Stalin banishes Trotsky - HISTORY
By the mids, Stalin believed anyone with ties to the Bolsheviks or Lenin's government was a threat to his leadership and needed to go. Genocide in Soviet Karelia: Stalin's Terror and the Finns of Soviet Karelia whole of the country when seen in relation to the population figures of a given area. He fled to Soviet Russia and negotiated with Lenin about the state formation in. Leon Trotsky, a leader of the Bolshevik revolution and early architect of the Soviet state, is deported by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin to Alma-Ata in remote Soviet Central Asia. He lived there in internal exile for a year before being banished from the USSR forever by Stalin.
After Lenin 's death in JanuaryStalin, Lev Borisovich Kamenev, and Grigory Yevseyevich Zinoviev together governed the party, placing themselves ideologically between Trotsky on the left wing of the party and Nikolay Ivanovich Bukharin on the right. During this period, Stalin abandoned the traditional Bolshevik emphasis on international revolution in favor of a policy of building "Socialism in One Country," in contrast to Trotsky's theory of Permanent Revolution.
Stalin argued that the Soviet Union lacked the military and economic power to pursue revolution elsewhere and argued that such a policy would only create enemies for the Soviets and lead to the destabilization of the U. In the struggle for leadership it was evident that whoever assumed power had to be viewed as loyal to Lenin and to Lenin's principles.
Stalin organized Lenin's funeral and made a speech professing undying loyalty to Lenin, in almost religious terms. Stalin made great play of the fact that Trotsky had joined the Bolsheviks just before the revolution, and publicized Trotsky's pre-revolutionary disagreements with Lenin. Another event that helped Stalin's rise was the fact that Trotsky came out against publication of Lenin's Testament in which he pointed out the strengths and weaknesses of Stalin and Trotsky and the other main players, and suggested that he be succeeded by a small group of people.
Stalin formed a "troika" of himself, Zinoviev, and Kamenev against Trotsky. When Trotsky had been eliminated Stalin then joined Bukharin and Rykov against Zinoviev and Kamenev, emphasizing their vote against the insurrection in In during the 15th Party Congress Trotsky and Zinoviev were expelled from the party and Kamenev lost his seat on the Central Committee.
Stalin soon turned against the "Right Opposition," represented by his erstwhile allies, Bukharin and Rykov. Stalin gained popular appeal through portraying himself as a 'man of the people,' with his roots in the humblest social class.
The Russian people had tired from the world war and the civil war, and Stalin's policy of concentrating on building " Socialism in One Country" was viewed as a practical antidote to war compared to Trotsky's calls for Permanent Revolution Stalin took great advantage of a ban on factionalism.
This ban prohibited any group from openly opposing the policies of the leader of the party because that would constitute a de facto opposition.
By the first year of the institution of the Five-Year Plans for economic development Stalin was supreme among the leadership, and the following year Trotsky was exiled because of his opposition to Stalin. Having also outmaneuvered Bukharin's Right Opposition and now advocating collectivization and industrialization, Stalin succeeded in exerting control over the party and the country. However, as the popularity of other leaders such as Sergei Kirov and the so-called Ryutin Affair were to demonstrate, Stalin did not achieve absolute power until the Great Purge of — Stalin's secret police and espionage activities No reference to Joseph Stalin can be made without reference to his unmatched ability to use his intelligence services and the secret police.
Though the Soviet secret police, the Cheka later, the State Political Directorate GPU and OGPUhad already evolved into an arm of state-sanctioned murder under Lenin, Stalin took the use of such forces to a new level in order to solidify his hold on power and eliminate all enemies, real or perceived. Stalin also vastly increased the foreign espionage activities of Soviet secret police and foreign intelligence.
Under his guiding hand, Soviet intelligence forces began to set up intelligence networks in most of the major nations of the world, including Germany the famous Rote Kappelle spy ringGreat BritainFranceJapanand the United States.
Stalin saw no difference between espionage, communist political propaganda actions, and state-sanctioned violence, and he began to integrate all of these activities within the NKVD, which preceded the KGB. Stalin made considerable use of the Communist International movement in order to infiltrate agents and to ensure that foreign Communist parties remained pro-Soviet and pro-Stalin. One of the best early examples of Stalin's ability to integrate secret police and foreign espionage came inwhen he gave approval to the secret police to have Leon Trotsky assassinated in Mexico.
