27 January 2023

Ukraine and Great Russian power: Christian Rakovsky versus Joseph Stalin, 1922-23

Roger D. Markwick

Soviet Ukraine … can be rightfully called “Vladimir Lenin’s Ukraine.” … He was its creator and architect,’ declared Russian President Vladimir Putin, three days before he launched an illegal invasion of Ukraine. In Putin’s mind, Ukraine is an illegitimate state: the bastard offspring of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution. ‘Modern Ukraine’, Putin vehemently asserted, ‘was entirely created by Russia or, to be more precise, by Bolshevik, Communist Russia.’i

Putin is right in one respect: the formation of the Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic (UkSSR) on 10 March 1919 and its formal incorporation into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) on 30 December 1922 gave Ukraine 72 years of unprecedented status as a territorially defined and internationally recognised nation state (notwithstanding the vicissitudes of the Second World War). However, the formation of the UkSSR and its incorporation into the USSR was a tortuous process, which reveals a great deal about Bolshevik thinking about nationhood in general and Ukraine in particular, a question that was to be intimately tied to the rise of Stalin and the fate of the October Revolution. A key protagonist in the debates about the status of the minority nationalities in the lead up to the formal declaration of the USSR was Christian Rakovsky (1873-1941), the Bulgarian-born Bolshevik who on 19 January 1919, at the height of the civil war, had been nominated by Lenin to be president of the Soviet Ukrainian Provisional Government.ii

Three years later, with Lenin grievously ill, Rakovsky took up the cudgels in favour of a federated USSR as opposed to Stalin’s Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) dominated model. For Rakovsky, at stake in the Union was the principle of the right of nations to self-determination, which he argued should be the founding principle of the Soviet Union. Stalin thought otherwise, surreptitiously embedding Great Russian derzhavnost’ (super-state), that the dying Lenin had denounced, as the bulwark of a centralising, increasingly autocratic state, as Rakovsky predicted. In doing so, Stalin laid the time-bomb of national irredentism and chauvinism that would ultimately tear the USSR apart and unleash Putin’s Great Russian imperial war against a ‘little Russia’ vassal of NATO imperialism.iii

Tsarist Russia was ‘a prison house of nations’ (Tiur’ma narodov), railed Vladimir Lenin. For Lenin, the liberation of imprisoned nations, ‘The Right of Nations to Self-Determination’, was intrinsic to the socialist programme. He stressed, in particular, the ‘right of Ukraine’ to form an ‘independent state’, although whether Ukraine would actually achieve this was impossible to predict. In other words, it would depend upon specific historical circumstances.iv

Rakovsky’s approach to Ukrainian nationalism and statehood certainly evolved in accordance with specific historical circumstances, or, more precisely, with the course of the socialist revolution, domestic and international, in the wake of the October Revolution. In the life and death context of civil war, class struggle trumped national self-determination. Indeed, as war raged in 1919, Rakovsky repudiated Ukrainian nationalism, given the ‘weakness and anaemia’ of the Ukrainian proletariat, as a dangerous concession to counter-revolution and Western imperialism.v Declaring that the ethnographic differences between Ukrainians and Russians were ‘in themselves insignificant’, Rakovsky rejected any ‘danger of Russification under the existing Ukrainian Soviet authority’ as ‘entirely without foundation.’vi For him, the best guarantee of Ukraine’s future was the victory of the international socialist revolution, in the first instance in Germany. ‘Ukraine is truly the strategic nodal point of socialism’, Rakovsky declared. Accordingly, ‘The Ukrainian revolution is the decisive factor in the world revolution.’vii

For Rakovsky, the end of the Civil War and the introduction of the New Economic Policy (NEP) in 1921 facilitated Soviet Ukraine asserting its political and economic autonomy both internationally and domestically.viii These circumstances opened the way for Ukrainian independence from Soviet Russian party and state institutions, which he increasingly championed in that year. Addressing the VI Congress of the Ukrainian Communist Party on 10 October 1921, he asserted ‘It is necessary to grant more independence to the Ukrainian organs, especially to those that are unified (with the Russian), because the others are already independent.’ix Pivotal in this regard were independent Ukrainian foreign relations and trade. Accordingly, Rakovsky regarded the January 1922 signing of a Ukrainian-Turkish treaty as a major diplomatic accomplishment.

