Agents of Revolution-2. How the Leaders of October Repaid their Debts to the Sponsors

Marking the centenary of the October Revolution, I am publishing translations of three articles from “Argumenty i Fakty”. The second article in a series of two from 18.04.2012, taking a look at how the Western funds invested into the revolution got repaid. The article is by a reputable historian and writer Nikolai Starikov. Read the translation of the first article to learn the role of Valdimir Uljanov / Lenin on the eve of the October Revolution.

Having declaring war on global capital, once in power, Lenin and Trotsky gave up enormous resources to the mercy of their enemies. Was it a repayment for the “sponsorship” assistance in organizing the revolution and the Civil war?

In the previous atricle we told about the adventures Vladimir Lenin and his comrades experienced 95 years ago (note: the article is from 2012) travelling from abroad to Russia, and who aided them in that.

Writer, historian Nikolai Starikov, author of the books “Chaos and revolution weapon of the dollar”, “1917. The answer is “Russian” revolution,” etc., says that the Bolsheviks did not forget their benefactors. And though they did not completed the “order” for the collapse of Russia, they, nevertheless, more than repaid the financial debts.

The Civil war was barely over, when the young Soviet government started showing serious interest in the production of the yellow metal. On the 14th of November 1925, the government of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR), with a light hand of Trotsky (recall that this fiery Russian revolutionary of Jewish origin spent about 12 years of the early twentieth century in the West and even managed to obtain an American passport), transfers the rights to the development of the gold mines in Eastern Siberia to the company “Lena Goldfields Co., Ltd”. The very same, whose workers were shot in cold blood in 1912, when they were protesting against low wages. The famous Lena massacre gave at that time the Bolsheviks an excuse to denounce the autocratic rule in Russia. While now the Bolsheviks themselves transferred to a British consortium that owned “Lena Goldfields” the rights to mine gold in the basin of Lena river (and not only there) for 30 years! The area of the concession covered a huge territory from Yakutia to the Urals, and the interests of the Western company now went far beyond gold. They included silver, copper, lead, iron…

Under the agreement with the Soviets, a whole group of mining and metallurgical enterprises was handed over into disposition of “Lena Goldfields”. And what did the country receive in return? A measly 7% of the volume of the extracted metal.

Enormous wealth went overseas for virtually nothing. However, this blatant robbery of the country lasted for a relatively short period of time. On the 10th of February 1929 Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Soviet Union. And – what an amazing coincidence – in December of the same year “Lena Goldfields” was forced to cease its operations in Russia.

Swedish business

Someone will remark that the looting of the country was happening after the death of Lenin in January 1924. The debts for the sponsorship of the revolutionaries were seemingly returned only by Trotsky, who in spring 1917 arrived to Russia from New York with ten thousand dollars in his pocket? (By the way, not only he and Iljitch [patrimonial of Ulianov {Lenin}] returned to the country back then. Other “agents” came to the revolutionary Russia from the West: V. Antonov-Ovseenko, who later arrested the Provisional Government; the future head of the Petrograd Special Services, Moisey Uritsky, with whose murder starts the “red terror”; V. Volodarsky (Moisey Goldstein) and many others.)

In reality, the Bolshevik government entered into the shady deals with the West also during the life of Lenin. Perhaps the most notorious of these concerned the purchase of locomotives from the factory of the Swedish firm “Nidquist and Holm” (NoH AB).

The volume of the order is staggering – 1,000 locomotives to the price of 200 million gold roubles. It’s almost a quarter of the then gold reserves of the country! Note that until then, this firm could not afford a production of more than 40 locomotives per year. And then it was offered to make a thousand! The order was distributed over 5 years: in 1922, Russia was to receive 200 locomotives, and in 1923-1925 – 250 annually. Why would the Soviet country, in dire need of railway technology, want to buy them from this particular Swedish company and at highly inflated prices? Why would she agreed to wait for the delivery for 5 years, instead of having to buy the right product cheaper and immediately, but in a different place? The people’s Commissariat of Railways, headed in the early 1920s by Leon Trotsky, desired exactly these locomotives so much that not only did they make an advance payment of 7 million kronor, but also gave the Swedish company… an interest-free loan of 10 million kronor “for the construction of a mechanical workshop and boiler room”.

