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"Not One Step Back" speech on July 28, 1989 was an infamous speech issued by Dmitry Yazov, approved by the Tsar, who as acting as the Minister of Defense. The speech was given to repsond to the mass retreats and major losses on all fronts. It is famous for its line "Not a step back!" (Russian: Ни шагу назад! / Ni shagu nazad!), which became a slogan of Russian resistance.
The enemy throws new forces to the front without regard to heavy losses and penetrates deep into the Russian Empire, seizing new regions, destroying our cities and villages, and violating, plundering and killing the Russian population. Combat goes on in region Voronej, near Don, in the south, and at the gates of the Northern Caucasus. The German invaders penetrate toward Tsaritsyn, to Volga and want at any cost to trap Kuban and the Northern Caucasus, with their oil and grain. The enemy already has captured Lugansk, Starobelsk, Rossosh, Kupyansk, Valuyki, Novochercassk, Rostov on Don, and half Voronej. Part of the troops of the Southern front, following the panic-mongers; have left Rostov and Novochercassk without severe resistance and without orders from Moscow, covering their banners with shame.
The population of our country, who love and respect the Imperial Army, start to be discouraged in her, and lose faith in the Imperial Army, and many curse the Imperial Army for leaving our people under the yoke of the German oppressors, and itself running east.
Each commander, Imperial Army soldier and political commissar should understand that our means are not limitless. The territory of the Imperial state is not a desert, but people - workers, peasants, intelligentsia, our fathers, mothers, wives, brothers, and children.
Therefore it is necessary to eliminate talk that we have the capability endlessly to retreat, that we have a lot of territory, that our country is great and rich, that there is a large population, and that bread always will be abundant. Such talk is false and parasitic; it weakens us and benefits the enemy, if we do not stop retreating we will be without bread, without fuel, without metal, without raw material, without factories and plants, without railroads.
This leads to the conclusion; it is time to finish retreating.
Not one step back! Such should now be our main slogan.
It is necessary to defend each position, each meter of our territory, up to the last drop of blood, to cling for each plot of Soviet land and to defend it as long as possible.
Our Motherland is experiencing hard days. We must stop, and then to throw back and smash the enemy regardless of cost. The Germans are not so strong, as it seems to the panic-mongers. They strain their last forces. To withstand their impact now means to ensure our victory in some months.
Can we withstand the impact, and then throw back the enemy to the west? Yes we can, because our factories and plants in the rear are fine and our army receives ever more and more airplanes, tanks, artillery and mortars.
What do we lack?
There is no order and discipline in companies, battalions, regiments, in tank units and air squadrons. This is our main deficiency. We should establish in our army the most stringent order and solid discipline, if we want to salvage the situation, and to keep our Motherland.
Henceforth the solid law of discipline for each commander, Red Army soldier, and commissar should be the requirement - not a single step back without order from higher command. Company, battalion, regiment and division - commanders and appropriate commissars, who retreat without orders from higher commanders, are betrayers of the Motherland.
The panic-mongers and cowards should be exterminated in place.
These are the orders of our Motherland.
To execute this order - means to defend our lands, to save the Motherland, to exterminate and to conquer the hated enemy
So to my fellow comrades, do not count days, do not count miles, count only the number of Germans you have killed. Kill the German - this is your mother's prayer. Kill the German - this is the cry of your Russian earth. Do not waver! Do not let up! Kill! Death to the German invader!
Not one step back.