Enter Stalin

While Rakovsky was increasingly asserting Ukrainian independence, the fraught issue of the constitutional relations between the constituent republics of an emergent Soviet Union was brewing. ‘Great Russian’ derzhavnost’ was rearing its ugly head in Moscow, driven by Commissar of Nationalities, Joseph Stalin. He elaborated his ‘unitarist’ approach to Soviet federalism in an unpublished note to Lenin in June 1920: ‘Our Soviet form of federation suits the nations of Tsarist Russia as their road to internationalism … These nationalities either never possessed states of their own in the past or if they did, long ago lost them. That is why the Soviet (centralised) form of federation is accepted by them without any particular friction.’x

Friction, however, did soon emerge, igniting a clash between Stalin and Lenin over the status of Soviet national minorities: ‘autonomisation’ versus ‘independence’. Stalin argued that national ‘autonomy does not mean independence and does not involve separation.’xi Lenin insisted, however, that the right of Soviet minority nations to independence and self-determination, including the right to secede from the Union, was sacrosanct. In essence, this was a clash between imperial Russian super-state derzhavnost’ versus socialist internationalism. Rakovsky, like Lenin, took the latter stance, in defence of an independent Soviet Ukraine. And, like so many of the leading Bolsheviks who confronted Stalin, he would eventually pay the ultimate price.

Soviet international relations exposed this divide between the ‘centralist’ Stalin and the ‘federalist’ Rakovsky. In January 1922, a Russian Central Committee commission, which included Stalin, Rakovsky and RSFSR Foreign Affairs Commissar Georgy Chicherin, proposed abolishing republic foreign-relations commissariats in favour of one RSFSR Commissariat of Foreign Affairs (Narkomindel), which would be a prelude to the incorporation of the republics into Russia. The Ukrainian Narkomindel unequivocally rejected this proposal which, like the commission itself, came to nought.xii This of course was not end of the matter. ‘Autonomy’ was once more on the agenda with the appointment of Stalin as Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) [RKP (b)] General Secretary in April 1922.

The form that the future Soviet federation should take was the focus of a special Politburo commission established in August 1922 to scrutinise relations between the Russian Federation and the five republics of Ukraine, Belorussia, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. At the commission, Stalin argued for ‘autonomisation’, on which basis their key commissariats, such as defence and international relations, and their political police would be incorporated into those of the Russian Federation. De jure, these five states would have been reduced to, in Moshe Lewin’s words, ‘mere administrative units of a centralised Russian state.’xiii

The ailing Lenin was unaware of Stalin’s proposal until Rakovsky personally alerted him. Rakovsky’s subsequent attempt to postpone the commission meeting until October 1922 was rejected, thwarting any direct intervention by Lenin. Instead, Stalin wrote to Lenin defending his autonomy proposal against that of the ‘genuine Ukrainian (nefal’shivyi ukrainets)’ Rakovsky, as Stalin sarcastically put it.xiv Lenin, however, immediately after meeting with Stalin on 26 September, rejected ‘autonomisation’ under the Russian Federation in favour of a ‘Union of Soviet Socialist Republics of Europe and Asia’: ‘A new structure, a federation of republics possessing equal rights.’xv While ostensibly retreating, however, Stalin manoeuvred for the Russian commissariats to retain their prerogatives. In a note to Lev Kamenev, Stalin labelled Lenin’s stance a ‘deviation’: ‘national liberalism.’xvi

Rakovsky directly challenged the threatened ‘liquidation of the republics.’ In a memorandum dated 28 September 1922, he argued that party congresses, not the commission, should make the final decision on the structure of the Soviet Union. For Rakovsky, constitutional guarantees of republican rights were the most appropriate means to ensure an effective federal government.xvii The following month, he publicised his continued concerns about the de facto subordination of the republican commissariats to their Russian counterparts.xviii

War on great-Russian chauvinism’

