SOVIET RUSSIA. Brief history of the USSR
Behind the Bolsheviks in 1917, the socialist choice of Russia was implicitly demonstrated by the results of the elections to the Constituent Assembly (more than 80% of the votes in the socialist parties). Under these conditions, the struggle against the Soviet government inevitably turned into a struggle against socialist ideas, which at the end of 1917 were dominant in the peasant and working environment.
The White movement, which set as its goal the overthrow of the Bolsheviks, could not establish itself even in those territories where it had a certain influence. There were several dozens of armed opponents, hundreds and thousands who had absolved from a conflict in which their economic and social interests were not affected by one supporter of active actions.
The results of the elections to the Constituent Assembly are typical, according to which the Bolsheviks won about 22.5% of the vote, representatives of other socialist parties 60.5% (of which more than 55% of the Social Revolutionaries, including the Left Social Revolutionaries about 6%), and representatives of various bourgeois and national parties less than 17% of the vote.
A six-fold socialist advantage over other political forces sharply reduced the possibility of active resistance to the new regime.
The parliamentary victory of the moderate socialist forces in the elections to the Constituent Assembly, which did not then rely on the military overthrow of the Bolsheviks, but on their political elimination, suppression by a parliamentary majority, did not mean a political victory of the Social Revolutionaries and Mensheviks. The real power was at the coalition Bolshevik-Left Socialist-Revolutionary government, which relied on the majority in the workers 'soldiers and peasants' Soviets and had at its disposal armed detachments of the Red Guard and sailors.
Preventive measures taken by the Soviet authorities (arrests of activists and even individual deputies, closing of a number of newspapers) significantly weakened the camp of supporters of the Constituent Assembly, demoralizing them on the eve of January 5, 1918. This was also facilitated by the prediction of the issue of power in the "Declaration of Rights of the Working and Exploited People" , in which Russia was declared the Republic of Soviets, and the Constituent Assembly was placed in a subordinate, auxiliary position. In the Decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of January 3, 1918, the Soviet power was left with the right to use armed forces in case of resistance to this decision.
The garrison of the city also became neutralized. Under these conditions, demonstrations in defense of the Constituent Assembly did not represent a serious military threat to the Soviet regime and were relatively quickly dispersed by the troops. The use of weapons led to the victims: at least 12 people in Petrograd and 15 in Moscow.
Cut off from the masses, the Constituent Assembly, headed by the right-winged Socialist-Revolutionary Chairman V.M. Chernov (254 votes in favor and 153 votes given to the candidacy of the Bolsheviks by the leader of the Left Socialist Revolutionaries M.A. Spiridonova), immediately distanced itself from the Soviet government and its decrees, isolating himself politically. Under these conditions, the Bolshevik and Left Socialist-Revolutionary delegates left the assembly, depriving him of a quorum. In complete political and spatial isolation, the remaining members of the assembly managed to adopt only 10 points of the “Draft Basic Law on Land”, which was opposed to the “Decree on Land”, but largely duplicated it. On January 6, the Constituent Assembly was dissolved.
The echo of these events was the attempt on the commandant of the Constituent Assembly, a member of the Bolshevik Extreme Military Staff M. S. Uritsky, committed on the day of the dissolution of the meeting near the Tauride Palace. In other cities, the reaction to events was directly dependent on the degree of organization of opponents of Soviet power. The most significant performance in the northwest was Novgorod. A strike of civil servants and trade workers took place here, and armed resistance continued until January 22, when martial law was lifted in the city.
In Moscow, on January 5, 1918, after the dispersal of a demonstration by defenders of the Constituent Assembly, the building of the Dorogomil District Council was blown up, and on January 9, a peaceful demonstration dedicated to the next anniversary of “bloody” Sunday was fired: as a result, more than 30 people were killed and 200 were wounded. However, soon the speeches, caused by the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, began to decline and the attention of the Cheka formed on 7 (20) December 1917. The Cheka was no longer attracted by political opponents, but by the problem of fighting banditry. In general, the population perceived the January events passively; large-scale clashes did not follow.
Meanwhile, the strengthening of Soviet power, the ongoing negotiations in Brest-Litovsk, aroused a response from the Entente countries, which increased funding for the anti-Bolshevik movement. At the same time, Germany’s pressure on the Soviet delegation in Brest-Litovsk, expressed in putting forward new demands on Bolshevik Russia, intensified. The result of this pressure, which took the form of open military intervention in February, was the signing of the Brest peace on March 3, 1918. According to a treaty consisting of 14 articles and various annexes, all Baltic countries and part of Belarus were rejected. In the Caucasus, Kars, Ardahan, Batumi passed to Turkey.
Ukraine and Finland were recognized as independent states. Russia's territorial losses amounted to about 1 million square meters. km Russia pledged to demobilize the army and navy, including parts of the Red Army, established under the decree of the Council of People's Commissars on January 15, 1918. Contribution, which Russia had to pay, amounted to 6 billion marks.
