. There is talk that in two regions of Ukraine (I think it is the Kyiv and Dnipropetrovsk regions) about 50 district party committees have spoken out against the grain-procurement plan, deeming it unrealistic. The situation in other district party committees, people say, is better. What does this look like? This is not a party but a parliament, a caricature of a parliament. Instead of leading the districts, Kosior keeps maneuvering between the directives of the CC of the VKP(b) and the demands of the district party committees — and now he has maneuvered himself into a total mess. Lenin was right in saying that a person who does not have the curage to swim against the current when necessary cannot be a real Bolshevik leader. Things are bad with the soviets. Chubar is no leader. Things are bad with the GPU. Redens is not up to leading the fight against the counterrevolution in such a large and distictive republic as Ukraine.

Unless we begin to straighten out the situation in Ukraine, we may lose Ukraine. Keep in mind that Pilsudskii not daydreaming, and his agents in Ukraine are many times stronger than Redens or Kosior thinks Keep in mind, too, that the Ukrainian Communist Party (500,000 members, ha-ha) has quite a lot (yes, quite a lot) of rotten elements, conscious and unconscious Petliura adherents, and, finally, direct agents of Pilsudski. As soon as things get worse, these elements will waste no time opening a front inside (and outside) the party, against the party. The worst aspect is that the Ukraine leadership does not see these dangers.

Things cannot go on this way.

We must:

a) remove Kosior from Ukraine and replace him with you while keeping you as a secretary of the CC of the VKP(b);

b) right after this, transfer Balitsky to Ukraine to the post of chairman of the Ukrainian GPU (or plenipotentiary in Ukraine, since I don't think tha position of chairman of the Ukrainian GPU exists) while keeping him as vice-chairman of the OGPU, and make Redens the deputy to Balitsky for Ukraine;

c) several months later, replace Chubar with another comrade, say, Grinko or someone else, and make Chubar the deputy to Molotov in Moscow (Kosior can be made a secretary of the CC of the VKP);

d) set the goal of transforming Ukraine as quickly as possible into a real fortress of the USSR, into a genuinely exemplary republic. We should be unstinting in providing money.

Without these and similar measures (the economic and political strengthening of Ukraine, above all its border districs, etc.), I repeat, we may lose Ukraine.

What do you think about this?

We must get to work on this matter as soon as possible — immediately after I arrive in Moscow.

Regards, I. Stalin.

P.S. I have already spoken with Menzhinsky about Balitsky and Redens. He agrees and welcomes this move in every respect.


The Stalin-Kaganovich Correspondence 1931-1936. Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 2003. Pp. 179-181.

Stalin-Kaganovich Korrespondentsiia Pp. 179-182.