Rakovsky’s consternation about the independence of the republics foreshadowed the clash between Stalin and Lenin on the vexed question of ‘great-Russian chauvinism’ that erupted in October 1922 following the so-called ‘Georgian incident’. After Stalin’s representative Sergo Ordzhonikidze struck one of the leaders of the Georgian Communist Party, the ailing Lenin found the strength to declare ‘war on great-Russian chauvinism.’ In a note to Kamenev, he insisted ‘absolutely that the Union TsIK [Central Executive Committee] be chaired in turn by a Russian, Ukrainian, Georgian etc. Absolutely!’xix

In December, on the eve of the declaration of the USSR, Lenin dictated a programmatic statement apologising for his failure to address the ‘notorious problem of autonomy’ and calling for the defence of ethnic minorities from the ‘Russian bully (russkaia derzhimorda)’ and denouncing Stalin’s ‘fatal role’ in fuelling ‘great Russian imperial ideology (velikoderzhavnichestvo).’ Stalin’s bullying velikoderzhavnichestvo was at the heart of Lenin’s call for the removal of Stalin as Party General Secretary in his political ‘testament’, which the dying Lenin dictated at the end of December 1922 – beginning of January 1923. Lenin’s ‘Letter to the Party Congress’ was supposed to be discussed at the upcoming April 1923 Twelfth RKP(b) Congress, the focus of which was to be the national structure of the USSR.xx

While Trotsky held his fire at the Twelfth RKP(b) Congress, Rakovsky did not: neither on the national question nor on its ominous implications for the Soviet political system. Now, for the first time, he publicly held Stalin to account.xxi Knowing of Lenin’s unequivocal stance on the centrality of the national question, in November 1922, Rakovsky had advocated the establishment of a second chamber for the All-Union government representing the nationalities.xxii Stalin initially opposed Rakovsky’s proposal but finally relented. The Soviet of Nationalities was established in February 1923, but the precise basis on which it would be formed was fiercely contested at the Twelfth RKP(b) Congress.

For Stalin, seemingly positioning himself as the champion of Marxist class politics, ‘the national question’ was secondary to the ‘primary task’ of ‘strengthening the rule of the workers.’xxiii For Rakovsky, invoking Lenin, at this juncture in Soviet and world history the national question had surged to the fore, except at the party Congress where it had been relegated to the ‘tail end’, he lamented. ‘On the national question we are making fatal mistakes’, Rakovsky declared to the assembled Congress delegates. In fact, he feared that if the national question was not handled with ‘sensitivity and understanding’, it could even trigger ‘Civil War’, endangering ‘the foundations’ of both Soviet Russia and the Communist Party. ‘Soviet power’ itself was imperilled. Accusing the delegates of underestimating the significance of the national question, he asked rhetorically ‘why’ it was being raised for a ‘third time?’ ‘Because,’ he answered himself, ‘the more we pose it the further we get away from a communist understanding and solution of the national question … We have a deep prejudice’, he continued, ‘one that is all the more dangerous because it is a communist prejudice, … because this prejudice conceals our ignorance on the nationalities question’. Dismissing the widely shared view that the national question had been resolved by the October Revolution, so that ‘we all stand for internationalism’, he warned that the ‘union (smychka)’ between the workers and peasants was in danger. ‘National development of the separate, autonomous and independent republics and oblasts,’ he argued, was pivotal for the 60 million ‘non-party’, ‘non-Russian’, ‘peasant masses with their aspiration for a national life, for their own national culture, for their own national state’ to find common ground with communist, working-class internationalism.xxiv

Accusing Stalin of seriously underestimating the gravity of the national question, Rakovsky pinpointed the growing divorce between the Party and the ‘state apparatus’ as the fundamental driver of national tensions within the Union. A ‘narrow executive bureaucratic psychology’ had begun to prevail in the ‘central state organs’, which following Lenin, he described as a ‘melange of a tsarist and bourgeois apparatus, smeared with soviet and communist myrrh, but only on the forehead and nothing else.’ In dealing with the ‘central administration,’ he went on to argue, the republics are ‘forced to wage … a struggle for survival’ as the Russian Commissariats for their own ‘convenience’ usurped the republics in the realms of the ‘National Economy, Labour and Finance.’ Indeed, Rakovsky pointed out, the Russian Central Executive Committee had assumed responsibility for ‘building the Union’ without any input from the other republics. Again, Stalin was in Rakovsky’s sights. Specifically, Stalin’s proposed version of a ‘two-chamber’ Union government which disproportionately represented the RSFSR, thereby institutionalising the disenfranchisement of the other republics. Rakovsky’s response was greeted with ‘applause’: ‘we must take away nine-tenths of the power of the All-Union Commissariats and hand them over to the national republics.’xxv