The German occupation put an end to the spread of Soviet power to new territories and indirectly contributed to the formation of bridgeheads in which counterrevolutionary forces could organize: primarily in the Don, the North Caucasus, and other territories. The new movement strengthened the white movement, which received the support of much wider sections of the population than before. It became widespread due to the influx of previously inert civilians into its ranks of the Cossacks. The progress of the white movement was also facilitated by the advancement of German troops outside the occupation zone, provided for by the Brest peace, in the Don region and the Crimea.
The German troops captured Simferopol on April 22, Taganrog on May 1, and Rostov-on-Don on May 8. On May 11, 1918, General P. N. Krasnov was elected military ataman in Novocherkassk, on the same day a red gang, FG Podtelkov and MV Krivoshlykov’s squad was captured and destroyed.
By April 1918, the ataman Dutov’s troops were also activated, having destroyed the Orenburg Bolshevik detachment of S. M. Zwilling in the beginning of the month of 300 people and raided Orenburg itself, where 129 people were killed, including 6 children and several women. On the same days, in the city of Ilek, the people of Dutov killed 400 representatives of the foreign population. Later, on May 9, in the Urals, a tragedy occurred in the village of Aleksandrov-Gaya, where the Cossacks shot and buried alive 675 people. In total, in the spring of 1918, Dutov's detachments killed about 3 thousand people. The bitterness inherent in the civil war was becoming more pronounced.
In addition to the military-territorial defeat of the Bolsheviks, the Brest Peace initiated a political split in the coalition Soviet government, from which left Social Revolutionaries left, who did not accept the conditions of peace. The occupation of Ukraine and the southern Russian territories soon led to a serious food crisis, which led to a change in the agrarian policy of the Bolsheviks. The emergence of commanders even more divorced former allies. The third event separating the Bolsheviks and the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries was the introduction of the death penalty in court in late June 1918.
Not opposing the death penalty at the scene of the crime, introduced by the decree "Socialist Fatherhood in Danger" on February 21, the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries did not allow -votnikov in court, speaking out against the tightening of punitive measures. Later, on July 6, 1918, in an effort to turn the revolution and the Bolsheviks in; the side of the refusal of the decisions made as a result of the Brest Peace, the left Social Revolutionary Chekists Blumkin and Andreev (with the sanction of the Central Committee of the Party of Communist Party Workers headed by M. A. Spiridonova) organized the assassination of the German Ambassador Mirbach.
The mutual seizure of hostages — first by the left Social Revolutionaries, who refused to extradite the terrorists, and then by the Communists (factions of the Left Social Revolutionaries at the V Congress of Soviets) —has led to a clash on the streets of Moscow. A deliberate provocation aimed at disrupting the Brest Peace and renewing the revolutionary war with Germany resulted in two-day street battles. “The sole purpose of the July uprising,” the left SR’s participant, Cherepanov, later argued, was to thwart the counter-revolutionary Brest Peace and snatch the party dictatorship from the hands of the Bolsheviks, replacing it with genuine Soviet power. ” However, the Bolsheviks saw an attempt on their power in the actions of the Left SRs.
They disarmed the Left Socialist-Revolutionary KGB detachment of Popov (12 people were later shot), speaking in arms in support of the terrorist attack, and at the same time eliminating the Left Social Revolutionaries from the Soviets. The attempt on July 10-11, the commander of the Eastern Front of the left Social Revolutionary MA A. Muravyov, to use his subordinate units for the resumption of war with Germany was immediately stopped, and he himself died during his arrest. The events of July 6-7 in Moscow and July 10-11 in Simbirsk were another step towards strengthening the one-party dictatorship of the Bolsheviks.
The confrontation between the Bolsheviks and other socialist parties, who now accused them not only of usurping power, dispersing the Constituent Assembly, but also of directly betraying the interests of the workers and peasants, reincarnating the party and agreeing with Germany, became even more fierce in the post-Brest peace period. . Particularly active were the Right SRs, who proceeded to the organization of anti-Bolshevik uprisings and terrorist attacks.
Mass underground organizations such as the Union for the Defense of Homeland and Freedom, headed by BV Sa-vinkov, signify the formation of an anti-Soviet underground, dangerous by its close ties with the growing white movement on the outskirts of the former Russian Empire. The result of this process was the wave of anti-Soviet uprisings that swept in the Volga region in the summer of 1918 (Yaroslavl uprising).
The conclusion of the Peace of Brest also marked the transition to the open intervention of the Entente troops. On March 6, 1918, British troops landed from the Lori cruiser in Murmansk. On April 5, a Japanese landing force arrived in Vladivostok.
Each of the numerous consequences of the Brest peace, being individually an important co-being, together designated, reinforcing each other, the onset of a new stage in the revolution: the transition to civil war. The Brest Peace became a catalyzing factor in the onset of civil war: intensifying the social (especially in the countryside), political (both among and among the socialist parties) and ideological opposition in society.
History of the Soviet Union and Russia in the 20th Century