The Soviet magazine “The Economist” wrote about the peculiarities of this affair in early 1922. The author A. Frolov proposed to investigate: why was it necessary to order engines in Sweden? After all, for such money it was possible “to put in order our locomotive plants and feed theirs workers”. The Putilov factory had been producing more than 200 locomotives per year before the war. Why not issue a credit to them? And Lenin indeed sorted out the situation. After consulting with Trotsky, he asked Felix Dzerzhinsky to close down “The Economist” magazine (which also on previous occasions published articles unpleasant for the Soviets), stating: “the Staff of “The Economist” are the enemies of the most ruthless kind. All of them must be sent out of Russia”. The suspicious contract with the Swedes remained unchanged after the intervention of the leader.

So how did the Bolsheviks return the money to the foreign bankers? They obviously could not simply transfer them to the West and write in the “Purpose of payment” column: “Repayment for the Russian revolution and the victory in the Civil war”. A good excuse was needed. Such as to buy something in the West, for example those selfsame locomotives. Trotsky organizes the purchase, but Lenin, it seems, is aware of the transaction and does not prevent it. Otherwise this doubtful contract would have cost Trotsky his career.

In fact, many documents confirm, that the Swedish banking system was used to inject money for the revolution into Russia. And later it was also used to transfer money out. Already in the autumn of 1918 Isidore Gukovsky, deputy of the People’s Commissar of Finance in Soviet Russia, arrived in Stockholm. With him he had crates full of money and jewellry. The value of the goods was estimated at 40-60 million roubles. Millions of roubles were transferred to the Stockholm banks, including “Nya Banken” of Olof Aschberg, whose name often appears in the books on the financing of the Bolsheviks.

A Deal with the Devil

It is difficult to tell the exact number of contracts and concessions issued by the Soviet government to the American firms at the beginning of the construction of a new state. But this includes both $25 million of commissions to the American Industrialists for the period from July 1919 to January 1920, and the concession for the extraction of asbestos that was issued to Armand Hammer in 1921, and the lease agreement issued for 60-years to the Frank Vanderlip and its consortium, which provided for the exploitation of deposits of coal and oil, as well as fishing in the North-Siberian region, with an area of 600 thousand sq. km.

The return of funds allocated for the elimination of the Russian Empire, was obviously one of the agreements between the representatives of the Western governments and the Bolsheviks. And both Lenin and Trotsky carefully observed this agreement. However these new leaders did not meet the other Western hopes. Having been put at the helm of Russia to completely ruin it (and the initial aims of the West coincided with the revolutionary dreams of Lenin), Lenin started instead to put the torn apart country back together. To build a strong and independent state which again plays a key role in world politics.

However, the leader of the proletarians did not have long left to live. I do not exclude that the shot from SR member F. Kaplan, that precipitated his death, was a precautionary measure on the part of his former foreign guardians, so that he would not be getting full of himself. Trotsky, perhaps, was ready to continue to work for the West, but in 1929 Stalin sent him out, and then sent in pursuit an assassin R. Mercader, with an ice pick. As we know, no deal with the devil goes without repercussions.

Agents of Revolution-1. Was Lenin a Spy for Germany?

Marking the centenary of the October Revolution, I am publishing translations of three articles from “Argumenty i Fakty”. The first article in a series of two from 11.04.2012, taking a look at who was Valdimir Uljanov / Lenin. The article is by a reputable historian and writer Nikolai Starikov.

Vladimir Lenin’s journey with a group of friends in a “sealed train” starting from a quiet and well-to-do Switzerland, through Germany and into the revolutionary Russia, that took place exactly 95 years ago (the article is from 2012), gave rise to the rumours that Lenin was a German spy.

This trip that changed the course of the world history, still raises many questions. Chief among them: who helped Lenin to return home? In the spring of 1917 Germany was at war with Russia, and it would have benefited Germans to drop at the heart of the enemy a handful of Bolsheviks who preached the defeat of their government in the imperialist war. But not all is that simple, says the writer and historian Nikolai Starikov, author of the books “Chaos and revolution – weapon of the dollar”, “1917. The answer to “Russian” revolution,” etc.