Rakovsky did not object to Stalin’s proposed ‘two-tier’ government. What he opposed was Stalin’s sleight of hand whereby ‘each of the 15 autonomous republics and oblasts of the RSFSR’ would have the same number of votes for the All-Union Central Committee as Ukraine and Belorussia. As a result, the RSFSR would secure at least 280 Central Committee deputies out of total 360, thereby denying the ‘democratic nationalism’ Stalin ostensibly espoused.xxvi Rakovsky moved that no one republic, by which he meant the Russian Republic, have more than two-fifths of the delegates in the upper chamber. Rakovsky’s motion was dismissed by Stalin as ‘state fetishism’. It was voted down.xxvii

Internationalism clearly motivated Rakovsky’s forthright defence of the rights of the Soviet republics against Russian Republic domination. For him, nothing less than the fate of the socialist revolution, East and West was at stake. As he put it in a motion he proposed to the Party Congress:

Only the strictest agreement between our policy on the national question within the country and that policy which we propagate on the national question in our state and party line outside the borders, can give the Soviet Union and the Communist Party the moral authority and the principled sincerity which will make them, in the broadest sense, the base for the struggle of the world proletariat with imperialism.xxviii

Needless to say, Stalin again spoke against Rakovsky’s amendment, which also was defeated.xxix

Dead-handed centralism’

A ‘colossal break (kolossal’naia lomka)’ was how Rakovsky condemned the establishment of the USSR in December 1922 in his speech to the national section of the Twelfth Party Congress on 25 April 1923. It was an acrimonious session, separate from the Congress plenary, punctuated by barbed exchanges between Stalin and Rakovsky. The verbatim transcript of the session, in which Rakovsky invoked Lenin’s critique of ‘autonomisation’, remained secret until In answer to Stalin’s theses on the national question, Rakovsky proposed two key amendments. First, to focus on the national question in the West, not only the East as Stalin wanted. Second, the creation of a second chamber of the USSR Central Executive Committee exclusively representing the Union republics. In doing so, Rakovsky aimed to thwart Stalin’s attempt to ensure Russian dominance by giving equal weight to the autonomous nationalities that constituted the RSFSR. Stalin’s manoeuvre to insinuate ‘autonomisation’ in another guise.xxxi

The latter amendment provoked particularly fiery debate. Stalin’s claim that the February 1922 RKP (b) Central Committee Plenum had already rejected Rakovsky’s proposed Soviet of Republics, was bluntly rejected by him: no specific ‘two-chamber structure’ had been endorsed. When debate on the question was shut down, immediately after Stalin scathingly rejected alleged constitutional ‘machinations (makhinatsiia)’, Rakovsky exclaimed: ‘This is the most fundamental question!’.xxxii Although some delegates spoke in Rakovsky’s support, notably Mikhail Frunze, he was a largely ‘isolated’ figure at the Congress. Already, it was ‘dangerous’ to challenge the General Secretary.xxxiii

But challenge Stalin the Ukrainian leadership did at the June 1923 RKP (b) Central Committee conference dedicated to implementing the decisions of the Twelfth Party Congress. Rakovsky, having stressed the Union should be a ‘federation’, took offence at Stalin giving federation a ‘more centralist twist’: ‘I consider that we Ukrainians are no less communist than Stalin.’xxxiv Nevertheless, in reply, Stalin went so far as to accuse Rakovsky and his comrades, such as Mykola Skrypnyk, of effectively championing a ‘confederation’.xxxv

Stalin had the final word. The resolutions adopted at the Twelfth Party Congress and the Central Committee Conference and Stalin’s speeches in support of them, committed the Union to ‘forms’ of ‘nationhood that did not conflict with a unitary central state:’ ‘national territories’, ‘languages’, ‘elites’ and ‘cultures.’xxxvi

