Proceeding from the interests of the unity and fraternal alliance of factory workers and the working and exploited masses in the struggle for socialism, and also from the recognition of these principles by numerous decisions of the organs of revolutionary democracy, the Soviets, and especially the Second All-Russia Congress of Soviets, the Council of People’s Commissars—the Socialist government of Russia—reaffirms that the right to self-determination belongs to all nations oppressed by tsarism and the Great Russian bourgeoisie, up to and including the right of these nations to secede from Russia. Accordingly we, the Council of People’s Commissars, recognise the People’s Ukrainian Republic, and its right to secede from Russia or enter into a treaty with the Russian Republic on federal or similar relations between them. We, the Council of People’s Commissars, recognise at once, unconditionally and without reservations everything that pertains to the Ukrainian people’s national rights and national independence.
We accuse the Rada of conducting, behind a screen of national phrases, a double-dealing bourgeois policy, which has long been expressed in the Bada’s non-recognition of the Soviets and of Soviet power in the Ukraine (incidentally, the Rada has refused to convoke a territorial congress of the Ukrainian Soviets immediately, as the Soviets of the Ukraine had demanded). This ambiguous policy, which has made it impossible for us to recognise the Rada as a plenipotentiary representative of the working and exploited masses of the Ukrainian Republic, has lately led the Rada to steps which preclude all possibility of agreement.
For a soldier on the front, the word “patriotism” is unclear because a simple soldier will never utter it. His patriotism is made of actions, not words.
On November 27th, a committee of Cossacks came to Smolny to see Trotsky and Lenin. They demanded if it were true that the Soviet Government did not intend to divide the Cossack lands among the peasants of Great Russia? “No,” answered Trotsky. The Cossacks deliberated for a while. “Well,” they asked, “does the Soviet Government intend to confiscate the estates of our great Cossack land-owners and divide them among the working Cossacks?” To this Lenin replied. “That,” he said, “is for you to do. We shall support the working Cossacks in all their actions…. The best way to begin is to form Cossacks Soviets; you will be given representation in the Tsay-ee-kahThe Central Committee of the Russian Social Democratic Workers' Party, and then it will be your Government, too…. See more
The Cossacks departed, thinking hard. Two weeks later General Kaledin received a deputation from his troops. “Will you,” they asked, “promise to divide the great estates of the Cossack landlords among the working Cossacks?”
“Only over my dead body,” responded Kaledin.