Lens of History (20)

STEC Archives, Print Document Division
Curator signature: Jer
Format: Textual Record
Object: Order No. 455 cc
Original Language: Russian
Location (if known): Moscow
Time (if known): 1989

USSR State Defense Committee, March 15th, 1989


You have seen the results of your own hardwork in the last years. The Great Transformation of Nature is complete. The Northern Mobilization has succeeded. The Southern Mobilization is successfully being implemented. Together we have tamed the wilderness and brought the bounty of the land to millions of our comrades in the entire nation.

This success is due to you. It is thanks to you. The Motherland is proud.

Now, we must work together to defend the Motherland, the State, and the Frontier from further aggression. The Great Patriotic War is a testament to the strength and courage of our people, yet we were caught woefully and inadequately unprepared. In the earlier days of the Great Patriotic War the enemy penetrated deeply into the Soviet territories. They seized and destroyed many of our cities and villages. They violated and plundered and killed many of our people.

This must not be allowed to happen again.

We must be constantly vigilant. We are now entering a new age in human history. Our enemies will be numerous and they shall, like in times past, seek the extermination of our State and our people. The Red Army’s heroism knows no boundaries, but we must be prepared to repel the enemy’s aggression from within or from without.

We have determined that a special plan for the defense of the State Frontier is necessary, and it is today that I announce that General Order no. 455 is in effect. We will be prepared to resist aggression should our enemies make their move.

Each military district is urged to do their utmost in the conduction of training, garrison, modernization, and mobilization. By this time next year, two hundred new divisions will have entered the field. These divisions will be raised within the boundaries of each military district. They shall follow the good behavior set by their predecessors both modern and historical. With gun or shovel or pitchfork or hammer they shall work diligently for the State and the Soviet People in all endeavors.

Comrades! We have a great and glorious country with a lot of land. Our country is prosperous and rich, with many more resources today than sixty, seventy years ago. We can produce much bread, fuel, metals, raw materials, and other goods. Our factories and plants are efficient, and our railroads even now deliver products to our people in all corners of our Motherland.

Yet I have always been of the opinion, that the true nature of the Soviet state is not merely land. It is people – workers, peasants, soldiers, intelligentsia, our fathers, mothers, wives, brothers, sisters, and children.

To serve in defense of the Motherland is in all of our best interests. Thus then let us begin our work.