It has to be understood that in combatting Stalin’s advocacy of what Rakovsky feared was a resurgent Great Power derzhavnost’, in the guise of a Russia dominated Soviet Union, he was increasingly on-guard against the emergence of a governmental bureaucracy that would stifle Soviet democracy and republican national independence. Stalin’s menacing grip on party and state in the late 1920s drove Rakovsky into the Left Opposition led by Leon Trotsky (August 1927), resulting in his eventual expulsion from the CPSU (December 1927) and internal exile in Astrakhan (January 1928). From exile, Rakovsky elaborated his thinking on Stalinist bureaucratisation in his seminal statement on ‘The “Professional Dangers” of Power’ (6 August 1928).xxxvii

But just before Stalin removed Rakovsky as head of the Ukrainian government in July 1923, Rakovsky foreshadowed these dangers specifically in relation to national independence in the USSR.xxxviii Emphasising that ‘the October revolution only began to resolve the national question. It did not solve it,’ he reaffirmed ‘the right of individual republics to secede from the Union on their own initiative.’ And he unequivocally repudiated any suggestion that the ‘Soviet republics should merge into one centralised state’ as having ‘nothing in common with communism.’ While repudiating absolute ‘decentralisation’, and warning against ‘national and provincial separatism’ as ‘one of the most dangerous means employed by the counter-revolution’, he categorically rejected ‘dead-handed centralism’ as the ‘enemy’ of ‘Soviet power.’ Anticipating his subsequent critique of emergent Stalinism, Rakovsky warned of the threat of the rise of a ‘separate estate of officials who joined their fate to centralisation itself.’ ‘If political life becomes the privilege of a small group of people, then obviously the working masses will not be involved in controlling the country and Soviet power will always lose its most important support. Communists will always fight resolutely against such centralisation.’ Against the threat ‘dead-handed centralism’ posed for ‘multinational states’ he invoked Lenin’s antidote of ‘democratic centralism’. From this perspective,

State development within each Soviet republic … should take place on foundations which allow for an overall control and general plan, but which do not exclude the widest civil, administrative, economic, financial and cultural autonomy of individual republics and areas … To overstep either way could only have a crippling result.xxxix

In essence, Rakovsky discerned the crippling, bureaucratic brutality manifest in Stalin’s drive to centralise power in his own hands, in the first place by subordinating the non-Russian nationalities to the Moscow authorities. Right up until his removal as head of the Ukrainian government, Rakovsky continued his rear-guard fight against Stalin for the rights of the USSR’s republics to be enshrined in its first ‘Lenin constitution’ (1924), not least against the Union Central Executive Committee exercising authority over the congresses of republic soviets: ‘The sovereignty of the individual republics of the Union is restricted only by the limits specified in the treaties and only within the limits of the Union’s jurisdiction!’, he protested unsuccessfully.xl

Rakovsky’s ‘New Era of Soviet Development’, drawing inspiration from Karl Marx’s analysis of the proletarian state in the 1871 Paris Commune, was, as Pierre Broué asserted, truly a ‘veritable manifesto against the bureaucracy, and a decisive stage in the development of a Marxist theory of bureaucracy.’xli It was a manifesto against Stalin forging a centralised, multi-national state on his road to his great-power centric ‘socialism in one country’, a doctrine that would drive the inveterate internationalist Rakovsky into the ranks of the anti-Stalinist Left Opposition.


After 1923, as Terry Martin has argued, the national structure of the USSR was no longer up for public debate, notwithstanding Rakovsky’s private protestations. Henceforth, through to the very end of the Stalin period, ‘nationalizatsiia’ (Stalin’s preferred term, which subsequently became ‘korenizatsiia’ – ‘indigenization’), shaped policy towards established, large, national territories, e.g., ‘Ukrainizatsiia:’ principally, the fostering of national languages and the forging of national elites. Nationalizatsiia adroitly cemented the national territories into a Moscow-centric Soviet state which incorporated ‘national identity’ into an overarching all-Union ‘socialist culture’ thereby surreptitiously disarming any perception of Russian great-power hegemony. Stalin deemed the newly fledged USSR a ‘federation’ (having falsely accused Rakovsky of proposing a ‘confederation’). It was a Stalinist fiction. The territorial nationality structure hammered out in 1923, not the December 1922 constitution as such, forged a hyper-centralised, ‘multiethnic’, unitary state, which while it denied Russia distinct territorial status and its own communist party, de facto made the Russians ‘the Soviet Union’s state bearing people.’ National republics such as Ukraine had no more political and economic powers than Russian regions (oblasti), as Rakovsky feared.xlii

