A Bolshevik account of the Left SR uprising (1918)

In July 1918 the Petrograd Soviet newspaper, Izvestiia, published a Bolshevik account of the Left SR uprising in Moscow, which began with the murder of the German ambassador to the USSR:

“The insane rising of the so-called Left SRs has been suppressed. The judicial authorities will in the next few days publicise the exact facts concerning this unparalleled adventure and will establish the responsibility [of] individuals who took part in it. However, the political meaning of the events of July 6th-7th in Moscow is perfectly clear at the present moment. Yielding to the pressure of the bourgeois classes of society, the Left SRs during the last few weeks had made more persistent efforts to draw Russia into a war with Germany. These endeavours were obvious in their practice of constantly pointing out the exceptionally harsh terms of the Brest Treaty, and also in the invention and spreading of rumours and suspicions calculated to excite the popular imagination.

The intelligent workers and peasants realise the harsh character of the Brest terms. But they realise not less clearly the consequences which would follow if exhausted and white-bled Russia were to be drawn once again into the imperialist slaughter. It is for this reason that the overwhelming majority of workers and peasants have repeatedly repudiated the idea of annulling the Brest Treaty, as vehemently demanded by the Cadets, Right SRs, Mensheviks and Left SRs.

The failure of their demagogic agitation in favour of war drove the Left SRs on to the path of a senseless and dishonest adventure. They decided to draw Russia into a war against the will of the workers and peasants by means of a terrorist act…┬áIn substance, the Left SRs acted on July 6th and 7th as a fighting organization in the service of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie, for which they were preparing the way. In these circumstances the Council of People’s Commissars could only take one course, namely, within the shortest time possible to suppress the rising in which levity, treachery, and provocation combined in one repulsive whole. The energetic measures taken yielded results within a few hours. The Left SRs were cleared out from the telegraph and other offices, where they had been busying themselves for two hours…

Having set themselves such a task as the seizure of State authority, the leaders of the Left SRs had apparently quite failed to realise the magnitude and the importance of it and to realise that it was far beyond their strength. The rebels, after some insignificant attempts at resistance, began sending out parlementaires in every possible direction, and then began a disorderly retreat. The pursuit is going on with complete success. The number of those captured already amounts to several hundred. Full details will be submitted by the Government to the next session of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets, which will have the final word, both on the uprising of July 6th and 7th, and on the fate of the so-called Party of the Left SRs as a whole.”