Stalin and changes in Soviet society Industrialization The Russian Civil War and wartime communism had a devastating effect on the country's economy. Industrial output in was 13 percent of that in A recovery followed under Lenin's New Economic Policy, which allowed a degree of market flexibility within the context of socialism. Under Stalin's direction, this was replaced by a system of centrally ordained "Five-Year Plans" in the late s.
These called for highly ambitious state-guided "crash" industrialization and the collectivization of agriculture. With no seed capitallittle international trade, and virtually no modern infrastructure, Stalin's government financed industrialization by both restraining consumption on the part of ordinary Soviet citizens, to ensure that capital went for re-investment into industry, and by ruthless extraction of wealth from the kulaks.
Inworker's real earnings sank to about one-tenth of the level. There was also use of the unpaid labor of both common and political prisoners in labor camps and the frequent "mobilization" of communists and Komsomol members for various construction projects. The Soviet Union also made use of foreign experts, e.
Georgian affair - Wikipedia
British engineer Stephen Adams, to instruct their workers and improve their manufacturing processes. In spite of early breakdowns and failures, the first two Five-Year Plans achieved rapid industrialization from a very low economic base. While there is general agreement among historians that the Soviet Union achieved significant levels of economic growth under Stalin, the precise rate of this growth is disputed.
Official Soviet estimates placed it at Indeed, one estimate is that Soviet growth temporarily was much higher after Stalin's death. This was intended to increase agricultural output from large-scale mechanized farms created through integration of smaller private farms. It was also meant to bring the peasantry under more direct political control and to facilitate the collection of taxes. Collectivization meant drastic social changes, on a scale not seen since the abolition of serfdom inand alienation of peasants from control of the land and its produce.
Essentially, collectivization represented a forced shift from private property in the realm of agriculture to collective, state control. Practical implementation of this idea was a violent breach of democratic norms.
The object of the collectivization was not only land, but farming equipment, livestock, produce and even peasants' homes. Collectivization led to a drastic drop in living standards for many peasants, and caused violent reactions by the peasantry that was heavily suppressed by Red Army.
In the first years of collectivization, it was estimated that industrial and agricultural production would rise by percent and 50 percent respectively,  however, agricultural production actually dropped. Stalin blamed this unanticipated failure on kulaks rich peasantswho resisted collectivization.
However, kulaks only made up 4 percent of the peasant population; the "kulaks" that Stalin targeted included the moderate middle peasants who took the brunt of violence from the State Political Directorate OGPU and the Komsomol.
The middle peasants were about 60 percent of the population. Therefore those defined as "kulaks," "kulak helpers," and later "ex-kulaks" were ordered by Stalin to be shot, placed into Gulag labor camps, or deported to remote areas of the country, depending on the charge. The two-stage progress of collectivization—interrupted for a year by Stalin's famous editorial, "Dizzy with success"  and "Reply to Collective Farm Comrades"  —is a prime example of Stalin's capacity for tactical political withdrawal followed by intensification of initial strategies.
Many historians assert that the disruption caused by collectivization was largely responsible for major famines. During the — famine in Ukraine and the Kuban region, now often known in Ukraine as the Holodomornot only "kulaks" were killed or imprisoned. Stephane Courtois' Black Book of Communism and other sources document that all grain was taken from areas that did not meet targets. This even included the next year's seed grain. Peasants were, nevertheless, forced to remain in these starving areas.
Sales of train tickets were halted and the Political Directorate of the State created barriers and obstacles to prevent people from fleeing the starving areas.
However, famine also affected various other parts of the USSR. The death toll from famine in the Soviet Union at this time is estimated at between five and ten million people. Such figures are difficult to square with population figures for the period which are accepted in the West that show the population increasing from million in to million in although figures such as Robert Conquest of the Hoover Institution has written on the famine in great detail.
During this same period the Soviet Union was exporting grain. Soviet authorities and other historians have argued that tough measures and the rapid collectivization of agriculture were necessary in order to achieve an equally rapid industrialization of the Soviet Union and ultimately win World War II.
This is disputed by other historians such as Alexander Nove, who claim that the Soviet Union industrialized in spite of, rather than thanks to, its collectivized agriculture.
Science Science in the Soviet Union was under strict ideological control, along with art and literature. On the positive side, there was significant progress in "ideologically safe" domains, owing to the free Soviet education system and state-financed research.
However, in several cases the consequences of ideological pressure were dramatic—the most notable examples being attacks on the "bourgeois pseudosciences" of genetics and cybernetics. In the late s there were also attempts to suppress special and general relativity, as well as quantum mechanics, on grounds of them being allegedly rooted in idealism rather than materialism.