Nevertheless, a decade later, nationalizatsiia began to be curtailed out of concern that it was undermining the unitary Soviet state. In December 1932, Ukrainian nationalism was blamed in part for the onset of the grain procurement crisis. Thereafter, Russian language, nationality and culture were resurgent, Union-wide. By 1936, Russians were ‘first among equals,’ a trend that would be accelerated in the wake of victory in the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945). Nevertheless, in the post-Stalin period nationalizatsiia simultaneously proceeded apace with russifikatsiia, fuelling an explosive, contradictory, mix of Russian political dominance in the guise of the Soviet Union and korenizatsiia of nomenklatura elites in national territories, such as Ukraine and Belarus. With the faltering of Gorbachev’s perestroika reforms in the late 1980s, the ‘national communism’ of the Ukrainian territorial nomenklatura rapidly found common purpose with anti-communist, anti-Soviet nationalism, and national independence. A prelude to the final scuttling of the USSR almost 70 years after its formation, in which ex-Ukrainian Communist Party Secretary Leonid Kravchuk played a central role.xliii

A century ago, Rakovsky had warned of the dangers the ‘dead-hand of centralism’ posed to the self-determination of the national republics and to the Soviet Union itself. And he warned of the emergence of a bureaucratic elite that had a vested, material interest in such centralisation. Given the tumultuous times in which the USSR was established, he feared that failure to address ‘the national question’ could tear the Union apart in the immediate future. Rakovsky underestimated the capacity of Stalin to hold the Union together by brute force and by fostering territorial state-political elites that not only had a vested interest in the Union status quo, but eventually also in national, anti-communist independence. Nevertheless, Rakovsky’s guiding principle that the USSR would only survive by the internationalisation of the October Revolution or not at all was ultimately vindicated, catastrophically.

First published as ‘Die Ukraine und die großrussische Macht – Rakowski gegen Stalin, 1922-23, in Marxistische Blätter, 1_2023, pp. 87-95. Translated from the English by Prof. Dr Joachim Hösler. Kindly republished here with the permission of the responsible editor, Lothar Geisler.


i Address by the President of the Russian Federation, 21 February 2022,

ii Pierre Broué,Rakovsky ou la Révolution dans tous les pays (Paris: Fayard), p. 144.

iii Roger D. Markwick, ‘“Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality”: Putin’s Remaking of Imperial Russia’, Arena Quarterly, No. 10, June 2022:

iv ‘The Right of Nations to Self-Determination’;See also: Ditte Gerns, ‘Lenin und das Selbstbestimmungsrecht der Nationen,’ in Marxistische Blätter, 1_2023, pp. 81–87.

v Khristian Rakovskii, ‘Tezisy po ukrainskomu voprosu (19.11.1919g.),’

viIzvestiia 3 January 1919, in Christian Rakovsky.Selected Writings on Opposition in the USSR 1923-30, edited with an introduction by Gus Fagan (London: Allison & Busby,1980), p.24; Cherniavskii G.I., Stanchev, M.G., Tortika (Lobanova), M.V.,Zhiznennyi put’ Khristiana Raskogo (Moskva: Tsentropoligraf, 2014), pp. 124–25.

viiIzvestiia 26 January 1919, in Rakovsky.Selected Writings, p. 24. Rakovsky’s emphasis.

viiiZhiznennyi put’, pp. 134, 136.

ix Rakovsky.Selected Writings, p.28.

x Cited in Moshe Lewin,The Soviet Century, Gregory Elliot (ed.) (London: Verso, 2016), pp. 19-20

xi Cited in Ibid, p. 20.

xiiZhiznennyi put’, pp. 14243.

