The foreign wireless has reported simultaneously two very important pieces of news:
Both of these reports, if confirmed, can possess the greatest military significance for the Seventh Army.
The Soviet Government has declared more than once, and proved its statements in practice, that it has not the slightest intention of going to war against independent Estonia and Finland.
On the contrary, the Soviet Government sees it as very much to its interest to demonstrate in practice to all peoples its policy of genuine respect for the right of all nations to self-determination. But, of course, the Soviet Government cannot in any event tolerate attempts by the bourgeoisie of the small states upon the independence of workers’ and peasants’ Russia. If Yudenich, taking cover from pursuit by the Seventh and Fifteenth Armies, were to be given support by Estonia, the task of the Seventh Army would then be to repulse the attack not only of Yudenich but also of his White Estonian accomplices. In that connection, the Seventh Army must keep it firmly in mind that its purpose is not to violate the independence of Estonia in any respect whatsoever, but only to rout the White-Guard bands: therefore, the Seventh Army will be required to march against the Estonian Army only in the event that and only in so far as Estonian units give active support to Yudenich.
An attempt by the Finnish bourgeoisie upon Petrograd would be such a monstrous and senseless foray that, despite the statement on the foreign wireless, this report must be considered improbable. If, nevertheless, it should be confirmed, then the Seventh Army’s task would be not only to administer the required rebuff to such an attack, but also to cure the Finnish bourgeoisie once and for all of any designs against Soviet Russia. In the event that the Finnish bourgeoisie concentrates forces against Petrograd, it will be necessary first and foremost that commanders and commissars explain to all the soldiers of the Seventh Army the brigand character of the attack being undertaken by Finland, and to lay the responsibility for this crime, in full accordance with the facts, not only upon the Finnish bourgeoisie as a whole but also on every Finnish bourgeois individually. Every Finnish bourgeois will answer with his property and his life for this bloodthirsty challenge to the Russian proletariat, who are ready to live in peace with all peoples.
In accordance with the above I propose:
83. The mistakes on Yudenich’s part which hastened his defeat and rout were:
(a) his refusal to recognise the independence of Estonia and Finland, which made these states unwilling to help him with material resources and manpower, despite the Entente’s prompting, so that the North-Western Army lacked protection on both of its flanks;
(b) the fact that, at the decisive moment, the Allies, too, failed to help the North-Western Army – the British fleet did not turn up before the forts of Kronstadt and Krasnaya Gorka. A major strategic mistake was that, carried away by his drive towards Petrograd, Yudenich failed to concern himself sufficiently with cutting the Nikolai Railway, and so allowed us to concentrate the necessary reserves.
Last updated on: 27.12.2006