From Ho Chi Minh’s fictional Diary:

3 June 1927
Vladivostok, U.S.S.R.

As I’d always feared, Chiang finally pounced on us, killing scores, if not hundreds, imprisoning hundreds more, and forcing the rest of us to flee for our lives. Thanks to a warning from Borodin, a small group of us escaped on a junk out of Canton Harbor with nothing but the clothes on our backs. But Wu Tao, always so reliable, has given me funds, warm clothes, food-stocks, and the day after tomorrow I hope to leave for Moscow.

5 September 1928
Moscow, USSR

Here at last - the usual horrible journey, so much suffering one has to try and shut it out. But once here, it’s caviar and feather beds! I suppose it’s Borodin I should thank - always a real friend. The news already got here that some 40,000 of our people escaped and are marching north, much harried by Chiang’s army. Our Russian comrades regret that distance prevented them from helping in any way.

Ho soon became friendly with Chou and found him sympathetic to the Vietnamese. With Chiang, on the other hand, Ho always felt at a distance. The distrust was mutual, and in 1927, when Chiang felt himself sufficiently powerful, he turned on pro-communist associates, imprisoning or even executing many, and set up a military dictatorship. Warned by Borodin, Ho escaped in a boat to Vladivostok. Finally reaching Moscow, he found a new assignment awaiting him. Following Chiang’s coup in China, Siam (now called Thailand) had become the center for Vietnamese dissidents. Ho was sent to organize and instruct the patriotic recruits. His first concern was to learn the local language so he added Thai to his repertoire.

Most of the Vietnamese rebels had settled in Udon on the border with Laos. This presented Ho with another of his prodigious journeys, since the terrain was wild, mountainous, lacked roads, and afforded no sustenance, so that he and a few companions had to carry provisions for a week’s journey. Nevertheless, soon after they arrived, he opened a school, published a newsletter, and founded a peasant cooperative.
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