Glossary of Russian Revolution, Communism under Lenin
Other Decks By This User
- War Communism
- War communism or wartime communism (1918-1921) was the economic policy adopted by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War with the aim of keeping towns and the Red Army supplied with weapons and food, in conditions when all normal economic mechanisms and relations were being destroyed by the war. "War communism" was enforced by the Supreme Economic Council, known as the Vesenkha. It included the following policies:
All large factories to be controlled by the government.
Production planned and organized by the government.
Discipline for workers was strict, and strikers could be shot.
Obligatory labor duty was imposed onto "non-working classes".
Prodrazvyorstka – requisition of agricultural surpluses from peasants in excess of absolute minimum for centralized distribution among the remaining population.
Food and most commodities were rationed and distributed in a centralized way.
Private enterprise became illegal.
Military-like control of railroads was introduced.
Although War communism achieved the aim of winning the war, it aggravated many hardships experienced by the population as a result of the war. Peasants refused to co-operate in producing food, as the government took away far too much of it. Workers began migrating from the cities to the countryside, where the chances to feed oneself were higher, thus further decreasing the possibility of the fair trade of industrial goods for food and worsening the plight of the remaining urban population. A black market emerged in Russia, despite the threat of the martial law against profiteering. The food requisitioning, combined with the effects of 7 years of war and a severe drought, contributed to a famine that caused between 3 and 10 million deaths.
As a result, a series of workers' strikes and peasants' rebellions, such as the Tambov rebellion rolled over the country. The turning point was the Kronstadt rebellion at the naval base on February, 1921. The rebellion had a startling effect on Lenin, even though it was eventually crushed by the Red Army, because the Kronstadt sailors had been among the strongest supporters of the Bolsheviks. After the rebellion, Lenin ended the policy of War Communism and replaced it with the New Economic Policy.
- New Economic Policy
- proposed by Lenin, instituted 3/21/1921.
required the peasantry to give the government a specified amount of any surplus agricultural, raw product, and fodder, and allowed them to keep the remaining surplus to use as capital or to trade for industrial goods.
also loosened trade restrictions, and tried to regain alliances with foreign countries.
allowed peasants to lease and hire labor, which is more capitalistic than socialistic. This also created the Fundamental Law of the Exploitation of Land by the Workers, which ensures that the peasants have a choice of land tenure.
While the agricultural sector became increasingly reliant on small family farms, the heavy industries, banks and financial institutions remained owned and run by the state. Since the Soviet government did not yet pursue any policy of industrialization, this created an imbalance in the economy where the agricultural sector was growing much faster than the heavy industry. To keep their income high, the factories began to sell their products at higher prices. Due to the rising cost of manufactured goods, peasants had to produce much more wheat to purchase these consumer goods. This fall in prices of agricultural goods and sharp rise in prices of industrial products was known as the Scissor crisis (from the shape of the graph of relative prices to a reference date). Peasants began withholding their surpluses to wait for higher prices, or sold them to "Nepmen" (traders and middle-men) at high prices, which was opposed by many members of the Communist Party who considered it an exploitation of urban consumers. To combat the price of consumer goods the state took measures to decrease inflation and enact reforms on the internal practices of the factories. The government also fixed prices to halt the scissor effect.
The NEP succeeded in creating an economic recovery after the devastating effects of the First World War, the Russian Revolution and the Russian civil war. By 1928, agricultural and industrial production had been restored to the 1913 (pre-WWI) level.
- Czech Legion
- As World War I broke out, ethnic Czechs and Slovaks living in the Russian Empire petitioned Emperor Nicholas II of Russia to let them set up a national force to fight against Austria-Hungary. The Tsar finally gave his assent.
A "Czech company" arose in 1915, which was attached to the Russian army. From May 1915, the force was composed of many prisoners and deserters from the army of the Austro-Hungarian Empire which were from the territories of Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia. In February 1915 it was turned into the Czecho-Slovak Riflemen Regiment and in May 1916 into the Czecho-Slovak Riflemen Brigade (7300 persons). Leaders of the Czech and Slovak movements for independence Masaryk and Štefánik came to Russia to help to expand the troops and to turn them into an independent Czechoslovak army (spring and summer 1917) and they succeeded in that. In September 1917 the brigade was turned into the First Hussite Riflemen Division and in October 1917 it was merged with Second Riflemen Division (created in July 1917) into the "Czecho-Slovak Corps in Russia", counting some 40000 men, which was already a genuine Czechoslovak army. The corps peaked to around 65,000 men.
