European Countries

History of Soviet Union Part 2

Russia had to recognize the independence of Finland, the Baltic provinces, Poland, Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia. It lost over 1 million km² of land (4.5%), 46 million people (26%), 27% of its agricultural area with 37% of average yields, 33% of the textile industry, 73% of its iron production and 75% of its coal production. The supposed peace did not grant Lenin’s hoped for “respite”. On the contrary: the popularity of the Bolsheviks sank, their base eroded, and party work came to a standstill. The political opposition benefited from the catastrophic political and economic situation. In order to prevent workers’ unrest, the Bolsheviks endeavored to provide the cities with better food supplies. The peasants rejected paper money, which was worthless in view of the inflation, and demanded consumer goods in exchange for their grain, which the decrepit industry could not produce at acceptable prices and in sufficient quantities. Thereupon the Bolsheviks decreed the “supply dictatorship” in May 1918 and without further ado requisitioned farmers’ grain stores. The violence escalated into civil war. The rigorous policy of the Bolsheviks War communism triggered strikes and unrest in large parts of the population.

From the end of 1917 the Bolsheviks, the so-called “Reds,” were heading for civil war, on the one hand because violence in the event of war was easier to justify and on the other hand because it offered the possibility of military means to win what they could through elections had failed. The clashes of the civil war took place along various lines of conflict: It was fought on the fronts between the “Reds” and, on the one hand, the “Whites” (“White Guards”), whose political spectrum ranged from the Social Revolutionaries and Mensheviks to bourgeois-liberal groups to conservative-monarchist groups Enough forces, as well as on the other hand the Allied interventions (Great Britain, France, USA and Japan). There was also the conflict between Bolsheviks and other socialists, the opposition to the national separatists and, in the form of the so-called Greens, also against rebellious peasants who defended themselves against the brutality of the Bolshevik grain acquisitions. The “Greens” received a considerable influx of deserters, controlled in part entire governorates with their partisan associations and were only able to get through with brutal violence (e.g. the suppression of the so-called Antonovshchina in 1921 with the use of poisonous gas, hostage-taking, clan imprisonment MN Tukhachevsky ) are suppressed. There were three centers of the “whites”: In the summer of 1918 a v. a. Government consisting of Social Revolutionaries, which, militarily, reliedparticularly on the Czechoslovak Legion. In September 1918 it allied itself with a government constituted in Omsk under a common directorate. Based on this body, Admiral A. W. Kolchak seized power and was proclaimed “Reichsverweser”. In southern Russia, anti-Bolshevik forces under General A. I. Denikin joined forces with the Don Cossacks under P. N. Krasnov. General N. N. Judenitsch took over in the Baltic Sea region the management of a third center against the Bolsheviks.

According to mathgeneral, after the withdrawal of German troops from Russia (late 1918), the Red Army conquered Ukraine between February and April 1919 and the Bolsheviks established the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. However, the reconquest of the Baltic provinces failed. In the summer and autumn of 1919, the rule of the Bolsheviks came under further pressure when Kolchak again advanced across the Urals to the west and Al Denikin occupied most of the Ukraine from the southeast. The Red Army pushed Denikin back to the Crimea and Kolchak to Siberia, S. W. Petlyuras Associations came under Polish protection. The remnants of the “white armies” who had fled abroad increased Russian emigration to Western Europe and the USA (approx. 2 million people by 1925). The following factors were decisive for the Bolshevik victory in the civil war: First, the Bolsheviks ruled Central Russia, the densely populated heartland with around 70 million residents, superior resources and a high concentration of industry. Second, the Bolsheviks took over the administrative, political and military apparatus of power. In the fall of 1919, 3 million soldiers served in the Red Army, which was founded in February 1918. were commanded by several thousand officers of the former tsarist army, among the “whites” a maximum of 700,000 soldiers. Thirdly, the Bolsheviks had the strategic advantage of the internal front line and were thus able to e.g. B. a union of the “white” army groups Denikins and AW Kolchaks prevent Tsaritsyn (Volgograd) in 1918. Fourth, finally, the Bolsheviks profited from the notorious corruption, the lack of v. a. military cooperation and the unattractive political program of the “whites”. With their endeavors to restore conditions before February 1917, the “whites” not only offended the mass of workers and peasants. In addition, their creed of a “united and indivisible Russia” was incompatible with the independence strivings of the former national minorities of the czarist multi-ethnic empire.

Between the two political extremes, the defenders of the February Revolution, the Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries, who tried to steer an independent course of the “third way” were crushed. Faced with the alternative of restoring the Ancien Régime or Bolshevik rule, the majority of the population gave preference to the new.

History of Soviet Union 2