Makhno and Wrangel

From the People’s Commissariat for Military Affairs

As is known, the French press has had much to say about the alliance between Wrangel and Makhno. The Soviet press has also, in its time, published documents testifying to a formal alliance established between Makhno and Wrangel. The incorrectness of this information has now become clear. Undoubtedly, Makhno did render de facto help to Wrangel, as also to the Polish gentry, in so far as he fought the Red Army at the same time as they did. But there was no formal alliance between them. All the documents about a formal alliance were forged by Wrangel. Some Crimean bandit calling himself Ataman Volodin pretended, under the direction of Wrangel’s headquarters, to be an ataman subordinate to Makhno. Actually, their was no connection between them. The whole swindle was got up for the purpose of deceiving Makhno’s [sic][The sense would seem to require ‘Wrangel’s’ rather than ‘Makhno’s’ here.] protectors, the French and other imperialists.

A few weeks ago, Wrangel really did try to enter into direct relations with the Makhnovites, and sent two emissaries to Makhno’s headquarters in order to negotiate. As delegates from the Revolutionary War Council of the Southern front were able to assure themselves, the Makhnovites not merely refused to negotiate with Wrangel’s emissaries, but hanged them publicly soon after their arrival at Makhno’s headquarters. This very fact - Wrangel’s direct attempt to make a deal with the Makhnovites - showed plainly to the latter the full disastrousness of their fight against the Soviet power. It was not long after this that they approached the Southern command regarding joint struggle against Wrangel. This proposal was accepted, on certain conditions.

At the present time the Makhnovite troop is carrying out military assignments under the immediate direction of the commander of the Southern front, Comrade Frunze.

October 14, 1920

Source: Trotsky Internet Archive

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