To: All Front Commanders
The invading German forces have displayed unimaginable speed in their advance. We must therefore postpone our plans for attack and focus on defending our country first and foremost.
To this end, the following actions should be taken:
Commander of North and Northwestern fronts:
The Valdai hills are the key to the defence of Leningrad. Your defensive efforts should focus on holding the Germans at the foot of these hills, and make them pay dearly for any advance in this area. 24th and 22nd Armies are put at your disposal along with 7th Mechanized Corps.
Prepare to defend the Valdai hills, and make sure the approaches to Leningrad is garrisoned properly.
Commander of Western Front:
Prepare to defend Moscow. This is the most, and only objective for the forces under your command. You are given command of 20th army (minus 7th Mechanized Corps), 16th Army, 20th Rifle Corps, 63rd Rifle Corps and 66th Rifle Corps.
Commander of Southern and Southwestern Fronts:
Set up defensive positions on the Dnepr and prepare to hold the eastern banks until ordered otherwise. Kiev must also be held. You are authorized to give up all ground west of the Dnepr. You are also authorized to use as much rail capacity as you need to save as many troops as possible from the southern sectors of the front.
The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close.
In its place we are entering a period of consequences..