But the chief Soviet physicists made it clear that without using these theories, they would be unable to create a nuclear bomb. Hundreds of scientists were purged, mainly through the efforts of Trofim LysenkoStalin's favorite "scientist," who developed proof that Lamarck's evolutionary views which supported Marxism's understanding of natural development rather than Darwin's were most accurate.
Linguistics was one area of Soviet academic thought to which Stalin personally and directly contributed. At the beginning of Stalin's rule, the dominant figure in Soviet linguistics was Nikolai Yakovlevich Marr, who argued that language is a class construction and that language structure is determined by the economic structure of society.
Stalin, who had previously written about language policy as People's Commissar for Nationalities, felt he grasped enough of the underlying issues to coherently oppose this simplistic Marxist formalism, ending Marr's ideological dominance over Soviet linguistics.
Stalin's principal work discussing linguistics is a small essay, "Marxism and Linguistic Questions. It should be recognized, nevertheless, that much progress was made under Stalin in some areas of science and technology. His leadership laid the groundwork for the famous achievements of Soviet science in the s, such as the development of the BESM-1 computer in and the launching of Sputnik in Indeed, many politicians in the United States expressed a fear, after the "Sputnik crisis," that their country had been eclipsed by the Soviet Union in science and in public education.
Social services The Soviet people also benefited from a great degree of social liberalization. As never before, females were given equal education opportunities and women had equal rights in employment that contributed to improving lives for women and families.
Women began to occupy leadership roles in industry and education. To assist them, state wide daycare systems were gradually developed. Stalinist development also contributed to advances in health care, which vastly increased the lifespan for the typical Soviet citizen and the quality of life. Stalin's policies granted the Soviet people universal access to health care and education, effectively creating the first generation free from the fear of typhus, cholera, and malaria.
The occurrences of these diseases dropped to record-low numbers, increasing life spans by decades. Soviet women under Stalin were also the first generation in Russia to give birth in a hospital, with access to prenatal care. Education also improved as the economic development of the U.
The generation born during Stalin's rule was the first generation where almost was literate. The social program "LicBez" from Russian 'Licvidatsiya Bezgramotnosti' for 'elimination of illiteracy' was devised to eliminate illiteracy. The Soviet regime required each child had to attend school four years in the beginning, then progressively eight and later ten years of required formal schooling free of charge.
This represented the first time in Russian history that a coordinated effort was made to improve orphans' lives by providing basic care and professional education. Publicity campaigns were developed to encourage young men and women to study engineering as preparation for a career in engineering in various industries relating to chemistry, metallurgy and aviation.
Engineers were sent abroad to study modern industrial technology and hundreds of foreign engineers were brought to Russia on contract. Transportation systems were also improved, as many new railways and roads were constructed. Workers who exceeded their quotas, Stakhanovites, were rewarded with incentives for their efforts. They were thus in a better position to purchase goods in the expanding Soviet economy. With industrialization and due to the heavy human losses resulting from World War II as well as the repression and genocide suffered by the generation that lived under Stalin, a manpower shortage resulted that especially opened up new job opportunities for women.
Culture and religion Propaganda portrait of "Marshal Stalin", World War II During Stalin's reign the official and long-lived style of Socialist Realism was established for painting, sculpturemusicdrama and literature.
The Ukrainian Genocide
Previously fashionable "revolutionary" expressionismabstract art, and avant-garde experimentation were discouraged or denounced as "formalism.
Famous figures were not only repressed, but often persecuted, tortured and executed, both "revolutionaries" among them Isaac BabelVsevolod Meyerhold and "non-conformists" for example, Osip Mandelstam. A minority, both representing the "Soviet man" Arkady Gaidar and remnants of the older pre-revolutionary Russia Konstantin Stanislavskithrived.
Poet Anna Akhmatova was subjected to several cycles of suppression and rehabilitation, but was never herself arrested. Her first husband, poet Nikolai Gumilev, had been shot inand her son, historian Lev Gumilevspent two decades in the gulag.
The degree of Stalin's personal involvement in general and specific developments has been assessed variously. His name, however, was constantly invoked during his reign in discussions of culture as in just about everything else. In several famous court cases, his opinion sealed the fate of the defendants. Stalin's occasional beneficence showed itself in strange ways.
For example, Mikhail Bulgakov was driven to poverty and despair; yet, after a personal appeal to Stalin, he was allowed to continue working. His play, The Days of the Turbins, with its sympathetic treatment of an anti-Bolshevik family caught up in the Civil War, was finally staged, apparently also on Stalin's intervention, and began a decades-long uninterrupted run at the Moscow Arts Theater. Similarities have been pointed out between this novel and Sergei Eisenstein's film, Ivan the Terrible, produced under Stalin's tutelage.
