USSR

Stalin didn't fall from the moon - Workers Solidarity Movement

A collection of articles by the Irish Workers Solidarity Movement tracing the growth of Stalin's dictatorial powers in the USSR to the politics and practice of the early Bolshevik leaders, Lenin and Trotsky.

Conquered city - Victor Serge

Victor Serge's novel about the early days of the Bolshevik regime, written in 1932 in France after being expelled from the Soviet Union and part biographical.

Democratic centralism, the Workers Opposition, clandestine opposition movements, the crisis in the party, Kronstadt and the end of the revolutionary period in Russia - Michel Olivier

A short essay on the left opposition in the Bolshevik Party in Russia from 1919 to 1927, focusing mostly on the Democratic Centralists and the Workers Opposition.

State capitalism in Russia - Murray Bookchin

Murray Bookchin

Murray Bookchin's critique of the USSR's economy as state capitalist. Published in Contemporary Issues 7, Autumn 1950 (under pseudonym M. S. Shiloh).

Gay in the gulag

Historical information about the repression of gay men in the Soviet Union in the wake of the government's re-criminalisation of homosexuality in 1933, after its decriminalisation in 1922. Trigger warning for sexual violence.

An Unsolved Mystery - the "Diary of Makhno's Wife"

Makno's daughter Elena & wife Galina

V.N. Litvinov analyses and disputes the alleged diary of Makhno's wife and its allegations about the Makhnovist movement and its leader.

My Visit to the Kremlin - Nestor Makhno

You want bread? Here's bread for you

The Ukrainian peasant Nestor Makhno visited Moscow in June, 1918 and had extensive interviews with the Bolshevik leaders Sverdlov and Lenin. This account amounts to two chapters from his memoirs and deals with his encounters with the Bolsheviks.

Fighting back in Ukraine - Oleg Dubrovskii with Simon Pirani

pamphlet cover

This short pamphlet was put together by Simon Pirani in 1996/7 from a series of interviews with Ukrainian worker activist Oleg Dubrovskii. It’s of general interest in relation to the way that life for the workers changed when the old Soviet Union disintegrated, but also provides some useful background information to what’s happening in the Ukraine today.

The guillotine at work - Gregori Maximov

Originally published in 1940 in two parts, this is the (partly eyewitness) account of the Leninist terror inflicted upon Russia during the revolution after 1917. Maximov, a life-long anarchist, fought in the Russian Revolution, organized with the metal-workers, and was imprisoned by Lenin's secret police in 1920 when he refused to join the Red Army: he was happy to fight the Whites, but not put down workers' and peasants' uprisings.

Lessons of the counterrevolutions - Amadeo Bordiga

A 1953 text in which Amadeo Bordiga examines the lessons of counterrevolutions from the defeat of Spartacus to the Battle of Legnano in 1176 and from the Peasant War in Germany of 1525 to Stalinism (“State capitalism is not a semi-socialism, but just plain capitalism”) and recapitulates some “fundamental positions of Marxism”, which he describes as a “doctrine for the understanding of ... counterrevolutions”, since “everyone knows how to orient themselves at the moment of victory, but few are those who know what to do when defeat arrives” and “it is necessary to understand the counterrevolution in order to prepare the revolution of tomorrow”.