The Siberian anabasis
After the Russian Revolution of 1917 the Bolshevik government concluded the separate Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and it was agreed between the Bolsheviks and the corps to evacuate the Czechs and Slovaks to France to join the Czechoslovak corps and continue fighting there. Because the European front was blocked by German and Austrian armies, the evacuation was to be done by a detour via Siberia, the Pacific port of Vladivostok and the USA.
The slow evacuation by the Trans-Siberian railway was exacerbated by transportation shortages – as agreed to by the Brest-Litovsk treaty, the Bolsheviks were at the same time returning German, Austrian and Hungarian POWs from Siberia back home. In May 1918 the Czechs and Slovaks stopped a Hungarian train at Chelyabinsk and shot a soldier who had apparently thrown something at their train. The local Bolshevik government arrested the Czech and Slovak culprits and to free them their comrades had to storm the railway station and subsequently occupied the whole city.
Some time later Leon Trotsky, the then People's Commissar of War, ordered the disarming of the Legion. As a result, the Legion took over a considerable area around the railway just east of Volga River, in the process capturing eight train cars of gold bullion from the Imperial reserve in Kazan. After that, the Bolsheviks had to negotiate a new deal – gold for the free passage home (1920). Eventually, most of the Legion was evacuated via Vladivostok, but some part joined the anti-Bolshevik army of Admiral Kolchak.
- Kronstadt Rebellion
- The Kronstadt rebellion was an unsuccessful uprising of Soviet sailors against the government of the early Russian SFSR. It proved to be the last major rebellion against Bolshevik rule.
The rebellion took place in the first weeks of March, 1921 in Kronstadt, a naval fortress on Kotlin Island in the Gulf of Finland.
On February 26, in response to these conditions and facing rumors of strikes and insurrection in Petrograd printed in the Kronstadt Isvestia, the crews of the battleships Petropavlovsk and Sevastopol held an emergency meeting which approved a resolution raising fifteen demands.
The Bolshevik government began its attack on Kronstadt on March 7. After 10 days of continuous attacks, during which many Red Army units were forced onto the ice at gunpoint and during which some had actually joined the rebellion, the Kronstadt revolt was crushed by the Red Army, numbering some 50,000 troops under command of Mikhail Tukhachevsky. On March 17, the Bolshevik forces finally entered the city of Kronstadt after having suffered over 10,000 fatalities. Although there are no reliable figures for the rebels' battle losses, historians estimate that thousands were executed in the days following the revolt, and a like number were sent to Siberian labor camps.
- Workers' Opposition
- faction of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union that emerged in 1920 as a response to the perceived over-bureaucratisation that was occurring in the Soviet Union. It was led by Alexander Shlyapnikov and consisted of trade union leaders and industrial administrators who had formerly been industrial workers. The Workers' Opposition advocated the role of unionized workers in directing the economy at a time when increasingly Soviet government organs were running industry by dictate and trying to exclude trade unions form a participatory role.
- first of many Soviet secret police organizations, created by decree on December 20, 1917 by Vladimir Lenin and led by Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky.
- Free Love
- Alexandra Kollontai, the most prominent woman in the Soviet administration, was a vocal supporter of free love, although she was ridiculed for it from male party heavyweights such as Vladimir Lenin. Kollontai also founded the Zhenotdel or "Women's Department", in 1919.
- Alexandra Kollontai and fellow feminist revolutionary Inessa Armand in 1919 together established the Zhenotdel, the first government department for women in the world.
- also known as the Third International, was an independent international Communist organization founded in March 1919 by Vladmir Lenin, Leon Trotsky and the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik), which intended to fight "by all available means, including armed force, for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie and for the creation of an international Soviet republic as a transition stage to the complete abolition of the State." The Comintern represented a split from the Second International in response to the latter's failure to form a unified coalition against the First World War, which the founders of the Third Internationalists regarded as a bourgeois imperialist war.
- Yevgeni Preobrazhensky
- Old Bolshevik, an economist and a member of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik faction and, its successor, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He co-wrote the book The ABCs of Communism with Nikolai Bukharin. He also wrote The New Economics, a polemical essay on the dynamics of an economy in transition to socialism.