– If Lenin was a German spy, he would have immediately begun to seek the return to Petrograd through Germany. And would, of course, immediately get a go-ahead. But reality was different. Let’s remember: tiny Switzerland, where Iljich lived, was surrounded by France, Italy, Germany and Austria-Hungary, locked in mortal combat.

There were two ways to leave Switzerland: through an Entente member country or through the territory of its opponents. Lenin initially selects the first option. On the 5th (18th) March (here and further the date in bracket is according to the new style. – Ed.) Inessa Armand receives from him the following telegram: “My Dear friend! We are dreaming about the trip… I would love to give You an assignment in England to learn quietly and surely, if I could pass through. I shake your hand. Yours V.U.”. Between the 2nd (15th) and 6th (19th) of March of 1917, Lenin telegraphs to his colleague Ganetsky in Stockholm, presenting a different plan: to travel to Russia under the guise of… a deaf-mute Swede. While on March the 6th, in a letter to V. A. Karpinsky he suggests: “Buy in your name papers for a journey to France and England, and I will use them to go through England (and Holland) to Russia. I can wear a wig”.

The first mention of Germany as a route appears in a telegram to Karpinsku from Lenin on the 7th (20th) of March – on the 4th day of the search for options. But soon he confesses in a letter to I. Armand: “It does not work out with Germany”. Isn’t it strange? Lenin could not agree with the “accomplices” – the Germans – on the passage through their territory and was for a long time inventing workarounds: either to “quietly” go through England, or in a wig with false documents through France, or to pretend to be deaf and dumb Swede…

Conspiracy of the “allies”

I am convinced that even if there had been some secret agreements between Lenin and the German authorities at that point, they were very vague. Otherwise there would initially be no difficulties with his delivery to Russia. The Germans did not expect a successful February revolution, they did not expect any revolution at all! Because, apparently, they were not preparing any revolution. Then who prepared the February of 1917? For me the answer is obvious: Western “allies” of Russia in the Entente. It is their agents who brought first the workers and then the soldiers out on the streets of Petrograd, while the British and French ambassadors were in charge of these events. It happened unexpectedly, not only for the Germans, but also for the Bolsheviks. Lenin and his comrades were not required until February, the “allied” intelligence agencies were able to organize labour unrest and military rebellion without their aid. But so as to bring the revolutionary process to fulfilment (i.e., the collapse of Russia, which would fully subordinate her to the will of the Atlantic powers), it was required to add fresh yeast to the boiler – in the form of Lenin.

There is every reason to believe that in March 1917 it was the “allied” intelligence that in separate negotiations with the Germans convinced them not to hinder the movement of the Russians-Bolsheviks (i.e. representatives of the enemy country, who, according to the law of war, should have been arrested and put in jail until the end of the war). And the Germans agreed to that.

General Erich Ludendorff wrote in his memoirs: “By sending Lenin to Russia our government assumed a special responsibility. From a military point of view his journey through Germany had its justification: Russia had to collapse into the abyss.” After learning the good news, Lenin was delighted. “You will maybe say that the Germans will not provide a carriage. Let’s bet that they will!” he writes on March the 19th (April 1st) to Inessa Armand. And later, also to her: “We have more money for the trip, than what I anticipated… our comrades in Stockholm helped a lot”. Less than two weeks passed between the two letters to his beloved (“Germany won’t let us pass” and “they’ll give [a carriage]”), and during that time, the United States, Britain and Germany decided the fate of Russia. The Americans provided the necessary for Russian radicals money (indirectly, through the selfsame Germans and Swedes), while the British provided the non-interference from the Provisional Government, which they controlled. In Stockholm – where Lenin and his companions arrived after a long journey by train through Germany, and then by a ferry to Sweden – they easily got a group visa to Russia at the Russian Consulate. Moreover, the Provisional Government even paid for their tickets home from Stockholm! The revolutionaries were met by a guard of honour at the Finland railway station in Petrograd on the 3rd (16th) of April. Lenin gave a speech, which concluded with the words: “Long live the socialist revolution!” But the new government of Russia did not even think of arresting him…