In architecture, a Stalinist Empire Style basically, updated neoclassicism on a very large scale, exemplified by the seven skyscrapers of Moscow replaced the constructivism of the s. An amusing anecdote has it that the Moskva Hotel in Moscow was built with mismatched side wings because Stalin had mistakenly signed off on both of the two proposals submitted, and the architects had been too afraid to clarify the matter.
In actuality the hotel had been built by two independent teams of architects that had differing visions of how the hotel should look.
Stalin's role in the fortunes of the Russian Orthodox Church is complex. Continuous persecution in the s resulted in its near-extinction: Ceremonial artifacts and vessels were confiscated. Religious icons were burned. Tens of thousands of priests and other religious leaders were persecuted. Many nuns were said to have been raped.
During World War IIhowever, the Church was allowed a revival winter as a patriotic organization, after the NKVD had recruited the new metropolitan, the first after the revolution, as a secret agent. Thousands of parishes were reactivated, until a further round of suppression took place during Khrushchev 's rule.
The Russian Orthodox Church Synod's recognition of the Soviet government and of Stalin personally led to a schism with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia that remains not fully healed to the present day. Stalin's rule had a largely disruptive effect on the numerous indigenous cultures that made up the Soviet Union. The politics of the Korenization "enrootment" and forced development of "Cultures National by Form, Socialist by their substance" allowed minorities to survive and integrate into Russian society at some cost to their identity.
The attempted unification of cultures in Stalin's later period was very harmful. Political repressions and purges had even more devastating repercussions on the indigenous cultures than on urban ones, since the cultural elite of the indigenous culture was often small.
The traditional lives of many peoples in the Siberian, Central Asian and Caucasian provinces was upset and large populations were displaced and scattered in order to pre-empt nationalist uprisings. Thousands of clergy were persecuted, and hundreds of churches, synagogues, mosquestemplessacred monuments, monasteries and other religious buildings were razed.
Purges and deportations The purges Left: Beria's January letter to Stalin, asking permission to execute "enemies of the CPSU and of the Soviet authorities" who conducted "counter-revolutionary, right-Trotskyite plotting and spying activities. The Politburo's decision is signed by Secretary Stalin. As head of the Politburo, Stalin consolidated near-absolute power in the s with a Great Purge of the party, justified as an attempt to expel 'opportunists' and 'counter-revolutionary infiltrators'.
Those targeted by the purge were often expelled from the party, however more severe measures ranged from banishment to the Gulag labor camps and to execution after trials held by NKVD operatives.
The Purges commenced after the assassination of Sergei Kirov, the popular leader of the party in Leningrad. Kirov was very close and loyal to Stalin and his assassination sent chills through the Bolshevik party. It is disputed among historians whether Kirov's assassination was masterminded by Stalin due to Kirov's growing popularity.
Stalin took advantage of the Kirov assassination to begin tightening security, and in effect to remove those who might have threatened Stalin's leadership.
He initiated efforts aimed at identifying alleged spies and counter-revolutionaries. Most notably in the case of alleged Nazi collaborator Tukhachevsky, many military leaders were convicted of treason. The shakeup in command may have cost the Soviet Union dearly during the German invasion of 22 June,and its aftermath. Stalin's Show Trials also saw the execution of key Soviet leaders who had been with Lenin from the start including Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin and Trotsky.
The repression of many high-ranking revolutionaries and party members led Leon Trotsky to claim that a "river of blood" separated Stalin's regime from that of Lenin. Solzhenitsyn alleges that Stalin drew inspiration from Lenin's regime with the presence of labor camps and the executions of political opponents that occurred during the Russian Civil War.
Trotsky's August assassination in Mexicowhere he had lived in exile since Januaryeliminated the last of Stalin's opponents among the former, pre-revolution seniority Party leadership. Nikolai Yezhov, walking with Stalin in the top photo from the s, was killed in Following his execution, Yezhov was edited out of the photo by Soviet censors.
No segment of society was left untouched during the purges. Article 58 of the legal code, listing prohibited "anti-Soviet activities," was interpreted and applied in the broadest manner.
Initially, the execution lists for the enemies of the people were confirmed by the Politburo. Over time the procedure was greatly simplified and delegated down the line of command. People would inform on others arbitrarily, to attempt to redeem themselves, out of envy and plain dislike, or to gain some retributions or benefits.