He was arrested during Stalin's Great Purge and died while imprisoned in 1937.
- Nikolai Bukharin
- Bukharin led the opposition of the Left Communists to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, arguing instead for the Bolsheviks to continue the war effort and turn it into a world-wide push for proletarian revolution. In 1921, he changed his position and accepted Lenin's policies, encouraging the development of the New Economic Policy.After 1926, Bukharin, by then regarded as the leader of the Communist Party's right wing, became an ally of the center of the party, which was led by Stalin and which constituted the ruling group after Stalin broke his earlier alliance with Kamenev and Zinoviev. It was Bukharin who detailed the thesis of "Socialism in one country" put forth by Stalin in 1924, which argued that socialism (in Marxist theory, the transitory stage to Communism) could be developed in a single country, even one as underdeveloped as Russia. This new theory stated that revolution need no longer be encouraged in the capitalist countries, since Russia could and should achieve socialism alone. The thesis would become a hallmark of Stalinism.
When Bukharin opposed Stalin's proposed collectivization of agriculture in 1928, Stalin attacked Bukharin's views and forced him to renounce them. As a result, Bukharin lost his position in the Comintern in April 1929 and was expelled from the Politburo in November of that year. International supporters of Bukharin, led by Jay Lovestone of the Communist Party USA, were also expelled from the Comintern. They formed an international alliance to promote their views, calling it the International Communist Opposition, though better known as the Right Opposition after a term used by the Trotskyist Left Opposition in the Soviet Union to refer to Bukharin and his supporters there.
Bukharin was rehabilitated by Stalin and was made editor of Izvestia in 1934, but was arrested again in 1937 for conspiring to overthrow the Soviet state. He was tried in March 1938 as part of the Trial of the Twenty One during the Great Purges, and was executed by the NKVD.
- Mikhail Tukhachevsky
- Soviet military commander, was one of the most prominent victims of Stalin's Great Purge of the late 1930s.
After the Russian Revolution he joined the Bolshevik Party. He became an officer in the Red Army and rapidly advanced in rank due to his great ability. During the Russian Civil War he was given responsibility for defending Moscow. The Bolshevik Defence Commissar Leon Trotsky gave Tukhachevsky command of the 5th Army in 1919, and he led the campaign to capture Siberia from the White forces of Aleksandr Kolchak. He also helped defeat General Anton Denikin in the Crimea in 1920. Both the Kronstadt rebellion and the Tambov peasant revolt were crushed by forces under Tukhachevsky's command.
Tukhachevsky led the Bolshevik armies during the Polish-Soviet War in 1920, and was defeated by Józef Piłsudski outside Warsaw. It was during the Polish war that Tukhachevsky first came into conflict with Stalin. Each blamed the other for the Soviet failure to capture Warsaw, which brought Soviet defeat in the war.Tukhachevsky was arrested on May 22, 1937, and charged with organization of "military-Trotskyist conspiracy" and espionage for Nazi Germany. After a secret trial, known as Case of Trotskyist Anti-Soviet Military Organization, Tukhachevsky and eight other higher military commanders were convicted, and executed on June 12, 1937.
- Socialism in One Country
- thesis put forth by Stalin in 1924 and further supported by Bukharin.
Because there were no socialist revolutions in other countries, Stalin announced that a socialist system could and should be developed in just one country.
- Mass Operations
- Mass operations of the NKVD were carried out during the Great Purge and targeted specific categories of people. As a rule, they were carried out according to the corresponding order of the People's Commissar of Internal Affairs Nikolai Yezhov.
- Basmachi Revolt
- The Basmachi Revolt (Russian: Восстание басмачей), or Basmachestvo (Басмачество), was an uprising against Russian and Soviet rule in Central Asia.
The Basmachi Revolt began in 1916 during the First World War. Soviet sources portray it as a movement of Islamic traditionalists, together with common thugs and rabble-rousers as well as Islamic radicals. The rebels who started the revolt were called Basmachi, or 'Bandits', a deliberately pejorative term which has much the same meaning as Dacoit in India. Other historians would argue that many ordinary peasants and nomads who opposed the cultural imperialism of Russia, and perhaps more importantly objected to Bolshevik brutality and requisitioning of food and livestock, were an important component of the rebel base.