xiiiSoviet Century, pp. 2021.

xivZhiznennyi put’, p. 166.

xv Cited in Ibid, p. 167. Lenin’s emphasis.

xvi Ibid;Soviet Century, pp. 2223.

xviiSoviet Century, p.24;Zhiznennyi put’, p. 166.

xviiiKommunist 18 October 1922, inZhiznennyi put’, p. 168.

xix Kommissiia 6 Oktiabria,; Soviet Century, pp. 245.

xxSoviet Century, pp. 2531. See V. I. Lenin, ‘Letter to the Congress’:

In early March 1923, Lenin suffered his second stroke and could no longer write or dictate anything. His last text, ‘Rather less, but better’ of 2 March, appeared in Pravda on 4 March 1923.

xxiZhiznennyi put’, p. 165.

xxii Ibid., p. 169.

xxiii Rakovsky.Selected Writings, p.34;Dvenadtsatyi s”ezd RKP (b), 17-25 aprelia 1923 goda. Stenograficheskii otchet (Moskva: Izd. Poli. Lit., 1968), p. 649.

xxiv ‘Speech to the Twelfth Party Congress’, Rakovsky.Selected Writings, pp. 7981;Dvenadtsatyi s”ezd, pp. 576-78. For the basis of the policy ofsmytchka see Gert Meyer:Studien zur sozial-ökonomischen Entwicklung Sowjetrußlands. Die Beziehungen zwischen Stadt und Land zu Beginn der neuen ökonomischen Politik (Köln: Pahl-Rugenstein, 1974).

xxv Rakovsky.Selected Writings p. 84;Dvenadtsatyi s”ezd, pp. 57982.

xxvi Rakovsky.Selected Writings, pp. 867;Dvenadtsatyi s”ezd, pp. 65758.

xxvii Rakovsky,Dvenadtsatyi s”ezd, pp. 657-58; Stalin, Dvenadtsatyi s”ezd, pp. 65960.

xxviii Rakovsky.Selected Writings, p. 85; Rakovsky,Dvenadtsatyi s”ezd, pp. 65657.

xxix Stalin,Dvenadtsatyi s”ezd, p. 657.

xxx XII S”ezd RKP (b) stenogramma zasedaniia sektsii s”ezda po natsional’nomu voprosu 25 aprel’ia 1923 g.,Izvestiia TsK KPSS, 1991, No. 3, pp. 17172.

xxxiZhiznennyi put’, pp. 176–77.

xxxii Ibid., pp. 1778.

xxxiii Ibid, pp. 17981;Soviet Century, pp. 1218.

xxxivChetvertenoe soveshchanie TsK RKP (b) s otvetsvennymi rabotnikami natsional’nykh respublik i oblastei 12 iunia 1923 g (Stenograficheskii otchet) Moskva: 1923 [Moskva: INSAN, 1992), p. 270.

xxxv Stalin, I.V. ‘Zakliuchitel’noe slovo na IV soveshchanii TsK RKP (b) s otvetsvennymi rabotnikami natsional’nykh respublik i oblastei 12 iunia 1923 g. pp. 33536,

xxxvi Terry Martin, ‘An Affirmative Action Empire. The Soviet Union as the Highest Form of Imperialism’, in Ronald G. Suny & T. Martin (eds),A State of Nations: Empire and Nation-Making in the Age of Lenin and Stalin (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), p. 73.

xxxvii ‘The “Professional Dangers” of Power’, Rakovsky.Selected Writings, pp.124136;

xxxviii ‘A New Era of Soviet Development’, Rakovsky.Selected Writings, pp. 88105.

xxxix ‘A New Era of Soviet Development’, p. 103.

xlZhiznennyi put’, p.189.

xliRakovsky ou la Révolution, p. 213.

xlii Martin, ‘An Affirmative Action Empire’, pp. 735, 7980. On the policy of Ukrainisation see Andreas Kappeler,Kleine Geschichte der Ukraine (München: C.H. Beck, 2022), pp. 18897.

xliii Taras Kuzio,Ukraine: Perestroika to Independence, 2nd edition (London: MacMillan Press, 2000), Ch. 9.