A worker would report on his boss, son on his father, and a young man on his brother. The flimsiest pretexts were often enough to brand someone an "Enemy of the People," starting the cycle of public persecution and abuse, often proceeding to interrogation, torture and deportation, if not death.
Nadezhda Mandelstam, the widow of the poet Osip Mandelstam and one of the key memoirists of the Purges, recalls being shouted at by Akhmatova: They are arresting people for nothing now? Often perpetrators of the purges - NKVD staff - used it as an opportunity for promotion, to enrich themselves, settle old grudges etc.
Since entire families were swept away, women often became object of sexual abuse during interrogation process and in labor camps. He was subsequently executed. Some historians such as Amy Knight and Robert Conquest postulate that Stalin had Yezhov and his predecessor, Genrikh Yagoda, removed in order to deflect blame from himself.
In parallel with the purges, efforts were made to rewrite the history in Soviet textbooks and other propaganda materials. Notable people executed by NKVD were removed from the texts and photographs as though they never existed. Gradually, the history of revolution was transformed to a story about just two key characters: Deportations Shortly before, during and immediately after World War IIStalin conducted a series of deportations on a huge scale which profoundly affected the ethnic map of the Soviet Union.
Separatism, resistance to Soviet rule and collaboration with the invading Germans were cited as the official reasons for the deportations. Many non-Russian ethnic groups were deported completely or partially. Stalin's Russification policies were similar to those of the Tsars. Stalin has been called the 'Red Tsar'. In FebruaryNikita Khrushchev condemned the deportations as a violation of Leninist principles, and reversed most of them, although it was not until as late as that the TatarsMeskhs and Volga Germans were allowed to return en masse to their homelands.
The deportations had a profound effect on the peoples of the Soviet Union. The memory of the deportations played a major part in the separatist movements in the Baltic States, Tatarstan and Chechnyaeven today. Numbers of victims Early researchers of the number killed by Stalin's regime were forced to rely largely upon anecdotal evidence, and their estimates range as high as 60 million. The archives record that aboutprisoners were executed for either political or criminal offenses under Stalin, while another 1.
Debate continues however,  since some historians believe the archival figures are unreliable. These numbers are by no means the full story of deaths attributable to the regime however, since at least another 6 to 8 million victims of the famine must be added. Again, historians differ, this time as to whether or not the famine victims were purposive killings - as part of the campaign of repression against kulaks - or whether they were simply unintended victims of the struggle over forced collectivization.
It appears that a minimum of ten million deaths four million by repression and six million from famine are attributable to the regime, with a number of recent books suggesting a probable figure of somewhere between 15 to 20 million. Adding million famine victims to Erlikman's estimates above, for example, would yield a figure of between 15 and 17 million victims.
Robert Conquest  meanwhile, has revised his original estimate of up to 30 million victims down to 20 million. Others, however, continue to maintain that their earlier much higher estimates are correct.
After the failure of Soviet and Franco-British talks on a mutual defense pact in Moscow, Stalin realized that war with Germany was inevitable and negotiated a non-aggression pact with Germany. According to a controversial Russian emigre specializing in Soviet military history, Viktor Suvorov, Stalin expressed in the speech an expectation that the war would be the best opportunity to weaken both the Western nations and Nazi Germany, and make Germany suitable for "Sovietization.
Officially a non-aggression treaty only, the Pact had a "secret" annex according to which Central Europe was divided into the two powers' respective spheres of influence.
The USSR was promised an eastern part of Polandprimarily populated with Ukrainians and Belorussians in case of its dissolution, as long as LithuaniaLatviaEstonia and Finland were recognized as parts of the Soviet sphere of influence.
Both Stalin and Hitler intended to outwit each other. While Wermacht and Red Army had joined small scale tactical exercise and maneuvers, Stalin tried to get some time to prepare Red Army and raise new leadership, and Hitler wanted to free his hands for Europe and delude Stalin. While Russia was sending trainloads of provision, nonferrous metals and other important raw materials to Germany, Germany was developing Operation Barbarossa.
Stalin then decided to intervene, and on September 17 the Red Army entered eastern Poland and the Baltic states and annexed these territories. In NovemberStalin sent troops over the Finnish border provoking war.
The Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland proved to be more difficult than Stalin and the Red Army were prepared for, and the Soviets sustained high casualties. The Soviets prevailed in March,but the problems of the Soviet army had been revealed to the rest of the world, including Germany. On March 5,the Soviet leadership approved an order of execution for more than 25, Polish "nationalist, educators and counterrevolutionary" activists in the parts of the Ukraine and Belarus republics that had been annexed from Poland.