The Basmachi had soon spread and multiplied across most of Turkestan. Much of Turkestan at the time was, ironically, not actually under the Soviet Russia against which the Basmachi were rebelling, but under other regimes, albeit regimes that were allied with Soviet Russia.
By the early 1920s, the Basmachi Revolt had become so widespread that the Soviet government realized they risked losing their Turkestani territory. Infighting among the Basmachi meanwhile made them weaker compared to the Soviet political establishment (who, by comparison, had a common purpose and single vision, in addition to greater military power). Lenin's government made conciliations to national sentiment in order to quell the Turkestanis' objections to being politically a part of the Soviet Union, and the revolt had largely died out by 1926.
- In the Soviet Union, collectivization was introduced by Stalin in the late 1920s as a scheme to boost agricultural production through the organization of land and labor into collectives called collective farms (kolkhozes) and state farms (sovkhozes). At the same time, it was argued that collectivization would free poor peasants from economic servitude under the kulaks. It was hoped that the goals of collectivization could be achieved voluntarily, but when the new farms failed to attract the number of peasants hoped, the government blamed the oppression of the kulaks and resorted to forceful implementation of the plan.
Due to unreasonably high government quotas, farmers often got far less for their labor than they did before collectivization, and some refused to work. In many cases, the immediate effect of collectivization was to reduce grain output and almost halve livestock, thus producing major famines in 1932–33.1 In one extreme episode, several million peasants, mainly in Ukraine, died in a famine during the drought of 1932-1933 after Stalin forced the peasants into the collectives (this famine is known in Ukraine as Holodomor). It was not until 1940 that agricultural production finally surpassed its pre-collectivization levels.
- 1st 5-year plan
- a list of economic goals that was designed to strengthen the U.S.S.R.'s economy between 1928 and 1932, making the nation both militarily and industrially self-sufficient. Launched by Stalin in 1928 and administered by the Gosplan, the First Five-Year Plan employed tactics such as keeping detailed records on every item manufactured in the nation and shipping it to where it needed to go at the right time. However, the targets set by Gosplan and Stalin were arbitrary and were increased 3 times during the plan to impossible figures.
One of the primary objectives of Stalin's First Five-Year Plan was to build up Russia's heavy industry. In 1929, Stalin edited the plan to include the creation of collective farms; farming systems that stretched over thousands of acres of land and had hundreds of peasants working on them. The creation of collective farms essentially destroyed the kulaks as a class, and also brought about the slaughter of millions of farm animals that peasants would rather kill than give up to the gigantic farms. This disruption led to a famine in southeast Russia that killed millions of people. Besides the ruinous loss of life, the introduction of collective farms allowed peasants to use tractors to farm the land, unlike before when most had been too poor to own a tractor. Government owned Machine Tractor Stations were set up throughout the U.S.S.R. and peasants were allowed to use these public tractors to farm the land, increasing the food output per peasant. Peasants were allowed to sell any surplus food from the land.
After the First Five-Year Plan was declared successful in 1932, agriculture was still not the highest point of Russia's economy, but the introduction of collectivization spurred industrialization in the nation as millions of people moved from the country into the city. The plan was considered so successful in this sense that a second Five-Year Plan was declared in 1932, lasting until 1937.
- The rapid development of Magnitogorsk stood at the forefront of Joseph Stalin's Five-Year Plans in the 1930s. Huge reserves of iron ore in the area made it a prime location to build a steel plant capable of challenging its Western rivals. However, a large proportion of the workforce, as ex-peasants, typically had few industrial skills and little industrial experience. To solve these issues, several hundred foreign specialists arrived to direct the work, including a team of architects headed by the German Ernst May.
- Ural-Siberian Method
- measure launched in the Soviet Union in 1927/28 for the collection of grain from the countryside. Placed in the backdrop of the famine of 1927 which resulted from the ‘scissors’ crisis’ of the mid 1920s, the Soviets utilized forced grain requisitioning through the arrest of private traders, the closing of markets and arrest of suspected kulaks (real or imagined).
The Ural-Siberian method was a return to the drastic policies that had characterized War Communism in the period prior to Lenin’s New Economic Policy. The Ural-Siberian method is historically significant as it illustrates the coercive and strained relationship between the Soviet and the peasantry, the extreme difficulties and horrors associated with collectivization and more importantly the willingness of Stalin’s government to use force and whatever means necessary in their dealings with the peasantry to achieve their goals for the countryside.
