to consider when reading the Declaration of the Rights of the Russian People
Check some further information about this document
as a mp3
file or as a txt file.
Source: 50 let Velikoi Oktiabrskoi
sotsialisticheskoi revoliutsii: dokumenty i materialy (Moscow: Politizdat, 1967), translated by
The October Revolution of the workers
and peasants has begun under the common banner of deliverance.
The peasants have been freed from the yoke
of the great landed proprietors, for there is no more private property
in land, it is abolished.
The soldiers and sailors have been freed
from the power of autocratic generals; the generals henceforth will be
elected and removable at pleasure.
The workers have been freed from the caprices
and the arbitrariness of the capitalists, for starting from today control
will be established by the workers over the workshops and the factories.
There remain but the peoples of Russia,
who have been forbearing and have bided their time under the yoke and the
arbitrariness, and whom it is necessary immediately to enfranchise and
In the epoch of Czarism, the peoples of
Russia were aroused against each other. The results of this policy are
known: massacres and pogroms on one side, enslaving of peoples on the other.
There can be no return to this shameful policy. Today it must be replaced
by a voluntary and honest policy of union of the peoples of Russia.
In the epoch of imperialism, after the
February Revolution, when power passed into the hands of the Cadet bourgeoisie,
the policy of incitation was replaced by a dastardly policy of distrust
of the peoples of Russia, a policy of chicanery and provocation covering
itself by the words of "liberty" and of "equality" of peoples. The results
are known: increase of the antagonism between nationalities, lack
of mutual confidence.
This unworthy policy of lies and mistrust,
of chicanery and provocation must be definitely ended. It must be replaced
today by an open and honest policy, leading to a complete mutual confidence
of the peoples of Russia. It is only thanks to such a confidence that the
honest and solid union of all the peoples of Russia can be formed.
It is only thanks to such a union that
the workers and peasants of Russia can be welded into a revolutionary force
capable of defending itself against every attack on the part of the imperialist
and annexationist bourgeoisie.
Starting on this principle, the first congress
of soviets, in the month of June of this year, proclaimed the right of
the peoples of Russia to self-determination. The second congress of soviets
in the month of October last confirmed this right in a more decisive and
more precise fashion.
Executing the will of these soviets, the
council of the people's commissaries has resolved to be guided in the question
of nationalities by the following principles:
1. The equality and sovereignty of the
peoples of Russia.
2. The right of the peoples of Russia
to dispose of their own fate even to separation and the establishment of
an independent state.
3. Abolition of all privileges and limitations,
national or religious.
4. Free development of national minorities
and ethnographic groups inhabiting Russian territory.
Decrees will be prepared immediately after
the creation of a commission on nationalities.
In the name of the Russian Republic,
People's Commissar for Nationalities, Iusif
President of the Council of People's Commissars,