The bucks at his bosom

Another fiery revolutionary, Leon Trotsky (Bronstein), was preparing for a journey home from the United States during those same March days. Like Vladimir Lenin, Lev Davidovich received all the documents from the Russian Consul in New York. On the 14th (27th) of March Trotsky departed with his family from New York on the ship “Kristianiafjord”. However, upon arrival to Canada, he and several of his associates were briefly taken ashore. But soon they were allowed to continue – at the request of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Provisional Government, Pavel Miliukov. An amazing request, isn’t it? Not in the least, if you consider that Milyukov was a personal friend of Jacob Schiff, an American magnate, “chief sponsor” of several Russian revolutions. During the arrest, by the way, it turned out that Trotsky was a U.S. citizen travelling on British transit visa and a visa for entry to Russia.

Additionally, ten thousand dollars were found in his possession – a huge amount at that time, which he could hardly have earned only from the fees for newspaper articles. If that, however, was money for the Russian revolution, then it was only a negligible part. Principal amounts from the American bankers were transferred to the correct accounts of verified people. This was nothing new for Schiff and other financiers of the United States. They allocated funds to the Social Revolutionaries and the Social Democrats in 1905, and also helped those who prepared the February. And now came the time to help the most “hard core” revolutionaries. By the way, in the case of Trotsky, this assistance was almost a family affair: the wife of Lev Davidovich, nee Sedova, was the daughter of a wealthy banker Zhivotovsky – companion of Warburg bankers, and those in turn were companions and relatives of Jacob Schiff.

The second part of the article is called Agents of Revolution-2. How the Leaders of October Repaid their Debts to the Sponsors

100 Year Anniversary of the October Revolution of 1917

This 7th of October 2017 marks the 100 year anniversary of the October (old style) Russian Revolution of 1917.

The event itself was both a curse and a blessing for Russia, a great tragedy and a salvation. Like so many times before and after, Russia rose from the ashes, stronger than what her ill-wishers could possibly imagine. Many controversies are floating around the subject of the Revolution, and many inaccuracies.

Let us start with the first – there were two revolutions. One in February, which actually depose Tzar Nikolai II, and one in October. The February revolution carried all the traits of a colour revolution – from the public unrest (justified, but externally directed), to removal of the current order in the country. There is evidence that the abdication note from Nikolai II is forged. After the February revolution, the temporary government did not have any real power, the country was plunged in a state power vacuum, which was ultimately filled in October/November 1917.

From a bird’s eye view perspective, one can argue that the foundation for the revolution (or what one would call nowadays with the ignomous term of Maidan) were laid much earlier – with the first attempt in 1905. Later, creation of the pretext of WWI, dragging of Russia in to World War (despite Nikolai II’s attempts to avoid it), the October revolution, the Versailles Treaty wich basically made WWII inevitable, and ultimately WWII itself were beads of a string of one single event.

WWI laid the foundations putting for economic strain, and thus social unrest on the pre-WWI economically blossoming Russia. WWI gave Britain hope to weaken and do away with Russia, and for Germany to get “lebensraum” (yes, that term was not coined by Hitler, but prior to WWI, and later adopted by him).

By 1917 Germany badly needed Russia to exit WWI as it overstrained itself, Britain still needed Russia destroyed. Lenin gave promises to both sides, thus getting financing from Britain and free passage from Germany. He also delivered on most, but not all of the promises, ultimately saving Russia from destruction.

British king George V, while granting asylum to a jeweller Carl Faberge, refused such courtesy to cousin of Nikolai II. Britain did not need any legitimate continuity of rule in Russi, it need Russia weakened and dismembered, and Lenin was the demolition man, though luckily for Russia he did not prove as cooperative as Britain had hoped, once in power.

There is an enlightening article at RT, Why didn’t Britain’s king save deposed Russian cousin after revolution? with this photo. Can you tell George V from Nikolai II?

Lada Ray conveyed the above and more in her post What is the Truth about 1917 Bolshevik Revolution? Striking Festival of Light in St. Petersburg, as well as in her informative Webinar INVERTED COLLAPSE USSR’S PAST – WEST’S FUTURE.

I planning on translating three articles from Aigumenty i Fakty pertaining to the financing, ties and movement of Lenin in 1917. Stay tunes.