- Machine Tractor Stations
- state enterprise for ownership and maintenance of agricultural machinery that was used in kolkhozes. MTS were introduced in 1928 as a shared resource of scarse agricultural machinery and technical personnel.
The main unit of an MTS were tractor brigade and automobile brigade, which performed the corresponding agricultural works. It was paid with the share of the agricultural product called natural payment (натуральная оплата, натуроплата, naturoplata). Over time, MTS became an instrument of transferring of the agricultual production from kolkhozes to the state. In 1933 the natural payment constituted about 20% of the product and continued to grow.
- The NKVD (Narodnyi Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del listen (help·info))(Russian: НКВД, Народный комиссариат внутренних дел) or People's Commisariat for Internal Affairs was a government department which handled a number of the Soviet Union's affairs of state.
The NKVD is best known for the Main Directorate for State Security (GUGB), which succeeded the OGPU and the Cheka as the secret police agency of the Soviet Union. The GUGB was instrumental in Stalin's ethnic cleansing and genocides, and was responsible for massacres of civilians and other war crimes. Many consider the NKVD to be a criminal organization, mostly for the activities of GUGB officers and investigators, as well as supporting NKVD troops and GULAG guards.
In addition to its state security and police functions, however, some of its departments handled other matters, such as transport, fire guards, border guard (NKVD Border Troops), etc., the tasks that were traditionally assigned to the Ministry of the Interior (MVD).
- Show trials
- Show trials were a cornerstone of Joseph Stalin's regime. The Moscow Trials of the Great Purge period in the Soviet Union give pre-eminent examples of the show trial. The authorities not only pre-determined the guilt of the defendants, but also orchestrated the whole trial processes. Massive campaigns in newspapers and at numerous meetings shaped the opinion of the public towards the cases.
The authorities staged the actual trials meticulously. If defendants refused to "cooperate", i.e., to admit guilt for their alleged and mostly fabricated crimes, they did not go on public trial, but suffered execution nonetheless. This happened, for example during the prosecution of the so-called "Labour Peasant Party" (Трудовая Крестьянская Партия), a party invented by NKVD, which, in particular, assigned the notable economist Alexander Chayanov to it.
The first solid public evidence of what really happened during the Moscow Trials came to the West through the Dewey Commission. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, more information became available. This discredited Walter Duranty who claimed that these trials were actually fair.
- Sergey Kirov
- Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, he fought in the Russian Civil War until 1920. In 1921, he became head of the Azerbaijan party organisation. Kirov loyally supported Joseph Stalin, and in 1926 he was rewarded with the leadership of the Leningrad party.
In the 1930s, Stalin became increasingly worried about Kirov's growing popularity. At the 1934 Party Congress where the vote for the new Central Committee was held, Kirov received only three negative votes, the fewest of any candidate, while Stalin received 292 negative votes, the highest of any candidate. Kirov was close friends with Sergo Ordzhonikidze, whom together formed a moderate bloc to Stalin in the Politburo. Later in 1934, Stalin asked Kirov to work for him in Moscow, most probably to keep a closer eye on him. Kirov refused, however, and in Stalin's eyes became a competitor.
On December 1, 1934, Kirov was killed by Leonid Nikolaev in Leningrad. Stalin claimed that Nikolayev was part of a larger conspiracy led by Leon Trotsky against the Soviet government. This resulted in the arrest and execution of Lev Kamenev, Grigory Zinoviev, and fourteen others in 1936. It is widely believed that Stalin was the man who ordered the murder of Kirov, but this has never been proven.
- branch of the State Security that operated the penal system of forced labour camps and associated detention and transit camps and prisons. While these camps housed criminals of all types, the Gulag system has become primarily known as a place for political prisoners and as a mechanism for repressing political opposition to the Soviet state.
- Socialist Realism
- Socialist realism is a teleologically-oriented style of realistic art which has as its purpose the furtherance of the goals of socialism and communism.
- In Soviet history and iconography, a Stakhanovite (стахановец) follows the example of Aleksei Grigorievich Stakhanov, employing hard work or Taylorist efficiencies to over-achieve on the job.
