When it was Poland bombing Kiev and murdering civilians with the aid of ‘Western’ allies, including planes piloted by Americans… These aerial attacks presaged a wide-spread Polish assault, within weeks of this statement Polish troops entered Kiev on May 7. A successful Red Army counter-offensive retook the city a month later however.
‘Statement on the Bombing of Kiev’ by the Council of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Delegates of Kiev from Soviet Russia (New York). Vol. 2 No. 23. June 5, 1920.
WORKERS’ COUNCIL OF KIEV: The Council of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Delegates of Kiev adopted the following manifesto at its session of April 24, 1920:
To the Proletariat of Europe and America!
On April 19th the city of Kiev, which is situated a long distance away from the battle front and which has no fortress, was raided in the most outrageous manner by the air squad bandits of bourgeois Poland. Bombs were dropped on the workers’ quarters from aeroplanes.
They killed seven children from eight to thirteen years of age, two women and one old man. Thirteen people were wounded. The raid took place in broad daylight when the streets were full of people.
Comrades, the entire population of Kiev is outraged over the abominable crime of the Polish White Guards.
The working people of Kiev hold responsible for this crime the leaders of the Entente with whose aid the Polish reactionary government exists.
You know that a few days ago our government declared in answer to Lord Curzon’s offer of mediation that it had granted amnesty to the soldiers of Denikin who had been taken prisoner.
Had Denikin conquered he would have killed the peasants and soldiers of the Soviet Republic But we do not want any useless bloodshed, we do not want any unnecessary sacrifices. Yet the Polish bourgeoisie which depends entirely upon the rulers in Paris and London, is murdering women and children in a peaceful city. It is hardly to be expected that Messrs. Curzon, Lloyd George and Millerand should now think of “humanity,” “civilization” and “justice”— now that their bloody hordes are throwing bombs on the heads of defenseless children.
We offered peace to Poland on several occasions, we were ready to make sacrifices, but reactionary Poland continues the war against the workers of Ukraine and Russia. It is murdering us in order to impose another Brest-Litovsk treaty upon us; it demands that we deliver over the Ukrainian peasants to the Polish landowners for their destruction. Under the pretext of peace negotiations Poland was treacherously laying a trap for us in Borisov.
Poland is conducting the war in the name of the treasures of the Polish landowners which have now passed over into the possession of the Ukrainian peasants. Poland is fighting for the factories which formerly belonged to the Polish capitalists, but are now owned by the Soviet Republic. Poland is fighting for the restoration of the power of the capitalists and landowners in Ukraine. In this fight, the Polish lackeys of the capitalists of the world have found an aide in the person of the well-known adventurer Petlura. His bands are burning and destroying whole villages, pillaging the working people, organizing gruesome massacres of the Jews, and terrorizing the peaceful working population.
We wanted to obtain peace without war. The Polish nobility wants the war, and we are therefore compelled to win peace through a victorious war. The Ukrainian workers, soldiers, and peasants will, for the last time, make a concerted effort together with their Russian brethren, and will repel Pilsudski’s army in the same manner as they have already defeated the armies of Komilov, Kaledin, Kolchak, Yudenich, and Denikin.
We will defend our liberty and independence. We will save our cities and our villages. We will not allow the Polish nobility to enslave once more the Ukrainian workers and peasants. This war is being forced upon us, but we shall come out victorious.
Comrades, you know that capitalist Europe calls us, the victorious workers and peasants, robbers and bandits. You know that the bankers and Stock Exchange kings, the capitalists and landowners of the west have attempted to crucify us through hatred and slander. They were lying. The shameful attack of the Polish White Guard bands on the peaceful city of Kiev once more shows clearly that the dastardly murderers are in the camp of the bourgeoisie.
Comrades, in spite of everything we were victorious on the numerous fronts and now that we wish to de- vote all our energy and strength to the internal reconstruction of our country, we are prevented by the last front — the Polish front. We appeal to you, workers of Europe and America, demand with all your might that the capitalists and bankers restrain their bloodthirsty valets at Warsaw. Demand that the armed Polish bandits cease the murder of children, women, and old men! Put your entire power in the balance in favor of the workers’ republic, in favor of the working class which is suffering under the yoke of the Polish bourgeoisie! Voice your protest against the Polish hangmen of the people and the revolution!
The Kiev Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies,
Andrew Ivanov, Chairman.
Soviet Russia began in the summer of 1919, published by the Bureau of Information of Soviet Russia and replaced The Weekly Bulletin of the Bureau of Information of Soviet Russia. In lieu of an Embassy the Russian Soviet Government Bureau was the official voice of the Soviets in the US. Soviet Russia was published as the official organ of the RSGB until February 1922 when Soviet Russia became to the official organ of The Friends of Soviet Russia, becoming Soviet Russia Pictorial in 1923. There is no better US-published source for information on the Soviet state at this time, and includes official statements, articles by prominent Bolsheviks, data on the Soviet economy, weekly reports on the wars for survival the Soviets were engaged in, as well as efforts to in the US to lift the blockade and begin trade with the emerging Soviet Union.
PDF of full issue: (large file): https://www.marxists.org/history/usa/pubs/srp/v4-5-soviet-russia%20Jan-Dec%201921.pdf