This event has become known as the Katyn Massacre. Official Soviet archive records, opened in when glasnost was still in vogue, show that Stalin had every intention of treating the Poles as political prisoners. In JuneHitler broke the pact with Stalin and, after reaching an impasse with Britain, opened a second front Operation Barbarossa and invaded the Soviet Union.
Although expecting an eventual war with Germany, Stalin was unprepared for this invasion when it occurred. Even though Stalin received intelligence warnings of a German attack,  he sought to avoid any obvious defensive preparation which might further provoke the Germans, in the hope of buying time to modernize and strengthen his military forces.
In the initial hours after the German attack commenced, Stalin hesitated, wanting to ensure that the German attack was sanctioned by Hitler, rather than the unauthorized action of a rogue general.
Disagreements among the Bolsheviks about the fate of Georgia preceded the Red Army invasion. While Stalin and Ordzhonikidze urged the immediate Sovietization of independent Georgia led by the Menshevik -dominated government, Trotsky favored "a certain preparatory period of work inside Georgia, in order to develop the uprising and later come to its aid.
Lenin finally gave his consent, on February 14,to the intervention in Georgia, but later repeatedly complained about the lack of precise and consistent information from the Caucasus.
However, many Communists found it difficult to abandon the methods used against their opposition during the Russian Civil War and make adjustment to the more flexible policy. For moderates like Filipp Makharadze Lenin's approach was a reasonable way to secure for Soviet power a broad base of support. They advocated tolerance toward the Menshevik opposition, greater democracy within the party, gradual land reform, and above all, respect for national sensitivities and Georgia's sovereignty from Moscow.
Communists like Ordzhonikidze and Stalin pursued a more hard-line policy; they sought to eliminate completely political opposition and centralize party control over the newly Sovietized republics. The dispute was preceded by Stalin's ban on formation of the national Red Army of Georgia, and subordination of all local workers' organizations and trade unions to the Bolshevik party committees. Dissatisfied by the Soviet Georgian government's moderate treatment of the political opposition and its desire to retain sovereignty from Moscow, Stalin arrived in Tbilisicapital of Georgia, in early July After summoning a workers' assembly, Stalin delivered a speech outlining a program aimed at elimination of local nationalism, but was booed by the crowd and received hostile silence from his colleagues.
Conflict over confederation[ edit ] Within less than a year, however, Stalin was in open conflict with Mdivani and his associates. One of the most important points at issue was the question of Georgia's status in the projected union of Soviet republics. Over the objections of other Georgian Bolsheviks, Grigol Ordzhonikidze in late had set in motion the formation of a union of all three Transcaucasian republics — ArmeniaAzerbaijanand Georgia — as a means of resolving simmering territorial and ethnic disputes, and with Stalin's strong backing insisted that this federation join the Soviet Union together as one federative republic.
The Georgian Central Executive Committee, particularly Mdivani, vehemently disagreed with this proposal, desiring their country to retain a stronger individual identity and enter the union as a full member rather than as part of a single Transcaucasian SFSR. Ordzhonikidze's proposal, however, was passed at a Georgian Party Congress with support of rank-and-file delegates  Stalin and his aides accused the Georgian Central Executive Committee of selfish nationalism and labeled them as "national deviationists".
On October 21,Mdivani contacted Moscow to berate Ordzhonikidze in harsh terms. The same day, Lenin sent a telegram rebuking Mdivani, upholding Stalin's position, and expressing his strong support for the political and economic integration of the Transcaucasian republics, informing the Georgian leaders that he rejected their criticism of Moscow's bullying tactics.
The conflict peaked in Novemberwhen Ordzhonikidze resorted to physical violence with a member of the Mdivani group and struck him during a verbal confrontation. Dzerzhinsky sympathized with Stalin and Ordzhonikidze and, hence, tried to give Lenin a significantly smoothened picture of their activities in his report.
He was also afraid of negative outcry that might ensue abroad and in other Soviet republics. In late DecemberLenin accepted that both Ordzhonikidze and Stalin were guilty of the imposition of Great Russian nationalism upon non-Russian nationalities. In one telling, On March 5,Lenin broke off personal relations with Stalin.
He attempted to enlist Leon Trotsky to take over the Georgian problem, and began preparing three notes and a speech, where he would announce to the Party Congress that Stalin would be removed as General Secretary.