The Stakhanovite movement began during the second 5-year plan in 1935 as a new stage of the socialist competition. The Stakhanovite movement was named after Aleksei Stakhanov, who had mined 102 tons of coal in less than 6 hours (14 times his quota). However, his record would soon be "broken" by his followers. On February 1, 1936 it was reported that Nikita Izotov had mined 607 tons of coal in a single shift.
- Women's Battalion of Death
- The Women's Battalion (also known as the Women's Battalion of Death) was an all-female military unit created in 1917 by the newly formed Russian Provisional Government after the February Revolution. The Women's Battalion was called into action against the Germans during the June Offensive. They were assigned to the 525th Kuriag-Daryjuski Regiment and occupied an abandoned trench near Kovno. Although the offensive was delayed for many hours by pacifist-aggressors within the Russian army, the Women's Battalion was able to persuade some three hundred men to join their ranks and led the attack near dusk.
The battalion pushed past three trenches into German territory, where the trailing Russian army discovered a hidden stash of vodka and became dangerously drunk. The newly-promoted Lieutenant Bachkarova ordered that any further stashes be destroyed.
Outnumbered and unsupported, the battalion met stiff resistance from the Germans and were repelled. They returned to their original lines with two hundred prisoners and minimal casualties, six killed and thirty wounded. Bachkarvona herself was knocked unconscious by an artillery shell and was captured.
The Women's Battalion was disbanded after a failed political revolution known as the Kornilov Affair. Its leader, General Lavr Kornilov, had been strongly supported by Bachkarova, and the Women's Battalion were identified as potential sympathizers.
- Congress of Soviets
- The initial full name was Congress of Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies. It is also known as Congress of People's Deputies.
The Congress of Soviets was an assembly of representatives of local councils. All members were chosen by the local communist leaders, and then "approved" in single-party, single-candidate "elections". In theory, it was the supreme power of the Soviet State, an organ of the dictatorship of the proletariat. No bourgeois, no noble, no aristocrat, no priest could vote – only working people. Officially, the Congress of Soviets created laws and elected the Council of People's Commissars, which was the government. In reality, the Central Committee of the Communist Party had complete control.
In the interim its functions were performed by designated executive bodies, see Supreme Soviet.
Under Joseph Stalin's leadership, the Congress of Soviets effectively only rubber-stamped the decisions of the CPSU and served as a propaganda tribune. The 1936 Soviet Constitution eliminated the Congress of Soviets, making the Supreme Soviet the USSR's governing body.
- Brest-Litovsk Treaty
- The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty signed on March 3, 1918, at Brest, formerly "Brest-Litovsk", between Russia and the Central Powers, marking Russia's exit from World War I. The treaty was practically obsolete before the end of the year but is significant as a chief contributor, although unintentionally, to the independence of Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
- Committee of Members of the Constituent Assembly
Komuch proclaimed itself the highest authority in Russia, temporarily acting on behalf of the Constituent Assembly on the territory, occupied by the interventionists and the Whites, until the convocation of the new composition of the Assembly.Komuch's executive body was the Council of Department Heads under the lead of Yevgeny Rogovsky. Having seized power with the help of the Czech Legion, Komuch announced "reinstatement" of democratic freedoms: they formally established an 8-hour working day, permitted worker's conferences and congresses of peasants, kept plant and factory committees (fabzavkomy, or fabrichno-zavodskiye komitety) and trade unions. Komuch abrogated the Soviet decrees, returned all the plants, factories and banks to their former owners, declared freedom of private enterprise and reinstated zemstva, city dumas and other establishments. Paying lip service to socialization of land, Komuch, in fact, provided landowners with an opportunity to take away their confiscated lands from the peasants and, also, harvest the winter crops of 1917. Komuch sent punitive expeditions to the rural areas of Russia in order to protect the property of landowners and kulaks, recruit and later mobilize people for the so-called People's Army.
Owing to the military support from interventionists and kulaks and Red Army's weakness, Komuch's power spread into the provinces of Samara, Simbirsk, Kazan, Ufa and Saratov in June-August of 1918. However, by the early November, the peasants became convinced of Komuch's counterrevolutionary nature and grew wary of it, organizing occasional resistance. In September, Komuch's People's Army sustained a number of defeats from the Red Army and left a major part of Komuch's territories. On September 23, Komuch yielded its power to the Directory of Ufa, which would prove to be powerless and short-lived.
After Admiral Kolchak's coup, the Directory and other establishments were dissolved by General Vladimir Kappel in November of 1918.
- Red Army
- the armed forces first organized by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War in 1918. This organization became the army of the Soviet Union after the establishment of the USSR in 1922. "Red" refers to the blood shed by the working class in its struggle against capitalism.
- Lenin's Testament
- the name given to a document written by Vladimir Lenin in the last weeks of 1922 and the first week of 1923. In the testament, Lenin proposed changes to the structure of the Soviet governing bodies. He also commented on the leading members of the Soviet leadership and suggested that Stalin be removed from his position as General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party's Central Committee.
- During the First World War Galicia saw heavy fighting between the forces of Russia and the Central Powers. The Russian forces overran most of the region in 1914 after defeating the Austro-Hungarian army in a chaotic frontier battle in the opening months of the war. They were in turn pushed out in the spring and summer of 1915 by a combined German and Austro-Hungarian offensive.
In 1918, Western Galicia became a part of the restored Republic of Poland, while the local Ukrainian population briefly declared the independence of Eastern Galicia as the "Western Ukrainian Republic". During the Polish-Soviet War a short-lived Galician SSR in East Galicia existed. Eventually, the whole of the province was recaptured by Poles. Poland's annexation of Eastern Galicia, never accepted as legitimate by the conquered Ukrainians, was internationally recognized in 1923.
The Ukrainians of the former eastern Galicia and the neighbouring province of Volhynia, made up about 15% of the Second Polish Republic population, and were its largest minority. As Polish government policies were unfriendly towards minorities, tensions between the Polish government and the Ukrainian population grew, eventually giving the rise to the militant underground Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists.
- Aleksei Alekseevich Brusilov (Russian: Алексей Алексеевич Брусилов) (August 19, 1853 - March 17, 1926) was a Russian cavalry general most noted for the development of a military offensive tactic used in the Brusilov offensive of 1916. During this carefully planned offensive Brusilov's team came onto innovative methods of attack that anticipated Germany's effective infiltration tactics of 1918. The Brusilov offensive was one of the most important Russian campaigns during World War I.
- April Theses
- written by Lenin, published in Pravda
detailed how Bolshevik policy should continue (attitude toward WWI, Prov. Govt)
argued against parliamentary democracy, said workers should control state through soviet system
- July Days
- July 4-7, 1917
Petrograd proletariat rioted against the Provisional Govt.
Why? failed offensive against Austro-Hung forces under Minister of War Kerensky, discontented workers
riots ruthlessly crushed by police
- Kornilov Affair
- The Kornilov Affair was the failed military coup by General Lavr Kornilov against the Provisional Government of Aleksandr Kerensky in September, 1917, in between the fall of Tsar Nicholas II and the October Revolution. Recently appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Russian army, General Kornilov decided to intervene in the chaotic situation of Russia after the July events. Kerensky was later to claim that Kornilov's actions were a turning point in the revolution, a crucial factor in the sudden revival of the Bolshevik cause.
Kornilov shared the widespread belief of many middle-class Russians that the country was deteriorating and that military defeat would be disastrous for Russian pride and honour. Lenin and his 'German spies', he announced, should be hanged, the Soviets stamped out, military discipline restored and the provisional government 'restructured'.
Kerensky dismissed his commander-in-chief from his post on September 9, claiming Kornilov intended to set up a military dictatorship. Kornilov replied by issuing a call to all Russians to 'save their dying land' and ordered his Cossacks and Chechens to advance on Petrograd with help of some British military specialists and equipment. Uncertain of the support of his army generals, Kerensky had to ask for help from other quarters; these included the Bolsheviks' Red Guards.
The population of the capital mobilized some troops of worker's militia and other units formed of civil citizens to prevent Kornilov to seize Petrograd. Many of them were formed with Bolshevik assistance. Some Bolshevik commissars were sent to Kornilov's camp to provide propaganda among Cossacks and Chechens of "Wild division". Kornilov's attempt to seize power collapsed without bloodshed as his Cossacks deserted his cause. He and some 7000 'supporters' were arrested. Although Kerensky survived the Kornilov coup, that event weakened his government and strengthened the Bolsheviks, who eventually seized power in the October Revolution.
You must Login or Register to add cards